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Odds and Ends

From this comprehensive list of helicopter prison escapes—helpfully defined as “when an inmate escapes from a prison by means of a helicopter”—we learn that France holds the record for most attempts at 11.

The Skeptoid himself, Brian Dunning, reveals how “a small group of paranormalists and believers in reincarnation have been pursuing their interests on the payroll of the American taxpayers, and finally got their biggest PR success with claims of Navy UFO videos and ever-failing promises of government disclosure.” You can listen to or read Part 1 here; Part 2 is here. Theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss also weighs in, writing that “the probability of being actually visited by other intelligent lifeforms…[is] sufficiently unlikely that we can usefully worry about other things instead.”

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has a pretty sweet movie poster collection, digitized for your pleasure.

Schopenhauer’s 38 Ways to Win an Argument, though meant as sarcasm when it was written in 1831, includes several tips no doubt familiar to those on social media today, such as “use your opponent’s beliefs against him,” “confuse the issue by changing your opponent’s words,” and “become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand.”



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