Saturday, March 30, 2013

Week 17 and losing track

I have apparently received my own email address at our firm. Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm or log in, as the change is supposed to take some time to take effect.

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Went to court for a civil case. First time doing that, as our firm usually does family law. Civil cases have the role call at 2.16, but it turns out the greffier was the one I usually see in 2.17. Woot, familiar!

The case was a bit complicated, and we only got our mandate yesterday, so I had to go up there knowing virtually nothing and trying not to look too stupid or negligent.

Met the lawyers for the opposing parties. One of them looked a bit like Kent Nagano. It was surreal.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 16

It's been quiet these days at the office. The dreaded 6-day trial isn't happening, as the file is being settled. Most files do get settled before the trial, and judges will sometimes judge you for wasting their time and being too immature to figure things out by yourselves.

On the other hand, I've been kept busy running to the courthouse almost daily since Thursday last week, trying to get a divorce certificate. One of the firm's client just got a divorce, and it takes 30 days before the courthouse issues a divorce certificate. This is because you have 30 days to appeal judgments, which means a divorce ruling isn't "final" until the appeals deadline has passed.

At any rate, the client needed his divorce certificate NOW. Checking the court plumitif showed that the certificate had been granted, so I was promptly dispatched to the courthouse to pick it up.

Of course, nothing is simple, and at the Courthouse, I was informed that the note means a divorce certificate has been approved to be issued (which was last week), but it hasn't been made yet.

OK, well, I need it urgently, so is it possible to have it quickly, pretty please?

It turns out that the lady who does them is pretty busy, but it'll be ready by the middle of the next week. Can I talk to the lady? Actually, she just left.

It was 3:50 PM.

That was Thursday of last week.

On Friday, I made a trip again. This time, the lady in question was absent.

Monday afternoon, courthouse again. Oh, she was there this morning, but left for an appointment. Can anyone else help me? No, she's the ONE person who prints the certificates.

Tuesday, I decide to stay in the office and give her a call. Calling her extension brings me to her voicemail. I call the general line for that service counter, hoping to talk to someone who can get her one the phone. Lo and behold, she's the one answering! Can she help me?

No, glitch on the computer system, she can't access the court record. Ugh.

Wednesday. I go there. She's not there. Again.

Man, these public servants don't ever work.

Finally Thursday morning, I get a call. I got my divorce certificate!! Would I like to have it mailed?

NO THANKS, JUST HOLD ON TO IT, I'LL BE THERE IN 20 MINS TO PICK IT UP KTHANKSBYE!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Week 14: TGIF, after 12 days of work

Today was actually quite a quiet day, which meant I had better start working on my own file before things get crazy next week.

Being put in charge of a file in the middle of proceedings is horrible. It's not like starting a case, where everyone is on the same page and you know exactly what's going on in the file.

Starting in the middle means reading all the previous proceedings and trying to understand what's going on. And then having to go to court, probably some time next week, with a camera to take pictures of the documents that are in the court file and which I don't have.

Why a camera, you ask.

Because asking for a photocopy will cost you $3 per page. And there's no photocopier accessible.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why European Computers Predicted Sandy First

Ars Technica has a nice article on weather prediction services, and explains why the European weather models predicted Sandy days before the American ones.

Seven days before Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, the atmospheric crystal ball was partly cloudy. The US National Weather Service forecast model showed a chance that Sandy might come ashore, but indicated that it was more likely the storm would spin off into the Atlantic. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model, however, definitely pointed the storm ashore. It would be about three days before the US model totally converged on the Europeans' forecast.

Essentially, the Europeans:
- have a bigger, better supercomputer...
- that specializes in medium-range predictions, and
- takes continuous data for half a day for their simulations;

As opposed to Americans who:
- have a less powerful computer
- that does short, medium, and long range predictions, and
- only take "snapshots" of initial conditions and have to run with that.

Ars Technica: Why European forecasters saw Sandy’s path first

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Hobbit trailer cut


All the Hobbit trailers, cut together into one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

6-yr-old writes to Hasbro for lack of girls in Guess Who game

Male-normative thinking usually gets pointed out these days, but it's not very often that you have such a slam-dunk argument like in the following story:

A 6-yr-old wrote to Hasbro to complain that there are only 5 female characters in their Guess Who? game, vs. 19 guys.

Dear Hasbro,

My name is R______. I am six years old. I think it's not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too. If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won't give little girls much care.

Also if girls want to be a girl in Guess Who they'll always lose against a boy, and it will be harder for them to win. I am cross about that and if you don't fix it soon, my mum could throw Guess Who out.

My mum typed this message but I told her what to say.

Feminism has never been so adorable.

Of course, big companies being big companies, they offered the following flat explanation:

Guess Who? is a guessing game based on a numerical equation. If you take a look at the characters in the game, you will notice that there are five of any given characteristics. The idea of the game is, that by process of elimination, you narrow down who it isn't, thus determining who it is. The game is not weighted in favour of any particular character, male or female. Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences.

Well, that's not patronizing at all, is it? I mean, seriously? Do you even hear yourselves? The whole point of the game is to point out the differences in order to discover the character, dammit!

The girl's mom was obviously not impressed, and I think she really hits the nail on the head when she asks:
Why is female gender regarded as a "characteristic", while male gender is not?

Via Jezebel.