Mike Pesca’s ideas for The Gist: How he tracks plans for his daily news show.

Mike Pesca Keeps All His Ideas in One Long, Hilarious iPhone Note. Take a Peek.

Mike Pesca Keeps All His Ideas in One Long, Hilarious iPhone Note. Take a Peek.

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June 24 2015 8:17 AM

The Gist List

An interview with Mike Pesca about the long, detailed, occasionally baffling iPhone note where he keeps all his ideas.

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Mike Pesca.

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Whenever I listen to The Gist, which is most days, I wonder: How does Mike do it? How does he have so many smart and interesting ideas about so many different things? A few weeks ago, Mike and his producer Andrea Silenzi revealed his secret: an iPhone note. He keeps a running list in the notes function of his phone full of seemingly nonsensical phrases like “dish chicanery,” “uncle murder,” and “gsib nuria.” So I interviewed Mike and Andrea about their process, what some of these phrases signify, and how each one goes from garbled notation to fascinating segment. Listen to our conversation in the player (you’ll also find it on the Slate Plus podcast feed), and read selected excerpts from the list posted below. And no, we never did figure out what “gsib nuria” meant. —Julia Turner

Here’s a short excerpt from Mike’s Gist List:

Arguments so good they’re boring
NPR Reports starting with “Ok”
Barbie is like Facebook
The food babe takeoff
Time Warner Comcast merger
(if it’s blocked great we get these two companies back)
Barfing paSScodes

Arming the Millicent’s
Jeb Bush guy

Remix ignition, when did you recognize
Professor Sutton-Smith, “Smitty Does a Bunk” cobbers
Gsib. Nuria*
Charles Blow doesn’t get the GOP
I ate garbage
Ponds cold cream

Fact checking hot tub time machine**
Nepalese goddesses
Women’s viagra
White snapper scholarship

Dish chicanery
Uncle murder
Pre dawn raid
new fired by phone
Cage free. Nicholas Cage.
Folded 100 bill to look like WTC
American pie liner notes
Is tolerance a 2 way st?
Cornell food guy
Strength once meant power, now it means flexibility. Yoga replaced dead weights
Nasdaq 5000
Parking spots an economic perspective

Mockingbird spoiler alert nyt
Sometimes when we touch the (honesty?) too much

Judging history by today’s standards
Sleeper cell vet that idea
Purrfect arch commercial

The self-inflating whoopee cushion
Muscular foreign policy
China’s economy
Mike solves problems
. Health care 30 or 40 hrs.  Japan China islands.
Iranian nuclear
(We want it more they need it more.)
Mom jeans
Nassau coliseum

Kidnapping charges
The “good” stress
- good cholesterol, good Muslims
Be honest though
Giraffe’s silent megafauna
? as most obnoxious text msg

*None of us know what this one means
**Feel free to do this one yourself, listeners