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Oops! All Everything Awesome | Gimme Schalter No. 35

Gimme Schalter
Oops! All Everything Awesome | Gimme Schalter No. 35
By Ty Schalter • Issue #35 • View online
I had grand plans for a one-year anniversary post about my ADHD diagnosis–but my plans kept getting grander while I kept getting distracted, and now it’s kind of moot.
*pauses for laughter*
I was going to write an essay about playing through the new remastered Switch edition of a classic video game I hate, but first I have to actually play through the whole entire game.
I’ve been brewing something big and metaphorical about the mother-of-all-spring-cleanings underway at Chez Schalter–transforming our pandemic lockdown warren into a bright and happy space–but I’ve been too focused on the work of cleaning to write about having done it.
Most relevantly, Dear Reader, I’ve been spending time exploring what the next phase of Gimme Schalter will look like. The feedback and engagement I’ve been getting from you all has been tremendous–tremendous enough that I think a few tweaks will make this newsletter more valuable and interesting for you, and more valuable and rewarding for me.
To that end, mind answering this Twitter poll for me?

Ty Schalter
Gimme Schalter readers: Would you, theoretically, consider paying non-theoretical money for
Don’t freak out! Gimme Schalter as you know it is staying free. But I’d like to offer more to those who want more, and my tendency to push myself to and beyond my limit means I haven’t even been delivering the regular content you all agreed to pay $0 for. Suffering through hours (or days’) worth of self-inflicted deadline panic guilt stress just to weekend-news-dump the content I was stressing so hard to produce? That’s hustling backwards.
So I’m working on a new workflow, shaped heavily by your input and advice from better newsletterers than I (shout out to Walt Hickey and his Numlock News).
But all of this is also taking time–so instead of a real essay this week, you just get all the Everything Awesome I’ve been meaning to link to over last few weeks, published (roughly) on schedule!
Everything Awesome
If there is any justice in this world, this will win the Best Documentary Oscar next year.
Bois has been finding and telling stranger-than-fiction true stories as well as any storyteller on the planet for years and years now; sometimes he even comes up with his own [in fact, we already know there is no justice in this world because 17776 was not even nominated for the Hugo Award it deserved].
I had no memory of Dave Stieb before this, which is wild because I probably have at least a couple baseball cards of his somewhere in the basement. His is an incredible story comprised of many other incredible stories, and Bois and Rubenstein masterfully put all of that incredibleness in perspective:
Meet Dave | Captain Ahab: The Story of Dave Stieb, Part 1 | Dorktown
Meet Dave | Captain Ahab: The Story of Dave Stieb, Part 1 | Dorktown
Shmuplations has been translating video-game developer interviews from old Japanese magazines for a decade, according to their website, and this one’s an absolute peach.
A two-subject interview featuring Dragon Quest impresario Yuji Horii and Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, Zelda, basically every big Nintendo game ever), literally every A in this Q-and-A is a jaw-dropper. From the real reason 16-bit sci-fi racer F-ZERO features maglev rocket cars to the now-69-year-old Miyamoto making an old-guys-can’t-play-video-games crack about then-43-year-old Shigesato Itoi, they’re all bangers.
As the daddy-guy of a big, beautiful, neurodiverse family, I suggest people spend Autism Awareness Month listening to people with autism (i.e., #ActuallyAutistic people) when they speak about their lives, the challenges they face, and how neurotypical people can best support and empower them.
So read this piece by Enright, who describes herself as a neurodiverse writer and advocate with a degree in psychology:
“Consider the possibility that when an Actually Autistic person tells you that ABA is harmful or the puzzle piece has its roots in eugenics, they’re not trying to “attack” you. They’re trying to prevent your child and other Autistic children from going through what they have.”
This is a deep-dive investigation. It’s a profile of a dead man. It’s a highly technical chronicling of the development of an obscure but important piece of software. It’s a primer on the practice and tradition of the Jewish faith.
It’s fascinating and frustrating, celebratory and melancholy, with a brilliant and haunting kicker. Just outstanding journalism from S.I. Rosenbaum.
I was more-or-less entirely opposed to legalized sports betting before I got recruited onto Team OddsShark: a coterie of national NFL writers staked by into the Westgate Supercontest (a.k.a., the Super Bowl of NFL handicapping).
But I was already aware of point spreads’ use as predictive analytical tools, and predictive analytical tools’ usefulness vis-a-vis point spreads. By seeing the intersection of analytics and wagering up close, my attitudes towards well-informed wagering began to change (and hey, finishing in the money in 2017 didn’t hurt).
But Luszczyszyn is as well-informed a sports bettor as there is, with a predictive model “proven to be profitable over a very large sample. Even so, the hard reality of betting all the time is that you will go through stretches where you’re losing most of the time:
dom at the athletic
a little thread on what betting on hockey is really like as the gambling industry continues to push itself every second of every day onto unsuspecting people who may not know better
starting with an annotated chart
No matter how sharp, no matter how disciplined, no matter how well-prepared, losing money like that isn’t just money lost, it’s a crippling blow to the ego.
In the thread, Luszczyszyn gets very transparent and very real about what a vicious cold streak means when you’re a bettor, an analyst, and a betting analyst all at the same time. A new generation of sports-media creators are positioning themselves in this money-flush sector of the industry, and Luszczyszyn–like me–is very worried about the medium- and long-term impacts to them and their audiences.
Fed up with the bizarre, often incestuous relationship pairings she frequently finds when browsing for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fanfiction, my daughter October Gale whomped up this JoJo Ship Generator.
Though it’ll still spit out some narratively wild combinations, at least JoJo fic authors might stop hooking characters up with their half-grandchildren or whatever.
NORCO is “a Southern Gothic point & click narrative adventure that immerses the player in the sinking suburbs and verdant industrial swamps of a distorted South Louisiana,” as described on NORCO’s Steam page. It’s drawing raves from everyone who likes thoughtful video games.
Yuts, it seems, is a multimodal geek who became a software developer on the side–and found a way to express truths about people living life between disasters in beautiful, resonant ways.
Renata Price, who I’ve somewhat recently featured in this section but just did too darn good a job with this interview to exclude, is the newest member of the team behind VICE’s Waypoint Radio podcast (a longtime favorite).
I am a guy who thinks of himself as pretty smart, pretty creative, and pretty thoughtful about methods, modes, and themes of creation. But sometimes I hear two people smarter than I am passionately discussing a work they deeply understand and I’m just, like, wow.
In one sense, you had to be there.
Nearly a decade before “The Last Dance,” Michael Jordan crying at his Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech was a shockingly real moment of human vulnerability from a guy who’d always seemed superhuman, invulnerable, unreal.
And then one still photo of that moment became was the visual language of the entire Internet:
But in another sense, you DON’T have to have been there, because Fleming will walk you through the whole hilarious history of it.
I DID make progress on my 1.5 draft of CODEX 17. You’ll have to trust me.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ty Schalter

The latest thoughts, hottest takes, and coolest work of Ty Schalter, a professional writer & talker (@FiveThirtyEight, @ThreeOutPod). Lots of sports, geeky stuff, social commentary and more.

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