URLs du Jour


  • How are the presidential candidates planning on dealing with the Federal budget deficit? To summarize Stephen Chapman: one candidate offers vague promises which he won't be able to fulfill, and the other offers the same, only worse.

    As Woody Allen said, back when he was sort of funny: "More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

  • George F. Will shows how beer was necessary to the development of civilization. As I had long suspected. Is there anything it can't do?

  • Ann Althouse gets the coveted Pun Salad Read the Whole Thing award for today. She has a instaclassic rant on yesterday's New York Times tendentious article about a Florida mall art exhibit, where the works are responses to Norman Rockwell's famous "Four Freedoms" paintings. The reporter noted, disparagingly, the indifferent response of mall shoppers. Replied Ann:
    Apparently, the NYT has not heard of some of the less-frequently-invoked American freedoms: the freedom to ignore propaganda, the freedom to avert your eyes from artists who scream for attention, the freedom to shop without genuflecting at sanctimonious criticism of your country, and the freedom to loathe hideous art.
    Bolded in original. Bless Professor Althouse.

  • And also bless the unknown genius bringing us the wonderful weirdness that is the Rochester, New Hampshire, police report. A sample:
    Wednesday, June 25

    11:14 a.m. — At Daffodil Hill Lane a dirty dog is given dirty looks.

    12:30 p.m. — Neighbors keep insulting a South Main Street woman when she tries to leave her home.

    Thursday, June 26

    9:40 a.m. — Police find a wanted citizen on Haven Hill Road may be the victim of a wrongly issued warrant, as she may have been impersonated by her sister.

    2:53 p.m. — At the station a man reports getting a check for over $5,000 (supposedly) from Publisher's Clearing House, which the bank would not cash. He waits for 20 minutes and then silently departs.

    Friday, June 27

    2:52 a.m. — A man walks out of Cumberland Farms on Knight Street with a "breakfast sandwich" he did not pay for. He is wearing a gray T-shirt and khaki pants, and has a blond beard, possibly containing crumbs.

    5:38 p.m. — On Church Street, someone looks up from his dinner plate and sees a kid urinating on a house.

    Saturday, June 28

    10:45 a.m. — At Chesley Hill Farms development a cover has been stolen from a manhole. Police look into it.

    4:43 p.m. — On Rochester Hill Road someone interrupts burglars who abandon the tools of their nefarious trade. They were after the copper. Now the coppers are after them.

    Many more at the link.

The Ruins

[Amazon Link] [1.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

I read the book before I saw the movie. I liked the book better. The book was written by Scott Smith, who also wrote the movie's screenplay. There are some major differences between the two, though. (This may have been explained in the DVD special features, although I didn't look.)

The basic idea is the same: four twenty-something American tourists on the Mexico coast befriend a German guy; he talks them into going to look for his brother, who has wandered off to a "archeological dig" in the interior. And things turn very bad, very quickly.

The movie features a bunch of young actors you may have seen before in other roles. But they could have been picked off the street; there's not a lot of acting involved here: vapidity and and drunkenness at the beginning, yelling and screaming and wide-eyed terror for the remainder.

The unrated-version DVD we watched primarily has more gore than the version released in theatres, but this site also claims an alternate ending.

Last Modified 2012-10-11 4:14 PM EDT