Saturday, January 28, 2006

20 Years On...Challenger, Space and the Law

The media--from the National Geographic Channel to talk radio--will be commemorating today’s sad anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster that led to the deaths of seven astronauts, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. But did you know that all three NASA spaceflight accidents, claiming 17 lives over the last 40 years, took place between January 27 (the Apollo 1 fire in 1967) and February 1 (the loss of the shuttle Columbia in 2003)? This fact, along with Challenger videos, training and liftoff photos, voice recorder transcripts, Congressional hearings, scientific investigation reports, and court decisions from related lawsuits are all available online from web sites dedicated to the history and law of space exploration. NASA’s History Division page on the ill-fated Challenger mission is a great place to start, with links to most of the key information., “the planet’s space law portal,” provides Challenger-related and other space law cases, a space lawyer directory, and links to space law resources worldwide.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, January 27, 2006

How to Say it in . . .

With globalization, we will have increasing need for communication in different languages. There are several websites that provide quick translations. My favorite is Babel Fish . Another is Google Language Tools. I can now tell you that "meow" is pretty much the same across your human languages.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Electronic Discovery

Those cutting-edge future litigators among you might find the Discovery Resources Web site to be of interest. Discovery Resources aggregates current information about electronic discovery for the legal community from a variety of different online sources. The site’s aim “is to keep legal professionals informed and provide the best tools available to evaluate the wide range of technological and legal issues associated with electronic discovery.” Resources include articles, news items, links to e-discovery case law, rules and regulations, and practice-based tools.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


In case you missed it last week, after 2 days of weather-related problems, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft lifted off on a long journey to Pluto. Pluto is the only planet not yet visited by a spacecraft, and this mission should hopefully remove that distinction. Read all about it at New Horizons main page.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

21st Century Library - A New Semester!

Once again the 21st Century Library will be holding workshops through out the semester on specific topics and different research tools and tricks. The intent is to provide guidance on available resources and suggestions on how these resources may be used in the research process. And, how and where to get started in a complex subject and evaluate what is found.

The first of the workshops will be held next week during the Common Hours. The schedule is:

Monday, January 30th, 12:10-1:00: International Human Rights research online
Monday, January 30th, 5:10-6:00: Secondary Sources on Lexis and Westlaw
Wednesday, February 1st, 1:10-2:00: European Union research online

Some workshops will focus on subjects (Int'l Human Rights/European Union) and others will focus on demonstrating less familiar aspects of a resource (Lexis/Westlaw). If there is a topic or resource you would like featured in a workshop, please tell us. We always welcome suggestions.

All workshops are held in the lower level computer lab and all law students are welcome.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, January 23, 2006

United States versus Google

Last week the Bush Administration demanded access to all the search data from the databases of Google, Yahoo and MSN. Their reason was so that they could track pornography results. Yahoo and MSN complied but Google has denied the request. Search Engine Watch has summarized the entire story and then has another article which provides links and summaries of the actual subpoena documents.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, January 22, 2006


The / Interbrand Fifth Annual Readers Choice Awards for 2005 have just been released. GOOGLE has been named the world's most influential brand, beating out second place APPLE. Demonstrating a growing interest in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), SKYPE cracked the top five this year, ranking third. STARBUCKS and IKEA round out the Global top five. The entire report can be viewed here. It is a really good read. In addition to the global list, brands are also ranked by region: Asia-Pacific, Europe and Asia, Central and Latin America, and North America. The fifth most influential brand in North America? Lance Armstrong.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat