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The Friday Fillip

Some food for thought, today. Actually a kind of tapas for the mind. You’ll find it in Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases. Who knew there were so many ways to skew understanding?

Roam down the crooked paths of thought (yes, I changed metaphors; wonder if that’s a cognitive bias?) such as congruence bias, neglect of probability, the planning fallacy (important for lawyers), or illusion of assymmetric insight. Not every bias is explained by a good article, but there’s at least a description of the nearly 70 ways we are persuaded or resistant to persuasion.

Just remember, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

India’s Domestic Violence Act

On October 26, 2006 India’s first act targetting domestic violence came into effect. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005-PDF is a landmark act for India and it was being taken advantage of almost immediately upon coming into force. Additionally, it is has become a hot seller in Indian retail circles.

The Times of London from October 26 has a good summary and goes into some depth describing the Act and the provisions of it, including the provisions that women can report abuse directly to judges (s.5). It also covers the criticism that the act has received from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Homeless Nation 2.0

I came across a terrific website for Canadian homeless, 2.0. The site is meant to be used by the homeless as a way to receive email and document their experiences in blog, podcast, and video formats. There is also a chat function and discussion forum.

From the website, the history of the project: is produced through a non-profit Canadian organization, Homeless Street Archive. It was formed in 2002 in Montreal by filmmaker Daniel Cross, who had just finished completing the documentary films “The Street: A Film With The Homeless” and “SPIT: Squeegee Punks In Traffic”. Having met

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Baldy Center Symposium

Some of you near the U.S. border in Ontario may be interesPUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES AND LEGAL PREPAREDNESS:A CROSS-BORDER CHALLENGEFriday, November 17, 2006Center for the Arts Screening Room, University at Buffalo Open to all - of interest to academics, graduate students, and practitioners, as well as public health officials, health law attorneys, hospital and corporate risk managers, and law enforcement personnel.... The program will examine aspects of legal preparedness in anticipation of community emergencies caused by a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, or the sudden outbreak of infectious disease, and will discuss the legal challenges inherent in international collaborations needed to respond to such emergencies.Key among the many factors essential to an effective response is legal preparedness, including a clear and fundamental understanding of basic public health law, clarity about the broader legal obligations and constraints that will govern in the event of a community crisis, and recognition of the complex ethical challenges that inevitably will emerge.... Registration required - $30 includes coffee breaks, lunch, and reception.We have extended the registration deadline until Friday, November 10th (not November 8th as stated on the Web site)UB faculty and staff are free of chargeOrganized by:Sheila Shulman, UB Law School and School of Public Health & Health ProfessionsDonald Rowe, UB School of Public Health & Health ProfessionsThomas Feeley, UB School of Informatics CME and CLE credits available Full program and registration details available at: Ellen L.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Book Search: New Features

Here are two neat features that have been added to Google Book Search in the past few months:

Public domain titles can now be downloaded, saved, and printed in full. To find public domain titles you can download in PDF format, select the “Full view” radio button on Google Book Search, and click the new “Download” button on the right side of the title’s record page.

“Find this book in a library” links have also been added to many more titles. Also on the right side of the title’s record page, this link leads you to OCLC’s Open WorldCat. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Website Use Agreements

Wandering around the Borden Ladner Gervais LLP website I noticed by chance a reference in tiny type at the bottom of the web page to a “Website Use Agreement.” Always curious about invitations to treat (or trick), I clicked the hyperlinked words and was taken to this page. I should warn you now that in the view of BLG I have just committed a breach of our agreement, theirs and mine, and although I doubt that you are now, or will become during the course of your reading this blog entry, a party to this wrong, I must warn . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


This notice of Scholarpedia from Open Access News, quoting another source:

Eugene M Izhikevich, editor-in-chief of Scholarpedia, points out its based on the same MediaWiki technology engine behind Wikipedia, and that’s now a pretty proven force. The difference with Wikipedia is that each article in the encyclopedia has an expert editor attached to it as a “curator”, who approves all changes and effectively ensures the actual article is an approved version.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Online Exhibit for 25th Anniversary of the Charter

2007 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Constitution Act, 1982 which entrenched Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Library and Archives Canada has put together an online exhibition Building a Just Society: A Retrospective of Canadian Rights and Freedoms for which it has “invited a number of individual Canadians to contribute their personal thoughts and thought-provoking commentary on this vital section of our Constitution.”

The contributions are from The Honourable Mr. Justice Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada, poet George Elliott Clarke, environmentalist Severn Cullis-Suzuki, the former Premier of Alberta Peter Lougheed, civil libertarian Julius Grey, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New E-Book on Managing a Law Firm

NXTBook publishes ebooks which are wondefully evocative of high production-value print products. Combine that with content from Canada’s leading consultant on managing law firms, and one wonders what could be better. Well the price – is free.

Patrick McKenna has just released his book on the First 100 Days and it’s the sort of thing that all Slaw readers should be drawing to the attention of their organizations.

It’s also commendable that Patrick has committed so strongly to this formatMy one criticism is that italic fonts on faux-lined paper isn’t especially legible.

Makes me wish I hadn’t been quite so . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Firm Blogging’s Small Firm Business has a piece by Edward Poll called “Ten Ways Blogs Boost a Law Firm’s Image.” The lead paragraph is pretty much on the money, I’d say:

When done right, blogs are an informative, vibrant calling card that represents you to the world. When done wrong, blogs are a chore and unwelcome expense, and produce little return on your effort. The difference between the two depends on having a realistic understanding of what you face before you start a blog.

Poll’s bullet points are:
1. Hit the target.
2. Demonstrate your expertise.
3. Write clearly . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous