Hello Internet

I have recommended other things with relatively little explanation. Sometimes a song doesn’t require much explanation, I’m recommending it because I think it’s a good song. But if I’m going to recommend listening to what could eventually amount to hundreds of hours of two dudes talking, I’d better tell you something about it up front. I’ll write a brief profile of the host and vice-host from a listener’s point of view.

C.G.P. Grey is interested in organisation and efficiency. He is enthusiastic about systems and methodologies. He studied physics or something and worked as a teacher before becoming self-employed as a creator of educational videos on YouTube. C.G.P.* now lives in London, coming originally from New York State. He likes flags and Apple products, checklists, and statistical analyses. He sometimes reacts to things the way a robot might. He likes things just so. For example, he would be horrified that this text is not left-justified. He probably couldn’t read this far. He had a lady penguin named after him but it died. He likes Star Wars. Trademark move: deep exasperated sigh.

Brady Haran has a background in journalism and television production and comes from Adelaide, Australia. He now lives in Bristol. He produces educational videos on YouTube, having separate channels for chemistry, mathematics, and several other subjects. He is a prolific producer of video content and his videos frequently feature well-respected academics. He is enthusiastic about cricket and his two dogs, Lulu and Audrey. His passions include buildings, space flight (particularly all things related to the Apollo Space Program), museums and history. If Grey is a robot, Brady is often depicted as a caveman. He gets excited about things in a childlike and infectious way but he also has a sharp analytical mind. He likes Star Wars. Trademark move: laughing at own joke.

hi google screenshot

On the podcast, they discuss a range of topics. Their very different personalities and outlooks lead to interesting debates. They keep track of their conversations and they welcome input from listeners on the Hello Internet subreddit. Each episode has a ‘follow-up’ section near the beginning, picking up the thread of what they were speaking about last time. The follow-up often becomes the whole episode. Recurring topics reside in corners, the most famous is probably plane crash corner. For some reason they talk about plane crashes a lot.

To refer back to another long-running conversation on the podcast… I’m fairly sure that writing this recommendation and including a YouTube embed isn’t in the arena of infringement. I think it’s allowed. But what do I know? Maybe I think I’m freebooting (sounds good), when I’m actually viewjacking (sounds bad). If this somehow crosses the Hello Internet radar and they take it apart on the podcast, they will no doubt point out that my writing about them could be seen as a type of viewjacking. I am trying to lure people to my website by writing about a lot of things that are much more popular than my own creative output. But isn’t that what the whole Internet is, a big viewjacking pyramid scheme? Doesn’t everything refer to something else? Like Hello Internet talking about Star Wars and Black Mirror. You could look at it that way. Side note: I know freebooting beat viewjacking in the end. No one talks about viewjacking anymore. But doesn’t my usage make sense?

When I found the podcast I listened to the most current episodes in reverse order while simultaneously listening from the start in sequential order, burning the candle at both ends. I haven’t listened to all of Hello Internet yet. Since it is often so self-referential, listeners are rewarded for going back and trawling through the archives. For example, I knew that they referred to all their listeners as Tims, but it wasn’t until I had listened to around twenty episodes that I found out why.

Here’s the episode where they changed it all up and made an accompanying video as they visited the Royal Society of Science in London and examined some historical artefacts.

Hello Internet Website

*Colin Graham Peter?, Charlie Geoffrey Patrick? Cher Garfunkel Presley Grey?


I saw the marble machine video when it came out in 2016. Like a lot of people, I was blown away. It now has over 70 million views on YouTube. I’ll embed it below in case you are the person who hasn’t seen it.

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the video again, remembering how much I liked it. Not just the novelty, but the song itself, the execution, the inventiveness of the machine, everything about it. This time I followed up and checked out some other videos from Wintergatan’s channel. It turns out the marble machine isn’t the only crazy musical contraption Wintergatan has made. There are lots of videos about the design and construction of these wild machines. Wintergatan has a lot of followers and sometimes asks for concept and engineering advice – I particularly enjoyed the crowdsourced solution for the 90-degree kick-drum. It is so great to see people work together to solve complex problems like that. I can’t wait to see the new Marble Machine X when it is completed, but I am enjoying seeing the incremental progress and the decision-making process as this vision comes closer to reality. I have to applaud Wintergatan’s willingness to be so open and share so much about the process. If you are into unusual musical instruments and want to see how one unique artist approaches it, I can’t recommend this YouTube channel highly enough.

Wintergatan on YouTube


HitRecord is a collaborative community made up of people from all around the world, working to make art together. This community is also a production company that has produced short films, books, records, a TV show, T-shirts, advertisements, socks, and plenty more. I joined the website when I was experimenting with animation, video collage, and other cool stuff I couldn’t do on my own. There was this incredible wealth of material to experiment with and a community of people who got enthused about having their work remixed and reinterpreted. It was refreshing to see, when the internet at large has such a takedown culture of infringement paranoia. Let me give some context, I was writing my dissertation at the time about remix culture and its clashes with copyright law. I was writing about fair use cases. I don’t condone freebooting by any means, but there are genuine fair use cases to be made for transformative remixes that don’t cannibalise the market for the original product. I won’t get into all that, but I was exploring HitRecord’s community ethic as a stark contrast to the copyright hardliner philosophy.

Once I dipped my toes in the water, I started to see that this is a great way to collaborate. HitRecord’s way of working is unique. When you sign up to the site, you don’t give up the rights to your own work. But anything that you upload may be remixed by any other person in the community. Once they upload a remix, this new version can go on to be built upon by lots of other people. You never lose the rights to your original work, but by uploading you agree to let the community make their own versions too. Some may be drastically transformative, some may not. But it is all encouraged, and once you see the results that can come from this kind of open process, things get very exciting. You’ll start remixing other people’s work. You’ll start to become a photographer even though you joined as a musician. You’ll start to become a writer even though you joined as an illustrator. You won’t be able to resist the urge to experiment and try new things when you see how this community buzzes.

I joined just as production was gearing up for Season 2 of the Emmy-award winning Hitrecord On TV (which you can now watch on Netflix). For me, this was a huge education. I got to see behind the magic curtain, to get an idea of the incredible amount of work and coordination that is required to make an ambitious project like this successful. But it was also exciting and a lot of fun. I got a window on all stages of the production process. And I got my hands dirty when it came to animation, video editing, motion graphics, and music production. In the last couple of years HitRecord has put a lot of work into the website itself, fine-tuning the functionality to serve the creative process in the most effective way possible. A lot of thought and effort has gone into it, with continual beta testing and callouts to the community for feedback. It feels like everything we build, we build together. Even if my part in this is very small, that’s a good feeling.

In this YouTube video, Joseph Gordon-Levitt explains the process to interviewer Sam Jones and initiates a collaboration by picking up a guitar and playing a couple of chords. An extract from the completed collaboration is dropped into the edit, I can be briefly seen playing a bit of ukulele (I’m in the top row, third box over when the screen shows twelve collaborators).

There are a couple of completed episodes of HitRecord On TV on YouTube to give you a better idea what I’m talking about. Here is the episode RE: Guns… it uses an instrumental piece I recorded as the closing credits and as interstitial music throughout the episode.

If you want to get involved, it may be a bit overwhelming at first. But there are helpful videos to show you the ropes and the community could not be more warm and welcoming. To get started, go to hitrecord.org

Recommends: This Weather Visualisation Tool

At time of writing, Ireland is bracing for a cold snap. The shops are all out of Taytos and bread, the offies are boarding their windows shut.  And you can’t have any kind of extreme weather without giving it a nickname these days, so this one is called ‘The Beast From The East’. Last year we had storm Ophelia, and as the storm raged outside, I discovered this neat weather visualisation tool (earth.nullschool.net) so I could watch along in horrified awe. The little panel in the corner of the screen allows you to toggle different views, I screenshotted a few to give you the general idea – but it’s worth going to the website just to see those hypnotic animations. See if you can spot The Beast From The East in my screenshots.


Wind and Surface Air Temperature

Blue is cold. That’s your beast right there.  On the website the wind direction is clear from the animation, with the wind passing east to west over Ireland bringing all that cold cold blueness with it. Check out the control panel, almost everything there is a parameter you can change to view different kinds of data. You can even skip back and forward in time, and look at past weather or projected weather. The development team behind the scenes on this are crunching a lot of data.

Screenshot of The Beast From The East

Ocean Currents at Surface

Look at the wibbly-wobbly Gulf Stream. Let’s shout words of encouragement at it.

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Wind + Particulate Matter < 2.5 µm @ Surface

I’m not entirely sure what this means. Pretty sciencey.

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So, that about wraps up another exciting edition of Dave Recommends. Again, that’s earth.nullschool.net

Podcast Roundup I

I listen to a lot of podcasts as I walk hither and thither, so I’ll probably do a few blog posts of podcast recommendations (hence the Roman numeral in the title). Here’s three recommendations for starters…


Stuff You Should Know LogoJosh and Chuck from HowStuffWorks.com separately research a given subject, then they get together and explain it to each other and the listeners. In their laid back style, they tease out the interesting details behind a varied range of broad and specific topics, from history, science, sociology, psychology, culture, and more. They recently topped a thousand episodes, they’ve got quite the back catalogue. Have a browse and you’ll probably find a topic you’ve always wanted to know more about. Let Josh and Chuck get you up to speed.


LE SHOW with Harry Shearer

Harry ShearerHarry Shearer sits on the mic and sorts through the news of the last week. There are certain topics he constantly returns to with an array of recurring segments, pointing out the corruption rife in the International Olympic Committee and the Catholic Church, reporting on Bad Banks, a character skit on a Baghdad talk radio show, Smart Houses (not so smart after all), The Appresidentice, reading the Apologies of The Week, there are too many to mention. I am unendingly impressed that every time he is forced to utter the phrase ‘President Trump’, he consciously makes a weird disbelieving half-laugh half-gasp. I think he’s imitating the first time he had to say it on air (when that seemed to be his genuine reaction). It’s so smart because it reminds us all that we knew this presidency was a farce from the beginning. I see Harry perpetuating this derisive vocal tic for ‘President Trump’ as a refusal to normalise the idiocy of the current administration. He makes a lot of smart choices about how to parse and package language, even when he’s just making comments out the side of his mouth while he reads the trades for us.



Bugle LogoAndy Zaltzman hosts the audio newspaper for a visual world. With a revolving cast of returning guests, they report on the most important and hilarious stories of the week. This is the only news source you can really trust… to be completely ludicrous. You will remember where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard one of Andy’s exquisitely crafted… sorry, I meant excruciatingly cobbled-together… pun-runs. I am genuinely impressed with how bad they are, which I think is the desired effect. It’s also worth dipping into the archives for the John Oliver years, when Andy and John co-hosted the show. It was sad when John left, but now we get great guests like Nish Kumar and Alice Fraser, so who needs that smurf?


Any Joy – Cycles

Cycles is the debut album by Any Joy. If you read the About page on this website, you know I’m playing synth in this band, so I can’t claim this is an unbiased recommendation. But Oisin recorded the album before putting the band together, and I joined the band after I had already seen them play live at the album launch. I objectively liked this before I was involved in any way. You should listen to the album right now. But if you get a chance to see us playing live, that’s what I really want to recommend.

If you’re a vinyl person, you can order that on Bandcamp (limited edish). And here’s a music video for ‘Avert Yer Eyes’, the first song on the album. The video was made by Mac Premo Inc., I’m blown away by the way it’s turned out. Amazing work.

Look at them there, a great bunch of lads.

Any Joy Facebook / Any Joy Bandcamp

The Bees – Angryman

I like this band. I like this song. I like the album “Sunshine Hit Me”. One of the songs was in a Bulmers ad. I don’t have to write a review or do a bunch of research to recommend something. Find it in your preferred music service or format. Just press play.