-What's up everybody?
It is Wednesday, February 19th 2014.
Thanks for tuning in to the 404 Show.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel Nunez.
-Welcome to the program kids.
We've got a great one for you, designed and curated for you today.
We're gonna talk about an app that can make
you see further.
-Yes, that's real too.
We're gonna talk about people turning their heartbeat into music compositions.
-Yes, this is really cool; it's sort of like an emerging genre of music.
-So you say.
And then we'll talk about this poor little town in PA that just wants Google to notice them, and then a little pro-tip, a little how-to which we never do.
-Show you how you can keep YouTube streaming on your phone even after you've turned it off.
That's what we've got coming up in the rundown today.
Some upcoming guests on the show, this Friday we'll be joined once again by the lovely and talented Shanon Cook from Spotify, Kofi Outlaw from Screen Rant is gonna join us a week from Friday, and then our buddy Dr. Josh King, addiction specialist, he'll be here a week from today.
-It's gonna be a really long episode.
We've had a lot of questions coming in and I know that you and I both have our own
things we wanna talk about, not personally but just questions we have about addiction.
-And if you wanna throw a personal anecdote about your drug abuse, you know, you could do that too.
-I don't abuse any drugs besides adrenalin.
-You enjoy your drugs, you don't abuse them.
-I don't abuse-- I don't do drugs.
-Anything can be a drug, McDonald's is a drug.
-You could turn anything.
My addiction is video games, seriously, not really-- I'm okay.
-Mine is drugs.
Yours is [unk] heroin.
-Mine is straight up drugs.
-So we got a lot playing in the coming weeks as well, and then comedian Andy Daly, I just got confirmation, will be here, you probably know him from Eastbound & Down.
He'll be here talking about his new show on Comedy Central.
He'll be here March; oh I wanna say 5th, 6th, something like that.
Fifth, he'll be here.
Let's talk about eyesight.
-Because that's always the most engaging topic.
-Don't turn off that station yet.
-Don't close your internet browser; wait until we get in to the stories so we can all benefit from better eyesight.
Am I right?
I mean even if you have technically 20/20 vision, no one has perfect eyesight.
I mean Steve Guttenberg, you know, case in point.
-And as you get older it degrades as well.
-So, I know I could definitely benefit from it.
I have really terrible eyesight; I'm like -5.25 and then -6 in my left eye.
-What does that mean?
-It means legally blind like I--
-Without contacts you'd be blind?
-See these notes right here?
-I don't think I'd be able to
see them without the contacts I have in my eyes right now until I get it this close, maybe even closer which is about-- what does this look like to you?
-Five inches, four inches.
-Dude, how funny is it like wear [unk] corrective lenses for granted so-- it's amazing.
-Like what would you have done 30,000 years ago if you were just like in a tribe of people?
-I don't think I would have known.
I remember being a kid.
-You would have died so quick.
-Because you don't know that the world exists and focus until you get glasses and then you're like whoa
so it's like everybody else sees the world.
-Are your earliest memories blurry?
-Well, I was one of those kids that had glasses when I was like two years old.
-Oh that's adorable.
-They were bigger than my face.
-How do they know you needed glasses at 2?
-I don't know, because they can't administer an eye test.
-They can't say like, "Is that an E or is that," like, you know, they can't-- how do they do it?
Because there's kids in my family.
-Who've had corrective lenses at an early age like that?
-Yes, I know.
I've always wondered about that too and sort of getting an optometrist on the show, I wanna know
sort of asking straight up like, "Can you see this?"
-And then the answer is no.
-There's gotta be a more empirical scientific way to gauge eyesight.
-Yes, I bet it's like, you know, when you look in those like, you know, those goggles--
-That are set of two.
-You have one or two.
-I bet like there's an eye and if your eyes aren't following it correctly they can measure that, I bet that's how it works.
-Yes, I'm sure.
Maybe that whole thing is just BS, and they already know before you even look at--
-We can all benefit from eyesight and there's one particular
neuro-scientist that's working out of my town actually in the University of Riverside in California.
He has developed an app that you can download on iOS today; Android users are out of luck, just iOS.
It can basically train your eyes to see farther.
-And it's proven to work based on a lot of really positive reviews on the iOS app store but also the test subjects were actually able to
see about 31 percent farther after engaging with this app for an extended period of time.
-Thirty-one percent farther than they can do before.
That's some good results.
How does it work?
-So, the app is called UltimEyes.
That's a really, really bad portmanteau.
-It's like doing wonders but has the worst name ever.
-Yes, you can say Ultimate Eyes; you don't have to combine it.
-But the app is called UltimEyes and instead of manipulating your eye muscles since obviously you won't be able to do that just
by looking at a screen, it sort of goes beneath the surface and it retrains your brain with exercises that sort of function like a game and they're basically supposed to stimulate the part of your brain that controls vision that's called the visual cortex.
I've heard that before.
-I think so.
It sounds professional.
-Yes, it's a place where your eyes basically taking information and tell your brain what you're looking at.
-Isn't it like you still-- we see everything upside down your brain like--
And it's like flopped over.
-I would imagine that probably happens.
-I was getting
-It's a part of the visual cortex.
-Is what you are seeing the same thing that I am seeing?
-Well, I don't wanna get-- I don't wanna go down that route at all.
-So, this is basically how it looks.
When you fire up the iPhone app--
-It shows you a really dark gray screen and we're playing a video of it right now but if you're only listening through the podcast, it's a dark gray screen and you can sort of faintly make out lighter gray, slightly lighter gray dots.
-Are those the floaties?
-And they appear to be the floaties that
you see maybe when you get hit in the head or when--
-No, you see-- I see floaties [unk].
-If you focus-- oh really?
-Let's get back to that drug addiction segment.
So, you know, you can see these lighter gray dots in the foreground and your job is to spot the dots and hit them with your finger, right?
But as you progress through the levels of the game in UltimEyes the dots start getting fainter and fainter, but the idea is that the more you engage with the game the higher you can.
And it sort of--
-It's eye exercises.
-Yes, it's basically just eye exercise.
-It seems pretty cool; I mean I'm just gonna like take your word for it that it works.
-You wouldn't wanna try this though?
-I definitely wanna try it; my eyes have been getting progressively shittier as I get older.
-But you don't want glasses.
-On the show though so you don't have to wear glasses to read or anything.
-I don't need glasses but if I-- like I would see better if I wore them all the time.
-But I just-- I don't know if this is-- if there's any truth behind this but I just
don't wanna rely in them too much because I feel like once you're wearing them 24/7 there's no going back.
-Wait, do you think that if you eyes are bad and you start wearing glasses it will become like a crutch where your eyes will sort of lean on that and get worse?
-Hearing you say it makes it sound way more foolish than what I just thought in my head a minute ago but yes.
I don't know if that's true or not.
I'm not gonna refute you [unk].
-You know, you-- like I used to squint a lot, that's not good.
-Squinting is not good.
-So, I mean I can see,
I can read, I can read far away.
You are as blind as a bat when it comes to--
-Yes, there's no going back.
-So, I know it could be a lot worse so I'm trying not to take my vision for granted.
Well, who knows, maybe if you played this app enough you wouldn't even need to wear glasses.
-There's no way I can like re-correct years of damage.
-But sure, I'll--
-[unk] would be--
-I'll play along with that.
-So, let's go to these results though, they're pretty interesting.
After giving the app to the baseball team as test subjects at the University of Riverside down there in California, the players noted they were able to actually see
more definition in the leaves of trees and in their environment, right?
-So, basically they could see in HD which is sort of strange.
We all see in HD.
-We see in something way beyond HD.
-Despite with those sunglasses.
-Oh my God.
-Man, when they--
-Have you seen those?
-Dude, the worst is they'll just-- they'll sell them-- obviously they sell them at like 3 AM on a Thursday night.
-Because if you're up you just--
-You're probably stoned and will buy anything on TV.
-Stoned and [unk].
they're just like they ask the lady or the guy in the grocery store parking lot.
-And they're like hand them to like some [unk] and they're like, "Right, Lar," and they're like, "Oh my God, I could see now."
-And they see they're seeing in HD and they should just arrest them.
-Yes, the scary thing is when they give them to people driving at night and then they put them on like, "Wow, I can see so much better now." It's like, really--
-These are [unk].
So, anyway they were able to see more definition on the leaves of trees, right?
And this is kind of cool; they were also able to stay awake a little bit longer.
You know how at the end of the day if you, you know, working in front of a computer, staring on a screen for 8 hours and then go home and play on the computer even more, you get really tired, your eyes get fatigued, well with this program you do have stare [unk] screen a little bit more but after doing that apparently you don't get as tired.
-Dude, I didn't realize that was a thing.
-Just kind of awesome.
And then listen to this, some of the players, 3 out of the 7 players that this was used on actually gained better
vision than 20/20.
So, three of them got 20 by 7.5 vision.
-They broke through 20/20.
-Yes, which means that they could see at 20 foot what someone with normal vision could see at no further than 7-1/2 feet.
-So double the distance.
-It was only-- it was less than half.
And then they [unk] after.
-And then their eyes fell out of their [unk].
-So, that's the problem, right?
It's the unreliability of these
results are that no one knows how long it's gonna last for.
-It's kind of unscientific.
In some patients only one of their eyes' vision actually strengthen.
-Well, that makes sense because you do have a dominant eye.
But that would be very inconvenient if you already have a stockpile of contacts or you have glasses that you already paid for [unk], you need a reverse app to get your eye back to where it was before.
You just-- all you do is take a toothpick and just stab it right in there.
-And that fixes everything.
-Get that lazy eye go.
-You-- yes, but like,
you, you know, you joke about that but that's-- it probably wouldn't really affect anything because you do have a more powerful/dominant eye that like kind of leads the way and just drags your other eye along with it, wherever it goes.
-Is it always like that?
I'm pretty sure every human has a better eye than, you know, I mean like I'm-- you might have like 20/20 in both eyes but one is definitely like, you know, where is the pants in the relationship.
Can you move over a little bit and dance with my
-I was thinking, I wonder if this could help with your amblyopia?
I don't think it will to be honest.
I mean my bad eye is uncorrectable like just can't fix it.
-There's no hope.
-Yes, but it might help with my good eye.
-I don't know, I mean I'll try it, I'm willing to try it.
-Modern science just has not caught up with whatever plagues [unk].
-Yes, I know.
-We just have to live with that.
-Although you'd never know,
you would never know that Ariel has some wackadoo eye.
-This is not a problem.
-Except that after he sneezes, you ever see right after he sneezes things get like jumbled up for a second.
-Force Whittaker has like a droopy eye.
He has amblyopia.
-No, dude he's got a droopy eye that looks like he, you know, he is a little like stroked up but he is not.
It just has right-- like do we know what it officially is.
I gotta see a picture.
-I don't think it's
I think he just got like a droopy--
-In terms of diseases of your face, amblyopia is definitely the most fun to say.
I mean cataract is not that fun to say.
-We are not going to talk about the pros and cons of face diseases right now.
It's what we're not gonna do.
-So, I don't know, no long term results kind of come out--
-I'm gonna use the app.
-From the research, but you could try it.
-I'm gonna try it.
The question is and this is kind of interesting, it was brought up in the article but I wanna know what you guys think because it's a sports
related question and I don't know Jack about sports.
-That is painfully--
-Do you think that if this baseball team, you know, or be that they are a college team, do you think if the baseball team actually use it and all the players were able to increase their vision by, you know, double or more, would it be considered performance enhancement technology?
-You don't think so?
-Hundred percent no.
-Because baseball players certainly do use it to track say the ball speed [unk] when they're batting.
They're not injecting anything into their bodies.
-So, is that the cut off or--
that's really what it is like there's no limit as to how much exercise you can do.
-And to me this is just a technologically superior eye exercise.
I guess so, you're just working out your--
-You're working out your eyes, you're not like putting, you know, superhuman drops in them.
-You're just training your eyes and there's absolutely nothing wrong.
-I think there are some gray area there though because I just watched, listen we'll be talking about sports just for a second.
-I can't wait.
-So, I watched
a movie about Lance Armstrong recently, about his life.
-Oh, good, I saw that.
-Yes, it's a great movie but--
-What is it called?
-It's called like something The Lie, Big Lie.
-Yes, The Big Lie.
-Anyway, they talked about all the various ways that UCI, which is the Universal Cycling Association.
-Do you remember?
-Something like that.
They talked about all the different ways that the cyclists try to cheat the system and injecting performance enhancing drugs is one thing but they also do full blood transfusions
but of themselves.
Do you remember that part of the movie?
Some of the cyclists talked about how they would extract blood from their body before going to, you know, Tour de France and then just before it starts they'll, you know, re-inject it into their bodies.
-You know, so they have fresh oxygenated blood into their system.
-That seems like a--
-And that's illegal but it's not traceable.
-Well but again like it's illegal because you are manipulating your biological make-up.
-By, through the means of injecting.
-I guess it's like what-- the question is what is natural because it's their own blood, they weren't injecting--
-[unk] blood into their [unk].
Natural, you were getting blood that is not-- that has not naturally made its way through your body and was not created--
-You know what I mean.
-Yes, I guess so.
-Yes, that's crazy though like how much better do you perform with, you know, pre-oxygenated blood.
-And who is the blood caddie that has to be hired to care around your blood.
like really is this what it has come down to?
Just pedal the freaking bike yourself.
-Oh no, it's hard man.
-I get it, the Tour de France is hard but you're not gonna like improve like 4 minutes by oxygenated blood.
-You know, that hasn't made its normal course through your body.
-Get out of here.
-This could help you too, I mean I'd imagine with that pump being so small your eyes darting around all the time.
-Yes, that's for sure.
That's for sure.
-I mean the contrast there is pretty good.
-It's white on black.
It's pretty good.
-You can see it but no, I
definitely think that I could use some eye exercises.
I'm gonna look this app for sure.
Moving on, this is really cool so it's 2014, right?
It's the '90s.
Every idea and every artistic medium you would think has been done and fully played out and then remade, and then that's been played out again, right?
I think it's very-- not very often that you hear about new types of stories being shared, new music compositions being made and that's what I thought until I read this article about a musician
named Greg Fox that's been going what I call full biological on his music.
-I think it's really cool so there's this guy named Greg Fox, he used to a drummer for two very, very different bands; the first one you might be familiar with, this is black metal band that came out recently called Liturgy, really crazy like [unk] black metal music and then he was also a drummer in Dan Deacon which is an electronic music.
-And he-- the point is, he knows how to play his drums,
how to play drums really well.
And he just put out a new album called Mitral Transmissions and what's unique about this record is that it's sort of hard to describe, it's this mix of polyphonic ambient tones and rhythms and while I explained it what's going on here I'll play it on the background so you can hear this.
The beat itself that you're hearing along with this polyphonic tones, it's derived from the rhythms of his own heart.
He was inspired by the beating of his own heart to create
So he was listening to the beating of his own heart?
So he was inspired by a jazz drummer and this holistic healer named Milford Graves.
-And one day Fox went down to Milford Graves' basement and they were just kind of talking back and forth about ideas and what to compose for music.
And Fox hooked himself up to a machine that he found down there called a biosensing machine and it was connected to a computer that was programmed with software that could basically transcribe and allow him to listen to this own
-Not just his own heart but other--
-Fluids making their way.
Gross stuff like his muscles moving and bones cracking, and things like that.
-Oh, it's terrible.
-So, from there he was inspired by the sounds of that and the beating of his own heart to sort of create and score his own compositions that would become the rhythmic foundations for what you're listening to right now.
-So, that's really cool, right?
-I think it's very neat.
-This is even better; I really love everything about this
story and I'm fully behind Fox in this.
He worked with this record label out of Philadelphia called Data Garden and I never heard about it before but they're doing something really, really cool.
So, Data Garden's into electronic music but they're not into the wastefulness of electronic technology.
And so what they're doing is offering Greg Fox's new album, a physical album but they are shipping it in seed paper, right?
So, the album jacket itself is printed on seed paper.
-And there's a download
code on the jacket that you can use to get the digital version or if you wanna play the CD you could do that too.
-They know there's like e-mail too, right?
That's like really green.
-I know but that's not fun.
-That's like even more green than what they're doing.
You still have to print this but the best part is there's no wastefulness because after you've done listening you can actually bury the album cover that's printed on the seed paper.
-And it will sprout into beautiful flowers in 4 to 6 weeks.
-Wow, that's really--
-Don't you think that's cool?
-I think it's cool.
-[unk] you should do that for your album.
-Yes, I should.
-I think it's cool, it would be cool if they printed like a really interesting customly engineered kind of tree.
-That like looked like the [unk]--
-Shaped in music notes.
-That would be so [unk].
-Just slow down there, we'll have that in a few.
-Maybe a few decades but for now all you gotta do is plant it.
-That's very cool.
So, if you guys happen to be listening to our show in Philadelphia, tomorrow, I'm sorry today, February 19th he is having
a live listening party at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the ICA in Philadelphia so go and check that out if you're in Philadelphia.
-Mitral Transmissions, M-I-T-R-A-L, we'll put up a link in the show blog today.
Tell us about this poor little town in Pennsylvania that just wants a little bit of respect.
-Wants to literally get on the map.
It's weird too, right?
Because I feel like everyone that we encounter in, you know, t
his metropolitan area.
Anyway it's trying to disconnect, trying to do the opposite then trying to get rid of the technology they feel they have to rely on.
-Sure, in some way.
But there is this one township called the Cranberry.
-In Pennsylvania that actually want to get on the grid.
So, if you do a Google map search right now you can actually find the Cranberry Township but that's a recent development.
Up until a few weeks ago, if you looked on Map Quest,
who uses Map Quest or the [unk], they even talk about that in this Pennsylvania article.
-Takes away [unk] integrity.
If you look up Map Quest results it's got no Penn.
Facebook has no Smartphone tag if you're trying to check in Cranberry.
-It's the town internet forgot.
Even if you have a Verizon cellphone, the bill when it comes to your door they actually say that you're using the phone in a place called Critter's Corners which is in another county.
-And it gives them real freaking problems,
-I mean I would imagine it just hurts their egos.
-That's exactly what it did.
-It hurts them where it counts in the heart.
-Yes, because apparently if Google doesn't recognize you, you don't exist.
-It's true, I mean they only first got a freaking zip code in 1994.
-I mean come on.
-It's really crazy.
I would like to know what it's like to grow up in a population that only has 11,000 people there.
-Eleven thousand is a lot considering this is town that maps and the
internet have kind of looked over.
-I'm talking about the towns where it's like population 248.
-Two hundred and forty-eight?
-The people that live there on the sign.
-On the sign.
I'm telling you man like that's-- like I think the big story here is that 11,000 people in a town that's enough to be on the map.
-You know, like I feel like when I grow up to Vermont I pass towns like this and they were all documented and what-not, and Pennsylvania, yes there's rural areas at Pennsylvania, every state has rural areas
but it's crazy, I mean they're like 11 [unk] strong and they're like God.
They got nothing.
-So, that's kind of sad.
They actually don't expect more than 2,000 more people to arrive in the next decade.
-Well clearly people are not migrating to the town of Cranberry.
-Not unless you've committed a murder.
I mean like if I totally committed a felony I'm going in the witness protection in Cranberry, PA.
This is like some [unk].
-The place time forgot.
-Like you're getting there and everyone is driving like a
1968, you know, Pontiac.
It's not that far away from where we are now.
-Probably like what, 3 hours or more.
We could check it out.
It doesn't sound like there's much going on though.
Although if you have a Toys 'R Us and a Wal-Mart.
Of course they have a Wal-Mart.
-They have like no electricity apparently or internet but they've got a Wal-Mart.
-The thing about places like this and I think would be probably the hardest thing for a city folk like us to adjust to is the patience that you have to have in order to exist there.
You know like you could go out and buy
milk from the bodega and be back in your home in like 2 minutes.
-Because there's one in every corner, you don't have to talk to anybody and go in your pajamas.
-In Cranberry that's what you did on Saturday.
-In Cranberry [unk].
-That's right, like what did you do?
Well I got milk.
And then I talk to the people that I run into for three hours.
-Man, I've been in towns like this, they're charming as hell.
-A lot of like of ski towns in Vermont like I said and in Upstate New York.
-They got like the world [unk].
You know, and they're very proud of
-And they all brew their own beer and they don't pick kindly to strangers.
-You know, and you gotta just like tell them you're not a Jewish and keep walking.
-You just wear a shirt that says that.
-You just cannot let anyone know outside of the New York area that you're Jewish.
It's not good.
-Well, unless you can hide it.
-I was gonna--
-You have no choice.
-You can hide it.
-[unk] on your face.
I was in Riverhead last year and my girlfriend and I walked into a restaurant and there were-- there was a record, it wouldn't scratch to
a stop and that's maybe not far away, that's in Long Island.
-Which is like, you know, two hours away from Manhattan.
-Yes, that's out there though.
-It's like way past the tip, it's like just-- it's in the ocean.
-It's out there.
It's an island.
-And people stopped to what they're doing.
-You lost [unk]?
-Yes, they've looked up at me.
-It was weird.
-And they call you boy?
-No one called me boy.
Someone asked me to get them an extra glass of water though which I thought was weird.
It was like [unk] you had to fix the computer.
and then the waitress is like [unk].
-Let me guess.
Did everyone speak louder?
-Yes and slowly, and they all put their hands on their knees when they were talking to me, which is weird.
-We are the most offensive podcast possibly on the mainstream network, right?
It turned weird.
But let's finish this show with the last story of the day.
And this is just a little thing that I wanna sort of--
-This is the how-to--
-Teach people [unk].
-This is the how-to portion of the program.
So, tell me Justin,
how do you keep YouTube music streaming on your phone after you've turned the screen off?
-This is a very small problem and, you know, if you're using an iPhone and you've ever tried to watching YouTube video or listen to music on YouTube because you just didn't have it on your phone, you're probably really irritated because every time you power off the phone or you stick it in your pocket it turns off the YouTube app.
For some reason, it's 2014, YouTube on iPhones don't allow back-- streaming on the background.
That's made by design I think.
-Which is crazy.
I mean it's not just Google wanting to like I don't know check people than use their service on an iPhone.
-No, I don't think it's that, I think it's just like it's the way the OS is designed, it's like a logic thing.
-I've just never encountered that before in any other app, regardless it is really annoying.
So, here's our little pro-tip for you guys on how to boot like music.
-First step is to not use the YouTube app.
-And that's off.
No, don't use the YouTube app, instead go to Safari or whatever browser you're using, Chrome, bring up Youtube.com in the browser, right?
And then hit play on whatever song, video you wanna watch and then press the Home button, right?
When you hit that Home button it will stop the music from playing but if you swipe up and show your control center, remember this is for iPhone users only.
I'm not used to speaking Greek.
-Yes, when you swipe-- you know what I'm talking about, are you?
-I go back Home and swipe up, you have that control center and you press play.
-When you press play, instead of playing the last song you played on your iPod, it will actually--
You will actually play the last song you were playing on your YouTube.
-Which is kinda cool so then you don't have to even have the song on, the phone on, you can power it off and, you know, save battery life that way.
-That's pretty red.
-Do you have that problem?
I'm not the only one that's--
I know exactly what you're talking about.
It's very irritating.
You can't do anything else like when somebody calls.
-I mean the problem exists on Android also.
-There's no fix, I'm not really sure.
There's no fix for it.
-It's only you people who have been able to figure it out.
-There it is.
That's the only thing.
-Left out in the cold once again.
-But there are other video players that let you stream in the background that access YouTube.
-I don't know.
-So there it is.
-I don't know, I'm new to this whole mobile phone, Smartphone thing.
But thank you for that pro-tip sir.
That's the show.
You've done a
great job, you're better for having listened to us.
Send us an email, email@example.com.
You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and join in on the 24/7 conversation that is our sub [unk].
That will do it for us for this Wednesday.
Just looking ahead at the schedule, Friday Shannon Cook and then we start a whole week of guests
on the 24th so we're back here on Thursday, that's gonna do it for us, until then.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel Nunez.
-This has been the 404 Show, high-tech, low brow.
We'll see you guys tomorrow.
Have a good one.