Quote of the Day - Golf is an exercise in Scottish pointlessness for people who are no longer able to throw telephone poles at each other. - Florence King
Blawg Review #206: Tartan Week - All Things Scottish
Robert Burns, Scotland's favourite son, turned 250 this year, and as with all things Scottish, the celebration will last for 26 fortnights (you figure it out), so you might as well book your tickets now. On this side of the pond, we're having a few celebrations of our own.
This, stolen directly from Wikipedia (links not in original): "In Canada, the idea of a 'Scots Day', immediately renamed 'Tartan Day', to visibly promote recognition of Scottish heritage originated with the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia in 1986. Petitioned by Jean Watson, President of Clan Lamont, first the legislature of Nova Scotia, in 1987, then consequently the legislatures of each of the other nine Canadian Provinces proclaimed April 6 as Tartan Day. Currently a private member's bill is moving through the Canadian Parliament for national recognition of the day in Canada as well as a bill to declare the Maple Leaf Tartan the official tartan of Canada. An annual 'Gathering of the Clans' will take place each April 6 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa at 12 noon with pipes, drums, and dancing hosted by the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band, Canada's oldest civilian pipe band. Don't think we've missed out South of the border, though."
New York has its Tartan Week this week. And all good Scots have already attended his January 25 birthday dinner.
By the way, that last link is one you should click on - you'll get to see your author in his official kilt, side-by-side with his lassie. Before we get on with this week's Blawg Review, you might want to look at this travelogue I wrote when I visited: the Edinburgh Edition, the Hero Edition, the Highlands Edition, the Scotch Whisky Edition, and the Inverness Editions: Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.
Inventors and Inventions
Scots are proud folks. We've invented just about every useful thing on the planet, or so my grandfather told me. Although he isn't credited with the invention of the steam locomotive, inventive Scotsman James Watt did develop the steam engine that made later developments possible. Modern-day successors to the pioneers who developed the steam trains would be wise to heed the advice offered by Train Law blogger Charlie Goetsch -- refusing to cooperate with OSHA investigations of allegations under the Federal Railroad Safety Act will result in adverse inferences being drawn and in the imposition of punitive damages.
More Things Scottish
And before we get started, you'll need your dose of Braveheart. Stop here and watch. Then as you read, just let this link play and listen to get into the mood. Or just rent the movie. You could always go to Renaissance Faire and really get into it. Then there's the military tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, or one of my favorites, Stirling Castle.
But if you're looking for pageantry, pomp and circumstance, nothing beats the Top Secret Drum Corps, from Switzerland. This show is simply one you have to watch - even if you're French. Doesn't everyone want to be a Scot?
And let's not forget Scotland Yard. Norm Pattis recounts an infamous English country house murder investigated by Scotland Yard which, even after a confession was obtained, still fascinates people nearly a century-and-a-half later. Can't wait for the new Sherlock Holmes movie. Yes, of course he's a Scot, too. Things have changed a bit since Sherlock solved crimes. Richard Bales notes that the Scottish Police have instructed their male officers not to use terms such as "love", "pet", and "dear" when dealing with the public.
Scots are know for their love of golf. David Dawsey describes a patent which covers a rather complex method for determining the proper length of a golf club. What accounts for the complexity? Possibly the fact that the inventor was a German rather than a Scot. Diane Marie Amann notes that Dr. Louise Richardson's appointment as head of the University of St. Andrews has caused a bit of discomfort -- she is an Irish-born woman who is also a Catholic and a naturalized U.S. citizen. As a woman, she's unable to receive the customary honorary membership at the legendary St. Andrews golf club and, perhaps most troubling to her new neighbors, she doesn't much care. I'd be remiss if I left out golf, and Robin Williams's (he's a cousin, too) foul-mouthed description of how the game got invented.
Talk, Talk, Talk, Just Like A Scot
And here's your preview of what's to come, from Mike Semple Piggot, author of Charon QC, who interviewed me about this week's post. Listen up here. Fellow Scotsman Charon QC covered the G20 (even though there's only 19 member countries) protests in London, surveying the people and issues involved from the turret of a Tiger Tank he purchased on eBay.
Now that you're sufficiently oriented, let's get on to the issue at hand: Blawg Review.
We start with that original Scot, Bruce McEwan and his Scottish alter ego, Adam Smith, Esq. A Scottish student's ramblings. If he were alive today, would Scotsman Adam Smith be able to explain the origins of the current world financial crisis? Nate Oman calls instead on Friedrich Hayek to illuminate risk-taking and its role in creating the instruments which have brought us to this point. Are the Scots frugal, as the stereotype would suggest? If so, they might appreciate Rick Georges' "Frugal Lawyer" post about reducing, reusing, and recycling old gadgets.
Next, there's Andre or Redbeard or Maz. Marketer to law firms and accounting firms. Web 2.0 Advocate. Social Media Traveler. Outdoorsman. Scottish Highland Heavy Games Athlete. Starbucks Junky. Cape Bretoner. Torontonian.
Scots apparently get divorced, too, if they don't kill each other first. You would be well advised to take a stop at the Wellmeadow Café and figure out the mace. A fuller dose of Scots law can be found here and here.
Scotland's history has often been a story of the little guys' struggle against the big guys. In the legal world, the small guys (solo and small firm practitioners) now have many tools at their disposal which levels the playing field with the big guys (BigLaw firms). Grant Griffiths explains something which many Blawg Reviewed bloggers have found -- that blogging can give solos a marketing advantage over firms which treat online sites as extensions of their traditional marketing collateral.
Irish or Scottish, I don't know, but Kevin O'Keefe goes a step further, suggesting that lawyers who properly leverage social media don't necessarily need a "traditional" web site. Mary Abraham considers whether social media-based (rather than real world-based) relationships can be "real": "What I've discovered is that my social media Third Place is increasingly important to me and the relationships I've formed online are just as "real" as some of the relationships I've formed the old-fashioned, face to face way." Sometimes, the virtual and real worlds can meet-up.
Then there are the get-togethers, just like a clan. Eric Goldman hosted his fourth meet-up of legal bloggers in the San Francisco Bay Area and posted a recap of the (sometimes challenging) topics discussed.
Like Scots who won't stop talking, several other bloggers discussed whether microblogged "tweets" of 140 characters or fewer can be copyrighted. Venkat Balasubramani was emphatic that an individual tweet could not be copyrighted, but suggested that a collection of tweets might be. Evan Brown discussed whether Twitter's terms of service disclaim the legal rights it needs to display its users' tweets, concluding that a number of defenses cover their situation. Jonathan Bailey posted what's probably the most complete analysis of the issues involved.
Finally, Some Foreigners?
Some bloggers just wish they were Scottish - or maybe they are (is a string cite Scottish, too?): the Downtown Lawyer, Adams Drafting, HealthBlawg, Jim Beck and Mark Hermann's Drug and Device Law, Max Kennerly's Litigation and Trial, Miranda rights at SCOTUSBlog, The Passover Story and the Parable of the Four Sons at My Shingle, Does Michelle Obama need a "core message"? at Legal Satyricon, A luminous wealth ponzi scheme in California reported at BizOp, The State as stick up artist at Public Defender, Cyber-bullying at Slaw, Orange alert for bloggers at Simple Justice, The unbearable lightness of lawyers: risk aversion at What about clients?, An ear in the ivy at Legal Juice , The death rattle of the big firm billable hour model? Cash on the barrelhead to high billing associates at the Legal Times, SoCal 2L raises the bar on public service, Leaving the evergreen forest at Software Licensing Blog, Robots inventions and patent rights at Patent Baristas, How to describe a catch-22 at Likelihood of Confusion, Interviews with ADR giants at the Mediation Channel, Making a decision? How is your adversary doing the same thing? Look into the crystal ball of meta-cognition at Brains on Purpose, Money has been called frozen desire and Peter Madoff's just melted at $10K/month at the WSJ Law Blog, the midwest hands gay men and women their right to marry while California continues to consider breaking up the gay marriage party at Concurring Opinions, Family Fairness and, Are you a social media chew toy? Check it out in All Media is Social Media at BlawgIT.
Two Final Thoughts
Lastly, remember where the desire for freedom was announced and why this blawg review was able to be written without censorship.
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.