The U.S. Open golf tournament just finished, the NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing, and the Tour de France starts in eleven days. Ahh, relief…. (More)

I’m still researching my thesis on 21st Century Political Nuttitude, but even a squirrel can stomach only so many nuts. That’s especially true when wingnuts are the only items on the news menu, and they have been lately. So I grab a bowl of macadamias from the BPI Kitchen, head back to Árbol Squirrel, and watch sports on my laptop. For a squirrel, that’s like being in a movie theater, but not as deafening. Unless the resident faculty are whooping it up in the hot tub faculty lounge squirrel bath.

This past weekend offered the U.S. Men’s Open golf tournament, which was won by Philadelphia’s Merion Golf Club. The course used narrow fairways, cunning greens, deep bunkers, and rough so thick forecaddies had to mark balls with little flags so players could find them. Those were the only flags, as the pins on the greens were topped with the course’s traditional wicker baskets, in what I’m sure was a subliminal tribute to the players’ mental states.

Just in case, Merion also added rain and wind to the players’ miseries. A rumor that the course would erupt in locusts if anyone reached the final hole under par was, fortunately, never tested. Englishman Justin Rose was the least-damaged survivor, at one-over-par. Another rumor circulated that the USGA will play next year’s U.S. Open at night, in an unmarked wheat field. We’re still waiting for confirmation.

For basketball fans, this year’s NBA Finals pit the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. With a 3:2 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Spurs are poised to win their fifth NBA title. If the Heat come back, it would be their third title in seven years.

And because nothing says “summer in June” like ice hockey, the NHL’s Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are battling it out in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins lead the best-of-seven series 2:1, having won Game 3 last night with no overtime, in what was clearly a programming mistake.

But of course the real news is the 100th running of the Tour de France, which begins on June 29th in Porto-Vecchio, Corsica. This year’s Tour covers 3404 kilometers (2110 miles) in 21 stages, including two trips up the Alpe-d’Huez on Stage 18, perhaps because Le Tour’s organizers watched the U.S. Open.

British sprinter Mark Cavendish hopes to don his first maillot jaune in Le Tour’s opening stage, which has only one small climb early. Cavendish has 23 career Tour stage wins, but has never worn the coveted yellow jersey. This year’s contenders for the overall Tour victory include Critérium du Dauphiné winner Chris Froome, Amgen Tour of California champion Tejay Van Garderen, and Tour de Suisse winner Rui Costa. Vincenzo Nibali, who won this year’s Giro d’Italia, said he will not ride Le Tour, but 2012 Vuelta a España winner and two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador will try to improve on his weak spring performances.

I’m sure this helped you calm down from the news. I can tell by the snoring.

Good day and good nuts.