Wednesday, 31 August 2011

In the nicker for the ice cream licker

coffee ice cream

Nah – if you were wondering, I couldn’t do better for a headline!  Sorry.

And yes, I realise I’m a bit late with this one but I’ve been suffering from ‘blogstipation’ for the last couple of days!
Thanks to this post, everything's flowing nicely again – just as nature intended. Be right back

From 25/08/11:

A man who stole a coffee-flavored ice cream during England's riots and gave it away after just one lick has been locked up for 16 months.

Anderson Fernandes, 21, walked into Manchester's Patisserie Valerie during outbreaks of violence and disorder in the northern English city earlier in August and helped himself to two scoops of the ice cream, the Manchester Evening News reported Thursday.

After taking one lick he decided he did not like the coffee flavor and gave it to a passing woman. His DNA was found at the scene and he was hauled before a judge at Manchester Crown Court.

The fact that this rioter (ooh – am I allowed to call him that?) took the time and trouble to prepare himself a soft-scoop cornet during the melee going on around him is just priceless.  That he then didn’t like the flavour he’d chosen and after a lick or two, and gave it away, makes it even more so.

But really: who would accept an ice cream from a stranger in the street (particularly in the circumstances)?  You’ve got to really be a lover of ice cream for that.  I have a hard enough time accepting the cornet from the ice cream seller’s grubby mitt so I think it’s safe to assume I wouldn’t have entertained receipt of his two scoops.

Besides, he doesn’t look like an ice cream lover does he?

Not an ice cream lover

Oh well.  Let’s hope Anderson learns his lesson.  One thing’s for sure: he won’t look at coffee ice cream in the same way again. 

Monday, 29 August 2011

RunPee – The best app since the fireometer?

Toilet Time

From Reg Hardware 09/08/11:

RunPee is an app designed to tell when the best time is to dash out of a cinema auditorium and take a quick tinkle, without missing too much of the action.

The nuts and bolts of the app are as simple as the act of passing water. Choose a film and you are presented with a selection of time slots all long enough for a quick whizz but timed so you won’t really be missing anything by staring at the porcelain rather than the silver screen.

If you have a free hand you can also read a brief summary of what’s going on while you are actually micturating. Obviously if you are a bloke this increases the possibility of you dropping your phone into the urinal, so keep a firm grip.

Of the phone, or....?

Anyhoo, I love this idea, I’m just not that sure about the name. I’ve had a think but I’m a bit stumped for alternative names – at least those which are family-friendly. Any ideas anyone?

Downloading an app sure beats wearing an adult nappy to the cinema, or even trying Gerard Depardieu’s empty bottle trick should you find yourself ‘caught short’.

It’s a win-win for phone carriers, too, as they’ll no doubt sell more insurance packages to save users from their own folly of dropping their beloved mobile down the karzy. Yeah, the add-on sales guys love that one (at least they do whenever I’ve spoken with them).

Funnily enough, I’ve always refused phone insurance and have taken pains to point out I’ve never taken my phone into the toilet. It’s a rule of mine that if nature calls, nobody else can.

Anyway, back to the app: I’d like to see it offer the facility to book tinkle-friendly seats at your cinema of choice, i.e. those positioned near the exit or at least by the aisle.  Maybe that’ll be available in the next version? ;-)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Selling legal services with … y’know

Roll on Friday are at their inimitable best, dredging up this brarmer from the depths of legal profession:

Hearty congratulations to Texan criminal defence attorney Melissa K. DuBose - the self-styled Law Lady - for her amazingly bonkers website featuring smouldering pouts, pearls and a quite un-lawyerly amount of cleavage.

DuBose seems determined to dispense with the traditional image of frumpy lawyers, all dandruff-speckled shoulders, square toed shoes and rictus grins. Instead she's pulled out her best body con dresses, sucked in her cheeks and generally upped the glamour stakes.

Melissa DuBose Melissa

Raaaight oaaaarrrrrn!  (Like my Texan drawl there?)  Eye rolling smile

But I wonder how would clients would react if Melissa DuBose (and don’t get me wrong – she’s lovely and all that) was practicing in this country?  It’s certainly a distinctive style; I’m sure she’d get an influx of male clients, hoping she’d lead them seductively into her office and take down their particulars (of claim).  

And as for her colleagues?  Probably the usual mix of jealously, snobbishness and sexual harassment.  The blood pressure of senior partners would no doubt go through the roof.  But many might find her style off-putting, too.   

If a claimant’s been mis-sold PPI, say, they want to be compensated and want a capable, friendly lawyer fighting their corner.  Whether they’re a libidinous (we live in hope) smokin’-hot-sexy-piece-of-ass with  a cleavage to rival a page 3 girl’s is beside the point.  Well, a nice bonus, perhaps?  I don’t know.

But then again, maybe clients don’t want their lawyers to be sexy.   

Positioning the ‘brand image’ of legal services is a tricky one.  Old, dry and doddery on the one hand; sharp, hard-hitting and with a thong wedged up their booty-crack on the other.  Hopefully there’s a happy-medium somewhere there.  I guess it’s approachable, friendly, and professional.  But that’s such a boring response.  

Anyhoo, talking of questionable practices in the legal profession, on returning from my casual jaunt to Sainsbury’s at lunchtime, I overheard a few fragments of conversation from a couple of lawyers (I’d caught them emerging from the double doors of a local solicitors’ practice on previous occasions) walking down the same piece of pavement.  They were talking animatedly about “Susan’s file”.

There were a few mutterings about a) what a mess Susan had left it in, b) how she’s always doing it and c) something about the content of the file which probably wouldn’t sit well with the solicitors’ code of conduct.  Tut, tut... that Susan... she’s a one!

Rather than follow them all the way back, I decided to lurk at the bus stop and pretend I was checking the timetable.  It just didn’t seem right to eavesdrop like that!
hehe... the hell I did!!  Be right back

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Just when you thought it was safe: death by browser toolbars

I’ve blogged previously about just how much I hate browser toolbars and nothing much has changed in the four years that have passed.

Call me nosey, but when I’m wandering down the aisle in a train carriage or am somewhere else where people are tapping away merrily and staring intently at their laptops, I’m always curious to see what browser they’re using.  I’m not judgemental (ahem!!) but when I see they’re rocking along with a toolbar in tow, I suddenly think a little less of them.

While I think a lot of people have slowly woken up to the browser toolbar fallacy, you still run into the occasional brarmer.

You know – something like this:

death by toolbars

Words simply fail me on occasions like this. 

Some people are just beyond help.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Back seat driver (10) saves the day

Josh the superheroFrom the Metro 18/08/11:

Ten-year-old Josh Hooley managed to steer his mother’s car to safety after she suffered a panic attack on a busy motorway.

He steered the car past speeding traffic on to the hard shoulder after mum Karen, 40, lost control when she missed her turn-off on Birmingham’s notorious Spaghetti Junction.

‘I didn’t know where we were and I just started sweating and breathing rapidly,’ said Mrs Hooley, from St John’s, Worcester.

We’ve all been there Karen.

‘There were articulated trucks and cars whizzing by but Josh remained calm and put his arm on mine and helped me steer the car on to the hard shoulder.’

As a reward, Josh was taken on a tour of the Highways Agency’s control room.

As a what? As a REWARD?

Poor little sod – he’s just saved God knows how many drivers from a hideous calamity and he gets a tour of the Highway Agency’s HQ as a treat. Call me ungrateful but it’s not usually the type of outing which lights many 10 year olds’ fires is it?

Three cheers for Josh then. But the cynic in me says hero Josh has deprived a firm of solicitors from a couple of juicy road traffic accident claims. But hey-ho: who cares what they think.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

LPC spam

LPC spam

I received an email a while back from ‘Young Lawyer’ about the LPC course run by BPP. I didn’t think much of it at the time.

But having cleared out my inbox recently (I go through phases when I’ll delete 1000 or so emails en masse), I came across it again, and this time it grated on me a bit.

Seriously... spam for the LPC – what’s the world coming to?

In fact, it reminded me an awful lot of the time when I bought an iron from Amazon. A few days after it had arrived, I received an email from Amazon with a product list of their 20 top selling irons.

I’d just bought the frickin’ thing – what did they think I wanted? TWO irons? One for each hand?

Geez, Louise.

But this isn’t their only LPC-themed mass mailing. I also stumbled across a “write an essay for their competition and win a place on the LPC” email from 2010.

OK, never mind the fact there was a second email, the LPC is the PRIZE?

I’ve always thought of the LPC as more a punishment than a prize. Don’t tell me writing the essay was the treat?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Religion and discrimination claims – why let common sense get in the way?


From the Solicitors Journal 08/08/11:

A Sikh council worker who refused to join an office fridge-cleaning rota because his religious beliefs banned him from touching or handling meat products could* be the victim of discrimination, the EAT has ruled.

*My emphasis! ;-)

The EAT heard that although all Sikhs were not necessarily banned from eating or touching meat, the claimant was a member of a revivalist branch with different rules.

A revivalist branch? *Rolls eyes*. OK, OK, carry on officer. ;-)

Delivering judgment in Chatwal v Wandsworth Borough Council(UKEAT/0487/10/JOJ), Recorder Luba said Mr Chatwal was a customer services adviser in the council’s technical services department.

Recorder Luba said that in 2008 the council introduced a requirement that staff using the communal kitchen must take part in cleaning the fridge.

“Having declined to comply with the fridge cleaning requirement, he did not participate in the rota and was, in consequence, not able to use the kitchen any longer.”

Oh for goodness’ sake: are Revivalist Sikhs prevented from popping on a pair of marigolds now? Or what’s stopping him scraping it out with a spatula and keeping the suspicious remains safely at arms’ length? Given the hideous condition of most workplace fridges and the diabolical remnants that lurk within, surely that’s what any sensible person would do, regardless of their ‘religion’.

And don’t get me wrong – I’ve every respect for religion and religious beliefs, but this is just silly.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Law School Magazine

I hate the pompous drivel that make up so many law school magazines - created and edited by the usual Machiavellian chancers who will no doubt go on to become parish councillors in later life.

Other law schools don’t even bother with that.  They just dump a stack of copies of the Student Law Review on a table in the foyer and leave it at that.

But enough is enough.  There’s a gap in the market which needs a-filling and I think I’m the right kind of cynical sod to do it. 

So here’s the first edition of ‘The Law School Today’ – the law school magazine with a difference. I think we’ve got a cracking line up of features.

law school today

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Great Wireless Network Names

funny wireless network names

I’ve always gone for rather boring SSIDs in the past (but at least I did go to the trouble of changing them from the default).

My two favourites are definitely:

“Router, I hardly know her” – (which appealed perfectly to my underdeveloped sense of humour..)  Anyway, he’s obviously a prudent chap… you can tell from the padlock symbol that he ‘uses protection’ too!
  Be right back

“Abraham Linksys”

You just can’t have as much fun with Thompson routers sadly.

“SUPERthanksforasking” comes in a close 3rd (just for the hell of it).

Found here.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Graduate Careers Market – a voyage of discovery

law graduatesOr should that be misery?

The legal blogosphere is full of doom and gloom at the moment – more so than I’ve seen for a while and I include the US blawgosphere in that. And when those guys are down in the mouth, you know things are bad.

I saw some really shocking statistics from a couple of US law graduates the other day about just how few of them graduate with *any* job, never mind a legal job.  Graduate jobs of any description seem darn hard to come by at the moment.

In the meantime, graduate recruitment specialists are lining up to help – (at least it keeps one industry flourishing I guess). I’ve always been a bit sceptical about the value of careers advisers, but that doesn’t mean to say they’re all about as useful as a tintack in a jockstrap. I think half of the problem is that many students roll up with unrealistic expectations of what a careers adviser can do for them. Just proceed with caution and with limited expectations would be my advice; you can’t expect miracles.  If you can’t help yourself, somebody else isn’t likely to either.

Our generation of students moaned incessantly about just how hard we had it, but I think it was still preferable to what next year’s students are going to have to contend with. And they’re still years away from having to be launched headfirst into the soul-destroying maelstrom that is the graduate careers market.

But who knows – things might pick up?  Eye rolling smile

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Shopping Cart Cam


Don’t we all sometimes picture ourselves wandering around Sainsbury’s like this?

shopping cart cam


Just me then.  Be right back

Found here.

Btw, I like the fact the ‘assorted veg’ on the list equates to a couple of miserable cans of processed junk.  No wonder we’re all dying of colon cancer.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Barking up the wrong tree


large tree

From the Solicitors Journal 02/08/11:

Families ‘unlikely to appeal’ after National Trust ruling.

Edward Powell, head of personal injury at Essex firm Ellisons, has said it is “unlikely there will be an appeal” after the High Court ruled that the National Trust was not negligent after a boy died from a falling branch on one of its estates.

Daniel Mullinger was on a primary school trip when the class sheltered under an old beech tree in heavy rain at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk. A heavy branch collapsed onto the group, killing Daniel and seriously injuring three other children.

The accident occurred in the Great Wood, home to almost 250,000 mature trees and a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of them.

Delivering judgment in Bowen and others v The National Trust [2011] EWHC 1992 (QB), Mr Justice Mackay said the group was sheltering briefly under a large beech tree, probably between 160 and 180 years old, when “entirely without warning” a large branch fractured and fell on them.

Mackay J said the Trust owed the children a duty under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and under the general law of tort.

He said there was no obligation to ensure the safety of visitors, merely to “take reasonable care to provide reasonable safety”.

Mackay J went on: “It is easy to state the law in this area, but less easy to apply it, particularly in a case with such a tragic outcome as this.

“The thrust of the case against the defendant is that its tree inspectors, for whom it is vicariously liable, failed to exercise reasonable care in their task.”

As truly tragic as this case is, common sense has prevailed.  Sheer bad luck rather than any wrongdoing seems to have been the driving force behind this terrible outcome.

On a related note, I’ve got a rather large tree outside my house which I’m sure will soon be shedding God know how many tens of thousands of leaves all around. Maybe I should treat myself to a leaf blower before they turn into a soggy, slippery mulch and one of my charming neighbours decides to sue me … (they seem the litigious sort).

Sunday, 7 August 2011

F1 fans royally shafted – Parr for the course?


Parr for the course

From Planet F1 03/08/11:

Like millions of F1 fans, I was dismayed to hear that the BBC would be drastically cutting their coverage of F1 from the start of next season. I don’t like the idea of Sky, though their Skygo online service did catch my interest earlier this year.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of the Murdochs and I wasn’t well before any sniff of the phone hacking allegations emerged. Heck, I stopped buying the Times newspaper once their website went behind that ridiculous paywall. I’m a principled kind of chap y’know.

Parr, a former barrister (go figure) and currently CEO at Williams, has been a leading proponent of Bernie’s plan to screw all British F1 fans over move the majority of the coverage to Sky. (And Adam, despite what others might say, I don’t think you’re a floppy haired wally who’s helped run a once great team into the ground.) :-)

Anyhow, whatever Adam is or is not, he’s rolled out a couple of corking lines:

"To me, out of a difficult situation, I hope we're going to get the best of all possible worlds. I think Bernie put this deal together to ensure the fans would have as much as possible of what they've been enjoying."

Oh, spin it how you want. I’m still not paying for Sky though...

Parr added that: "The fundamental challenge is that Formula One is a very, very expensive show. It is not two blokes with a couple of tennis rackets and a pair of plimsolls all of which was provided free.

Yeah – fair ‘nuff. There’s no need to deride tennis into the bargain, though. Actually, tennis is awful – go ahead.

"If you go to Cirque de Soleil and you see cutting edge performers in an amazing facility constantly updating the show it costs you 100 pounds for a good ticket, or you can go to your local circus with a couple of mangy elephants and a rather droopy clown and it costs you 10 pounds. People are capable of distinguishing."

Mangy elephants and droopy clowns? Ooh – whatever next. He could have been talking about Williams’ drivers and pit crew!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Legal Tightwads & Drinks Machines

lawyer coffee
From Roll on Friday 29/07/11:

In an exciting new business development, the uber-profitable Devonshires has dispensed with fruit bowls, biscuits and monthly drinks for staff in the name of cost saving.

A source told RollOnFriday that the firm has removed the free fruit it used to provide for staff - although reportedly only one piece per person, mind. Devonshires apparently also used to stock the kitchens with biscuits, but these too have vanished. And to top it off, the monthly drinks laid on so hard-working Devonshire associates could loosen their ties have been replaced by biannual drinks. Which must finish by 9pm.


Talking of drinks and staff perks, we’ve all enjoyed the drinks machine which provides coffees, teas, mochas, cappuccinos, soups and occasionally wet-fronted trousers for close to a year now.

However, since overhearing fragments of a very enlightening conversation when the vending company last came in to replenish said machine, I’ve scaled my intake right back. I didn’t catch every word that was said – the new position of my desk in our increasingly open-plan office (another sore point) is too far away for that – but I heard enough.

Phrases like, “well I wouldn’t drink it”, “it can’t be doing you any good”, “worse than a grounded-up mars bar” were enough to put me off for life. Well, within reason. Given that caffeine seems to be the fuel which most in legal practice run off, cutting it out entirely, just wasn’t an option.

Still, I’ve cut my coffee intake down to 2 a day (after my kickstarter with breakfast) and haven’t touched anything with chocolate in since that fateful day.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Fed up of walking your dog?

Well, let them know it by using a lead like this.

dog lead gun

I’m by no means a dog lover, but this just seems harsh. 

Found here (as usual).