Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I thought this was my favorite Christmas news story, but now I think it might be this.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Wave Power

So, when I was at that breakfast last week (or I guess the week before at this point) I met a guy who works for the Oreogn Department of Energy. He was on his way to a conference to hear about a plan to install a wave energy facility on the Oregon coast.

At the time, I didn't really know about wave energy, but apparently there's a facility off the coast of Scotland that would be the model for the Oregon one.

Greenpeace has a good illustration of how it works. Basically, you have a big tube with air at the top and the ocean at the bottom. As the waves roll in, they compress the air in the tube, which causes a turbine to turn, and voila, electricity. Here's another illustration.

According to the MSN article, the main obstacle is funding. Rep. Peter Defazio may be on board, though, with an "if Scotland can do it, so can we" attitude.

Pretty cool, no?

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Natural Step

One thing about working at a law firm is that you end up attending a lot of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings for various community, business, legal and charity organizations. A couple of days ago, I was asked to attend a meeting of the Oregon Natural Step Network when a partner at my firm who is a member of our Green Committee was unable to attend.

Now, those of you who know me, know that I care about the environment--I recycle, compost, and ride my bike to work--but I wasn't one of those militant environmentalists that are so prevalent at my law school. So, although I was familiar with the concept of sustainability, I wasn't familiar with the Natural Step, which originated the sustainability movement.

Today's meeting featured speakers from OMSI and Coastwide Laboratories who talked about their organization's efforts to make their businesses sustainable. It was really cool to hear about people in positions of power at their businesses talking about the importance of taking a systems approach to sustainability.

Besides the fact that 1) the breakfast was at 7:30 am on a morning following book club, 2) there was a severe lack of coffee at the table, and 3) because it was a sustainability organization, there was no bacon, I actually enjoyed going to this thing. And, as a result of my interest, I find myself the newest member of my firm's Green Committee.

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All I wanted for Christmas was a DVD of A Christmas Story. But even if I don't get that, this is even better!

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Far Out

So, my perennial absence may be a clue to you all just what it's like to be a first year associate at a business law firm. Not that I'm complaining, I've enjoyed my first three months at work as much as can be expected, but it's no joke--I'm putting in long hours and I rarely look at the Internet anymore.

Today was the first time I've visited JKF, Stay Free! or BoingBoing since I started work at the end of September. I have no concept of what's happening out there in the world, so not much to say.

I will say that on Thursday I attended an excellent CLE (continuing legal education) put on by the Oregon State Bar's Intellectual Property Section (and hosted by LC Prof. Lydia Loren). The speaker was Fred von Lohmann from the EFF. He talked about MGM v. Grokster (which I've mentioned on this blog previously). Specifically the difficulties in counseling technology clients about their potential liability for contributory infringement, vicarious infringement, and now inducement to infringe in a post-Grokster world. Basically, this new Supreme court ruling will have chilling effects on innovation simply because of what the Court didn't say, and with legal uncertainty, comes the ability of the content industry to bully technology companies with the high cost of legal fees, even without actually going to trial.

So that was a highlight. I really like Fred, and the work the EFF does. (If you're a blogger, you might consider donating some $$ to the EFF for their work on bloggers rights).

That is the one sad thing about the last couple of months--although I am very much enjoying learning about real estate transactions, and working with the folks in my group, I can't help but be a little sad about not having time or energy to keep up with the IP stuff. I guess I'll just have to make time.

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Doune castle--don't forget your coconut. Posted by Picasa

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The harvest in Burgundy started Sept. 14. Posted by Picasa

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St. Vincent de Sargossa (the patron saint of vintners) watches over Corton Charlemagne. Posted by Picasa

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The view from our picnic outside the Village of Pernard. We had no cups, so were slugging our Aloxe-Corton from the bottle. Posted by Picasa

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Et moi, je pense aussi! Posted by Picasa

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It sparkles at night. Posted by Picasa

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As seen from the top of the Arc de Triumphe Posted by Picasa

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As seen from the Eiffel Tower Posted by Picasa

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Whoa, that's really tall! Posted by Picasa

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As seen from the bell tower of Notre Dame Posted by Picasa

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Check out Henry VIII's codpiece! Posted by Picasa

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Obligatory Beefeater photo--here guarding the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London Posted by Picasa

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Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded here. Posted by Picasa

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Ste. Chapelle Posted by Picasa

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Je pense, donc je suis. Posted by Picasa

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Who thinks Michelangelo was gay? Posted by Picasa

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I got yelled at for this one (don't worry, I didn't use a flash). Posted by Picasa

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mmmmm...Venus de Milo's ass Posted by Picasa

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mmmmm....Venus de Milo Posted by Picasa

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Mt. Saint Michel  Posted by Picasa

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From London we caught the Eurostar through the Chunnel to Paris. In Paris we had to book a train to Lyon 2 hrs. later. This made me nervous because it was my first attempt at French, but it turned out the ticket agent knew more than enough English.

We got to Lyon and it was absolutely gorgeous! However, we were disappointed to find out that Rick Steves was incorrect in stating there were bus tours to Beaujolais out of Lyon. This was upsetting because it was one of the reasons we decided to stay 2 nights.

However, we busied ourselves with a trip to the Resistance Museum where I learned a whole hell of a lot about the French Resistance during WWII. It was based in Lyon both because of its central location and because Lyon has so many winding streets and hidden passageways, it was easier to elude Nazis and hide printing presses.

After the museum, we went to explore some of the passageways in Vieux Lyon--leading to beautiful courtyards. It was really cool.

Then up the hill to the Roman Theatres and the Basilique de Notre Dame de Lyon. This church was spectacular! Inside were elaborate mosaics, beautiful statues, and glass all devoted to Mary. It was beautiful.

Lyon is also known for its food. I was a little scared at first because my French is bad and virtually no one in Lyon spoke English. But we got by just fine. The restaurants were great, and in the mornings there's an outdoor market where we bought a picnic including some of the best grapes I've ever had.

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London (as told from my trip journal)

Besides the Alabama 3 concert, the Royal Library, and the Dali museum, we were also lucky enough to catch a Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Tate Modern. Truly a treat to finally see her paintings up close.

Also saw the exhibit at the Royal Gallery--used Rick Steve's Tour because we only had about 2hrs. BUt that was perfect. Started in Medieval times and ended with the impressionists. Highlights were the 2 Vermeers (standing and sitting at virginals)--I never realized they were a pair representing virgin/whore archetypes. And two van Gogh's--Sunflowers and his Chair. I never knew before that Impressionism could be viewed as a response to the invention of the camera.

We also went to a production of the Tempest at the Globe. It was disappointing for V. but I enjoyed it. It was difficult because they decided to cast just 3 actors for all 11 parts, plus 3 actresses for Iris, Ceres, and Juno. My guess is that this was an attempt to highlight the point of view that Prospero had just lost his marbles, and he was spending way too much time inside his own head, so to speak. It almost worked, but I think the starkness--no props or costume changes--aked just a little too much of the audience's imagination. I had trouble following, and I've read the play at least twice and seen at least 2 other productions.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

I have returned

I'm back. Got in late last night, and after a good night's rest, I'm pretty sure I can convince myself that it is now 9am, not 6pm.

I meant to post more during the trip, but the wireless revolution has apparently done quite a number on internet cafes.

Watch for highlights I've transferred from my trip journal.

Today I've got to go shopping for some work clothes. My new job starts Tuesday.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

I've got 3 eyes--gonna pluck one out for jesus....

Greetings from Trafalgar Square!

My trip is the coolest ever. Edinburgh is a fabulous city--so fabulous there was no time for blogging. I had a great time hanging out with my friends, exploring the Castle, Mary King's Close, the Museum of Scotland, and of course the Royal Surgeon's Hall Museum. After all, Scotland is the birthplace of modern surgery, and we saw some hella crazy specimens from Charles Bell's Pathology specimens. Too gruesome to detail right now--but there were plenty of 19th century body parts to be seen floating in jars.

My favorite thing was Friday's trip to the Highlands. We went to Doune Castle, which in addition to being the coolest castle ever, also happens to have been featured with a certain coconut accompanied King in Monty Python's the Holy Grail. Fabulous.

We got into London last night, and after a bit of laundry, went on a grand adventure to Lewisham. The TI attendant was quite concerned that we wanted to go there--he called it a "tasty" neighborhood. But, really it was just a lot like how Old Town used to be. Anyway, my Edinburgh friend's sister got us tickets to a secret show of Alabama 3 (called A3 in the U.S.). If you've ever watched the Sopranos, you've heard at least one of their songs. Anyway it was possibly the coolest show I've seen this year, and I'm sure it was the coolest thing going on in London last night.

Today we went to the British Library--got to see the original manuscript of Alice in Wonderland (another personal highlight). Then on to Dali Universe. Now some Indian food, and it'll be the end of a perfect day.

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