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Random Bits: Hockey Venues, Courtroom Tables, and Pherotones

A trio of oddities:

1) Why is NHL hockey, an indoor activity, presented for our enjoyment on the Outdoor Life Network?

2) Can you even begin to imagine the cocktail of arrogance and self-adoration that led Enron's Kenneth Lay and his lawyer, Michael Ramsey, to mount a protest to the judge in his upcoming trial over whether Lay will be permitted to sit at the table closest to the jurors? Ramsey's letter, available here courtesy of National Public Radio, is a testament to the ability of some lawyers to be so taken with their own importance that they believe a casual note to the judge should alter the basic architecture of the courtroom.

There is a grey area here: I spoke to several trial lawyers about this question of who gets to sit closer to the jury, and they say the tradition is that the side with the burden of proof generally enjoys proximity to the jurors, on the theory that that side has the harder job (the prosecutors in a criminal case, the plaintiff in a civil case.) But Ramsey's letter is worth reading more for its tone and assumptions than for the merits of his case. Underlying his request is the notion that whatever Lay has done and whomever may bear him some grudge over Enron's destruction of so many lives, the guy's personal charm is going to win over this jury. What a system. Fabulous.

3) Pherotones. Not pheronomes, but the audio version of the mysterious concocting of love. If you've seen this, you've done some wondering about its veracity. If not, have a look and be sure to click on some of the sound bites. Strangely, some folks are taking this reasonably seriously. It says here the whole thing is a charming fake--you can't play those tunes and not have some severe doubts. But it's very nicely done and deserves kudos for stringing along many readers. Your mileage may vary, but around my house, if it's romantic music that's called for, I'd still summon the kings of bop.

By Marc Fisher |  January 22, 2006; 10:20 AM ET
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The Outdoor Life Network/hockey business is probably an affinity thing. If, when you see a listing for 'Fishing With Fred' on the Outdoor Life Network, you say 'OOO, gotta see that', you're probably also a hockey fan.

Posted by: Matt | January 23, 2006 8:38 AM

I wonder if "cocktail" might not be the operative word in discussing Ramsey's letter. Perhaps it's merely Ramsey's normal style (in which case I almost feel sympathy for Lay), but the rambling, heavily-italicized, multi-parenthentical, preening presentation sounds to me like a guy who's had a couple and is feeling supremely witty. I especially like the bits where he patronizes both Scalia and O'Connor. What judge wouldn't be impressed by that?

Posted by: Elmo | January 23, 2006 10:03 AM

The NHL may play indoors, but they're probably thinking that hockey, as a concept, still conjures visions of kids whacking the puck around outdoors on a frozen lake somewhere.

Posted by: Tom T. | January 23, 2006 12:05 PM

Outdoor Hockey

It's still played in the states, though not as much as before. I believe it is an annual event now for Michigan or Michigan State.

Posted by: Joe D. | January 23, 2006 3:25 PM

on topic, I think. How about larger letters, so I can read all this profunditudinals.

Thank you, 60 plus eyeballs.

Posted by: Pear | January 24, 2006 12:53 AM

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