May reading list

Does reading make you a better person. Probably not! But reading is a great way to expand your horizons. So, now that the spring semester is almost over, this is what we will be reading during the month of May:

Beyond Legal Reasoning by Jeffrey Lipshaw (Routledge, 2017). We need to thank Paul Caron (via TaxProfBlog) for bringing Lipshaw’s ambitious new book to our attention. It’s a book about legal theory, one that explains what “thinking like a lawyer” means. This book is an intellectually ambitious one because Lipshaw attempts to demarcate the outer limits of legal reasoning and tries to bridge the gap between legal reasoning and legal judgement. We will write up an extended review of this book in the days ahead.

Never Caught by Erica Armstong Dunbar (Atria, 2016). This tome tells the story of Ona Judge, a runaway slave belonging to George and Martha Washington, and the Washingtons’ attempts to recover their slave. (We discovered this work via “Book TV” on C-Span.)

Freedom National by James Oakes (Norton, 2013). This book chronicles the destruction of slavery in the United States. (Randy Barnett, via Volokh Conspiracy, brought this historical opus to our attention.)

Better Presentations by Jonathan Schwabish (Columbia University Press, 2016). Or: how to avoid “death by power point.” (Jason Kottke, via kottke, brought this useful book to our attention.) Continue reading

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Dreams, memories, and movies

hat tip: kottke

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Comprehensive list of Pres. Trump’s accomplishments: the first 100 days











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The original minivan

Why are most contemporary minivans and SUVs so damn ugly and uncool? (The new Jeep Compass is especially hideous.) Via Popular Mechanics, check out this essay by Ben Stewart on the original VW bus.

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Little Data

You  may already be familiar with the term Big Data, datasets that are so gigantic that special computational methods are required to analyze them. But how about some “little data” for your pleasure? The frequency analysis pictured above, for example, is from Alice Zhao, who wrote this fun post titled “Text Messages Change from Dating to Marriage.” Below the fold is an extended excerpt: Continue reading

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Ella Fitzgerald would have been 100 years old today

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Dinosaur fossil ice tray

Hat tip: Cliff Pickover

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