The Law School wins first runner-up honors in the 2008 President's Diversity Vision Award competition

African Student UnionDiversity ProgramRobin Harris

The Law School has been named the first runner-up in a campus-wide competition for the 2008 President's Diversity Vision Award. The College of Arts and Sciences won the award, while the School of Nursing was the second runner-up. The award is intended to recognize cumulative efforts to advance diversity and inclusion at our university.

As the first runner-up, the Law School will receive $5,000.

Among other things, the award recognizes outstanding programming by the Law School's Diversity Forum, a leading project of the Law School's Diversity Committee. I especially wish to thank committee chair Robin Harris for her leadership.

The March 17 awards ceremony included commentary and musical performances by University of Louisville sophomore and marching band member Patrick Henry Hughes. I can't do justice to Patrick's amazing story. The following videos come a little closer to accomplishing that goal:

Technological illiteracy

Of course, since you're reading The Cardinal Lawyer, the joke is definitely not on you.

Then face to face

Degas, The Dancing Class
Kirchner, Woman at the Mirror

Top: Edgar Degas, The Dancing Class (ca. 1870). Left: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Woman at the Mirror (1912). Right: Pablo Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror (1932).

Cross-posted at MoneyLaw.

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

I have just returned from a weekend in Washington and Baltimore, where I took part in University of Louisville alumni events in connection with a shootout for the Big East men's basketball regular season title and in the University of Maryland's Constitutional Law Schmooze. I've lost count of the number of alumni, University of Louisville partisans, constitutional law scholars, and political scientists with whom I connected.

In alumni relations and university development as in academic networking, there is no substitute for the face-to-face meeting. I explained as much some months ago in Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. This past weekend's trip emphatically drove the point home. If you really want to connect, you need to do it face to face.

The name on the jersey

University of Louisville Men's Basketball
Senior Class, 2008
Terrance FarleyDavid PadgettJuan Palacios
#43 Terrance Farley#4 David Padgett#3 Juan Palacios

Rick PitinoSunday, March 2, was the home finale for the University of Louisville's men's basketball team. I was privileged to attend. The pregame ceremony honored three seniors who played their final game at Freedom Hall: Terrance Farley, David Padgett, and Juan Palacios. Head coach Rick Pitino, in his tribute to these three seniors, delivered no greater compliment than this:

These players played for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

It's a compliment I hope to infuse in a different portion of the University of Louisville.

»  Cross-posted at MoneyLaw  «

Cubes, cones, and color: Cutting through the RGB and HSV colorspaces with clarity

»  Reprinted from Jurisdynamics  «


In a previous Cardinal Lawyer post, I've confessed my obsession with the mathematics of TrueColor. On the strength of a single Google search — RGB cube — I've found two sites that have truly sharpened my understanding of the mathematics of color

RGB cubeHSV coneOne thing that has troubled me has been my lack of understanding of the mathematical relationships between the RGB (red-green-blue) and the HSV (hue-saturation-value) representations of color. The RGB colorspace is conceptually cubic. Its three axes — red, green, blue — define the colors emitted by the contemporary equivalent of the cathode ray tubes that powered color television.

The HSV colorspace is conceptually conic. It attempts to measure color in terms that humans use in perceiving and describing this phenomenon. The RGB colorspace works well for computers, but it falls short as a way of expressing the shade, brightness, or vivacity of a color.

The difficulty in translating between the RGB and HSV colorspaces is a three-dimensional variation on one of the basic problems of plane geometry that frustrated the ancients. You can't square the circle, not with rational numbers at any rate, and a fortiori you can't turn either a sphere or a cone into a cube without resort to that constant as beautiful as it is irrational, π.

The Octopus and the literary canon of American legal education

Men — motes in the sunshine — perished, were shot down in the very noon of life, hearts were broken, little children started in life lamentably handicapped; young girls were brought to a life of shame; old women died in the heart of life for lack of food. In that little, isolated group of human insects, misery, death, and anguish spun like a wheel of fire.

But the Wheat Remained. Untouched, unassailable, undefiled, that mighty world-force, that nourisher of nations, wrapped in Nirvanic calm, indifferent to the human swarm, gigantic, resistless, moved onward in its appointed grooves. Through the welter of blood at the irrigation ditch, through the sham charity and shallow philanthropy of famine relief committees, the great harvest of Los Muertos rolled like a flood from the Sierras to the Himalayas to feed thousands of starving scarecrows on the barren plains of India.

Falseness dies; injustice and oppression in the end of everything fade and vanish away. Greed, cruelty, selfishness, and inhumanity are short-lived; the individual suffers, but the race goes on. Annixter dies, but in a far distant corner of the world a thousand lives are saved. The larger view always and through all shams, all wickednesses, discovers the Truth that will, in the end, prevail, and all things, surely, inevitably, resistlessly work together for good.

— Frank Norris, The Octopus (1901)

The Octopus

What is the literary canon of American legal education? What classic books can inform law students and lawyers about the values of our profession?

A test of fanhood

Cardinal baseball Cardinal football Cardinal basketball

Download the February 13, 2008, edition of The Docket Passer . Or simply mash the "play" button above.

The mathematics of TrueColor (and what it has to do with legal education)

Editor's note: This post reprints my February 2008 column for Bar Briefs, the monthly newspaper of the Louisville Bar Association, and is based on a post on MoneyLaw.

CIE chartWith apologies to T.S. Eliot and the Internal Revenue Service, February is the cruelest month. Dark nights and frozen sidewalks greet us, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull thoughts with winter pain.

This I remember, and this I love. Composing posts on The Cardinal Lawyer has rekindled an old passion of mine. Somewhere in my distant past, between North Avenue and Druid Hills, on the path from a engineer's regimen at the Georgia Institute of Technology to a haphazardly assembled prelaw curriculum at Emory University, I neglected my fervor for mathematics in motion. Of late, personal involvement in the HTML coding of The Cardinal Lawyer gave me occasion to explore the mathematics of TrueColor. And now footfalls echo in my memory down a passage I did not take, towards the door I now will open into the rose-garden.

As I tried to create a graphic on my own computer, I needed to designate a precise color. "What color?" asked Microsoft Paint. "Ochre," I replied. But the oracle of Redmond understood me not. She demanded values in red, green, blue.

In despair, I asked, purveyor of the Web's easiest color calculator. "DDDD99," I muttered. "221 221 153," replied EarthWeb.

And thus the hex was broken.

In the beauty of the poppies

Poppies Poetic Justice
In the beauty of the poppies
The poet was born across the sea
With an anthem in his bosom
That transfigured law and thee
As he wrote to make life holy
Let us read to set law free
The truth is marching on

Odetta, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, My Eyes Have Seen

Or, in somewhat more prosaic terms . . . .

Black History Month

Rosa Parks Carter Woodson Ron Brown Fred Jones Thurgood Marshall Constance Baker Motley Gabrielle Kirk McDonald

In honor of Black History Month, the Black Law Students Association has posted a commemorative page celebrating the significant contributions of African Americans to all segments of American history, culture, and society. Throughout February, each of the Law School's daily e-mail updates for students will include an entry recognizing the people and events at the center of Black History Month. The Law School's news page provides further details.