Site Meter

Category: Humor

0

The Power of the Blog: My Most Widely Read Work

airlinetoy1c.jpgThis is a navel-gazing post, but it is self-deprecating, so please read on. What is my most widely read work? Is it one of the articles I wrote? Nope. My book, The Digital Person? Nope. My casebook, Information Privacy Law? Nope. None of the above.

The answer is The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun!

The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun! isn’t a book. It’s not an article. It’s a blog post. And it’s not a blog post about the law; nor does it have deep thoughtful musings about information privacy. Instead, it is a humor piece about the Playmobil airline screening playset.

Sitemeter-CO-airlinescreening3.jpgI posted the blog post on October 11, 2005. Within just a few hours, the post got linked to at many other blogs and in countless chatrooms. Hits to the post began to pour in. I received over ten thousand hits in the first day, and the hits just kept coming afterwards. The sitemeter is on the left.

I still get many hits each day for that post. In all, based on my server’s statistics, it appears that the post has received over 50,000 visits. If you add up all the sales figures for my two books as well as all my downloads on SSRN, it comes nowhere near this figure. This probably means that my most well-read work is my post about a toy playset! So while some law professors can say that the work they’re most famous for is some article or book about the law, I’d be forced to say that my most widely-known work is a blog post about a toy.

Anyway, I guess this is just one of those bizarre facts of life. . .

6

Want better student evaluations?

uvabuilding.jpgI read an advertisement for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration in the US Airways magazine recently, headlined “The best professors in the World don’t like hearing themselves speak.” The advertisement continued, “To develop great communicators and leaders we ask students to, quite simply, communicate and lead. That’s why Darden professors spend the least amount of time lecturing of any of the top MBA programs. We believe this is one reason the Princeton Review ranked our professors the #2 teaching faculty in the nation.”

So, to improve teaching scores, talk less. Hmm, something to think about as I prepare for class today.

Read More

0

Blogging Isn’t Just for the Young

oldperson3.jpgThis AP article, available at CNN, chronicles older individuals who are blogging:

Web logs, more often the domain of alienated adolescents and middle-aged pundits, are gaining a foothold as a new leisure-time option for senior citizens. . . .

Three percent of online U.S. seniors have created a blog and 17 percent have read someone else’s blog, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Compare that to online 18- to 29-year-olds: Thirteen percent have created blogs and 32 percent have read someone else’s blog, according to Pew.

Joe Jenett, a Detroit-area Web designer who has been tracking the age of bloggers for a personal venture called the Ageless Project, said he has noticed more older bloggers in the past two years.

The title of the article is “Senior Citizen Bloggers Defy Stereotypes” but the article’s URL at CNN is . . . well . . . not as kindly worded:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/internet/11/10/geezers.who.blog.ap/index.html

8

New Phrases for the Ann Coulter Talking Doll?

anncoultertd.jpg

In the spirit of Dan Solove’s recent posting on the airport security playset, I would like to recommend the Ann Coulter talking doll.

Check out the link and you can hear sample phrases. My favorite is the one about liberals hating American more than terrorists. God bless politics.

Perhaps a phrase that could be added to the next edition of the doll is this one, which Dave Hoffman includes in his discussion of Coulter’s attack on Harriet Miers: “[A]ll the intellectual firepower in the law is coming from conservatives right now.”

All of this leads me to some serious questions (which modify Ms. Coulter’s statement): are conservative legal academics the ones producing the most influential or the most interesting scholarship these days? There was a time (in the nineteenth century) when the legal treatises were almost all written by conservatives (James Kent’s Commentaries; Joseph Story’s Commentaries; Timothy Walker’s Introduction to American Law). I can only think of one important antebellum legal treatise writer who was a Democrat: Henry Sedgwick. And his treatise on constitutional law was a success because he did not let his Democratic politics interfere with reporting on the law as it was.

Read More

9

Fantasy Law School League

Folks have joked about the idea of running a “Fantasy Law School” league (a la a fantasy football league) for some time now. But the recently-posted Leiter rankings, combined with USNews and a wealth of statistics (pseudo and otherwise), indicate that we are entering a brave new era in the evaluation of law school quality and talent. No more fuzzy and impressionistic scouting of talent; bring on the new and more scientific “Moneyball” approach. Herewith, some proposed rules (comments and suggestions welcome):

1. Season: 1 year, starting Sep. 1

2. Maximum 10 law schools per league, 15 law professors per school.

3. Required positions: Dean, Contracts, Property, Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Corporations, Evidence, Tax, Junior Faculty Member (less than 5 years), Student Body (pick school). Remaining positions are optional, but must be in different subject matters. Subject matter positions are for teaching, and may be completely disconnected from research.

4. Statistics:

(a) donations: $200k = 1 point.

(b) citations: 1 cite in Westlaw’s JLR or SCT = 1 point.

(c) ssrn downloads: 10 downloads = 1 point. (gaming of downloads will result in forfeit).

(d) law review articles: top-10 journal = 10 points. 10-30 journal = 5 points. remaining = 1 point.

(e) books: top-5 academic press = 20 points. casebook, new = 10 points, new edition = 5 points. all others = 1 point.

(f) entering class median LSAT: 170-180 = 10 points, 165-170 = 5 points, 160-165 = 1 point.

(g) entering class median GPA: 3.8-4.0 = 10 points, 3.6-3.8 = 5 points, 3.4-3.6 – 1 point.

(h) blogging: 20 posts = 0 points. 40 posts or more = -1 point.

5. Multiplier: points will be doubled for junior faculty (under 5 years)

6. Draft: date: August 1. random initial order, S-draft (e.g. first round: 1,2,3 … second round: 10,9,8 …).

7. Trades: no limits on number of trades. trades may be vetoed w/in 2 days by vote of 50% of other players.

8. Waivers: players may pick up unclaimed professors at any time, subject to maximum professor limit.

Now if only we could get someone to write a program to track this …

5

Unusual Action Figures

actionfigure-shakespeare4.jpgWhat does Moses have in common with Rosie the Riveter? How is Oscar Wilde similar to Alexander the Great?

Stumped?

They’re all action figures. Yes, really. Since I’ve now earned a reputation blogging about toys with the Playmobil airline screening playset toy, I thought I’d point out that there’s a bizarre line of action figures of famous authors, artists, musicians, scientists, and others.

Now instead of playing with GI Joe or Star Wars action figures, you can have William Shakespeare battle Edgar Allen Poe. There’s also one of Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Johann Sebastian Bach, Jane Austin, and Sigmund Freud to name a few.

actionfigures3a.jpg

I don’t quite understand the whole collection. Why are Bigfoot and Blackbeard included? Why is there an action figure of an obsessive compulsive man or an albino bowler?

What action figures are coming next? Can anybody crack the logic of the series? Perhaps the Volokh Conspiracy’s puzzleblogger, Kevan Choset, can figure it all out!

0

Spam Poetry

quillpen3.bmpI’m continually getting spam from a spammer who uses randomly generated phrases for the email subject lines. To some ears, it might be meaningless drivel, but to other ears, the spam is really an ongoing poem, delivered one line at a time. These are the actual subject lines:

To write in magenta colossal

you be but blimp measurement

Go play darts magnesium

Re: esophagi, do you love me or not?

I find my mispronounce british

so live go restore

On learn to pallet

To make do periods contortion

Re: her travel no economics

Wanna get a drink? pantomimic theoretic

doctrinaire rosary

Fwd: radish demented

Freedom for everyone

On look on precious hepatitis

Re: stress, This is the time of your life

Wanna get a drink? cryptogropher indorse

Go explain be school roughage

do reply to rap

And who thought spammers couldn’t be poets?

0

In the Annals for Dumb Criminals

crackhouse2.jpgTip: If you run a crack house, don’t put up a sign that says “Crack House” when you’re open for business.

According to the article:

Memphis police say brazen drug dealers are behind bars after a sting operation called “Operation Blue Crush”. All is quiet at 3293 Rosamond. That’s because the alleged gang members who took over the house are in jail. Police say the suspects were so bold they advertised the fact that this was a crack house. When they were open for business, they’d flip an address sign over that read “Crack house.”

52

A Day in the Life of Blogging

Wake up

Check email

Check blog – see if co-bloggers have posted anything and read comments to posts

Check site meter stats – see how many people visited and who’s linking to the blog

Check Technorati – see who’s linking to the blog

Check out blogs linking to the blog

Check The Truth Laid Bear – see the latest ranking of the blog

Check other blogs for ideas for blog posts

Check news sites for ideas for blog posts

computer-addict4.jpgWrite blog post

Check email

Check blog

Check site meter

Lunch

Check blog

Check email

Check site meter

Check blogs and news websites

Write blog post

Check Technorati again

Check email again

Check site meter again

Dinner

Check blog

Check other blogs

Think of ideas for tomorrow’s blog posts

Check email

Check Technorati

Check out blogs linking to the blog

Check site meter

Bedtime

Repeat the above for life . . . .

0

Google’s New Privacy Policy

google.jpgGoogle recently revised its privacy policy:

Old Policy (July 1, 2004)

New Policy (Oct. 14, 2005)

Philipp Lenssen has a humorous translation of the legalese of Google’s new privacy policy. A brief excerpt:

 

What they say

What they really mean

 

Google collects personal information when you register for a Google service

or otherwise voluntarily provide such information. We may combine personal

information collected from you with information from other Google services

or third parties to provide a better user experience, including customizing

content for you.

When

you want to use one of our sites, I mean really use them, we put up

those little boxes where you type your name and stuff. Whatever you type in

any of those sites goes to our great big machine somewhere in the basement,

and from there, all of our employees can pretty much sniff around in it and

do fun stuff with it, like read it out loud on office parties.

 

For more Google humor, check out Randy Siegel’s joke Google website in the year 2084. (Hat tip: Thinking About Technology)

We here at Concurring Opinions have a privacy policy. Please don’t get alarmed after reading it — it’s a joke, of course. We don’t sell your information to others. Really. Not because we care about your privacy — just because we haven’t found somebody to pay us for it yet. . . .