Monthly Archives: September 2011

Religion, Sex and Politics

Aren’t those the three things not to discuss with friends and relatives? Yet all three were on my mind one winter afternoon in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy as I wandered lazily through rooms stuffed with iconic renaissance art.  … Continue reading

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David Brooks v. Belgium

David Brooks has a column this morning, “The Lost Decade,” in which he describes our bad economy as an “emergent condition”—one where the condition (viewed as a whole) is worse than the sum  of its parts.  He then suggests that … Continue reading

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Legal Formalism (A Refresher on Form)

O.K. for you law people, this will all be pretty familiar.   For you non-law people, this is  an acid challenge—a test of your tolerance for excruciatingly picayune legal exegesis.   One bit of solace I can offer you is that, conveniently, … Continue reading

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Some thoughts about bats

Bats in various parts of the world, including North America, are at risk from a lethal fungus that is killing them in droves. Elizabeth Kolbert has written eloquently about this in The New Yorker.  We have not yet seen her or … Continue reading

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My Dinner at Langdell’s

It was one of those cold wet April Cambridge mornings. Too wet for fog, but too indifferent for rain. My head ached. My lips were dry and my tongue felt bloated. The fever had surely come back. Worse–the laudanum was … Continue reading

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The Job Interview

Hiring season has arrived. Some law schools have already arranged for on-campus interviews of entry level candidates. Others have made their way through the applicant forms submitted through the American Association of Law Schools (the AALS FAR forms, in the … Continue reading

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Kandinsky or Hart? Aesthetics. No. 1

Kandinsky or Hart? Pierre Schlag Beta Version 1.0 In 1927, Heisenberg introduced his uncertainty principle. By 1934, Wittgenstein was breaking with his early work. In 1923, Kandinsky was putting the finishing touches on Composition VIII: And in 1958, H.L.A. Hart, … Continue reading

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When Art Mattered: Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest film, is a love letter to Paris.  (Like all Woody Allen films, it is also a love letter to beautiful women.  Even the horrible Inez (Rachel McAdams) is sumptuous. And who can resist Carla … Continue reading

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An Optimistic Hypothesis About Climate Skepticism

Governor Rick Perry thinks climate scientists have concocted the story of climate change in order to rake in gobs of money from government research grants.  Representative Michele Bachmann thinks global warming is a hoax.  While polls continue to show that a … Continue reading

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The Monty Python Example No. 1

The British Troupe, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, is justly known for its biting and irreverent humor.  But Monty Python’s send-ups have other virtues as well.  By way of illustration consider a scene from the movie Life of Brian which shows the Brian … Continue reading

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Will Environmental Justice Mean an Equally Lousy Environment for All?

The environmental justice movement, sparked by activism in low-income communities of color, brought national attention to the problem of disparate siting of pollution and hazardous waste. The EJ movement grew to take on broader issues of inequality with respect to … Continue reading

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