Monday, December 31, 2007

There was a man whose name was Lang, and he had a neon sign..
And Mister Lang was very old...
So they called it Old Lang's Sign!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Where I live, there's clouds and urban light pollution, but if you live somewhere where you can see the night sky, check out Mars this week. Brightest "star", slightly pink.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Court upholds sentence of tax opponent. Link.
Irwin Schiff is a past candidate for president. I had dinner with him once, and a former client of mine used to date him. The book of his that I bought and tried to read was nonsense. But he's sincere, and a nice guy. If they make a movie about him, Danny Devito would get his part. As time goes on, more of my friends end up jailed or killed by the government, if they speak out about what's wrong with the country.

Hawaiian stone soup:
When I went to hawaii a year ago, I brought back a soupstone.
The idea is from an old russian folk tale. wikipedia.
Tonight it went in the crockpot (slow cooker to y'all) with carrots okra green beans zuke tomato sassafras and red curry paste - I'm eating the first bowl now.
I used to have a blog for a diary of what I cook, but I haven't kept it up.

Word for the day: vervetish.
Like a vervet, which is a kind of monkey common in South Africa.
It's a real world, but it's only ever used once, on page 159 of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. That's roughly book 50.
…anthropologists who study vervets find that these kinds of monkeys are really bad at picking up the significance .... This doesn’t mean that vervets are stupid: they are very sophisticated when it comes to questions that have to do with other vervets… a vervet, in other words, is very good at processing certain kinds of vervetish information, but not so good at processing other kinds of information.
My sister gave me the book for christmas. It's wonderful. It's a fun read, a pageturner, and it tells a story about how social changes happen fast. One sub-story is about Paul Revere and his midnight ride, and how and why Paul won the battle that started the war that started this country. He wasn't just some guy with a horse.
His thesis (Gladwell, not the horse) is that tipping points come from communicators and mavens and contexts.
That doesn't make sense yet, but it's worth reading the book to find out what he means.
When I came to the word "vervetish" I got up out of bed and googled it. There's only three hits, and all of them are quoting Gladwell. When it comes to vervetishness, Gladwell is the tipping point. Pretty soon we'll all be saying it. Or not.

Update: a second use documented: my sister writes
We went camping yesterday and brought our coke can stove which an ex-marine survival guy made for us - here's a different but similar video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBvZPEcpNRE&NR=1
Pretty cool - we use "Heet" car stuff for fuel. Came in handy during a recent storm and day and a half power outage (our gas stove worked but we didn't know it at first).
A lot of people here seem to be into end of the world as we know it type survival gear. Mauians can possibly be somewhat vervetish...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Orangina commericals.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dress code suit costs couple $40,931.50
Anderson plaintiffs' predicament illustrates the risks of being your own lawyer...
I find this article very troubling. On the other hand, I haven't read the opinion.
Judge Tinder, meanwhile, has been promoted to the 7th circuit.
OK, now I've read the opinion. IP 07-0936-C T/L Bell v Anderson Comm. Schools, at http://www.insd.uscourts.gov/. There doesn't seem to be any more direct link. I did not see posted any entry on legal fees, so there may be more documents I haven't read.
Plaintiffs had a legitimate case that the 9th amendment protects their right to dress themselves. It might not win, but it's a nonfrivolous claim. Similarly, they raised First amendment grounds and cited to Tinker, and raised state constitutional claims, again nonfrivolous. They requested counsel for their minor children, which was denied, and the kids were properly dismissed, since the non-attorney parents can't represent them. I see no basis for the award of attorney's fees to the government. That's contrary to 7th circuit and Supreme Court precedent.
Update: Howard mentions that Marsha Marcia Oddi has the fees memo, so I'll need to read that next. pdf.
OK, done. The judge found their claims frivolous. I very strongly disagree, and consider this not just an abuse of discretion, but an error of law. The trouble is, they are pro se and apparently over their heads and don't know how to proceed. Filing deadlines are short. I wonder if promoting this blog post to some legal blogs would help find counsel? I'd be willing to serve as local counsel for an out of state lawyer. I am not competent to be lead counsel.

Pirates of the Carribean: Antiqua and the WTO

via PG at de novo, giant stuffed VD microbes.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday.

hora story

In which i get a video xmas card from chaosinorder aka bob. video.

This is a placeholder for now, for the list of the 50 books I read this year.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Blachman's read 100 this year. I guess it's work for him, since he's a writer these days. He was a crescateer and rose to fame with his Anonymous Lawyer blog, which led to a book deal.
Three other crescateers have had or are doing clerkships, including Will Baude's gig with Chief Justice Roberts. There were a few other crescateers who posted less often, and I do't know what they are up to these days. This blog got 200 hits yesterday, all from boingboing, but in general I have no readers and either should hang this up or just face that I'm only talking to myself here.
There are some kind of birds - juncos?- hopping around my garden. I don't know enough about birds to participate in the annual Christmas bird census, although my sister's done that before. I've seen a dozen hawks recently, while driving to Kentucky and back. Either there are a lot of hawks, or they hang out by the highway waiting for roadkill.

One of the books that Jeremy's read that I haven't was David Mamet's Bambi meets Godzilla, amazon, bitter essays about Hollywood. At other times, he's happy simply ... to test out a theory that the early film industry owes its development to Eastern European Jews with Asperger's syndrome.
I liked the movie.

A family member has asked that I write a letter about how my year went. That would be a good project for today,and if I get it done I'll link to it here.

Nepal ends divine right of king. The king, considered an incarnation of Vishnu, is stepping down in a deal with the communist ex-rebels.

Monday, December 24, 2007

In which wigu's Jon Rowland introduces me to stoned ape theory. Makes sense to me. It's a variant on the human-beer coevolution theory.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


internet finds lost gloves

Merry chriskwanzackah.
and decemberween.


Friday, December 21, 2007

A Mark Twain story about Pitcairn Island - two of my interests coinciding. Also Vanity Fair article.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Walk Hard looks like it'll be fun. Youtube. It's obviously a spoof of Walk the Line, which I liked.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

giant rat of sumatra

Constitution in exile department:
Will Baude, who used to run my favorite blog, has a new gig as clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo at Above the law. whenever new gigs start i guess, maybe that means next year. Oh! That would ruin the whole point of this post, which was about what if Will gets to write the DC gun case opinion. (No, clerks don't generally write the opinions, but sometimes they get to have input.) Also found out (unverified) that crescateer Heidi Bond had been clerking for senior status Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, [after clerking for Kozinski] no wonder she doesn't update her blog.

What I've been reading:
Spent the past week in evansville on a gig.
Read Grisham's The Painted House, amazon wikipedia
part of Sweet Caroline about a Kennedy, google books
a few chapters of a 16th century Chinese book about the adventures of Monkey,
and started a book about the Gurkas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Speed Racer trailer. looks good.
When I was 7, we weren't allowed to watch UHF (odd, but I was raised by Pilgrims), so I'd go over to Tommy Lundberg's house to watch Speed Racer and Astroboy after school, as long as I got home in time for dinner.
There are several Thomas Lundbergs on the net, but none of them are recognizably him, and he wouldn't remember me anyway.

Amazing websnark true story, about Halifax in WWI, destroyed by explosion, tsunami, fire, and blizzard, and one man's response. Stuff I didn't know.
And Tycho claims he doesn't believe in the singularity, while linking to this page about it.

Microstates and the environment: two of my hobbies that taste great together. via digg.

one of my favorite writers, back when i used to read books, never thought to look for him online. boingboing says the podcasts are good this week - i have no speakers on this computer, and really prefer it that way.
books to read in 2008:
Volokh: getting published in law reviews, or whatever it's called.
Neal Stevenson: system of the world trilogy.
Heinlein/Robinson: Variable star.
Heinlein: For us the Living.
One thing I like about Heinlein is that there's a new book every year - even years after his death.
Tom Robbins book Wild Ducks Flying Backward, found on a wishlist from a volunteer prison librarian mentioned at boingboing mnetioned at theexperiment mentioned by google because it had a declan mccullough story about my roommate joell.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gabe's grandfather talks about war games. (scroll down past Tycho.)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

see if this works. harry potter puppet show youtube
via alas a blog

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Human history in one paragraph, from the well-endowed professor,
Alan Charles Kors
George H. Walker Endowed Term Professor of History
* First, tribes: tough life.
* The defaults beyond the intimate tribe were violence, aversion to difference, and slavery. Superstition: everywhere.
* Culture overcomes them partially.
* Rainfall agriculture, which allows loners.
* Irrigation agriculture, which favors community.
* Division of labor plus exchange in trade bring mutual cooperation, even outside the tribe.
* The impulse is always there, though: "Kill or enslave the outsider."
* Gradual science from Athens' compact with reason.
* Division of labor, trade, the mastery of knowledge, plus time brought surplus, sometimes a peaceful extended order and, rules diversely evolved and, the cooperation of strangers - always warring against the fierce defaults of tribalism, violence, and ignorance.
* No one who teaches you knows what will happen.

word for the day: penultimatum

Hazing story from kuro5hin, probably from Missouri-Rolla, no whoops, Lindenwood U.

Westboro Baptist wins injunction from 8th circuit in Missouri, as it should.

When pigs fly:
Cloned meat on a stick.
Word for the day: grognard as used here: wired article on penny arcade.
I think I've linked to it before, too lazy to check.
Grammar Nazis.

A man, a plan - Panama.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

what i'm reading:
I think it's from his second novel, he being the guy who does the animals have problems webcomic.Yesterday I was reading Guy Rules, guyrules.com at a coffeehouse in evansville. It's about the gender dynamics of male male interaction, the stupid things guys do to mark territory or assert dominance or display heterosexuality. Useful enough that I would have kept reading, but I was late for a thing.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Markets in everything
Tyler Cowen
Linda started her online business, the Prairie Tumbleweed Farm, as a joke. It was 1994 and she wanted to teach herself how to design a website. Since she lived on the prairie in southwest Kansas, where rolling tumbleweeds are sometimes the only dynamic feature of an endless flat horizon, she invented a farm that sold tumbleweeds, listing prices at $15 for a small one, $20 for a medium and $25 for large.
Hollywood has also come calling. Katz’s tumbleweeds have appeared in films like Johnny Depp’s “Neverland.” And she has supplied tumbleweeds to the big purple dinosaur kid’s show, “Barney.”
Katz says people usually use her tumbleweeds to recreate the look and feel of the old west for theme parties. But some customers tell her they buy tumbleweeds to remind them of the home on the prairie they left long ago.
She is now making about $40,000 a year.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

word for the day: numbat
an endangered marsupial anteater.
word for tomorrow:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An enthymeme is an informally stated syllogism (a three-part deductive argument) with an unstated assumption that must be true for the premises to lead to the conclusion. In an enthymeme, part of the argument is missing because it is assumed. In a broader usage, the term "enthymeme" is sometimes used to describe an incomplete argument of forms other than the syllogism.[1] Artistotle gave no complete definition of the Enthymeme in his Rhetoric, and its exact definition has been debated by scholars. ex: "There is no law against composing music when one has no ideas whatsoever. The music of Wagner, therefore, is perfectly legal." —Mark Twain.

http://www.alessonislearned.com/ Yikes, way over my head, trippy webcomic.

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