TRC #409: Melania Trump vs Science + Pokemon Go + Our Mathematical Universe

pokemongoCristina takes us back to high school to explore the probability that Melania Trump plagiarized part of Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech. Adam travels across the land searching far and wide to debunk recent news stories about Pokémon Go. Finally, Darren takes an in depth look at the non-fiction book Our Mathematical Universe by Swedish-American cosmologist Max Tegmark.

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Melania Trump vs Science

HuffPost: An Astrophysicist Used Math To Show Melania Trump Stole Her Speech

Digg: Physicist: There’s A 1-In-87 Billion Chance Melania Trump Didn’t Plagiarize

Facebook: Bob Rutledge

Digg: Uh, So Melania Trump May Have Plagiarized Part Of Her Convention Speech From Michelle Obama

Vox: It sure looks like Melania Trump plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech from 2008

Vox: The Trump campaign is now blaming Hillary Clinton for Melania’s plagiarism scandal

Pokemon Go

Cartel Press  

Man Sues Pokemon Go Company For 500 Million After Being Hit By Car!

Pokemon GO: Teen Kills Younger Brother Because He Thought He Deleted His Pokemon

ISIS Is Taking Responsibility For ìPokemon Goîs Login Problems; Server Issues

Teen Playing ìPokemon Goî Stabbed And Mugged For His iPhone; In Bad Neighborhood

Cincinnati Zoo Gorillas Might Protest After The Murder Of Harambe #Gorillalivesmatter

Pokémon GO is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. history

Pokémon GO: The Data Behind Americaís Latest Obsession – SimilarWeb

Pokémon Go – SimilarWeb

Twitter – SimilarWeb

Tinder – SimilarWeb

Nintendo Co LTD – Fortune

Did PoodleCorp Hack ‘Pokémon Go?’ Most Likely Not – iDigital Times

Surprise!  Most Pokémon Go Stories are Hoaxes – GQ

Pokémon Go – Snopes 1

Pokémon Go – Snopes 2

Pokémon Go – Snopes 3

Pokémon Go – Snopes 4

Teen Playing New Pokemon Game On Phone Discovers Body in Wind River

Man in New Zealand Quits His Job to Play Pokémon Go Full Time – BBC

Our Mathematical Universe

Tegmark’s website


Massimo Pigluicci

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2 Responses to TRC #409: Melania Trump vs Science + Pokemon Go + Our Mathematical Universe

  1. Paul Olivier says:

    Hello TRC!

    I continue to be a big fan of the show, even though I take issue with you from time to time. Here’s one of those times:
    Show 409, “Did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama”

    1. You must know, but failed to acknowledge, that neither Melania nor Michelle are likely to have written their own speeches. Speech writers do that.

    2. If there was plgiarism, it was done by the speech writer, who should have been fired on the spot, in my opinion.

    3. The mathematical argument that this did not happen by random chance is compelling, and the GOP excuses that this was a random accident of chance are indeed laughable.

    4. While we all agree that odds of 1 in 87 billion are laughable, you do not blink at the odds of the fine-tuning of the universe, which are (literally) many orders of magnitude more staggering by comparison. You seem to be selective in how you apply your critical thinking.

    With absolutely no sarcasm intended, I’ll close by saying, keep up the good work. I remain your loyal fan,

    Paul Olivier

    • Paul makes some good points but I would differ on the significance of item 1. It’s true that speech writers do the yeoman work for a public figure’s speech. But it’s the speech giver who ultimately takes responsibility for the final form of the talk. In many cases, the presenter has actually shaped the points and set the agenda for the speech. So whether Michelle Obama was the “writer of record” or not, the ultimate credit (or blame) goes to her. It’s the speech giver’s job to advise and consent (so to speak) to everything that comes out of their mouth. Likewise, Melania didn’t simply stand in front of microphone and wait for someone to hand her her remarks. But that said, it appears she did kinda get blindsided by her speechwriter who subsequently took the heat for that clear plagiarism.

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