Saturday, February 18, 2006

Famous Trials Online--JURIST and More

Famous trials take place every day of the year. For example, today is the 30th anniversary of the verdict in the “Chicago 7” trial, in which seven radicals were charged in connection with rioting at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The story of this trial--including eyewitness accounts and information about the participants--is today’s "This Day at Law" feature on JURIST, the outstanding legal news and research site maintained by University of Pittsburgh School of Law students and faculty. Every month, JURIST readers are introduced to a famous trial in legal history by Professor Douglas Linder (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law), developer of the Famous American Trials web site, which covers even more trials using a different, complementary format. Exploring the documents and personalities of famous trials relating to the development of American law--from Galileo and the Scopes trial to the Oklahoma City Bombing and O.J. Simpson--is a highly recommended online adventure.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, February 17, 2006

Looking into the future

As the only month with only 28 days, except when it is 29, and the month with Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day and occasionally the Chinese New Year, February is a good month for thinking about dates.

Using what is known as a "Perpetual Calendar" - an easy one to use is time and - I can tell what day of the week any of these dates (and others throughout the year) will fall in the future. So, for example, I am looking forward to a Sunday to celebrate the next Year of the Tiger for Chinese New Year (February 14, 2010). I can use this for historical research as well. I have just figured out that Abraham Lincoln was born on a Sunday (in 1809).

This tool has practical applications for you lawyers. Using a Perpetual Calendar, you can check which day of the week an event happened, which may help you prove or disprove the facts. For example, if a witness claims to have been in a bank on a certain date in the past and that date turns out to be a Sunday, you will be able to discredit that witness.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Are you interested in starting a business, or do you perhaps see yourself advising small or large businesses in the future? will help to guide you "through the maze of government rules and regulations and provide access to services and resources to help you start, grow, and succeed in business". Information is accessible by industry or region, as well.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

A day for Cupid and romance! Or, is it a day for cards, flowers and chocolates? In any event, today is Valentine's Day. Is it in honor of Saint Valentine or a substitute for a pagan holiday? The History Channel gives the history of the day, some great romances and dating through the ages. Not really sure I want to know more about the last.

An example of the problems of finding true love is explored here: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, February 13, 2006

Talking Rooms

There are two rooms in the library designated as "talking areas": the main Reading Room and the room downstairs where the copiers and state materials are. Since we have received many complaints about the noise level in the Reading Room, I want to take this time to explain exactly what we had planned when we chose to allow talking in certain areas.

We did this to allow groups to study together. Because we don't always have enough study room space, we wanted to offer additional space for study groups to discuss their school work. These rooms were never meant to be used for socializing among friends. There are lounges on the second floor for that. Please be considerate of you fellow students and keep your conversations at a low volume and only about your studies. If you feel your group is getting off track and laughing and telling stories, it is understandable, everyone needs a break. Just get up and leave the library until you are ready to quiet down and work again. Thank you.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, February 12, 2006