Welcome Back to School:

Just in time for the new semester, here are a few items of interest:

glangston (mail):
The "fact and fornication" is brilliant.
1.6.2008 12:55pm
barts185 (mail):
In case there are any reading who are not familiar with Taylor Mali, check out

The the impotence of proofreading:
1.6.2008 1:43pm
A number of years ago I served on a jury in a civil trial that lasted four full weeks. Since I'd never been on a civil jury before, I was surprised at the end when we were instructed to reach a verdict in the form of "yes" or "no" answers to a list of defined questions.

The first question was so badly written that we could not reach a verdict on whether a "yes" answer was finding for the plaintiff or defendent. We knew what our verdict in the case was, but we were deadlocked in our deliberations on the meaning of the question.

Since we could not figure out how to deliver our verdict in the format of answers to the horribly written questions, we sent several notes to the judge asking for clarification. Her responses muddied things even more (but at least we now knew who had written the original questions.)

Finally, we rewrote all the questions ourselves and sent them out with a note asking whether it was all right to provide our answers to our own questions rather than hers. We waited about an hour and a half for her response, which finally was affirmative. (I imagine she had to get both attorneys to agree to our wording.) At that point, we provided a verdict in minutes.

Bad writing by lawyers and judges can have consequences. If we'd been less patient (the note exchanges took hours!), we might very well have found for the plaintiff when we knew from the beginning that we did not want to.
1.6.2008 5:07pm