Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Improve your vocabulary and help the hungry at the same time

The website freerice.com was started by a guy who worked for charitable organizations and wanted to help his kids study for the SATs. They ask you random vocab words, and for each one you get right, they donate rice to the UN World Food Program (or "Programme" since the UN uses standard international spelling for their "organisations").

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Amazon.com bought the $4 million copy of the fairy tales from Harry Potter (that Dumbledore left to Hermoine in his will, in case you don't remember). And while they couldn't print the text of the fairy tales on the website, for obvious copyright issues, they do have synopses of each of the stories. Clearly they will be published at some point, but since when that will be is unknown, for now everyone can just be content with the redacted version.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I seemed to have missed the news

I was recently driving behind a truck that listed the states where the company that owned the truck did business. A common enough practice, I'll grant you. Now this particular list included CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, and VA - all well and good. It also included DC, which while not a state is a state-like entity. But then the list also included the Hamptons. Excuse me. The last time I checked, the Hamptons were part of New York. Did they break off from New York and form their own state without telling anyone? It just seemed an odd editorial choice as I was sitting behind the truck in traffic.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Hannuka

I forgot to say it yesterday, so I'll say it today for the second night. Happy Hannuka to everyone.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Some things just need labels

S and I were putting up our grandmother's Christmas decorations today, and included among the decorations was the new nativity scene that we had gotten her last year (her old one was down to only having one wise man). So Jesus and Mary were pretty easy to figure out, as they were the only baby and woman, respectively. And we figured out two of the wise men (one had a king-like mitre on his head and one had a walking staff, as if he had perhaps followed the star of Bethlehem for a while) and we got which one was the shepherd. But then we were left with two people and we didn't know which one was Joseph and which one was the third wise man. So we made the executive decision that the one kneeling in adoration was the third wise man, but it would have been helpful if the proper designation to each of the figurines was written on the bottom.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This is awesome!

Having never gone to a Wesleyan football game, I don't know what they came up with for the halftime shows. But I bet it can't even hold a candle to this homage to classic video games.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Etymology is fun

I learned where the term "indenture" (as in indentured servant) comes from. Apparently in medieval times, after the fall of classical feudalism, but before the rise of the nation state with a standing army, when a king had to raise an army for every campaign, he would contract with each lord to get the services of the lord and his assorted underling soldiers. When they would write up the contract, they would then cut it in half in a wavy pattern (or "indented"), so when they were put together people knew they had the both halves of the same contract. The lord would then be "indentured" to the king for the length of the campaign (or contract life).

I learned this from the book I'm currently reading about the battle of Agincourt. Other funny things about the preparations for the campaign, Henry brought two almoners with him to France. Those were the people in charge of managing his alms giving. And he also brought 18 minstrels, because no self-respecting medieval monarch or aristocrat would ever go anywhere without his band of minstrels.

I don't care for the Southwest

My cousin got married this weekend in Phoenix, and we went out there for the wedding. It was very nice. The bride looked pretty in her dress. It was funny that the only people not bowing their heads in prayer or reciting the Lord's prayer were the Jews (my cousin has Jewish relatives on his dad's side also, so we weren't the only Jews there). And we got to sit with people who were actually interesting at the reception, so we could have a conversation over dinner that wasn't awkward and wierd.

But I hadn't been out to Arizona since I was 10 (my relatives usually come east for things instead of us going west), and there were some things that I had forgotten about the Southwest, or didn't notice when last I was there, and I found them disconcerting:
A) It was an outdoor ceremony at which I was concerned that I was going to get sunburned because I didn't bring any sunscreen. Why did I not bring sunscreen? Because it's November. Veterans' Day isn't the holiday where you should be worried about getting too much sun.
B) Arizona is a desert. If people are going to live in the desert, they should embrace it. That means there should not be a giant waterfall at the entrance to every subdivision. There also do not need to be huge water traps and grass so green as to make the Irish jealous on every golf course. There should be desert landscaping that conserves water.
C) While I understand that there are no natural boudaries to the urban sprawl out there, it is unnecessary to make things so far apart. There will be a subdivision, and then miles of desert, and then another random subdivision just randomly plunked down in the middle of nowhere. If things are built nominally closer together, it makes them more convenient and requires less driving (since it's not like anything there is built to have a pedestrian area).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another day of civic responsibility

Today was the general election in Baltimore. I had completely forgotten about it until my dad asked me at dinner if I had voted yet. So I went out and performed my civic responsibility. The people at the polling station were very excited to have someone come in, since it was empty when I got there. No one really remembered about it, since there was no campaigning or anything. Accordign to the woman who checked me in, someone else came in who had already fixed himself a highball for the evening when his son asked him if he had voted. On the up side, though, I learned the name of the Republican candidate for mayor so I could then not vote for him. Fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Solar Decathalon

Last week on the Mall the Department of Energy had a competition for people (university groups) to build solar powered homes. They had to make the homes functional and livable (though not necessarily affordable, so some of the houses are really expensive given the amount of house you would be getting). It's a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately, I didn't find out about it until after it was over, so I couldn't go down to Washington to see it. But the competition website has pictures and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer did a report on it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

And the judge went in for that

I was in court yesterday - pretrial motions. One of the other cases on the docket was setting their trial date. And the defense counsel had possibly the best reason ever why the trial couldn't start the day after the Superbowl. His wife is the chief legal counsel for the NFL players union, and she has to go to the game. So he also has to go to be his wife's (and this is a direct quote) "cabana boy". So they had to pick another day to start the trial.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

creepy and weird

I was at a student's house this evening, and a guy came and knocked on the door. He said he was from the power company and that he needed them to turn off everything electrical in the house so he could read the meter box. That seemed an odd request, since why did he have to come at all to do a meter reading, and why was he there at 6 in the evening. But the brother of my student was talking to their dad at the time and the dad said that he didn't know anything about a guy from the power company coming. So he called Pepco, and they didn't know anything about it, which doesn't bode well. So obviously the next thing he did was call the police. So we sat barricaded in the house waiting for the police to come as this guy wandered around the yard trying to get our attention. And then the power went out, so we were a little concerned that he was going to murder us while we sat there at teh dining room table, or something like that. So eventually the police got there, and the dad got home from work (the mom had taken the youngest kid to soccer practice or some such activity), and the guy left. But it was very disturbing while it was all going on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Happy Reading

This week is Banned Books Week. In its honor, everyone should try and read at least one book that has been banned at some point. To help with your reading selection, here is the list of the 100 most challenged books of the 1990s. It's not that they were necessarily written in the '90s. It was just that people decided they hated them in the '90s. So have fun taking a stand against censorship.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

For your consideration

As requested, here are some pictures of sukkot from around town. We (S, Yule, and I) went on a little odyssey around town to get some pictures for everyone, before other people showed up for dinner. We did, however, forget to get a picture of our own sukka until it was too dark, and as I own neither a camera nor a camera phone (these pictures were taken on S's phone), I need to wait for her to come back up to the B-more to take the picture. But one is forthcoming, so not to worry.

This is the one at the strip mall. The stores on either side are both kosher resaurants, one is meat and one is dairy.

This one, when S got out of the car to take the picture, the guy came out of his house to tell her that his dog wouldn't bite her. But we also think he found her crazy, because she was taking a picture of his sukka on her phone.

And these three are all the sukka at our old school. It's off the back of the cafeteria, so the kids can eat lunch there from school. It used to be bigger when we went to school there, before they built the new auditorium. That got built in the courtyard where the cafeteria opens to, so that cut into the space available. Many of the decorations are made by students. The decorations on the back wall there include the decorations from the nursery school kids, one of whom is S's and my cousin. His is clearly the best semi-circle piece of paper colored in yellow to look like a banana.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Amusing Sukkot sightings

In honor of everyone's favorite Jewish holiday, I thought I would tell you about some sukkot around town. One of the kosher restaurants in town (that caters mostly to a lunch crowd) has a sukka on the sidewalk at their strip mall. I guess that way people can have their soup and salad outside in the sukka. There is also a sukka where the family, in attempt to make it just like their home, is flying an American flag from it, which isn't a combination one sees very often.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and I'm sure everyone celebrated. But just on the off chance that you missed it, I give you the only religion to celebrate the holiday - the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was founded by Oregonians, so you present and past Oregonians can feel proud about that. Their eight not-quite-commandments are pretty good guidelines to live by. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the main page about the church, you can see a picture of the FSM billboard in Baltimore. I feel that the Baltimore Synod is composed entirely of Hopkins grad students.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy New Year

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy 5768. I know everyone is having a good time for Rosh Hashanah.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The beauty of the one party system

I went and voted this morning in the mayoral primary. (The Baltimore mayor's race is an off year election for a reason that no one understands, and when they tried to change it, the Speaker of the House of Delegates wouldn't let them because he didn't like the then-mayor, now-governor, and so the primary was 14 months before the general election.) This being Baltimore, a city that hasn't had a single Republican councilman since the Depression, the primary is the de facto election. In fact, in the election coverage from the Sun, the profiles of the candidates only break them down by position (there are also the city council elections), not party. Because there's no coverage of the Republicans. Candidates' campaign literature doesn't even say their party affiliation, since it's already known. And this election is discussed like it's the general election, since that only exists as a formality. It just makes everything so much easier, since now all the campaigning is done. There will be a little bit of reminding people of there civic responsibility come November, but no campaigning. Everything's just done now, with little mess or fuss.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

this is so cool

A woman in England who got a heart transplant now has her biological heart in a museum exhibit about the human body. So she can go to the museum and see her own heart that was removed from her chest. That's even cooler than going to a museum and seeing a piece of art that you made hanging there (or so I would assume, as neither of those two things has ever happened to me). Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The lengths some people will go to for our entertainment

I've begun watching Planet Earth, the BBC nature series. It's awesome, by the way, so if you're into nature shows (and, really, who isn't) I recommend putting it on your movie queue. I've only gotten through the first disc so far, but I've started to notice a trend of craziness among the filmmakers.

The way each hour long episode is broken up is that there is 45 minutes of regular episode, and then 15 minutes of "Planet Earth Diaries", where they tell you a story about some aspect of filming that particular episode. The three episodes on disc one were "from pole to pole" (the introduction), "mountains", and "fresh water". The diary for "pole to pole" was about the camera they used that was originally developed as a spy camera, so they can film from really high up so they don't disturb the animals, which is kind of cool. For "mountains" they were talking about how while they were trying to film snow leopards in the Himalayas, they had to wait for the okay from the coalition forces before they continued up the Pakistan-Afghan border, because the army couldn't have them treking across terrain where they were looking for al Qaeda cells. And in "fresh water" the divers were getting a little disspirited in their quest to swim with/film Amazonian pirhanas in a feeding frenzy, but their morale was boosted when on one dive, a local gator started inspecting around the diver/cameraman's head. See, these were safe gators to be diving with because they are a species that only gets up to 2.5 meters long, and you don't need to start worrying about the gators until they get to be 3 meters long. I enjoy nature programs, but I don't need the film crews to be killed by terrorists or eaten alive by aligators just for my viewing pleasure. That being said, though, crazy people who are willing to do things like that get really good footage.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vatican Air

The Vatican has started a new charter service to take Catholic pilgrims to various shrines. I'm sure they have a very thorough screening process to ensure that the people getting on the flights are actually Catholic and are intending to go on an actual pilgrimage, not just a cheap flight for their vacation. And it seems like the stewardesses chould be nuns, which is quite the image. Here's the follow up article with more about it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

traffic calming devices

There was a sign for "traffic calming devices" at an intersection that I pass all the time. They will be installed on or about May 8, 2006, which means it's been there for about a year and a half, and I had never seen it before. But anyway, what is a traffic calming device? Does that mean speed hump (the ones that are wider than regular speed bumps and aren't painted yellow)? Or is it something else? At any rate, it's a funny term.

The Magic Flute

We went to see the Magic Flute yesterday. It was lovely. The singing was good (even the kids who weren't quite together were at least cute), the costumes were a nice nod to period costumes, and the sets were appropriately background-y. In all, it was a nice evening out. Besides, who doesn't love some good glockenspiel music?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The international language of. . . baseball?

America has a goodwill ambassador of baseball. It's Cal Ripken. I guess it's like being a UN goodwill ambassador, except instead of promoting the end of world hunger, or whatever it is that Angelina Jolie does, he's promoting baseball. Almost the same thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A for effort

I made bread. My attempts at bread making tend to be a bit hit or miss. I don't what it is about bread, but I just can't make a consistent product. Oh well. Anyway, this particular loaf didn't quite want to rise properly. I don't know why. It's certainly warm and humid enough. So the finished product was a little dense (and a bit on the dry side, but it did include corn meal, so that makes most things dry), but not terrible. And it does go well with butter and jam, so it'll get eaten. And there's always next time to do better.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I was promised 3-D

We went to see Harry Potter at the IMAX yesterday. That meant going to Chantilly, VA, which is really far away. And, as it turns out, amazingly sketchy - that not being the point. The battle at the Ministry was supposed to be in 3-D. But the screen at the Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center (or the "auxilliary location" as most people consider it) doesn't have a realy IMAX screen. It's just really big. But it isn't the kind that starts wrapping aroung the walls, which is what allows them to project in 3-D. So it was really big, but the picture was still flat. For all the time it took to get out past Dulles airport, I was expecting more, and I am quite upset about it. Damn you, Smithsonian Institution.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


I've given you all a day to have read it. If you haven't finished reading, stop reading this now (you shouldn't be reading this now anyway, because you should be reading Harry Potter). I, as was predicted, read it on Saturday. Other people at the bar exam had also taken a study break on Saturday to read it, so I was not the only one. I haven't finished my reread to get the details that I missed on the first go round, but I am taking it slower this time.

Overall it was amazing. The fact that they were moving arond the whole time, rather than always being at Hogwarts added a whole new dimension to the story. But naturally, the big climax had to still be at the school. I cried when Harry saw his parents, Sirius, and Lupin in the Forest with the resurrection Stone, and during the epilogue when he and Ginny had their kids, James, Albus, and Lily. I also screamed out loud when Molly cursed at Bella, both because it was so out of character and because I couldn't believe the publishers let Jo get away with that. I had some other moments when I reacted out loud (like when Dumbledore told Snape that Harry was a horcrux and was going to have to die, even though I was totally prepared for Harry to die - but YAY! he didn't), but that was the only time that it was an actual shriek.

I appreciated when Neville got to have his "Gryffindor" moment and stand up to Voldemort, because he'd been working towards that for such a long time. Also the line when they turned into Harry with the Polyjuice potion at the Dursleys' house and they were changing their clothes, and Harry felt they were being a little free with his body and he wouldn't have done that - how not true is that statement?

I do have to say, though, that I was a little unfulfilled by the ending to the Dursleys' story. I kept waiting for them to come back and for there to be some sort of resolution. But none ever came. Hopefully when the encyclopedia gets written, we'll find out what happened to them.

And for those who want to know what the trio does for a living once they get to be adults - Harry and Ron are aurors (Harry is of course in charge of the auror office) and Hermione is a lawyer with the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. It had to be edited out of the epilogue to make it more readable.

Any discussion that anyone would like to start about the book, please feel free.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm ready to be done

My brain is full and it hurts because of that. I'm ready for the bar exam to be over so that I can forget all of it.

Good luck to everyone taking the exam. I know everyone will do well.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus

That's all I have to say about that.

And Dr Who (aka evil Death Eater Barty Crouch Jr.) found the end quite sad. No, it's not a spoiler. I don't read them and even if I did, like I would be that mean spirited as to give them to other people. I'm not the New York Times.

Model answers are excessively complete

Continuing on in the theme of getting annoyed with exam prep, the model answers for the essay questions are too complete without enough guidelines. I understand that they need to put everything into the model answer so that they can tell everyone whether what they thought of is right or not. But there should be astrixes or something to say which are the really important points. Clearly in a question that regards adverse possession, I would need to discuss the elements of adverse possession and how Ned Neighbor really did or did not fulfill all the requirements to adversely possess that three foot wide strip of land that his vegetable garden is planted on. But do I really need to have a complete discussion of whether he now has marketable title to that land. It's just a simple statement of law - "Maryland recognizes adversely possessed title as marketable." Why are they trying to make me think that I need a full discussion of that point when it seems to me that that one sentence covers what I need to say so I can move on in the 25 minutes I have to write each essay.

Monday, July 16, 2007

employment certification for the bar

The board of law examiners has decided to inform me that the certification that I had sent from Kaplan was insufficient. Even though it's all one company that I worked for from 2003 to 2007, it isn't good enough to just have one person say that. No, I need to have someone from each center where I worked say that I worked there (which includes more than one center in MD). Like the people in MD are even going to remember me 3 years later. And to make it even better, all the individual tutoring in the Baltimore-DC area is coordinated out of one office. When I worked there, it was actually in the District. But in the three years since, it has moved to VA. So now the bar people are going to have another thing to be upset about, because I'm going to say that I worked in DC, but the address is going to be in VA. Ironically, I never actually tutored any kids in DC, but did tutor at least one kid in VA.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The most super-fantastically amazing thing EVER (at least for the next week and a half)

S and I just got back from seeing Harry Potter. It was so good. It was a little disconcerting that the scenes jumped from one to another really fast, but that work with the movie, since they were working off of the theme of things spiralling out of control. And I think the way they did the legilimency scenes worked well with using footage from the older movies.

But the best part - by far - was the battle at the ministry. Lots of tension. The effects all worked. And I chewed the crap out of my straw getting into the scene. (As did S, so good thing she got two straws). And I didn't start crying when Sirius died, which was when I thought I would. I got a little choked up then, but the tears didn't start until the part where Voldemort possessed Harry. All I can say is OMG. That's going to be awesome in 3-D. (Unfortunately the 3-D viewing will have to wait until after the bar exam, since the closest imaxes where it's playing are in Chantilly and Harrisburg and that would make for a mighty long trip when I'm supposed to be studying) If you haven't gone to see it yet, you so need to. It will just blow you away.

Friday, July 6, 2007

encounters with the rich and famous

This is mostly for Fuzzy and Panda, but for any other fans of SportsNight, you'll appreciate this also. I was at Starbucks today studying, and as I was packing up to leave who can in? Josh Charles. Since my friendly neighborhood Starbucks is also his parents friendly neighborhood Starbucks, and he must be visiting them. I didn't feel the need to talk to him though, since I don't have much else to say to him other than "I've seen you on tv."

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Words do have meanings, you know

I'm not entirely sure that the people at Blockbuster online speak English. I sent them an email about the fact that they sent me an extra movie. It came from the fact that they credited me with having returned a movie that is still sitting in my house. And I felt that I should be honest about the fact that I'm getting an extra movie. The automated response that I got back didn't quite respond to my missive, as I was just informing them of the situation. They commiserated with me about how frustrating this could be. Um, frustrating? Really? I would hardly say I'm frustrated about having an extra movie. Nor would I think that anyone else would be. I mean, it's not like they weren't sending me the movie that was #1 on my queue for 3 months or anything. If they're going to use automated responses, they should use ones that make sense.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's coming

I got my seat assignment today for the bar exam. It's almost like the exam is really in a month. And the Board of Law Examiners finally got my transcript. That only took two attempts. Life is exciting as it hurtles towards possibly the last standardized test I'll ever have to take.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Does this qualify as abusive litigation?

The administrative judge who was suing his dry cleaners for $54 million lost. Not that the pants themselves was worth $54 million. That was just his pain and suffering of having to buy a new suit. The dry cleaners tried to settle, but he would have none of that. He was really attached to those pants. Though not so attached that he wasn't willing to come down from his original demand of $67 million. I guess he could drop that extra 13 mill when he remembered that these were only the diamond studded pants, and not actually the diamond encrusted pants.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Reasons why my sister is a loser

In another Harry Potter related post (it's quite the Harry Potter summer, so don't act like you're surprised), Scholastic is having a coast to coast tour of the Knight Bus. S and I were going to go tomorrow to see it at the Bethesda public library, but she has to start her LSAT class (like anyone would want to go to law school. I don't know what that's all about). Anyway, we couldn't go on Saturday. I had BarBri in the morning (contracts was Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then we had off this morning. That could have been scheduled better), so we couldn't make it to the New Carrollton library, and in the afternoon it was at the Oxon Hill library, and we decided that it wasn't worth dying over. (For those of you unfamiliar with lovely Prince George's County, MD - New Carrollton, nice, Oxon Hill, the ghetto) But this does mean that I don't get to go and see it, since it seems like something that really should be done with another person.

It will be coming to St Louis, on Thursday 6/28. It will not be in Denver, Portland, or Missoula. Though I presume it will be passing through the greater Denver area, just not making a stop, as the next stop after StL is Phoenix (obviously they had to go there). So if anyone in St Louis would like to go, perhaps get a picture. . . It's not like you were going to be studying that afternoon anyway.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Harry Potter on Slate

Slate has their version of how Deathly Hallows will end. Like the Sopranos, since wizards in England and gangsters in New Jersey are really just different manifestations of the same story line.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Funny crimes that one can commit in Maryland

We had our lecture today on the MD distinctions in crim law. Why that lecture came on a completely different day than multistate crime, when every other section managed to have multistate and local at the same time, no one really understands. But anyway...

In Maryland, one can commit fourth degree robbery of the "rogue and vagabond" variety (actually how it is classified). Adultery is a misdemeanor punishable by a $10 fine - which probably wouldn't even cover the administrative costs. And vehicular crimes include boats, so marine traffic violations also go to traffic court.

Also, not having anything to do with crim law, but just BarBri in general. Russel McGeorge is taking the MD bar, and I saw him in class the other day. I had what I would say was the longest conversation I've ever had with him then (I would clock it in at a generous minute and a half). Wierd.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

This American Life goes to summer camp

On this week's episode of This American Life, they had a story about the pivital role that summer camp plays in kids' lives. The main part of the story was pretty entertaining, but the best part came during the stories that listeners called in to tell about their summer camp experiences.

One woman called in to tell a story about her parents didn't want to send her to camp because they were leftists and thought that the girl scouts were just brown shirts. (Clearly her parents should have sent her to Habonim camp instead). So they sent her to a leftist Zionist camp. (Yay! They did send her to Habonim camp) So one day at camp the counselors staged an anti-Semitic attack on the camp to teach an important political lesson to the kids (though the counselor told her that "wouldn't it have been better to just keep her mouth shut" though speaking out like the counselors would have seemed to have been the point of the exercise.) And all I have to say is that I can so see that activity being planned, right down to the people being dressed up as Klansmen. Because it would be a valuable learning experience.

But just so you don't think camp totally screws people up, we did have some bounds when I went to camp. While we would have had the learn about anti-Semitism activity, we would draw the line at activities like lead the kids out into the woods and leave them there. They can find their way back. But while they're working on that, there will be some other counselors hiding in the woods, who can jump out from behind the trees and scare the crap out of the kids. Suggestions like that are usually made by Israeli counselors and are then shot down by the Americans who realized that that was a terrible idea.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

But wait!! There's more!!

We had our corporations lecture today in bar review class. And the guy giving the lecture was really upbeat. Selling steak knives on late night tv upbeat. He also could have been a motivational speaker or a televangelist. They're all in that same vein of peppy. He's definitely been the craziest we've had so far. Even outstripping the property/secured transactions lecturer (it was the same person for both) who made a certain Trusts and Estates professor look sane - at least Foster didn't sing to go along with her excessive number of pop culture references. We also had the crim law guy who referred to us collectively as "Now, Marylanders." It remains to be seen how the upcoming lecturers will fare.

Friday, June 1, 2007

School rankings

Newsweek has a ranking of the top 100 research universities in the world. WashU is, apparently, number 33.

Other rankings that people might care about -
13. University of Pennsylvania
22. University of Washington
39. New York University
51. University of Colorado

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The continuing case of Crazy v Harry Potter

The Georgia woman who wants Harry Potter taken out of her kids' school library has lost her appeal. She's already gone through the entire appeals process for her local board of ed, and lost all along the way. But she's not giving up hope. Because, apparently, people want to "know where God is, and he's still there. They just can't find him," she said tearily.

Honestly, the crazies of the world need to learn that if there's a book they don't want to read, or a tv show or movie they don't want to watch, no one is forcing them to. They can just read some other book and leave every one else alone. I think most kids can sufficiently separate fiction from reality to realize that the broom in their kitchen can't fly and that they can't turn their pet guinea pig into a water goblet.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Some people lead such deprived lives

I know that I'm a sci-fi geek. And that I was raised by sci-fi geeks. (I think my dad was the person who single handedly kept Enterprise on the air) But I didn't realize there could be people who actually hadn't seen Star Wars. How is that even possible? But it does make for some entertaining reading.

Losing my Star Wars virginity

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On the campaign trail

As the 2008 presidential campaign begins to dominate more of our air time, let us not forget the local races that are also important. After all, it is the local races where voters can often make a bigger impact.

Vote Ham Sandwich

I don't know if I can support this candidate on religious grounds, but I appreciate what Ham is bringing to local Virginia politics.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The woes of finding bar review class

So bar review class started today. I had quite the time finding it. I knew where the university was (having lived in the city practically all of my life), but I didn't know which specific building to go to. So I asked the parking lot attendant in the gate house. He told me to go to the building "over there across the street." I said, "The one on the corner there?" He said, "No. Across the street." So I went to the building he told me to, which was the law school building. So things seemed okay. When I asked the person at the front desk where the auditorium was, he told me to go out of the building and to the left. Go half a block, and I would find it. Half a block from the door he told me go go out through was the middle of an intersection - clearly no auditorium there. Another half a block further was the student services building. Bookstore and coffee shop, but still no auditorium. If I made another left, I got to the administration building - financial aid office and the like. I decided to ask a third person where I was supposed to go. That person was finally able to point me to the correct building. And what building was it, you ask? Why it was "the one on the corner." Yes, the one I thought it was in the first place. Awesome.