Archive for August 25th, 2006

Bank Holiday Special…

” Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.”

It is, of course, the first verse of a poem by W H Auden made better known by Four Weddings and a Funeral – but appropriate given that law offices, chambers, training organisations, law schools are all closing for the last holiday weekend before Christmas. I am still at my post, but as you can see, I am not doing any sensible work. I am fiddling around on the net – it is, of course, too early to get my sabre out and cut the top of a bottle of rioja off – which is how I open bottles at the weekend.

Insane Lawyer… or, as Sean Hocking of Practicesource.com and Tab”law”oid puts it…Why lawyers should not be allowed to advertise.

This film is amazing. Jim “The Hammer” Shapiro may not be able to “rip out the heart of the person of the person who harmed you” but he will hunt them down and sue them for every dime they have on your behalf. Last week, I started my ‘Lobster Awards’ scheme. (Here) Jim “The Hammer” gets a Lobster Award (Third Class). I watched with increasing fascination. Maybe The College of Law and BPP et al should screen this film for their new litigation practice classes? Thanks for the link, Sean.

This guy eats 30 pancakes a day and, clearly enjoys eating them. He has made a film of himself making pancakes, composed a song to go with the film and is now featured on Good Morning America, Number 3 in the Israeli charts and has had over 700,000 views of his video on YouTube. It is a most enjoyable video (the song is not quite my taste – not Verdi enough) and worth a look. No law in it, as far as I could see. Go and watch the Pancake video – well edited!

US judge gets tough with mobile phone users in court – detains and questions five users. Story

“When no one admitted having the ringing phones Wednesday, Lake County Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell told all five people in the row to sit in chairs reserved for jail inmates. They stayed there for more than an hour until the morning court call ended.”

Milwaukee described as America’s drunkest city by Forbes.com: Story
“The people who are drunks, honestly, don’t get served here,” Brandon said. “If you can’t hold your head up and if you can’t walk straight, you get shown to the door.”

I did enjoy this comment from the report: “But there’s a difference between being a town of belchers on bar stools and a city with a drinking culture, some Milwaukee residents argued Wednesday.”

and.. on that note I have to sabre the top off a bottle of Rioja soon and close the blawg for today. Have a good Bank holiday.

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Greed cameras…

According to the The Mirror – Essex Police are having problems with the locals who have risen in revolt at the proliferation of Speeding cameras. They have taken to ‘modifying’ the signs by taping over ‘Speed’ with ‘Greed’. Police have been told to ‘crack down’ hard on offenders – but so far the protesters have been too quick for the local traffic plod.

There is even a website where you can read about the campaign and print out signs to stick in the rear window of your car. Be warned, however: Police may not take kindly to this. Here is a report from the Association of British Driver’s website: “We’ve received a report from a driver who says he was stopped by police and this speed camera sign was ‘confiscated’. One of the policemen said he’d been told to take them off people. So much for freedom of speech. Print one and stick it in your car. If your are stopped and the sticker illegally ‘confiscated’, be sure to get the officers name, number and a receipt for your property. Then let us know.”

I ride motorbikes. I don’t speed in country villages and it is almost impossible to speed in Central London with traffic congestion. I make no admission of guilt to any particular offence, but it can be safe, and a pleasure, to exceed the ‘national speed limit’ on occasion. There are far too many speed cameras on our roads – and to watch cars speed up to the camera and then slam the brakes on, can be quite a sobering sight!

and so to other matters…

Sadly, Pluto and Charon, after being hailed the other day as binary planets, have now been downgraded to celestial bodies. Now 2,500 astronomers meeting in Prague have voted that Pluto (and, presumably, Charon also) should be redesignated as a “trans-Neptunian”, or dwarf planet. I do not possess a celestial body – I have a ‘two pack’ – the ‘six pack’ stomach is a thing of memory – but I think I would prefer to be a celestial body rather than a planet… and as for being ‘Trans-Neptunian’?…what can I say? Amazing that astronomers have so much time on their hands… but…what is time?

Bystander JP is inviting his readers to ‘have a go’: Here is an extract from a recent post on his blog: “Speeding kills. Speeding is fun. Cameras are there to collect revenue. You have heard it all before. Go on then, let’s have your comments. Be as rude as you like about magistrates but please don’t attack each other.”

He has received 73 comments already – some of them quite amusing.

Don’t send shoplifters to jail!

I don’t run a shop, but I do know people who do – and they tell me that stock theft can cause them serious financial hardship and loss. I read in my tabloid of choice, The Mirror , that The Sentencing Advisory Panel is not keen on shoplifters being jailed – preferring, instead, a high level community service order option. The paper reports that 280,000 people a year are convicted of shoplifting (£585 million lost in thefts) which could pose a problem for the prison service. Retailers are, not surprisingly, disgusted and Edward Garnier MP, shadow home affairs spokesman, points out from stage left (or should that be stage right?) “The law-abiding public expect that people stealing from shops should be properly punished.”

Apparently in Saudi Arabia, where they cut the hands off shoplifters, shoplifting is fairly rare.

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