Internet Curiosities

Extensive list of space opera cliches

Boing Boing -

Charlie Stross is on a tear: he's catalogued 22 screens' worth of space opera cliches, grouped by themes: Planetary civilizations, space and cosmology, biology, economics, politics, culture, technology - space travel, technology - pew! pew! pew!, aliens... His readers have added 300 comments' worth of omissions. (more…)

Why human brains are prone to the black and white fallacy

Boing Boing -

Why do you try to drain the world of color when backed into a rhetorical corner?

Why do you have such a hard time realizing that you have suggested the world is devoid of nuance when you are in the heat of an argument, reducing all every wavelength to black and white, and all choices to A or B?

In this episode, you’ll learn from three experts in logic and arguing why human brains are prone to the black and white fallacy and the false dichotomies it generates. You’ll learn how to spot this fallacy, what to do when someone uses it against you, and how to avoid committing it yourself.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the third in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.


This episode is brought to you by Trunk Club. Like Netflix for clothes, a professional stylist helps you define your new look, and then your new clothes arrive at your doorstep in a special trunk. Keep what you want, return the rest. Get started today and Trunk Club will style you for FREE. Plus FREE SHIPPING both ways! Click here for this special offer.

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Fundamentals of Photography filmed in partnership with The National Geographic and taught by professional photographer Joel Sartore. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

This episode of You Are Not So Smart is brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and ten percent off go to and use the offer code SOSMART.

Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

Barbara Drescher is a cognitive psychologist and skeptical activist who lectured at California State University and currently serves as educational programs consultant for the James Randi Educational Foundation. Her website is

Jesse Richardson is the founder of, a fantastic website where you can learn about fallacies and critical thinking and easily share what you discover. He is an award-winning creative lead on a number of other projects including School Of Thought.

Mike Rugnetta is the writer and host of PBS Idea Channel produced by PBS Digital Studios. On Idea Channel he applies philosophical and critical concepts to pop-culture ideas and other more-familiar topics in an effort to better explain to a general, internet-savvy audience the strange and abstract propositions he explores in wonderful detail.

In every episode, after I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, You Are Now Less Dumb, and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Andrew Leman who sent in a recipe for Salty Triple Chocolate Pistachio Cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at}

Links and Sources


Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes


Your Logical Fallacy Is

PBS Idea Channel

A Guide to Logical Fallacies

Image Source – CC BY-SA 3.0

First Mac OS X Ransomware Targets Apple Users

The Hacker News -

Mac users, even you are not left untouched! The World's first fully functional Ransomware targeting OS X operating system has been landed on Macs. Ransomware – one of the fastest-growing cyber threats – encrypts the important documents and files on infected machines and then asks victims to pay ransoms in digital currencies so they can regain access to their data. Though Ransomware

RIP Ray Tomlinson, The Creator of Email, Dies at 74

The Hacker News -

A computing legend who 'changed the way the world communicates' has died. RAY TOMLINSON, the man who invented email as we know it today and picked the @ symbol for email addresses, passed away at the age of 75 following an apparent heart attack Saturday morning, according to reports. Hard to believe but 'the godfather of email' has passed away. His death was confirmed by Mike Doble,

How to win the Soap Box Derby - a high schooler's essay from 1957

Boing Boing -

My late father-in-law, Joe, was born and raised in Los Angeles, growing up during the heyday of hot rod culture. When I knew him he drove Corvettes and Camaros. In high school, Joe and his brother built Soap Box Derby racers. I recently came across an essay about Soap Box Derby racing that Joe wrote in 1957 when he was a student at Los Angeles High School. His teacher wrote, "This is one of the most *interesting* reports I've ever read!" He received a C+, though, because his spelling was atrocious (It was bad when I knew him, too - I think he had undiagnosed dyslexia) and he neglected to add footnotes or a bibliography. Here's a PDF scan of the essay.

Hacking a phone's fingerprint sensor in 15 mins with $500 worth of inkjet printer and conductive ink

Boing Boing -

MSU Computer Science researchers Kai Cao and Anil K Jain published a new paper describing a < $500 method for using a 300dpi scan of a fingerprint (which can be captured from a fingerprint sensor itself) to produce a working replica printed with conductive ink fed through a normal inkjet printer, in a prodcedure that takes less than 15 minutes. (more…)

An LSD trip story: “Went to a Donald Trump speech on acid SUPER BAD VIBES”

Boing Boing -


— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) March 6, 2016

“Got a terrific view of his exquisite hairpiece in person that seemed to have a mind of its own as it was breathing and taking on different forms throughout the whole speech.”

It may be fact, it may be fiction. We do not know. But this first-hand account of an unfortunate fellow who fell under the delusion that it would be a good idea to attend a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate and noted racist shitbag Donald Trump while tripping balls--it's a very good acid trip story.


The correlates of Trumpism: early mortality, lack of education, unemployment, offshored jobs

Boing Boing -

Wonkblog runs the numbers on the counties with the strongest support for Trump and finds that the typical Trump supporter is likely to live in a place with higher-than-normal mortality for whites (middle-aged white mortality has been increasing since the 1990s at a rate unseen in the developed world since the collapse of the Soviet Union), lower-than-usual rates of university eduction, higher-than-normal rates of unemployment, where manufacturing jobs have vanished due to offshoring. (more…)

MAME is now free as well as free of charge

Boing Boing -

MAME, the arcade emulator originally created by Nicola Salmora 19 years ago, is now comprised entirely of free and open-source software. It's taken a lot of wrangling, reports, due to the large number of contributors and interlinked components.

After 19 years, MAME is now available under an OSI-compliant and FSF-approved license! Many thanks to all of the contributors who helped this to go as smoothly as possible!

We have spent the last 10 months trying to contact all people that contributed to MAME as developers and external contributors and get information about desired license. We had limited choice to 3 that people already had dual-license MAME code with.

As a result, a great majority of files (over 90% including core files) are available under the 3-Clause BSD License but project as a whole is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later (GPL-2.0+), since it contains code made available under multiple GPL-compatible licenses.

I still remember building a MAME cabinet, someone asking "which game is that?" and having the pleasure of saying "all of them."

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win our Ultimate Photography Giveaway - Canon EOS 7D Mark II Camera

Boing Boing -

You’re never not snapping. You’re the one taking pictures of your delicious food at restaurants, your couple friends smooching, your dog’s adorable snuggles, the trees and flowers when the light behind them is just right. The moment was born to be captured and you’ve got your phone or camera out to make it happen. Right now for free you can enter to win this Ultimate Photo Bundle Giveaway which can stock you up with all the gear and tech you need to snap every image perfectly. Upgrade your pic game from a smartphone to a brilliant camera.

You’ll strap on one of the best cameras in the world. The Canon DSLR is the industry standard and snaps gorgeous images with unparallelled quality and you’ll learn the ropes of how true professional photographers operate them. Also included here is a Canon Speedlight Flash so every scene is perfectly lit, day or night. Lastly, you’ll get a one year subscription to the Cadillac of photo editing suites, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. With that software at your fingertips your images will be simply gorgeous.

This bundle is the beautiful combination of the right moment, a great eye, magnificent tools and the power of technology to all come together to create a perfect picture. Even if you don’t know much about photography, this bundle will get you started down a professional level path and it’s completely free to enter.


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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="630"] Lytro Gen 1 8GB Camera[/caption]



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