31 May 2007

Tilapia Recipe -- So easy, Douglas can do it

Lately I've been experimenting with cooking tilapia. To do it, I put an inch or so layer of water in a frying pan, bring it to a boil, and then put a filet of tilapia in the water. I then return the water to a simmer (not a boil), cover it, and poach it for five minutes. Then, I flip the tilapia piece over and poach it (covered) for another five minutes. It's then pretty much done, and I usually eat it with rice and some vegetable. It makes my meals more interesting. My grandmother has suggested adding lemon to the water, and I also use pepper on the fish.

30 May 2007

Bottle Deposits

There was a posting on bottle deposits on a mailing list that I subscribe to. I think that bottle deposits are a good thing, I think that to encourage recycling it might be necessary to increase the deposit on the bottles from a nickel. It has been a nickel since I was a child, and I think longer than that. (By bottle deposit, I also mean the deposit on soda cans as well)
The problem, though, is, at least under New York State's law, if you show up at any store with a bottle of a drink that they sell, they have to give you a deposit back. You don't have to return it to the store where you bought it. This is a problem for mom and pop stores.
There was a New York grocery store that I used to go to that was on the Pennsylvania (no deposit) and New York border. Someone took bottles/cans that he got in Pennsylvania and brought them to New York, where he attempted to redeem them. The New York grocery store got tired of this and eventually stopped him, probably by noting that some of the cans he was redeeming were not stamped with a five cent refund, even though the barcode was the same as refundable cans. If they doubled it to ten cents (or even made the amount more meaningful, like a quarter) it might have a significant impact on a store's income. On the other hand, recycling has become bigger now, so maybe it is not necessary to have the deposit law at all.

28 May 2007

Giving Apple Credit Where Credit is Due

Thomas' iPod displayed the "sad iPod" icon, and so (after I tried and failed to fix it) we took it to our local Apple Store on Long Island. Within about fifteen minutes, the Genius fixed his iPod, and it didn't cost us a penny. Apparently, the hard disk had frozen, and he forced it loose by applying extra current to force it to rotate faster. Although this does not redeem Apple from their previous fiasco (or, after Dorothy's experience, make me any more likely to purchase a Macintosh computer again), it's still nice that they were able to fix it. That's more than I would be able to say for Dell, which doesn't have Genius Bars.

20 May 2007

A Jury of Your Peers in Newfoundland

I listen to a podcast entitled Newfoundland and Labrador This Week from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There was a segment about how a judge declared a mistrial because the entire jury pool for St. John's, Newfoundland had not been updated for eight years. (For those not up on their Newfoundland geography, St. John's is the capital of Newfoundland and is also it's largest city.) Apparently the person responsible for updating the jury pool just didn't, and so no one born after 1980 was listed in the jury pool. The judge hearing the case held that this violated the Candian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and rescheduled the case for October. All criminal trials in St. John's will have to be put on hold while they fix this problem. Plus, even the Justice Minister has conceded that people within the appeal period might have viable appeals about this. I don't know what Canada's jurisprudence is about juries, but it seems to me that they might have some argument to make. I had tried to find the judge's opinion online at this site (useful if you need to do Canadian law research), but no dice.
The best I could find was this article from the CBC.

17 May 2007

Another Funny Email from Flickr

Flickr sent me another unusual email the other day, although it wasn't nearly as good as the last one.
This one said:
"New photos from friends

[Rene's screenname] has uploaded 1 photo in the last 24.139444444444 hours.

Funny that someone at Flickr took the time to program this email to make the number of hours a variable and also calculate it out.

15 May 2007

Cheating or Not Cheating?

Thomas brought this to my attention, but I wanted to throw it out there. At Columbia, there is a course that all students are required to take -- Literature Humanities -- which is taught by different professors (there are 57 sections). It is a survey course and there is a course-wide exam given at the end (basically to the entire first year class). The exam asks students -- among other questions -- to identify quotations from the various works studied. One professor came up with a study guide which listed the quotations that were to be used on the exam. Students in this section redistributed the study guide to other sections of the class, which messed up the exam (to put it mildly) because students knew which quotations were to be used. The lead professor of the course found out about this "study guide," (initially she thought someone had stolen the exam) and has now decided to discard the exam results and allow students to either take the exam again in the fall or use their other grades to determine their grade. I think it's clear that the professor should be fired.
Was it cheating for the students to use this study guide? I don't think so, the provenance of the guide was legitimate, it wasn't as if some student was distributing it improperly. On the other hand, the students reading the study guide might have realized that the professor should not have been giving out this much information. Columbia does not require students to report academic misconduct. Comments?

08 May 2007

A "Family Tree" of Firefox

There is a pretty good diagram of Firefox on a website which is done by Mozilla Japan (Mozilla is the company that makes Firefox) It's a PDF, but if you are not familiar with Firefox and how it is related to NCSA Mosaic (and Internet Explorer) it's worth looking at.

06 May 2007

My Law School Could Have Decided to Move to Florida

Through RichardZ (which I found through Jerry and Tammy), I learned about how Ave Maria School of Law has decided to move to Florida from Ann Arbor, Michigan. After seeing what happened with DSL, it was interesting. Here is a link to a blog entry which sets forth the faculty view. In the interest of balance, I'm also including a link to Ave Maria School of Law's own page on the topic. I'm not taking a position on this, though.

03 May 2007

Running Again

I've been at a loss for things to blog about recently. However, I've taken up running again. I ran a lot last summer while I was studying for the bar exam, but kind of dropped it after that. I've started doing it again, and as I'm sitting in my office during the day, I kind of look forward to it. I've got a new route worked out, which goes around town, a lot of it is along quiet streets, so I don't have cars whizzing by me all the time. I'm debating joining a gym, but running is a good workout in and of itself.