Monday, April 30, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007


I totally want to live here!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"I'm So Excited. I'm So... Scared!"

We knew caffeine was dangerous.... But it's what it does on the inside that's most destructive.

"That is at best misleading, and at worst outright Pelagianism."

How often do you get to throw that down in an argument? Not enough, clearly.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's April 20!

What should I do?

"Bespectacled cynics prone to neuroses who are actually doing just fine"

That's NPR's audience, right there.

[HT: Douthat, on Sullivan.]

UPDATE: Oh, and Wikipedia links to this delightful bit of scandalmongering about Glass's unsuitability as a life partner. From 1998! (Well, only part of it's scandalmongering, really.)

Here's the best bit:
"Get this," says Barry. "He dumps me and does this radio piece about getting his hair cut. That is Ira to a T. You know what he used to call me? He used to call me his 'little ghetto girl!' We were reading the New York Times one morning a couple of weeks in, and he looked at me and said, 'You don't know what the IMF is, do you?'"
Wow. You can taste the condescension. He should give a master class.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tragedy in Real Time

A striking account of NBC's handling of materials from the Virginia Tech murderer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

He's Man's Best Friend

Found this in the Office of Career Services. (Kidding.)

More Regulations on Gun Reporting Now!

An idea whose time has come.

[I know, "whose" is improper, but that's the expression.]

I Agree with Simon Cowell

If he did roll his eyes at the contestant, he was right. Coming as soon as it did on the heels of obvious criticism, contestant Chris Richardson's sudden shout-out on the Virginia Tech tragedy seems like an attempt to dodge the criticism. And an unseemly one, at that. Richardson had apparently intended to mention it, so it may just be a case of unfortunate timing.... Still, tsk tsk.

A Thought

So now that the Dems are in control of the Senate, will Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens resign? Having been appointed by Ford, and being a Republican himself, the liberal jurist has apparently said he would prefer to have his successor appointed by a Republican president. With the Senate in Democratic hands, however, any misgivings Stevens might have about his replacement's philosophy being sharply divergent from his own would be assuaged somewhat. And it's anyone's guess, at this remove, what party will hold the White House beyond 2008.

So is a retirement coming down the pike?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

US Passports: Now 20% More Patriotic!

I'm surprised we didn't hear more about this sooner.


Science can be neat, man.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More on Murphy

Glenn Reynolds has some thoughts.

"A Joint in One Hand, the Koran in the Other"

There's no God but Allah, man! Best quotes:

  • "My child will learn to roll joints and smoke at the age of six."

  • "How can you outlaw weed? God orders us to smoke it."

  • "Friends, you can't take away the gun on a Muslim's belt, the horse beneath him or the joint in his hand."

HT: Sullivan.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Why No Fly?

Orin Kerr sounds a note of caution about the Walter F. Murphy affair. All the same, based on what we know at least, a net that catches this guy is almost certainly cast far too widely.

No Apology Needed - I'll Sue Anyway

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment for a store owner in a case where a customer was offended by a clerk's racial slur. Another clerk and a sales manager immediately apologized, the offending clerk was fired, and the store repeatedly made other gestures of consolation as well. Yet the Eighth Circuit reversed because it thought a jury might be able to find the store negligent anyway.

PS, the suit is for $5 million.

The Eternally Relevant Hayek

Virginia Postrel notes that Friedrich Hayek's ideas on the state and the economy were all the more a revelation as they came in an intellectual environment that was hostile to free markets generally. How far we've come.

Online Poll Chicanery

An online March Madness poll to assess the "coolest law school" has been removed because of "a number of gaming attempts." The final poll was between NYU and Michigan; it was parallel to another bracket, UVA and Georgetown. (Totally UVA - although the notion that any law student or school is in any way "cool" is kind of absurd.)

According to the poll system host,
[a]t least 4 different automated scripts were being run to try to influence vote totals beginning earlier today.

The scripts were starting to cause severe performance problems for the site. We attempted to block by IP the attempts but whoever was behind one or more of the scripts kept moving to new machines. We finally were forced to delete the poll to end the problem completely.
The poll's sponsor,, is understandably peeved:
Jeez, people. We're very disappointed in you. This is a sad commentary on ethics within the legal profession -- as well as the coolness of law students and/or lawyers. Don't you people have anything better to do than cheat in a silly online poll?

We've asked for more details about the cheating from the Vizu folks (and we may disqualify one or both schools depending upon what we learn). We will keep you posted.
I know more about this than I'm saying.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Le Pen's Offices Destroyed

There was a riot. It got ugly.

Hat tip: Joe.

Spousal Unions in New Hampshire

The House of Representatives in the Granite State - the third-largest legislature in the English-speaking world, incidentally - overwhelmingly approved a bill that would create "spousal unions," its own version of civil unions. If approved by the Senate and the governor, it would give gay couples all the rights of marriage, while retaining for straight couples only the moniker itself. The bill would also allow for recognition of lawful civil unions and marriages from other states as well.

This is typical New Hampshire: tolerant, fair-minded, and above all sensible. This is the spirit that makes me love the state. (Here's the bill, appropriately laconic.)

I hope it passes. It should make for some interesting questions once the presidential hopefuls start to stump there in earnest! Mitt Romney, in particular, should come out looking like a Gordian knot, as is his wont.

Law Prof and Korean War Vet - On the Terrorist Watch List?

Apparently so. It bothers me greatly to see that government officials feel no restraint in noting one person's perfectly ordinary political views when it comes to identifying "terrorists." It's not as if the guy was even some kind of apologist for Islamic fundamentalism. Shameful.

How To Work Without Even Trying

Ah, the life of the eye candy at Abercrombie & Fitch!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Incog Impresario

Joshua Bell goes undercover to see if commuters will recognize beauty when they hear it. So is it art if it lacks a frame?

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Plea for Plain Language law school essays, from Volokh.


So some Filipino fellows are in the habit of getting nailed to a cross every Lent. The best quote, though, was this:
"They take this religion to the extreme," observed Gomas de Miguel, a tourist from Spain. "In Spain, we say we are Catholics but we don't do this anymore I think."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

"Reports of My Death Are Premature"

So says Alex Ross, sub nom. classical music generally. The decline and fall of classical music is one of the hoariest old chestnuts around, and yet reporters have no hesitation whatsoever in simply assuming it's true.

A State Is Trying to Set Its Own Foreign Policy (Again)

California is looking to divest from Iran with respect to its pension investments. Unfortunately, they are probably preempted from doing so by the "dormant foreign affairs" clause of the Constitution; Massachusetts and Illinois both learned the hard way that there are strict limits on the states' ability to meddle in foreign matters.

Perhaps Congress can authorize, to a very limited extent, the exercise of such soft power on the part of states? It would allow them to establish policies that are preferred by their citizens, while ensuring that national foreign policy is not compromised. This would require very narrow tailoring, however; for instance, a ban on investment in the state of capital from a target country cannot be permitted.

"Please Fetch Your Can"

Just another workday for Big Brother.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Yale Students Arrested for Burning US Flag

So says Reuters. Two of the three were foreign students, and they burned a flag that was flying on private property. (Should the headline have given some indication of this? Maybe, maybe not.)

Why, That's a Pretty Picture

Fountain near Café Gellert, Budapest, Hungary. September 2006.

In Stock Markets, Europe Overtakes America

So says The Financial Times. For the first time since the First World War, apparently. Note that the figure includes Russia and non-EU states in Eastern Europe; I'd be curious to see what the figure is for EU-based stock markets alone. But I'm sure it's at least comparable with America's; after all, how big can the Russian stock market be? Honestly.


A (not so) new study shows that hunger stimulates the brain. I always felt that I can focus better on tests when I skip breakfast. Take that, conventional wisdom!

Yes, I got this via Althouse.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Question

Who made Whoopi Goldberg popular? Who?

Context Is Everything

I seem to remember a darker storyline. But hey, what do I know about romantic comedies?

Monday, April 2, 2007

If You Lie with the Logs...'ll rise with the feces. Yes, I came up with that myself.

Marijuana 0 - No-Doze 1

The inanity of our drug laws continues apace.

In fairness, it may just be a freak occurrence. But doesn't this just underscore that the toxicity of marijuana is far, far below the toxicity of caffeine? (To say nothing of all other drugs, including alcohol?)

I think it does, even though it's just anecdotal. I can't even see a freak occurrence like this with marijuana.

European Commission Investigating Apple

...regarding iTunes and antitrust laws, apparently. Though there is this paragraph:
The Commission’s main concern is that iTunes’ current set-up in the European market prohibits users in one country from downloading music from a website intended to serve another country. Its move against Apple and the music groups was triggered by a 2004 complaint from a British consumer organisation criticising the fact that the UK version of iTunes was more expensive than Apple’s product in other European markets.
This sounds like it's more a question of consumers' free market rights than an antitrust issue. I wonder what's going on here?

UPDATE It's competition (European for antitrust). Of course, the source for this story is... the story above. Hm.