Stefanie was very nice to me, and I rented a few movies to watch to amuse myself when she was in class. I recommend Cars highly if you haven't seen it. I recommend Idiocracy somewhat, but only if you think American pop culture is making us stupider (is that even the right word?). A Scanner Darkly was decent, but not as good as other Philip K. Dick books turned into movies. Talladega Nights was not as good as I had hoped, and not as good as other Will Farrell movies. Miami Vice was a pretty decent cop movie. Idlewild was not as good as I'd hoped, and involved less singing and more shooting than I expected. Not bad though. Andre 3000 is pretty cool.
2) More currently, I have a moderately easy schedule for this semester. I am taking Criminal Procedure 2, which is basically the procedure from arrest through conviction (Crim Pro 1 is basically Constitutional Law); that is my main substantive course. I am taking a Human Rights Seminar course, which is basically just discussions. I think I might write my paper about the treatment of the internet in places like China and Vietnam, or perhaps Yahoo selling out dissidents in those countries. I am taking Sports Law, which seems better than I expected. The first 2 topics were sports agents and the Olympics, and we discussed the athletes who sued after the 1980 Olympics Boycott and also the Tanya Harding case. As a side note, the whole Tanya Harding story still amazes me. Having someone break your rivals leg is seriously hardcore, and the story is by far the most interesting thing EVER to happen in figure skating. I'm still the editor-in-chief of the Immigration and Nationality Law Review, which really isn't a class, but I get credit for it. Last, I am doing a judicial externship at the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Cincinnati, which is pretty cool. I was given cool ID badges and a lanyard, which I enjoy greatly. I also took an oath to uphold and defends the constitution, which seems a lot to ask of an extern. All in all, I will have 1 exam, 2 larger research papers, and 1 journal describing all of my time at the District Judge's Office. Not too bad.
3) I wrote another article for UC's student paper. This time I argue that student loans are not a bad thing, and that Congress should make students pay them back for college.
What would you say if someone came up to you and asked, "How would you like to pay $25,000 and receive $1 million over the course of your lifetime?" You would probably jump at the opportunity, right? With good reason: that is about a 4,000 percent return on your initial investment.
I didn't have a chance to to say what I consider the best plan: a percentage of your future income for a certain number of years. That way, the government receives some money back, but it won't hurt you if you decide to take a lower-paying job to help people. Also, if you become a millionaire, the government is taking a larger portion, since they helped you earn it.
4) I don't know how many people out there remember the famous Milgram study from psychology classes they may have taken, but it was recently replicated. I found this surprising, since it was pretty controversial back in the day. This is the original study:
In the experiment, conducted at Yale University over a period of months in 1961, an authority figure — "the experimenter" — dressed in a white lab coat and instructed participants to administer what they believed were increasingly painful electric shocks to another person.
Although no one was actually receiving shocks, the participants heard a man screaming in pain and protest, eventually pleading to be released from the experiment. When the subjects questioned the experimenter about what was happening, they were told they must continue.
And continue they did: Two-thirds of Milgram's participants delivered shocks as they heard cries of pain, signs of heart trouble, and then finally — and most frightening — nothing at all.
It seems Primetime recreated this study to see whether people would still follow orders, and it seems (surprise surprise) they still did. This was presented as surprising somehow, but it is still interesting and relevant, particularly in light of abuses by seemingly normal American soldiers at places like Abu Ghraib.
Here is the study, including some video.