Friday, February 28, 2014


Top Ten Things to Do over Spring Break

  1. Chase ambulances in Cancun.
  2. Finish up those term papers.
  3. Walk 500 miles. Walk 500 more.
  4. “Breaking Bad” marathon. Seriously. Do it.
  5. Get a tan that you’ll just lose while studying for finals.
  6. Walk 100 meters past the third highway crossing in Rock Creek Park. Listen for the golden-throated warbler. Follow the sound of its voice until you find a single four leaf clover. Turn around three times and yell, “Why am I here?”
  7. Meet your high school friends’ fiancees and cry.
  8. Begin outlining.
  9. Return to your true career as a “Skyrim” dragon-killer.
  10. Think about how productive you’re not being.

Totally Serious Spring Break Ideas

1. Catch up on your schoolwork. Just kidding. Please fail and bring down the curve.
2. Make some bad decisions. It’ll give you something fun to talk about during the Character & Fitness portion of the Bar
3. Travel. Anywhere. Just get the [censored] out of Dodge already. The library will be there for you when you get back. The library is always there for you. Unlike anyone else in your life.
4. Hang out with friends and family. Do they remember what you look like? Enjoy the legal questions that will inevitably arise. Be horrified when you actually know the answers. Congratulations, you’re becoming a lawyer. I know. It’s the worst.
5. Work out. You look pasty and pudgy. No, really. Look in the mirror.
7. Overdose on TV. Watch all of House of Cards in one sitting. Then watch all of Doctor Who (classic and current)…in one sitting. If you manage the latter, I think you’re probably in for some sort of record. And probably hemorrhoids. Please don’t do this.
8. Do that thing you’ve been putting off doing. You know what I’m talking about. That thing you totally meant to do a long time ago, but you still haven’t done because life, man, it just keeps getting in the way and there’s just not enough time. There won’t be time during Spring Break. But you can pretend there will be and then put this off even longer. This is emotionally healthy. Keep it up. It will at least feel good to put it on your calendar and pretend you’ll finally get it done. Eventually.
9. Volunteer. This one isn’t sarcastic. If there’s one thing that is undeniably good for you, and good for the community, it’s giving a helping hand to your fellow man (or animal or whatever cause you support). Law school is a bubble of stress, grades, jobs, and in-jokes about the law that no one normal finds at all humorous. Out there—beyond the rainbows bordering our little campus—there are people in need. Just being able to study law right now means you are incredibly privileged. You’ve been given a lot. Give back.
10. Or just catch up on sleep. Whatever. We won’t judge.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mr. Potts African Genocide Project #4 (Darfur)

Darfur Genocide (2003)

How To Prevent The Next Darfur

Darfur: Ongoing Genocide

Genocide in Darfur Sparks Outrage

Darfur Map

Darfur & The Genocide Debate

Map of Genocide Damage

Survivor Stories From Darfur

U.S. Investigates Darfur

Does Darfur Have A Prayer?

Darfur Attack Survivors Talk of Brutal Killings

"I Was A Witness To Genocide"

Darfur Genocide (YouTube Video)

Mr. Potts African Genocide Project #3 (Rwanda)

Rwanda Genocide (April/May 1994)

A Short 20 Years

Bearing Witness To Rwanda

Traumatic Grief & Traumatic Stress

Rwanda: 50 Years of Ethnic Conflict on Steroids

A Haven For Healing

Rwandan Genocide Map

The Rwandan Girl Who Refused To Die

The Untold Story Of The Rwandan Genocide

Stories From The Rwandan Genocide

Rwanda Genocide Census

Rwanda Maps

Genocide Survivor Gives Lesson Of Forgiveness

Survivor Testimonies

Trials For Rwanda Genocide

A Very Short History of Rwanda (YouTube Video)

Mr. Potts African Genocide Project #2

Ethiopian Red Terror (1977-1978)

Ethiopian Dictator

Court Sentences Mengistu To Death

Red Terror Killed Thousands

Justice or Vengeance?

Ethiopia Map

Congo Civil War (1998-2003)

Wars Without End

Civil War In The Congo

Agony In Africa

The Worst Place

Democratic Republic of Congo Profile

Congo Map

Somalia Civil War (1991-Present)

Somalia Map

Genocide Statistics

Isaaq Genocide In Somalia

Mr. Potts African Genocide Project #1

General Genocide Information

Origins of Genocide

The Zulu Kingdom

The Zulu kingdom as a genocidal and post-genocidal society

Shaka: Zulu Chieftain

Zulu Photos

Zulu Kingdom Map

Herero & Namaqua Genocide (German South-West Africa, 1904-1907)

Burundi Genocides (1972 and 1994)

Equatorial Guinea Genocide (1968-1979)

The Auschwitz of Africa  (needs to be run through a translator, but very good information).

Be Careful Out There, St. Anthony

Not that I probably need to reinforce this, but it is brutally cold out today.  Cold enough to be dangerous, in some cases.

You may think that fatalities do not occur due to cold, but they in fact can and do:

I realize that the above case happened in "Brrrrmidji", where the temperatures are often ten degrees (or more) colder than even here, but once you get to a certain point, "cold is cold", so to speak.

Of course, you could also take the opposite approach:

Polar Plunge

Nothing like jumping into a frozen lake to cheer you up, right?!

Seriously, though...try not to get caught out in the cold today.

My Take On The Oscars

I'm a big "movie guy", so this Sunday night I will be excited to watch the Academy Awards!  I realize that the awards (also dubbed "The Oscars" for the iconic golden statue that is given out for each award won) are little more than Hollywood celebrating itself, but I have to admit it is kind of fun to see all the big stars rubbing elbows on the same night.

A couple of days ago, I read an article saying that 75% of American film-goers had not seen even ONE of the movies nominated for "Best Picture".  Yikes!  Granted, I would consider this to be a relatively weak year for movies, but still.  It doesn't help that two movies that should have been nominated ("Prisoners", "Saving Mr. Banks") were left out.

Here, then, are who/what I would like to see win the major awards of the night...

Best Picture: Captain Phillips
-12 Years A Slave will likely take home the gold, but I think this Tom Hanks masterpiece deserves it.  Incredible suspense and easily the most powerful ending of a movie I've seen in quite some time.

Best Actor: Christian Bale (American Hustle)
-I'm being really biased here, because I just can't bring myself to write down the name Matthew McConaughey for any major award.  Bale is a personal favorite of mine and one of the "good guys" of Hollywood, so again, bias.

Best Actress: Amy Adams (American Hustle)
-You know you've turned in a great performance when you can out-act Jennifer Lawrence in a movie!

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
-Playing a mean-looking Somali pirate, Minnesota-boy Abdi came from nowhere (well, driving a limo, actually) to out-act such talents as Bradley Cooper and Jared Leto.

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
-Kind of a weak category here, and Lawrence shined in her small role.

Best Director: David O. Russell (American Hustle)
-It's not easy taking an absolutely crazy movie (which American Hustle most surely was) and turning it into a rollicking good time.

Best Original Screenplay: Her
-The best "interesting concept" (man falls in love with smartphone) movie of the year.

Will you be tuning in?  If so, who do you want to see take home each award?

Last Batch Of New Movies

The last batch of new movies for this school year are either here or coming soon.  They include...

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Ender's Game
White Fang
Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (1/2)
My Sister's Keeper
The Blind Side
Journey to the Center of the Earth
High School Musical
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Freaky Friday
The Book Thief
The Lovely Bones
High School Musical 2
War of the Worlds
The Help
42: The Jackie Robinson Story

News From Around The Area

Polar Vortex: Round Three

WCCO Weekly Weather Forecast

Long story short, the cold keeps breaking records.  11th-coldest winter in the last 140 years (will be even higher after this week) and worse since 1978-1979.

President Obama in St. Paul

President In Town

The President will be speaking at St. Paul's Union Depot on Wednesday.

Continuing To Crumble

Down Goes The Dome

Due to a construction issue, demolition crews decided to scrap the wrecking ball for a time and use explosives to get the results they wanted.  Makes for some historic video footage (especially for those you watched many a sporting event in that building).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

For You, Mary...

Just in case Mary Gaynor reads the blog over her trip to California.  You picked the right week to abscond.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bowling: A Frustrating Sport

A humorous post from my personal life...

Soon after I started working down here in the Media Center, I began bowling on a consistent basis.  I even went "all in", getting a brand spanking new bowling ball, shoes, and carrying case.

The first couple weeks of bowling, I got the most incredible case of "beginners luck" in history.  I got the highest score of my life (222) and a handful of other games above that magical 200 mark.

Then, reality set in.  Once I joined a league, I figured that my average would be around 150-160 or even better.  Two months later, I was slogging around with 120-140 games.

Simply put, bowling can be an incredibly frustrating sport!  Though you don't have to look like an "elite athlete" (like in football, baseball, or basketball) to bowl, it takes superb body control and incredible repetition.  One inch that way, one degree of wrist turn, or one second too slow/fast in releasing the ball and all of a sudden disaster strikes.

Recently, however, I have turned my fortunes around a bit with scores routinely topping 150 (where I want to be at this point).  It's been a while since that last 200 game, but there have been a few 180s and 190s in the mix.

But hey, at least I'm not this guy (yet...!):

In all seriousness, bowling is a really fun sport.  Like many other things in life, it will reward you concurrent with the amount of effort you put into it.  I strongly encourage anyone looking for a fun hobby to give it a try!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Trouble With The Tweet

Today, a story came across the presses that will probably be talked about much more in the days/weeks to come:

This is a really, really tough situation to fetter out.

On one hand, it does seem as if the school is over-reacting to the whole situation.  I don't quite understand why both parties (accused student and rumored teacher) can't just sit down with the superintendent and explain the misunderstanding.

On the other hand, though, it also feels like maybe there is something missing to this story.  Something that isn't in the newspaper articles for a good reason.  The common sense just doesn't add up.

Either way, it serves as kind of a warning to all of us.  Even though this exact situation is unique and has not yet been resolved, it does show that Twitter and its messages can be taken very seriously.  All too often we think that communication on social media is completely irrelevant, but that is not the case.

I don't want to make it sound like I am blaming the student in this case (as I think more investigating is needed before that verdict can be reached), but it serves as a statement of our times that something posted on Twitter is taken so seriously.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Boys Of Summer Bloom In The Spring

Yesterday, the Minnesota Twins reported to Spring Training in Fort Myers, FL.  For the next month in a half the team will whip itself into shape and sort itself out for the 2014 baseball season.

Some things to watch on the sunny diamonds include...

-Joe Mauer's transition to first base.
-If new pitchers Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco can bolster our starting staff.
-Whether or not top prospects Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, and Alex Meyer are ready for the major leagues.

Today's temperature in Fort Myers: 74 degrees.  By Thursday it will be 86.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Once Was Lost...

Just a remind about how the Media Center treats lost books (and other materials).

First off, we want you to know that all we really care about is getting the book back.  Are we glad that the book is two months overdue?  Not necessarily.  But, if you finally DO bring the book back we won't give you a hard time about it (well, maybe jokingly, but...!).  We will just be glad to have the book back, as that is the goal of the library: to share the materials with the entire school.

Also, by the time a book is marked as "Lost", it will have probably been in your possession for almost three months.  Yep, that long.  Just think about it...

-When you check out a book, you get it for three weeks.
-If the book becomes a week overdue, the first notice gets sent out to your parents.
-After a month, a second email is sent out to parents, this time warning that the book may be marked as "Lost" soon.
-After that second email, I don't mark the book lost until a month later.

So, for example, I marked some books as "Lost" just today.  They were originally checked out sometime in late October/early November.  Case in point.

If you do have a book marked "Lost", the easiest remedy is just to bring the doggone book back.  You won't be charged a fine or anything.  Like I said, all we really care about here is getting the book back on the shelf and available to others.

A final note: a "Lost book" notice will show up when it is time for you to graduate if you never remedy the situation.  In essence, it will catch up with you eventually.  If you really did lose the book, your two options are either to pay the fine (ask us) or find/buy the same book for us at a cheaper cost.

If you have any questions about this process, don't hesitate to ask us here in the Media Center.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Right In The Childhood

Yesterday, Shirley Temple Black passed away.  She was widely renowned as the first "children's movie star" ever...

If you ask your grandparents (for sure) and your parents (maybe), they will have fond memories of Shirley Temple movies/songs.  Perhaps even you watched them as a young child.

Truly a legend, to be sure...

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Coldest Winter Of My Life: Confirmed

One of the themes of this blog the last couple of weeks has been the weather.  I guess the weather is always a theme of life, but this winter it has been even more of a talking point.

Today, I read this article in the Star Tribune that confirmed it:

Basically, the article says that this has been the coldest winter (measured by amount of days where the temperature has dropped below 0 degrees F) in the Metro Area in 32 years.

Folks, I've only been alive since 1985 (or 28 years), I can can say that the 2013-2014 winter has been the coldest of my existence.

A comforting thought, to be sure.