I was saddened on Thursday night to hear the news that June Foray had passed away at the age of 99.  She was a remarkable voice actor whose is most notably known for the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show from the 60s.  There was nothing like it on TV at the time and it spawned any number of culturally subversive cartoons that followed.  Dare I say without Rocky and Bullwinkle we would not have Ren and Stimpy or Ralph Bakshi’s crazed version of Mighty Mouse.

Miss Foray reprised the voice of Rocky in the 2000 live action movie, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, starring Robert Di Niro as Fearless Leader, Jason Alexander as Boris Badenov, and Rene Russo as Natahsa Fatale.  The movie was uneven but still a joy with the inspired cast list and cameos.  Other voices in Miss Foray’s repertoire include Granny and every other witch that appeared in Looney Toons cartoons.  Her voice was unmistakable.

OK, so much for the sadness.  On the fun side, please enjoy the 55 minute or so documentary Of Moose And Men, the story of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Thank you June for all of the joy you’ve given so many people in your long career.


There is a lot of buzz going on in the press because Twin Peaks is coming back on the air.  I wonder how many people know that Scooby-Doo and the gang visited the Red Room in one of the episodes of Scooby-Doo:Mystery Incorporated?  The clip below features not only the dancing man but a healthy dose of Ancient Aliens and some conspiracy theory.  What can I say but Nibiru.  Who thinks up this stuff?


Yes, it’s been a while.  Between the ever present health issues and building and teaching a set of lesson plans on legal research to our first year students, it’s been tough to get back to the blog.  Well, the teaching part is essentially over until the first week of classes in January.  Let me catch up with a few things, a couple of business and one essentially fun.

The first business item is the announcement I received recently noting that Lexis has purchased Lex Machina:

Today LexisNexis announced that it has acquired Silicon Valley-based Lex Machina, creators of the award-winning Legal Analytics platform that helps law firms and companies excel in the business and practice of law.

A look into the near future. The integration of Lex Machina Legal Analytics with the deep collection of LexisNexis content and technology will unleash the creation of new, innovative solutions to help predict the results of legal strategies for all areas of the law.

With its acquisition, Lex Machina becomes part of the ongoing LexisNexis commitment to offer modern, next-generation solutions that help legal professionals work more efficiently, make better-informed decisions and drive success for their clients, practice and business.

The acquisition is described as a “prominent and fresh example of how a major player in legal technology and publishing is investing in analytics capabilities.”  I can understand that.  As we grew up with Lexis and Westlaw we were taught (or taught) the utility of field searching.  The available information in a document allowed us to search particular judges or attorneys to do our own analysis of their involvement with topics and issues.  We have the ability today to make more detailed analyses.

Expert witness reports are where Lexis and Westlaw mostly provide background information and the track record of particular witnesses.  Both companies offer comprehensive details because there is quite a market for experts in litigation.  Lex Machina is identified with analytics associated with copyright and a few other forms of intellectual property.  I can imagine Lexis and Westlaw expanding analytics for other litigation prone subjects such as medical malpractice and products liability.  I can see this as a new area of competition between the major research databases.

The second business item is a one day conference at Ohio State University:

OSU reference librarian Ingrid Mattson is co-chairing a great one-day conference for the Legal Writing Institute.  I’m sharing the announcement just in case you’d like to attend.  There are several presentations by ORALL members.

Join us in Columbus, Ohio, on December 11 for our one-day workshop, “Collaboration In and Out of the Legal Writing Classroom.” Topics include collaborating with legal writing colleagues for successful scholarship; students working together in the classroom; librarians and legal writing faculty joining forces for more effective research instruction; and connecting with casebook and clinical faculty, the community outside the law school, and university offices to provide meaningful, resource-conscious instruction.

Our workshop website, which includes program details and hotel information, can be found here. Workshop registration can be found here.

Columbus offers a number of unique experiences year round and particularly during the holiday season. Consider staying through the weekend to enjoy a dessertcoffee, or beer tour of a city with a dynamic food scene. Those who are more literary-minded will enjoy a Dickens of a Christmas and a Dickens Dinner at the historical Ohio Village. If you have an interest in politics, history, or architecture, touring the Ohio Statehouse is fun and free. A short walk from the workshop site you can explore the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Finally, for anyone visiting with children or who fondly remembers Jack Hannah and the Columbus Zoo on David Letterman, check out the zoo’s extraordinary holiday light tradition, Wildlights. For more information on the exciting goings-on in Columbus, visit Experience Columbus.

Columbus truly is the heart of it all. We are driving distance from places like Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Lexington, Chicago, Charleston; and a non-stop flight away from pretty much everywhere else.
We hope to see you in December! For more information about the conference, please feel free to contact us at Kelly.864@osu.edu or Mattson.30@osu.edu.

The conference cost is a very reasonable $45 aside from any lodgings.  I’m not expecting to sample the charms of Columbus while I’m there.  I was interested in going to a Blue Jackets game but it turned out the team is on the road in Winnipeg on December 10th.  The Islanders come in to Nationwide Arena on the 12th but unfortunately I can’t stay over.

And now the fun part.  As part of the Halloween picture extravaganza, I shared costumes and decorations from a number of libraries.  One of those picture sets from Wayne State included periodicals turned into bat decorations.  Well, it seems the bats have turned into turkeys for the coming holiday.  See the pictures below.

Thanksgiving 2 Thanksgiving 3 Thanksgiving 1

Well, I hope to publish more frequently now that my major semester project is effectively over.


As I wrote the previous post, even more pictures showed up.  Here they are.

Caren Luckie from the firm Jackson Walker in Houston submitted these:

Each year the attorneys and paralegals host an appreciation lunch for the staff at Halloween – complete with awesome decorations, games, and a costume contest.  I don’t have all of the pictures from my phone downloaded yet, but here is our Chief Knowledge Services Officer (and candidate for AALL President), Greg Lambert, my assistant, and our newest associate.

associate Sarah Maize


The next one was sent in by Carolyn J. Keery from the Law Offices of Hinckley Allen in Providence RI.  The source was Facebook.



The first batch comes from Miriam Murphy, Interim Director of the Ruth Lilly Law Library at IUPUI in Indianapolis.  Miriam writes:

My wonderful staff turned the library into a “Frozen” wonderland. We participiated in a law school wide trick or treat give away to the children of our students, staff and faculty.  We won best office décor, but lost out on the group costume to the Dean’s office where they were “A Christmas Story” with the Vice Dean as Ralphie in the pink bunny suit in the back right of the larger group photo.

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The next batch comes from Beth Applebaum at the Arthur Neef Law Library at Wayne State University in Detroit.  All I can say is one of them is a unique use for a print periodical.  You can’t do that online unless you hang a monitor from the ceiling.

Halloween _1 Halloween _2 Halloween _4

I’m writing this as I’m sweating it out in my Jake the Dog Costume. Yes, those are Shepards volumes on a cart behind me.  They are scheduled to go to that big Law Library recycling bin in the sky.  That is below with a few others from the Rinn Law Library at DePaul.  Keep sending them in and I will post them through next week.

P1020819 P1020820 P1020821 P1020822



Today is National Cat Day.  I share a house with five of them, not counting the strays I feed in my back yard.  As such I want to present a picture of Olivia.  She runs the house.  If I understand correctly, she is also Queen of the Universe.  Or is that Empress.  I’m never sure about these things.  I have not met a cat who can match her use of the royal meow, or as she spells it, “meoux.”  Happy National Cat Day.



The Second Circuit handed Google another victory in its battle with the Authors Guild, et al., by upholding the District Court’s determination that its book scanning project is fair use.  Here is the Court’s own summary of the decision from the end of the opinion:

In sum, we conclude that: (1) Google’s unauthorized digitizing of copyright-protected works, creation of a search functionality, and display of snippets from those works are non-infringing fair uses. The purpose of the copying is highly transformative, the public display of text is limited, and the revelations do not provide a significant market substitute for the protected aspects of the originals. Google’s commercial nature and profit motivation do not justify denial of fair use. (2) Google’s provision of digitized copies to the libraries that supplied the books, on the understanding that the libraries will use the copies in a manner consistent with the copyright law, also does not constitute infringement. Nor, on this record, is Google a contributory infringer.

The Court relied on its decision in the HathiTrust case for declaring that Google’s scans were transformative.  The Court here noted that the libraries did not offer snippet view in local search in comparison to Google.  That wasn’t a problem, however, as Google’s snippets were no substitute for a copy of the book.  At best a research could determine whether the book would be useful in a research project.  That would not be a lost sale necessarily if the researcher rejected using the book in a personal project.

I’m still digesting the opinion and may have more to say about this later.  I’ll refer readers to c copy of the opinion on Google Drive as supplied by the Chronicle of Higher Education.  I’ll also point to a copy linked in a statement of disappointment in the ruling by the Authors Guild.  Note, however, that the Guild links ultimately to copy placed on Google Drive as well (oh the irony).  I would also draw your attention to the fact that the link from the Chronicle allows the reader to download the document.  The version from the Guild does not offer that option.  I’m guessing the Guild is hard-wired in that regard.


There was no Friday Fun last week because I was out having fun.  Specifically, my friend Virginia Thomas,  Director of the Arthur Neef Law Library at Wayne State University in…uh, DETROIT, and I went to the United Center here in CHICAGO to view the Stanley Cup.  This was a fan event celebrating the third Cup win in six seasons by the Blackhawks.  Fun was definitely had by all.  Maybe next year Red Wings.  Maybe next year.

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I love cartoons pretty much.  One of my favorites is Regular Show on Cartoon Network.  There is one episode called Go Viral which concerns characters Mordecai and Rigby’s attempt to create a viral video as part of a bet with two other characters, Muscle Man and High Five Ghost.  I like the show because it solves common problems in incredibly off the wall circumstance.  As a friend of mine is fond of saying, “I like it when it goes weird.”  In this episode, weird is when the guys break into the Internet which is run by a warden who looks and sounds remarkably like the stereotype of a librarian.  Even if that is culturally “wrong,” or insensitive, it still is funny.  Moreover, it suggests that librarians should run the Internet.  They should.  With that, enjoy Go Viral.



This may be Friday Fun, if you can call it that, for us, but not so much for Brian Wilson.  A colleague asked me about some of the stuff she saw in the Brian Wilson movie, Love & Mercy.  During the course of the discussion I mentioned that she should listen to the Help Me Rhonda sessions, or more specifically, the approximately 40 minutes where Beach Boy dad and then-producer Murry Wilson spent psychologically torturing Brian during the recording session.  It’s available at the WMFU blog in two versions.  There are excerpts and then there is the full tape.  Go with the link to the full tape to appreciate the anguish Brian was feeling as the interplay moved over time.  There is nothing like it.  While your at the WFMU page, check out the four Peter Bagge cartoons, The Murry Wilson Show.  It’s a hilarious parody of the recording session.  There are links in the fourth paragraph of the text.

I’ve been involved in music for years, both from a performance and production standpoint.  As a collector, I probably have a good chunk of the unreleased history of rock music sitting in my basement.  I’ve also produced various bands and artists in the Chicago area for around the last 20 years in my own studio.  I’ll also offer an example of my production work with this song from Fank, a band I both performed with and recorded.  The song is called Need To Belong.  The track was recorded in 2005 from the last time the band ever played.  My colleague from the DePaul Law Library, Dan Ursini, is on bass.  Good times.



I recognize that some, especially those in Florida, may not consider this week’s Friday Fun to be fun at all.  It is for me.  As someone who has probably been to more Chicago Blackhawks games than any other form of public entertainment, I give you the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks singing We Are The Champions shortly after winning the Cup last Monday night at the United Center.  No one will confuse the team with a quality choral group.  It doesn’t matter though.  We won the Cup.  Enjoy.


Gumball is a cartoon cat and the title character of the Amazing World of Gumball on Cartoon Network.  His “brother” is Darwin who was once a pet fish but managed to leave the bowl and grew legs.  His sister Anais is a rabbit, like her father Richard.  Nicole, Gumball’s mother, is also a cat.  Got that?  Good, as that is the beginning of a set of characters that consist of animated entities, puppets, and CGI/3D characters all mixed into 11 minute cartoons for kids and adults.  I watch it on a regular basis.  Mainstream actors such as Brian Blessed (playing Santa Clause)  and Sir Derek Jacobi (narrating an episode) have provided voices to the show.

The clip I’m posting here is particularly funny to me as I have a friend with whom I have an ongoing conversation about the differences, say, between Norwegian Death Metal and Doom Metal, among other sub-genres of the music.  Rocky, who is the bus driver and school janitor, here explains the differences in metal  to Gumball and a few of his friends.  It’s oddly accurate.  Enjoy.


It’s not much of a secret that I like animation.  I doubt that I could live without the Cartoon Network as part of my TV package.  One of the shows that’s been on for a few years is Teen Titans Go!  It’s a comedic take off of an earlier, more serious version of the Titans.  The main characters are Robin, from Batman and Robin fame; Beast Boy, who can transform into different animals; Starfire, an alien princess from the planet Tamaran; Raven, an inter-dimensional entity fathered by the evil demon Trigon; and Cyborg, half human and half robot.  More on the show and the characters is available from the Teen Titans Wiki.  The clip below is taken from the episode Serious Business.  It’s a musical representation of what happens when one urgently needs a bathroom and it is not available.  I’ve been there.  Now I find myself quietly singing the “pee pee dance” when that happens.  Knock knock.


It’s been quite a week here for me.  It’s warm here in Chicago, for a change.  We’re in the middle of exams here at the College of Law.  The professional librarians takes turns as proctors with my turn yesterday.  The Blackhawks are working their way through the Stanley Cup playoffs (go Hawks!).  And I was off Wednesday as I spent part of the day with a friend, culminating in seeing Crosby Stills Nash at the Chicago Theatre.  It was a great venue to see them.  The seating was comfortable and the acoustics were superb.  I’d seen other shows there, most notable Van Morrison several years ago.  The  first set started with a breezy version of Carry On.  I’ll say up front that for a band (the principles, at least) having been together for 45 years that they still have it vocally and as guitarists.

Stills’ voice was a bit rough at the beginning.  He explained later in the show that he made a mistake with the room thermostat and the resulting cold affected his voice.  No matter.  The harmonies were terrific with his voice getting stronger as the show progressed.  The song selection was a combination of older “hits” and a few new songs yet to be released as recordings.  Graham Nash said it best, that they play old songs but it’s the new songs that keep them from being the Eagles.  They did perform the song Chicago as the second number.  The crowd really got into it, singing along at various times. Some of the highlight songs included Almost Cut My Hair, Wooden Ships, Déjà vu, Our House, and rousing versions of For What It’s Worth and Love The One You’re With.

The band, which Stills called the best band they had ever worked with, was great.  It featured Shane Fontayne (guitar), Steve DiStanislao (drums), Kevin McCormick (bass), James Raymond (keyboards), and Todd Caldwell (organ).  The arrangements were all much updated from what appeared on the recordings and at the same time very familiar.  Stills in particular played blistering lead guitar on most all the songs.  I don’t know how many dates are left on the U.S. tour.  I think they are headed east at this point and ultimately for shows in Europe.  If anyone is a fan and has a chance to see them on the rest of the tour, do it.  You won’t be disappointed.

I hope to be back with more regular content on Monday.