Why Pun Salad Will Not Be Blogging the Winter Olympics

Because my close personal friend Dave Barry tells you everything you need to know.

URLs du Weekend


  • We're all a little weather-obsessed this weekend in the Northeast; snow-deprived for so long, the major media is treating our current snowstorm as a replay of 1978. My sister called from Iowa to check if we survived.

    Folks, it's just snow. Happens most every winter.

    That said, Carl Schaad of AccuWeather has a blog, and it's really funny. Check it out. If AccuWeather had a cable channel, I'd totally watch it over those stiffs at The Weather Channel.

  • GeekPress helpfully points to an article on mind-control paraasites:
    Half of the world's human population is infected with Toxoplasma. Parasites in the body - and the brain. Remember that.
    But is that really true, or just what the mind parasites want us to believe? Hmm…

  • Tyler Cowen, ostensibly an economist, also has his eye out for matters of true import; via his Marginal Revolution, he points to a Nature article that reports one of the enduring mysteries of life (at least for physics majors) has been solved: do people swim faster in water or syrup? No spoilers here, you'll have to look for yourself. One of the University of Minnesota researchers observed:
    The fluid looked like snot. I don't know how to describe it any more poetically.
    Unfortunately, Minnesota is not in the market for a Poet Laureate.

  • But no, it's not all fun and games and shoveling here at Pun Manor this weekend. We also have our eye on the usual Important Stories. Via the infidel Treacher, we have More Cartoons That Might Offend in the Middle East. (Well, I'll be darned. Cracked. Still around. Wow.)

  • Note to Dubya: that hunting trip with Cheney? Bad idea.

    (Yes, I'm in competition for the Worst Cheney Hunting Joke.)

Last Modified 2006-02-16 8:24 AM EDT

Layer Cake

[Amazon Link]
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[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

Movie Weekend continues with Layer Cake. It's a very complex and well-acted crime thriller, centering on an anonymous cocaine middleman played by Daniel Craig. His stated plan is that old gangster-movie cliché: an early retirement. Unfortunately, he's plunged into the middle of high-level criminal doings that he only barely understands; the movie's plot revolves around his fumbling efforts to escape the myriad conflicts among his double-crossing colleagues. Dialog is witty, with understated humor bubbling underneath. Recommended for anyone with the stomach for a little sex, a lot of violence, and the ability to understand plot twists explicated in various English accents.

I'm looking forward to seeing Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. After seeing this, I'm pretty sure he could do a great job.

Last Modified 2024-02-03 8:26 AM EDT

Break In

[Amazon Link]
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I stayed away from reading Dick Francis for years, thinking that his books were about horse racing, and I had no interest in horse racing, so that was that. And worse, he was British, so that conjured up all sorts of thoughts about tea cozies. Dumb mistake! If you're holding back from reading Francis for such reasons, cease and desist.

This one has the usual Franciscan protagonist: a brave, loyal, and fearless jockey cum mensch named Christmas Fielding. (But his friends call him Kit.) He is called to help out his sister and his brother-in-law rescue their stables from financial ruin caused by scurrilous rumors planted in the press for mysterious reasons. This puts him in enough peril, but in addition, he's wooing the niece of an actual princess. Great fun.

Last Modified 2024-02-03 8:26 AM EDT


[Amazon Link]
(paid link)
[1.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

Be warned: sometimes you rent a critically-drubbed movie, your tiny little inner voice saying "It's got that nice Jessica Biel in it, how bad can it be?" Pretty bad, it turns out.

If you've seen 2001 or even the episode of Star Trek with Dr. Daystrom and his handy M5 computer running the Enterprise, you pretty much have seen the first part of this movie already: AI starts killing the good guys. The AI here is called EDI, or "Eddie". As in: open the pod bay doors, Eddie.

The movie is set in the near future, where a trio of crack US pilots, including that nice Jessica Biel, apparently go wherever they want in the world to blow up terrorists. Their stealth fighters are advanced enough to take down a bad-guy multi-story building in the middle of a city without hurting any innocent bystanders in the teeming streets below. (Apparently the building didn't have any innocent janitors.) But Eddie breaks up this happy family … oh, who cares?

Oh, and the screenplay was by W. D. Richter, who also wrote the screenplay for the wonderful movie Slither back in the early 70's, and Big Trouble in Little China in the 80's. Sad to see this descent into hackdom.

Last Modified 2024-02-03 8:27 AM EDT