URLs du Jour

2008-04-20

  • One of Pun Salad's solemn duties is to notify our readers of new web-available P. J. O'Rourke content. So check out his account of his trip to the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Sample:
    Carrier launches are astonishing events. The plane is moved to within what seems like a bowling alley's length of the bow. A blast shield larger than any government building driveway Khomeini-flipper rises behind the fighter jet, and the jet's twin engines are cranked to maximum thrust. A slot-car slot runs down the middle of the bowling alley. The powered-up jet is held at the end of its slot by a steel shear pin smaller than a V-8 can. When the shear pin shears the jet is unleashed and so is a steam catapult that hurls the plane down the slot, from 0 to 130 miles per hour in two seconds. And--if all goes well--the airplane is airborne. This is not a pilot taking off. This is a pilot as cat's eye marble pinched between boundless thumb and infinite forefinger of Heaven's own Wham-O slingshot.

  • Did you find yourself wondering why Easter and Passover were so out of step with each other this year? I did. If you're interested, the best summary I found was here. It's a lurid tale of lunar vs. solar calendars, anti-semitism, the First Council of Nicea in 325, and the "blood-letting pagan Hilaria and Taurobolium festivals."

    A calculator for Easter and Passover dates is here, and goes into much detail about various Easter-dating schemes, almost certainly into the "more than you want to know" level.

  • I occasionally need to look at the writing of UNH students, and way too many of them could stand to read "10 flagrant grammar mistakes that make you look stupid".

    Link is via Tom Smith, who has a few more of his own. I'll echo his closing paragraph:

    Please note well that all the mistakes in the post are deliberate, and have been committed so as not to create the impression of a pedantic attachment to the rules of usage.
    Please consider that disclaimer to apply to the entire Pun Salad corpus as well, especially if you type "hopefully" into the Google search box over there.