17 episodes

Welcome to Topic Lords, an internet radio show featuring Jim talking to his friends about topics.

Topic Lords Jim Stormdancer

    • Comedy

Welcome to Topic Lords, an internet radio show featuring Jim talking to his friends about topics.

    A Buzzsaw Made Of Bananas

    A Buzzsaw Made Of Bananas

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    April is Jim's wife again and still a Beast Lord.


    John is a Mystery.


    2:25 Create a D&D character right now

    Drizzt the Drow. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drizzt_Do%27Urden
    Moai eyes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai#Eyes

    12:51 Being friends with people who are more than ten years older/younger than you: not weird until suddenly it is?

    Teaching English in Japan. https://www.internationalteflacademy.com/teach-english-in-japan
    Nova. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_(eikaiwa)

    24:31 Being in another country and seeing a person from your own country: is a head nod appropriate or not?
    30:05 You can get Big Mike bananas from a specialty dealer in Miami


    43:04 Relational memory/mind palaces/file structures from long-retired computers
    46:37 What's your preferred method for migrating your stuff from your old computer to your new computer?
    56:43 Willow asks: "Methods for assembling great salads"


    Refusing to be a Topic Lord because you're just on Topic Lords to promote your alternative podcast Beast Lords.
    Not having anyone to plug this time either but maybe you have a Soundcloud somewhere.
    Choosing all of your topics while driving to the zoo.
    Containing multitudes and being super excited.
    A band of adventurers being led by an operatic soprano.
    A party of all bards.
    Appropriating spam musubi because it's delicious.
    Not technically being part of a band of adventurers but you play a tambourine and own the van.
    Stealing the spam musubi from your bass player's bag of holding because they're going to go bad eventually.
    Keeping both gold coins and spam musubi in the same bag of holding and having to dig around for the money when you buy anything.
    Finally having a dog on this podcast.
    Putting your dead dog in every D&D party you're in for the rest of your life.
    Putting your dead dog in every platformer you make for the rest of your life.
    All your D&D adventures going wrong because you're just musicians and can't actually deal with monsters.
    Putting monsters onto the bus to the next town over.
    Putting a fishtank bubbler on your bag of holding so all the monsters in there can breathe.
    Fixing it then ruining it.
    Coming to your chosen profession late in your life.
    Age gaps getting less weird as time goes on.
    Thinking about watching new TV to be able to relate to young people and deciding nobody has that kind of time.
    Old people being full of stories from their lives.
    Not talking to your friend as much as you used to because she lives in Ohio now.
    Spending your retirement taking care of dogs.
    Responding to difficult situations with grace and tact.
    Stopping going to work because they stopped paying you.
    The English teacher bubble in Japan.
    Seeing the only other white person for a mile in any direction and wondering if you should nod at them.
    Seeing the only other white person for a mile in any direction and thinking "frickin Americans!"
    Not wanting to talk to strangers except in your favorite coffee shop.
    Telling your wife something a week ago and then finding out it's a myth and having to correct her on a podcast.
    Bananas being especially susceptible to disease.
    Replacing the Cavendish banana with an even shittier banana after it succumbs.
    Hiding your bananas because if your son sees them he won't be able to think about anything else.
    Giving your son bananas because he already poops enough.
    Foot-long avocados.
    A giant box of intimidating tropical fruit being the best Christmas gift.
    Drinking soursop juice tasting flights at a Mexican restaurant.
    Bananas that look like a buzzsaw made of bananas.
    Your infant son seeing a rambutan and realizing that maybe some things don't go in your mouth.
    Haunted frui

    • 1 hr 11 min
    I Don't Want To Be Skin Dad

    I Don't Want To Be Skin Dad

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    Lords this week:

    Tim made Jamestown and just shipped Jamestown+ on PC and Switch. http://jamestownplus.com/
    Kole makes podcasts at Duckfeed. http://duckfeed.tv/


    2:42 Cat trees for humans.

    Ninja Warrior. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJPP7M1hQZE
    "Find an American Ninja Warrior Gym." http://www.ninjawarriorgyms.com/

    7:37 Non-analytical storytelling/writing (flash writing, story time, songwriting)

    Alice's Restaurant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m57gzA2JCcM

    15:08 The ephemerality of AI Dungeon.

    AI Dungeon: https://www.aidungeon.io/
    AI Dungeon patreon: https://www.patreon.com/AIDungeon
    Art breeder: https://artbreeder.com/

    25:13 Brett asks: "The assertion that programming and in particular programmers are getting worse."
    36:20 Sonder

    "This Is Water." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI
    "Laziness Does Not Exist" https://humanparts.medium.com/laziness-does-not-exist-3af27e312d01

    47:48 What determines if an inanimate object (car, home, golf club) gets a proper name.
    56:09 Fruity Cheezma

    "Cheese Tea: It’s Real and It’s Spectacular" https://www.dinnerpartydownload.org/cheese-tea/
    Orbitz (drink). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbitz_(drink)
    Jim's Fruity Cheezma outcome: https://twitter.com/mogwai_poet/status/1210328506359414785?s=20


    Releasing the same game over and over again because it keeps being your best move.
    Suffering through and finding the magic but still believing you shouldn't have had to suffer.
    Asking yourself what the problem is and breaking it down.
    Being here for topics.
    Understanding that the question you're asking is ridiculous but asking it anyway.
    What you want only existing for children because their needs are greater.
    Using adult-sized playgrounds for physical therapy.
    Using adult-sized playgrounds for physical therapy keeping those blades sharp.
    The through line from bouldering to Ninja Warrior to Super Mario Bros.
    Watching the first half of Full Metal Jacket and thinking the obstacle course looks really fun.
    Putting game show contestants in a video game for the viewers at home but the contestants themselves are just looking at a big green wall.
    Professional skaters having skate parks in their back yard.
    Doing American Ninja Warrior every day and getting a lot more miles on the tires.
    Tony Hawk getting away with skateboarding in a 50-year-old body because he's good enough to not faceplant all the time.
    Giving a skateboard to an average 50-year-old and saying "go for it buddy."
    Restarting civilization around your business plan.
    Making up stories for your children in real-time.
    Being a DM except nobody else gets a turn, you just keep going.
    Five years of daily practice to wake up your storytelling brain.
    Going to an Arlo Guthrie concert because you're old and go to Arlo Guthrie concerts.
    All of Arlo Guthrie's songs being twenty minute stories like Alice's Restaurant.
    Thinking that advice sounds wise for somebody else.
    David Lynch's book on storytelling turning out to actually be about Transcendental Meditation.
    Actually possibly having deep insights about the universe while being high on drugs.
    Writing a book by just writing down something you already said and it feeling like someone else wrote the book.
    Letting the story write itself and then taking credit for it.
    Having children because you want to become a great writer.
    Incurring $10,000 of hosting costs because you misconfigured your CDN.
    A text adventure telling you what you did but not telling you what happened as a result.
    Markov chain text generation.
    AI replacing musicians and ultimately most art.
    AI musicians giving you another album from your favorite band.
    Exploring AI generated music and sharing your unique discoveries.
    Seeing creative work as the last bastion of human work that AI can't take from us, but being wrong.

    • 1 hr 8 min

    Dad Is A Cenobite

    Dad Is A Cenobite

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    April is a park ranger at @aprilsaur.
    Danny makes video game documentaries at https://noclip.website/ and is on Twitter at @dannyodwyer.


    4:26 Intentionally teaching your child the wrong word for something.

    Dogtooth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogtooth_(film)
    It turns out the kid's mom was talking to him in English at the same time -- a bilingual household. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/article/13011269/klingon-as-a-second-language
    The "I Can Eat Glass" project. https://www.oocities.org/nodotus/hbglass.html

    14:44 Harbinger households.


    21:29 Men's wallets.
    31:45 Quill asks: "I've been planning to change my name recently. The first name that I came up with is 'Quill,' but I can't think of a good last name to go with it. Could you give me some suggestions, or some advice on how to come up with cool names?"

    We used Hitch Switch to change our names and it saved us a lot of work. (It still involved a lot of work.) https://www.hitchswitch.com/
    The Aphantasia study. https://www.eugencpopa.ro/wp-content/uploads/Afantazia-.pdf

    41:17 Shen Yun commercials are literally everywhere.

    Shen Yun 2019 official trailer. https://youtu.be/7H-kYoczCp0
    Shen Yun is "essentially, religious-political propaganda—or, more generously, an extremely elaborate commercial for Falun Dafa’s spiritual teachings and its plight vis-à-vis the Chinese Communist regime." https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/stepping-into-the-uncanny-unsettling-world-of-shen-yun
    How to use an abacus. https://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus/intro.html
    How to use a slide rule. https://www.sliderulemuseum.com/SR_Course.htm
    Baby friendly movie theaters. https://babyfriendlyamerica.com/2016/06/movies/

    49:50 Woodpeckers can withstand impacts of 100gs.

    Woodpecker eating. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPhzGpSspSHx1cA1O-FAAtsFu34MZbg-t
    A weasel riding a woodpecker. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/3/150303-weasels-woodpeckers-animals-science-weaselpecker-photos/
    The best source I could find describing the mechanism of any self sharpening maw: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.201001546

    57:24 Being an extremely unimaginative kid.


    Reading numbers off of a list because topics haven't been invented yet.
    Giving someone a funny look where the funny part is that you're not looking at them.
    Cows that are so cute you want to want to put them in your mouth, which would surely kill them.
    The fuzzy cows only being fuzzy because it's winter.
    Falling off a cliff being the only way to hurt yourself in Ireland.
    The song they teach Irish children about American tourists falling off cliffs.
    Age differences being insignificant when you're millions of years old.
    Knowing two people but calling them both the same thing because one of their names is too hard to say.
    Which animals are close enough to a dog to call "dog."
    A perfect 1960s household but the dad is a cenobite.
    Not being sure if you have bad luck or if you're just a bad person.
    Product researchers studying what you like because everything you like fails.
    Lying to researchers so companies will still make products you like.
    Eating banana flavored corn flakes while you watch Milli Vanilli music videos on your Betamax player and Ralph Nader is the mayor.
    Moving to a zip code where all your neighbors have your same contrary taste in products.
    A wallet the size of four king-sized Snickers bars.
    Finding paradise in the wrong gender's department at Target.
    Feeling the thrill of being free of a giant heavy brick.
    Having to buy an expensive, fashionable watch because otherwise your peers won't take you seriously.
    Taking a photo of your ID and just showing the cop your Instagram.
    Getting a non-folding wallet so your dollar bi

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Kurt Cobain Vocaloid

    Kurt Cobain Vocaloid

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    Shannon Strucci does video essays at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9DnjvObUcvvwrYbJ4-cLQ and is a film correspondent for http://www.strugglesession.us/ and is a teen superhero on https://www.criticalbitcast.com/
    JP makes stuff at http://vectorpoem.com, especially game tourism mods: http://vectorpoem.com/tourism/


    2:43 The pressure to monetize hobbies or perform them for social media vs just having hobbies
    13:25 If you could create a 5 acre island in the middle of the remote south Pacific ocean, what would you use it for?
    17:25 Level design lessons from Hawaii

    Goats for hire, preventing wildfires in California. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n56opj5gJhc
    Kalij pheasants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C63tykplkhU

    28:30 "The 2012 Oakland Athletics adapted 'Movin' Like Bernie' into their celebration routines after Coco Crisp played the song for third baseman Brandon Inge in the team's clubhouse before a game."

    Oakland A's Bernie Lean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJMBmsK5hXc
    BOILeR season 2017 playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLj5IcL4eAydWVS2hTWFIjB7YFJBwt4D3A

    34:07 Fictions that, as a throwaway gag, exist within their own worlds (Remembrance of the Daleks, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)

    Dick Justice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3epcX07t78M
    Simlish pop songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeTlCMqy3jFUU_eqNhjiPBO88SU2PXZqI

    46:05 First time you tried your favorite foods? Especially if you first tried them as an adult

    Brussels Sprouts are less bitter than they used to be. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/10/30/773457637/from-culinary-dud-to-stud-how-dutch-plant-breeders-built-our-brussels-sprouts-bo

    52:06 Time Trap and creating mysteries from the outside in

    A definitive Timeline for Primer: https://unrealitymag.com/at-last-a-definitive-timeline-for-primer/
    The self-lacing Nike MAG. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NimGxU4Qnhk


    Being confused by the existence of two separate Shannons.
    Video games where nobody bothers you, and arguably that being the whole point of video games.
    Doing calligraphy on Twitch.
    Doing calligraphy just for yourself and that being way better.
    The cost of getting more than one kind of value out of something.
    Having an audience and feeling the need to entertain the audience whenever possible.
    Finally deciding to get a real job because you have a kid on the way.
    Imagining having a job as a programmer and not being happy about it.
    Doing creative work in private because you're not good enough to do it publicly.
    Producing a complete song in five minutes when it takes five years to make a game.
    Always being able to see the geological phenomenon that will take your life one day.
    The base of the Sutro Tower basically being a Quake level.
    Being shot at as you approach the Sutro Tower.
    Seeing Batman's head and knowing which way to go.
    DragonCon's failure to produce parchment realm maps.
    Hawaii having lava, hostile creatures and good landmarking.
    Playing your anime theme song on your phone as you show up at the manga and wall scroll store with your katana.
    Having an animated gif that represents your identity.
    How to turn Binding of Isaac into an e-sport.
    Stupefyingly long TV series lifetimes.
    Text-to-speech deepfakes.
    Chopping up Garret's voice to create dialog for your Thief fan mission.
    Measuring Ian McKellen's voice and sending the data to people who have never heard Ian McKellen so they have plausible deniability.
    Living on your own and eating Indian food for the first time.
    Discovering a new continent at the Indian buffet.
    Not wanting to eat a salad because probably there are bugs in there.
    Stepping stones to eating sushi.
    Food preferences being heavily shaped by first impressions.
    Liking Primer two different

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Charisma And The Loneliness Of The Moth Man

    The Charisma And The Loneliness Of The Moth Man

    Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early!


    Laura Michet makes both indie games and huge megacorp games and just published a short story in Realms of Runeterra. https://leagueoflegends.fandom.com/wiki/Realms_of_Runeterra
    Xalavier Nelson, Jr. is a freelance narrative director, currently making An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs. https://www.patreon.com/StrangeScaffold


    5:10 Moth Man. Discuss. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothman

    The Leatherman, 10-fingered vagabond. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leatherman_(vagabond)
    The Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly%E2%80%93Hopkinsville_encounter
    Owls that look like aliens. https://twitter.com/MariettaDaviz/status/1195194263866429441?s=20
    Storytelling, with Odds Bodkin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rISdBiNhzb0&list=PLR1edeZ72f3yI53_wj_3WOxSNwlS_1Y-b

    18:19 Why aren’t there more types of chair in common use? We have so many chair types in global society and we use basically only Couch and Regular Chair chairs in public.
    26:03 Peeing a thimbleful while pregnant, and other shop talk.
    30:33 Are you more likely to trust any given dog or any given cat?
    36:54 Would it actually be any fun to be an animal?
    45:00 Advantages and disadvantages of different book bindings.


    Making an igloo out of rigid body, shadow casting boarding passes.
    Cryptids appealing to adult males 18-35.
    Cryptids losing their cryptid status when they turn out to be real.
    Keeping your fingers because you are wise and have a cave.
    Wikipedia pages that really ought to put the subject's finger count front and center.
    Confusing Odds Bodkin with Odd Bodkins.
    Booking your favorite banjo-playing grandpa to play at your game development megacorp.
    Taking a bullet for a friend you wouldn't go to a concert with.
    Becoming increasingly annoyed with Richard Gere and his relationship with the moth man.
    Distinguishing thrones from non-thrones.
    Snarling like an evil prince with your leg over the arm of your throne.
    Whether there are more cats indoors or outdoors, especially in El Paso Texas.
    Legal prohibition of attempting to disperse a large enough group of cats.
    Convincing the judge that your rocking chair was not intended to disperse the cats.
    Cat sovereignty.
    Rampaging cat unions recognized by the UN.
    Reagan sending in cat scabs to replace rampaging cat unions.
    Being terrified of military veterans returning home and taking our jobs.
    A Jim Stormdancer-shaped hole that an Air Force veteran is destined to fill.
    The agent of the greater space, the arch-demon, the plane itself, the car itself, the boat itself.
    The rage of seeing a teaspoon of any liquid.
    Recording a conversation so you can decide later whether it's ethical to listen to it.
    Immediately going to murder.
    Trusting a dog to be your accountant.
    A dog being much more likely than a cat to be helpful but also being more likely to maim you.
    Being a jester for a cat's pleasure.
    Being hyper aware of the dark side of dogdom.
    Dogs representing in joy in a complicated world.
    Needing permission to pee.
    Cats not wanting to move to Hollywood.
    Cats that are cognizant of a better world they can no longer have.
    An animal with a sense of hubris, entropy and regret.
    A larger squirrel being mean to you.
    Getting the horny disease once a season.
    Getting all your horny out of the way at once, like Spock.
    Spraying eggs everywhere and not taking up anyone else's time.
    When the page curves because the other pages are in the way and the image on the page is annoyingly distorted.
    The stigma against the paperback being an act of class warfare.
    Wanting the physical trophy of the book on your shelf as much as the experience of reading it.
    Appreciating the people who have previously read the same copy of the book you have.
    Renting Final Fantasy II

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

willtopower ,

great lords, sufficiently topical

i grew eager to listen to this podcast when i saw that someone named the second episode “Conjure a False Godot” because i thought maybe these lords might offer some engaging Beckett discussion.

only upon reaching the end of the aforementioned episode featuring, rather than Beckett, an explanation of False Gobots did i realize my mistake:

by reversing the title’s b and reading it as a d, i conjured a false Godot to wait for while enjoying “Conjure a False Gobot”

five stars - very good podcast

Zak Blankenship ,

I like it

I like it

YerrikTRB ,

topics don't stand a chance

5/5 would listen again, but will instead listen to the next episode

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