Saturday Video Matinee 001

Welcome to Boing Boing's Saturday Video Matinee! This week we present six videos to entertain and educate: Never lose at Tic-Tac-Toe again. Aliens of the underwater world. Popeye babysits a tiny terror. The miniature moons of Mars. A crazy juggler catches a flaming bowling ball on his face. And, an amazing optical illusion you can do at home.

Saturday Video Matinee 001


  1. You lose a bit of you innocence when you finally figure out how to never lose at Tic-Tac-Toe. The game then becomes boring and pointless.

    1. Ah, but rationally thinking out all the possibilities and simplifying it through rotation/mirroring was one of the great turning points in the development of my mind.

  2. I love this collection. I should add that the Phobos-Grunt mission discussed in the Mars section actually failed, fell back to earth, and burned up in January of 2012.

  3. I figured out in 5th grade that you’d never lose at Tic-Tac-Toe if you knew how to play.  But my prize discovery was the “start in the corner” strategy shown here.  

    Most everyone expects you to start in the center, and when you don’t, they’re often unsure how to proceed – they WANT to grab the center (which they know is a strong position) but about a third of them will suspect that you’ve got some kind of trick up your sleeve (or at least they suspected me!) and that you’re just trying to bait them into taking the center – so they’ll make some other move instead.  

    And then they’ll lose. :-)

    I spent several happy weeks winning lunch money from my schoolmates by playing dime-stakes Tic Tac Toe.  It even taught me the value of occasionally losing to keep the hustle going, since no one wanted to play someone who never, ever lost.

    I also made a new friend when one of the kids said, “Tic Tac Toe for money?  Don’t be silly.  Tic Tac Toe is completely trivial, so only the incompetent players ever lose.” 

    I pulled him aside and quietly said, “Um, okay – but even incompetent people sometimes have money, you know?”

     “True enough,” he said thoughtfully.  “Need a partner?”

    It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. :-)

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