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Archive for March, 2009

Moose Sightings, Con’t: San Diego

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I’ll be giving a talk at 4:30 this afternoon, along with paleontologist Tom Demarre of the San Diego Natural History Museum, at the Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego. The genesis of this event is pretty wild. About a week after I published my book — which is really all about Jefferson’s seemingly mad obsession with size and scale (reflected in, among many other things, his search for really big animals like moose and mammoths), and why that matters (a lot) for understanding the Internet (and many, many other things) — news came that a complete fossilized skeleton of a Columbian mammoth had been uncovered while excavating the foundation for a new building at the Thomas Jefferson Law School. It got weirder and weirder — a few weeks later they turn up a 40-foot baleen whale skeleton, and then, a few weeks after that, a fossilized giant ground sloth — of precisely the same species as the one that Jeffeson himself described in a paper he presented when he was being inducted as President of the American Philosophical Society in 1797. In the foundation for the Thomas Jefferson Law School?! You couldn’t have made this up.

So I wrote to the Dean, Rudy Hasl, and said, in effect, “this is too good an opportunity to pass up - I’ve got to come out there and give a talk.” And he arranged for Demarre, one of the paleontologists who’ve been studying these finds, to join. It should be an interesting event - how many times do you get to see a palentologist and a law professor talking together about anything, anyway?

Talk in Boston:

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

A video of my recent talk up at Harvard Law School/Berkman Center is posted here. And Ethan Zuckerman, on his “My Heart’s In Accra” blog, did some interesting live blogging of the event as well.

This is getting weird . . .

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

First they find a prehistoric mammoth skeleton at the construction site for the new Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego. That was intriguing . . . and then, under the mammoth they find a 40-foot baleen whale. And now, under the whale, there’s a giant sloth — of the same genus as the one Jefferson himself described in a paper delivered to the American Philosophical Society in 1797!!

Seriously — I know we don’t believe in omens or the like anymore, but what’s up with this? I go and write a whole book about Jefferson’s rather mad obsession with size and scale and large animals, and then they go and find all this stuff under the Jefferson Law School??!

[and, tangentially, here's a nice item from Larry Lessig's blog about Jefferson's Moose . . .]