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Regrade Request

Regrade Request

By Will McBurney and Mark Sherriff
Two college professors take a second look at questions and answers posted around the internet and give their take!

Intro and outro themes provided by The Podcast Host and Alitu: The Podcast Maker app.
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Episode 34 - More Zippers Makes You More Cooler
We are still here!  Back from vacation to record an episode!  Road alligators, Roman roads, Kingdom Hearts on billboards, the James Webb Space Telescope, and more!
July 29, 2022
Episode 33 - Film Noir Sesame Street
Gravity vs. light, has Google found sentient AI, UVA software engineers are pretty good according to one testing company, and Joker 2 might be a musical.   Transcript of Google engineer talking to LaMDA AI - Programming Note: We will be recording sporadically over the summer... okay, more sporadically than usual... but still.  At least this time we told you :-)
June 16, 2022
Episode 32 - Sharing is Caring
Grapes really are a thing for British hospital patients, Mark finally has fiber optic internet, cookies == Congressional seats, HB 20's interpretation of a "common carrier," and how to say goodbye ominously. Mentioned video:
June 02, 2022
Episode 31 - All Spocks are Dreamy
Our long-delayed Graduation Special is here!  We talk about the origin of academic robes and the cool different colors, notable guest speakers at UVA for graduation, and can your degree be revoked. (And it takes the entire episode for us to realize this is our podcast's one year anniversary!!)
May 28, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 12 - Academically Delicious
Let's learn a bit about the history of graduation ceremonies at UVA!  
May 12, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 11 - The Food Pyramid for Exam Questions
It's exam season, so let's talk about how we come up with "good" assessments for students by examining Bloom's Taxonomy.
May 04, 2022
Episode 30 - Geese are Jerks
What is agile development, can you publish a paper without being at a university, how do live service games work, hidden messages in your money, and geese attacking Will at Notre Dame.
April 28, 2022
Episode 29 - The Tetris Meta is Hot Right Now
"Let Me Solo Her" is the celebrity of the moment in Elden Ring, a self-driving car gets pulled over in San Francisco, competitive Tetris is a thing, book bannings, and we try to figure out what "web3" is supposed to be. Sorry for the missed weeks!
April 20, 2022
Episode 28 - Sony Says We Are Close Friends Now
Mark finally scored a PS5, so naturally we have to talk about Sony's new subscription service.  Also, the Ukrainian government is selling NFTs to raise money, why the color in VHS tapes fade, and more "no stupid questions"!
March 31, 2022
Episode 27 - Working Class Werewolves
Apple's got a new desktop, Elden Ring is a great game, there is a suspicious job posting for a professor position at UCLA, and can werewolves eat chocolate?  Gotta say - there's a little bit for everyone in this episode!
March 24, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 10 - Who Is Your Professor and What Do They Do?
McBurney takes over Office Hours this week and goes super in-depth on what professors actually do in their job.  Surely all we do is just teach three hours a week and spend the rest of the time playing Elden Ring and other video games, right? Right?
March 17, 2022
Episode 26 - Live from Rhode Island!
We took our show on the road last week to the SIGCSE Technical Symposium!  Well... kinda.  It was the "SIGCSE Coffee Break" show, sponsored by Google.  (HEY!  We DID get a sponsor!)  We thought we'd share some clips from the show!  If you want to watch the full video versions, you can go to
March 09, 2022
Episode 25 - A Whole New Wordle
Has Wordle gotten harder since it move to the New York Times?  Why is gold valuable?  Why did an AI pay more for a guy's car than he paid for it at the dealership over seven years prior?  How would you change the board game Monopoly?  And why you shouldn't tweet about playing Hearthstone during faculty meetings.
February 24, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 9 - Preserving Games
Nintendo has announced they are closing the 3DS and Wii U eShops, which will remove the ability to purchase thousands of titles across the two platforms.  Not to mention the loss of the Virtual Console on both systems!  What is being done to preserve games from previous generations?
February 17, 2022
Episode 24 - Slightly Less Popular Than Curling
We're all over the place this week - from the Winter Olympics to Moderna's vaccine getting an official name to what makes up most of the traffic on the internet.  Come join us! Today's Syllabus - 1. Modern's new name and Pokemon vs. Medication, 2. Building a new computer, 3. What makes up most of the traffic on the internet, 4. Where do videos go if YouTube dies?, 5. Facebook lost a LOT of money this week!, 6. Curling is awesome.
February 10, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 8 - The ILOVEYOU Virus
I know, I know... you've heard all you want to hear about viruses... probably enough to last a lifetime.  But how about computer viruses?  The ILOVEYOU virus hit the internet in May of 2000 and has been rated in the top 10 most impactful computer viruses of all time by the Smithsonian Institute.  Interested in how the virus came to be? Well, it all starts with a rejected fourth-year thesis proposal from a Computer Science major...
February 03, 2022
Episode 23 - Attack of the Deadly Shower Curtains
Classes have started back for Will (but not for Mark!) and we are back with some more questions! Today's Syllabus: Speedrunning for 7-year olds Blue Light Special (Glasses) Why do we sign things? What is the right number of people for a board game? Shower curtains that attack you!
January 27, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 7 - The Computer Inside
As Will gets ready for classes to start, Mark gets oddly fascinated by his new Instant Pot and starts to think about all the different types of small computers in everyday devices.  (These are called "embedded systems," by the way!)
January 20, 2022
Episode 22 - Jenny I've Spoofed Your Number
We are back after a long winter's nap!  The end of the fall semester took quite a toll and we needed a break, but we're back with a new episode to start off 2022! Today's Syllabus: Professor Motivational Mantras Is Latin a dead language? Yelling at dumbbells Stable space orbits Phone numbers spoofing
January 13, 2022
Office Hours Ep. 6 - By Listening to this Podcast, You Agree to the Following...
In this post-shopping frenzy episode of Office Hours, we talk about what you are really buying when you buy a piece of software.  What are you allowed to do with it?  Should you feel bad when you click past all those dialog windows when you are installing?  Can you use iTunes to create nuclear weapons?  Find out here! Helpful information about interesting EULAs courtesy of
December 02, 2021
Episode 21 - The Potential Energy of Goats
Happy (U.S.) Thanksgiving!  As we come together with friends and family, our thoughts turn to one thing - shopping!  The guys dig into where Cyber Monday came from and how Amazon handles all the traffic.  We also talk about the conservation of energy and thermodynamics, but in a super cool and hip way.
November 25, 2021
Office Hours Ep. 5 - Shut Down Now To Update!
The .5 episodes are now a new segment!  We are calling these individual episodes "Office Hours," where one host goes in-depth in a single topic! Today, Mark talks about why you might get those "do you want to update" messages from your software and why you should pay attention to them.
November 19, 2021
Episode 20 - We Need an Extension
We missed a week!  We are so sorry!  Life's tough that way... then the world ends... ?!?!?  Yes, this week we talk about how the world is going to end!  Until Mark has had enough and talks about recycling. 
November 11, 2021
Episode 19.5 - ARM Wrestling
It's a solo show again this week as it's advising season at UVA and things are really crazy!  But Mark just HAD to talk about the new MacBook Pros and what it means for them to be using the M1 (ARM) CPU!  How is it different than an x86 (Intel) CPU?  Listen and find out!
October 28, 2021
Episode 19 - Erotic Tachyons from the Future
We're back with a full episode, talking about professors slinging burgers at Michigan State, questions from robots, the right to repair, and can you trust research!
October 22, 2021
Episode 18.5 - Morality in Gaming
After a tough week, McBurney flies solo to talk about morality in gaming, specifically around some ideas in Mass Effect.   Extra Credits Video: Alternate Episode Title: "Ironic Witcher Quotes"
October 15, 2021
Episode 18 - Academic Chipotle
We have our first listener email question!  What is better - passwords with gibberish or passphrases?  We talk about password best practices before a new round of "Excuse Me, What Now?", Will goes into why Microsoft moved on from Times New Roman to Calibri (and we debate how to even say "Calibri"...), before we discuss how Facebook fell off the Internet for a few hours.  Come join us! Cloudflare's blog post on what they saw during the Facebook outage -
October 07, 2021
Episode 17 - Human Thumbs Can't Move That Fast
In this episode of Regrade Request, we take a look at the dangers of being a gamer.  While Mark discusses physical injuries that have happened due to playing Nintendo (such as "Nintenditis" and various blunt force traumas from using a Wii remote), Will goes more into emotional issues, such as cyber bullying. And, of course, a few questions from No Stupid Questions to round out the show!
September 30, 2021
Episode 16 - Earl's Tooth Detailing Shop
We go back to the future by talking about the next Y2K - Y2K38!  Yes, there's another one on the horizon!  Also, questions about why you don't find OLED computer monitors, whether you should upgrade to Windows 11, and the current state of bananas.  Oh, and why can't barbers pull teeth anymore?  I mean... that was a thing in the Old West... right?
September 23, 2021
Episode 15 - Why We Play Games
In a more (hopefully) thought-provoking episode, we examine the aesthetics of gaming, as described in the paper "MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research" by Hunicke, LeBlanc, and Zubek from Northwestern University.  It is also discussed in the wonderful Extra Credits YouTube series: We discuss games that have affected us in major ways and what aesthetics lend themselves to those experiences. Bottom line: 1) games are great and 2) Will and Mark will never agree on Breath of the Wild.
September 16, 2021
Episode 14 - On a Highway in Utah
We are back in the swing of things with classes, so we talk about some of our favorite teaching evaluations!  Plus some discussion about VHS vs. Beta was like HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, some overly-specific questions from Reddit, and more!
September 09, 2021
Episode 13 - Young, Hip Iowa Poll Workers
We're back to a normal show!  This week, we have our first themed episode: "When Software Goes Wrong!"  We talk about interesting software failures and questions, like why is the "Blue Screen of Death" blue and what happened with the Iowa caucus results reporting in 2020. Another round of "Excuse me, what now?" as well! Join us and make sure to review the show on the podcast service of your choice!
September 02, 2021
Episode 12 - Our First (and maybe last) Live Show!
It's the first day of class in our software engineering course!  And what is the syllabus day but a day of questions and answers, so we figured why not - let's record it! Pro podcasting tip: recording while both hosts are double-masked and using Zoom rather than Audacity and Audition does not yield the best quality audio. If you're curious what day 1 looks like for us even with that warning... well... here you go! Also, check out a podcast from some of our students!  Girls Hoo Code: the Podcast
August 26, 2021
Episode 11 - Twas the Week Before Classes
We are neck deep in trying to get our classes ready for students next week, so here is the Q&A lecture that we did at the end of the spring 2021 semester that got us thinking about doing a podcast in the first place. We left some UVA specific things here, because they might be of interest to folks broadly.  For example, when we talk about "GC" and "CR" as grades for our course, those were COVID-specific grades created just for these semesters.  How employers will look at those on transcripts remains to be seen.
August 19, 2021
Episode 10 - England Has Been Around For A While [Citation Needed]
We look forward to another school year, considering yet another set of ridiculous student excuses in "Excuse me, what now?"  Then a lot more fun with web bots, QR codes, why four digit PINs are okay, and... wearing plate armor to Parliament?
August 12, 2021
Episode 9 - Quidditch is a Valid Excuse
We've got a new segment this week!  Want to know just how crazy some excuses we get are?  See if you can guess the fake excuses from the real ones in "Excuse me, what now?"!  Also, questions on best designed games, autonomous cars, and how to not interrupt your friends when playing table top games.
August 05, 2021
Episode 8 - Toy Story Didn't Have Ray Tracing
Mark is super excited about the Olympics!  Will... kinda is.  We discuss some cool things at the Olympics, how ray tracing works, the microchip shortage and... rubber ducks?   If you are enjoying the show, we would really appreciate any feedback, either to us at or on the podcast platform of your choice! Ray Tracing Demo -
July 29, 2021
Episode 7.5 - Cookie Monster
It's another mini-episode as summer scheduling turns out to be a pretty tough obstacle to overcome! Have you ever wondered why your browser cares so much about whether you enjoy cookies or not?  It doesn't even have the good manners to ask what type of cookie!  Let's talk about what browser cookies actually are, whether they are "dangerous," and how they can be used for good... and EVIL...
July 23, 2021
Episode 7 - Crocheted Goose Bikini
Will is back (thank goodness)!  A couple questions this week about getting the nice moving pictures on your TV and why frames per second matter, then we get into Section 230, and finish with some Richard Branson. And yes, the words "crocheted goose bikini" are said at one point in the show.  By which we mean a crocheted bikini for a goose... not one made out of a... goose.  Just listed to the episode.  It will make sense.  We promise. Please subscribe and leave us a review on the podcast service of your  choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Email us at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
July 15, 2021
Episode 6.5 - Only One College Professor
Will's in the midst of summer teaching, so Mark takes a shot at a "special edition mini-episode" tackling just one question that we get pretty often: What programming language should I learn? Turns out, there isn't one right answer!  But all the answers start with another question - what are you excited about building? Links from today's episode: Scratch - Human Resource Machine (game) - Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch - TIOBE Index - Android Studio -
July 08, 2021
Episode 6 - Crypto Beanie Babies
Come hang out as we talk about what bitcoin is in a way hopefully everyone can understand... and robot dentists!  (We also cover satellite internet and shooting nuclear waste into the sun... but... come on... robot dentists!) Please subscribe and leave us a review on the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Email us at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
July 01, 2021
Episode 5 - Noah and the (GameSh)Ark
We circle back around to some previous questions, such as how the Game Genie actually worked to "enhance" your NES games.  We also somehow find our way into talking about religious games that circumvented Nintendo's certification system and how mages would fare in a World War 1 battle.   To top that off, it only took five episodes for us to both bring the exact same question!  So we had a lot to say about recipe websites that give the entire life story of the author before informing you that you need one or two cups of sugar for your banana bread. Links: Gamesutra article on Steam prices - Super 3D Noah's Ark for SNES - and Artillery that mages could not handle - How the Game Genie Worked from Mental Floss - Subscribe through the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney 
June 24, 2021
Episode 4 - Worst Uber Ever
Hey folks - you know those quizzes that go around on Twitter and Facebook?  Things like "your high school mascot plus your birth year is your next pet's name, so post it now!"  Those are really good ways for bad guys to get your personal data to potentially get into your accounts.  And remember - when you post something on the internet it may or may not ever go away!  So don't do them!   Subscribe through the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
June 17, 2021
Episode 3 - Deterministic Epistemology of Angry Birds
Will blows Mark's mind by discussing Zipf's Law ( in the context of the popularity of certain websites.  Conversely, Mark wants to talk about why we blow into NES cartridges to make them work. Subscribe through the podcast service of your choice or leave us a question for us to answer on the podcast at!  Find us on Twitter: @MarkSherriff and @ProfMcBurney
June 10, 2021
Episode 2 - Are You Going to Eat That?
In this episode of Regrade Request, Will and Mark turn more toward educational questions, explaining what DDOS attacks are, how to algorithmically pair your socks efficiently (we swear - this is more interesting than it sounds), and deliberately trying to sabotage your own Zoom calls. Oh - and fantasy monster snacking guidance.  That too. Let us know what you think! / @MarkSherriff / @ProfMcBurney Or leave a review on iTunes or Google Podcasts!
June 03, 2021
Episode 1 - A Beautiful Shade of #chucknorris
In the pilot episode of Regrade Request, Will and Mark tackle deep and meaningful questions involving Chuck Norris, video game relationships, and goats.  Does teaching together online translate into podcasting?  Find out!
May 27, 2021