URLs du Jour

2006-10-17 (PM Edition)

OK, I'm all better now.

  • Ever wonder why Andrew Sullivan will set your teeth on edge? Bill Gnade at Contratimes, I think, has some insight on the matter.
    Mr. Sullivan abhors fundamentalism, it is clear. Yet he is apparently blind to that fundamentalism to which he holds so tenaciously: he is ignorant to the fact that everyone holds certain truths as fundamentals. Some truths, of course, are not one whit fun and are rather mental. But there is something rather fundamentally flawed in those who believe they are able to transcend religion and exist in some sort of political neutral zone, where religion does not reside. Religious faith resides everywhere. There is no escaping this fact. Any position that denies this is futile and pretentious. A man who theorizes we can fully partition the atmosphere can only exist in a vacuum: he may be a fine writer at a fashionable journal but he will be smothered should he put his theory into practice. Politics can exist independent of religious precepts about as well as nature loves a vacuum.

    Yes, another pun has crept into Pun Salad. Again, our apologies. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

  • Via Ann Althouse: Popular Mechanics' editor, James Meigs, has onlined his Afterword to the book Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts. It's an excellent rundown of conspiracist tactics. He also shares some of his hate mail, which is predictably odious. Read the whole thing. Really.

    One illuminating point I'll single out: Meigs refers to "conventions where hundreds of like-minded 'skeptics' gather to compare notes." The sneer-quotes around 'skeptics' are richly deserved; these folks, Meigs makes clear, may be the most gullible people on earth. We're used to tossing off the line "If you believe that, you'll believe anything" without thinking too much about it. The conspiracy fantasists make me realize how applicable—and how scary—that saying really is.

  • Should I ever be in the hospital for a painful medical procedure, I would like to think that I would be incredibly brave and maintain my sense of humor. Like Cathy Seipp.

    Probably I wouldn't. But I'd like to think that. Cathy's got the right stuff. In her spare time, she deftly demolishes the thesis of From My Cold, Dead Hands: Charlton Heston And American Politics by Emilie Raymond, assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Lileks movies into Iowahawk territory with a Minnesotan smackdown satire of Garrison Keillor. At least I think it's satire. If it's not, I don't want to know.

  • Finally, the intrepid researchers at McSweeney's have discovered the long-sought 1939 denial of tenure letter sent to Assistant Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr.
    Dr. Jones's behavior on campus has led not only to disciplinary action but also to concerns as to the state of his mental health. In addition to multiple instances of public drunkenness, Dr. Jones, on three separate occasions, has attempted to set fire to the herpetology wing of the biology department. Perhaps most disturbing, however, are the statements that come directly from Dr. Jones's mouth. Several faculty members maintain that Dr. Jones informed them on multiple occasions of having discovered the Ark of the Covenant, magic diamond rocks, and the Holy Grail! When asked to provide evidence for such claims, he purportedly replied that he was "kind of immortal" and/or muttered derogatory statements about the "bureaucratic fools" running the U.S. government. Given his history with the Nazi Party, I fear where his loyalty lies.
    "I hate snakes, Jock. I hate 'em." (Via GeekPress.)

Last Modified 2008-05-16 4:22 PM EDT

URLs du Jour

2006-10-17 (AM Edition)

Oh dear me, I've been having a hard time blogging about matters political. While I'm ostensibly interested in the upcoming elections, I'm pretty much fretful that, no matter who wins, they'll invariably think they've won for the wrong reason.

So some unpolitical URLs this time around. You're welcome.

  • Via BBSpot, Men's Journal's list of the 25 Best Beers in America. Why, that might be a good list to keep on hand for Election Night, as you watch the returns come in! Granite Staters will cheer as our local Smuttynose Brewing Company makes the list with their "Big A IPA", which is deemed "uncouth". But in a good way.

  • But if beer is not your thing, you'll definitely want to stock up on red wine, after reading about a new study:
    Red wine might work to protect the brain from damage after a stroke and drinking a couple of glasses a day might provide that protection ahead of time, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.
    My preference is Livingston Cellars California Burgundy, which the linked site claims "excels with grilled or roasted red meats". This review, on the other hand, found "that it went just fine with a Red Baron Singles Deep Dish Cheese Pizza." Inexplicably, I was unable to find an opinion at Professor Bainbridge's Wine Blog; it seems he goes for the stuff with dates on the label.

  • But it's not all life-saving booze URLs here at Pun Salad. The (I'm told) excellent science fiction writer John Scalzi unloads on George Lucas and his vision of Star Wars.
    … let's not pretend that the Star Wars series is this great piece of entertainment. … Instead, let's call it what it is: A monument to George Lucas pleasuring himself. Which, you know, is fine. I'm happy for Lucas; it's nice that he was able to do that for himself. We all like to make ourselves happy. But since he did it all in public, I just wish he'd been a little more entertaining about it.
    He's actually a little more R-rated in other parts of the essay. One of the commenters links to an older, also entertaining, essay: The Complex and Terrifying Reality of Star Wars Fandom where one Andrey Summers convincingly argures that "Star Wars fans hate Star Wars". It's like Zen. (Scalzi link via the aforementioned Prof Bainbridge).

  • Ken Jennings proves, once again, that it's fun to be a trivia geek, as he visits Memphis on his book tour:
    I was checked into hotel room 1729. I'm no math nerd, but I've played enough quiz bowl to remember the famous story about Srinivasa Ramanujan knowing that 1729 is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two different cubes in two different ways. In fact, I think I heard Jeopardy!'s Steve Chernicoff tell this story the other day when we were at dinner in San Francisco. So I christened my room at the Marriott "Roomanujan."
    Ken, being a Mormon, does not drink.

Yes, that last item contained, arguably, a pun. We apologize. Those responsible have been sacked.

Last Modified 2012-10-22 9:58 AM EDT