27 December 2006

The Bigger Loser Competition Tips

I'm going to post my two cents on dieting for the Bigger Loser Competition. I agree with much of what Dorothy said on her blog.
With that being said, one good thing to do if you are dieting (or even just generally) is to watch the fat content of the food that you consume. Besides saving on fat (a good thing), you also save considerably on calories, without having to go crazy counting them. If you get low-fat varieties of items, you may not notice much of a taste difference, but the food will inherently have less calories.
For example:
Nabisco Chips Ahoy Regular Cookies have 160 calories and 8 grams of fat. Here is a link to the nutrition facts page at Nabisco.
However, Nabisco Chips Ahoy Low Fat Cookies have 140 calories and six grams of fat. Here is a link to the nutrition facts page at Nabisco.
Twenty calories may not seem like a lot, but if you eat other low-fat or non-fat items, it can add up to a significant amount of calories. If you ingest less calories, then you have to burn less calories.
Using low-fat or fat free salad dressing may save even more calories than low-fat chocolate chip cookies.
Some fat-free items don't taste very good; I won't buy fat free cream cheese because I think it tastes like paste. But, I don't mind low-fat or non-fat salad dressing.
Obviously, drinking water instead of soda is a good idea, but keep in mind that even though milk is healthy, it is also 110 calories per cup.

21 December 2006

Boston During the American Revolution

Found an interesting blog about Boston just prior to the Revolution called Boston 1775. It seems like it is a pretty active blog; there are lots of postings. One thing I found out is that no one really knows who was involved in the Boston Tea Party.
While we're on the topic of colonial Boston, here is a web site about the Boston Massacre trial.

19 December 2006

New Google Toolbar

Google released a new Toolbar for Firefox last week. Finally, you can access your Google bookmarks from it. Before, you could still access your Google bookmarks, but it was a webpage, so it was slightly unwieldy, because you had to leave whatever you were doing to get to the bookmark webpage. Now you can do it all directly from the toolbar. Plus, if you go to another computer, you can quickly access your bookmarks on that computer on a website. Or, of course, you can install the Google toolbar on that computer.

18 December 2006

A Syracuse Photo

Syracuse City Hall
Originally uploaded by djboorstein.
This is City Hall in Syracuse around dusk.

Notary Publics Practicing Law?

In this week's Pennsylvania Bar Association email, there was a discussion of the PBA's feeelings on notary publics practicing law. Some notaries do other things besides just authenticating forms, and the PBA feels that this could constitute the unauthorized practice of law. Among other things, some notary publics use the Spanish term "notario publico." The use of that term is deceptive because in some Latin American countries, a "notario publico" is a person who is also an attorney. So, when someone says this, a person can be deceived.
This is a link to the PBA article.
Texas also has this problem. The Texas website actually has an interesting discussion of the history of notary public in Roman law and in English common law.
This statute shows how Texas handles the problem.

This post does not constitute legal advice. You do not form an attorney-client relationship with me by posting a comment on this blog, whether I respond to the comment or not. You should consult a lawyer if you have a legal question.

Syracuse and Back

I went to Syracuse this weekend to watch a cousin become a Bar Mitzvah. To go there and back, I took Interstate 81 straight up. It made it very difficult to get lost, because I just had to get on Interstate 81 and keep driving. And driving. I traversed nearly all of Pennsylvania. The drive between the intersection with I-78 and the New York border is pretty scenic. There were some wicked high cliffs along the way where the road had been blasted through rock. I felt like I was in the Lord of the Rings during the scene where they go on the boat through the Pillars of the Kings. The Bar Mitzvah itself was nice. Since I only see these family members once or twice a year, it was nice to see them.

16 December 2006

Basketball Shot Clock

I'm in Syracuse for a cousin's Bar Mitzvah and during some off time, we went to a museum about the Erie Canal. They also have exhibits relating to exciting happenings in Syracuse. And they had an interesting trivia item.
Why is the basketball shot clock 24 seconds? See the comments for the answer.

12 December 2006

Bar Admission Ceremony

Originally uploaded by djboorstein.
Like Rene, Gregory, Danielle, and Andrew, I was formally sworn in as an attorney today at the Supreme Court in Harrisburg. It was nice to see people from Dickinson, since I had not seen many of them since July. At our ceremony, each of us got to say our names to a Chief Justice Emeritus. Did those of you who participated in ceremonies do something similar?

11 December 2006

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Thomas talking
Originally uploaded by djboorstein.
On Saturday, 9 December, Thomas (not Tom) celebrated his birthday. I have posted some pictures on Flickr.

10 December 2006

Delays in Television

Right now I am waiting for Amazing Race to be over so that I can watch Cold Case. CBS does football every Sunday night, and, nearly always, it runs over. This night the run-over was half an hour, which is probably about average. What happens because of this is that Sixty Minutes starts at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. and then every other show gets pushed back. This really irritates me. I'd like to be able watch Cold Case at the time it is scheduled to be on, rather than have to wait for CBS to get around to showing it because they've crammed too much into their Sunday night schedule. I also cannot set my VCR to record it, because I don't know when it will start. I could, of course, set the VCR to record a two hour interval between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., I know that, but that's annoying too, because I have to search through the tape to find out when Cold Case starts.
And I'm sorry to all the football fans out there. I know football is an important sport to some people, but I'm looking forward to February when football will no longer interfere with my television.

07 December 2006


There is an article in the Times about the company my brother works for. He is an editor for articles for sports like sepaktakraw.
Besides sepaktakraw his company also does Track and Field.

06 December 2006

Mainstream Artists on Single of the Week

Normally I don't like the free Single of the Week on iTunes. I download it (usually) just to see what it is, but often it doesn't even get synced to my iPod. This week, Apple is offering a James Taylor Christmas song (Jingle Bells) as a download. I don't like it, but the price was right. If you have iTunes, try it and see if you like it. They are offering mainstream artists for the rest of the month each week, so maybe there actually will be a song I like. If there is, I will do my best to post about it.

Radio Stations

There is a country music station that plays old country music in Chambersburg, which is nice. The only problem is that they seem to be rather fond of playing the same selection of music over and over again. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head seems to be a song they are especially fond of.
However, besides this, there is a neat website which I found that shows you the broadcast area for a given radio station based on FCC data. For example, here is a coverage map for WHRW 90.5 FM Binghamton (the State University of New York at Binghamton's student radio station) They base the map on the terrain around the radio station, which, for WHRW, makes the radio station's coverage area look (with some imagination) like a cat. The website is also useful if you want to find a radio station around you, although I'm not sure how up to date it is.

04 December 2006

Patent Code in Verse

For a laugh, check out the Patent Code. In verse. It sounds like a rap. I don't think it would be anywhere as funny if it wasn't in verse. I credit the legal thing (a blog by Sun Microsystem's General Counsel) for the link.

03 December 2006

Red Cross' Irresponsibility with Blood

The Red Cross is in trouble -- again -- with the Food and Drug Administration for not following proper safety procedures with regard to processing and screening blood. This time, the FDA caught the Red Cross with blood units that had failed testing that were mixed in with blood units that had passed testing.
According to the report, it was extremely unlikely that this blood would ever have made it into a person, because there are further checks along the way. The FDA fined them five million dollars for this offence. Although that seems like a lot of money, the reporter seemed to think it was a slap on the wrist, since blood donation is a multi-billion dollar industry. The Red Cross is responsible for 40% of the blood here.
The Canadian Red Cross has gotten into trouble too. In the 1980s, the Canadian Red Cross failed to screen people adequately for HIV. As a result, according to this article on the BBC's website, over 3,000 people died because they contracted AIDS from the tainted blood. The whole report (called the Krever Report) for this is published on a website set up by Health Canada. Although HIV was not as well known then, the Canadian Red Cross should have known about the risks at the time these tainted blood donations were accepted.
The Canadian Red Cross used to be responsible for blood donation and processing in Canada. Not anymore.
When I have donated blood, I have seen potential failures in the screening process too. For example, last year when I was donating blood at the law school, I sat down with a questioner who asked me the usual questions. However, the questioner was going through the questions really fast, so fast that I was just answering no to the question without thinking. Then I said no and realized that the proper answer to that question was yes and made him go back. My "yes" did not cause me to be ineligible to donate blood, but when the questioner is asking those questions so quickly, it encourages the person donating to quickly answer the questions without thinking. The questioner should go through the questions slowly and methodically.
The questioner also thought that a "Channel Island" (with reference to the United Kingdom) was the island of Britain. Not true. The Channel Islands are Guernsey and Jersey, according to Wikipedia. The questioner's knowledge (or lack thereof) in geography did not inspire any confidence in the Red Cross's screening procedures.
Another place that I have donated blood to -- the New York Blood Center -- also asks questions, but they switch the answers so that the "right" answer to the question is sometimes yes. This catches the people who just want to answer no to every single question. The other good thing that they do is that they allow the donating person to label their blood and indicate whether they want the New York Blood Center to use it or not. The questioner turns away while the donating person does this. If the person donating labels it and asks the New York Blood Center not to use it, the blood will still be tested for HIV, etc. If the person has engaged in risky behaviour and does not want their blood to be donated for some reason, then he or she can mark it accordingly and still appear to be donating blood if there are other people around who might be peer-pressuring them into donating blood. The New York Blood Center does this -- partially -- because blood tests won't always catch HIV in the early stages.
The Red Cross (and the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank) don't do this. I think they should.
With all that being said, I think that blood donation is really important. If you can donate, you should. Although, of course, I cannot guarantee your safety, I have never heard any concerns about the safety of the donation process itself.
There's a Jewish saying "He who saves one life, it is as if he saved the world entire."
(Phew. Lots of links in this blog entry)
I heard the report about this on NPR.