Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Redistricting Game

How may future lawyers, legislators or policymakers really understand how congressional redistricting works--and how it affects political power and the outcome of elections? Grasping these concepts would never be fun if it weren't for the Redistricting Game.

This free game, developed at the University of Southern California's Game Innovation Lab for the USC Annenberg Center for Communication, lets you play the "redistricting game" by redrawing maps of congressional districts in fictional states within a browser window. Watch the results both on the map and in the facial expressions of the fictional representatives affected by your moves, and work toward approval of your plan. Players can work through five missions, including basic population equality, partisan Gerrymander, and Voting Rights Act. Each mission comes with eye-opening quotes.

Check out this game and play the real world variables to understand how the system really works.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, June 26, 2009

Independence Weekend Hours

For those of you studying for exams or the Bar Exam, make sure to take a break to celebrate the 4th of July. I will be doing the same. This means on Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th the Library will be CLOSED. We will be open on Sunday, July 5th from 10am-8pm.

Check the Library's Hours web page for our new extended hours starting Monday, July 6th.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sleeping on a Complex Decision May Be a Bad Choice

The venerable piece of advice that one should “sleep on” a complex decision before acting upon it may not help you to make the best choice, after all. So say two studies that question the evidence for unconscious decision-making. Read more about these findings here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In this Corner .... Microsoft Bing: Interesting New Search Engines from Microsoft and Google

Microsoft recently launched their new search engine, Bing. While there are similarities between Bing and Google, Bing has added a few features like page preview. When you hover your mouse to the right of your search result, a preview of the page is displayed. Click here for more information about Bing.

Another search engine of interest is Google Wave which is expected to launch later this year. Google Wave, is a self described "new tool for communication and collaboration on the web." ""A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more." Click here to view the Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, June 22, 2009


Looking for philosophy resources? Try PhilPapers. Philpapers is an online directory of philosophy articles and books--from here you can browse current tables of contents from over 200 journals or you can browse articles by subject. A search engine allows you to search by keyword as well. Philpapers has a blog component which posts selected threads from its discussion forums--an interesting idea!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Black's iPhone App

You can now purchase Black's Law Dictionary for your iPhone. At $50, it's comparable to the price you would pay for a new copy of the print version, but up to $48 more than you might pay for a used copy, or $50 more than you would pay for a copy provided by your law firm.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat