Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Google Chrome

Chrome, Google's internet browser, came out a while ago, but I just downloaded it today.  Usually I use Firefox, but it's been disappointing me lately with its glitches.  

Chrome seems to load pages more smoothly than either IE or Firefox and I like its tabbing design, with the tabs at the very top of the screen.  It'll take some more time for me to form a solid opinion about it, and I admit to being biased in favor of all things Google, but so far I really like it.

Have you guys used it?  What do you think of it compared to IE or Firefox?

Monday, December 29, 2008

From the Gossip Pages

Continuing the trend of writing about purely frivolous topics over Christmas break, Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol gave birth to a baby boy today. The name? Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston. Surprisingly normal (it's no "Apple"), but it is a bit of a middle-name overload.

Well, "Easton" does sound like a town instead of a name, doesn't it?

Gimme Some Sugar...

...I am your neighbor.

I'm going to the Sugar Bowl, in which Alabama is going to give Utah a beatdown. It's technically on January 2nd, but I'm counting it as my New Year's celebration. What are you doing for New Year's?

Name the Celebrities

Celebrity number 1:

Celebrity number 2:

Here's your hint: one of them is Zooey Deschanel (the girl in Elf), and one of them is singer Katy Perry. Can you tell them apart?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Future of Journalism

What will the news look like once newspapers disappear? [Good/Blog].


All these posts, except the one from my neighbor's yard, were done at the Krystal off highway 59 in a suburb of Birmingham called Trussville, AL.

THAT'S commitment.

Getting in Your Professor's Head

Now that I’ve slept for 18 hours of each of the past 5 days, I’m ready to use my brain again. Before coming to my grandparents’ house where I knew there would be no internet, I downloaded copies of my spring semester professors’ law review/journal articles that were relevant to the class I’m taking from them. Hopefully, by reading those, I can get in their heads to some extent and go into the course knowing what they consider important.

Maybe my plan won’t work, but it’s worth trying.

Top Fives

Does anyone have any data on law school students and their undergraduate majors? I’m writing this post at my grandparents’ house with no internet at all, so I can’t look it up. But here’s my guess. Top majors:
  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Econ
Go ahead and guess the top 5 before you look it up. Then look it up and leave the link in the comments, and we’ll all see how right or wrong we were.

PS: Top 5s remind me of the movie High Fidelity. What are some other law-related top 5 lists we can do?

Used Book Stores

I love used book stores. I love thrift stores that have a used book section. I love going through other people’s book shelves.

Books are meant to be read and re-read, and while it’s impressive to own your own library, it makes more sense to sell/donate your books to places where other people can read them. I’m not talking about your absolute favorites that you re-read once a year or legitimate reference books that you need. I’m talking about the novels and poetry collections that you have no special attachment to, and therefore should give them up to someone who might discover value in a book in which you did not.

I stopped on my way to Birmingham yesterday while looking for a post office and stumbled on a used book store. It was wonderful! I bought a sack of books for $20, and they all have promise. But rest assured, if I find that some aren’t so great or aren’t my favorites, I’ll give them to a library or other used book store so somebody else can make their own decision.

What a Christmas

After two trips to the hospital, the Nichols’ family Christmas is complete.

The plan was to come up from Tuscaloosa to my grandmother’s house in Birmingham (about an hour away) to celebrate Christmas. The plan went smoothly -- until we got to Birmingham. Despite admonitions from all sides of the family for my grandmother to stop working and let everyone else take over, she tried to put the pecan pie on a counter that was out of her reach and ended up falling and shattering her shoulder.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my grandmother. I love laying in bed with her and holding her soft wrinkled hands while she tells me stories about how mischievous my dad was when he was younger. I love her home-grown wisdom and toughness. But she is shaped like a bowling ball: 5 feet even and round. We’ve been telling her for years that she needs to sit down and let us do the holiday work, but she’s stubborn and tough AND a Nichols, all of which make it difficult to tell her what to do. So we spent a few hours in the emergency room tending to her on Christmas Day. And then the second accident happened.

After my grandma’s crisis was over, my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Charlie packed up to leave. While Charlie was trying to turn off the emergency break, he accidentally popped the hood. When he got out to put the hood back in place, he forgot to switch the car to park. The car rolled back, not only over his foot, but the open door pushed him down. He was quite scraped and bruised before the ordeal was over.

But hey, everybody lived; we intermittently ate good food, and we had some great fellowship. I hope everyone else had a wonderful and injury-free Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Halfway Point

Exams are OVER. Finished. One more semester down, 3 to go. That means my class is halfway through with law school!

One of my least favorite things about law school is that exams are scheduled over 3 weeks. I know it wouldn't be practical to schedule them over a shorter period of time because there's just no way we'd have enough time to recover from one before moving on to the next, but 3 weeks is a heck of a long time. It feels like a marathon. (Not that I know what a marathon feels like, haha, but this is what I imagine it's like.)

This means that first semester exams continue until the week before Christmas, and we don't get much time to enjoy the season. I love Christmas time, so this makes me sad. But at least exams are over and we have about a month to sleep in before the cycle starts over again.

So happy holidays, everyone, and congratulations on getting through another round of exams. Enjoy the time off.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Busting Out All Over

In my attempt to get inside Prof. Horwitz's head and win round 2 (I didn't do as well as I'd hoped in his Con Law class last semester), I looked up and read some of his published articles. This was my favorite sentence, from "Religious Tests in the Mirror: The Constitutional Law and Constitutional Etiquette in Judicial Nominations" (15 WMMBRJ 75):
It would seem that the Religious Test Clause is busting out all over.
He's too smart not to know exactly what he was writing there. I'm glad to see that irreverence is alive and well, even in the stuffy world of legal scholarship.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dreaming and Doing

From the book I'm reading, Coromandel!:

The trouble is that those who dream, don't do, and those who do, don't dream... Love, war, peace, the beauties of repose -- it's always the same! Passionate love lyrics are written by nervous little fellows who've crawled home every blameless night to their shrewish wives.

Applying this to writing, do you think it's true? Do you think it would be good for all writers to go and experience their subject before being allowed to write about it? Or do you think outside perspective is valuable?

If you had to choose one or the other, which would it be?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

But what should we expect, really?

The Buffalo Bison(s) have adopted a new logo in which they chose to ignore that the proper plural of "bison" is "bison." The new logo reads "Buffalo Bisons":

From the NY Daily News.


The posts here have been slow to come because I've been in exams for the past 3 weeks. Someone proposed an interesting solution to that problem: submissions. If you'd like to submit an article to be posted, or just have tips about legal or political news, send them to Senichols(at)gmail(dot)com.

I've already received a few submissions that we're editing now, so they'll be posted soon, and I encourage you to email me if you have ideas for posts. We'll get some new content on here soon, everyone.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

CofC Flash Rave

According to Wikipedia, a flash mob is a group of people who assemble in a public place, perform an unusual action for no apparent reason for a brief period of time, and then very quickly disperse. A flash rave is exactly what it sounds like: a group of people who get together in a public place and have a short rave, then very quickly disperse.

Some students at the College of Charleston, my alma mater, organized a flash rave yesterday and the videos are all over YouTube today.

I just can't believe I missed it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Webcams are Fun

Exams start tomorrow, and I just got back to school yesterday, so I pulled an all nighter last night to try and make up for my anti-studiousness over the break. Around 8 this morning, I got a Skype call from my friend Paco who is in Okinawa right now. Since we both have webcams, we started video chat.

And no, it didn't turn into "that" kind of webcam session. I picked up my laptop and walked it around the school so he could see it. Paco got a virtual tour of the law school from across the world, and we both thought it was pretty cool.

Do you use video when you chat with people? Has it changed the way you interact online? It definitely made me feel more self conscious, but since the other person must feel the same way, it was ok. What do you think?

Monday, December 01, 2008


I just found out that this blog was nominated for the ABA Journal's annual list of 100 best law blogs. Head over there and vote so I can have something to put on my resume to distract from the absence of my GPA.

Just kidding, sorta.

But really, the voting ends January 2, and it would mark the beginning of a super sweet second semester to make the ABA's list.