Thursday, June 30, 2011

A salute to Robert Gates and a diatribe against the U.S. Postal Service--and why the two are linked.

Kevin Ferris wrote a lovely piece about departing defense secretary Robert Gates (here), who has served honorably in his position, putting the troops' needs first.

And speaking of our troops, I was hoping to be able to send paperbacks to them via Operation Paperback, but our postal service decided to send them back to me instead.

I'm starting to wonder why we still have a United States Postal Service, when it's staffed by too many people with too little initiative.  Yes, there are many good workers at the USPS.  But there are also too many who don't seem to want to do a good job.  Is there a way to repurpose the USPS people who are good (maybe ask them to get the TSA's house in order?), and give up on the idea that we still need a government run postal service?

In any event, thank you, Dr. Gates, for watching over our troops so well, and thanks, Operation Paperback, for trying.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fun with professional responsibility.

One of my favorite students at Boyd, Jason Lather, has alerted me to this story about a newbie lawyer who took on way, way too much:  here.  Fascinating.  Thanks, Jason!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sports trivia question.

Can you name any of the 17 schools with ZERO major NCAA violations in any sport since 1953, when the NCAA started keeping track?

Any of them?

Here's a hint (here), courtesy of yesterday's WSJ.

Stanford's one.
Air Force is one.
Penn State is one.
So's Northwestern.


Rice University is one.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For those of you who want some LexisNexis materials....

LexisNexis has graciously offered to give my readers a 20% discount if they order by clicking through my blog.  I don't get a dime for this--I traded "not getting a dime" for "my readers get a discount," which I liked a lot better.  Just scroll down the right-hand side of my blog to look for the link.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

USNWR likely to change its rankings methodology for placement.

Hat tip to TaxProf Blog, with this post (here).

I'm obviously no fan of the rankings or how law schools use them as a measure of quality, but I'm even more disappointed in schools that "manage" their employment numbers by, well, lying about them.  What else could USNWR do but find a workaround for the gaming that's been going on?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Watching STS-134 still brings tears to my eyes.

See here and here, with the links provided by our buddy Randy Morgan (that'd be our friend who is a real rocket scientist).

Watching the end of the shuttle program makes me grateful for all of the hard work and sacrifice that the good folks at NASA have provided, decade after decade.  I think about the last few lines in the movie Apollo 13,* spoken by Tom Hanks, who played Capt. Lovell:
Gene Kranz retired as Director of Flight Operations just not long ago.  And many other members of Mission Control have gone on to other things, but some are still there.  And as for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 ... were my last in space.  I watched other men walk on the moon and return safely ... all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston.  I sometimes catch myself looking up at the moon ... remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home.  I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back?  And who will that be?
With NASA's budget in jeopardy, I wonder where that great unifying cry for scientists will come from, and whether it will be loud enough for the next generation to hear it.

Thank you, NASA, for all you've done for us--and all that you continue to do.

* Ron Howard directed Apollo 13, based on the book Lost Moon (written by Capt. Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger), and with a script written by Bill Broyles and Al Reinert.