Appropriately Located

by Kieran Healy on February 11, 2008

I learned today that the Admissions Department of the University of Arizona’s Law School is located in the Corleone Building. Arizona has always been a retirement spot for the mob, I suppose. There must be examples of this sort of thing elsewhere, too. Anyone?

Will no-one rid me….

by Harry on February 11, 2008

Rowan Williams doesn’t need me to defend him, having, preumably, better placed and more powerful friends (one in partiuclar). But here goes anyway. One of my several Anglophile (and this one a rare Episcopalian) in-laws just sent me (approvingly) this piece from the Sunday Times, and added the following, rather lovely if a little unlikely, quote, recommending a different version of multiculturalism from that to which he takes the Archbishop to be committed (which, I gather from googling, comes from Mark Steyn):

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” — the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

”You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

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Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?

by Henry Farrell on February 11, 2008

The “New York Times”: has an interesting piece on the efforts of J.K.Rowling to stop a Harry Potter lexicon from being published, on the grounds that it ‘hijacks’ Rowlings’ name and work.

So long as the Lexicon was a free Web site, Ms. Rowling looked kindly upon it. But when Mr. Vander Ark tried to publish part of the Lexicon in book form — and (shudder!) to make a profit — Ms. Rowling put her foot down. She claims that she wants to publish her own encyclopedia someday and donate the proceeds to charity — and a competing book by Mr. Vander Ark would hurt the prospects for her own work. But more than that, she is essentially claiming that the decision to publish — or even to allow — a Harry Potter encyclopedia is hers alone, since after all, the characters in her books came out of her head. They are her intellectual property. And in her view, no one else can use them without her permission.

“There have been a huge number of companion books that have been published,” Mr. Blair said. “Ninety-nine percent have come to speak to us. In every case they have made changes to ensure compliance. They fall in line.” But, he added: “These guys refused to contact us. They refused to answer any questions. They refused to show us any details.” _They fall in line._ There, in that one sentence, lies the reason Mr. Falzone and his colleagues have agreed to help represent RDR Books. And it’s why Mr. Lessig decided to start the Fair Use Project in the first place.

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Tom Lantos dies at 80

by Eszter Hargittai on February 11, 2008

California representative Tom Lantos died earlier today. I’ll take this opportunity to mention the Oscar-winning film The Last Days (I’ve blogged about it before here). It’s a very powerful documentary in which Lantos is one of the five people featured. My one critique of The Last Days movie was that it ignored the plight of people like my grandmother (who died twenty years ago last week, at almost 80) and father who went back to Hungary after their time in a camp instead of emigrating. That doesn’t detract from the value of The Last Days. But I think it’s important to recognize that there is a sufficiently different outcome from very similar circumstances depending on where one went after those horrors. In any case, I learned about many things from watching that film, including details about Tom Lantos that may be lesser known. I thought this was a good occasion to mention the documentary again.

Grab the nearest book

by Eszter Hargittai on February 11, 2008

As far as I know, no one has tagged me with this blog meme, but I’m still going to participate as it looks fun.

1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Nearest book as I sit at my coffee table at home: The Chocolate Connoisseur by Chloé Doutre-Roussel. Page 123 is in the middle of Chapter 6 on The Cream of the Crop under the Reading the Ingredients List subheading. Here we go:

There are several grades of chocolate, and these figures show the European Union and US regulations for standard (S) as well as fine (F) chocolate.

* Dark chocolate (S) must contain at least 35% dry cocoa solids (but 15% for “sweet chocolate” in the US), while dark chocolate (F) must contain at least 43%.
* Milk chocolate (S) must contain at least 25% dry cocoa solids (but 20% in the UK, and 10% in the US), while fine milk chocolate must contain at least 30%.

The fun continues in the 4th sentence so allow me to add that: “Bars such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Galaxy or Hershey must be labelled ‘family milk chocolate’ in the EU, as they don’t contain enough chocolate to count as chocolate under these rules!”

So yes, it’s worth noting that chocolate is not immune to policy considerations. It may sound silly, but it’s obviously a huge industry and what gets to be labelled chocolate does have regulations attached to it, ones that vary from one country to the next. There are also lobbying efforst involved. I don’t follow this area closely, but when a related news story pops up, I do find it intriguing to check out.

Since I wasn’t tagged for this meme, I guess I don’t have to tag anyone else either although I invite people to grab the nearest book and post the specified three sentences here or on their own blogs.

Continuity and Change in English Culture

by Kieran Healy on February 11, 2008

1958 Aldeburgh Carnival and Lifeboat Launch.

1995 Aldeburgh Carnival and Lifeboat Launch.
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