John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.

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#35: A Lot of Them Are Tricks

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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Download: MP3 (81.48 MB)


Links and Show Notes

A man, a ball, a hoop, a bench (and an alleged thread)… TELLER! - Las Vegas Weekly
How to Become Pope - YouTube
Muni Metro Map | SFMTA
Bay Area Rapid Transit | bart.gov
Big Tobacco vs. Little Vape | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS - YouTube
A Pattern Language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure): Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel: 9780195019193: Amazon.com: Books
Membership - Relay FM
Slate Plus

Merlin's Tip: use a mobile device to sign up and GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY.

Shopkins Mega Pack, Season 5 - Walmart.com
Accidental Tech Podcast: 187: Putting Plastic on Your Couches
6 only-for-iPad gestures you need to know | Macworld
Arrested Development - "It's an Illusion" - YouTube

"A trick is something a whore does for money…or cocaine."

Ricky Jay and His 52 assistants - YouTube
Ricky Jay - Amazing Card Trick/Manipulation - YouTube
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012) - IMDb
Richard Valentine Pitchford - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cardini - YouTube
TV Magic Cards with Marshall Brodien (Commercial, 197?) - YouTube
Penn and Teller Bullet Trick - YouTube
Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection | TED Talk | TED.com
Supernatural pickpocketing skills!! Awesome to watch! - by Apollo Robbins - YouTube
Apollo Robbins, The Master Pickpocket Tricks of the Trade - YouTube
Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection | TED Talk | TED.com
A Pickpocket’s Tale - The New Yorker

"Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen."

Numbers in Chinese culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WAR GAMES Gen. Beringer SPARK PLUG - YouTube
Why Does Scratching An Itch Make It Worse? | IFLScience
Big Question: Why Does Scratching Make You Itch More? | WIRED
Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything: Steven Levy: 9780140291773: AmazonSmile: Books
selective attention test - YouTube
Pascal's Wager - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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).

Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters and Ricky Jay - YouTube
Lennart Green: Close-up card magic with a twist | TED Talk | TED.com