September 14, 2006


It’s Thursday. Seems like there used to be something we would do around here on Thursdays.

What was it?

Why, it was the AXIS OF WEEVIL THURSDAY THREE, you big silly you! That’s right, folks--America’s Most Popular Online Question and Answer Diversion Posted on Thursdays on a Blog With a Marsupial-Derived Name is BACK and BETTER than EVER!

Or not.

Our team of writers is all fresh and new and ready to go (after we were unable to come to an equitable compensation package for all the stale, old, and unprepared ones and had to send them on their way), so this season should be full of rip-roaring human interest!

Or not.

For those of you new to this exciting and grueling sport of kings, we provide for you three questions, and you provide for us three answers to those questions, and then we all read each other’s answers, and laugh and laugh and laugh. Assuming we aren’t asking questions about mortality. Anyway, all are welcome to join in--you can leave your answers in the comments section below, or you can leave a link to the answers on your very own blog.

It’s so simple even flatworms can do it!

Not quite as well as you, obviously. And they leave icky slime on the keyboard. Which I suppose all of us do from time to time, but I do have the decency to get a paper towel and wipe the keys off, something flatworms have yet to master. Then again, when you put them on a paper towel, they tend to dry out very quickly, so that might be part of the problem.

Or maybe they’re just lazy.

I tried to get one to help me carry my groceries in the house the other day and it wouldn’t. I mean, maybe I’m being too hard on them, what with them not having arms and legs and such, but still, I could have used just a little help, but NOOooo. Sorry bunch of organisms.

ON second thought, even though this is easy enough for flatworms, no flatworms may answer any of the questions. Complain all you want, but you might as well just shut up and let someone with fingers handle this one!

Where was I?

OH YES! The Thursday Three this week celebrates newness and novelty and originality and freshness and sparkly brightness with THIS SET OF QUESTIONS:

1) What are three new books that you’ve read recently?

2) What three new products have you tried lately and what were your experiences?

3) What are three new movies or shows or plays or whatever that you have seen lately, or would like to go see soon?


So, leave your answers below or a link to your exciting new blog post for us all to come peruse.

As for my answers…

1) Well, let’s see--a couple of weeks ago I finished John Stossel’s new book, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. I liked it, although I think if you are an online news junkie like me, you have probably already heard a lot of the debunking of things already. Some of the chapters didn’t interest me, so I sorta skimmed them. I can’t remember which ones now, since I skimmed them.

I also just finished Tom Shachtman’s Terrors and Marvels: How Science and Technology Changed the Character and Outcome of World War II. This one took a while to get through--although reasonably well-documented, the prose doesn’t exactly fly off the page. Like so many history books that I manage to find time to read nowadays, it feels as though I’m reading through conjunctioned stacks of index cards and Post-It Notes. It also feels somewhat screedy--the implications hinting, as all good modern-day histories must (or else be deemed as unnuanced), that the overall story of World War II is missing some key parts. This seems to be the way of things now--anyone who finds out more information than what was printed before (or who is more apt at repackaging old truths) cloaks themselves in some kind of oddball clothes as the Setter-Straight of Truth. It’s not enough just to bring something interesting for everyone to ponder over, but it has to Right Past Injustices. It’s why you’re a lot more likely of late to know more about Sally Hemmings than you do about Thomas Jefferson.

Anyway, I still liked it--the theme of science being used or misused for political purposes is something to think about.

The third one is one I’m just starting-- Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters. I enjoyed the movie version of Band of Brothers, and stand amazed at Winters, who personifies a distinct kind of Americanism that is in short supply in a big part of the population today. More after I’ve finished the book.

2) Three new products? Hmm.

Well, I know one, but it’s new only to me since it HAS been around for several years--something called Water Wetter. Sounds dumb, and I was dubious at first, but this stuff is something you put in your radiator to help the water do a better job of removing heat from the engine. It’s really made for racing engines in place of glycol coolant/antifreeze, but will work well in passenger cars, too. The summertime has not been kind to a certain 20 year old Volvo I know of, especially in traffic, so I thought I would get some and see if it worked. Works like a charm--I could tell a difference in the coolant and oil temperature. The car really needs a good radiator flush, too--something a product like this can mask since it makes things run cooler and might cause you to think everything’s fine in the coolant department since it's not running as hot, but even with that caveat, it’s still a product that does what it says it will do.

I’ve been shopping for digital cameras again--this time one for Rebecca since her birthday is coming up at the end of the month. We went and played with some Monday evening at Target. Hard to believe that in only a couple of years since I bought my camera how far they’ve come in sophistication. There was a clearance-priced HP that was cheaper than what I paid for mine and had more junk on it and a bigger screen. Anyway, we didn’t get one, but I think I know which ones she likes best. The ones that come in bright colors.

Third? I can’t think of anything--we’re really just not the early-adopter sort.

3) Movies and such, huh? Hmm--well, I think I would maybe like to see All the King’s Men, but since it has Sean Penn in it and James “Gollum” Carville is one of the producers, I might be better served by getting a copy of the 1949 Broderick Crawford version.

Flags of our Fathers looks like it might be good, although I sure hope they don’t try to Pearl Harbor-ize it with all sorts of mushy love story stuff.

Flicka looks like a nice family movie, and the kids have already put in a request to go see it.

What else…oh, surely anything with Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek would be worthy of a look, right? Sure it would.

Anyway, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at September 14, 2006 05:43 AM

Maybe I can be first!?! How popular was the demand to bring Thurs. 3 back?

Books: Prince Caspian, CS Lewis, some sci-fi anthology, a devotional reader by Franklin Graham.
The Lewis book has been a pretty good read for my youngster and me at night. The sci-fi anthology has its ups and downs, where I tend to skip the downs when a "purported" science fiction story is set in present times. I'd rather read about someone's version of the future. The Graham devotional did not hold my interest, and I stopped after about eight pages.

Products: Quacamole flavored Pringles, ribbon dental floss, WordPress.
The Pringles were interesting - they came pretty close to the guacamole flavor, but it still seemed "funny". While ribbon floss may seem old-hat to some, I recently tried it out and it works quite well. I'm just too cheap to buy it when Sam's finest is so inexpensive (and hey, you throw it out anyways). WordPress is an excellent tool for blogging, and I'm still just scratching the surface of its potential.

Movies: We don't get out that often ... hmmm ... we're going to go see "How to Eat Fried Worms" since Lady Spud promised Li'l Tater that we'd see it if he read the book, and he has. I'd also like to see "Lassie", believe it or not. Finally, while it's been awhile, I'm still overwhelmed by "New World" and would heartily recommend it, even on the small screen. Very powerful.

[James "Gollum" Carville - hee hee!]

Posted by: Marc V at September 14, 2006 07:43 AM

OK, I'm up. Bear in mind I haven't had any coffee yet.

Posted by: Diane at September 14, 2006 07:50 AM

I have 3 books I'm working on now. I typically have a few laying around the house that I read depending on when I sit down. 1. The Reformation volumne of Durant's History of Civilization 2. Duel of Eagles 3. Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Like you I'm looking forward to Flags of Our Fathers as well. Since Clint Eastwood's production it, I'm hopeful it won't end up with the Pearl Harbor either. It'd be nice to see the members of The Greatest Generation who served in the Pacific Theater get their due as well. Perhaps it can be a "Saving Private Ryan" like episode for them.

Posted by: Southtrek at September 14, 2006 08:52 AM

I'm up. I also read the Dick Winters book, and it's terrific. He may be one of the few people I consider a genuine hero - as in I'd like to be like him.

Oh, and any time I see a book with "the truth about..." or "the real story of..." I immediately skip it. Inevitably it's an agenda-driven book, and as they've done me the courtesy of advertising themselves so clearly, I happily skip over them.

Posted by: skinnydan at September 14, 2006 08:57 AM

My answers, such as they are, are up.

Posted by: Jordana at September 14, 2006 09:16 AM

I'm up!

Posted by: Sarah G. at September 14, 2006 11:02 AM

I feel like Young Mr. Grace--"You've all done very well!"

And yes, Marc, you DO get to be first! Allow us all to congratulate you on your impeccible timing. And as you surmise, the popular demand for the Return of the T3 was such that the number of people expressing such a sentiment could not have been counted on less than two fingers!

Diane, you need not fear the lack of coffee--the excitement of a new Thursday Three should be stimulant enough for anyone.

Southtrek, the Durant books are great--I've got a set, too, and still haven't finished them. And I've been trying for a very long time.

Skinnydan, are you saying my new exposé, The Real Untold Truth About The "Possumblog" Story might need a new title?

As for Jordana and Sarah--nothing like a little Chesterton and air bending to start off the morning, eh?

ANYWHO--good job so far, and we all look forward to the REST of you chiming in. Come on now, don't be afrighted!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 14, 2006 12:09 PM

1. I've been reading mystery novels by Joan Hess. She writes raucously about life in small town Arkansas.

2. I tried a Wendy's Frescata Italiana sandwich this week. It was pretty good, but pricy at $3.50 + tax, I think it was.

The laminate flooring is a new one for me. It's attractive and will be easy to maintain. I hope it holds up well. It should. We don't have much traffic in that room, or any bedroom in this house.

I'm thrilled with the McCulloch steamer that I received for my birthday. It's a real helper in the kitchen and with the bird's cage.

3. We don't watch many movies. Y'all have convinced me to catch Cars when I can.

Posted by: Janis Gore at September 14, 2006 01:14 PM

I actually HAVE read three books this past week or so:
1) The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy;
2) The War Against Boys by Christina Hoff Somers, and
3) Embers to a Flame by the Rev. Harry Reeder of Briarwood Presbyterian Church here.

New products? Well, I'm looking at a software package for website design called Namo Web Editor. It looks and works well, but I have begun to realize I have a learning curve ahead that is rather steep.

New movies? How about Men in Black and Men in Black II? Do they count as new movies? They were new to me until last week.

Posted by: Stan at September 14, 2006 01:37 PM

I have come to the conclusion that we're all not quite riding the wave of nouveau around here--I think next week's THURTHREE is of necessity going to have to be about old stuff...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 14, 2006 01:41 PM

What did you have in mind, big fella?

Posted by: Janis Gore at September 14, 2006 01:58 PM

You'll just have to wait and see along with everyone else.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 14, 2006 01:59 PM

I meant regarding new products?

Posted by: Janis Gore at September 14, 2006 02:04 PM

Ah, Professor Possum, will I still get credit if I turn my work in late? My brain is hurting like your tooth and I'm less fussy about dirty words coming out of my mouth. So I need a little extra time.

Posted by: Nate at September 14, 2006 02:18 PM

Take your time, Nate--no use worrying yourself into a potty-mouthed frenzy!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 14, 2006 03:05 PM

One of the books I'm reading is actually new. So new my library didn't own it yet and I had to actually buy it.

Posted by: Jordana at September 14, 2006 03:31 PM