Wednesday, February 25, 2009



The Other Texas Football Team

I don't know much about football, but anybody who paid much attention to the 2008 football season saw how important a quality backup quarterback is to winning championships.  Texas's other football team,* ironically referred to as "the Texans," decided to trade away their quality backup.  Besides my burgeoning affection for the Other Texas Football Team, I point this out to you because I thought you'd be interested in what the Minnesota Vikings gave up: a fourth-round draft pick.

You read that correctly.  Not two draft picks.  Not a first-round draft pick.  Not a player to be named later.  "Mr. Rosenfels, we appreciate what you've done for us the past two years, but we think you're worth the equivalent of an unproven Division II left tackle."

But like I said, I don't know much about football.


*Texas's football teams being generally recognized in this order: Dallas Cowboys, UT Longhorns, A&M Aggies, Midland High, Baylor Bears, Houston Texans.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Causation Joke

So I'm sitting in Advanced Crim Pro today, and we're talking about how Gerstein violations result in exclusion only if there is a causal connection between the violation and the evidence.  [This is really just a lame lead-up to what I think is a funny quote.]  That got me thinking about this quote from Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:

The complexities of cause and effect defy analysis.

You can take that to the bank.  The moral of the story is that the space-time continuum is

. . . very like a piece of badly put up wallpaper.  Push down a bubble somewhere, another one pops up somewhere else. . . . The only thing that really gets hurt when you try and change time is yourself.

Ah, Douglas Adams.  You left us too soon.

Who's afraid of a little paradox?

Those who've been watching LOST lately are probably thinking a lot about paradoxes and what-ifs.  My personal favorite paradox is the compass.  Alpert gives Locke the compass c. 2004, but Locke gives Alpert the compass (via time travel) in 1954.  If Locke got it from Alpert, and Alpert got it from Locke, where did it come from?

To help explain, here's a nice humorous quote dealing with time travel and paradoxes:

If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond.  And many of course don't.  It's like a human body, you see.  A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it.  Not even major surgery if it's done properly.  Paradoxes are just the scar tissue.  Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.

Thus spoke Douglas Adams, so it must be true.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wii are post-PC

So while my fellow travelers read through hundreds of pages of pretrial procedure and evidence law, my neighbor came over today to make sure his Wii didn't get blown out by the storm last night.  And I beat the Mirror Lightning Cup on Mario Kart Wii.  For those of you who don't know, this means that I have now won everything there is to win on Mario Kart Wii.  I now have only to unlock the three remaining characters by flying through levels super-fast on time trials.

It's so good to be post-PC.

Monday, February 09, 2009

In the Beginning

Ah, ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you two unique groups.

The first: Baylor's 1Q's.  They are bright and shiny, happy, excited about The Law.  Rah rah for them.

The second: Baylor's 6Qs, 7Qs, and 8Qs.  They are a little duller, sadder, and sedated about law than are the 1Qs.  They are entering the PC Cave.  Unless you witness for them---which you should---you probably won't see them again until August.  It's too late now to say your goodbyes.

The 1Qs are learning the prose of the law: nouns and pronouns, verbs and adverbs, sentence structure, and the like.  Those entering the PC Cave are learning the poetry of the law: iambic pentameter and blank verse.

I wish I could tell you how great it feels to be post-PC.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Deadball Era II

For those of you who still turn to me as your source for important news, Sports Illustrated reportedly reports that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids back in 2003.  On a side note, it's alarming that several of the big-name homerun-hitters caught up in the steroids era played at one time for the Rangers: Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez.  What's next?  Are people going to suspect Nolan Ryan's 27th season?

Probably not.  I feel blasphemous even typing that.  The only drugs Nolan Ryan took were Alleve. 

Anyway, the Yahoo! article asks an important question.  Many were looking to A-Rod to save the sport, but now . . .

[W]hat’s left for baseball, which now looks to a future where a suspected steroid cheat will pass a confirmed one?

What's left, indeed?  I don't know . . . a return to fundamentals?  A return to good pitching and strong defensive teams?  An era where we can name more famous pitchers than hitters?  I, for one, hope so.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Defalcation isn't as gross as it sounds

Today's Word of the Day is defalcate.  I thought "C'mon . . . everybody knows what defalcate means.  We do it every day."

Or not.  The trouble with quasi-homonyms is that they're tricky.  Five points if you can guess what I was thinking.  I'll put the answer five lines down, in white print.




Sunday, February 01, 2009

Harry Potter XLIII

While the rest of the world watched Super Bowl XLIII, those at Chez Masten watched Harry Potter IV: The Goblet of Fire.  I just wanted to point out that I love Ralph Fiennes.  He may be my hero.  Even when he plays Voldemort.  But I also wanted to say that if you're trying to get through the Harry Potter series, hold on till you get to the fourth book.  The Goblet of Fire is the book that cinched the series for me.  After I read The Goblet of Fire (or HP4 as those in the know call it), I was hooked.  The night I read the scene with the third task in the Triwizard Tournament, I stayed up and read something like 300 pages.  Over the next week, I read HP5 and HP6 (whatever their real names are).  That's right.  Something like 2000 pages in 10 days.

I thought that was really impressive until I took Practice Court.