Friday, December 22, 2006

Harvard University Library: Open Collections Program

Harvard University Library has a cool Open Collections Program where it's digitizing books, manuscripts, maps, and photographs in topical areas. So far it's launched Women Working, 1800-1930 and Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930. Valuable resources for students and scholars -- as well as idle browsers!

Books -

The Dec. 1 issue of Forbes has a special report on Books. Looks interesting, but I don't have the time to read it now. Thanks, beSpacific.

ETS Assesses Information Literacy

The Educational Testing Service has developed a test to measure undergraduates' Information and Computer Technology Literacy. Preliminary findings, based on giving the test to 6,300+ students at 63 institutions, are here. The good news: students could sort emails and files into folders; students recognized that .edu and .gov sites were less likely to have biased information than .com sites (well, that all depends, doesn't it? -- but I see the point). The bad news: students were often unable to narrow searches or to eliminate irrelevant results. The ICT Literacy project home page is here.

The Top 100 - in U.S. History

Lists and rankings are great for stirring up discussion. Here's The Atlantic's list of the The Top 100 most influential figures in American history.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

James Patterson PageTurner Awards

Author James Patterson last year launched a very cool awards program, giving money to libraries, bookstores, and schools that promote literacy and the joy of reading. Home : James Patterson PageTurner Awards.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

PrawfsBlawg: When the Law Review was Young

Doing research on the historical development of a doctrine, a law professor read lots of law review articles from the early 20th century and noticed that they seemed much fresher and more interesting than articles today. Andrew Siegel, PrawfsBlawg: When the Law Review was Young, PrawfsBlawg, Oct. 19, 2006.

Thomas's opinion about Kansas's law...

Should it be Thomas's opinion about Kansas's law? Or Thomas' opinion about Kansas' law? I'm strongly in the former camp, but controversy roils. Gimme an 'S': The High Court's Grammatical Divide, Legal Times, Oct. 17, 2006,

Monday, October 09, 2006

Delaware Judges as Scholars

Usha Rodrigues comments on The Publishing Propensity of the Delaware Judiciary:
In the past 16 years, Delaware Chancery Court judges and Supreme Court justices have collectively written around 50 articles on corporate law topics (roughly defined), and 28 on non-corporate topics (shout out to my research assistant, D.K., for compiling these numbers). 35 of the corporate articles have been published since 2000. I haven't run any kind of study, but these preliminary numbers support my intuition that Delaware produces more legal scholarship than the average state.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Myspace is the Press's Space

The editor-at-large of the Seattle Times comments about the press use of social networking sites.
Make no mistake, reporters should and will utilize these sites for news-gathering purposes. People who post profiles, pictures and blogs in public places on the Internet are volunteering information about themselves, much of which never would before have been available to strangers, even those in the press.
Mike Fancher, Social-networking site post ethical concerns, Aug. 20, 2006.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

NY Times Investigates Pedophiles on the Web

The New York Times has two long articles about the community of pedophiles on the Web. Editors' Note - New York Times, Aug. 20, 2006; Kurt Eichenwald, Dark Corners: With Child Sex Sites on the Run, Nearly Nude Photos Hit the Web, NYT, Aug. 20, 2006; Kurt Eichenwald, Dark Corners: On the Web, Pedophiles Extend Their Reach, NYT, Aug. 21, 2006. Interesting, and creepy.

AOL Search Histories Made Public

AOL published on the Web millions of search queries. The users' anonymity was protected by numbers -- sort of. The article looks at one woman whose identity was determined based on her searches and discusses the privacy issues. Michael Barbaro and Tom Zeller Jr., A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749, New York Times, Aug. 9, 2006.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

NYPL Goes with LC in Reference

The New York Times editorialized about the New York Public Library's move to using LC classification in its reference collection: Where the Books Are, NY Times, Aug. 22, 2006.
This change may seem like a trivial matter to you who Google everything. But the Reading Room at the New York Public Library is one of those places so common in this city where the clientele is both passionate and knowledgeable. Sooner or later, everyone who loves a library broods about how the books are arranged. Thomas Jefferson did. He sent 18 or 20 wagonloads of his books to the nascent Library of Congress. He wrote a long letter about the problems of classification and prepared a detailed catalog of his books on a system of his own devising. He loved books and loved arranging them. But that letter is easily his driest piece of writing.

And here's the news story: Sewell Chan, With a New Classification System, the New York Public Library Makes a Change for the Clearer, NY Times, Aug. 17, 2006.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Advice for law students

A big collection of links, from Paul Caron: TaxProf Blog: Advice for the Incoming Law School Class of 2009.

And from John Mayer: Advice for New Law Students: Web Roundup, CALI's Pre-Law Blog.

Court says FBI should use Google

The FBI didn't want to release documents under FOIA because it wasn't sure whether named parties were alive. The DC Circuit said: geez, try Google. Robert Ambrogi, Court: Government's Got to Google,, Legal Blog Watch, Aug. 22, 2006.

A Day in the Life of a Law Librarian

Some comments on what law firm librarians do. The first task in Todd's day is summer associate orientation. Todd Bennett, A Day in the Life of a Law Librarian, Recorder, Aug. 4, 2006.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Patent Code in Verse

Hardly resting after his triumph rendering the Copyright Code in verse, Yehuda Berlinger now offers the U.S. Patent Code ... in verse.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Putting the White Back in Strunk and White - Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design

Great commentary on style in writing and website design: Christina Wodtke, Putting the White Back in Strunk and White, Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design, July 5, 2006.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Same-Sex Marriage Wins by Losing - New York Times

Dan Savage had a great op-ed piece yesterday: Same-Sex Marriage Wins by Losing, N.Y. Times, July 30, 2006.

See the Northwest Women's Law Center Marriage Equality page.

Another good op-ed: Lisa A. Kelly, State Supreme Court: Not That There's Anything Wrong with That, Seattle Times, Aug. 2, 2006.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The U.S. Copyright code, in verse

Amazingly enough, someone has summarized all of 17 USC, the Copyright Code, with a four-line stanza for each section of the code. I've never read the entire code, but now I've at least read the poem!

Hats off Yehuda Berlinger, the author: Board Games and Gaming Blog from Jerusalem, Israel - Yehuda: The U.S. Copyright code, in verse.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Monday, June 12, 2006

Political and Historical Quotations

Quotations, memorable quotes at Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations.

My sample searches went slowly and I'm not throwing out my old standbys, but this could be handy.

Law & Literature: A List of Works

Law & Literature: A List of Works -- handy list of classics (Greek tragedy, Dickens, Kafka) and modern classics (Toni Morrison).

The Law and Humanities Blog, sponsored by the Law & Humanities Institute, has a team of 5 contributors. Recent topics include Harry Potter, Billy Budd, the question whether property enhances freedom, and notices of recent biographies.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Samuel Williston

Interesting profile -- who knew that the great treatise write wrestled with mental health issues? -- and a fabulous photo. Samuel Williston, Harv. Mag., Jan.-Feb. 2006.

"I Do This Every Day, I Should Do It Better Than Other People"

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library: "I Do This Every Day, I Should Do It Better Than Other People" Everybody searches these days, but librarians can search better.

Friday, May 19, 2006 - Dead Judges Voting: When Does Life Tenure End?

Here's a judicial oddity: An appellate judge drafts the majority opinion (2-1), then dies before it's filed. Should his vote still count? - Dead Judges Voting: When Does Life Tenure End?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Turn Web page into a PDF Document

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library: Turn Web page into a PDF Document This is a cool service. The demo is neat -- but the FAQ says that the number of free renderings is limited, so one can't count on being able to use it forever without subscribing....

Later, a colleague pointed out that Adobe Acrobat does this (not the free reader, but the licensed version). And there are free sites:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Commencement speeches

'Tis the season for advice, humor, platitudes, and reminiscences from speakers' platforms around the country. Want to find some?

What appears to be a great selection is It includes Steve Jobs, Toni Morrison, Martha Nussbaum, Madelaine Albright, Gloria Steinem, and more. As "oldie but goodies," there's George C. Marshall announcing the Marshall Plan (1947) and a JFK speech in

Another selection is in Yahoo's directory. It includes Richard Feynman (1974), Will Ferrell (2003), George W. Bush (West Point, 2002)

C-SPAN has video clips of about 30 speeches delivered in 2005.

Flylittlebird is an interesting website that presents "an experiment in building collective wisdom from hundreds of undergraduate commencement speeches." Results include a table listing issues by
urgency score. (The top issues are lack of democratic participation, terrorism, open questions regarding the war in Iraq, and lack of leadership in U.S.) also has a searchable archive of speeches.

Image: Jimmy Carter gives keynote address at commencement ceremonies at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA., 02/20/1979. Carter White House Photographs Collection.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

See Jane project

The See Jane project "seeks to engage professionals and parents in a call to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters -- and to reduce gender stereotyping -- in media made for children 11 and under."

In February, it released a study from the Annenberg School of Communication documenting the overrepresentation of male characters in G-rated films: "Where the Girls Aren't: Gender Disparity Saturates G-Rated Films." This month, it added a second Research Brief: "G Movies Give Boys a D: Portraying Males as Dominant, Disconnected and Dangerous." Both reports are available here.

See Jane is a project of Dads & Daughters (DAD), which "provides men with tools to be better fathers and advocates for our daughters."

American National Biography Online

I just came across a citation to American National Biography Online and took a look. It is really cool. It offers short biographies -- by leading scholars -- of over 18,000 Americans. It is the online companion to a set published by Oxford.

The citation I saw was in an article by Barbara Babcock about the origins of the public defender. See Trial Ad Notes post.

Why, why, why?

I've run Trial Ad Notes for a year and a half and enjoy many aspects of blogging.

One thing I like is being able to keep track of some interesting link or news item if I want to find it again later. It also makes it easy to share such items with colleagues and friends.

But it only works for interesting bits that are related to trial advocacy. And I'm finding that sometimes I'd like to be able to post about something else. So I'm creating this blog as a place to note interesting websites, news, reports, studies, or whatever.

I don't know what it will likely include -- librarianship, law, technology, feminism, literature, whatever appeals to me. Hence the name.

We'll see.