This particular tragedy related to adventure travel to visit a volcano in New Zealand caught my eye because I finished teaching my 1L tort law course a few of weeks ago and only submitted my final exam last week. It contains a couple of teachable aspects. Many of the cases that I cover in my torts course involve serious human tragedies, yet when one reads the dry judicial writing describing the events, one would never really appreciate the pain, suffering and tragedy that occurred. Here, the news article describes the raw suffering of the injured and how tourists and tour operators were lulled into thinking that it would be safe to bring people to the volcano. From a tort law teaching perspective, the incident also poses some interesting questions about the tour company’s liability and the types of legal defenses that could be raised. Is there a future exam question here . . . ?
For those who remember the 1971 Iowa torts case Katko v. Briney – here is a cautionary tale of how the homeowner himself was fatally injured by a booby trap intended to protect his home against burglars.
As many know, Citizen Yang is also Farmer Yang. Farmer Yang has a backyard fruit orchard as well as a flock of eleven egg-laying hens. Prior to keeping chicken, Farmer Yang did not know that chicken lose all of their feathers on an annual basis, usually in the fall. One of our older hens, Opera, is now going through the molting process. She looks as if she was just through a bad fight. But all is normal. Molting chicken do seem to get shyer and they drop in the flock’s pecking order. Ordinarily, Opera is a fairly dominant hen; but during this time of the year, it seems that other hens are picking on her. The last image is from the previous year, showing her in the full glory of her regular plumage.
I don’t usually talk about my gardening, though my friends and students know how much I enjoy it, and I can’t resist here. (Gardening is also a great way to appreciate the connection that we all have to the soil and earth – just ask my happy compost earthworms.) I just came home from a long trip to Asia for conferences, meetings, and family visits and inspected my overgrown garden this morning. My neighbors had been kind enough to look after our chicken and water the plants. (When we were still living in Vermont, I would regularly walk my land . . . haha, all 2 acres it; it would be a quick walk; this morning was even quicker.) All the growth that’s happened is actually one of the most delightful things to discover after one has been away. I found a championship-size zucchini (shoe/foot for scale; actual size was 20 inches), though it may not be edible anymore, as well as lots of tomatoes and ripe pluots from my “Flavor King” tree. The pluots have an incredibly “perfumed” flavor – hard to describe, but I have never had anything like it in the supermarket. (If you live in the San Jose area, I’ll be happy to share, though beware that most of them have already dropped.) I am also a great garden-ripe tomato fan – there really is nothing better than summer tomatoes that have been ripened in the garden. My Asian pear trees have also come along – there’ll be a bountyful harvest in a month or so!
There were also a couple of gardening lessons I was planning to pass along – things I learned the hard way this year. Hopefully, they will be of use to others. But I will do that separately.
In the meantime, here are two other things I discovered in my travels — for your amusement. The first is the little upstart-cousin of the Ritz-Carlton (in Kuala Lumpur), and the second is the local (at the Kuala Lumpur airport) menu of Burger King — Taro pie and Pineapple pie (the local counterpart to the standard US apple pie). I was only recently told by a student that BK and McD’s have local menu items in various countries around the world, so I have been looking out for them.
Yay, we graduated another class of students! Congratulations Class of 2019!
A wonderful ceremony by our Social Justice and Public Interest Law Center celebrating our graduating students, recognizing their achievements, and announcing the various public interest summer fellowships (39!!) awarded for pursuit of summer internships with public interest or government organizations. Hannah Ford-Stille and Daniel Johnston also won the Herman Wildman Social Justice Law Writing Award. And also recognition of student pro bono work over their three years in law school. And, of course, there was an inspiring speech, a call to arms in the service of the public interest, by Genie Harrison, a 1992 Santa Clara Law alum. Congrats to all! (Our commencement will happen this coming Saturday.)