Archive for the ‘Arizona & the Phoenix Valley’ Category

Damn you, Allegiant Air!

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

They picked Fort Lauderdale instead of Phoenix. Harumph!

Knoxville to Phoenix, non-stop?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Allegiant Air will announce tomorrow that it will begin offering non-stop service from Knoxville to Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, or both.

Given that one of the impending baby’s sets of grandparents live in the Phoenix area, it would be highly convenient if they’d choose Phoenix. :)

Assessing liability in the Phoenix news-chopper crash

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

When I heard about Friday’s fatal news-helicopter collision in Phoenix, one of the first things I thought — perhaps unsurprisingly, since I was just coming off the bar exam — was whether wrongful-death liability could attach to the carjacker who initiated the police chase that the news choppers were covering when they crashed. Is it sufficiently foreseeable that a car chase in a major city could lead to a news-helicopter crash? Is it the type of harm that a reasonable person should anticipate? (There’s a joke in here somewhere, in very poor taste of course, about “negligence in the air.”) What about contributory negligence? Assumption of risk? Etc., etc. I babbled a bit about these things to Becky, Kristy, V and Shannon (who were, by this point, accustomed to being subject to my pre- and post-exam law nerdery), without coming to any definitive conclusions; it’s not like I was going to write an essay about it. But I did think it was kind of an interesting question.

Well, it turns out I wasn’t the only one. V sent me this Slate article about essentially the same topic — though the authors focused on criminal, not civil, penalties. I hadn’t even thought about the potential applicability of felony-murder statutes, but yeah. The article notes:

The county attorney technically can charge the fleeing suspect with four counts of murder, but it’s unclear how strong the argument would be in practice. A judge might decide not to apply felony murder because the cause of the crash was only loosely related to the chase. Or a jury might acquit the driver because he couldn’t possibly have foreseen these outcomes. In other words, a reasonable person could expect traffic deaths to result from a car chase. But it might be unreasonable to expect a car chase to cause a collision between choppers pursuing a breaking news story.

It might. Or it might not. I mean, if you live in L.A., Phoenix, or some other major western city, shouldn’t you be aware that car chases are pretty much always televised? Anyway, interesting stuff, at least for those who haven’t sworn off all discussion of law-related topics for the next month of their lives. :)

Come fly the deadly skies

Friday, July 27th, 2007

It hasn’t been a good day in aviation today. The pilot of a WWII P-51 Mustang was killed when his plane collided with another Mustang after finishing a performance at an air show in Wisconsin. Meanwhile in Phoenix, two news helicopters collided in mid-air, killing all four people aboard (two each) while covering a police chase.

What a bunch of bologna

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

An Arizona Highway Patrol officer pulled over the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile in Tucson yesterday after his computer said its license plate — “YUMMY” — was stolen.

Turns out, the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. But at least everyone involved has a funny memory that I’m sure they’ll all relish.

I’m here all week, folks.

Can you say “lawsuit”?

Thursday, June 28th, 2007


A 65-year-old St. Louis man is missing after Amtrak personnel, mistaking his diabetic shock for drunk and disorderly behavior, kicked him off a train in the middle of a national forest, according to police in Williams, Ariz. …

Police said there is no train station or running water at the crossing, which is about two miles from the nearest road, at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. …

Williams police told CBS 5 that Amtrak has used the abandoned crossing as a drop-off site in the past. [Lt. Mike] Graham said that whether drunk or not, no one should be dropped off there.

“You don’t put anyone off in an area like that,” Graham said.

Amtrak said the company is looking into the matter.

(Hat tip: Becky.)

UPDATE: This article suggests that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the above report is a bit unfair to Amtrak, and there’s more to this story than meets the eye:

As far as Amtrak, officials tell me they followed the company policy and are not looking into this matter. Amtrak issued this statement late Thursday.

“Amtrak followed company policy Sunday night (6/24) when a passenger was escorted off Amtrak’s Southwest Chief train #3 in Williams Junction, AZ, at a regularly scheduled station stop with a station platform and roadway access. Amtrak would never leave a person alone in a remote location under any circumstances. In this case, the conductor and the passenger waited on the platform with the passenger’s luggage. Upon arrival of authorities, the passenger fled into nearby woods. The investigation is being handled by Williams PD.”

UPDATE: He’s been found.

Opening day at the Irish Trojan art gallery

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first ever artwork, courtesy of my NDLS classmate Emily Chang. She painted this painting…

…based on this photograph, taken by yours truly in Arizona last Thanksgiving:


(Posted with permission. Thanks, Emily!)

UCLA even sucks at flip cup

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007


After taking a week off from school to evaluate prospective colleges, high school senior Angela Ross said Monday that, though all the campuses she visited had their strong points, she enjoyed getting drunk at Arizona State University the most.

“The students there seemed very serious about [the drinking game] flip cup, which is more than I can say for the people at UCLA,” said Ross, adding that she witnessed ASU students engaging in such innovative games as keg ball, find the keg, and dark doubles. “The thing I like most about the university is that if there isn’t a drinking game that interests you, the supportive environment allows you to create your own.”

Though Ross was accepted at Stanford, it ranks near the bottom of her list, since fewer than two-thirds of the undergraduates she polled there had ever gone to a movie totally plastered.

God bless The Onion.

Prehistoric camel bones unearthed in Mesa

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Always low prices… and occasionally, 10,000-year-old camels:

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) — Workers digging at the site of a future Wal-Mart store in suburban Mesa have unearthed the bones of a prehistoric camel that’s estimated to be about 10,000 years old. …

Arizona State University geology museum curator Brad Archer hurried out to the site Friday when he got the news that the owner of a nursery was carefully excavating bones found at the bottom of a hole being dug for a new ornamental citrus tree.

Just think, perhaps 10,000 years from now, some future human civilization will be discovering the fossilized remains of “ornamental citrus trees” in the Arizona desert, and trying to come up with some theory to explain why such things existed. Little do they know, the answer is… Wal-Mart.

Anyway, continuing with the article:

“There’s no question that this is a camel; these creatures walked the land here until about 8,000 years ago, when the same event that wiped out a great deal of mammal life took place,” Archer told The Arizona Republic. …

“In my 15 years at ASU doing this work I can think of six or seven times when finds this important have been made,” Archer said. “This is the first camel. Others have been horses, once a mammoth on Happy Valley Road. This sort of thing is extremely rare.”

Archer declined to comment on whether any of the previous five or six “finds this important” involved finding inebriated ASU coeds willing to flash a museum curator.

(Hat tip: Scott Fort.)

UPDATE: Here’s the original article from the Arizona Republic. It contains this important nugget of information:

[T]he find [will] not change the construction schedule at the Wal-Mart site.

I’m sure we can all rest easier knowing that even 10,000-year-old camels can’t stand in the way of Wal-Mart’s plans. Nor do the camels get health insurance. :)

Porn interrupts Tom Brokaw in Phoenix

Thursday, March 15th, 2007


A cable news program was temporarily replaced with hard-core pornography, shocking viewers who had been watching a health show featuring former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw.

The incident Monday night on KPPX-TV was “an act of human sabotage” at the Phoenix-area station, said ION Television, which operates the station.

(Hat tip: my dad.)

Live from Glendale…

Monday, January 8th, 2007

I’m not in Arizona for tonight’s BCS National Championship Game between Ohio State and Florida, but BK is, and he sends along this photo of University of Phoenix Stadium via cell phone:

Brian’s not the only one of my NDLS classmates who has taunted me this break with photos of bowl games that they’re at and I’m not. :) Back on New Year’s Day, Joel sent me this photo during halftime of the Rose Bowl:

Why a Notre Dame fan would want to watch USC play Michigan, I have no idea. Then again, as it turns out, I suppose watching two hated rivals duke it out couldn’t have been any more painful than watching the Irish in the Sugar Bowl…

Ooooh, aaaah

Friday, January 5th, 2007

The Superstitions were gorgeous at sunset this evening, even by their regular standards.

More photos here. (Scroll down to the bottom.)

Moonrise over the Superstitions

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

A few moments ago, the moon — just over half a day from being the Full Wolf Moon — rose over the Superstition Mountains, which was turned a beautiful shade of orange by the sunset:

Here’s to you, Boise State fans

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

When Boise State coach Chris Petersen held up the Fiesta Bowl trophy and said “This is for the Bronco Nation,” some of you might have been tempted to snicker. I can imagine the retort: “There’s a Bronco Nation?” Everyone knows there’s a Trojan Nation, a Domer Nation, a Red Sox Nation, a Raider Nation, etc. … but does Boise State really have a “nation”?

Well, let me tell you, there absolutely is a Bronco Nation, and it came out in force to Arizona for this game. Those people you heard on TV cheering for the Broncos weren’t just bandwagon fans rooting for the underdog; they were Boise die-hards. It’s absolutely incredible how many people can down here from Idaho. The Boise State fans seriously own this town right now. When Becky, Casey and I went to Tempe for New Year’s Eve celebrations, we were all floored by the vast number of Boise fans. They were everywhere! There were at least five Broncos fans for every Sooners fan, and it might have been more like ten, as I said at the time. It was amazing.

There were a lot of reasons I was absolutely ecstatic when Boise won (and, conversely, absolutely crushed when I thought they were going to lose), but one of the biggest reasons was thinking about how these folks must be feeling:

I can’t tell you how happy I am for the Boise fans. They deserve every bit of the joy they’re feeling right now. They treated this game much like their team’s players and coaches did: as a chance to prove themselves on a national stage, to disprove the doubters and show that they’re “for real.” In the fans’ case, that meant proving that Boise State has a rabid fan base that absolutely will travel to big-time bowl games. And they definitely proved it. So, hats off to the Bronco Nation. Great job, guys.

Arizona is the center of the football world

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

During the last four days, the Phoenix Valley has played host to the greatest comeback in bowl history (the Insight Bowl in Tempe) and one of the greatest bowl games ever, period (the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale). The latter might also qualify as the greatest upset in bowl history, if we’re looking not at pointspreads but at the reputation and national cachet of the teams involved, as well as the potential implications for underdogs everywhere.

And I was here, and yet I didn’t go to either game. Damn, I wish I had more money to blow on football game tickets. ;)