Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Possibly the Least-Enforced Law of All Time

From my absentee ballot instructions (emphasis in original):

If you have returned your absentee ballot, but find that you are able to vote in person, the law requires that you do so. You must go to the office of the Municipal Clerk no later than 10:00 a.m. on Election, Primary or Referendum Day before going to your polling place to vote in person.
"What's that honey? You don't think you're going to have the baby today? Okay, well I'd better head down to the municipal clerk's office to cancel my absentee ballot and let them know that I can stand in line all morning at the middle school instead. No, I can't just rely on the one I sent in. You remember when Henderson up the street got caught mowing his lawn before the polls closed a few years back. Nice fellow, that Henderson . . . I should put in a good word for him with the parole board. Anyway, I'll be back in a few hours, you need me to pick up anything?"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Powerful than Locomotion

Some awesome ideas for Halloween costumes if your kid is in a wheelchair: Biker, Bulldozer, 1934 Bugatti Type 46.

Some pretty good ideas for Halloween costumes if your kid is in a wheelchair: Drummer w/drumset, Chef w/oven, King w/throne.

Kind of awkward ideas for Halloween costumes if your kid is in a wheelchair: Guy Losing His Leg in a Shark Attack, anything where the instructions say, "[t]o make the legs, stuff sweat pants with fiberfill."

Really, really, really awkward idea for a Halloween costume if your kid is in a wheelchair: Superman.

I cannot stress this last point enough: Superman + Wheelchair = Bad Taste. Always. The only way to make this any worse would be to add fake legs in the back at an awkward angle so it looks like Superman's spine has been severed.

[Goes to look at that picture again.]


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Law School Makes My E-Mail Weird

A sample of contextual ads that I've gotten in Gmail in the last week:

  • "Kegspediter System - A controlled process for the return of empty kegs to the brewery."
  • All kinds of first aid and emergency equipment. These are only funny once I realized they were triggered by the hypothetical fact pattern in my Torts midterm.
  • "Crave Frat Brotherhood? - crave.honda.com - We feel your crave. Other people do too. Check out more craves."
  • "Insanity Testing - Search for Testing Resources and Info. Find What You Want Now."
  • "Daddy by 2 chix - cool daddy-to-be tees for the man behind the belly!"
  • Several dozen sites advertising admissions information and pre-written personal statements.
  • "Miss Your Grandkids? - New laws guarantee grandparents rights in every state - learn more!"
  • "Free Insanity - Get a Free Insanity. Offer Expires Today!"

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Impossible is Something

The story of Aleksey Vayner (né Garber) reminds me of my roommate from freshman year of college. I will call him "Mike," because (a) it's a common name and (b) his name is Mike.

Mike was a compulsive liar. Over the course of my first semester with him, I wrote down most of the ridiculous things he told me or my friends. The list was quite long, so I'll reproduce only the highlights here.

Mike is very athletic. He benches 310, and is a 5th degree black belt. When he was 15, he placed second in a national competition. (The sort of competition that would get him mentioned somewhere on the Internet, one would imagine.) Because his body is a lethal weapon, he is registered with the state and has an indicator to that effect on his license. (No he doesn't.) He also used to swim. When he was 14, he swam the 50-meter freestyle in 22 seconds. (This is especially impressive, given the world record.) He achieved these accomplishments in spite of the anorexia caused by his verbally abusive swim coach, wherein his body fat fell to 2%. Mike joined his fraternity's intramural volleyball team after they found out that he was All-State volleyball in high school. (Mike's high school shows no record of having a boy's volleyball team.)

During breaks, Mike worked as an assistant pro at a golf course, allowing him to meet a number of people. One is in the mafia, and offered to whack anybody Mike needs whacked. Mike once had to write a 500 page paper. He waited until the last minute, of course, and wrote the last 200 of them in around 6 hours. He also speaks Japanese and German fluently. He (or his 6'10" uncle, depending on which time he told me) drives a red Ferrari F50.

Obviously, such a life makes one irresistible to the ladies. Mike lost his virginity at age 13. At 18, he had never . . . helped himself because whenever he "had a need," he always had a willing partner. In addition to having had sex in several locations (including a movie theater and two libraries), Mike also owns a pair of underwear in which he has never failed to get laid.
I just looked him up, and he is apparently now employed at a Big Five Four accounting firm, no doubt ready and willing to contribute to whatever upcoming scandal/indictment turns that illustrious group into the Big Three.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Was Tense, I Was Nervous

This is probably not going to be a favorite memory for player #3:

After 60 questions, poor Sharon managed to buzz in just enough to get one $800 question wrong and one $400 question right. And we all know what happens when Round III rolls along:

But in the scheme of things she'll be okay, because our bowtied friend went on to lose to this guy anyway.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Meaningful Dialogue

Student: But what if...[proceeds into long and quite unlikely hypothetical involving banana peels, a set of stairs and some poor fellow who just won't look where he's going.] It's not a very good analogy, but--

Professor: No. It's not.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

These Guys Are Neat Guys

There's a lot of talk about how law school is just like high school, and in a lot of ways that's true. Still, I say it's an exaggerated stereotype, so here are some positive ways in which UVa Law differs from my high school:

  • Students allowed to leave school for lunch.
  • No football player making out with his cheerleader girlfriend on my locker between every class.
  • None of my high school teachers drove one of these.
  • Speaking of lockers, cherry wood > cherry red.
  • There's no band, the jocks have passed their glory days, and the goths sold out long ago, so pretty much everyone is part of the same "Nerd/Prep" clique.
  • Students allowed to cut across the courtyard.
  • No Less smoking in the bathrooms.
  • The Mormons have kids and the skanky girls don't.
  • Much less animosity between rival schools (that is, no one has driven down here and spray-painted "Penn Law" on the side of the building).
  • My girlfriend who lives 100 miles away actually exists.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Loki Works for the TSA

This article about a geologist's troubles with airport security has gotten a bit of buzz lately and I finally got around to reading the whole thing today, so I was quite amused to discover that the geologist in question is none other than one Robert M. Thorson, Ph.D. I had the opportunity to listen to Professor Thorson speak a few years ago about why a liberal arts education is important. By this I mean ol' Thor wasted a half hour of the audience's time telling us what it's like to write a weekly column and how clever some of his titles have been. Titles like "Canst Thou Hear Me Now?" and "Kerry Ignored the Frog Vote."

I'm actually surprised Thor's story didn't have him saying something like "Don't you know who I am? My column appears every Thursday on page A15 of the newspaper with the 54th-highest circulation in the country! Sometimes I get letters about it! I'm clever, damn it!"

I'm not going to get into how easy it would have been to go back and check the bag. Bradley International Airport is one of the smallest I've ever been to, and the baggage check is a mineral specimen's throw away from the security checkpoint.

I once had my own encounter with a carry-on bag, a stone, and excitable airport security officers, although with a few differences of circumstance. First, I was flying out of Milan, Italy. Second, the stone in question was actually a piece of Pompeii that I should not have been allowed to take out of the country. Third, the security officer apparently thought the x-ray image of the stone looked a lot like the x-ray image of a luger pistol. Fourth, I was eight years old. Fifth, and perhaps most important, I kept my eight-year-old American mouth firmly shut and they let me keep the damn rock.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Things I Learned This Week

  • From my sectionmates, I learned it's possible to freak out over an hour-long, ungraded midterm.
  • From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I learned that most people still don't understand what "Every Breath You Take" by the Police is about.
  • From Federal Circuit Judge Randall R. Rader, I learned that his Irish Foxhound will eat just about anything you throw at it.
  • From my Legal Research and Writing Professor, I learned you should never plan to spend your breaks any place where you can't access Westlaw.
  • From Dahlia Lithwick, I learned that she's a writer instead of a speaker because she can't put four words together without sticking "uhh" between them twice.
  • From Virginia Delegate Robert G. Marshall, I learned that gay people can't maintain committed relationships and that they support pedophilia.
  • From two Virginia undergrads, I learned how to stage a very small-scale and ineffective protest.
  • From the Cavalier Daily, I learned how to use careful camera angles and irresponsible reporting to misrepresent a small-scale and ineffective protest as neither of those things.
  • From a British Columbian visitor who found this site by searching, I learned that my second post ever is the ninth result for the Google query "sex with unicorns."

Monday, October 02, 2006


From: Fletcher Reede
To: Professor CivPro
Date: Oct 2, 2006 12:56 PM
Subject: Incoherence

Dear Professor CivPro,

In spite of fasting in observance of Yom Kippur, I will be attending Civil Procedure this afternoon, because today's reading is incomprehensible. Given that, I would love to be called on to explain to the class the meaning of a sentence like "Moreover, contrary to plaintiff's belief, a third-party defendant need not be 'necessarily liable over' to the third-party plaintiff in the event the third-party plaintiff is found liable toward the plaintiff." I'm sure my semi-delirious, hunger-induced ramblings about impleaders, interpleaders, and pineapple eaters will be very enlightening. Please make sure I'm on the cold-call list so as not to miss this fantastic opportunity.

Fletcher Reede