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


77: You're My Number One



Chris discovers the magical and mystical properties of the number nine, and Karen finds mathematical shapes in videogames, snacks, and Las Vegas. Learn a whole lotta nothing... uh... we mean zero! E.L.V.I.S. is back with another quiz - this time with numerically-titled songs. And find out the history and reasoning behind your phone number. And please excuse my dear aunt Sally, and not because she farted, but because she forgot all the silly math mnemonics from elementary school!

ALSO: 1960's Jeopardy!

RUNTIME: 46 minutes 30 seconds


Featured Interlude Music:

"Number One Spot" by Ludacris  Amazon | iTunes 



References (3)

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Reader Comments (10)

Hey guys the digital root thing for the multiples of 9 breaks down for 11 but works for 10 and 12. It also breaks down for 9 multiplied by any multiple of 11 as they all add up to 18 instead of 9.

September 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDecclan

When I was learning Trigonometry in the 1950s, it was obviously not long after the war, so the mnemonic which we used was:

Silly Old Hitler
Causes Awful Headaches
To Our Armies

Keep up the good work, guys, but please remember that you have an international audience and that we don't always understand very American references. Despite this, I look forward to your podcast with eagerness every week.


September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Only you guys could make numbers and math interesting enough for me to listen! Great episode guys! P.S..- love the picture of the dog doing bone math.

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Gerding

Good-day Gregarious Gang of Gallimaufry Goods Givers!

My wife & I have been listening to the podcast since April and love your show - like the one about all things UNDER. I especially enjoyed listening to the NYC subway part as I took the B train into the underground concourse at Rockefeller Center. Stop scaring me during my morning commute!

Hah anyways I was just listening to the 'Numbers' episode when '16 Tons' was mentioned. To reiterate your sentiments - it is a wonderful song! So much so that I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite versions of the song.

Noriel Vilela was a Portuguese deep bass singer in the MPB group (think Bossa Nova & Samba meets Folk) 'Nilo Amaro and his Ebony Singers' (Nilo Amaro e Seus Cantores de Ébano). The group achieved a healthy amount of success in the 50's and helped Noriel establish a solo career. However it was during this short-lived solo career (he died of an allergic reaction to anesthesia at the Dentist), that Noriel recorded a Portuguese version of '16 Tons' - 'Dezesseis Toneladas'. You can check out it out here -->

Anyways this got me thinking about about the topic of "Covers", or (to make my Eng. Lit Dept proud) intertextuality. Perhaps this would make a good topic for a show? *wink, wink - nod, nod*. I've always enjoyed how your shows thread together many ideas under one topic. Intertextuality can allow you to thread many ideas together as it deals with how we absorb a cultural piece and use it as a point of reference - i.e. the albatross from 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is reworked & used in 'Frankenstein', 'Moby Dick', 'Naked Lunch', 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency' & 'The Watchmen'.

You can even use it to show how the 'Amen Break' (the most sampled piece of drums) is used in hundreds of songs (from . And/or you can work the inverse - i.e. the Beastie Boys album 'Paul's Boutique' would be near impossible to make now-a-days due to the amount of samples it uses (105 songs, including 24 individual samples on the last track alone).

Basically what I am saying is - I want to join the gang hah. In the meantime, I hope you considered my idea for a show, but most importantly I hope you enjoy the awesome Portuguese version of 1'6 Tons'!

Thanks again and keep up the great work!

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntonio

In England, we use BIDMAS instead of Pedmas?? it stands for :

Subtraction :)

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbeebee

@Antonio, that Noriel Vilela cover of 16 Tons is fantastic; thanks for sharing! It would be a great piece of music for a movie score.

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

I'm pretty sure both septagon and heptagon are valid terms for a 7-sided figure. Heptagon may be the more widely accepted term, but Chris wasn't wrong to brand them septagons.

@Decclan: You're missing a step. Yes, 9x11=99, and 9+9=18, but that's not the digital root. The digital root is always a single digit, and you need to keep adding the digits until you get there, and 1+8=9, so it still works.

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJon

"Hey guys the digital root thing for the multiples of 9 breaks down for 11 but works for 10 and 12. It also breaks down for 9 multiplied by any multiple of 11 as they all add up to 18 instead of 9."

Declan, I'm about to blow your mind: what does 1+8 equal

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris Kohler

I would like to reiterate that septagon is an acceptable name for a 7 sided polygon. It is also the reason that September used to be the 7th month. It all depends on the the preference of the person doing the naming. Math is made up of many words that have multiple origins (usually Greek or Latin) especially in Geometry. Better trivia is about the suffix 'gon.' Many assume it means side, but it is actually from the Greek word for knee and is meant to describe the bends (or angles) of a polygon, not the sides. So it would be more appropriate to ask about a 7-angled figure instead of a 7-sided figure.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Martin Gardner once published a really evil puzzle based on a variant of the digital root associated with 9's.

Let's define the "digital product" (my term, not Gardner's) to be the result of taking a number, multiplying its digits together, and doing the same to the resulting product, again and again, until you get a single digit number. For instance, with 279, we multiply 2, 7, and 9 to get 126, then multiply 1, 2, and 6 to get 12, and finally multiply 1 and 2 to get 2; The digital product of 279 is 2.

Now, call the "durability" (Gardner's term) of a number to be how many times you need to multiply digits in order to get to the digital product. For example, 12 -> 1 * 2 = 2, so 12 has a durability of 1. Since we multiplied 3 times for 279, it has a durability of 3. (A single digit number like 7 has durability 0).

The puzzle: What is the smallest number with durability 5? (Note: I don't know the answer. This puzzle is really evil if you don't allow yourself a computer.)

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNolan Salzmann

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