Good Job, Brain! is a free weekly clean* audio podcast that's part quiz show & part offbeat news. It's the ultimate nutrition for your brain. So eat up!

*no explicit language. But poop does come up sometimes all the time.

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KAREN // @momopeche

Game geek, candyfreak, bad runner.  

EXPERTISE: Geography, Hip Hop, Dogs, Patrick Swayze, Scout


COLIN // @colin13

Cannot tolerate lines that are not 100% parallel or 100% perpendicular.

EXPERTISE: Classic Rock, Academy Awards, NBA, Star Wars, Sniper


DANA // @ItsKindaSweet

Kinda sweet, kinda hilarious. Game designer extraordinaire.  

EXPERTISE: Literature, Indie Rock, Pop Culture, New Zealand, Prince, Medic


CHRIS // @kobunheat

Walking retro videogame almanac. Ravenclaw.  

EXPERTISE: US government, James Taylor, videogames, Spy


78: Too Cool for School




Prepare your face for some eyebrow-raising and completely bonkers trivia about school: the odd history behind the classic No. 2 yellow pencil (WHY IS IT NUMBER TWO? WHY IS IT YELLOW? THE WORLD MUST KNOW!), the surreal and the bedazzled things rival colleges fight for, celebrities who used to be teachers, and the impact Minnesota had on videogames. And where did the phrase "freshman fifteen" come from? And are *YOU* smarter than a 1895 eighth grader?

ALSO: 1960's Jeopardy!, listener questions, prep school movie quiz

RUNTIME: 50 minutes 49 seconds


Featured Interlude Music:

"Saved By the Bell" TV Theme  Amazon | iTunes 



References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: superior papers
    Your show was interesting and all, but by the content of topic I assumed it would be about faces and what not. Anyhow it was interesting knowing your perspective about it. I also find the discussion that you had on pencil quite interesting and fascinating. It reminds me of many interesting ...
  • Response
  • Response

Reader Comments (11)

Basied on the show's image, I thought you guys were going to talk about pareidolia, the phenomenon of our brains interpreting a pattern, usually a face, where it doesn't actually exist. Common examples are the face on Mars, the Old Man on the Mountain, faces that appeared in the smoke caused by the 9/11 attacks, and of course, shapes in clouds. Maybe that could be a topic of a future episode.

Also, your pencil discussion reminded me one of the most fascinating facts about them, which is that nobody knows how to make one...

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTV's Mr. Neil

Right. Well, that old economics parable isn't limited to pencils, of course; that's just the classical example. I did think of it as Colin was doing his story, though, I swear :)

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris Kohler

For what it is worth, the town in Kansas, Salina, is pronounced Sal-eye-na. Oddly (at least to me), it is in Saline (pronouced Sa-lean) county. Thanks for another fun show!

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Lehigh University (located in Bethlehem, Pa.) and Lafayette College (located in Easton, Pa.) have met every year since 1884—a total of 145 meetings. That makes the Lehigh-Lafayette series the longest in any division of college football.

This be the longest college football rivalry...

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Klennert

Loved the college football rivalry trivia! Thought I would share a few other fascinating tidbits:
1. You mentioned the Notre Dame v. Michigan as the oldest rivalry, which is true, but there were many spans of time in which the two teams did not play. The longest running, uninterrupted intersectional rivalry is between Notre Dame and Navy. It has been going since 1927. A side trivia note is "Why are the stands in Notre Dame Stadium painted that particular color?" The answer is that during WWII Notre Dame did not have the money to paint the interior of the stadium, so Navy game them some left over battleship paint.

2. Another rivalry with a great story behind the trophy is The University of Minnesota and University of Michigan. They play for a trophy called the little brown jug. From wikipedia: The earthenware jug, originally used by Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost, is painted with the victories of each team. The name most likely originates in the 1869 song of the same name by Joseph Winner.
After Yost took over coaching the Wolverines in 1901, the team went on to win 28 straight games. In the meantime, Minnesota assembled one of the best teams in school history, so Gopher fans were excited about possibly ending the Wolverines' streak.
As Yost and the team came into Minneapolis, student manager Thomas B. Roberts was told to purchase something to carry water. Yost was somewhat concerned that Gopher fans might contaminate his water supply. Roberts purchased a five-gallon jug for 30¢ from a local variety store.
Twenty thousand fans watched the matchup between the two teams in an overflowing Northrop Field. Minnesota held the fabled "point-a-minute" squad to just one touchdown, but hadn't yet managed to score a touchdown of their own. Finally, late in the second half, the Gophers reached the endzone to tie the game at 6. As clouds from an impending storm hung overhead, pandemonium struck when Minnesota fans stormed the field in celebration. Eventually the game had to be called with two minutes remaining. The Wolverines walked off the field, leaving the jug behind in the locker room of the University of Minnesota Armory.
Legend has it that Yost later called Minnesota head coach LJ Cooke to ask for it to be returned. Cooke responded, "You'll have to play us for it"

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

The Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers. The longest-played rivalry in what is now the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, it has been contested almost every year since 1890, for a total of 122 games. The winner of this matchup between Big 10 Conference rivals receives an unusual traveling trophy, "Paul Bunyan's Axe", a tradition introduced in 1948. Minnesota leads the series 59–55–8.

This comes from a proud Minnesotan...

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Klennert

Oh, Colin, Colin, Colin. You stepped into the biggest darned "Um, Actually..." swamp possible with your "Longest Running College Football Rivalry" statement. Let's hit the numbers...

Take it this way: what is "Longest"?

Started the longest ago in chronologic history: Probably Harvard-Yale, 1875
Started the longest ago in Division I-A, i.e. the teams that play bowl games: Notre Dame-Michigan, 1887
Most games played: This one's tricky, as there are a lot of divisions to go through, but given their time advantage, Harvard-Yale is probably tops with 129.
Most games played in Division I-A: Wisconsin-Minnesota (122)

So, long story short, if we're going ALL of American college football, Harvard-Yale is probably your answer.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelix Cartwright

I stand corrected. Charlie Klennert is right about the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry's (Known as The Rivalry) game count. They played multiple times a year early in the rivalry, 3 times alone in 1891 (maybe there was no one else available), so that's how 145 games were fit into 130 years.

Harvard-Yale is still the chronologically oldest.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelix Cartwright

Ahoy college football fans! (And who says trivia nerds don't know sports?) Yes, I should have clarified that I meant D-1 Championship Division teams when referring to the oldest active rivalry. Harvard-Yale have indeed been playing rivalry games for longer than anyone else, even if they aren't eligible for the Bowl Championship Series. Go Bulldogs! Go Crimson!

September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGJB Colin

@Felix I must be showing my unconscious bias toward FBS schools by calling the FBS the "championship division." (Sadly, my school hasn't won a national football title since the 1930s, so I get little opportunity to reinforce the proper subdivision names.) It is of course the Bowl Subdivision that plays Bowl Championship Series games.

September 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGJB Colin


I was totally floored when I heard your bit about Oregon Trail getting invented in MN! I'm a MN culture enthusiast and I channel that through a podcast of my own. I can't wait to shout out about this on my show. I've got a feeling that there are other MN lovers who had no idea that their father dying of typhoid fever came from the brains of their fellow Minnesotans!

But- you guys sounded really shocked about the technological innovations that we're responsible for here in the Twin Cities. Silly, braniacs! I think that frame of mind should warrant a trip out to Minneapolis so you can learn a thing or two about the other contributions we offer to American culture! Oh, and we have pub trivia here, too ;)

September 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaleyrae

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