What is geocaching?


Announcer

Welcome to Stuff You Should Know from howstuffworks.com.

Josh Clark

Hey and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark. With me as always, is Charles W. Chuck Bryant: Bryant.

Chuck Bryant

How are you doing? Put some fruit juice in there.

Josh Clark

Chuck, you were smelling your hand a little bit ago; what's wrong with you?

Chuck Bryant

I was just - I smell like my wife's handmade artisan soap.

Josh Clark

Yeah. Yes, she's having a grand opening. Loveyourmama.com is now going to have a brick and mortar store, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. I'm very proud of her. And you and Jerry are coming to the grand opening tomorrow having some wine.

Josh Clark

I have - yeah, I'm looking forward to the rosemary garlic chicken wings.

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

Chef Charles is going to be making those.Chuck Bryant:: They are delicious.

Josh Clark

I'll report back to all of you SYSK listeners on just whether or not they are delicious. I wouldn't take Chuck's word for it. So Chuck, you know what we're talking about today?

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

Actually, let me throw this out. This is totally unrelated and it's just too interesting to not mention. I was talking to Ben Bolin, evil mad creator of Stuff They Don't Want You to Know.

Chuck Bryant

Soon to be released hopefully.

Josh Clark

Hopefully, yeah. And he was telling me he just found out that the average house price in Detroit right now: $11,500.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And you just - this has nothing to do with what we're doing; you just wanted to say that?

Josh Clark

No, but I just - can you - that boggles the mind.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that's really cheap.

Josh Clark

So anyway, after this, we're moving to Detroit.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

Okay. Instead of Detroit housing prices, we are actually talking about geocaching, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yes. And I wanna go ahead and say that this has been oft requested by many, many people, geocachers, I guess. And I just wanna apologize and say I didn't save all your names and especially the dude last week. We had a guy that we e-mailed back and forth like three or four times in a few hours and he was actually geocaching while he was writing me and listening to our podcast on his iPhone while he was geocaching.

Josh Clark

That guy gets things done.

Chuck Bryant

So he - I kinda feel whenever someone says they listened to us in India when they went on their trip or when this did this, I always feel like we're kinda brought along and I always thank people for bringing us along.

Josh Clark

Sure yeah.

Chuck Bryant

I'm sad we're actually stuck here in the studio.

Josh Clark

Apparently, we also cure homesickness. We've gotten several e-mails -

Chuck Bryant

From Atlantans?

Josh Clark

Yes. And I've heard firsthand stories about people who were sitting in airports in India who were just totally homesick and just listened to our podcast and was cured or comforted at least.

Chuck Bryant

That's nice. All right geocaching.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, you ready?

Josh Clark

Yeah, I'm ready.

Chuck Bryant

All right, let's do it.

Josh Clark

Let me give you a little background info, Chuck.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

Actually, geocaching can be traced directly back to Korean Airlines Flight 007.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

In 1983, this commercial airline - or this commercial plane was flying I guess in Asia and traipsed into - inadvertently, traipsed into Soviet air space and was shot down by the Soviets.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I remember that.

Josh Clark

So as a result, President Reagan said, "Okay, we've got this kinda GPS system that the Air Force has been using for a while, but we need to make this commercially available so that this doesn't happen again."

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

So they did.

Chuck Bryant

Reagan started that whole thing?

Josh Clark

Reagan did. It was - well, it was already in effect, but he made sure that this program really went to town. So they started launching more and more satellites for global positioning systems and they - eventually, it became available to the public; to airlines, to whoever wanted it, but there was a little glitch, a purposeful glitch in the system.

Chuck Bryant

I did not know about this until I read up on this.

Josh Clark

Right, selective availability.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, basically they intentionally made the GPS systems available to the public off base by a little bit.

Josh Clark

By about 300 feet on average.

Chuck Bryant

300 feet because they wanted the military, the US military to have the most advanced system to pinpoint a location, and they wanted to get your average Joe just in the general area.

Josh Clark

Right. So if you're a Korean pilot, you give yourself a 300-foot buffer when you're flying along Soviet air space.

Chuck Bryant

Easy enough.

Josh Clark

Right, but if you are the manufacturer of an onboard GPS system for a car, you don't want your customers going, "TomTom, you're a stupid [bleep]" like every time you ask for directions, right?

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

So there was a certain limitation by that 300 feet because "Turn right" 300 feet ago is not very helpful, but President Clinton comes along and sees the value of GPS.

Chuck Bryant

I like this stuff.

Josh Clark

Yeah. That's exactly what he said. And he liked it enough so that he issued an executive order saying, "We need to get selective availability offline within ten years." That was 1996.

Chuck Bryant

Right, it was supposed to be to '06, but lucky for us, it happened six years sooner.

Josh Clark

Right. So now everybody thinks TomTom's as smart as he can be and this hobby comes about almost immediately.

Chuck Bryant

Because you could pinpoint a location. Strickland says - he wrote this article - between six and 20 feet; not bad.

Josh Clark

Right. So this whole wealth of handheld GPS devices hit the market and right off the bat, a guy named Dave Ulmer decides to test how well his works. I don't know what model he had.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, by hiding an item and going and marking its location, then leaving and coming back and seeing if it could redirect him back there just as a test.

Josh Clark

Right. And so he left a little box and went on a website of his and said, "Here is a box. Here's the coordinates." And I think he wrote, very famously, "Take some stuff; leave some stuff." He put a couple of trinkets in there.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. That's really what started the whole thing.

Josh Clark

And not only did it start it, it's pretty much the same way nine years later. This initial geocache hunt that he created: it immediately created the model that people follow today.

Chuck Bryant

Well, it's a good model. If it ain't broke you know. It's a pretty basic, simple thing. It's fun.

Josh Clark

I just realized we haven't actually said what geocaching is.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

Yeah, we should probably get to this.

Chuck Bryant

Geocaching is when you use your GPS to - it's basically like a treasure hunt. People will leave these caches hidden in a location and with the coordinates and you get from a website let's say, and then you go and try and find it. And they have little trinkets in there you can take. Then you leave your own little trinket. And it's just like a big treasure hunt that anyone can participate in.

Josh Clark

Sure. Anybody who has access to the internet, a GPS receiver and very, very important: a topographical map.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that would help.

Josh Clark

And actually, also Strick - I have to say, Jonathon Strickland who is one of our colleagues and co-hosts of Tech Stuff -

Chuck Bryant

Who you know from Necronomicon.

Josh Clark

Yeah, that came out, didn't it? He makes an excellent point. You wanna make sure that map that you are using was made after 1984 and the reason being is in that year we switched over the type of data that's used to create maps or to position people. So the world geodetic system of 1984 was the new convention for creating positioning, creating maps that's used for GPS; all that stuff.

Chuck Bryant

It took - it replaced the North American datum system.

Josh Clark

Of 1927.

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

So if you have a map that was made between 1927 and 1983, your topographical -

Chuck Bryant

Right before Ghost Busters.

Josh Clark

Exactly, the year before. Man that was a monumental year.

Chuck Bryant

It was.

Josh Clark

Your map and your GPS receiver aren't gonna match and you can run into some problems because your GPS receiver might just say "You're getting warmer; go in this direction." It may have a compass. If you don't have one that you can upload maps onto, then you're not gonna know that you're about to fall off a cliff or something because you're staring at your receiver.

Chuck Bryant

So your little topo map and your compass will let you know, "Hey there's a river crossing" or like you said, "Cliff ahead; danger."

Josh Clark

Right. So Dave Ulmer hid the first geocache and a guy named Mike Teague was the first to find it. Actually, surprisingly, it's almost like this hobby, this pastime or - I don't know what you'd refer to it as.

Chuck Bryant

It's a game.

Josh Clark

Okay.

Chuck Bryant

A sport.

Josh Clark

Sure. I don't know about sport.

Chuck Bryant

Well, there's hiking involved a lot of times.

Josh Clark

I don't know about sport.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

But so Ulmer hides this and within, I think, three days, two people found it.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, two people independently of each other.

Josh Clark

Right. So it was simmering right under the surface that geocaching was just waiting to happen.

Chuck Bryant

There was a market for it.

Josh Clark

All right, so -

Chuck Bryant

They called it GPS stash hunt at the beginning though.

Josh Clark

Which is a little clumsy compared to geocaching.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, and everyone else - well, not everyone, but someone at some point suggested - was it Matt Stum?

Josh Clark

Yeah, he was the one who came up with the - coining the phrase or the term.

Chuck Bryant

It's catchy. It's cachey.

Josh Clark

So you've got your GPS receiver, you've got your topographical map. I assume you're probably wearing wooly socks. What else do you need?

Chuck Bryant

Well, they advise to take things like flashlight and bug spray, sun block, hiking boots, water; that kind of thing, extra batteries.

Josh Clark

We should say all this is to assume that you actually want to go on a geocache hunt.

Chuck Bryant

And you're not sitting around your house listening to it.

Josh Clark

We should also say there's several websites dedicated to this hobby and that's where you wanna go to start finding out locations for a cache. There'll be links or else there'll be a list of different caches, their coordinates.

Chuck Bryant

Geocaching.com is the main one, I think.

Chuck Bryant

Unless you're just really adventurous, you probably wanna pick something sorta close to you on your first try at least to kinda break your caching hobby in.

Josh Clark

Right. And some people hide their caches, as Strickland put it, with sadistic glee.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that seems to be part of it is - because it's no fun if it's just sitting right there in the middle of the trailhead.

Josh Clark

Well, not only that, but probably some shmo who doesn't know what's going on will be like, "Oh, look something - I don't know what this is."

Chuck Bryant

Well, that leads us to an important point: if you are stashing a cache - why do I have such a problem with that? My wife's gonna make fun of me.

Josh Clark

That's the least of your problems.

Chuck Bryant

I know. Emily's gonna make fun of me because I do mess up that word a lot and she thinks I'm an idiot. So if your average hiker happens upon this box full of Santana CDs and they're thinking, "Wow, I can just take these CDs. Someone left these. This is often."

Josh Clark

Or drugs.

Chuck Bryant

No, no. No, no. That's one of the things that you are not supposed to put in these caches.

Josh Clark

How come?

Chuck Bryant

Because it's a family friendly activity and they don't wanna sully it with the likes of illegal drugs and such.

Josh Clark

Sure. What about alcohol?

Chuck Bryant

Keep it clean. No, no, no, no, no.

Josh Clark

Okay. So Santana CDs is pretty much what you're gonna find in a geocache?

Chuck Bryant

No. Well, he did say CDs and DVDs or handmade trinkets. You don't want it to be too expensive because you don't wanna sink a lot of money into it, but whatever you - if you take something, you should leave something. You don't have to take something, but if - I think he said if you don't take anything or leave anything, you should write in the log book that's contained inside the cache.

Josh Clark

TNLN.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, took nothing; left - or left nothing, took nothing?

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

One thing that you're going to find in any geocache - Chuck, like you were saying, you should put an explanation in; maybe a note. Strickland also recommended actually labeling it like "This is a geocache. Here's my e-mail or here's my phone number" because I don't know if you said it or not - you don't wanna cause a panic. Some people geocache in cities and actually, in New Hampshire - I can't remember what town it was - a geocache that was hidden in a supermarket caused a panic.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, Portsmouth.

Josh Clark

Post 9/11 people see little metal boxes some place it shouldn't be, they're gonna be like, "Whoa there's a bomb."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, stuck to the underside of an escalator rail.

Josh Clark

Yeah, especially if it blinks or something like that.

Chuck Bryant

And some nerd is like, "What a great hiding spot." And then all of a sudden the cops are tackling him.

Josh Clark

Yeah. Chuck, as I was saying though, one thing that you're gonna find in any geocache is a log book.

Chuck Bryant

Very important.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Because you wanna - it's sort of like a wedding thing that you sign when you got to a wedding. You wanna say that you were here.

Josh Clark

Any kind of guest book: wedding, funeral, bed and breakfast.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. You wanna add your notes like what you found or what your experience was. This was cool. Some of them have disposable cameras in them. And what you're supposed to do there is take a picture of yourself and put the camera back in there.

Josh Clark

Right. And some people actually like to see if they can get - based on that whole taking something and leaving something, they like to see if they can get their trinkets across country.

Chuck Bryant

Yes, Josh that is - what's that called?

Josh Clark

A hitchhiker cache.

Chuck Bryant

Right, and if - there are instructions on how to get this thing across country. The geocachers take great pride in playing along and trying to get the Santana CD from Atlanta to Las Angeles let's say.

Josh Clark

Right. And some people also have coins made with some sort of ID on it. They're called geo coins. It's a type of hitchhiker cache. And it's - basically, you find the coin, you took it, you put it somewhere else and you're leaving - you're posting these on sites, so somebody can go on and see that their coins made it from Topeka to Colorado Springs so far. And they're like, "Oh, that's getting close."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I think I love the spirit of this whole thing.

Chuck Bryant

I'm gonna try this actually. I've never done it.

Josh Clark

Santana heavy, drug free, traveling spirit of geocaching.

Chuck Bryant

It does not get any better.

Josh Clark

It just captures your imagination, doesn't it?

Chuck Bryant

Yes, it does. We should also say that if you're going to plant and start your own little geocache game, that you wanna stay away from private land first of all.

Josh Clark

Yeah, there's actually a - some public officials are aware of geocaching and not everybody's hip with it. Technically, the entire state of New Hampshire is one example. They're actually -

Chuck Bryant

Well, they're threatening to outlaw it, correct?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And I know in national parks it's not allowed. Some state parks it is allowed, but they say - the whole spirit of this thing is to be respectful of the environment, not cause a mess, not damage anything and it's really important to geocachers too that they're looked at in a favorable light.

Josh Clark

Yeah, they wanna be looked at as cooperative and helpful. So basically, if you're hiding a geocache, you wanna kinda pull your head out of the game and actually really kinda look around; not just look for a hiding place, but look at the impact that geocachers who come to look for your cache are gonna have on this area. So you don't wanna put it in a place -

Chuck Bryant

In the middle of a flower bed.

Josh Clark

That's a good one. Historic and archaeological sites: you don't wanna place those there.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, not good.

Josh Clark

Just basically anywhere where a lot of people tramping - I guess it's probably smart to assume that there's going to be a lot of hunters looking for it, that they're not going to really have a terrible impact on this area.

Chuck Bryant

Right. I would put one in a tree stand, a deer hunting tree stand and see what that did for you.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

In the middle of deer season.

Josh Clark

Sure, smart.

Chuck Bryant

Not a good idea.

Josh Clark

So Chuck, is it true or not that you will be murdered if you remove a cache?

Chuck Bryant

Not true, but not cool.

Josh Clark

What about a spanking?

Chuck Bryant

You might get spanked. The initial guy who started it, he might track you down and geo spank you.

Josh Clark

But conversely also, you want to maintain your cache, right? Like if you get a couple of logs of people saying I couldn't find this thing no matter what.

Chuck Bryant

That's a bad sign.

Josh Clark

Yeah, it means you should go out and look at your cache.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, you wanna be clever about where you hide it, but not too clever. Or somebody may have walked off with it.

Josh Clark

You wanna also keep an eye on your log book because if that gets filled up, you wanna replace it with another one.

Chuck Bryant

You wanna bag it. You wanna bag everything in a Ziplock -

Josh Clark

Bag it and tag it.

Chuck Bryant

- Ziplock so it doesn't get rained on.

Josh Clark

You wanna double bag the log book.

Chuck Bryant

And leave a pencil just in case these guys and gals don't bring theirs along because the log book is the most important part. Actually, the second - well, I'd say it's a tie. The other most important part is that you log the stuff on the website as well when you get home so everyone else knows what's going on and the game continues.

Josh Clark

It does and this podcast continues, Chuck because there's actually variation in geocaching.

Chuck Bryant

This I thought was very cool.

Josh Clark

There's the straight up geocache, which we've been talking about. There's also multi-caches, which are - basically, there's a series of caches, which are related to one another. So you go to one cache and inside, instead of Santana CDs or DARE to keep kids off drugs stickers, there are coordinates to another one and you just go and go and go.

Chuck Bryant

That's like a real treasure hunt.

Josh Clark

Yes, it is.

Chuck Bryant

Minus the treasure of course.

Josh Clark

Yeah. Well, it depends on how many Santana CDs you -

Chuck Bryant

Plus, they say the treasure is in the experience itself. It's not so much about the trinkets, like I said, in the spirit of goodness and giving. I see that you're put out by that. You want some money or something.

Josh Clark

There's also the letterbox hybrid.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, explain that.

Josh Clark

So that's kind of like a combination between straight up geocaching and a type of treasure hunting which is letterboxing. So it's like a multi-cache, but you have to solve puzzles or figure out hints or clues to the location along with these coordinates.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah which sounds like fun?

Josh Clark

And the coordinate may be a starting point. Or is that a mystery cache that I'm thinking of?

Chuck Bryant

Yes, that is a mystery cache if I'm not mistaken.

Josh Clark

I see. That was pretty close to the letterbox hybrid.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. And then there's a virtual cache, which I think kinda stinks because there's no loot involved. That's just the location -

Josh Clark

I thought you were in it for the spirit of caching.

Chuck Bryant

Well, for the spirit of that and [inaudible].

Josh Clark

A free Santana CD?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

I know what I'm getting you for Christmas.

Chuck Bryant

A Santana CD?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Sweet. And Josh, you mentioned hints and for the puzzle, that's not limited to just the letterbox or the mystery cache. It's - a lot of times you'll wanna include little hints on your website too to get people there. It's not only coordinates.

Josh Clark

So Chuck, if somebody wants to go ahead and get into this, where do you start?

Chuck Bryant

Well, I guess you would wanna pick out a location, a general location. And like we said, since you have to manage your little stash here, then you want to have it kinda close by so it's manageable and easy to get to. You don't wanna have to manage something that you have to scale a 50-foot wall to get to.

Josh Clark

Unless you're that dude.

Chuck Bryant

Then knock yourself out.

Josh Clark

That's right Chuck, but also, you want to start by buying the GPS receiver, right?

Chuck Bryant

That's a good place to start.

Josh Clark

And you don't wanna just say, "Hey I bought my GPS receiver. I'm gonna start geocaching." You wanna test it out a little bit first. And how do you do that, big boy?

Chuck Bryant

Well, I guess you would go to a spot, ping where you are - I don't know if it's called pinging or what.

JoshClark

We're cool. We're gonna call it pinging.

Chuck Bryant

Ping where you are and then leave, and then see if you can get back there using the GPS, right?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That's pretty easy.

Josh Clark

I'd probably do it more than once too with a couple different locations.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that's a good idea.

Josh Clark

Yeah, but once you get started, then you can start a few hunts, maybe hide your own, meet some cool people, spend a bunch of money on disposable cameras.

Chuck Bryant

And Santana CDs.

Josh Clark

Yeah, it's wide open.

Chuck Bryant

We need - I guess we need to cover the lingo real quick too.

Josh Clark

All right.

Chuck Bryant

So if you're out there and you see these letters like if you're a texter, you don't know what LOL means, you'd be mighty confused; everyone keeps saying LOL to you. So CITO means cache in, trash out. And that's one of the tenants is that you should - kinda like a hiker's: take only pictures; leave only footprints montra. So you should pick up trash along the way and take it with you.

Josh Clark

Got you.

Chuck Bryant

That's one. You wanna name another one or you want me to do all these?

Josh Clark

Well, I already talked about TNLN: took nothing, leave nothing.

Chuck Bryant

There's FTF, which is a big one. That's first to find and if you're the first one to find the stash, that's pretty cool.

Josh Clark

I can tell you a name for us: geo muggles.

Chuck Bryant

I know.

Josh Clark

Just people who don't geocache. So I'd say like 99.999999999997 percent of the global population are geo muggles.

Chuck Bryant

True. And a spoiler just like you would suppose is a comment that reveals the location on a website or something. Who would wanna do that? Only a geo muggle would do that.

Josh Clark

Like any good underground hobby, it has its lingo. It has its websites, but like you were saying, its family friendly and there's just kind of a cool spirit to it and it struck me as very open. I think geocaching is one of the more friendly hobbies around.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. Anytime you start a community like this like the hash runs people do, it's cool. It's something that people can take part in and it's a lot of fun.

Josh Clark

Got you.

Chuck Bryant

I guess we - can we mention Philadelphia real quick?

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

They actually have embraced it big time. In the Spring of '07 they had a little thing where they wanted to promote a little promotional deal, the Franklin Institute's King Tut display. And they actually had a geocaching game that they presented to the public where you would go to 12 different sites related to the exhibit. And each site had a stamp and you collected these stamps and once you've collected all of them, then you get a prize at the end, which from what I understand, was a Santana CD.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And a ticket to the King Tut exhibit.

Josh Clark

Nice. So Chuck, is that it?

Chuck Bryant

That is it. And if you wanna know more about geocaching, I gotta tell you Strickland wrote the definitive article on this. He used the geek god tone where it was like no drugs. He just - he did it. He knocked it out of the park.

Chuck Bryant

He did.

Josh Clark

So if you wanna learn more about geocaching, I would strongly urge you to, even before you go buy your GPS receiver, read Jonathan Strickland's article on geocaching.

Chuck Bryant

That's a good start.

Josh Clark

And also, Marshall Brain, founder of the site and Tom Harris, one of our freelance writers wrote "How GPS Works": really good overview of how global positioning works. Those are two good articles. You can find them both by typing in GPS into the handy search bar at howstuffworks.com. And Chuck before we do listener mail, let's plug.

Chuck Bryant

What are we plugging?

Josh Clark

Let's plug the webcast and the blogs.

Chuck Bryant

Okay. Every Wednesday afternoon, 1:00PM Eastern Standard Time Josh and I do a little webcast!

Josh Clark

Live.

Chuck Bryant

It's a live video -

Josh Clark

Video webcast.

Chuck Bryant

Just so there's not mistaking it. And it's more newsy and we cover current events and interesting topics from around the world. And it's fun. We've been getting some -

Josh Clark

It is fun. It's gonna be fun. I stop feeling the urge to vomit right before it every time -

Chuck Bryant

You're solid, bro. That's good.

Josh Clark

So are you, buddy.

Chuck Bryant

Thanks.

Josh Clark

And then we also have a blog, Stuff You Should Know blog which is very much in the spirit of Stuff You Should Know. We pretty much write about whatever strikes our fancy.

Chuck Bryant

Which is nice.

Josh Clark

Yeah. You wrote about a gun toting town hall meeting attendee recently.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah and some good debate on that one which I figured. It was nice.

Josh Clark

And I wrote about Garry Warren, the founder of Suicide Club. So those are just a couple examples.

Chuck Bryant

That was a good one.

Josh Clark

Thanks bud.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

So that's plugfest '09 which means it's time for listener mail.

Chuck Bryant

Yes. Before we again do listener mail, our producer, Jerry had a special request because we referred to the great Ira Glass as our arch nemesis in a few podcasts ago.

Josh Clark

I remember.

Chuck Bryant

Which we've gotten some response. People are like, "What's going on guys? We love Ira Glass. We figured y'all would be fans too." We do love Ira Glass.

Josh Clark

Oh, we're big time fans.

Chuck Bryant

And we love This American Life and there is a friendly ratings war that they consistently win and so that's why we called him our arch nemesis, but there's nothing but love.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

And Ira Glass, if you know we exist, we love you. Thank you for inspiring us.

Josh Clark

So what else you got, Chuck?

Chuck Bryant

I got listener mail.

Josh Clark

Okay.[Chimes]

Chuck Bryant

All right, Josh, listener mail time. We have a couple of quickies here. I'm gonna call this one Sarcopenia proven. So we had a guy write in, said he's been listening for a while now and he wants to say that we're great. He is a gym dude and he was listening to the podcast at the gym and "It struck a cord with me. About six months ago a little, fragile, hunched over lady started showing up at the gym.I probably would not have taken much notice, but she was toting around a portable oxygen tank, which gave me a deep respect for her tenacity; and a water bottle with a very large straw protruding from it. She shows up on a regular basis and puts everyone else to shame and works hard with a trainer. Since that time she has become the poster child for reversing the aging process. First, she dropped the oxygen tank; completely gone."

Josh Clark

Wow.

Chuck Bryant

"Then she lost her hunch in her back and is walking upright again."

Josh Clark

That's awesome.

Chuck Bryant

"She still has the water bottle with the straw which has become the only way for me to identify her because she looks so much younger. Thanks for helping me understand exactly how this went down." And that is from Jason.

Josh Clark

Booyah.

Chuck Bryant

Pretty cool.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And then another quickie. This is from our buddy Danielle in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Danielle and I are pen pals and she loves that we mention Eau Claire and Sheboygan and places like that. So she sent us a list of other Wisconsin cities that she bets we cannot pronounce.

Josh Clark

All right.

Chuck Bryant

I'm just gonna put that here.

Josh Clark

Okay.

Chuck Bryant

And I'm gonna go ahead and say the first one is Oconomowoc.

Josh Clark

I think you're way off.

Chuck Bryant

All right, you go next.

Josh Clark

Wauwatosa.

Chuck Bryant

That was pretty easy. The next one is Outagamie.

Josh Clark

You sound Cambodian.

Chuck Bryant

I do.

Josh Clark

I'm going to try Trempealeau.

Chuck Bryant

Trempealeau. God you get the easy ones. The next one is -

Josh Clark

That is not easy.

Chuck Bryant

Kewaunee.

Josh Clark

Yeah, that's not easy at all.

Chuck Bryant

All right.

Josh Clark

Waukesha.

Chuck Bryant

And finally, we have Weyauwega.

Josh Clark

Yeah, and then the last one is double dash Danielle. That's a weird city name.

Chuck Bryant

That's the pen pal. So Danielle, take that.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Perfect pronunciation all the way down the list.

Josh Clark

Yeah, in your face, Danielle and Sarcopenia. If you wanna correspond with Chuck or I, Chuck's actually really good at responding to listener mail and he's made some pretty good friends along the way. So if you wanna be Chuck's friend, send an e-mail to stuffpodcast@howstuffworks.com.

Announcer

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