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New! Big! Photos!

As the resolution of computer monitors creeps up, the visual size of pixel-dimensioned page content has been shrinking, and web designers have been tweaking pages to compensate for the changes. For example, when I first started posting my photography on this site, I would size the images to have a maximum dimension of 400 pixels. […]

No More Tobaggan Slides in Cook Country Forest Preserves

Cook County Forest Preserve District is tearing down the last of the toboggan slides: The last toboggan slides in the Cook County Forest Preserve District will come down despite an impassioned plea to preserve the historic attractions enjoyed by generations of city and suburban residents. The Forest Preserve Commission approved contracts Tuesday to demolish the […]

A Few Thoughts About the Sean Bell Shooting

I haven’t really been following the trial of the four cops who shot an unarmed Sean Bell outside the strip club where he’d just had a bachelor party. However, a few things seem worth mentioning. First of all, the fact that the cops fired 50 shots is vivid and horrific, but I don’t think it says […]

Nosocomial Blues

It all started when my 88-year-old father’s home care nurse came to visit and noticed that his left foot looked infected. He has diabetes—meaning an infection in an extremeity could be serious—so she got some kind of medi-car service to take him to the emergency room at the local V.A. hospital. The ER there operates as […]

Trimming the Elements to Make the Law a Lie

Iowa Champion Charles Kenville posts a complaint about the unfairness of drug threshold levels in Iowa: Because the threshold level for a mandatory 25 year prison sentence on methamphetamine charges is so low (five grams), prosecutors have unconscionable power over a defendant’s fate during plea bargaining… The injustice with the low threshold is that the […]

A Hard Drive Across the Border

New York Criminal Defense Lawyer Scott Greenfield has some comments about a disturbing Fourth Amendment ruling. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects everyone in the United States from unreasonable searches. And I’m pretty sure that the U.S. government can’t conduct arbitrary searches of U.S. citizens outside the country either. But when we cross the border, […]

What Competition In Aviation Means To Us

Kip is making fun of an op-ed by Robert Crandall in the New York Times, and rightly so. Consider the first paragraphs of Crandall’s missive: Thirty years ago this fall, Congress passed the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Since then, America’s airline system has greatly deteriorated. I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. Another […]

Network Admin Kitteh

This is my cat, Buffy. Click through to vote for her.


We had a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in Illinois this morning. It hit around 4:36, so I was asleep and missed the whole thing. Bummer. Quakes are really rare in these parts and it would have been fun. 5.4 isn’t much of a quake, but it’s huge for Illinois. It also attracts a lot of attention because […]

Dear Jiang Yu and Liu Jianchao

Dear Jiang Yu and Liu Jianchao, I hear that you are Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersons who are demanding an apology from CNN because of something commentator Jack Cafferty said. A Reuters article by Lindsay Beck says, Cafferty had said the United States imported Chinese-made “junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food,” […]

Elevator of Death…Or Not

When it comes to elevators, our biggest fear is that the cable will snap and the elevator will fall to the bottom of the shaft. People debate whether there is anything you can do to save yourself—jumping just before you hit is the most popular suggestion. A few years ago, Mythbusters did a test, and the result […]

Presumed Innocent

Reading a novel is no substitute for advice from a lawyer, but sometimes a good courtroom thriller can show you something important. (My lawyer readers may disagree with me…) A few weeks ago, I wrote about an interesting but unethical police trick that I learned from A Cinderella Affidavit by Michael Fredrickson. This time I want to talk […]

Quick Spring 2008 Movie Preview

Coming this spring, there are some movies I’ve got to see. There are several movies I’ll probably see, or feel obligated to see. And there are a few movies I shouldn’t see, but I’m tempted anyway.

Battlestar Galactica – Earth

[This is some speculation I wrote about Battlestar Galactica after the incident at the Ionian nebula but before the rest of the series played out. I was wrong about everything. But I think I like my version better.] Last week, I wrote a piece about the final Battlestar Galactica season in which I boldly revealed […]

Paid For By Johm McCain?

Mickey Kaus notices something interesting about McCain’s new “Tolerance” ad, aside from the fact that it’s two and a half minutes of lets-all-work-together-to-make-this-country-great feel-good noise: Johm McCain?