Friday, December 21, 2012

THE END (for now)


First years - you survived your first semester.  It gets easier now.
Second and third years - you made it through one more semester.  Progress toward graduation.


I am now off for some well-earned naps.  See you when I wake up on January 2nd!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Little Random Oddity For Semester’s End

For no better reason than that the semester is over and Winter break is upon us, here for fun is a link to a brief documentary excerpt about that oddest of fish, the mudskipper.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Library Hours After Exams

The library will be open as follows:

Tuesday - Friday, Dec 18, 2012 - Dec 21, 20128 AM - 5 PM**

CLOSED – Tuesday, January 1** 
Wednesday, January 2– Tuesday, January 8

Wednesday, January 2- Friday, January 4  8:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M
Saturday, January 5-Sunday, January 6   10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Monday, January 7-Tuesday, January 8     8:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.

** = No swipe access

As always, you can check the Library's web site for our hours and for other Library related information.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yog - An App Helping You To "Run With Friends"

Now that exams are over and there is time to get outside and jog, where can you find the regular people who have been living their life while you hunched over law books for months? Try the new app Yog

"If you're planning to go jogging more as part of your New Year's resolution, you might want to give Yog a try.

Yog, a free iPhone app, helps runners around the world connect with each other and organize jogs with those at their skill level. With the app, users can quickly schedule a run and then invite friends through Facebook or their phone's contact list to go on a virtual run. If the scheduled run is listed publicly, random users on the site can opt to join in as well." From here.

As their website says, "Run With Friends."

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, December 17, 2012

Power Outage This Evening

The fire marshal is performing emergency light inspections in the Law School this evening from 11:30pm-1:30am.
-        The library will close at 11:00 PM. There will be no swipe access.

-        The library will reopen for regular 24/7 access on Tuesday, December 18th  at 8:00 AM.

Public access computers will close at 10:00 PM this evening

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

A Message from President Stuart Rabinowitz

Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz announced by email this morning ...that Eric Lane, a distinguished faculty member who has served as Interim Dean of the Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law since March, has been named dean of the Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law, effective January 1, 2013. Eric Lane is a distinguished legal scholar, a renowned author, and a superb academic administrator, who will lead Hofstra Law School into a new era.  His service to the Law School and the University over the past 35 years has been exemplary.

This is only the first paragraph, please read the entire email for the full announcement.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The End of Loud Commercials

The FCC had adopted the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act on December 13th 2011.  These rules would require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany.  The Act became effective on December 13, 2012, so you can expect all commercials to no longer be blaring and ear piercing!  Click here to read the entire Act, click here to the read the FCC Quick Facts. (credit to Law Librarian Blog)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cats and the Commerce Clause

Last week, while law students around the country studied Commerce Clause cases for finals, a federal appeals court decided a case on my favorite related subject, feline law. More precisely the court expounded on legendary author Ernest Hemingway's cats--about 50 of them, all descendants of the author's six-toed polydactyl cat, Snowball--and their relation to federal power and the Commerce Clause. 

The cats live in and around the Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida.  You can read more about them and the case in this article (with video) from the Christian Science Monitor.  In short, after a visitor complained to the U.S. Department of Agriculture about how the cats were being cared for, the Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued demands that the Museum obtain an animal exhibitor's license and maintain the cats in specific types of enclosures.  The Museum then challenged the Department's jurisdiction to regulate it as an animal exhibit under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.).

In a unanimous opinion affirming the district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit stated: "The exhibition of the Hemingway cats is integral to the Museum's commercial purpose, and thus, their exhibition affects interstate commerce. For these reasons, Congress has the power to regulate the Museum and the exhibition of the Hemingway cats via the AWA."  The opinion refers to this page on the Museum website as an example of the "purposeful marketing" of the cats.

Only one question remains.  Will there be an appeal? 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, December 14, 2012

Library hours next week and the break

For any of you who, for whatever reason, want to come prowl with me in the Library before the holidays, here is our schedule:

Mon. Dec. 17 - 8am-11:30pm (no swipe card access after 11:30pm)
Tues-Fri -  Dec 18-21 - 8am-5pm (no swipe card access)

Sat. Dec. 22 - Tues. Jan. 1, 2013 - LIBRARY CLOSED (no swipe card access)

Wed. Jan 2 - Fri. Jan. 4 - 8am-6pm
Sat-Sun - Jan 5-6 - 10am-6pm
Mon-Tues - Jan 7-8 - 8am-6pm

Regular hours resume Wed. Jan 9.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Weird Hotel Rooms

Are you planning to travel during Winter break? Are you also looking for an offbeat way to put interpleader and res ipsa loquitur temporarily out of your mind? If so, then take some inspiration, or at least some amusement, from Yahoo’s list of the world’s weirdest hotel rooms.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

National Library of Medicine: Open-I Project

The National Library of Medicine has a new image retrieval service.  "The Open-i project aims to provide next generation information retrieval services for biomedical articles from the full text collections such as PubMed Central. It is unique in its ability to index both the text and images in the articles. The article retrieval is powered by Essie (the search engine that supports

Open-i lets users retrieve not only the MEDLINE citation information, but also the outcome statements in the article and the most relevant figure from it. Further, it is possible to use the figure as a query component to find other relevant images or other visually similar images. Future stages aim to provide image region-of-interest (ROI) based querying. The initial number of images is projected to be around 600,000 and will scale to millions. The extensive image analysis and indexing and deep text analysis and indexing require distributed computing. At the request of the Board of Scientific Counselors, we intend to make the image computation services available as a NLM service."

Ernster, the Virtual Library cat

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Go Dark

Tired of studying and want to rest your eyes for a bit?  Try watching the earth spinning in the dark in this video.  Glimpses of illumination from space make for a bit of zen here on Flickr

This new feature of Google Maps can be found on their Earthbuilder site.  Read more about NASA's "Black Marble" video capture here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, December 10, 2012

Watch Your Language

Lawyers are notorious for writing in "legal jargon" but most legal writing manuals also advocate a plain and simple style.  The "Watch Your Language" post at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog calls out corporate speak.

Hard to tell which is worse:  business speak or legal jargon.

The post does offer four useful tips:

Check out the post for the definitions of each.  Good to know that lawyers are not the only people who need to watch their language.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Pronouncing Dictionary for Cases

As a law student, you may have noticed that there are many important U.S. Supreme Court cases that are  difficult to pronounce correctly. For several hundred key cases, the problem of confidently pronouncing them (in conversations with faculty, colleagues, future employers, and in court) has been solved.  The Pronouncing Dictionary of the Supreme Court of the United States, hosted by the Yale Law Library's website, is the product of a collaborative effort by Eugene Fidell, a Yale Law visiting lecturer, the Law Library, linguistics experts, and a diligent group of Yale law students. For each of the cases, which were determined to be the most susceptible of mispronunciation, the Pronouncing Dictionary provides phonetic spellings and an audio pronunciation.  You can learn more about the Pronouncing Dictionary here

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, December 07, 2012

Insider's Guide to Studying in the Library

Some tips for finding the perfect place to study:

Like it reeeealy quiet?  -  Go down the stairs near Room 104.  That lower level area gets very little traffic.  And the carrels by the stairs are frequently empty - even during exams.

Like a lot of activity - hang out in the Reading Room.  This IS a quiet talking area (which means that students can talk quietly) but it tends to fill up and try as we might it can get on the noisy side.

Take a study break and wander the Library.  You will discover some great nooks and crannies for studying  as well as the right micro-climate for your own personal comfort zone.

Check out the puzzle table and the nearby display case for a quick, fun study break

Bring your own earphones to plug into your laptop.  This way you do not need to worry about noisy neighbors.

Please remember, if you are laughing, planning dinner or talking about your weekend study-break plans, please be considerate and go outside the Library.  At your request, the Library staff will ask your neighbors to quiet down, but we cannot be in all places at once.  Also, please respect requests to quiet down.  Our goal is to make the Library comfortable for all and a conducive place to study.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Federal Court Ruling on Mobile Data Roaming Rule

Wondering how the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a recent challenge to mobile data roaming rules, which allow users to connect to other providers’ mobile data services when users travel outside their own network coverage area? Find out here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

New Economy Web Guide 2013 Under Obama

New on is a web guide by Marcus P. Zillman.  Zillman's New Economy Web Guide 2013 Under Obama presents the latest world wide web resources for discovering new knowledge and understanding the latest happenings with regards to the New Economy.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Holiday Movies Online

There is nothing like a holiday movie to start off the season right.  Mashable has a list of 14 holiday movies you can watch online here. 

Some of their titles are questionable: Is Die Hard a holiday movie, just because it happens during a Christmas party?  Nevertheless, many classics are listed, such as Elf and A Christmas Story, along with live links to several options for viewing them online. Pick your favorite and enjoy!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, December 03, 2012

Science Daily News

Science Daily News links to the headline news in a number of science categories.  There are the "Top Science News" stories; Health & Biomedical news; Biological & Earth Sciences; Physical & Applied Sciences; Technology News; and Environment News.

This is a fun site to browse for a break from the law.  Although, it should also be a good source of basic information if you have a science based legal issue. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, December 02, 2012

HeinOnline Congress and the Courts Library

HeinOnline's Congress and the Courts Library provides materials prepared by various Congresses relating to the purpose, formation, and organization of the federal government.  The Library provides numerous documents of legislative intent, testimony, and other historical information.  Congress and the Courts also provides Congress & the Courts: A Legislative History 1787-2010 compiled by William H. Manz as well as periodicals, links to scholarly articles, CFR Title 28 and more.  Click here to access the library and click here to learn more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blame it on the weather ???

I don't know about you, but I have been thinking a lot about the weather in the last month.  So, being a virtual cat (and at least during the hurricane, very happy I was not an outdoor cat), I went and investigated what of interest might be found online.  Sure enough, there are several sites worth checking.

National Hurricane Center -

 Of course, this is the first place I thought about after Hurricane Sandy.  Check out the Data archive for info on past hurricanes.

National Weather Servcie -
For an overview of weather information across the U.S.  You can also get more local.

Weather Underground -
Also useful for historical weather data.

This is not just idle "storm porn".  In litigation, you may need to check some weather facts and these sites can get you started.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jurist Features

Jurist Features offers periodic overviews of legal topics that are relevant to events that are currently in the news. See, for instance, this Jurist Feature on U.S. voting rights.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Helpful Tips During Exam Period

Knowing where to find helpful study guides, the archived exam, and study room policies may prove helpful when preparing for final exams.

Study Guides:

Click here to access helpful study guides. Most current study guides are located in our Reserve collection and can be charged out for three hour periods.

Exam Archive:

Go to Hofstra Law School Library home page
In the middle column under "Resources," click “Exam Archive.”
You will be prompted to log in to the Hofstra University Portal using your Novell Username and Password.
Click on “OK”
Click the professor’s folder to access the exams.

Library Study Rooms:

Click here to access the Library’s study room policy.

Good luck on your exams!
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lexis Case Law Games for Exam Preparation

Lexis recently released Case Law Game which is designed to help law students spot and analyze issues in preparation for exams. This free fun tool allows students to compete against their friends and compare scores against other law schools.  It includes games for 1L's, upper level courses as well as the bar exam.  Click here to play.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

In recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Law Library will operate under the following schedule:

Wednesday, November 21                     8:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M.**
Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving)   CLOSED**
Friday, November 23                             CLOSED**

**There will be no access for students after 8:00PM on Wednesday, November 21.  24/7 access for students will resume at 10:00AM on Saturday, November 24.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gather your social media in one place

Operating a website that gathers your social media and gives you a personalized web presence used to be either a complicated or expensive process.  However, there are a few options out there that take the work, and cost, out of making a website your own. 

At, it takes only a few mouse clicks to create a personalized webpage like the one below:

See and more applications that allow you to create an online presence and gather your social media links in one place here

And remember, all the standard warnings apply! Be mindful of what you create and say online.  Your future employers are watching~

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 19, 2012

Decline of Cost Recovery for Online Legal Research

For too many years the idea that law firms just passed along the costs of legal research was conventional wisdom.  It was never that simple. 

Well, the times are changing again and the trend seems to be a Decline of Cost Recovery for Online Legal Research by law firms. This post at Dewey B. Strategic links to 2 reports that tracked law firm cost recovery practices.

The young associate's skill in effective and efficient legal research is still important. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 18, 2012

E-book Cognitive Disadvantages

E-books have many advantages such as portability, access and ease of use.  However, there are several cons like eye strain, battery power issues and cost (purchase price of books as well as device).  However, we rarely think about the cognitive disadvantages of e-books.  The AALL Spectrum recently published an article entitled "The Cognitive Disadvantage of E-books" which discusses several interesting cons of this format.  Some disadvantages discussed are longer reading times, stress and recall deficit.  Read the entire article here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A New Mashable is Launched

Mashable, one of my favorite technology and media sites, announced this week the launch of a newly designed version that promises to be "more social, visual and mobile than ever before."  Some of the featured improvements will be incorporation of articles that are gaining traction or being shared the most on social media services, a "great reading experience" on any type of mobile device or monitor, and high resolution images that can be individually shared to social networks. Read more about the new features in the announcement. Then sign up to try out the beta version here, and give them some feedback.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 16, 2012

on Rationing the necessities

In case you have not heard, as of midnight tonight (Fri. 11/16), gas rationing in Nassau and Suffolk will end.

In other news . . . you may want to ration your remaining Twinkies.  Hostess has announced it will be going out of business.  Farewell to the icon of fake food and childhood indulgences.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 15, 2012

National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is “the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.” If you are seeking education-related statistics beyond the sphere of the legal academy, then this site is an excellent place to begin your research.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nicole Black's Litigation, Trial and Pre-trail iPad Apps For Lawyers

If you are interested in the most popular apps for lawyers developed for litigation, during trials and during the pretrial discovery phase, click here to read Nicole Black’s wonderful update.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat