In this week’s episode Dave and Steel discuss Ostrich Fest, their favorite March Madness memories, Steel’s idea of what the movie Backdraft might be about, they share some music by the Silver Jews, Serengeti, Night Beds, and Angel Olsen that’s grabbed them recently, and Dave drops some familial love from a classic J.D. Salinger novella.
This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Amy to discuss children’s picture books, cave dwellings, pigeon-based Ponzi schemes, a once in a lifetime chance to own Hell, frog burgers, answer pressing questions from longtime listeners, share some of their favorite recent music, and drop some beauty from Michael Ondaatje.
This week Dave and Steel are joined by their friend Ryan to discuss two important time travel franchises: Bill and Ted’s & Back to the Future, learn more about DIY time capsules, induct their first class into the OFF THE CHAIN Hall of Fame, share some recent music that’s impressed them, and drop some beautiful prose from Cormac McCarthy.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Trailer 
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey Trailer 
Back to the Future I Trailer 
Back to the Future II Trailer 
Back to the Future III Trailer 
Off the Chain Hall of Fame
We were overjoyed to induct our first two members of the OFF THE CHAIN Hall of Fame during this episode. Enormous congratulations to RecSpecs and Paul Walker.
A few years back, Steel wrote a blog post about Rec Specs (complete with image galleries) that pretty much captures most of their greatness.
Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis: Baby Bye Bye
Scenic: Hours on End
The Heligoats: Goodness Gracious
This week’s installment of Book Wisdom came from the final page of Cormac McCarthy’s novel All the Pretty Horses.
This week Dave and Steel are joined by their friend Ryan. Together the trio discusses the limits of human endurance by way of the stories of Ernest Shackleton and Yiannis Kouros, share some conversational anecdotes from old Chip & Dale cartoons, Finnish miltary history, and mathematical outsiders, share some favorite recent music, and drop some wisdom from Danish Scientist Piet Hein.
At the Limits
Dave recommends checking out these two books about Ernest Shackleton, both called Endurance, after the name of Shackleton’s ship:
Steel recommends this fascinating 2006 profile of Greek-Australian ultramarathoner Yiannos Kouros from Runner’s World. Kouros also maintains his own website, with more biographical information for the curious.
This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Jordan, a Las Vegas-based lawyer. Together, the trio talk about professional dumpster divers, meditating mummified monks, and the maker Jimmy DiResta, introduce a new segment focused on Dave & Jordan’s shared love of Vin Diesel, take a question from a listener about how to deal with boring lecture classes, share some of their favorite recent music, and explore the wisdom of the 8th Century Buddhist monk Shantideva.
This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friends Spencer and Jordan. Together, they discuss the best meals they’ve ever had, some graffiti Steel recently spotted in a men’s room, some of the best tunes they’ve heard recently, and Spencer shares some wisdom from Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Amounts are very approximate and not that important – you really should experiment a little, it’s a sign of culinary maturity and confidence — Spencer
Spaghetti pasta – 1 lb
Fresh garlic – 3 cloves
Extra virgin olive oil – 1/3-1/2 cup
Red pepper flakes – to taste
Parmesan cheese – to taste
Start water boiling in a pot. There should be enough water to completely submerge the spaghetti. Add a generous amount of salt to the water. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until it has reached the desired consistency.
In the meantime, add the olive oil to a pan over low-medium heat. Crush the garlic and sauté with pepper flakes.
Combine the pasta and the oil/garlic/pepper flakes and toss. Serve with grated parmesan.
Men’s Room Graffiti
Check out the Men’s Room Graffiti Tumblr, where you can find a couple of images of the piece of graffiti which inspired our conversation.
In this episode of Off the Chain, we introduce a new segment called Small Talk, in which we offer you some advice for improving your conversation skills and give you some rich content for your next informal chat with friends (Is it safe to read on the toilet? Coke vs. Pepsi? What does Ayn Rand think of recent children’s movies?), play another version of our Lost the Plot game, in which Dave asks Steel to describe the plot of a bad action movie he’s never seen (this week it’s Lockout!), answer listener questions in another installment of Ask Off the Chain, share some of our favorite recent songs, and drop some book wisdom from French adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.