Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bomb Squad in the Parking Garage

I can't drive home. A bomb squad has sealed off the block around the parking garage down the street from school. The police narrowed down the timeframe for alleviating the threat to anywhere from "10 minutes, or maybe the rest of the night."

My first thought was, "fuckin A."

My second thought was, "Who calls in a bomb threat to a parking garage?" People are really taking this "no blood for oil" thing way too far if they don't want us to be able to drive home. I mean, there's a hospital right next door. I guess a doctor may have called in the bomb threat to inconvenience all the grad students that park in the "Doctor Parking Only" spots.

I've settled on the theory that our new Dean, knowing that now is the down time for studying, called in the bomb threat himself. Seeing the slacking numbers at the turnstiles at the library, the Dean got desperate. However, he severely underestimated the aversion to studying this time of year, as most students are willing to put lives at risk to get out of the library before 4. I hear that the gates are up right now, so the bomb threat may end up saving a lot of people three bucks.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What would you do with a billion dollars a day? (And you can't say buy the Cleveland Cavaliers.)

Exxon Mobil reported today that its net revenue for 2005 was approximately 371 billion dollars, just over a billion dollars a day. Net income on that revenue, excluding special one-time expenditures, was approximately $33.9 billion. In light of this record-breaking news many lawmakers are calling for special taxes on these so-called “windfall profits.” Let me tell you why this is a bad idea (and yes, I know Trotskey will disagree with me).

Any amateur economist knows that prices in a market economy are determined by supply and demand – a shortage in supply or an increase in demand will drive prices up. Recent world events make this quite clear, as we have seen an increase in the price of natural gas after the hurricanes in the Gulf region wiped out production centers, greatly reducing supply. It follows logically that prices can be decreased with a lull in demand or an increase in supply.

A windfall profit tax will negatively affect supply in two ways. Firstly, it directly discourages production of oil by penalizing those efforts – why pump more out of the ground when the marginal benefit is significantly reduced? Secondly, large profits encourage new investment. One of the reasons that gas prices have spiked is that there has been no significant investment in the domestic oil infrastructure in the last 30 years, due in part to the windfall profit tax imposed on the industry in the 1980s. Allowing the oil companies to retain their profits from the recent price spike will encourage them to build new refineries and finance new exploration projects, both of which will help bring supply in line with the recent increase in demand that is responsible for the rising costs at the pump.


Additionally, a windfall profit tax imposed by the US Congress would needlessly prejudice American companies like Exxon and Chevron, while international operations and companies would continue business as usual.

Incidentally, price controls are also not the answer. Higher prices both encourage production on behalf of the suppliers and conservation on behalf of the consumers. Artificially reduced prices would simply create an excess of demand, leading to the long lines at the pump seen in this country in the late 1970s.

If Congress really wants to do something about the energy problem in this country, they should encourage conservation and investment. Windfall profit taxes and price controls? No thanks.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Best news I've heard all day

Or maybe ever.

Super Dilemma

Meaty is threatening to take away my DVR if I don't blog more, so I've decided to get back on the horse.

The Super Bowl is slowly beginning to permeate every single media outlet (I'm hoping to see Joey Porter on The View), so it's about that time for me to pick a side to root for. Lately, it hasn't been that difficult. Root against the Patriots or Ravens (Note: as a Browns and Packers fan, I have had the "luxury" of being able to choose who to root for in the Super Bowl). However, this year, I've been having a difficult time choosing a side.

On one hand, I could root for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jerome Bettis "finally-making-it-to-a-Super-Bowl-in-his-hometown-last-game-before-retirement" storyline would usually be enough for me. However, this is Shitsburgh, and I'm a Browns fan, talk about heresy. Then there is the fact that Big Ben is from Findlay, Ohio, a "hometown" boy. Unfortunately, he turned down OSU, I'm not sure I can forgive him for this (point of order: If you've seen what Miami girls look like, you can't really blame him for this). There's Troy Polamalu as well, who is one of the most exciting players to watch and I really have no reason to hate him.

On the other hand, we have the Seahawks. Their team colors are teal and light blue, I think. Also, the team is named after a waterfowl. Yeah, we know that Seattle is on a bay, but that doesn't necessitate naming professional sports franchises after a harbor bird. How about the turquoise and gold of those Oakland Pelicans! No. Furthermore, Matt Hasselback is related to Tim Hasselback, who is married to the hot chick from The View. Therefore, I hate him by relation (for those of you counting at home, that's two View references in one blog, I'm definitely rusty). But really, people from Seattle are miserable, and don't deserve a Super Bowl title.

Bill Cowher's jaw gives women orgasms. I'm rooting for the Steelers. Did I mention I'll be in Pittsburgh for the big game, so there's a much better chance I get laid if I don a Duce Staley jersey and root for the Stillers.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Don't cheat

This is quite possibly one of the best gimmicks ever. Someone is (allegedly) selling all of her cheating fiance's stuff on eBay because he was running around with the nanny. She won't specifically say what's in the sale, but she does update the listing every day. So far it supposedly includes his XBOX 360, the widescreen TV he played his video games on, their piggy bank, her engagement ring, his iPod, computer, cameras and camcorders, power tools, and possibly a Harley.

The bidding is over $60,000, though that may be because she says she's giving away $100 to every person who raises the bid to the next $500 threshold. While I'm skeptical about the whole thing, the $100/$500 idea is just pure genius.

The font is really crazy, so here's the text in a Word file.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mmmmmarinelli?

We've talked before about how the once-proud Lions are being run into the ground by the genius Matt Millen. Since then, Millen went out and flirted with the idea of bringing in Jim Haslett (career record 46-51) as the next head coach before settling on darkhorse candidate Rod Marinelli, who has no head coaching or coordinating experience. Marinelli is the third head coach hired by Millen in the last five years, and interestingly, all three of them have names that start with M (Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci combined for a 20-55 record in just under five seasons). My friend Kenny obtained the exclusive transcript of Marinelli's interview:

Millen: Welcome to Detroit, Mr. ....
Marinelli: Marinelli.
Millen: Mmmmmarinelli?
Marinelli: Yes. Now, let me tell you what I'll bring to the Lions ...
Millen: How's that spelled?
Marinelli: M-a ...
Millen: Wait, Marinelli starts with "M"?
Marinelli: Yes.
Millen: Wow, so does Millen!
Marinelli: Yes, now as to the Lions ...
Millen: You're hired!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Crim Pro Quotes 2

"Ever since I've been in Academia, I haven't been able to enjoy Christmas, well, that's the ACLU's fault, but beside that."

"In my younger days when I was the in Marines, I used to live in New Orleans, I mean, before it sunk into the ocean like the lost city of Atlantis. I used to jog as well, and it would be when everyone was leaving the bars. And I thought to myself, this is just like being a professor, these people have been drinking (studying) all night, then it's just regurgitation in the street (on the exam), and the professor has to sit there and pick through the puke to find little pieces of meat."

"Back right before I went to law school, there was this guy, Jesus Christ, and he got arrested and dragged in. Then Pontius Pilate was like, Jesus Christ, if you're no fool, walk across my swimming pool. Is that testimonial?"

"OK, now what if I held a mirror in front of Dracula?"

"We had a lot of debates around the Thanksgiving table this weekend. Fortunately, I won every single one of them."

"We're going to do evaluations today, I'd recommend that you either speak generously or generally."

Student: "I have a lot of other exams to study for."
Prof. : "But surely you'd concede that Criminal Procedure is your most important."
Student: "Of course."
Prof." "Good, all I ask for is honesty."

"Many, many years ago, when you were just a thought in your mother's eye, I pushed very hard for a curve, and the anti-curve flower children thought we should just have a degree. And I banded together with some other young turks that weren't quite as turkish, and in the worst of all worlds we adopted the curve to a B approach."

"There may be some things that are confuzzling, as Snoop Dogg would say."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Day one

My first class of the semester is Wills, Trusts & Future Interests. The prof is pretty excited about this stuff, talking about dying testate or intestate, vested interests and expectations, dates of validity and effectiveness, univocal revocation, etc. Which sort of leads me to a morbid thought -- how long do you think this guy has been planning his own estate? He must know every single trick in the book. Do you think he's built in every single one of them, and now just can't wait to die to see how it all plays out? These are the questions that fill my day.

Friday, January 13, 2006

My new favorite procrastination tool

I spent countless hours this summer playing with Google Maps, but lately I've become fascinated with these so-called "mashups.". Basically people are taking the Google Maps and adding their own points of interest.

For example, here's one where you can track the real-time location of the commuter trains in Dublin, Ireland.

Here's one where you can find all the sexual predators in Georgia (complete with photos).

This one's my favorite -- it allows you to see which of your neighbors made donations to the 2004 presidential candidates.

You can find a great index of mashups here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Puppy update

She's still the cutest thing ever, and soft as anything I've ever felt, but...

She snores. Loudly.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

We gots us a puppy!

So, I will be sitting on the floor with her and trying not to watch this Bengals-Steelers game.



Saturday, January 07, 2006

Oh, to be blind...

Did you know that you can read Playboy in braille? No, I'm serious. (Hat tip: The Electric Commentary.)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hook 'em, I guess

I'll confess, I'm not a big Keith Jackson fan. Many consider him the best college football announcer out there and are quick to tell me that he's probably forgotten more about football than I'll ever know. But that's the problem -- he's forgotten everything. From incorrectly naming players, to missing fumbles, to not knowing how many feet you need in bounds in college, to arguing that one TD should be nullified because the ball crossed the goal line out of bounds, to misstating the "ground cannot cause a fumble" rule... he was just awful last night.

Also, I'm really rooting for Vince Young to enter the NFL draft, because I have no idea how on Earth the Buckeyes will stop him next year. I'm sure he'll be missing a lot of his supporting cast (3 OL are graduating, possibly more declaring early), but he looked even better than College Michael Vick.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A new game

The NFL's regular season is over, and even though there are still 11 postseason games to go, the 2005 Fantasy Football season is no more. I guess I have to count that as a good thing, as I didn't have a single team that was even really decent.

To get that taste out of my mouth, we're going to try a new fantasy game here. Some time next week, half a dozen or so GMs will draft fantasy rosters of UC Law professors for a roto league. Details are still being worked out, and we're very much open to suggestions, but I think we'll probably start something like 2 tenured faculty, 2 associate faculty, and a flex. Maybe we'll start an adjunct too. Possible scoring categories are things like number of publications or citations, awards, blog hits, pages of reading assigned per week, number of minutes by which class ends early (or late), cold calls per class, etc. Feel free to drop ideas in the comments and check back soon for a draft-day recap.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Whirlwind tour

Sorry for being away for so long. My Christmas/Channukah/New Year's trip has taken me from Cincinnati to Cleveland to Western Michigan to Toledo to Cleveland and now, finally, back to Cincinnati. I still have about two weeks off so I'll get back to blogging soon.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year

My New Year's Eve was a little spoiled by the fact that our flight left this morning at 6 AM, and my Dad, or the biggest over-planner on Earth, made sure that we left our house at 4 AM (20 minute drive to the airport). This meant that I was up at 3:30 AM, not in the fun "I'm still partying" up at 3:30 AM, but in the "time to shave and shower" up at 3:30 AM.

However, the misery of the early morning drive was tempered by the plethora of completely hammered voicemails that I received (and the one call that I received at 4 AM on the way to the airport). The best voicemail had to be an unintentional one. It consisted of 3 minutes of rustling sounds, muffled voices, and then something that sounded like a person trying to finish off a Slurpee. If I'm not going to get any New Year's action, I'm glad I could at least hear one of my friends getting some. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't really enjoy the 20 odd generic text messages wishing me a happy new year. Some of us have to pay for that shit people. Thanks to dubs for the personalized "Happy New Year, and your mother's cunt."

So I'm here in Aruba now, enjoying our internet connection. Why am I in Aruba and on the Internet? Simple, I'm a law student. Other than the simple seperation anxiety all law students experience when forced away from their laptops for more than 24 hours, this also deals with our inherent ability to stay awake for days on end. The rest of my family is reeling from the 8 collective hours of sleep we shared last night. My brother is passed out in the bed next to me (snoring, loud), my dad is passed out on the couch in my parent's room, my mom asleep in their bed. I however, sit here, blogging. That is, until my dad rolls over and I can slip out his wallet and hit the casinos.

In reality, I'll probably just sit here until I pass out. I have a long day drinking on the beach tomorrow and checking out all the topless European ladies who casually offer up crotch shots (it almost has to be intentional). OK, I'm really just hoping to catch a glimpse of some dude's schlong in a speedo. I love the Dutch (one day on the beach here will make you want to move to Europe).