Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who names these things

Ever since I read about the Uniform Testamentary Additions to Trusts Act, I've been singing "Hakuna UTATA."

Oh well. I won't worry about it--I'll just eat some grubs. Or maybe some TUUNAA.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I need a young priest and an old priest

I never understand how these work. If somebody can figure it out, let me know.

Freaky number guessing website

Saturday, October 27, 2007

where the rubber meets the road

One of my favorite things about law school is that you learn a lot about how the world actually works. For example, I used to wonder how exactly corporations do business. Now, after nearly completing Bizzorg, I understand. I have a lot of respect now for transactional lawyers and that special kind of practical creativity they possess. Another example: just last year, I helped my wife resolve a dispute with a seller on eBay who did not want to give a refund after she offered to return a purse that he had described as navy and cream but was actually plain old black and white. We pulled out the UCC, and I explained to him that § 2-711(2)(a) is pretty clear that she gets her money back or we go to court (for the $50 she paid for the purse). He was pretty scared, so we settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Well, it has happened again. Recently, my wife's PayPal account got hacked into, and the villain charged up $200 worth of stuff. No biggie . . . except that the bank account tied to the PayPal account did not have $200 in it. So we got charged the $200 plus an NSF fee.* We easily got the money back from PayPal (they actually told us about the hacking in the first place), but the bank was a little tougher to deal with. At first, they said, "You don't get your NSF fee back because it wasn't our fault." My wife's a tough cookie, so she played hardball and we got our money back. Tonight, we were talking about it, and suddenly the mysteries of Article 4 came clear to me. Under § 4-401, we're not liable for the PayPal charges because they weren't authorized. If we're not liable for the PayPal charges, how can we be liable for the resulting NSF fees? It was beautiful.

Did I really just say that?

*Can you imagine that a bank she worked at in college tried to cover the entirety of its overhead from NSF fees? And they were pretty close, too.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

See these bags under my eyes?

This is downright amazing. Baylor is ranked number 3 in the nation for most hours spent preparing for class on average. We are highest in Texas, and the only one in the top 25. More interesting, though, perhaps, is a look at the bottom 25, which includes Virginia (147), Harvard (151), UCLA (157), NYU (158), Yale (162), and U of Texas (169!*). But let's look at the real numbers:
  • Baylor = 5.68 hours per day spent studying.
  • Virginia = 3.77
  • Harvard = 3.74
  • UCLA = 3.58
  • NYU = 3.56
  • Yale = 3.50
  • U of Texas = 3.23

Wow. I'm really not sure what to think about this.

*Only North Carolina Central is lower, with a paltry 2.52 hours per day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fratority of Wet Squishy Shoes

Since when does Waco have monsoons? I left the house this morning dry. By chance, as I walked out the door, I grabbed my umbrella ("it's rather cloudy--rain? Nah--but just in case."). Near the 8th Street exit, it started sprinkling. By the time I was turning right on 5th Street, my windshield wipers were at an ironically ineffective high speed. After pulling into my parking spot, I decided to try to wait out the rain. To my growing dread, the rain started coming down harder and in greater volume and the wind started blowing more violently. If campus had palm trees, it would have felt like Isla Nublar minus the dinosaurs. But resistance is futile; so after a few minutes, I opened my umbrella, slipped on my backpack, and stuck my foot out into Tropical Storm Bizzorg.

As I walked through the parking lot, I held my umbrella perpendicular to my body. Yes. Perpendicular. By the time I reached the building, my head and torso were dry, but my legs below the knees were soppin wet. I've never been in a monsoon before, but apparently the effect on your clothing (if you have an umbrella) is more like wading through knee-deep water than standing in the rain. Putting on dry socks tonight at home was like . . . I don't know. Maybe flying back home in a helicopter after narrowly escaping ingestion by supposed-to-be-extinct reptiles.

Since I don't like to complain without offering a solution, I suggest that BLS convert a room into a giant oven so that the victims of Tropical Storm Bizzorg can dry off, relax, and avoid pneumonia.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sting'm Jackets

I have been informed that the University of Texas does not claim to have invented football. Rather, the Universities of Oklahoma and Southern California lay this claim. Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweepin' o'er the plain) is one of those unfortunate public schools that got its mascot from some obscure aspect of the state's history. The Sooners? That's right up there with the Hoosiers. Does anybody know if there are more?* As for USC, I've already made my comment. (Incidentally, if HPU could learn the Pythagorean defense and maybe base our offense more on something like Einstein's theory of relativity, we wouldn't have games like this.)

I hope you're still with me. I've been thinking a lot lately about how Texas elects our judges. I used to think it wasn't such a bad idea, but I'm starting to wonder--especially after the episode last week with the Presiding Judge Sharon Keller of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refusing to accept a ten-minute-late petition, with death on the line. I hesitate to align myself with either side of the capital punishment issue, but come on--we're talking about death. There is no appeal from that. Let's at least make sure that we've covered all our bases.

*Note--I do know where the Sooners got their mascot. But what is a "hoosier"?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What a beautiful world

There's a song they're playing on my radio station called "Underdog." The chorus says, "You have no fear of the underdog--that's why you will not survive." This is the weekend of the underdog.

The Yankees are getting smashed by the Indians. UT lost to Oklahoma. USC lost to Stanford (you just can't beat the Pythagorean defense). Call me whatever you like, but I love it when the giants are shaken.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I guess it is a big deal

Listen to this:

Both these [checks] were forged by one Lee, who has been since hanged for forgery.
- Lord Mansfield, Price v. Neal, 3 Burr. 1354, 97 Eng. Rep. 871 (K.B. 1762).

Wow. Sometimes I'm reminded why I'm glad I live in America in 2007 and not in England in 1762. Dang.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cultural sensitivity

Dadgummit. It's Myanmar and has been since 1989.

Disappointed but not destroyed

Following Poseur's lead, I picked an NL backup team . . . and now I'm lumped with the fans of the Mets, the Tigers, the Brewers, the Dodgers, and the Cardinals--teams that should be in the playoffs but aren't. My backup team was the Padres, and they lost tonight to the Rockies, 9-8 after 13 grueling innings. That means that the once-great Padres, who have everything the Rangers don't*, have stumbled into third place in the NL West and yet another season of what-almost-was. So, please, pity me.

My picks for playoffs (or at least how they should turn out based on relative evilness):

Angels v. Red Sox --> Angels in 6
Yankees v. Indians --> Indians in 6

Phillies v. Rockies --> Phillies in 7
Cubs v. Diamondbacks --> Cubs in 5

Angels v. Indians --> Indians in 6
Phillies v. Cubs --> Phillies in 7

Angels v. Phillies --> Phillies in 4

*Namely, offense and defense, but I prefer pitching so I'll focus on that. Triple-crown winner Jake Peavy, plus two of the (arguably) greatest pitchers alive--Greg Maddux and Trevor Hoffman.