Monday, April 20, 2020

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Begins This Evening

Yom HaShoah (יום השואה), or Holocaust Remembrance Day, begins the evening of April 20, 2020, which is the start of the 27th day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar, and ends in the evening of April 21, 2020. You can find more information about the Jewish calendar from This day of remembrance has been observed worldwide by the Jewish people and their allies since the 1950's. Yom HaShoah commemorates the lives lost in the Shoah. Shoah is a Hebrew word meaning "catastrophe" or "utter destruction" and is used in this context to refer to the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust. This holiday serves as a reminder of the Holocaust and "the horrors that Jews and other persecuted groups faced: forced labor, starvation, humiliation, and torture, which often resulted in death." (from This day is a time for us to remember those who suffer(ed) directly and indirectly as a result of the Holocaust. 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, there are many opportunities for you to gather virtually in remembrance of the lives lost, and to learn more alongside other members of your community:

1. Seattle's Holocaust Center for Humanity is hosting a Virtual Holocaust Remembrance Day Program on April 21, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m via Zoom ( featuring Holocaust survivor George Elbaum. 

2. The Israel State Ceremony (which was pre-recorded due to Covid -19 restrictions) was broadcast at 1:00 p.m. EDT (8:00 p.m. in Israel) and is available to watch online. It features stories, music, prayers,
and messages from the Israeli President and Prime Minister. 

3. My Jewish Learning has a great website full of suggested online ceremonies and resources for Yom HaShoah. 

Now, more than ever, it is important to reflect on the impact of unchecked hate in our society and to consider what our personal role is in preventing and taking a stand against everyday acts of intolerance and bias. 

Never again. 

Friday, April 17, 2020

Gallagher Videos for Research Skills and Bluebook Tips

An important part of learning legal research—or any other skill—is practice.

But to make your practice productive, it helps to have some guidance, perhaps someone giving you a quick demonstration. Your Gallagher Public Services team can't be with you when you're conducting online searches at your kitchen table, but we're creating some short videos to answer some common questions and demonstrate some useful research skills.
Remember that we're still available, even while we're all sheltering at home. Call 206-543-6794 Monday-Friday, 8-5. UW Law students, faculty, and staff can send email to And people from outside the law school may use our Ask Us! form.

Gold banner with purple letters: Coming to a Laptop Near You! Legal Research Videos from the Gallagher Law Library!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Corvid Infestation Shuts Down Campus

Crow at Yosemite
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
After some 150 years of ecological balance among students, faculty, staff, birds, and squirrels, the UW campus was shaken this spring by an unprecedented surge in corvids, mostly the American crow. Early signs of an increasing corvid dominance were glimpsed last year when a pair of crows repeatedly charged at Dean Anna Endter as she walked toward Gates Hall. A bag of Doritos and other offerings propitiated them at the time, but it was clear that they had tasted their power (as well as the Doritos).

Corvids— a group that includes crows, ravens, jays, rooks, and magpies—are exceptionally intelligent animals, said Prof. John Marzluff, a renowned authority. For example, carrion crows in Japan learned to place walnuts in roads so that passing cars would crack them open. In an experiment, New Caledonia Crows figured out how to bend a wire to get food out of a jar. Crows can even recognize people and pass that information along to other crows.*

Stirrings of a corvid uprising began in February among crows nesting in a wooded area near Kirkland. By the end of the month, it was clear that they would have the whole city in their grip. President Ana Mari Cauce made the call to move classes online to protect humans from the awesome corvid onslaught. "The safety of people has to come first. By licensing Zoom for the campus, we can continue classes and minimize the risk of corvid interaction."

Students, faculty, and staff are now sheltering in their homes, while the campus is left to the corvids. Also some squirrels and rats. Just a few essential personnel are allowed in campus buildings.

The Ornithology Team at the Burke Museum (one of UW Law's closest neighbors) was unfortunately at a loss to repel the dreaded corvid menace. "We're very good with feathers and skeletons, even bird DNA," said one of the curators. "But we're not used to working with living birds. And those big black ones are scary!"

By now the corvid threat has spread across the country. New Yorkers, long used to insulting pigeons as "rats with wings" are rethinking their attitudes and giving birds a new respect—at least the corvids, if not the columbidae, or pigeons.

* I'm not making all this up. Prof. Marzluff is a renowned authority. The walnuts-in-the-highway example is from John M. Marzluff, Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Out Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife 134 (2014). You can see the New Caledonia crow experiment in his TEDx talk. Crows recognized Marzluff when he wore the mask he wore to band them many years before.
Check out the Corvid Research blog by Kaeli Swift, Ph.D., who also tweets @corvidresearch