Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Halliburton poised


News - Hoover's Online:

"Halliburton

Engineering, construction, and oilfield service giant, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), has found its way onto our intraday unusual option activity list, thanks to heavy trading of its April 45 call (HAL DI). This onslaught of optimism has helped move HAL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) to 0.55, higher than 65 percent of the readings taken over the past 52 weeks. Further optimism can be seen in the short interest action toward the oil giant as it decreased by one percent over the past month. While this is a minute decrease, the action still indicates that bears are vacating their pessimistic positions.

While sentiment on the Street reflects mild optimism, analysts are a bit more emphatic in their love for Dick Cheney's favorite company. According to Zacks, 15 of the 16 analysts covering HAL bestow a 'buy' rating on the company. Of those 15 HAL hounds, 13 of them rate the firm a 'strong buy.' The lone dissenting voice in the wilderness issues an extremely pessimistic 'strong sell' ranking on the oil outfit. This allows for a sizeable shift to the negative should the analysts' love for HAL wane.

Why all the love for HAL? Taking a quick glance at the company's charts, one can see that it has in fact been a strong performer. On its daily chart, we see that HAL has been kicked sideways between the 40 and 44 levels since January. Currently, the stock is dropping toward the support of the 40 level. While it is difficult to determine when HAL will break out of this trading range, HAL's 10-day moving average is poised to make a bullish cross of its 20-day moving average. A move of this sort is often times a technical harbinger of a rally. Next we turn to a weekly chart for HAL. In August 2004, HAL moved above its two weekly trendlines and has since used their double-barreled support to ascend to a near-term high of 45.29. The 45 region is the only hurdle that HAL has struggled to overcome. The dual support of these weekly trendlines has allowed HAL to mark a meteoric rise since July 2002, a rise of more than 300 percent. This rise is mirrored on HAL's monthly chart, the prettiest of the three charts. The one time the firm has fallen below the support of its 10-month trendline it was quickly ushered higher by its 20-month trendline. All is not rosy for HAL, as it is experiencing resistance at the 45 region. Can the support of all these trendlines help the oil concern break through this resistance? Any negative news definitely allows for the glut of optimistic analysts to change their minds and shift the stock's price lower. If bad news does roll down the pipe for HAL, there will be little support in the form of a short-covering rally as it would take slightly more than one day for bears to cover their pessimistic bets against the firm.

Click on the following link to see the Monthly Chart of HAL since December 2001 with 10-Month and 20- Month Moving Averages: http://www.schaeffersresearch.com/wire?ID=12836&obspage=2 .
"

Words of wisdom


A Brief Practical Introduction to Taxonomies by Dan Dabney

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Good legislature links


[from email]

Hi Everyone

The overall and overwhelming response I received was that the book I was looking for was:

State Legislative Sourcebook: a resource guide to legislative information in the fifty states, Government Research Service.

However, I think that I can obtain the same result by using the excellent State Legislatures, State Laws and State Regulations

Web Site Links and Telephone Numbers Web site available at http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/state-leg.htm rather then spend $160.00

Thank to all that responded to my question.

Saundra

Monday, March 28, 2005

Flat rate tax 'would lift economic growth'




By George Trefgarne, Economics Editor (Filed: 28/03/2005)

If Britain introduced a flat rate of income tax it would initially cost the Treasury around £40billion in lost receipts, but that would be made up by faster economic growth within three to four years, according to the author of research published today.

Richard Teather, the author of A Flat Tax for the UK - a Practical Reality, published by the Adam Smith Institute, bases his calculation on a flat tax rate of 22pc of income, and abolishing all higher and lower rates. Most allowances would also be abolished, to be replaced by a single personal allowance of £12,000.

A flat tax is the current craze among conservative reformers around the world; and the concept has been pioneered in Eastern Europe with successful results. Individuals evading tax are brought into the net as loopholes are closed and this soon generates higher revenues, allowing a much lower rate of tax for each individual taxpayer.

Mr Teather, a tax consultant, said: "Flat taxes help hard-working families by removing great swathes of the population from the tax system altogether. They improve incentives. Flat taxes mean investment decisions can be taken for genuine reasons, rather than at the behest of tax planners. And they are also good for competitiveness. After all, half of higher rate taxpayers are of foreign nationalities."

A personal allowance of £12,000 would remove 10m from the income tax net, said Mr Teather. He also suggests abolishing about £12billion of allowances.

At present nine countries operate a flat tax system and they are soon to be joined by Poland. The Poles have said that they will set their rate at 18pc of income, with a £6,000 personal allowance. Most of the country is expected to benefit, but farmers, who currently pay no income tax, will be the main losers. President Bush has also expressed enthusiasm for the idea in America.

Mr Teather has also published tables showing that if Britain introduced the system he proposes, all income groups would benefit. The poorest third of the population would gain about 9pc of their income in lower taxes.

His calculations take account of tax credits paid to low income groups, but not National Insurance contributions. He said that he is not concerned about the short-term loss of revenue, equivalent to about a third of all income tax revenues.

Mr Teather added: "If you look at the experience of those who have introduced a flat tax, and also the tax reforms of the 1980s which took place in Britain and America, reducing actual tax rates causes revenues to rise."

-------------
16 March 2005: Poland's single tax rate 'is wake-up call for the Chancellor'
----------------

Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright

Seeking a More Intuitive Search Tool



By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page F07

The file-search tool in Windows XP is a dog, and not just metaphorically -- a little animated puppy appears on screen to indicate your query's status by wagging its tail, panting, scratching itself and other actions.

If only Microsoft's programmers had put such effort into the rest of this software! Its searches run painfully slowly and routinely yield masses of unrelated files.

A gaggle of contenders has recently put forth replacements for Microsoft's search. Some are popular Web portals -- Ask Jeeves, Google and Yahoo. Some are small, obscure developers -- Copernic and Blinkx. One's a division of Microsoft
A stock broker, on his way home from work in New York City, came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself, "Wow, this seems much worse than usual." He notices a police officer walking between the lines of stopped cars, so he rolls down his window and asks, "Officer, what's the hold up?" The officer replies, "Hillary Clinton is depressed, so she stopped her motorcade and is threatening to douse herself with gasoline and set herself on fire. She says her husband has spent all of their money and the Democrats told her to forget running for President in 2008. So we are taking up a collection for her." The stock broker asks, "How much have you got so far?" The officer replies, "About 4 1/2 gallons, but a lot of folks are still siphoning."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Some Reference Sources


Access Information: "Here are some handy Internet resources that you may want to bookmark or add to your favorites folder.

Dictionaries

OneLook Dictionary Search http://www.onelook.com/ 6,189,689 words in 993 dictionaries have been indexed covering such subjects as sports, business, slang, medicine, computers, technology, and religion. You can search by word or phrase or try out the reverse dictionary feature.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Thesaurus http://www.m-w.com/ The Online Dictionary is based on the print version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate ? Dictionary, Tenth Edition . The online dictionary includes the main A-Z listings, abbreviations, foreign words and phrases, biographical names, and geographical names.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Acronym Finder http://www.acronymfinder.com/ According to the Acronym Finder an ?acronym is a pronounceable word formed from each of the first letters of a descriptive phrase or by combining the initial letters or parts of words from the phrase.? This database contains abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms. No distinction between the three categories is made in this database.

Abbreviations and Acronyms of the U.S. Government http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/subjectareas/gov/docs_abbrev.html provides an alphabetical listing of acronyms and includes the full name of the agency the acronym comes from as well as an active link to the official Web site of the agency.

All That JAS: Journal Abbreviation Sources http://www.public.iastate.edu/~CYBERSTACKS/JAS.htm is a ? categorized registry of Web resources that list or provide access to the full title of journal abbreviations or other types of abbreviated publication titles (e.g., conference proceedings titles).?

Quotations

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations http://www.bartleby.com/100/ offers searchable quotations from the tenth edition with an alphabetical and chronological index of authors as well as a concordance index of quotations browsable by keyword.

The Quotations Page http://www.quotationspage.com/ has more than 21,000 quotations browsable by author and subject.

Creative Quotations http://creativequotations.com/ has 50,000 quotations searchable by keyword or by month or birthday. It is also organized into special collections.

Statistics

Facster.com http://www.facster.com The focus of this Web site is to make the facts underlying the political issues of our society easier to retrieve and use in discussion. To that end, Facster has compiled statistical data from a variety of sources including the current Statistical Abstracts of the United States, foreign governments, state agencies, and private organizations. All of these sources may be searched individually or globally by keyword. An added bonus of the site is that it has provided contact information for all of the Federal agencies with major statistical programs, including phone numbers – a major plus when you need to speak to an actual person for verification or clarification of data presented.

General Reference Sources

Internet Public Library Ready Reference

http://www.ipl.org/div/subject/browse/ref00.00.00 is a good starting place with links to sub-headings from almanacs, calendars, census data, genealogy, geography, grammar, and style and writing guides with brief annotations.

Librarian's Index to the Internet Ready Reference and Quick Facts http://lii.org/search/file/reference links to airport codes, area codes, atlases, baby names, holidays, foreign exchange rates, statistics, and zip codes, to name a view.

[and of course, my fave RefDesk.com]

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Pascal



Title: Blaise Pascal , By: Edmund J. Campion, Salem Press
Database: MagillOnLiterature Plus

Author: Blaise Pascal
Born: June 19, 1623; Clermont-Ferrand, France
Died: August 19, 1662; Paris, France

Principal Works


nonfiction
Lettres provinciales, 1656-1657 (The Provincial Letters, 1657)
Pensées, 1670 (Monsieur Pascal’s Thoughts, Meditations, and Prayers, 1688; best known as Pensées)

Author Profile


Although Blaise Pascal was a very important mathematician and physicist, he has remained famous above all for his eloquent writings on the moral obligations that accompany a commitment to Christianity. Pascal believed that an acceptance of divine authority enables people to develop an objective foundation for moral values. The problem of ethical subjectivity disappears once one accepts the revealed and liberating truths to be found in the Bible and in the exegetical works of respected Church Fathers such as Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine. Because of the clarity and the depth of his analysis of ethical questions, Blaise Pascal has remained one of the most influential and controversial French writers, even several centuries after his death in 1662.

The Provincial Letters


Beginning in 1646, Pascal and his sister Jacqueline Périer became very interested in the Catholic religious movement associated with the monastery, convent, and school at Port-Royal. The priests and nuns at Port-Royal were referred to as Jansenists because a major influence on their view of Christian spirituality had been a 1640 book on Saint Augustine by a Dutch theologian named Cornelius Jansen. The Jansenists encouraged personal spiritual development and denounced all attempts to allow worldly values to interfere with the purity of a total commitment to Christian values. Books by such important Jansenist theologians as Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole provoked an intense controversy with French Jesuits, who were then very influential at the court of King Louis XIV and with French bishops and priests. The basic disagreements between the Jesuits and the Jansenists dealt with the theological concept of grace and the use of casuistry, which is the practice by which a priest applies general moral standards to individual cases in order to determine if a specific action was sinful or if a repentance was sincere.

Between January, 1656, and March, 1657, Pascal published eighteen anonymous letters that were addressed “to a Jesuit provincial by one of his friends.” Ever since its creation in the 1540’s by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuit order has been administratively divided into broad geographical areas called provinces whose spiritual leaders are called provincials. The eighteen Provincial Letters are masterpieces of polemic rhetoric. Pascal sought to diminish the growing influence of French Jesuits by attributing to the entire order rather extreme positions taken by certain Jesuit theologians such as Antonio Escobar y Mendoza and Luis de Molina, who had argued that specific actions that most Christians would consider to be patently wrong would not be considered sinful if the motivations of the people who did those things were taken into account. Pascal believed that such an approach to ethics was very dangerous because it could lead people to justify actions that were clearly incompatible with God’s teachings. In his seventh Provincial Letter, for example, Pascal denounced efforts by Escobar y Mendoza and Molina to justify dueling. A duelist might well claim that his intention was not to kill his adversary but to defend his own honor, but Pascal ridiculed such convenient and insincere excuses designed to disregard God’s straightforward commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” Although Pascal was clearly unfair in associating all Jesuits with the radical positions of such theologians, his Provincial Letters did denounce very effectively the danger of moral laxism and the pernicious belief that “the end justifies the means.”

Thoughts


During the last few years of his life, Pascal was writing “an apology for the Christian religion,” but extremely poor health required him to rest frequently and this prevented him from writing for extended periods of time. He was, however, able to compose eight hundred fragments that were discovered and edited after his death by his nephew Étienne Périer, who called these fragments Thoughts (Pensées). Despite the uncompleted nature of Thoughts , it contains profound insights into the myriad relationships between ethical and religious problems. Unlike his fellow mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, who had argued in his 1637 book Discourse on Method that logic alone sufficed to explore moral problems, Pascal was convinced that only an acceptance of the revealed truths of Christianity could enable him to recognize the moral foundation for a just society.

Pascal stated that there were basically two ways of dealing with moral problems. By means of “the spirit of geometry” (“l’esprit de géométrie”) one examines in a purely logical manner the many steps that are involved in resolving ethical questions. “The spirit of insight” (“l’esprit de finesse”) helps one to recognize intuitively that certain actions are morally wrong whereas others are morally correct. Although he did not deny the importance of logical reasoning for discussions of ethical problems, Pascal sensed that most moral decisions are inspired by intuitive feelings that are formed by one’s religious training and by the diversity of one’s experiences. In Thoughts , Pascal appealed to the deep emotional and psychological reactions of his readers in order to persuade them that an acceptance of “the grandeur of man with God” and “the misery of man without God” will lead people to embrace those religious and ethical values that are presented in the Bible.

Essay by: Edmund J. Campion

Bibliography


Davidson, Hugh. Blaise Pascal. Boston: Twayne, 1983.

Krailsheimer, A. J. Pascal. New York: Hill & Wang, 1980.

MacKenzie, Charles. Pascal’s Anguish and Joy. New York: Philosophical Library, 1973.

Mortimer, Ernest. Blaise Pascal. New York: Harper, 1959.

Nelson, Robert. Pascal, Adversary and Advocate. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Pascal, Blaise. Pensées and The Provincial Letters. Translated by W. F. Trotter and Thomas M’Crie. New York: Modern Library, 1941.

Topliss, Patricia. The Rhetoric of Pascal. Leicester, England: Leicester University Press, 1966.

Cross References


Blaise Pascal (Censorship)

Blaise Pascal (Cyclopedia of World Authors)

Blaise Pascal (Philosophy)

Pensées (Masterplots Classics)

Pensées (Philosophy)

Copyright of this work is the property of Salem Press, Inc. and its content may not be copied without the copyright holder's express written permission except for the print or download capabilities of the retrieval software used for access. This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user.
Source: Ethics (Ready Reference series) © 1994 by Salem Press, Inc.
Accession Number: 0210000181

EBSCOhost at your local library

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tips for working with the media

The U-M News Service provides customized workshops and media training programs for faculty and campus units on request.

How media training works >

For information, call (734) 764-7260 or e-mail Nancy Connell, nconnell@umich.edu

Preparing for an Interview During the Interview
Tips on Broadcast Media After the Interview

Preparing for an interview

· Understand that reporters are usually working on a deadline. Call back right away. When a reporter calls you, always find out what kind of deadline he or she is facing.

· Ask for the reporter's name and the media organization for which he or she is reporting. However, it's best not to play favorites when deciding whether or not to grant an interview to a specific reporter. It may seem like a good idea in the short run, but in the long run it will damage your relationship with reporters and may come back to haunt you.

· When a reporter calls requesting an interview, you have a right to ask the subject of the interview . . .
World\'s top 10 intranets named - printer friendly - silicon.com: "World's top 10 intranets named
Tony Hallett
silicon.com
March 08, 2005

A UK supplier of software to online bookies has been named alongside international giants such as Cisco and Procter & Gamble as operating one of the world's 10 best intranets.
The list was put together by Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g), which is headed by web usability guru Jakob Nielsen. It found the winning companies saved between $200 and $1,000 annually per employee by improving their intranets, which are private, enterprise-wide networks typically of pages written using HTML code.

London-based Orbis Technology, a subsidiary of NDS, itself a News Corp company, was ranked in the top 10 alongside Banco Espanol de Credito (Banesto) from Spain, Electrolux Group based in Sweden, NedTrain (Macaw BV) from the Netherlands and Cisco Systems The Integer Group, Park Place Dealerships, P&G, Schematic and Verizon Communications, all from the US. The top 10 was not ranked further. ..."

What if you could TiVo your life?


Feedmarker Blog ? Blog Archive ? What if you could TiVo your life?

"When you think about all the cool web applications popping up right now, they all have to do with capturing little pieces of information about your life. Del.icio.us captures web pages you've visited, Flickr captures photos you've taken or seen, blogs capture a very small percentage of the things you think about.

And what strikes me about all these things is that you wouldn't need any of them if you just had a really, really good memory. They're all about extending your ability to locate bits of information that have crossed your path.

People have used technology to help them remember things for a long time. When I was eight, for example, I kept a neatly printed diary where I recorded with palpable astonishment that on April 4, 1990 “I went to Ryans houce but I didn’t get to play very much. My teem lost at soccer 8 to 3. But I had a good time.” Then there’s a picture of me wearing my number 15 jersey and frowning. I have nine fingers and six large spikes of hair.

The beautiful thing about technology is not just that it lets us save vastly larger quantities of information, but that it makes it so easy to share these memory appendixes with other people. An eight-year-old in 1990 couldn’t share his soccer stories with anyone except perhaps his snoopy sister. An eight-year-old today can easily tell 50% of the people on the planet.

. . ."

See "The Curse of Thamus" for all the reasons why we should not have crutches to remember things.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Canada - SLA dates


Granite Club
Hollyburn Country Club
Montreal Amateur Athletic Association
Rideau Club
Terminal City Club
The Glencoe Club
The Halifax Club
The Mount Royal Club
The Quebec Garrison Club
The Ranchmen’s Club
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club/Toronto Island
The University Club of Toronto
The Vancouver Club
Union Club of British Columbia
University Club of Montreal

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Employers 'cut hours to claw back rise in basic wage': "Employers 'cut hours to claw back rise in basic wage'


By Malcolm Moore, Economics Correspondent (Filed: 24/03/2005)

The introduction of the minimum wage led to employers cutting the number of hours that staff worked, new research showed yesterday.

In a paper presented at the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society, Professors Mark Stewart and Joanna Swaffield claim that paid working hours have fallen by between one and two hours a week for low-income staff.
'The implication,' said the authors, 'is that about one quarter of the increase in basic weekly earnings of minimum wage workers was clawed back by the estimated reduction in basic hours.'

They added that the National Statistics Labour Force Survey indicated that more hours had been cut per week, but that the LFS is less precise.
The minimum wage was introduced in April 1999 at [GBP]3.60 for adults and has since risen four times, or by 35pc, to [GBP]4.85, far faster than inflation. It is set to rise to [GBP]5.05 in October with a further rise to [GBP]5.35 in April 2006.

The British Chambers of Commerce has called for future rises to be capped at the inflation rate.

The CBI employers' body said a growing number of its members had indicated that they would cut working hours as the minimum wage rises. Referring to the CBI employment trends survey, which questioned 7,000 firms, a spokesman said: 'In 2000, 5pc of our members said they were going to cut working hours. By 2004, when the minimum wage had risen to [GBP]4.85, 18pc said they would cut hours.'

He added that the reduction in working hours could have a more significant effect on part-time workers.

At £5.05 an hour, a company employing someone for 38 hours a week will have to pay £9,978.80 a year, an increase of £395.20 from the current wage level. There would also be an effect from increased national insurance contributions. The Conservatives have pledged to implement the rises, should they be elected, but accused Labour of giving with one hand, and taking away with the other, since 4m extra people, the majority of which are on the minimum wage, now pay income tax and national insurance.

17 February 2005: Minimum wage hits job prospects

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Portals and KM: "Portals and KM


This blog shares ideas and hopes to generate discussion on the use of portals, blogs, and knowledge management to provide value to organizations through practical applications. New trends and technologies are covered with a switch to music and food on the weekends."

More Knowledge Management Blogs
Jack Vinson has added a significant number of knowledge management related blogs to build on the list I did on March 11 in my post, Some Knowledge Management Blogs. I also received a number of other suggestions in the comment field which I add below. Thanks to everyone for responding.

Goiaba Knowledge Bridge

KnowledgeBoard's KM blogroll

knowlogies

March 22, 2005 in trends: KM/portals | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2005
Winning the Race for Knowledge Worker Productivity – Kathleen Gilroy
Kathleen Gilroy, head of the Otter Group, offers some interesting thoughts on how to increase knowledge worker productivity. Building on work by Tom Malone, Peter Drucker, and others, she looks at the opportunities offered by the falling barriers to web-based communication. It focuses on the role that blogs, wikis, and RSS can play in the marketplace.

She writes that RSS may take over email as the enterprise communication hub. This would give users more control over what they receive and allow for the integration of multiple communication channels. These same
ABC News: New Wiki-based Collaboration Services: "New Wiki-based Collaboration ServicesSocialtext offers a new look and features.
Neil J. Rubenking - PC Magazine

Mar. 21
Socialtext's (Socialtext Inc., www.socialtext.com) wiki-based collaboration services get a new look and new features starting today. At the highest level, Socialtext Enterprise will be available as a hosted service or as an appliance, offering a scalable solution that includes wiki-style collaboration, built-in blog support, and direct integration with email and IM. The Socialtext.net service offers the same functionality for a small- to medium-size business?a $495 starter package pays for five users for a year. Non-profit and academic groups can use Socialtext.org; the only difference is that it costs half as much as Socialtext.net.

Personal Data of 59,000 People Stolen
Yahoo Buying Photo-Sharing Service Flickr
HP to Buy Online Photo Startup Snapfish
Any member can change or add pages in a wiki; all changes are logged, and the administrator can revert back to a previous version of any page. Like most wiki services, members can configure a Socialtext workspace to email notifications of changes. New in this version, users can send email and attachments directly into the wiki via email. It's even possible to edit a page without ever logging in to the wiki by using your email client's editor. "

Monday, March 21, 2005

Looking at the legal publishing industry


-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-pll-sis-29794@aallnet.org
[mailto:bounce-pll-sis-29794@aallnet.org]On Behalf Of Michael Ginsborg
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 2:36 PM
To: Private Law Libraries SIS
Subject: [pll-sis] BNA's price increases in the context of the legal
publishing industry and AALL's responsiveness with respect to disclosure


A quick look at AALL Price Index data by Kendall Svengalis
(http://www.rilawpress.com/orall_presentation.ppt) shows an average
increase of about 11% for the same period for all serials, excluding
periodicals. You might reasonably object to this comparison group, as
the Index data for newsletters shows an average increase of about 6%; or
you might even question the accuracy of the data, based on the sample
and averaging. However, the available data - and our collective
experience - tend to support the generalization that legal publishing
business practices have escalated price increases over the last decade.

Thus price escalation at BNA may have less to do with the incidental
fact that employees own BNA than with larger trends in the legal
publishing industry. For information about the larger trends, see the
opening chapters of Svengalis' Legal Information Buyer's Guide and
Reference Manual http://www.rilawpress.com/, articles by Joe Stephens,
and "Law Serials Pricing and Mergers: A Portfolio Approach," by Dr. Mark
J. McCabe, at http://www.informationaccess.org/. Consider also - in the
same context - the confidentiality clauses in firm and institutional
pricing by Westlaw and Lexis, and the effects on price escalation in the
world of online legal research.

BNA's pricing model appears to have exceptional features, and may
warrant tailored remedies by individual customers. Of course, the larger
trends in legal publishing hardly detract from the perceived needs of
individual BNA subscribers to address BNA's pricing practices. But
another question lies just beneath the surface. Despite the dedicated
and commendable efforts of CRIV, does an organization that accepts
subsidy from legal publisher significantly compromise its efficacy as a
consumer advocate? The disclosure principle under AALL's Guide to Fair
Business Practices for Legal Publishers not only does not commit us to
reversing "The Big Three" confidentiality clauses, but appears to commit
us to accepting nondisclosure of these invidious "proprietary" clauses.
(http://www.aallnet.org/about/fair_practice_guide.asp) Moreover, the
Guide has no enforcement mechanism, and compliance depends on the "good
will" of the publishers. Such "good will" has funded many of AALL's
activities, but it has exacted a price on AALL's role as a consumer
advocate of disclosure.

I am expressing (or rather, for some, repeating) my own professional
view, and it carries no other affiliation.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Blaise Pascal morsels


Section XII. Proofs of Jesus Christ. Pascal, Blaise. 1909-14. Thoughts. The Harvard Classics: "794

Why did Jesus Christ not come in a visible manner, instead of obtaining testimony of Himself from preceding prophecies? Why did He cause Himself to be foretold in types? 114

795

If Jesus Christ had only come to sanctify, all Scripture and all things would tend to that end; and it would be quite easy to convince unbelievers. If Jesus Christ had only come to blind, all His conduct would be confused; and we would have no means of convincing unbelievers. But as he came in sanctificationem et in scandalum. 34 as Isaiah says, we cannot convince unbelievers, and they cannot convince us. But by this very fact we convince them; since we say that in his whole conduct there is no convincing proof on one side or the other. 115

796

Jesus Christ does not say that He is not of Nazareth, in order to leave the wicked in their blindness; nor that He is not Joseph?s son. 116

797

Proofs of Jesus Christ.?Jesus Christ said great things so simply, that it seems as though He had not thought them great; and yet so clearly that we easily see what He thought of them. This clearness, joined to this simplicity, is wonderful."

The Oath of Hippocrates. Hippocrates. 1909-14


Hippocrates (c. 460 - c. 370 B.C.).
The Harvard Classics. 1909-14.

The Oath of Hippocrates


I SWEAR by Apollo the physician and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation--to reckon him who taught me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring in the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this Art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art. I will not cut persons labouring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further, from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the Art, respected by all men, in all times. But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot.

Catalogue or Catalog


The Standard Dictionary, published in 1906, gave great aid to the movement by listing the 3,500 reformed spellings recommended by the American Philological Association in 1886. The publication of the Standard are also the publishers of the Literary Digest, the only magazine of large circulation to adopt the Simplified Spelling Board’s recommendations to any appreciable extent. It substitutes simple vowels for diphthongs in such words as esthetc and fetus, usest in place of the usual terminal ed in addrest, affixt, etc., drops the final me and te in words of the programme and cigarette classes, and drops the ue from words of the catalogue class. See Funk & Wagnalls Company Style Card; New York, 1914. [back]

According to Mencken
Chapter 8. American Spelling. 2. The Influence of Webster. Mencken, H.L. 1921. The American Language: "H.L. Mencken (1880?1956). The American Language. 1921.

2. The Influence of Webster


At the time of the first settlement of America the rules of English orthography were beautifully vague, and so we find the early documents full of spellings that seem quite fantastic today. Aetaernall (for eternal) is in the Acts of the Massachusetts General Court for 1646. But now and then a curious foreshadowing of later American usage is encountered. On July 4, 1631, for example, John Winthrop wrote in his journal that ?the governour built a bark at Mistick which was launched this day.? During the eighteenth century, however, and especially after the publication of Johnson?s dictionary, there was a general movement in England toward a more inflexible orthography, and many hard and fast rules, still surviving, were then laid down. It was Johnson himself who established the position of the u in the -our words. Bailey, Dyche and other lexicographers before him were divided and uncertain; Johnson declared for the u, and though his reasons were very shaky 8 and he often neglected his own precept, his authority was sufficient to set up a usage which still defies attack in England. Even in America this usage was not often brought into question until the last quarter of the eighteenth century. True enough, honor appears in the Declaration of Independence, but it seems to have got there rather by accident than by design. In Jefferson's original draft it is spelled honour. So early as 1768 Benjamin Franklin had published his "Scheme for a New Alphabet and a Reformed Mode of Spelling, with Remarks and Examples Concerning the Same, and an Enquiry into its Uses" and induced a Philadelphia typefounder to cut type for it, but this scheme was too extravagant to be adop"

Saturday, March 19, 2005

McMillan Market Commentary


Friday, March 18, 2005

Note: Please use the following link to view this week's charts:
http://www.optionstrategist.com/products/advisories/hotline/charts.asp
To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here: http://www.optionstrategist.com/offers/strategist.htm

Stock Market
For the first time since last October, the broad market indices have broken down -- violating the major trend line that had identified the bull market. This is a very negative development and should be heeded. While everyone recognizes the severity of this breakdown, there is disagreement among analysts on how severe it is. Some think the market is in a trading range (bound by the January lows and the February highs; blue lines on Figure 1), but we think it could be the beginning of a more severe decline. The failure of the upside breakout two weeks ago, coupled with the violation of the trend line (red line, Figure 1) add up to a potentially large "negative," in our opinion. What will be the determining factor between "downtrend" and "trading range," of course, will be whether the market can hold at or above January's lows.

Equity-only put-call ratios remain on sell signals (Figures 2 and 3). They are accelerating upward right now, and they have plenty of room to go before they might be ready to generate buy signals.

Breadth (advances minus declines) has been dismal for over a week now. That has pushed both breadth oscillators into negative territory. In fact, the NYSE-based oscillator has fallen faster than the "stocks only" and it is officially oversold. However, "oversold" does not mean "buy." The "stocks only" oscillator has not yet reached oversold territory. The oversold condition of these indicators reflects the fact that the broad market might also be oversold. However, while that might mean that sharp, short-lived rallies are possible, it is worth remembering that the market can decline sharply when it is oversold.

Finally, there is volatility ($VIX). It has remained rather dormant refusing to climb above the 14 level. Perhaps this means that we are in a trading range, but it is not without precedent for $VIX to remain low while the market makes its initial decline. Look at the circled area on Figure 4, which depicts what happened just about one year ago: the market had declined but $VIX was not moving higher. Then, the market went into a further, more accelerated, decline, and that caused $VIX to finally spike higher -- eventually giving a buy signal on that spike. So, we think that this market will move lower and will eventually see $VIX spike up as it does.

The bottom line is that we view the breaking of the uptrend line as significant, especially in light of the other negative indicators.


To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here: http://www.optionstrategist.com/offers/strategist.htm

ObviousNews


Kylie Minogue buys $10,000 corset to get 16-inch waist

18 March, 2005

She might have many costly outfits but none can match this one, for Kylie Minogue has ordered a 5,000 pound corset for her Showgirl tour to help her achieve a16-inch waist.

"She's already got the greatest bottom in pop, now she'll have the slenderest waist too. She's worn it for a few rehearsals and it makes her bum look astonishing. Heaven knows how she manages to breathe in it, let alone sing and dance," Femalefirst quoted her designer Mr Pearl as saying.(ANI)

[My shirt size is 18-1/2! -ed]

Friday, March 18, 2005

Boxes and Arrows: Investing in Usability: Testing versus Training: "Investing in Usability: Testing versus Training

by John S. Rhodes

Usability professionals offer so much more than just testing. Usability dollars can be spent in other ways; in fact, I argue that usability training is often a far better investment than usability testing.?Assume that you are in charge of a development project and you have about $10,000 to spend on usability. What would you do? What is the best way to use the money? What will make the project a success? What is the right thing to do for the organization? What will be best for customers?"
Digital Photo Printing and Free Online Photo Sharing at Snapfish
Three women -- one German, one Japanese, and a Hillbilly -- were sitting
naked in a sauna. Suddenly there was a beeping sound. The German pressed
her forearm and the beep stopped.

The others looked at her questioningly.

"That was my pager," she said. " I have a microchip under the skin of my
arm.

A few minutes later, a phone rang. The Japanese women lifted her palm to
her ear. When she finished, she explained, "that was my cell phone. I
have a microchip in my hand."

The Hillbilly woman felt decidedly low tech. Not to be outdone, she
decided she had to do something just as impressive. She stepped out of
the sauna and went to the bathroom. She returned with a piece of toilet
paper hanging from her behind. The others raised their eyebrows and
stared at her. The Hillbilly women finally said, "well, will you look
at that! I'm gettin' a fax."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Privacy Facts from LexisNexis


LexisNexis Privacy Facts: "Working to Safeguard Public and Non-Public Information about Individuals



As a leader in the information services industry, LexisNexis understands the responsibilities associated with safeguarding public and non-public information about individuals and consumers with effective verification, authorization and security processes and policies, both by our companies and our customers.

We must remain vigilant as we all--LexisNexis, our customers and consumers--put our best efforts forward to thwart determined identity thieves. On March 9, our parent company Reed Elsevier issued a statement about an incident involving a LexisNexis Seisint customer and personal data. The information of nearly 32,000 consumers (see count by state) may have been potentially accessed as a result.

LexisNexis will continue our long-time efforts to support effective data privacy policy and practices because LexisNexis products benefit consumers, the government agencies that serve and protect them and the organizations they do business with.

LexisNexis products that use public records and non-public information provide invaluable fraud detection and identity authentication solutions to law enforcement, homeland security, commercial and legal customers that help to safeguard citizens and reduce consumers' financial losses. In addition, through these services, consumers derive greater convenience and benefits when conducting transactions for goods and services."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Magic Books Tables of Content



Last updated 05 November 2004 - Nine more book TOCs: Al Baker Ways & Means, Berland's Paper Cups, Aronson's Bound to Please, Kaufman's 100% Sankey, LaGerould's Pasteboard Presentations, Ortiz' Strong Magic, Kimlat's Magic Experiments With the Art, and Swain's 21st Century Card Magic.

Note: This listing is provided as a service to magicians. Each entry contains the table of contents for books in my collection or in the collection of contributors. In most cases, brief descriptions of the book and/or effects are also provided. Every effort has been made not to reveal secrets. These books are not for sale from this site, and several may be out of print. Contact your local magic dealer for current availability and prices. Prices listed are merely estimates and may not be current. If a name follows an entry, that is the name of the contributor of that information. Currently 371 books listed!

For another site with extensive contents listings, check out: The Magic Files http://www.themagicfiles.com

Find it Linked.

Acer, David: Natural Selections Manon Roch
Ackerman, Alan: Here's My Card Wolfgang
Ackerman, Alan: Las Vegas Kardma Wolfgang
Adair, Ian: The Complete Guide to Card Conjuring Shogo
Alan, Don: Chop Cup Routine (routine described)
Alan, Don: Close-Up Time Jim Maloney
Alan, Don: Pretty Sneaky
Ammar, Michael: 3D Rabbits by Gosh (routine w/props)
Ammar, Michael: Complete Cups & Balls (general contents described)
Ammar, Michael: Encore 3
Ammar, Michael: The Magic of Michael Ammar
Anderson, Gene: Topper's Mad, Mad, Magic
Archer, Da. . .

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Okay we'll link it here


The New York Times: Today's Editorials (Forum/Message Board)

Terror Suspects' Right to Bear Arms


Good Lord. There They Go Again

..."proposing to keep the gun-purchase records of terror suspects on hand for at least 10 years."
Gun purchase records (the Yellow Form) is not filed or "kept" by the government at all. They are kept by the dealer with his "bound book". If Lautenberg wants those forms collected filed and kept by the government that is the same as proposing Registration and that is why the law does not permit it. This misinformation piece makes it sound like the records are already collected by the feds and the only change is to extend the time for keeping them to ten years. Distortion.

"...but federal agents complain that they are still stymied by laws..." It has always been thus. Stymied by the Fifth Amendment, stymied by the Sixth Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Miranda Rule, the Second Amendment. Miller, Cooper and the NYT are stymied by the Grand Jury, so there.

"...the citizenry's near-almighty right to bear arms." Huh? Who bears arms in Times Square, New York, NY? Are they admitting there is an individual right? Tell the city. Tell Bernie Goetz. Hyperbole to the point of deception. For shame.

"...enabled dozens of suspects to stock their personal or group armories." Suspects? What are suspects? Innocent until proven guilty, no? Would the NYTimes have the government withhold the rights afforded to every citizen from those who a government agent labels as "suspects"?

And more to the point, is there any reason why those "suspects" who filled out the Yellow Form and acquired a firearm are not NOW being arrested and their firearms confiscated as evidence?

Yes, the reason is that they did not break any law in purchasing those guns. So the Times wants laws enforced against innocent people as if they were convicted felons because they are viewed as "suspect"! Like Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Skitch Henderson, Charles Kuralt, Daniel Schoor, Bill Clinton, Billy Carter and every other person that has been listed somewhere, in some case, by some cop, as a suspect.

Why is it when guns are involved, the mind of liberals stops functioning and they revert to reflex and nonesense? To arguments they would never dream of proposing an any other context.

Terry
oldfox.info

MSNBC - Another big data broker reports breach



MSNBC.com
Another big data broker reports breach
LexisNexis says records on 32,000 people accessed

The Associated Press
Updated: 1:22 p.m. ET March 9, 2005



NEW YORK - Using misappropriated passwords and identification from legitimate customers, intruders got access to personal information on as many as 32,000 U.S. citizens in a database owned by LexisNexis, the company's corporate parent said Wednesday.

Reed Elsevier Group PLC said the breach of its recently acquired Seisint unit was being investigated by staff and U.S. law enforcement authorities. LexisNexis is based in Dayton, Ohio.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Seisint stores millions of personal records including individuals' addresses and Social Security numbers. Customers include police and legal professionals and public and private sector organizations.

Reed Elsevier bought Seisint — which provides data for Matrix, a crime and terrorism database project funded by the U.S. government that has raised concerns among civil liberties groups —for $775 million in August.

The breach at Seisint is the second of its kind at a large information provider in recent months.

Rival data broker ChoicePoint Inc. said last month that the personal information of 145,000 Americans may have been compromised in a breach in which thieves posing as small business customers gained access to its database.

In the ChoicePoint scam, at least 750 people were defrauded, authorities say. The case in the United States fueled consumer advocates' calls for federal oversight of the loosely regulated data-brokering business, and Capitol Hill hearings are due to be scheduled on the issue.

In the Seisint breach, information accessed included names, addresses, Social Security and driver license numbers, but not credit history, medical records or financial information, Reed Elsevier said in a statement.

The company will notify affected customers soon, said Kurt Sanford, president and chief executive of LexisNexis corporate and federal markets.

It will provide them with ongoing credit monitoring "and other support to ensure that any identity theft that may result from these incidents is quickly detected and addressed," he said.

The company also is enhancing ID and password administrative procedures and requirements, he said.

"The U.S. law enforcement agencies have asked us not to say too much as they are in the process of trying to track down the people who are responsible," said Catherine May, a Reed Elsevier spokeswoman in London.

The spokeswoman said the breach was discovered during internal checking procedures of customers' accounts.

The company played down the effect of the security breach on its profits, reaffirming its target of higher earnings and at least 5 percent growth in revenues excluding acquisitions.

Reed Elsevier specializes in the education, legal and science sectors, publishing more than 10,000 journals, books and compact discs, as well as almost 3,000 Web sites and portals. It also organizes 430 trade exhibitions.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7139522/

[Charles Schumer: Call your Westlaw rep. to apologize now!]

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Law.com

Judge Lectures Lawyers on Research for Motion


Shannon P. Duffy

The Legal Intelligencer

03-04-2005

Two lawyers from Eastburn & Gray got quite a lecture from a federal judge for filing a motion to dismiss an employment discrimination suit that the judge found to be poorly researched and premised on a misreading of the statutes and outdated and overruled case law.

"If the motion to dismiss and the accompanying brief in support had displayed but a single example of less than exemplary research or analysis, it would have gone unaddressed here inasmuch as occasional oversights, while disappointing, are understandable, generally innocent, and sometimes unavoidable," U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter wrote in her 16-page opinion in Spirk v. Centennial School District.

"However, here, the incidents of deficiencies are too numerous to ignore and too fundamental to excuse," Pratter wrote.

In her opening paragraphs, Pratter said she was "not so much ruling on the potential merits of the claims (for it remains to be seen the extent to which Ms. Spirk will be able to prove her claims), as reaching the conclusion that the motion was ill-conceived due, it seems, to a puzzling failure on the part of the movants to review, much less appreciate, the governing judicial opinions and statutory provisions applicable to the claims presented in the complaint."

In a statement issued Wednesday in response to Pratter's opinion, Eastburn & Gray said: "It is not this firm's practice to file baseless motions and we pride ourselves on the quality of our work product. While we disagree with Judge Pratter's conclusions regarding the issues raised in the motion to dismiss, we appreciate and take seriously her criticisms of the work product and can assure the court that we will meet the standard of excellence for which we are known. We are also confident that our client will prevail in this case."

In the suit, plaintiff Janice Spirk, 49, claims she was fired from a post as a middle school principal she had held for 15 years soon after she requested a child-rearing leave to care for a newly adopted daughter she brought back from China.

The suit alleges claims of age and sex discrimination as well as a claim of retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act and violations of the First and 14th amendments.

Named as defendants in the suit are the Centennial School District, its board of directors and David P. Blatt, its superintendent.

Plaintiffs attorney Anita F. Alberts of Doylestown outlined events that began in June 2001 when Spirk, who was principal of the Klinger Middle School, was assigned to develop a "master schedule" for both of the district's middle schools, involving over 1,600 students and 150 teachers.

The suit says Spirk had no assistant principal at the time and was forced to work up to 80 hours per week, and that Blatt refused to allow her any flexibility in her schedule, despite allowing it for other principals.

The following year, after a male in his 30s was hired as Spirk's assistant, the suit alleges that Blatt told Spirk to "retire, take a medical sabbatical, or 'go out on disability,' stating there was 'no leadership' at Klinger."

Spirk claims she was "shocked and reduced to tears."

When Spirk filed a formal complaint, the suit alleges that Blatt denied asking her to resign or retire.

But privately, the suit says, the pressure continued as Blatt "called plaintiff at home repeatedly. His bullying made plaintiff afraid to answer her phone."

In May 2004, the suit says, Spirk traveled to China to adopt a child and returned in early June with a baby girl.

Soon after, the suit says, Blatt told Spirk that termination proceedings would begin if she did not return to work by July 15. Spirk claims she requested family and medical leave and that she later made a formal request for a one-year child-rearing leave that is provided by contract to Centennial employees.

The request was denied, the suit alleges, and Spirk was "discharged without notice, without hearing and without cause."

In December 2004, Centennial's lawyers -- Jay H. Karsch and Joanne D. Sommer of Eastburn & Gray in Doylestown -- moved for dismissal of four of the six counts in the suit, challenging all but the age discrimination claim.

Now Pratter has ruled that the motion to dismiss suffered from numerous flaws.

The defense team, Pratter said, argued that in civil rights cases, the standard for pleading is more stringent than in other types of cases, citing a 1993 Eastern District of Pennsylvania decision in Parsons v. City of Philadelphia Coordinating Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs.

Pratter found that Parsons was overruled the same year it was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court's seminal decision in Leatherman v. Tarrant County, which held that no heightened pleading standard exists for civil rights suits brought under §1983.

"While such a heightened pleading standard may have existed in this circuit prior to Leatherman, the Parsons decision cannot and should not be relied upon by either litigants or courts in the face of the clarity of Leatherman's statement of the pleading standards," Pratter wrote.

"The court presumes that more diligent research prior to submission of their motion would have permitted the movants to discover the seminal Leatherman decision and reconsider their arguments accordingly," Pratter wrote.

Pratter found the defense team also botched its efforts to seek dismissal of Spirk's claim under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by arguing that Spirk had no standing to bring a claim of discrimination on the basis of "familial status."

The motion failed, Pratter said, because the lawyers ignored the "plain wording" of the statute, which clearly includes "familial status" among its protected categories.

Pratter also found the defense team ignored a second seminal Supreme Court decision -- the 1978 ruling in Monell v. Department of Social Services of New York, which "unequivocally held that a municipal government is to be considered a 'person' for the purposes of a Section 1983 complaint."

The defense team cited two later decisions in arguing that "neither a school district nor its board of directors, when acting in their individual capacities, is a 'person' for purposes of suit under Section 1983."

Pratter found that the argument "glosses over the independent concepts of state liability and municipal liability, a topic of debate that was squarely discussed by the Supreme Court ... and such argument was either missed or ignored by counsel."

After reviewing all of the Supreme Court case law, Pratter concluded that "the law could not be any clearer -- a municipal subdivision, such as the school district, is considered a 'person' for the purposes of a Section 1983 complaint."

The defense team also argued that Spirk does not have a private cause of action, for damages, for an alleged violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution's Equal Rights Amendment.

Pratter denied that motion, too, finding that although it is unclear whether a plaintiff can sue for damages under the ERA, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held in its 1990 decision in Pfeiffer v. Marion Center Area School District that "a private right of action is available for cases of gender discrimination under the Pennsylvania ERA."

Although the defense team may be right that there is no right to seek damages under the ERA, Pratter said, "at this juncture, the court believes it to be appropriate to heed the pronouncement of the ... 3rd Circuit that a private right of action is available for allegations of gender discrimination under the Pennsylvania ERA."

Noted at Law Dawg Blawg and The Virtual Chase.

Monday, March 07, 2005

infolaw: gateway to the UK legal web: " About infolaw ? Contact us
Weblog ? Lawfinder ? Lawyers on the Web ? FormsPlus ? Precedent Store ? Publishing Solutions
Gateway to the UK Legal Web
Lawfinder
Lawfinder provides structured access to over 100,000 UK legal documents and other resources available on the web.
Lawfinder Webfeeds deliver dynamically-updated latest Lawfinder data direct to your desktop.
Lawlinker works with Lawfinder to identify legal references on a web page and generate direct links to available online resources.
News and updates
In addition to the current awareness provided by Lawfinder, we offer a number of other free update services.
What's new on the UK legal web? (weblog)
Civil Procedure update
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Lawyers on the Web
Find UK and Irish law firms and barristers chambers on the web with Lawyers on the Web. Free entry for any registered practice.
"
FindLaw: LawCrawler Search with Backlink Graphic HTML: "Hello Legal Websurfer,

Now you can search the LawCrawler, law reviews and journals and the FindLaw pages from your own webpage. The HTML code below, when placed within an HTML document, will give you the ability to search from your (or your firm's, company's or school's) web page.

You can also add a link to FindLaw or LawCrawler icon with an assortment of icons and also include the backlink and graphic URLs this way as well.

You can add your own backlink and/or graphic on the LawCrawler Google (tm) Search result pages by placing a URL for the linkurl and graphurl fields in the form. This will enable users who begin their LawCrawler searches from your web page to return to your web page without having to click the back button. The graphic must be 50 x 50 pixels and will show up next to the search form. Just set graphurl=http://www.yourhomepage.com/yourgraphic.gif. If you do not have a graphic, still add linkurl='http://www.yourhomepage.com' line but remove the graphurl= line (or set graphurl='http://www.findlaw.com/images/linkbacks/linkback.gif' which is the location of the generic linkback graphic) and a generic clickable graphic will show up that links to the backlink URL you specified.

Note: feel free to change the domain constraints to suit your needs. For example you could change the California state . . .

A Source is a Source: 4


ABA Journal: "FROM THE MARCH ABA JOURNAL
THE NATIONAL PULSE

THE SQUEEZE ON THE PRESS


More Courts Are Forcing Reporters to Testify as Judges Reconsider Media Privilege

BY WENDY N. DAVIS

For more than 30 years, federal courts generally have been deferential toward journalists when it came to having them testify about information learned while reporting.

But over the last year, the tide appears to have turned. In a series of well-publicized cases, journalists from major media have been held in contempt of court for refusing to testify before grand juries.

In October, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan in Washington, D.C., held New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time magazine's Matthew Cooper in contempt for refusing to answer questions in the investigation about the leaking of the identification of CIA agent Valerie Plame. The case went before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in December.
Five reporters--from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, the Associated Press and The Washington Post--were held in contempt last year by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and fined $500 a day for declining to reveal sources who gave them information about former Los Alamos, N.M., scientist Wen Ho Lee, who filed a civil lawsuit against the government for violating his privacy rights. (The fines are stayed while the reporters appeal.)

In Providence, R.I., television reporter Jim Taricani was held in contempt by U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres and sentenced to six months of home confinement for refusing to divulge the name of a source who gave him an FBI videotape.

BALANCING ON BRANZBURG


These hardly mark the first occasions that journalists and courts have clashed. But they do represent a subtle change in how the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case on the issue has been interpreted.

For years, Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), was viewed as facilitating the creation of a reporter’s privilege from testifying—even though the ruling essentially went against the reporters.

Although the case was decided 5-4, only four justices signed on to the opinion that rejected giving reporters special constitutional protections from testifying. The deciding vote was cast by Justice Lewis F. Powell, whose 319-word concurrence supported the notion that reporters called to testify have more First Amendment protections than everyone else.

“The asserted claim to privilege should be judged on its facts by the striking of a proper balance between freedom of the press and the obligation of all citizens to give relevant testimony with respect to criminal conduct,” Powell wrote. “In short, the courts will be available to newsmen under circumstances where legitimate First Amendment interests require protection.”

Attorneys latched on to that language to argue, largely successfully, that Branzburg created, rather than nixed, constitutionally mandated protection for reporters.

“Powell’s concurrence led some very creative media lawyers out there to persuade most of the federal circuits to fashion a qualified privilege,” says Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the D.C.-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “We had been remarkably successful in getting courts to follow Powell’s concurrence.”

Branzburg led most states and the District of Columbia to pass their own shield laws for reporters. Some state courts fashioned a common-law reporter’s privilege. Only Wyoming has declined to grant journalists special protection.

On the federal level, reporters occasionally were ordered to testify in grand jury proceedings, and more than a dozen were briefly jailed between 1984 and 2000.

Although the circuits were split on the issue, many judges nevertheless seemed to allow journalists more protection from testifying than other witnesses.

Then, in 2003, a decision by Judge Richard Posner of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals changed the landscape. In McKevitt v. Pallasch, 339 F.3d 530, two reporters objected to a district court judge’s order requiring them to turn over interview tapes of a witness to a criminal defendant in Ireland.

The appeals court ruled against the reporters, with Posner debunking the notion that Branzburg created special protections for journalists.

“A large number of cases conclude, rather surprisingly in light of Branzburg, that there is a reporter’s privilege, though they do not agree on its scope,” Posner wrote. “It seems to us that rather than speaking of privilege, courts should simply make sure that a subpoena duces tecum directed to the media, like any other subpoena duces tecum, is reasonable in the circumstances, which is the general criterion for judicial review of subpoena.”

The opinion left the media bar reeling. “We all got it and immediately started gasping for air,” Dalglish says.

Some judges still adhere to the old interpretation of Branzburg, says Sandy Baron, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, a New York City-based nonprofit clearinghouse. But Baron, as well as other advocates, worry that they no longer can rely on the courts.

Instead, they’re pushing for a federal shield law—“a terribly important issue for the press at this moment,” Baron says.

Journalists argue that they can’t do their jobs unless sources can be assured of confidentiality—particularly on sensitive matters like national security.

“If you want to cover the federal Congress or federal courts or national security, you are really risking a lot because there are certain beats that can only be done with confidential sources,” Dalglish says.

Last year, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., introduced a bill modeled on the D.C. shield law. It died with the 108th Congress, but a staffer says Dodd intends to reintroduce the measure.

His bill—“to establish protections against compelled disclosure of sources, and news or information, by persons providing services for the news media”—would allow reporters to keep the identities of their sources secret.

The proposed legislation would also protect journalists [whatever that is!] from testifying about their research, unless a court finds the requesting party cleared a number of hurdles, including that the information is necessary to resolve a “significant legal issue,” that it cannot be obtained any other way [can't prove a negative], and that there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure.

WHAT ABOUT BLOGS?


While media advocates applaud Dodd’s initiative, some point to problems with the language. The protections seem to apply only to reporters working for traditional media—newspapers, magazines, radio, television and wire services.

Critics say it’s ambiguous whether such definitions encompass bloggers or other new-media journalists.

Dalglish says that while the definitions might need tweaking, any concerns can be addressed.

Dodd’s proposal isn’t the first time Congress has considered a shield law. Ninety-nine separate bills were introduced between 1973 and 1978, Dalglish says. None went anywhere, ironically owing to media advocates who disagreed about what the bills should include. Some in the media were afraid that any legislatively created privilege would lead to licensing of journalists—a prospect many abhorred.

At the same time, the federal courts’ media-friendly interpretation of Branzburg lessened the need for new legislation.

Now many in the press are rallying behind a federal statutory privilege. “I think it would be a great tragedy for there to be any kind of cloud over the reporter’s privilege,” Baron says.

Dalglish is optimistic for a simple reason: “There’s not a single member of Congress, or their chiefs of staff, who hasn’t been a confidential source at some time.”

2005 ABA Journal

Perhaps true, but not a confidential source for a crime or a tort, were they? -Ed

Gone Phishing

sorry!
The New York Times > Technology > On EBay, E-Mail Phishers Find a Well-Stocked Pond: "On EBay, E-Mail Phishers Find a Well-Stocked Pond
By IAN AUSTEN

onald Jay Alofs got a call last fall at home asking if he had recently bought several thousand dollars worth of electronics. Mr. Alofs had not, and he had a good reason for not being on a spending spree: he was in the hospital at the time.

Things got worse for Mr. Alofs, a coin collector and dealer who buys and sells on eBay. His inbox was soon filled with e-mail messages from irate buyers: someone had used his eBay account to sell about $780,000 worth of coins - about five times the online business Mr. Alofs had done over several years - and many of the coins offered for sale never existed.

Adding insult to injury, fees for hosting photos for the fraudulent auctions had been financed with $300 from Mr. Alofs's account with PayPal, eBay's online payment service.

The source of the trouble, he believes, was that his eBay and PayPal accounts were hijacked through what is known as phishing, a type of online fraud that collects victims' account passwords and other information, after he responded to an e-mail that appeared to come from a legitimate business.

'At first those e-mails were a joke with the misspellings and mistakes,' said Mr. Alofs about the phishes he received a couple of years ago, when the practice was relatively new. 'Now with the copyright statements and the logos, they look so real. I don't know how you'll ever tell them apart.'

For eBay, phishers are more than just an expensive irritation. EBay is among the five companies most frequently targeted by phishers, according to David Jevans, chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry association that includes ..."
The New York Times > Technology > News Analysis: At a Suit's Core: Are Bloggers Reporters, Too?

"This turns out to be an unresolved question of First Amendment law," Mr. Volokh said, referring to the issue of liability for the Web sites.

==========
No, it's not. There is no First Amendment evidentiary privilege at all and there never has been. Freedom of the Press goes to free speech or free silence. Not to the withholding of evidence in a court of law. Any staet laws which claim to set up such a privilege are sufficiently flawed that they will come crashing down when the idea of licensing journalists become the means of protecting "Main Streem Media."

Matt Drudge has just as much and no more privilege than Jason Blair, Dan Rather, David McCullough, or Micheal Moore. As the Miller Court said, quoting the S.Ct, "writing about crime is not more privileged than solving crime."

Sunday, March 06, 2005

check it out


Request a library book...via Amazon

Jon Udell: LibraryLookup (Build your own bookmarklet)

I still can’t get over how cool this is. Jon Udell’s little wizard lets you generate a bookmarklet for requesting a library book—based on the Amazon page you’re currently viewing. It’s clearly a flawless lifehack.

You just need to know your library’s URL and which system your own city uses (which Jon makes simple by providing preview links to see which style your system seems to follow). San Francisco folks, use “http://sflib1.sfpl.org/” and leave the default system of “Innovative” selected.

I’ve combed through my Amazon wishlist over the past month and have been able to find almost 20 books I was going to buy—all of which have since been shuttled from SF’s many branch libraries to the cozy little outpost just beyond my front yard.

Top 10 hack, Jon. Many thanks.

Sep 16, 2004 at 08:45 in Lifehacks, San Francisco, Tricks | Permalink
Comments

How awesome! This beats the toggling between 2 browser windows I've been doing to acomplish the same goal.

Posted by: furlinedteacup | September 16, 2004 01:43 PM

Could this be used in the UK?

Posted by: Josie | September 16, 2004 03:20 PM

I created my own customized bookmarklet that opens two windows (or tabs), one for my local library and one with a price search using AddAll (AddAll & APL Bookmarklet). It's probably not useful to anyone but me, but it could easily be cust


here

This is Like Wow


THE GROUCHY GRAMMARIAN

by Thomas Parrish
[italics removed]
Book cover If the title isn’t enough to give you the idea, the wordy subtitle certainly will: “A How-Not-To Guide to the 47 Most Common Mistakes in English Made by Journalists, Broadcasters, and Others Who Should Know Better”. Though humorously written and very readable, the book seems at times to consist of an extended catalogue of the errors of writing and speech that have offended the author (or, to accept the book’s conceit, his alter ego, the eponymous Grouchy Grammarian). He has rounded up the usual suspects: confusion between it’s and its, among and between, and may and might; between lie and lay, and homophone pairs such as lead and led. He illustrates dreadful things that people do with apostrophes, problems with subject and verb agreement, the misuse of former, the incorrect use of whom, dangling participles, malapropisms, and more.

As his subtitle makes clear, his examples are mostly taken from the media, which I feel sometimes shines the spotlight too brightly on errors made by broadcasters and journalists. Theirs is a stressful occupation with constantly looming deadlines in which it is all too easy to make a slip that cannot be recalled and corrected. Mr Parrish would, I suspect, argue that a more thorough knowledge of the basics would prevent the most egregious errors. Perhaps so.

I disagree with a few things: straight and narrow is not just a mistake for strait and narrow but is of independent formation with a respectable ancestry (I’ve found examples going back into the 1840s); chaise lounge, though a folk etymology for the correct French chaise longue, is now too well established in the US for a book on style to claim it as an error (it is, for example, included in several current American dictionaries without comment); ice tea for iced tea is not simply an error but a well-established regional form that parallels ice cream (nineteenth-century prescriptivists were equally hard on this, arguing similarly that it ought to be iced cream); cut and dry isn’t necessarily a mistaken form of cut and dried but a variant that’s known from the eighteenth century (Swift used it in 1730, for example).

But Thomas Parrish is no knee-jerk pedant. He is happy to dismiss the old canard that none must always take a singular verb; he is relaxed about the use of like to mean as (though not the intrusive like that generates a meaningless sentence break in so many conversations); he’s very aware that language is not static. His greatest concern is that whatever we write, we should say clearly what we mean to say. This is summed up by his opening section, which urges all writers to “Think!”—not, as the late Thomas J Watson of IBM meant it, to exercise the little grey cells in the direction of innovation and invention, but just to stop a moment and reflect on what it is one is actually trying to communicate.

My largest concern about his efforts is that I’m not at all sure what audience he is writing for. Most people who ought to read it probably won’t, or realise that they need to. It will be picked up by some who know that their English could be improved (perhaps even by some in the media), but I suspect that a sizeable proportion of its readers will know most of the answers already and will read it largely to have their prejudices about the degraded state of media English confirmed.

[Thomas Parrish, The Grouchy Grammarian, published by Wiley in October 2002; ISBN 0-471-22383-2; hardback, pp186; publisher’s price US$19.95.]

Embuggerance


[Q] From Mark Raymond, Australia: “In a weak moment at work yesterday, I used the word embuggerance in formal writing. To my amazement, not an eyebrow has lifted (yet). The word is one of many words and phrases used around here, in the Australian Department of Defence, which seem to come from military slang. Others I can recall off the cuff are a poofteenth of stuff-all (for a negligible proportion), and oh-dark-hundred (for a very early hour). I wonder how far abroad this word exists, and how deeply it is (or isn’t) embedded in the language.”

[A] Love your other examples. Embuggerance, it would be fair to remark, has had very little impact on the linguistic world at large. You’re right to assert that it’s military slang, especially in the phrase embuggerance factor. It hasn’t moved much outside that area, no doubt because it’s considered to be rather too rude for general consumption, since it is obviously derived from the mainly British and Antipodean vulgar slang noun and verb bugger for anal intercourse.

Eric Partridge, a noted recorder of military slang, included embuggerance factor in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English and defined it as “a natural or artificial hazard that complicates any proposed course of action”. (Embuggerance itself may be defined in closely similar terms.) He says it was British Army slang, dating from about 1950, which feels about right.

It’s clearly a development of an older British transitive verb to bugger about, to cause someone trouble and irritation. This appears, for example, in exclamations such as “stop buggering me about!” An embuggerance, then, is an instance of trouble or interference so caused.

It does seem that it has been taken up especially enthusiastically in Australia, since of all the reference works I have here, only the Macquarie Dictionary includes it. I’ve been told by researchers at the Oxford English Dictionary that it has recently appeared in Inside the British Army by Antony Beevor and also in Andy McNab’s Bravo Two Zero, about the SAS, hardly surprising places to encounter it.

It made a rare appearance outside a military context in the Guardian newspaper earlier in 2001, in an interview with Louis de Bernières: “In fact, he has had to put up with so much ‘brainless and trivial embuggerance’ he says, that he has come to regret having written Corelli in the first place”. However, in view of the World War Two setting of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, even that is hardly outside the services ambit (de Bernières once spent what he calls “four disastrous months” in the British Army; whether he picked up the word there is unknown, but it seems likely).

Definitely a term to be used sparingly, and with careful selection of audience.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2005.
All rights reserved. Contact the author for reproduction requests.
Comments and feedback are always welcome.
Page created 17 November 2001.

World Wide Words

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Card-Based Classification Evaluation



by Donna Maurer

“This testing method can be very effective in ensuring that your classification will help your users find what they need.”We hear and talk a lot about card sorting in various forms, and how it can be used as input on a hierarchy or classification system (or a taxonomy, if you like more technical words). We hear that we should test our hierarchies, but we don’t talk about how. Of course, we can test them as part of a standard usability test, but on the screen there a lot of things competing for a user’s attention. How do we tell if a problem is a result of the classification or the way the interface is presented?
I have developed and practiced ...

link
The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Web Marketers Fearful of Fraud in Pay-Per-Click: "March 3, 2005
ADVERTISING

Web Marketers Fearful of Fraud in Pay-Per-Click

By NAT IVES

Businesses that pay billions to Google and Overture to steer potential customers to their Web sites are increasingly questioning how much fraud lurks in the blossoming pay-per-click model of advertising.
There is evidence that at least some scammers are clicking away at the ads, or having programs called hitbots or clickbots do it for them, with the knowledge that each click costs an advertiser money. Some of the troublemakers are disgruntled employees; some are companies trying to force competitors' ad spending up; some are even Web page operators who let search engines deliver ads to their sites and then collect a cut when people click on those ads.

Ad buyers worry that 'click fraud' could become rampant, if unchecked - a development that could undermine confidence in the fastest-growing segment of Internet advertising.

Executives at Speedy Registrations, a British company that sells personalized license plates, said they believed that its pay-per-click ads were fraudulently hit last year.

The company, which has been advertising its site, www.speedreg.co.uk, on Overture since August, saw daily traffic from its keyword ads abruptly triple, from 400, for five days last October, said Des Elton, managing director. 'We averaged 1,200 clicks a day, costing us ?950 on average every day,' or about $1,800, he said. 'We'd been up to ?450 to ?500 before, but that was the extreme case.'

The sudden boom in site traffic would have been welcome if it had produced increased sales, but conversions from clicks ..."
The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Web Marketers Fearful of Fraud in Pay-Per-Click: "March 3, 2005
ADVERTISING

Web Marketers Fearful of Fraud in Pay-Per-Click

By NAT IVES

Businesses that pay billions to Google and Overture to steer potential customers to their Web sites are increasingly questioning how much fraud lurks in the blossoming pay-per-click model of advertising.
There is evidence that at least some scammers are clicking away at the ads, or having programs called hitbots or clickbots do it for them, with the knowledge that each click costs an advertiser money. Some of the troublemakers are disgruntled employees; some are companies trying to force competitors' ad spending up; some are even Web page operators who let search engines deliver ads to their sites and then collect a cut when people click on those ads.

Ad buyers worry that 'click fraud' could become rampant, if unchecked - a development that could undermine confidence in the fastest-growing segment of Internet advertising.

Executives at Speedy Registrations, a British company that sells personalized license plates, said they believed that its pay-per-click ads were fraudulently hit last year.

The company, which has been advertising its site, www.speedreg.co.uk, on Overture since August, saw daily traffic from its keyword ads abruptly triple, from 400, for five days last October, said Des Elton, managing director. 'We averaged 1,200 clicks a day, costing us ?950 on average every day,' or about $1,800, he said. 'We'd been up to ?450 to ?500 before, but that was the extreme case.'

The sudden boom in site traffic would have been welcome if it had produced increased sales, but conversions from clicks ..."

Defining the Left



In the convention political lexicon of today, the term “moderate leftist” is equivalent to “liberal.” We have not used this designation because part of the agenda of DiscoverTheNetwork is to challenge the use of the word “liberal” in this way, a way that obscures the network of the left. Redistributionism, support for racial preferences, and a complacent acceptance of the existing political monolith on academic faculties are not attitudes that can reasonably be called liberal. They are the product of a successful campaign by leftists to conduct “a long march through the institutions” – to assume the political coloration of liberalism in order to escape accountability for the leftist past and in order to more easily advance their radical agendas in the American mainstream.

The leftist lurch of the Democratic Party, which has set up alarm bells in circles that actually are liberal (e.g., The New Republic) is a by-product of this campaign. Another ambition of the DiscoverTheNetwork website is to unmask the radical agendas of faux liberal organizations and individuals like the misnamed Center for Constitutional Rights. This organization was founded by totalitarian radicals, and has since merged with the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, communist fellow-traveler whose politics are aligned with Castro’s Cuba and Islamic radicals. The convicted terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart is a protégé and icon of the Center, as is Stanley Cohen, the lawyer for Hamas.)

The term “affective leftist” requires some explanation, and I am grateful to my comrade-in-arms Peter Collier for the description that follows. “These are people who are often in positions of influence, the media in particular, who are bien pensant in the extreme. In spite of their social status, they see themselves ‘in opposition’ – a legacy from the 60s when the notion of ‘The System’ as a malign code word for America – was born. They are also involved in post-radical chic, glorifying people who ‘authentically’ represent oppositional ideas in a way they would not have the courage or really even the political inclination to do themselves. To these people, as opposed to serious leftists, political ‘ideas’ are the intellectual equivalent of a fashion statement, always adjusting to meet current trends, always meant as a sort of code to tell the world that they are good people. Obviously, I’m talking here about people like Katie Couric and Robin Williams and almost all of Hollywood. (Some Hollywood people like Sean Penn with his Communist lineage are harder core and should be distinguished from this category; but there aren’t that many of them, and in any case as actors their politics are largely emotion-based as well.) These affective liberals have as their bottom-line definition the fact that they want to feel that they are on the right side rather than any real commitment to a vision (or anti-vision) for the country. They are for ‘freedom’ when it is freedom to kill third-term fetuses or engage in same-sex marriages or stuff blow up their noses; they do not define freedom as having anything to do with captive peoples around the world having the chance to escape the tyrannies that constrain them. They like Fidel because he is a thorn in America’s side and a sort of dime-store existentialist, and they rhapsodize about his spreading of literacy in Cuba without considering the fact that at the same time that he teaches people to read he tortures writers like Armando Valladares whose books he doesn’t like.”

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Telegraph | Expat | Movers and shakers on Spanish motorways

Movers and shakers on Spanish motorways
By Georgina Cronin
(Filed: 01/03/2005)


My husband worked in Madrid for three years before I finally joined him. During my visits, I would sit, white knuckled, in the passenger seat while my husband drove.

Unaffected by my barely controlled hysteria, he manoeuvred with the panache of someone who had clearly driven in Spain for more than just a two-week holiday. Then came the crunch. I was going to have move, permanently, from Ireland to Spain. I was going to have to get behind the wheel.

I have been driving, all over the world, for over 30 years. For the last 15 I have driven sports cars, but my only thought was: "Give me a tank." In fact, if the Humvee had been available at that time I probably would have held out for one.

Instead I settled for the Subaru Forester Turbo and hoped for the best. The drive from Ireland to Spain across France offered me the chance to hone my defensive driving skills, as the hazards seem to increase the further south we travelled.


The unwary beware: hazards are commonplace on Spanish roads
After two years of driving between Madrid and the Costa del Sol frequently, I am now in a position to offer some advice to the unwary.

General observations

You will notice that many cars in Spain seem to have left the factory with some interesting variations. Most appear to have been manufactured without indicator lights or rear-view mirrors.

Many drivers in Spain have adapted their driving "styles'' from "La Lidia'', as the art of bullfighting is also known. A bullfight fan screams "Olé'' not because the matador has won, but because of the form, the grace, the wit, the dexterity of the performance. This enthusiasm for the sport is translated into Spanish driving.

The Charge

When traffic lights are red, or about to go red, they must be charged at. "Red'' means that only three more cars can go through and speed is of the essence. Contact with others is to be avoided – but the closer the pass the greater the "Olé".

The Horn

If, by some mischance, one arrives at the lights too late to execute "The Charge'', preparations to execute "The Horn'' must be swiftly made. Time generally has little meaning in Spain – but not at traffic lights. The time between the red light and the first horn can be measured in nanoseconds.

The Weave

This manoeuvre is generally reserved for the busiest part of the rush hour, where a sufficient density of slow moving vehicles is available. If you are vigilant, you can sometimes be lucky enough to spot the initial phases of "The Weave'' in your rear view mirror. A car, travelling at a minimum of 80 miles an hour suddenly veers from the fast lane of the motorway, darts across the centre and enters the slow lane, passing as close as possible to all traffic in its path.

The most dextrous practitioners of this move also incorporate the hard shoulder, as it improves the "slingshot'' effect as they whip back into the traffic again.

"The Weave'' is then repeated until the vehicle is right behind you. You can only maintain your steady speed, and nerve, as "The Weaver" completes his manoeuvre behind, beside, and just in front of your bumper.

The Yield

You can best observe this pass on roundabouts and junctions. Its essential philosophy can be summarised as "it is better to die than give way''. The right of way on roundabouts, and many junctions, can be disputed, so never, ever give way.

Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by your own use of indicators. These are there simply for your own enjoyment, and nobody else's.

The Scurry

Since speed limits generally appear to be optional, this simple pass can be used at all times. It is important to travel as fast as possible, regardless of road, traffic, or weather conditions. The experts can often be seen combining "The Scurry'' with "The Weave''.

There is only one situation where the "The Scurry'' should not be used – when a police car is in sight. This only applies if it is the traffic police. All other police cars are fair game and should be flashed and hassled until they move over.

The Affront

There is no denying that the parking talents in Spain rank among the most inventive in Europe. Favourite places include; nose in on a pedestrian crossing, on a corner facing the wrong way, or double-parked.

The simplest mode of "The Affront'' is carried out by parking with your offside door as close as possible to the driver's side door of the "subject'' vehicle. More interesting results can be achieved if you can choose a car where the "The Affront" has already been well carried out on the other side by another practitioner.

For further advice on driving in Spain please refer to the Beginner's guide to bullfighting. Happy driving!

Georgina Cronin is author of Size Matters and Just an Odd Job Girl.

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