Here it is, just about half way between Friday Fillips, and I’m feeling the urge to share some frivolous findings with you. I hope that those who read Slaw for our contributions to your understanding of law and practice will forgive me this mid-week miscellany, most of it blithely immaterial.
But let’s start with law, in a way. The Globe and Mail this morning reported on a British scholar’s announcement (assertion?) that the 1613 Elizabethan drama, Cardenio, is in fact (mostly) by Shakespeare, and not Fletcher (his ghost blogger?) or Theobald, the later plagiarist. In the brief excerpt cited I noticed — here comes the legal reference — the use of “reversion”:
To have enjoy’d her, I would have given – what?
All that at present I could boast my own,
And the reversion of the world to boot
Had the inheritance been mine. . . .
Nice little conundrum here, if he’s referring to a reversion upon a life estate, because, of course, it only vests in possession upon the death of the life tenant.
There are so many allusions to law in Shakespeare’s plays that some believe he must have had legal training, a hypothesis rejected by the 1943 book The Law of Property in Shakespeare and Elizabethan Drama by Paul Clarkson and Clyde Warren, which in turn has been criticized as being wrong in law: see Shakespeare’s Bad Law by Mark Alexander.
Now straight from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Wall Street Journal, for reasons best known to its editorial board, decide to publish a lengthy piece recently on a Russian scholar’s assertion (announcement?) that the United States will fall apart this year, and that the various resulting regions will be taken over by other nations. The map to the left (click to enlarge) gives you his picture. China gets the west; Mexico gets the south; Europe gets the east; and — oh, goody, we get South Dakota — Canada gets the northern midwest. Uh, and Russia gets Alaska back. Kind of puts our anxiety about Quebec separatism to shame, doesn’t it?
Now, moving somewhat away from the ridiculous, we find a novelty from Google Labs: Google Reader Play. If you read RSS feeds (and you should), you may well do it in Google’s Reader. This new turn on that app not only slides things in sideways from the right, but does it in big square blocks that favour images over text. (The speculation is that, like the Wall Street Journal and NPR, they’re preparing for the launch of the iPad.) Google Reader Play doesn’t play your subscriptions (although I gather you can make it do so); instead it treats you to a concoction of image-heavy material from feeds that its chosen in mysterious ways. Fun for a few moments.
And finally for something completely silly: the Bounty paper towel ad on YouTube, presented here because it uses our Mounties as a symbol of strength: