From the article:
Once used only by law students and lawyers, the yellow legal pad is now employed to a degree unrivaled in stationery. “End career as a fighter,” President Richard Nixon wrote on a legal pad in August 1974. Five days later, on the top of another one, he scratched, “Resignation Speech.” Jeff Tweedy, front man for the rock band Wilco, writes his songs on a legal pad. Jim Harrison, the laureate of the untamed heart, wrote Legends of the Fall on legal pads; Elmore Leonard writes his crime novels on them. Nonfiction criminals, it appears, are fond of them, too. How did they get so popular? And how so yellow?
Originally conceived as a scheme for recycling paper scraps in 1988, the yellow pad got its margin rule in the early 1900s when a judge asked Thomas W. Holley, the legal pad’s father, to create a margin for him to make notes.
But Holley didn’t dye pads yellow. The origin of the legal pad’s defining characteristic is unknown. But yellow pads read more easily and, as one professor noted, prevent anyone from knowing how old the notes are.
As an interesting footnote to the saga of the legal pad, letter-size pads are now in wider use. Why?
The legal-size legal pad has been under attack since as early as 1982, when then Chief Justice Warren Burger banished legal-size documents from federal courts. One informal survey estimated Burger’s move saved almost $16 million through more efficient use of storage space.
From Freedom to Tinker comes this mind-boggling revelation:
The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine—the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes, and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus—can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the Internet.
Sounds like the integrity of our voting process is in rather clumsy hands.
With election day two months away, it’s alarming to know that Diebold’s electronic voting machines are vulnerable to attack. This post shows how, with less than a minute alone with a voting machin–such as any poll worker could engineer–an individual could easily sabotage an election by stealing votes from one candidate and giving them to another.
Minneapolis law firm Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand, is being shunned by two groups, the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice consortium and the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers. Apparently, the law firm headed by a woman, that is responsible for many landmark civil rights cases, and that was founded by Jewish lawyers who couldn’t get hired elsewhere is not supportive enough of diversity.
Why? Because Maslon also represented the plaintiffs in the Grutter and Gratz affirmative action cases concerning admissions at the University of Michican and the UM Law School. The plaintiffs were white, which MABL apparently can’t stomach. MABL has apparently stalled Maslon’s admission to TC Diversity in Practice because of these cases.
According to Strib writer Katherine Kersten, this is nothing but a double standard. It sounds like she could be right.
Article no longer available at StarTribune.com.
Unlike Google and Yahoo, Wikipedia has decided to stand up for free speech, saying “take it or leave it” to China’s censors. From the article:
[Wikipedia founder Jimmy] Wales said censorship was ‘ antithetical to the philosophy of Wikipedia. We occupy a position in the culture that I wish Google would take up, which is that we stand for the freedom for information, and for us to compromise I think would send very much the wrong signal: that there’s no one left on the planet who’s willing to say “You know what? We’re not going to give up.”‘
Wales will be meeting with Chinese officials soon. It will be interesting to see if Wikipedia has become influential enough that China cannot afford to block it. Google and Yahoo probably are, but they are also a tad lacking in spine, it seems.
Project Censored‘s annual list of the 25 most significant stories that the mainstream media completely ignored:
#1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media
#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
#3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
#4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US
#5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo
#6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
# 7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq
#8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
#10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
#11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed
#12 Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines
#13 New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup
#14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US
#15 Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner
#16 Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court
#17 Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda
#18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story
#19 Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever
#20 Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem
#21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers
#22 $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed
#23 US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe
#24 Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year
#25 US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region
Article no longer available at ProjectCensored.com.
Another reason to check your credit report regularly. From the article:
According to Shirin Sinnar from the San Francisco branch of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, credit bureaus are listing the names of known terrorists on the credit reports of unsuspecting everyday, average citizens across the country. Sinnar indicated the names are harvested from the U.S. Treasury Watchlist by credit bureaus and other financial institutions.
“The credit reporting agencies are now scanning this list and putting watchlist information on the reports even if it’s a partial match,” said Sinnar.
Even partial matches? Sheesh. Given all the problems with the various terrorist watchlists out there, I’m not sure this is remotely a good idea. Consumers, beware!
This is ridiculous. Typing confidential “do not distribute” into Google nets just under 70,000 hits. Apparently “confidential” and “do not distribute” don’t mean “do not post on a public website for all the world to see.” Unfortunate for anyone or any company whose private information is now permanently cached by Google.
A client sent me a link to this February 2006 article on condo conversions and some of the problems they create. The part of the trend—which is thankfully waning—that is more worrisome to me is this:
“[Y]ou’ve got people who were displaced who otherwise would be committed urbanists. They’ve moved on because they had to. The displacement cost is something that everybody pays. The renters leave, the buyers fail, and the buildings sit empty.”
So the real estate developers are driving their future tenants out of the market, harming their own interests as well as the city itself. Not illegal, just unfortunate.
Article no longer available on CityPages.com
A federal district court judge, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, today found the NSA’s wiretapping program illegal. From CNN:
The defendants “are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly utilizing the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) in any way, including, but not limited to, conducting warrantless wiretaps of telephone and Internet communications, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III,” she wrote.
She further declared that the program “violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III.”
She went on to say that “The president of the United States . . . has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders.”