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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

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Join the Librarians for Hula Hoop Lessons!*

Posted by Library Blog on 03/30/2017 at 02:26 PM

Did you know?

You can burn from 150-250 calories per 30 minutes of hula hoop moves. Please join the librarians in the Law Student Lounge on Saturday, April 1, starting at 11:30am…

* Never Mind -- April Fool! 

But seriously, April Fools’ Day is tomorrow, April 1 and is widely recognized as a day to play pranks on your unsuspecting family and friends.  The April Fools’ tradition began in earnest in 1700 with zany British people playing practical jokes. but it may date back to 1582.

To date, there have been 38 federal cases that reference April Fools’ Day.  In a case involving the Wall Street Journal’s publisher, the company was sued by the famous British store Harrod’s over an April Fools prank.  Apparently, no one at the Wall Street Journal fact checked the store’s prank press release about company shares before running a story that Harrod’s would make a public offering of stock! After properly publishing a retraction, the WSJ followed up with a “joke” that Harrod’s found defamatory. To quote the court: “Promptly the face of comedy began to furrow and its smile to curl into what often becomes tragedy's first sour frowns and snarls: incipient litigation.” See Dow Jones & Co., Inc. v. Harrods, Ltd., 237 F. Supp. 2d 394, 401 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). To read more about law related to April Fools’ Day, we recommend The Little Book of Holiday Law, by Ursula Furi-Perry.

On a more serious note, we’re sure you have seen wild stories and “fake news” on social media and beyond.  A great resource to fact check wild stories that appear on social media is Snopes.com, an urban legends site that has been around since 1994.  Check out their coverage about the story on Facebook fees that makes the rounds every few months. For an excellent guide on identifying fake news, see Harvard’s Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda.

** BTW, if like you like hula hoops as much as the librarians, read on for some amazing facts about them:

“Me I Want a Hula Hoop” by Vicki & Chuck Rogers, used with permission, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0