Saturday, November 01, 2008

Witch Pardons

While prowling the web, I discovered that a petition was delivered yesterday to the British Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, calling for the government to posthumously pardon more than 400 women and men executed as witches in England before the Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2, ch. 5) abolished the crime of witchcraft. This follows in the wake of an official Swiss government pardon granted earlier this year to Anna Goeldi, beheaded in 1782 and believed to be the last European executed for witchcraft. The petition and summaries of eight historical cases cited to support it can be read here. The petition is the brainchild of Angels Fancy Dress, the British costumer for the stage, performers, and the Halloween public. A London Times article by David Byers provides additional background.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, October 31, 2008

Librarians in Black

One of our little known duties is to keep an eye on the aliens (intergalactic) in this building. We take the concept of diversity very seriously here. However, on this day some of the resident aliens (intergalactic) like to come out of "hiding" so to speak.

Can you identify any of the aliens (intergalactic) that are walking our halls today?

If you can, please provide us with the names and how you identified them as an alien (intergalactic). Attention to detail and deductive reasoning skills are useful traits for this endeavor.

Add a comment to this post or drop a note in the Suggestion box at the Circulation Desk.

We will post the best "identification" on the blog.

Happy Halloween!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Count down to the election

We keep on hearing that this is an historic election, but what about elections in history. Voting America plots election results over time AND by locality . Not to be left out, good ol' Google has its own Election08 site - with links to YouTube, blogs and mashups with Google Maps and Google Earth.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Fact-Checking Websites

Are you still wondering about the factual accuracy of claims made by both presidential candidates? LLRX provides access to and a summary of several elections-oriented “fact-checking” sites.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keeping track of the financial bailout

Mark Cuban launched BailoutSleuth this month to "keep an eye on our taxpayer dollars and call Bulls**t when necessary." Chris Carey edits the blog, which looks promising. Recent watchdog posts include The Money List and the Next Wave.

Christopher Carey is editor and president of He's been a business reporter for more than two decades. He specializes in digging through SEC filings, court records and other documents to find information that companies try to bury, and in tracking the activities of known securities-law violators.

Mark Cuban is the majority partner in He is co-founder of and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.

Hat tip to Law Librarian blog for the reference.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Intelligence Project

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project is dedicated to monitoring hate group and extremist activity. As such, it is an excellent place for information and analysis regarding hate crimes committed in the United States. Resources offered include the Intelligence Report, a map of U.S. hate groups and For the Record, a list of incidents of apparent hate crimes drawn from news sources.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Rough World of Attorney Athletics

This NY Lawyer article, about a negligence suit against the Lawyers Athletic League that was thrown out last week, makes law firm basketball sound a little more competitive than some might expect. The suit alleged that in 2006, a ringer (each team is allowed two) and former college player who was playing for a law firm team was punched and injured by an enforcer who was playing for the Food Bank of New York City. So, if you ever have the opportunity to join a law firm team, try to find out about the team and the competition beforehand.

NY Lawyer is a free site owned by that describes itself as "the free daily news site for young associates."

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat