Movin Out

Hey, I’ve moved over to blogger because they offered more templates and I knew more people on blogger than wordpress. The one thing blogger doesn’t have that wordpress does is the blog stats function. However, with a little ingenuity (mainly google analytics) I can find out my stats on blogger.

Why didn’t I keep the same blog title? Because someone else already had “approachingreality”. I have the sinking suspicion that it’s a fake account though because of the relatively scarce level of posts and the fact that each posting seems like a copy/paste rendition of some spam mail advertising that one would get from time to time.

Super Bowl Prediction

Colts 23

Bears 17

My rationale? Not really a rationale per se but I just kinda feel like Peyton Manning should get a Super Bowl. If you are going to ask me to rationally say who will win? I would tell you the bears, 24 to 17. Defenses win championships and I just don’t see the Colts’ D sustaining the level of play that we’ve seen since the beginning of the playoffs.

I also have a sinking feeling that Rex Grossman will screw up.

The Giants in Europe

There’s an interesting older article in The New Yorker about how Europeans – and to a larger extent – populations in general are growing taller. It’s interesting to note that the article says that Americans in general are not growing. They measured the population height trends in Europe vs. those in America and found that Americans are on average a little shorter than their European counterparts. This study only included Americans that were born here and spoke English at home. The basic conclusion was that nutrition was a big part in why Americans – who used to be the giants of the world – have now fallen behind the Europeans. Sounds believable. America’s inverted food pyramid eating habits probably has something to do with it. So a good question to ask is what are Americans eating that Europeans are not?

Beware, it’s a long article.

When private lives become public fodder

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Robert Steinbuch discovered his girlfriend had discussed intimate details about their sex life in her online diary, the Capitol Hill staffer didn’t just get mad. He got a lawyer.

Soon, though, the racy tidbits about the sex lives of the two Senate aides faded from the front pages and the gossip pages. Steinbuch accepted a teaching job in Arkansas, leaving Washington and Jessica Cutler’s “Washingtonienne” Web log behind.

While sex scandals turn over quickly in this city, lawsuits do not. Steinbuch’s case over the embarrassing, sexually charged blog appears headed for an embarrassing, sexually charged trial.

Lurid testimony about spanking, handcuffs and prostitution aside, the Washingtonienne case could help establish whether people who keep online diaries are obligated to protect the privacy of the people they interact with offline.

Cutler, a former aide to Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, says she created the blog in 2004 to keep a few friends up to date on her social life. Like a digital version of the sex-themed banter from a “Sex and the City” episode, Cutler described the thrill and tribulations of juggling sexual relationships with six men.

One of those men was Steinbuch, a counsel to DeWine on the Judiciary Committee. Cutler called him the “current favorite” and said he resembled George Clooney, liked spanking and disliked condoms.

“He’s very upfront about sex,” she wrote. “He likes talking dirty and stuff, and he told me that he likes submissive women.”

When Ana Marie Cox, then the editor of the popular gossip Web site Wonkette.com, discovered and linked to Cutler’s blog, the story spun out of control. Cutler was fired and Steinbuch says he was publicly humiliated. He went to court seeking more than $20 million in damages.

The case is embroiled in thorny pretrial issues, with each side demanding personal information from the other. Steinbuch wants to know how much money Cutler received from the man she called her “sugar daddy.” Cutler demanded Steinbuch’s student evaluations from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School, where he teaches.

Steinbuch also recently added Cox as a defendant in the case, though he has not served her with court papers. A trial date has not been set, but Matthew Billips, Cutler’s attorney, said there are no settlement talks that might head off a trial.

“I have no idea what he wants,” Billips said. “He’s never said, ‘This is what I think should be done.”‘

Neither Steinbuch nor his attorney returned phone calls seeking comment. In court, attorney Jonathan Rosen said Steinbuch wants to restore his good name. Students in his legal ethics class all search the Internet and learn about the blog, Rosen said.

“It’s not funny and it’s damaging,” Rosen told a judge. “It’s horrible, absolutely horrible.”

To win, Steinbuch will have to prove that the details of their sexual relationship were private and publishing them was highly offensive. Billips argues that Cutler never intended to make the blog public but, in the information age, data is easily copied and distributed beyond its intended audience.

If the case goes to trial, its outcome will be important both to bloggers and to people who chronicle their lives on social-networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said he may teach the Washingtonienne case this spring during his class at Georgetown Law School.

“Anybody who wants to reveal their own private life has a right to do that. It’s a different question when you reveal someone else’s private life,” he said, adding that simply calling something a diary doesn’t make it one. “It’s not sitting in a nice, leather-bound book under a pillow. It’s online where a million people can find it.”

Rotenberg asked, what if Cutler had secretly videotaped the encounters and sold the videos without Steinbuch’s consent? There has to be a line somewhere, he said.

Since being fired, Cutler moved back to New York, wrote a novel based on the scandal, posed nude for Playboy and started a new Web site, where she solicits donations “for slutty clothes and drugs.”

She wouldn’t discuss the case but said she’s amazed by what has happened.

“The fact that anyone was interested in the first place was a surprise,” she said. “The fact that there was a lawsuit in the first place was a surprise. That it’s still going on is a surprise.”

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman was surprised, too.

“I don’t know why we’re here in federal court to begin with,” Friedman told attorneys for both sides in April. “I don’t know why this guy thought it was smart to file a lawsuit and lay out all of his private, intimate details.”

In that sense, the Washingtonienne lawsuit has become a study into when to make a federal case out of something and when to just let it go away. It’s a question lawyers wrestle with all the time.

Lanny Davis, the former special counsel to President Clinton who now advises companies during times of crisis, tells clients to decide whether they want justice or simply to set the record straight and get a message across.

“If you’re looking for justice, the court system is the only thing you have,” Davis said. “If you’re looking to get the full story, good and bad, into one coherent narrative, the court system is perhaps the worst possible forum.”

Courtesy of CNN

It would be interesting to see how this shakes up, especially considering her subsequent behavior. For some reason, this reminds me of that Dontdatehimgirl website and the subsequent lawsuit. What happened to that anyway? Did they settle?

1L Grades

During this time of year, law school grades finally come down the pipeline. Some students will be pleasantly surprised. Other students will feel disappointed. Especially true at this time of year is the uncertainty that may be felt by 1Ls since they have so little to base these grades on while so much depends on these grades.

There are two competing thoughts on 1L grades. Some think 1L grades are the most important of a law student’s career since these grades help determine summer employment and possibly employment throughout one’s law career. Others think 1L grades are not as important as many people make them to be. Whatever the case is, I believe it is important not to turn bad 1L grades into a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. Furthermore, I doubt there is a best way to approach such a situation, but what not to do is to give up. I’m not going to proselytize what makes a good lawyer, but I do know that no one can be a good lawyer if they give up so easily. For me, I plan to re-evaluate what happened in the first semester; what I did and did not do and what I can improve upon. I also plan to talk to my first semester professors and get their feedback.

Now, it’s time to practice what I preach and not turn my first semester experience into a self-fulfilling prophecy =-)

Raiders’ offseason moves

Now that the Oakland Raiders have lost and have clinched the first pick in the 2007 draft, let us think what should the Raiders do in the offseason to fix this embarrassment of a season.

Scenario #1:

  • Clean up the mess in management. This will probably not happen with Al Davis still holding onto all the power. This suggestion actually applies to all scenarios but I’ll just leave it here.
  • Sign two free agent offensive linemen. This move will show any potential free agent quarterback that the Raiders are serious about protecting the QB. My suggestions are at right tackle and at left guard. Let Robert Gallery stay at left tackle for another season to see if he will develop.
  • Cut Aaron Brooks and sign Matt Schaub. Have Schaub and Andrew Walter compete for the starting job.
  • Trade both Jerry Porter and Randy Moss. Liberal estimates would have Moss for a second round pick and Porter for a third round pick.
  • With the overall number one pick in the draft, coupled with two picks in the second round, two picks in the third round, the Raiders will have five picks in the first three rounds.
  • Draft Adrian Peterson with the number one pick. He will provide instant help for a QB that might be struggling.
  • With the Raiders’ second overall pick, draft a run stopping defensive tackle. The Raiders play in a division with Ladainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson. They must stop the run.
  • With the third overall pick (in the second round), draft a defensive end. Tyler Braton is not cutting it.
  • With the first of two third round picks, draft a wide receiver to develop.
  • With the second of two third round picks, draft a blocking full back.
  • Draft the best available player/OL the rest of the way.

Scenario #2:

  • Trade Moss and Porter.
  • Sign FA OL
  • Draft Brady Quinn
  • Draft Marshawn Lynch if he is available. If not, draft a run stopping DT.
  • Draft a DE
  • Draft best available player/OL the rest of the way

Scenario #3:

  • Trade Moss and Porter for picks and/or OL
  • Sign FA OL
  • Cut Brooks and sign Schaub
  • Trade the first overall pick to either Detroit, Cleveland, or Washington to stock up on draft picks. The assumption is that all three of those teams will be after Brady Quinn.
  • Draft Adrian Peterson
  • Draft a run stopping DT
  • Draft a DE
  • Draft a blocking FB
  • Best available player/OL

These are but only three scenarios that may happen. Feel free to add your suggestions.

Hello world!

Just for posterity’s sake (and to document it), my picks for who will come out on top of the current console wars.

Overall:

  1. Wii
  2. Xbox360
  3. PS3

North America:

  1. Wii.
  2. Xbox360
  3. PS3
  • Rationale: Xbox360 will continue to lead in 2007 but Nintendo will continue to close the gap with their aggressive push to the non-gamer crowd and continued sales to the Nintendo faithful. By the end of this generation, I see Nintendo with the greatest number of console sales – but not by much. There will be no clear cut majority as in the last generation.
  • PS3 will have a difficult time overcoming their earlier stumbles. The console is too expensive; it’s too expensive to develop games for the PS3; the market penetration of the PS3 is limited because of its price point; that in turn will cause developers to shun the PS3 because of development costs and lack of console ownership mentioned supra.

Japan:

  1. Wii
  2. PS3
  3. Xbox360
  • Rationale: For whatever reason, Japan has not warmed up to the Xbox360. The Wii has many parallels with the Nintendo DS and I predict the Wii will mirror the success of the DS in Japan.

Europe:

  1. Wii
  2. Xbox360
  3. PS3
  • Rationale: Everything costs more in Europe. Because of this, the Wii will have a distinct advantage for the foreseeable future.

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