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The Government Discovers the Internet

What do you get when you link two supercomputers together? If I were Johnny Carson, I'd have a witty response like one big superconfuser. But, I'm not. Johnny, that is.

The USEPA and the Department of Energy have decided to start using the internet. And to get it accomplished, we humans had to write a Memorandum of Understanding, just in case the computers didn't.

According to sources, the now-connected supercomputers will "work in computational toxicology, the application of computer-based statistical techniques and molecular genetics that allow chemical testing based on a chemical's molecular structure and its effects on genes." They expect the effort to reduce animal testing and provide better toxicity information for chemicals.

The computers not only slice and dice, but they also "provide better and faster runs of environmental models such as the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality model, an important tool for states to meet upcoming deadlines for their air quality attainment plans," according to the USEPA.

Why is this important? The government has finally decided to work together. Well, at least two of their computers can finally get along.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 at 10:28. Comments Closed (0) |

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by xxxxxxx on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 at 14:31.

EU Environmental Laws May Catch Up Someday

We already have them, and have since the early '70s. You know, that whole series of environmental laws sparked by the Love Canal.

Now, some 30+ years later, our neighbors across the pond are implementing similar legislation. The European Union has adopted "polluter pays" legislation, slated to go into effect in three years for the 15 EU members.

This legislation is not retroactive. In the U.S., our pollutions laws are. The EU has been trying since 1980 to get this legislation passed. The EU offers a number of links about the development of this law.

According to the various studies, there are 300,000 polluted sites throughout Europe, and it will take $135 billion to clean up.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, February 23, 2004 at 08:43. Comments Closed (0) |

Get That Silly Ring Off Your Phone

OK, enough already. Sweet Home Alabama? Reveille? I will call upon the Lord? Star Wars Imperial March? Admittedly, they're all from one site, so they sound pretty much the same, but you get the idea.

You've heard them as much as I have.

And my personal favorite: Stairway to Heaven. Just FYI, this one is is the full, seven-minute, 20-second version, just in case you want to keep your caller waiting for that long.

I refuse to put Justin Timberlake's Cry Me A River here just because I don't think his career's gotten enough attention so far.

I recognize that there's a practical reason that many people want to have different cell phone ring tones. That's so we all don't look like idiots when one cell phone rings and we all grab our phone to answer it and discover that only one of us in the entire group is having a conversation, and that person looks up and smiles smugly at the rest of us, thinking that we're the geeks. But, what's wrong with faking it? "Sure, Bob, thanks. Can't talk right now, though. Important meeting. Will call you back later." Or something like that.

Don't think it's a passing fad. Cell phone ring tone sales have topped $3.5 billion. Yes, that's Billion, with a B.

And the industry (dare I call it that?) also sells screen tattoos, just in case you want to be cool, but don't want to go through the pain.

If you don't have a fancy phone, no worries - this site gives you the numeric numbers, along with the tempo, to push so you can sound like you have the latest phone. No vanity here!

I think it's all Ludacris. Get with the program and answer your phone before the rest of us have to listen to your little slice of the world.

And if you're in the movies, church, a graduation speech, wedding ceremony or some other event where you're not the center of attention, turn off your phone.

Or at least get a decent ring. (That's the one on my phone - a bit tongue in cheek given the level of technology in my PDA/phone.)

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, February 22, 2004 at 11:07. Comments Closed (0) |

Want Some Ginsu Knives?

Your phone is safe again. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the national do not call registry last week. You can read the opinion here, and the New York Times article, too.

But, you're mailbox is in trouble. The Court of Appeals told the telemarketers that they could still contact us by "direct mail or other means of advertising." (page 8 of the opinion above)

In my mind, it's just as much of an affront to get junk mail as it is to get "junk" telephone calls. I can't wait. I'll open up my mailbox and a flood of junk will flow out. I have a hard enough time finding the bills I'm supposed to pay as it is.

But, if you'd like to do something about junk mail, check out these sites: Do it yourself: stop junk mail, How to get rid of junk mail, and How did they get my address?

Want to buy some Ginsu knives?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, February 21, 2004 at 17:36. Comments Closed (0) |

New News Source For California Water

Every once in awhile, something comes along that is worth passing along. Today, I ran across California Water News published by a large environmental consulting firm, Brown & Caldwell.

Perhaps it's a blog, perhaps it's more newsletter, but it is certainly an interesting read.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, February 20, 2004 at 11:43. Comments Closed (0) |

Gone Fishing No More

The No Fishing lamp has been hung around 175 square miles around the Channel Islands. In 2002, the California Department of Fish and Game first voted the fishing ban in place.

Then, in December 2002, a coalition including the United Anglers of Southern California and a variety of commercial fishermen’s groups filed suit against the proposed Channel Islands reserves. On Tuesday, they lost their bid to overturn the closure.

In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeal in Ventura ruled: "[the fishermen] have no constitutional right to deplete or destroy a fish preserve, in this instance, a marine sanctuary." If you'd like to know more about the whole issue, check out this site. It's as comprehensive a list as I've seen.

Now we know: fishing is not a constitutionally protected right. I'm glad my grandfather, God rest his soul, never heard that. He probably rolled over in his grave, though.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 10:23. Comments Closed (0) |

Inventing Slagacre

In law school, property law professors referred to hypothetical parcels of property as Blackacre and Whiteacre (see A.2.). As budding lawyers, we got used to those words and adopted them as part of our jargon.

Thanks to a new pollution case, we now have another word to add to our lexicon:  Slagacre. The Ninth Circuit invented this new reference in its recent decision of Western Properties Service Corporation v. Shell Oil et al. I searched for "Slagacre" in other cases, and it's a first.

But the case is more important than the invention of this word. It stands for the proposition that an innocent purchaser still bears equitable liability for the cleanup. In the trial, Western had won back from the oil companies the $5,000,000 it spent on cleanup. But the Ninth Circuit didn't buy Western's argument that it was completely exempt from cleanup liability, and remanded the case to the lower court to reassess the equitable liability with Western in the mix.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at 11:31. Comments Closed (0) |



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