September 21st, 2016 · 118 minutes
This week kicks off with a look at the rise of vaping, the decline of public infrastructure, and whether it's okay for authors to sign their own books in the airport store.
Merlin (finally) figures out how to join Slate Plus, John reminisces about Yahoo!, and both hosts advocate strongly for the vanishing genre of slow-paced movies about how things get made.
The main topic this week is magic and superstition. What delights (or angers) your hosts in a magic show? Why can't Cardini get rid of those cards?
Merlin admits he's superstitious about his water heater, and John reveals how he learned not to mind when his plane takes off. John cruelly schools Merlin on why he should stop trusting himself.
(Recorded Monday, September 12, 2016)
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"A trick is something a whore does for money…or cocaine."
"Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen."
Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas they stand to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).