27 September 2011

Manslaughter Charges in Italy for What Turned Out to Be an Inaccurate Statement About an Earthquake

This story:
on NPR is worth a read, about Italian scientists who thought that an earthquake wouldn't occur, said so, and are now on trial for manslaughter, which, in Italy, can attract a twelve year prison sentence.

25 September 2011

On Fixing Your Privacy Settings so Randoms Can't See Your Posts

This link:
is a useful article on changing your Facebook privacy settings so random people on the Internet who happen to be friends of one of your friends can't see posts on *your* profile.
Strangely, I think this ticker is very similar to the news feed that people got very upset about a couple of years ago.  I think that our feelings about privacy may have evolved.  My friend Jen posted this first.

12 September 2011

There's a good NPR piece on Bill Monroe -- the Father of Bluegrass -- see:

03 September 2011

Song about No Lawyers in Heaven

Last night I heard a cute song on the radio, entitled "No Lawyers in Heaven" by   You'll need iTunes to hear the song.  If you don't, Amazon can play you a shorter clip.

23 July 2011

CDC Has a Sense of Humor

I was going through draft blog posts and discovered this missing one from awhile back -- so I'm going to post it.

Someone at the CDC had a sense of humor and decided to do a blog post about surviving a zombie attack -- the tips are also applicable if there is a natural disaster.  (Thanks to Rene for the link)
Among the tips:
Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
Also, did you know that you can kill zombies by shooting them in the head?  There's a song to drive the point home.

17 July 2011

University of Texas at Austin's Reading List and a Recommendation of My Own

I've made a tradition of, every year, posting a link to the University of Texas at Austin's summer reading list for ideas for reading material over the summer.  I'll add one of my own: North Star Over My Shoulder, by Bob Buck.  It's a good autobiography by Bob Buck, who flew for TWA for many years.  It's well written, and he explains the technical items to you, so you don't have to know all the technical terms.   It explains how they navigated in the days before LORAN and GPS -- they did it by the stars.  Imagine trying to land at Midway Island, flying from Alaska, just using the stars to navigate.  Quite tricky, I think.

25 June 2011

Sailing Can Be Fatal

I came across a blurb about this in the Post, but this article has more details (the Annapolis press is following it more closely). Essentially, a teenager was out over the side of the boat in a rope "trapeze" to counter the weight/wind's effect on the boat as she was sailing. The boat capsized, and she apparently became entangled in the trapeze and drowned because she was stuck below the surface. Awful.

I used to sail when I was younger and one time was in a trapeze in this type of boat. It never occurred to me that I could become entangled in the trapeze and die. Scary stuff.

20 June 2011

NPR is Not Boring

For those of you who think NPR is boring:
There have recently been pieces on:
The meaning of Bohemian Rhapsody.
and how Lazy Sunday (recall: seeing Chronicles of Narnia on the Upper West Side, and the debate about which Internet mapping system is the best) rose to fame.

19 May 2011

Choral Reunions

There was an article in the Times about a group of former choral students from PS 86 who had a ten-year-reunion.  It got me thinking about my choral/band days.

Whenever a song I sang in chorus comes up on the radio (or on my iTunes playlist), I think back to singing it back in the day.  Of particular note, I remember singing Billy Joel's "And So It Goes" in the wing between Mr. R's office and the main high school hallway.  Ms. K. thought the acoustics were better there.  It's hard to believe that this was over ten years ago.

for the article.

18 April 2011

Free Legal Research Tool For iOS

Fastcase, whom I had not heard of before, has a free legal research app available if you use an iOS device.  The download is free, and you can do whatever research you'd like it.  It would be handy for doing research on the fly, if, like me, you do not have access to Westlaw/LexisNexis.


17 April 2011

On Whipping Out the Mobile Phone When Someone Else Is Talking To You

I was talking with someone the other day about how people tend to whip out their mobile phones in the middle of meetings and start texting/checking email/doing something other than paying attention to the meeting.  I think this is pretty rude, but it seems to be a way of life for some people.
This article in the Times discusses it.

27 March 2011

iPods/iPads/iPhones Not Good About Playing Nicely on Wireless Networks

Princeton University has a nice article on their Network Systems website that, in plain language, explains why an iPod does not play nicely on their network (or other networks too).  I'm disappointed that Apple has not fixed this, because it really is not good behavior.
In the process, they also explain how a typical wireless network (and often a wired network) works.  It's good reading, and helps to explain why one sometimes encounters wireless networks that just don't seem to work properly.  Often, I'm suspicious it is because the wireless network has run out of "leases" (connections) for new users.
Besides explaining this, it is useful for anyone with a wireless network to understand the principles of how it works for troubleshooting.

07 March 2011

Hiking with a Random Dog

Random dog that followed us hiking.
Right now I am TDY* to Huntsville and have been for about a month.  Sunday, after the torrential rains we had Saturday, I decided to go on a hike with a colleague at Monte Sano State Park.  The park was really nice, it has a lot of buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back before World War II.  The neatest thing was how a dog decided that my colleague and I made for more interesting hiking companions than its owners, and took off with us for about three quarters of a mile as we started to hike around the mile.  Eventually, its owner came over and retrieved it, but I was beginning to wonder what would happen if the owner was not there when we got back to the car, and whether I was going to have to figure out how to smuggle a dog into the University of Alabama in Huntsville's housing.   It was a nice hike, though, even if it was a bit muddy and cut short because of time.
* TDY, for non-Army readers of this blog, means temporary duty (or, in normal English, a business trip).  It is sometimes used like a verb.

05 March 2011

Danu (Irish Music Group) to Perform at GMU

One of my favorite Irish music groups, Danu, is going to be performing at George Mason University on 18 March.  I'm not sure if I'm going to go, but the video that they have up is really good.  Right about 1:16 is where they get awesome.
See the link below:

22 February 2011

A Female Recipient of the Silver Star

This morning, while running around UAH's campus, I heard a pretty powerful story on Leigh Ann Hester, who earned a Silver Star for her actions in Iraq.


08 February 2011

Senior Citizens Checking up On College Student Athlete Attendance

Thomas sent me an article on senior citizens that check up on student athlete attendance at the University of Kansas.  See:


27 January 2011

Judge Posner and the Bluebook (and How He Does Not Use It)

Judge Posner recently published an article in the Yale Law Journal on the Bluebook (a legal citation manual) and how he does not use use it for his citation.  He explains why he does not and makes some valid points about it.  For those of you who had to deal with this in law school (or still deal with it), you might appreciate this article.

22 January 2011

A Hawk Inside the Library of Congress

As of yesterday, there was a hawk inside the Library of Congress' Main Reading Room.
The post is pretty funny; the author obviously has a sense of humor.  Thanks to Jesse for finding this.

20 January 2011

For in the Inner Geographer or Geologist in Us All

Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Observatory has come out with a really neat app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad called EarthObserver.  It's currently free.  It can display rock formation information, USGS (United States Geologic Survey) maps, and tons of other information which I have not even scratched the surface of.
http://www.earth-observer.org/ for more on this excellent app.

16 January 2011

Powerful Story on Flooding in Australia

Weekend Edition Saturday had a very powerful story on the flooding in Australia.

 There is a transcript as well.

 I'll add that Scott Simon and the interviewee, Richard Glover, a reporter for ABC need to stop meeting like they do (the last time they spoke was about the wildfires in Australia).  (And ABC is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not the United States' network)

09 January 2011

Very Depressing Article in the Times on the Legal Job Market

There was an article in the Times yesterday on law schools, debt, and the awful state of the legal job market. It's something anyone considering attending law school should read. Very carefully.