Did you know that there was once a penalty imposed in Massachusetts if you celebrated Christmas? Check out this law from 1659 (with modern spelling):
“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offence of others, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon such accounts as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the country.”
To access this and other Massachusetts historical legal documents and laws click HERE.
Today, Christmas Day is celebrated as a legal holiday under M.G.L. c. 4, § 7, cl. 18. To find Massachusetts laws, check out the Massachusetts General Laws Annotated at call number KFM2430 1958 .A2 in the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries, or visit the Massachusetts government’s website by clicking HERE.
With the end of the year in sight, publications and critics are posting their lists of best (or favorite) books of the year. Some of them are listed below.
Whether you’re looking for a good read over winter break, shopping for a holiday gift or exploring what has been published this year, enjoy!
- WBUR’s On Point: Best Books of 2014 (hour-long discussion with guests’ lists of best books, and more)
- 100 Notable Books (New York Times), including an opinion on the ten best books
- Boston Globe: The Best Books of 2014 (fiction, sports, crime, New England, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)
- National Book Awards 2014 (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, young people’s literature)
- NPR’s Book Concierge: Our Guide to 2014’s Great Reads (many categories and filters to identify titles)
- Publisher’s Weekly: Best Books 2014
- The Holiday Hundred (Harvard Book Store)
- Library Journal: Best Books of 2014: Genre Fiction, Core Non-fiction, Graphic Novels, etc.
- Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Books of 2014
- Brain Pickings: 2014’s Best Books on Psychology, Philosophy, and How to Live Meaningfully and Best Science Books
- School Library Journal: Best Books 2014 (70 titles for children and young adults)
- Slate: The Overlooked Books of 2014
- The Guardian: Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2014
- Christian Science Monitor: Ten Best Nonfiction Titles of 2014
- Kirkus Review: Best Fiction Books of 2014 By Category
We’ll add to this list as more rankings are posted.
As finals approach the Law Library is running a raffle for all students who like or follow us on Facebook, follow our tweets at Twitter and/or visit our blog (and send a note to Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org telling him what you learned there) from today, November 10th through November 18th.
The raffle basket includes Final Exam “Must-Haves” including:
- A loaded Starbucks card to help keep your energy levels up.
- A gift certificate for a study-aid to be ordered through the Library ($40 value)
- A gift card for a night at the movies
- A reusable BU mug
Click on the image below to get entered and for more details:
(The winner will be contacted at the completion of the Raffle on or after 11/19/2014.)
There are lots of interesting and bizarre laws on the books regarding Halloween. Find some of these and get more familiar with our print collection. To get your bag of candy you need to answer the questions and bring 5 slips (found in the books) to the reference desk. Here are the questions:
1. Is Halloween a federal holiday?
2. Are you allowed to wear a mask in Louisiana the day before Halloween?
3. Can you recover if a stack of pumpkins falls on you?
4. If your house is haunted do you have to disclose this fact to a potential buyer in Massachusetts?
5. If you made your own chocolate for Halloween, in order to call it milk chocolate how much cocao powder would it need to contain?
Among the many ways to stay current with news and information, those available to BU Law students include: searching and receiving legal news updates from such premium sources as Bloomberg/BNA and Law 360; reading legal blogs, which you can access through a newsreader by subscribing to RSS feeds; and creating Alerts through Lexis, Westlaw and Google, among others.
Another current awareness tool–and a great one for up-to-the-minute topical information–is Twitter. A few of the ways you can use Twitter:
Like other tools, Twitter can contribute to a sense of overwhelm, being inundated with too much information. That’s a good reason for being selective, setting time limits and letting go of what is no longer helpful.
The Boston Book Festival is an annual October highlight, centered in Copley Square. This year’s festival is scheduled October 23-25, with most events this Saturday.
Featured speakers include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Benjamin Barber, Daniel Dennett and numerous others. A few highlights: a panel of authors on the promise and peril of technology, a program on Boston stories, and a conversation with novelists Meg Wolitzer and Claire Mesud. See the full schedule HERE.
There is also a street fair (with dozens of exhibitors) on Saturday in Copley Square. Directions, parking information and a map are available here.
The great John Oliver offers up one of the funniest SCOTUS-related sketches I’ve ever seen. He takes audio of Supreme Court arguments and plays it over footage … of dogs, dressed up like the Justices. You really need to take a look.
h/t to Above the Law.
UPDATE: Oliver posted his footage on YouTube for others to use in regard to different SCOTUS arguments. It didn’t take long for the Internet to take up the challenge.
The law library enjoys providing its community of users with access to open source or free legal resources. In that vein, the Legal Information Institute @ Cornell Law School (http://www.law.cornell.edu/) is a terrific source of reliable and free primary legal materials. The main areas of information provided include:
- Constitutions and Codes
- Court Opinions
- Law by Source or Jurisdiction
- Introduction to Basic Legal Citation
- LII Topical Libraries
Take a look!