Category: Humor


FBI Virus

fbi1.bmpI just got a humorous virus email. It’s from with this message:

Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.


Please answer our questions!

The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,

Steven Allison
Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI-
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 3220
Washington, DC 20535
phone: (202) 324-3000

Of course, the list of questions attached is a file containing a virus. I’m dying to see the questions, but alas . . . my email program stripped out the virus-laden file.


Weird Searches for Our Blog


I recently blogged about where hits to our blog come from, and one of the major sources of hits to a blog are searches via Google and other search engines. In our site meter stats, you can see what search terms people use to visit our blog. I’ve looked at these on occasion, curious about what brings people to our blog.

Most of the very common search terms are obvious –- “opinions,” “concurring,” “law,” “legislating,” and “paparazzi.” But then there’s also “naked” and “celebrity” –- we have Kaimi to thank for that, as he posted a post entitled “Naked celebrities make the best magazine covers” about a ranking of the best magazine covers of the past 40 years, with the nude John Lennon and nude Demi Moore covers as #1 and #2 respectively.

Here are some of the more interesting searches I discovered:

SEARCH: Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket

I have no idea what this is possibly about or how it led a reader to our blog.

SEARCH: aals meat

This one’s my fault – I posted on the AALS meat market.

SEARCH: chemical changes that of apple without a peep


SEARCH: peep shows

My fault – I named a post Airline X-Ray Peep Shows.


I’m certain that this person was very disappointed upon learning my post was about airline screening X-rays.

SEARCH: Unbeknown to you the sun has jumped the gun

Totally baffling!

SEARCH: humorous curses

I have no idea what post this linked to, but perhaps I don’t want to know . . .

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Rocks, SOX, and roundhouse kicks

As all securities lawyers know, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act introduced new provisions relating to codes of ethics. Section 406 of the Act requires that companies disclose whether they have a code of ethics for their senior financial officers, and if not, the reason why not. This has led many companies to adopt codes of ethics.

I don’t think that the market has realized how simple this requirement actually is. As with most other areas of life, the best course here is simply to follow the guidance of Chuck Norris. To make this easier, Chuck has provided a clear list of “Chuck’s Code of Ethics.” (link via sharp-eyed reader Steve Evans). A company simply needs to adopt the list wholesale, and it can’t go wrong. chuck-ethics.jpg

What does Chuck’s code provide? A few highlights:

“I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.

I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.

I will always be in a positive frame of mind and convey this feeling to every person that I meet. . .”

Does Chuck’s code meet the requirements of Item 406 of Reg S-K? You might as well ask, “Does Chuck Norris have a beard?”

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The Power of the Blog: My Most Widely Read Work

airlinetoy1c.jpgThis is a navel-gazing post, but it is self-deprecating, so please read on. What is my most widely read work? Is it one of the articles I wrote? Nope. My book, The Digital Person? Nope. My casebook, Information Privacy Law? Nope. None of the above.

The answer is The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun!

The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun! isn’t a book. It’s not an article. It’s a blog post. And it’s not a blog post about the law; nor does it have deep thoughtful musings about information privacy. Instead, it is a humor piece about the Playmobil airline screening playset.

Sitemeter-CO-airlinescreening3.jpgI posted the blog post on October 11, 2005. Within just a few hours, the post got linked to at many other blogs and in countless chatrooms. Hits to the post began to pour in. I received over ten thousand hits in the first day, and the hits just kept coming afterwards. The sitemeter is on the left.

I still get many hits each day for that post. In all, based on my server’s statistics, it appears that the post has received over 50,000 visits. If you add up all the sales figures for my two books as well as all my downloads on SSRN, it comes nowhere near this figure. This probably means that my most well-read work is my post about a toy playset! So while some law professors can say that the work they’re most famous for is some article or book about the law, I’d be forced to say that my most widely-known work is a blog post about a toy.

Anyway, I guess this is just one of those bizarre facts of life. . .


Want better student evaluations?

uvabuilding.jpgI read an advertisement for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration in the US Airways magazine recently, headlined “The best professors in the World don’t like hearing themselves speak.” The advertisement continued, “To develop great communicators and leaders we ask students to, quite simply, communicate and lead. That’s why Darden professors spend the least amount of time lecturing of any of the top MBA programs. We believe this is one reason the Princeton Review ranked our professors the #2 teaching faculty in the nation.”

So, to improve teaching scores, talk less. Hmm, something to think about as I prepare for class today.

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Blogging Isn’t Just for the Young

oldperson3.jpgThis AP article, available at CNN, chronicles older individuals who are blogging:

Web logs, more often the domain of alienated adolescents and middle-aged pundits, are gaining a foothold as a new leisure-time option for senior citizens. . . .

Three percent of online U.S. seniors have created a blog and 17 percent have read someone else’s blog, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Compare that to online 18- to 29-year-olds: Thirteen percent have created blogs and 32 percent have read someone else’s blog, according to Pew.

Joe Jenett, a Detroit-area Web designer who has been tracking the age of bloggers for a personal venture called the Ageless Project, said he has noticed more older bloggers in the past two years.

The title of the article is “Senior Citizen Bloggers Defy Stereotypes” but the article’s URL at CNN is . . . well . . . not as kindly worded:


New Phrases for the Ann Coulter Talking Doll?


In the spirit of Dan Solove’s recent posting on the airport security playset, I would like to recommend the Ann Coulter talking doll.

Check out the link and you can hear sample phrases. My favorite is the one about liberals hating American more than terrorists. God bless politics.

Perhaps a phrase that could be added to the next edition of the doll is this one, which Dave Hoffman includes in his discussion of Coulter’s attack on Harriet Miers: “[A]ll the intellectual firepower in the law is coming from conservatives right now.”

All of this leads me to some serious questions (which modify Ms. Coulter’s statement): are conservative legal academics the ones producing the most influential or the most interesting scholarship these days? There was a time (in the nineteenth century) when the legal treatises were almost all written by conservatives (James Kent’s Commentaries; Joseph Story’s Commentaries; Timothy Walker’s Introduction to American Law). I can only think of one important antebellum legal treatise writer who was a Democrat: Henry Sedgwick. And his treatise on constitutional law was a success because he did not let his Democratic politics interfere with reporting on the law as it was.

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Fantasy Law School League

Folks have joked about the idea of running a “Fantasy Law School” league (a la a fantasy football league) for some time now. But the recently-posted Leiter rankings, combined with USNews and a wealth of statistics (pseudo and otherwise), indicate that we are entering a brave new era in the evaluation of law school quality and talent. No more fuzzy and impressionistic scouting of talent; bring on the new and more scientific “Moneyball” approach. Herewith, some proposed rules (comments and suggestions welcome):

1. Season: 1 year, starting Sep. 1

2. Maximum 10 law schools per league, 15 law professors per school.

3. Required positions: Dean, Contracts, Property, Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Corporations, Evidence, Tax, Junior Faculty Member (less than 5 years), Student Body (pick school). Remaining positions are optional, but must be in different subject matters. Subject matter positions are for teaching, and may be completely disconnected from research.

4. Statistics:

(a) donations: $200k = 1 point.

(b) citations: 1 cite in Westlaw’s JLR or SCT = 1 point.

(c) ssrn downloads: 10 downloads = 1 point. (gaming of downloads will result in forfeit).

(d) law review articles: top-10 journal = 10 points. 10-30 journal = 5 points. remaining = 1 point.

(e) books: top-5 academic press = 20 points. casebook, new = 10 points, new edition = 5 points. all others = 1 point.

(f) entering class median LSAT: 170-180 = 10 points, 165-170 = 5 points, 160-165 = 1 point.

(g) entering class median GPA: 3.8-4.0 = 10 points, 3.6-3.8 = 5 points, 3.4-3.6 – 1 point.

(h) blogging: 20 posts = 0 points. 40 posts or more = -1 point.

5. Multiplier: points will be doubled for junior faculty (under 5 years)

6. Draft: date: August 1. random initial order, S-draft (e.g. first round: 1,2,3 … second round: 10,9,8 …).

7. Trades: no limits on number of trades. trades may be vetoed w/in 2 days by vote of 50% of other players.

8. Waivers: players may pick up unclaimed professors at any time, subject to maximum professor limit.

Now if only we could get someone to write a program to track this …


Unusual Action Figures

actionfigure-shakespeare4.jpgWhat does Moses have in common with Rosie the Riveter? How is Oscar Wilde similar to Alexander the Great?


They’re all action figures. Yes, really. Since I’ve now earned a reputation blogging about toys with the Playmobil airline screening playset toy, I thought I’d point out that there’s a bizarre line of action figures of famous authors, artists, musicians, scientists, and others.

Now instead of playing with GI Joe or Star Wars action figures, you can have William Shakespeare battle Edgar Allen Poe. There’s also one of Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Johann Sebastian Bach, Jane Austin, and Sigmund Freud to name a few.


I don’t quite understand the whole collection. Why are Bigfoot and Blackbeard included? Why is there an action figure of an obsessive compulsive man or an albino bowler?

What action figures are coming next? Can anybody crack the logic of the series? Perhaps the Volokh Conspiracy’s puzzleblogger, Kevan Choset, can figure it all out!