« April 21, 2024 | Main | April 23, 2024 »

April 22, 2024

'The Burning Plain' — not time travel, exactly...


This excellent 2009 film gathers power with its revelations as it moves forward and backward in time.


Directed by Guillermo Arriaga (screenwriter for "21 Grams," "Amores Perros," and "Babel"), it features powerful performances from Jennifer Lawrence (before her Academy Award nomination-winning performance in "Winter's Bone"), Kim Basinger, and Charlize Theron, who is superb as a woman tormented by a horrible secret in her past, attempting without success to free herself from its hold on her.


I'd never even heard of this movie until after I watched "Winter's Bone" and saw it among movies recommended for those who liked that film.

I'm thinking it went straight to video, like so many wonderful movies which for one reason or another never make it into theaters or streaming.

Whenever I happen on a film in this fashion — or a book, for that matter — I wonder what the denominator is, i.e., how many hundreds or thousands of other superb works lie buried in obscurity.

To tell you more about this film than I have would potentially give away a mystery that's better seen than read about.

April 22, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

et al — or et al.?


The comment above got my Crack Research Team©®™'s collective baggies in a twist, so much so that they had to be sedated in order to continue working.

Treatment was administered by my Crack Sedation Team®©®™ (heh) and off flew the drilldowners into the minutiae and arcana of proper usage.

Here's what they found:

This discussion finds no exceptions to using a period after "al"

Wikipedia (below) concurs:


At Dictionary.com "et al" appears without a period:


To be fair, it appears with the period as well at Dictionary.com:


and with five as opposed to two results, but the kicker is the final entry above.

The fact that "also et al" became an accepted rendering in 1883 is good enough for me.

Full disclosure: I wasn't sure whether et al, et. al., or et al. was correct when I used the term.

I didn't take the time to look it up because I decided that it 1) et al looked cleaner; 2) I always choose the simplest option if there is one; 3) I unilaterally decided there was an option because so much of proper language seems to be fading into the Strunk & White past.

Consider, for example, how the dash (—), which I was taught by Mrs. Toussaint and Miss Steiger in English class at Washington High School never stood alone but had to be repeated in the same sentence, now rides solo in the New York Times.

And how "not only", which I was taught never, ever appeared without "but also" in the following phrase, now oftimes appears without its former sidekick.

Bottom line: et al is the default usage from this point forward in bookofjoe.

April 22, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

3M 1/4"-wide double-sided clear tape


For as long as I can remember I've had a roll of double-sided Scotch tape (below) for which I find a use every now and then.

It's 1/2"-wide and comes on a roll in a plastic dispenser like regular Scotch tape, only it's sticky on both sides.

IMG_7887 copy

Sometimes I have to tear or cut the tape to make it narrower for the application I'm using it for.

I just happened on the 1/4"-wide version pictured up top and I decided to take a flutter, just because I can.

15-foot-long roll: $3.15.

April 22, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

« April 21, 2024 | Main | April 23, 2024 »