In thinking about the number of this week's edition of Blawg Review, it occurs to me that it's pretty darn close to the route number of a local main artery -- I live and work not far from Route 128. Coincidence? I think not.
But that just-missed connection just can't hold a candle to the mathematical perfectness of the number 129: it is the sum of the first ten prime numbers. While that's just kinda cool for those of us in the blawgosphere, it is but the tip of the iceberg for the prime number specialists out there (check it out; this involves a cash prize.)
Since I'm not equipped to build a post around ten prime numbers, let me observe that today is Columbus Day. As one wag would have it, lawyers discovered America just one year after Columbus. Last week's host of Blawg Review might credit St. Brendan with the discovery; Of course, as my kids could tell you, someone was already here.
To begin, I will exercise my editorial discretion to color outside the lines by pointing to a couple-week-old blawg post, and a couple of non-blawg posts, to focus on some of the recent highlights of the health care law and policy world.
Murky doesn't begin to describe these serpent-infested waters. First, for a meta-blog-carnival experience, check out the discussions of SCHIP and our president's veto of the SCHIP reauthorization bill, including those highlighted in last week's edition of Health Wonk Review -- my other favorite blog carnival -- posted by Jane Hiebert-White at the Health Affairs Blog. See Tom Mayo's note on restrictive federal SCHIP rules and state challenges at his Health Law Blog, too. Next, consider the news on HealthVault -- on-line personal health records, courtesy of Microsoft -- at TechCrunch (not a blawg but founded by a recovering lawyer) and right here at HealthBlawg. HealthVault is but one exemplar of Health 2.0, a consumer-driven trend worth watching at Bob Coffield's Health Care Law Blog(post on the recent Health 2.0 conference) and also at Matt Holt's non-blawg blog The Health Care Blog (post on HealthVault).
Now, to either get our bearings or lose them entirely, let's dive into David Giacalone's unique haiku-infused take on a best of the blawgs meme at f/k/a. (More links on this meme at the Blawg Review mother ship, courtesy of Ed.)
Continuing around the blawgosphere's points of the compass, let's make one more stop in Massachusetts, with Doug Cornelius, who provides a primer on springing mezzanine mortgage guaranties at Real Estate Space.
Clarence Thomas has been getting attention recently for his autobiography, which of course includes his views on Anita Hill's testimony at his confirmation hearing. See the comments of Jon Swift and Eric Turkewitz at New York Personal Injury Law Blog. David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy wonders whether the left pushed Thomas further to the right than he might otherwise have been.
Beck/Herrmann at Drug and Device Law Blog post on press reports about recent examples of mass tort litigation where later analyses showing the drugs' dangers to be overstated tend not to end the litigation. Cf. Vioxx post referenced below, in the flat earth section.
A tip of the hat to Todd Smith, whose Texas Appellate Law Blog ask Texas lawyers to haul out the videocam, and enter the state bar association YouTube contest. On the other hand . . . recent posts relating to Texas and the death penalty (at Scott Greenfield's Simple Justice and Bill Dyer's BeldarBlog) and life without parole (at Jamie Spencer's Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer), suggest that the Lone Star State may be not quite ready for prime time.
At Opinio Juris, Roger Alford noted a new Ninth Circuit decision concerning the overlap between corporate conduct and political question doctrine, and questioned its alignment with an earlier decison in the same circuit (with a light touch, I might add, in a potentially incendiary situation, as one case involves the WWII-era Vatican Bank and the other involves a claim arising in the West Bank).
At Balkinization, David Luban had a few thoughts on revelations late last week about more "torture memos" in the Bush Administration Justice Department.
Howard Bashman's How Appealing links to a discussion of the question that may be top of mind for blawgocentric academics: Will Blogs Supplant Legal Journals? (Hint: Is the Earth the center of the universe?)
In the New World hinterlands along the Mare Pacificum, the tiny Hammer Museum in Alaska and the not-so-tiny Hammer Museum in LA are duking it out over the name, with dueling trademark applications. Steve Bainbridge offers some background on Occidental Petroleum founder Armand Hammer's machinations related to the LA museum that bears his name on his Business Associations Blog. (Remember when he bought Arm & Hammer, supposedly because people kept asking him if it was his company?)
If your IP tends to the virtual, Brett Trout, out in Iowa, one of my favorite large rectangular states, offers some pointers on blog IP over at BlawgIT.
Ken Adams presents a piece on language of performance vs. language of obligation at AdamsDrafting, regarding assignments of IP covering future inventions.
The final post in this flurry of IP items brings us back to Massachusetts. The MIT Convergence Culture Consortium's Xiaochang Li reported the public relations fiasco Lowe's brought down on itself in claiming trademark rights to silence criticism from an angry customer -- the latest anti-cybersquatting campaign to blow up in big business' face.
In re Vioxx, check out the précis of the tort reform debate at the WSJ Law Blog. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, links to a free-marketeer/libertarian rant against universal health care coverage. And last but not least, coming full circle back to the SCHIP front, Frank Pasquale offers a modest proposal at Concurring Opinions.
May the wind be at your back in the week ahead.
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.
-- David Harlow