Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Nuclear Tensions Rising


Nukes have been in the news a lot lately, and not in good ways.

First, North Korea, which serves as the world's prime example of a "rogue state," conducted its largest and most successful underground nuclear warhead test to date. In fact, the test explosion was powerful enough to register as a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. The United States and South Korea take the North Korean nuclear threat seriously enough that they are planning training exercises for "mock" attacks on nuclear facilities.

Also, just in case threat of renewed war on the Korean peninsula (but with nukes!) was not scary enough, the long-standing dispute between Pakistan and India over the province of Kashmir seems to be about to blow up. On Sunday, militants attacked an Indian army base in Kashmir and killed 18 soldiers, prompting India to blame the attack on a Pakistan-based group. India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers, so the thought that they could actually be headed towards renewed open conflict is frankly pretty terrifying.

And, of course, hanging in the background of all the rising tension is the fact that citizens of a country with by far one of the two largest nuclear arsenals will soon be heading to the polls to choose whom to trust with the nuclear codes.






Monday, September 19, 2016

Brown Bag Today at 12:20 in Room 213

Legal writing presents new formatting challenges: small caps, section symbols, different margins, headers and footers, etc. To brush up on your skills and learn some tips and tricks for legal documents, come to today's Brown Bag session. In this quick session, from 12:20-12:50pm in room 213, the law librarians will give you some tips for using Microsoft Word to create polished legal documents. 
See you there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: an E.U. Army?

Earlier today, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, delivered the E.U.'s State of the Union Address for 2016. During the speech, Juncker called for the establishment of an official E.U. Military HQ as a step towards a common military force for Europe. (Currently, each member of the E.U. maintains its own military. National armies and navies can be committed to E.U. operations but continue to take orders directly from their individual governments as opposed to the E.U.) The timing of Juncker's call is interesting to say the least.

On one hand, he appears to be taking advantage of the Brexit to advance military unification, as the U.K. was the member state traditionally most opposed to the concept. On the other hand, the E.U. faces a number of challenges, largely involving "eurosceptic" parties emboldened by the success of the U.K.I.P. in June's Brexit referendum, so actively advocating increased union might backfire. Time will tell.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Constitution Day Crossword Puzzle Contest



This week, celebrate Constitution Day by winning a prize in the Law Library's Constitution Day Crossword Contest! The grand prize is 2,000 Lexis points, enough for a $25 Lexis gift card.

Pick up a puzzle at the Law Library reference desk, or print a copy from this  link: https://static01.nyt.com/images/blogs/learning/crosswords/20150819.pdf.

Drop off the completed puzzle in the box on the Reference Desk by 2pm on Friday for a chance to win a the grand prize or other great items in the prize drawing.

Have a great week!
 - The Law Librarians 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: a New Epoch

Geologists divide the history of the earth into separate units of time. Each unit of time is defined by certain characteristics consistently exhibited by the earth throughout the period in question. One of the units used by geologists is the epoch, a unit that can last tens of millions of years. On Monday, scientists officially recommended changes to geologic history to recognize that the earth has entered a new epoch, though they will still work to determine exactly when the epoch began.



So, welcome to the Anthropocene!  The new epoch is characterized by the fact that geology (i.e. the Earth) has been (and will continue to be) irreversibly altered by humans. Of course, the sorts of things that have led to the recognition of a new epoch, such as climate change, tend to carry the potential for rather bad effects down the road, so it's somewhat disconcerting to see the road getting shorter.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Costa Rica leads the Americas in the struggle against Racism

The International Law Prof Blog reports that earlier this week Costa Rica became the first state to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Racism. Treaties such as this one attempt to use the frameworks of international organizations (here the Organization of American States, or OAS) and international law to hold member states responsible for working to solve humans rights problems that might otherwise be labeled as internal, domestic affairs.


While Costa Rica became the first OAS member to ratify the convention, they are also one of only a handful to even sign it. Interestingly, the United States has not signed this particular convention. As various current events have made clear, the U.S. still has a long way to go in the struggle against racism. Perhaps we should consider getting with the program provided by our OAS colleagues.