Monday, August 28, 2006

Reverse Incentives

Another hilarious interlude, from my Discovery prof:

"So the grade from this course will come from two or three short papers, about 3 pages each. If the first paper you guys hand in is good, you'll get assigned two more papers. If the first one is lousy, you'll only get one more paper assigned."
[At this point there was an uproar of confused laughter. A weird incentive plan or did he make a mistake? we wondered.]
He explained:
"Because if the first paper is lousy I don't wanna read a whole extra set of lousy papers."

Great prof.

The Preacher

My Intellectual Property professor (hereafter "The Preacher") on the public domain:

"When can IP rights be reclaimed from the public domain? I envision it as a giant rift, where the rights drop from the heaven that is protection into the rift that is the public domain. When you lose protection, they drop into the public domain. Once they fall from heaven, they can only be prayed out. You must clutch your rosary beads and pray them out by changing the law, or by resurrecting abandoned trademarks."

Case in point: Mickey Mouse's copyright protection was set to expire, until Congress extended copyright protection laws. Mickey resurrected into heaven.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Plan B

Two very amusing things about this article:

"Barr has agreed not to sell the pills at gas stations or convenience stores, to ensure better compliance with the rules."

"Couples in the United States have so much unprotected sex — half of all pregnancies are unplanned — that even if the pills were easy for anyone to obtain, they would be unlikely to cause a major change in abortion and disease rates."

Half of all pregnancies? Wow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Outrun You

Back in the saddle. It's strange being back, but I remained in constructive denial and so avoided the ante-school (anti-school?) anxiety. I actually got into a class (Discovery) that I was waitlisted for, no easy feat. No final, no assigned text, and the first assignment merely advises us to choose our seat carefully as it will be permanent for the semester. Compare to the 45 pages of reading for Information Privacy.

Highlight from Wills & Trusts with my fave prof:
"I've switched over to this new Probate Code book, which is so much better because it organizes the codes by category, and not section number. For example the section on domestic partnerships is in an entirely different place than the section on marriage. So I went to the other Wills professors and I was like, 'Look at this fabulous book! Let's all switch to this one!' And they looked at me and said, 'Are you kidding? It's taken me years to put all these post-it notes in place.'"

And a joke:
Two guys are in the woods camping, and they suddenly see a bear. The one guy starts putting on his sneakers, and the other guy is like, "Are you crazy? You can't outrun a bear." And the one guy says, "I only have to outrun you."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So I had both my laptop and my iPod burglarized from my apartment. S/he came in through the kitchen window, which was cracked. Consider yourself warned.

Anyway, I emailed iTunes because obviously I'd lost all the songs I'd purchased on there. It was a sad email, about how I was grieving for all my lost music, was there anything they could do? Everyone told me it was lost forever. Nevertheless, this was the reply:

"I'm sorry to hear that you lost your iTunes Store purchases when your computer was stolen. I know how distressing that can be, so I've made all of the content you lost available for you to download again, free of charge. Please understand that Apple does not offer protection against the loss of your purchases, so this is a one-time exception."

So I'd like to give big ups to "Adrienne" at Apple, who restored me my lost music. Now that's customer service.


School starting up again soon. I'm keep it buried in the back of my mind, trying to enjoy the dying gasp of summer. This summer has been amazing, I'm not sure why exactly. My love affair with San Fran is in full swing, maybe that had something to do with it. Today's the last day of my internship and I'm sending out resumes for next summer. I'd like some luck...that would be nice. I work hard, and how else can you be rewarded except by getting lucky?

Overheard yesterday in the parking lot at Fort Mason, by a woman:
"I lost my car keys!" Beat. "And my baby's in the car!"