It was a beastly hot day today — so what better thing to do for lunch than hike more than a mile across the river in the broiling sunshine to get to Dinin’ Hall?
The Unkempt Guy, the Bus-Riding Conservative and I decided to tough it out anyway. We were intrigued by the fact that the Dinin’ Hall calendar showed that The Urban Pig and Mashita Noodles would be there dishing out food truck and food cart goodness. Who can resist a food truck called The Urban Pig, with a capital “The”? Obviously, this is not just any Urban Pig — it is The Urban Pig, just as OSU is The Ohio State University.
When three sweaty walkers finally arrived, however, we learned that The Urban Pig was not present. It had succumbed to the bane of food trucks — a mechanical breakdown. Our consternation was only momentary, however, because that meant we all got to eat the excellent noodle bowls served up by the friendly, hard-working folks at Mashita Noodles. I had mine with shredded pork, to give a nod to The Urban Pig, and I ate every morsel and gladly spooned up the last drop of the traditional Japanese broth. Surprisingly, a bowl of hot noodles, pork, cuke and radish slices, and broth goes down every well indeed on a hot day.
We savored our noodle bowls, our cold water, and the shady, fan-breezy atmosphere in Dinin’ Hall, then ventured out into the harsh glare and humidity once more. By the time we got back to the office we were wilted and dripping and had decided that Dinin’ Hall might be past the outer walking limits on days when the thermometer hits the mid-90s. That just means that, on the next stifling summer day, we’ll have to let the BRC suggest a bus route instead.
Recently a friend extolled the virtues of the Google Scholar database search tool. Among other useful functions, he said, if you’ve ever written any kind of scholarly article you can find out how often it has been cited and whether it has been the subject of favorable comment.
Really, I thought? That’s interesting. It so happens that, back in the Stone Age when I was in law school, I wrote two articles that were published in the Georgetown Law Journal. One addressed how to distinguish between statements of fact and opinions in evaluating the protection they received under the First Amendment. The other considered President Reagan’s use of the “pocket veto” and suggested a framework for analysis of the intersession pocket veto from a balance of powers standpoint.
Boy, just describing the subjects of those two articles is pretty riveting, isn’t it? With such fascinating topics, you’d expect those two articles, written in the leaden prose of law journals everywhere, to be high on everyone’s reading list.
So I couldn’t resist doing the Google Scholar searches. I’m disappointed to report that, in the 30 years (!) since the First Amendment article was published, it has been cited all of 13 times. Of course, I rationalized, the fact that the Supreme Court clarified the law within a few years of the publication of my well-reasoned piece probably cut down on the number of citations. Unfortunately, the other piece has been even more roundly ignored: it’s been cited only twice since it burst like a dung bomb upon the world of legal scholarship in 1984.
It’s embarrassing, I suppose . . . but then I suspect that most law journals articles are forgotten as soon as they are published. It’s nice to know that my two forays into scholarship also have been consigned to the ash heap of academic literature and are simply gathering dust in the stacks of law school libraries across the land.