Monday, December 2, 2013

Hey, Florida State: Forthcoming Articles Are Not “Recent Publications”

Going though a pile of recent law porn, I came across Florida State College of Law's recent “Faculty Additions (PDF)” mail -out. Semantically speaking, the definitions of the words “recent” and “forthcoming” are kind of mutually exclusive, but that doesn’t stop a lot of schools, like Florida State, from piling on whatever they can:

Full blog post...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Hurricane Season Post-Mortem

I’ve been slacking on my hurricane predictions follow-up - my last season wrap-up was for the 2011 season. The end of the hurricane season this year is getting some press because it has been so underwhelming; by one summary, it was the least intense season in thirty years. Yes, that’s the Atlantic season, but even the tragic Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines wasn’t the record-breaker it initially was represented to be: it was the fourth strongest typhoon ever, and the seventh strongest to hit the Philipines, though you don't see many follow-up stories correcting the earlier hype over it.

Full blog post...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Photoshop Fun

My nephew loves Photoshop now that I demonstrated what we can do with it:

Full blog post...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Possum Numero Quatro

This is, I believe, the fourth possum I've caught in the past year. This time on behalf of a neighbor whose tenants were scared to go out at night.

His little nose is raw from banging it on the cage. He's happy at the park along the river, with possum #3.

Full blog post...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday = Fun Sock Day!

Geeky ties are so passe! Today I’m wearing my new socks! -

Every law librarian needs a pair!

Avalable online at many sites, but I got mine at the SockShop in Monterey, California. It wasn’t even the first sock boutique we saw on that trip.

Full blog post...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Honorary Semper Fi to Tom Clancy

   In the last pages of Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor, a 747 is crashed into the Capital Building just as the President addresses a joint session of Congress and nominates Jack Ryan to be his new Vice President. Ryan and his family barely escape being killed, but the president, most of Congress and the rest of the top level of the federal government die in the ensuing inferno. In the chaos that follows, the Secret Service addresses Ryan as “Mr. President” and he realizes he is now the new leader of the United States. Before he even begins to deal with the attack and his new responsibilities, his immediate concern is more personal:
   “What about my family?” he demanded, now seeing the orange pyre that had been the centerpiece of America’s government only four minutes earlier. “Oh, my God ...”
   “We’ll take them to... to...”
   “Take them to the Marine Barracks at Eighth and I streets. I want Marines around them now, okay?” Later, Ryan would remember that his first presidential order was something from his own past.
   Unlike the movies based on them, in Clancy’s books Ryan was a Marine Platoon Commander for a brief period before injuries cut his military career short. Clancy has said on several occasions that Ryan was his alter-ego, so I think its only fitting that we send him off into the great unknown with an honorary “Semper Fi!”
Full blog post...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Possum Redux (Tridux?)

And "Little Stinky" makes three: the third possum from under our house that I've trapped within the past year:

I didn't have time to run him to City Park like I did with the other two, so he's now happily living along the river at Audubon Park:

Full blog post...

Monday, August 12, 2013

New York Times’ On-Line Revisions: No Notice? No Comment? No Correction?

I thought the New York Times had a policy that, if the on-line version of a story was changed to reflect some error, a note would indicate that at the bottom of the story. And if the error was also in the original print story, the paper would soon publish a correction.  

In Friday’s print edition, David Brooks’ column, The Nudge Debate, focused on possible applications of techniques discussed in Nudge, by Cass Sunstein’s, and which Prof. Sunstein has recently expanded upon in a lecture at Yale (and which will be the subject of his next book, Nanny Statecraft). “Nudge” is all about small measures governments can take to influence public behavior: making organ donation on drivers’ license application forms opt-out, instead of opt-in, that sort of thing. 

In Brooks’ print column, he says the Obama administration has created a “Behavioral Insights Team” to apply such techniques to their policy goals. But the on-line version only says that the administration has “announced that it is creating” such a team. Big, big difference, and no indication in the on-line article, or on the corrections page, about this change:

Did Brooks rush his original column and confused the Behavioral Insights Team established in the UK with possible similar efforts here? Does he do his research at InfoWars.Com? The Obama administration is really just at the applicant solicitation stage. So, New York Times? What’s up with the on-line change and no correction (as of today)?
Full blog post...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekend Plans

I’m thinking about competing in a cross-country backpack trail run this weekend, but I’m worried I might bomb out - I’ve heard those can be a real pressure cooker.
Full blog post...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lil' Baby Possum!

Well, maybe not a baby, but a tiny little fellow - hope it wasn't his mother that I caught back in November.

They're so cute at this age! If that was his mother, they are reunited in City Park:

(Blue marker is our neighborhood, green marker is City Park; red marker is Audubon Park, the closest large park where you would think you would find possums around here.)

Full blog post...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dear NSA

Dear NSA,
   Have a nice day!

- Brian
Full blog post...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Time Magazine 1988: Robert A. Heinlein Obituary

Today is the 25th anniversary of the death of Robert A. Heinlein, one of the greatest scifi authors ever, and a personal favorite of mine. Thanks to my father, I grew up reading his books and still have a shelf full of them. I’ve always recalled a strange thing that Time magazine stuck in his obituary and I looked it up recently to verify my memory:

Yes, they listed time travel as a “future commonplace” that Heinlein included in his fiction. I guess that is, technically, true.

Full blog post...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Third Coolest Temperatures Ever at Jazz Fest

Just like last year’s statistics provided fodder for the anthropological global warming alarmists, this year’s fifth annual update on Jazz Fest temperatures is an example of the other extreme - this was the third coolest Jazz Fest ever.

Full blog post...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Fun at the BP Trial

Its not like I’m reading the BP Trial transcripts religiously, but, as I noted two weeks ago, the web set that Judge Barbier had the e-discovery company and the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee set up to make all the court documents public:

is amazing in its transparency - all daily transcripts are available by the evening of each day of the trial, as are all the exhibits, deposition transcripts, and even videos. After just six weeks of the trial - likely just the half-way point of this phase - the transcripts alone are 8500 pages long. And, by my count, there are over 7000 other documents that have been entered into evidence, or at least posted on the web site.

The trial must be beyond tedious, so I guess its no surprise that the attorneys and staff occasionally try to inject a little levity into the proceedings, like March’s birthday celebration for a court staff member.

Full blog post...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Leonard Cohen Chants a Cat Back to Health

One of the funniest parts of the recent excellent biography:

Full blog post...

Snake and the City

Found this guy dead on the side of St. Charles Ave. near Constantinople:

Full blog post...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Leonard Cohen in New Orleans

After traveling twice to see him - Denver last fall, and Austin in 2009 - tomorrow night Leonard Cohen is playing his first concert ever here in New Orleans.

Full blog post...

BP Trial Documents and Court Staff Birthdays

Today is Day 19 of the BP Trial, which will probably end up being one of the biggest, if not the biggest, environmental law cases ever. Its flying pretty much under the radar nationally, but is in the daily news here in New Orleans.

Full blog post...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Personal Dumbest Video Ever

Last week, I discovered that the glass fixtures on our bathroom light are tuned to the notes of one of the most recognizable pieces of movie music ever. So here’s the world premiere of the James Bond theme played on bathroom lights with a toothbrush:

Full blog post...