Docstoc Permits Sharing of Documents, Downloading of Documents, and Embedding in Blogs or Websites : e.g. Patent Outline, Web Development Contract

Calling all Law Professionals : Help Bring Debate Back to Urban Schools

As a former champion high-school debater, this one was a natural….

We found the following email in our Facebook mailbox in an account we opened just for fun and which we do not consult regularly, so we may be a bit late in presenting that posting, but better late than never:

“Help bring debate back to urban schools

To members of Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession

8:37pm Dec 21st

Greetings from BBLP,

We thought you might be interested in the following message about how members of the legal profession can support debate in urban schools and other pipeline programs.

Happy Holidays!

This Christmas, a film will hit theaters called “The Great Debaters.” The film is directed by Denzel Washington and stars Washington and Forrest Whittaker. In the film, Denzel, leads a debate team from Wiley College—a Historically Black College in East Texas—which overcomes incredible adversity in the Jim Crow South to beat Harvard University in a national title round.

The National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL), the national leadership organization of the movement to bring debate back to urban schools, has created a website —http://www.thegreatdebaters.org—to showcase the relationship between urban debate and the film.

The site features information specifically about how lawyers and law students can support and advocate for urban debate as a pipeline to the legal profession. You can also register for the chance to win advance-screening passes to the film in your area!

To learn more about the film or debate and the law, please visit our website: http://www.thegreatdebaters.org or join our facebook group, The Great Debaters: http://brown.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6381388718.

The NAUDL is looking to reach as many interested lawyers, law students, and professionals as possible. If you know anyone who would be interested in attending a pre-release screening of “The Great Debaters” or learning more about urban debate, please forward this message along.

Thanks!”

And so we are doing.

P.S. See the New York Times review of the film, The Great Debaters.

P.S.S. It is interesting to see how Facebook serves as a platform for people to join various groups. We have thus far joined two.

Evidence and Maya Chronology

It is not often that we are mentioned in the same breath with Faraday and Einstein….

Gary Lawrence Murphy is a very smart man because – as he shows at his blog posting at TeledyN – he is one of very few people out there who recognizes the major evidentiary flaw in the current Maya chronology, which is the apparently inexplicable failure of that chronology to account for passages of Halley’s Comet (Halleys Comet, 1P/Halley, Comet Halley), which visibly visits our planet about every 76 years.

During the days of the Maya, Halley’s Comet in fact passed much closer to the Earth than in our modern era, an event which the Maya would have recorded without doubt, and as we haved alleged – did record – with great fanfare.

The current Maya chronology is wrong, because it does not account for Halley’s Comet. Our revised Maya chronology – based on the evidence – does account for passages of Halley’s comet.

Thus, e.g., the Mayan regal “Great Burning Claw“, who the erring Maya scholars think to be a Mayan “ruler” in 378 A.D., was actually Halley’s Comet in 375 A.D.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take the ensconced Maya scholars to correct their current erroneous chronology, based upon the unassailable evidentiary arguments that we have presented.

Google Book Search : A Valuable Assistant for Librarians, Library Acquisitions and Pending Consumer Purchases

Try this Google Book Search link for “law“.

Google Book Search is developing into a very interesting information tool, also for librarians, because it provides a quick means for librarians and consumers to determine whether a book should be acquired or not, as one can quickly check out the general nature of the book layout, the table of contents, and index (if any) – which is important for library-acquired books, etc.

One example of the useful features integrated into Google Book Search is the ability to find one’s own authored books in the Google Book Search database and/or to find books in which one’s own name has been mentioned together with the ability to include books of choice into one’s own personal library, here as an example, MyLibrary.

Google Book Search now shows numerous page selections from books but always leaves out a page or two here and there so that the entire book is not accessible, but it provides enough information for a potential buyer or researcher to determine whether the book is of value for purchase or research.

Take a look at the way Google Book Search presents our book Stars Stones and Scholars. We are very much in favor of this approach because it really is a great way for people to determine what books they should buy and is not much different than leafing through a book at a bookstore or book shop.

But there are some important and useful differences. For example, once one has selected a particular book, one can click the menu item “About this book” at the top of the right-hand column. The resulting page provides general library information about the book, including ISBN number and the general subject category to which a book is assigned, a list of key words and phrases in the book, a few selected pages (in the case of Stars Stones and Scholars, 3 pages with illustrations), a search box for entry of key words to be found, popular passages (it would be interesting to see the algorithm that is used to determine this), links to reviews of the book, references to the book from web pages, references to the book from other books, references to the book from scholarly works, links to related books, and a map of places mentioned in the book, followed by a selection of some of those places together with short excerpts from the book about them.

One problem that can arise in looking at some Google Book Search scans is that the text can be virtually too small to read. Internet Explorer 7 has a magnifying glass icon/button in the bottom right hand corner of the status line at the bottom of the IE browser page whereby the size of the page can be substantially increased, making even the smallest text readable. The Sandy Berger Blog points out this feature is also available in Opera and is a godsend in both Opera and IE for screen-bleary tired eyes. Our browser of choice, Firefox, up-to-now has not had such a feature, but Firefox 3.0b2 (beta 2) does integrate full page zoom, although Firefox 3.0 still needs substantial improvement before we will use it, especially since it knocks out the Google Toolbar, which is a capital error.

Be Smart as Your Own Coach : 30 Days to Success : Improve Your Personal Life : Self-Development, Motivation, Self-Discipline, Better Lifestyle

Want to look at a success story?

Steve Pavlina has gone from being a man sitting in a jail cell to becoming a “growth-oriented” college graduate with a highly popular blog geared to Personal Development for Smart People.

Steve Pavlina’s 30 Days to Success is his most popular posting:

Here are some other ideas for applying 30-day trials:

  • Give up TV. Tape all your favorite shows and save them until the end of the trial. My whole family did this once, and it was very enlightening.
  • Give up online forums, especially if you feel you’re becoming forum addicted. This will help break the addiction and give you a clearer sense of how participation actually benefits you (if at all). You can always catch up at the end of 30 days.
  • Shower/bathe/shave every day. I know YOU don’t need this one, so please pass it along to someone who does.
  • Meet someone new every day. Start up a conversation with a stranger.
  • Go out every evening. Go somewhere different each time, and do something fun — this will be a memorable month.
  • Spend 30 minutes cleaning up and organizing your home or office every day. That’s 15 hours total.
  • List something new to sell on ebay every day. Purge some of that clutter.
  • Ask someone new out on a date every day. Unless your success rate is below 3%, you’ll get at least one new date, maybe even meet your future spouse.
  • If you’re already in a relationship, give your partner a massage every day. Or offer to alternate who gives the massage each day, so that’s 15 massages each.
  • Give up cigarettes, soda, junk food, coffee, or other unhealthy addictions.
  • Become an early riser.
  • Write in your journal every day.
  • Call a different family member, friend, or business contact every day.
  • Make 25 sales calls every day to solicit new business. Professional speaker Mike Ferry did this five days a week for two years, even on days when he was giving seminars. He credits this habit with helping build his business to over $10 million in annual sales. If you make 1300 sales calls a year, you’re going to get some decent business no matter how bad your sales skills are. You can generalize this habit to any kind of marketing work, like building new links to your web site.
  • Write a new blog entry every day.
  • Read for an hour a day on a subject that interests you.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Learn a new vocabulary word every day.
  • Go for a long walk every day.”

Steve has more great improvement tips at:

Best of StevePavlina.com

30 Days to Success
How to Become an Early Riser
How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes
Self-Acceptance vs. Personal Growth
Soulful Relationships
Living Congruently
10 Stupid Mistakes Made by the Newly Self-Employed
Polyphasic Sleep
How to Get From a 7 to a 10
Overwhelming Force
Cause-Effect vs. Intention-Manifestation
How Intentions Manifest
The Law of Attraction
Self-Discipline (series)
The Meaning of Life (series)
How to Give Up Coffee
Motivation for Smart People
Levels of Consciousness
How to Make Money From Your Blog
10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

We are going to spend some time at his site and pick up some pointers. Take a look.

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Windfall Millions : The Dark Side of Capitalism Raises its Head : What Does the Subprime Mortgage Debacle Tell Us?

Money, money, money. Just how much is enough?
And how much should a man be allowed to earn if he has in fact harmed the community?
Is there something fundamentally wrong with our financial rewards system?

In a world based on money and capitalism, there are going to be abuses of the capitalist system, and Robert J. Samuelson at his Washington Post op-ed points to Capitalism’s Enemies Within as the nation struggles with unresolved financial problems arising from abuses of capitalism. As Samuelson observes:

Amid the mayhem on world financial markets, it is becoming clear that capitalism’s most dangerous enemies are capitalists. No one can have watched the “subprime mortgage” debacle without noticing the absurd contrast between the magnitude of the failure and the lavish rewards heaped on those who presided over it.

Read more from Samuelson here.

A nice statement about Samuelson’s article is one from PlatyGuy at DiscussAnything.com:

This is why I always make a distinction between free markets and capitalism. Being near the money (capital) doesn’t mean you’re more involved in value creation but it does mean you can divert more of that money into your own pockets. Sure, capital is important, but – as Samuelson notes – it’s not more important than other inputs. Economic growth requires more than just moving money (which represents pre-existing value) around, and those who just facilitate that motion don’t deserve any special rewards. Their job is the financial equivalent of plumbing, not architecture, and should be compensated accordingly.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Blue Monday Strikes Financial Markets as Stocks Plummet on January 21, 2008

Blue Monday in January has hit again as world stock markets have fallen sharply.

Relax and take it easy. Do not be too concerned. The established news media are having a field day as they love nothing more than catastrophes, but Blue Monday happens every year, in a development which shows that mankind is human, but which also shows that the mass of men are not eagles but sheep.

As Dr. Cliff Arnal has calculated, depression peaks on about the third/fourth Monday in January;
see 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The probable solution – though we offer this without any guarantees and disclaim any liability for anyone following this solution – is to stop moaning, stop selling your stocks, swear never to get into a foolish panic again, and take a vacation somewhere where you will get some sun – or, in a pinch, get your body under those rays at your local solarium.

We were watching CNN showing people glued in expectant misery to TV screens watching the stock ticker showing dropping stock prices. Many, in panic, are selling their stocks. Men are sheep.

There are of course current well-known financial problems in the credit market, but there are ALWAYS financial problems in the world somewhere, yet the world economic system is quite sound and stable and the average man has nothing to fear, except his own foolishness and perhaps his own risky investing.

Just remember that when you sell your stocks at a loss, someone else is probably buying them at a profit.

Blogs for Schools and Colleges offered by Edublogs

As we have cross-posted to our education blog edu.edu, Edublogs has launched “Edublogs Campus”, a blog service for schools and colleges. It looks good.

Edublogs writes:

Edublogs Campus is the enterprise version of the free edublogs site.

As an Edublogs Campus customer you get your own installation of the edublogs software, at your own domain.

This means that you can create, manage, brand, and control blogs for your entire institution, without ever having to worry about the technology.

The set up you’ll get is packed with great teaching and learning features, as well as extra administrative functionality to save you time and keep you safe.

We’re absolutely fanatical about support and you’ll be able to contact us by email anytime to get help or have any difficulties. We also provide copious ‘how to’ videos and can even arrange webinars and other support material on demand.

And finally, you need never worry about any other costs, as we provide you with an unlimited amount of space, support and bandwidth all included within your annual fee.

Please feel free to get in touch for extra information, we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

And thanks again for checking us out.

James Farmer, Andrew Billits and the team at Edublogs.

Wikia Search Launched

Wikia Search launched on January 7, 2008 but it still has a long way to go.

LOTS of criticism, e.g. by Seth Finkelstein.
and TechCrunch (Michael Arrington).

But there are also some positive voices, for example Skrentablog (Rich Skrenta).

Take a look.

Our own opinion is that the rankings feature is thus far a disaster and that Wikia Search should concentrate more on delivering information rather than on evaluating it by quantities. QUALITY is the key measure and quanitities just do not have what it takes. If masses had brains Einstein would have been a community, but he was not. Community effort – OK. Community judging – NO. They lack the competence. This is also a great fault with Google. Just because one million idiots view a page daily does not mean it is good. Quite the contrary, quantity generally means that the lowest common denominator is winning and that IQs of viewers do not break 100.

We also do not like the design and the coloring of the results – obviously copying Google with blue and green – with a blue that is too light and a green that is too pastel. For what reason green is used here at all is a mystery – it is one color feature of Google that we definitely dislike. To make an “alternative” search engine, it has to be an “alternative” and not just a poor copy.

The LawPundit Personality acc. to Myers-Briggs : ENTJ "The Chief"

These personality tests are interesting. Here are the results for LawPundit.

The LawPundit Personality : ENTJThe Chief” – details
Temperament: NT (Intellectual)

Primary Function: Extraverted Thinking
Population: 3% (4.5% male, 1.5% female)

StickK Launches Contract Commitment Site : Achieve Your Personal Goals : Lose Weight : Quit Smoking : Save Money : Exercise Regularly : Hey, Why Not?

Here’s a legal twist.

StickK has launched the ultimate contract commitment site – a place to make improvement contracts with yourself.


On Target Image linked from StickK – Copyright by StickK

Achieve Your Personal Goals : Lose Weight : Stop Smoking : Save Money : Exercise Regularly

  • StickK writes:”stickK is designed to promote a healthier lifestyle for you by allowing you to create “Commitment Contracts.”
  • A Commitment Contract is a contract that binds you into achieving a personal goal.

Curious?

Eric Posner at the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog has posted about the StickK launch here.

But caveat emptor ! With this contract, you may be dealing with the ultimate most difficult contract negotiator of all time. YOU.

Project Vote Smart : The Voter’s Speakeasy Blog : Voter’s Self-Defense System Bus Tour

Project Vote Smart has a blog for voters on the Presidential Election (and others elections too) titled The Voter’s Speakeasy. The Project is also conducting a nationwide bus tour to defend voters from campaign rhetoric and misinformation. The tour thus far is shown below by a map linked from the Project Vote Smart website:


As Project Vote Smart writes on their website:

After 16 years of work by 6000 volunteers, at the cost of twelve million dollars, the Voter’s Self-Defense System is finally complete, and ready to be presented to American voters from across the nation. To deliver the system Project Vote Smart has acquired a 45′ bus that we will be using to tour the nation to teach voters how to defend themselves against the rhetoric and misinformation that come out of political campaigns today. The bus will be in a town near you over the coming year. We are constantly looking for places to bring the bus, if you have an event or place that you think we should bring the bus to please e-mail media@votesmart.org and tell us about it. We need to know where it is, what it is, how many people are expected to attend, contact information for the event or function, and any other information that will help us to bring the bus to your community, so that we can arm you and your neighbors with these essential tools to defend yourselves.

Their schedule up to February 13 is listed here.

It looks like a good idea to us. Help your voters to make an intelligent INFORMED decision.

GPS Coordinate Systems : Google Earth : WGS84 : Ordnance Survey : GEOTRANS : UTM : ED50 : Problems and Conversions

The prime meridian of GPS and Google Earth, which uses WGS84 (1984), runs 102.5 meters east of the Prime Meridian of 1884 at Greenwich. This is not an “error”. Read at the Flamsteed Astronomy Society why that is so.

Determining just where we are or where a given place is located is not as simple as it may initially seem to anyone who uses GPS for navigation of their car. Large discrepancies exist between various existing coordinate and mapping systems, so that awareness of conversion problems is necessary, for example, in archaeological and archaeoastronomical work as also for water navigation.

GPS (Global Positioning System) operates by means of satellites which determine the position of your GPS receiver. If we define a particular located position as “X”, then position X must be given a value within some kind of a specific coordinate system, and in the case of GPS that position X is given in terms of latitude and longitude, as calculated by WGS84 (World Geodetic System 1984), a standard which was revised by the geopotential model EGM96 (Earth Gravity Model 1996 ) and is in future revision in 2008 as EGM2008 (initially EGM06).

There are numerous other survey systems used for mapping and cartography around the globe and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency offers the program Geographic Translator (GEOTRANS) for conversion of “twenty-five different coordinate systems, map projections, grids, and coding schemes, and over two hundred different datums….

The Universal Transverse Mercator Coordinate System is used for mapping the world, now based on WGS84.

A different survey system is ED50, which is used in mapping Western Europe, excluding Britain, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland, who have their own mapping systems. ED50 can differ by as much as 100 meters west and south from WGS84, i.e. GPS.

Similarly large up to 100-meter+ differences from WGS84 can also be found in the mapping coordinate systems used by Great Britain and Ireland.

For Great Britian, beside GPS, the major mapping system in use is:
OSGB36 – Ordinance Survey Great Britain 1936-1962 – The British national grid reference system.

For Ireland, the major mapping system besides GPS in use is The Irish grid reference system (which also includes Northern Ireland).

Coordinate conversion viz. transformation forms for both the British and Irish coordinate systems are available at the nearby.org.uk Coordinate Converter and also at the Ordnance Survey Coordinate Transformer.

If we plug in e.g. SU123422 (the grid reference for Stonehenge), nearby.org.uk converts this to
51.178904N Long: 1.825418W
which is very close to latitudinal and longitudinal values found online
51.178816N Longitude: 1.826563W (Megalithic Portal)
51.178381, -1.824018, Stonehenge (Stone Search)
51°10′44″N, 1°49′34″W (Wikipedia)

For megalithic sites specifically:

Stone Search:
1) generates GPS-suitable output as a comma-separated-variable (CSV) format with the fields latitude, longitude, site name

or at the standard search form
2) generates the British or Irish grid reference

Other Specialized Converters are:

GPS Coordinate Converter with MAP feature showing location (we entered WGS84 data 51.178381, -1.824018 for Stonehenge and received GPS N 51 10.703 W 1 49.441 and latitude and longitude in degrees minutes and seconds N51 10 42W1 49 26)
Coordinate Converter Latitude, Longitude UTM (with choice of Datum)
Geographic/UTM Coordinate Converter
JEEEP.com (Translate coordinates WGS-84, NAD-83, and NAD-27 to and from Latitude/Longitude and UTM)
UK Street Map Coordinate Converter
Archaeoptics (Easting Northing)
Map Window GIS (Open Source Programmable Geographic Information System Tools)
Latitude Longitude Converter
Find Out Where You Are (latitude & longitude, national grid references (NGR), Maidenhad locators (QRA)

German Princes after Luther, the Bible and Protestantism : Are the New Princes Google and Intel?

OK, if you shot a very long arrow from the State of Maine toward the Northeast, where would you wind up? Would you believe, Prince Edward Island, location of one of the best blogs in the Internet?

Robert Paterson has a blog looking underneath the surface of things, also Organizations and Culture, where he posted recently about “The New Reformation – The Importance of the Princes“:


But we also have to remember the importance of the German Princes who protected Luther from the Pope and the Emperor and why they did this.

This is a picture of the Castle at Wartburg where Frederick II, the Elector of Saxony, who “owned Luther’s University, hid Luther after the Diet of Worms. He also arranged the safe conduct for Luther. Luther wrote his translation of the bible into German there.

Without Fredrick’s support, Luther may well have gone to the stake or been murdered on the road. Luther then wrote directly to many German Princes and offered a deal. If they took up Protestantism, they could avoid paying taxes to Rome and to the Emperor. They would be free. Most agreed and Northern Europe became not only Protestant but also much more prosperous because the culture became more open.

I think that Google and Intel may be the German Princes of our time.

Read more here.

KSR Update Webinar by World Research Group at Noon (EST) on January 24, 2008

Philip Brooks at Patent Infringement Updates alerts us to a webinar by World Research Group to take place online from noon to 1:15 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time) on January 24, 2008 regarding the implications of the Supreme Court’s landmark patent law decision in the KSR case (see also Leapfrog), which set a new standard for determining obviousness. Registration is required for the webinar, which has the following agenda:

  • Understanding KSR, What does it mean to the patent practitioner?
  • Redefining “Obviousness” and “Prior Art”
  • Obtaining and Defending Patents in light of the KSR ruling

Register here.