Wednesday, September 27, 2006

First, make sure not to get fatally ill.

Death and pestilence correspondent Erik Koland wrote in with this tidbit over the weekend:
The Mercury News came with a special insert today, "Your Guide to
Pandemic Flu." It was a poster-sized fold out that helps you guide your
way through the upcoming pandemic flu in which deaths could be in the

It was sponsored by the Department of Health, Santa Clara County.
So, hang on to that, I guess. Thankfully, the Merc got back to being its new self as the week progressed. For more of the news that makes Silicon Valley tick, go the Merc's Web site, where some of today's top stories include a controversy around A.C. Slater's dancing techniques and coverage on the overly aggressive squirrels in Cuesta Park. (We actually got a letter about this at the Voice many months ago expressing fear that the city would not do anything until a squirrel attacked a kid).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Things us nerds find funny

Apologies for the lack of posts. I meant to finish my guides to local elections this weekend but have been engrossed in my law school reading. Here's a brief sampling:

from Favrot v. Barnes, a 1970s divorce case before the Louisiana Supreme Court:
" the husband's insistence, they agreed to limit sexual intercourse to about once a week. The husband asserts, as divorce-causing fault, that the wife did not keep this agreement but shought coitus thrice daily."
This case inspired my contracts professor, an Oxford graduate from Kansas who pretty much fits the stereotype of what a law school professor should look and act like, to go into a long and involved hypothetical featuring (I'm not lying about this) penal-vaginal intercourse, missionary position, oral sex, dildos, butt plugs and threesomes.

Meanwhile, the Civil Procedure has these nuggets, from actual cases, borrowed (and reprinted here without permission) from Richard Lederer's Anguished English:

Q: Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
A: No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.

Q: Mr. Smith, do you believe that you are emotionally unstable?
A: I should be.
Q: How many times have you committed suicide?
A: Four times.

Q: When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?
Mr. Brooks: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.

And lastly, this, from Professor Richard Friedman:

The Court: Next Witness.
Ms. Olschner: Your Honor, at this time I would like to swat Mr. Buck in the head with his client's deposition.
The Court: You mean read it?
Ms. Olschner: No, sir. I mean to swat him [in] the head with it. Pursuant to Rule 32, I may use the deposition "for any purpose" and that is the purpose for which I want to use it.
The Court: Well, it does say that.
The Court: There being no objection, you may proceed.
Ms. Olschner: You may proceed.
(Whereupon Ms. Olschner swatted Mr. Buck in the head with a deposition).
Mr. Buck: But Judge...
The Court: Next witness.
Mr. Buck: We object.
The Court: Sustained. Next witness.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Moments of silence, months of scare tactics

I glanced at Fox "News" early this morning, just out of morbid curiosity. Next to the ever-waving flag in the corner was the banner headline


Just after this came an update on Paris Hilton. Not quite what you might expect from the Defenders of Freedom (TM) on the fifth-year anniversary of Sept. 11. The Mercury News did little better (at least on its Web site), burying its coverage of the anniversary under a mountain of information about the kick-off of the NFL season.

Meanwhile, at the law school this morning, very few people seemed to remember that the bells were tolling for 60 seconds so that we could spend one minute silelntly reflecting on the significance of the attacks, the lives lost and the wars spawned. Apparently, that was too long to ask people not to talk about themselves. Special shame goes to the rep from Sidley Austin LLP who kept right on going with her pitch to some hopeful job supplicant during the entire minute.

Luckily, for those of us who have forgotten the significance of the day, Karl Rove is going to remind us, as only he can.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

House: Earth is round

Run, don't walk, to your local newsstand. The L.A. Times has a Pulitzer-worthy scoop: According to the U.S. Senate, Saddam Hussein was not allied with Al-Qaeda.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Advice from family and friends

At a going away party my family through for me a few weeks ago (thanks to everyone who came), my mom circulated some paper so people could write down some advice for me. She led it off with "Meet a nice girl with long arms and bring her home to meet the family by Thanksgiving '06 not '07.''

Here are my other favorites:
Molly Tanenbaum:
"To do in LA: 1) Find a decent bagel. 2) Meet Larry David.
To not do in LA: 1) Party with undergrads. 2) Continue blogging about MV + Los Altos news."
(Sorry, Molly, but building a shower to take to Burning Man cost you some credibility here.)
Arcia Dorosti:
"I can't think of anything important to say. So, I will call you when it comes to me."
(He called a few days later with updates on the A's).
"Deep thought: You will go as far as your heart and mind take you.
Lighter note: I'll hook you up with some girls if you buy me beer."
See you in a few weeks, Bubba.