The EU English Style Guide - my one-page aide-memoire

Some points to check when preparing English documents for EU-related projects. I keep this mind map in front of me as an at-a-glance reference guide. The PDF version also includes a direct link to the latest edition of the (regularly updated) official style guide online.

To download the clickable (and A4-printable) PDF file, just click on the button at the right (the blue arrow) on the toolbar immediately below:

The PDF is also available at Docstoc.

For anyone who would like to access the original iMindMap file, it is available at Biggerplate for viewing and downloading.

Did you hear the one about the tax lawyer who told a joke?

Funny, that. Most of the tax lawyers I know have a robust and highly developed sense of humour. Some of them have even been known to suddenly burst out laughing with no discernible external provocation.

Prima facie, my experience conflicts with the published opinion (vide supra)* of cartoonist-at-law** David Mills that “tax lawyers” are not “funny”.

After extensive research, however, I can exclusively reveal that tax lawyers actually have the last laugh. Why? Because the other lawyers don’t understand the joke!


* Source:

** [and U.S. federal appellate attorney]

Mind mapping – all on one page!

One of the big advantages of using a mind map to present information is that everything is on one page. So the idea of a one-page introduction to mind mapping seems particularly appropriate. A single web page that you could bookmark and refer people to if they want to read a succinct and accurate introduction to the technique.

That’s what Marelisa Fábrega has managed to come up with. She has written a very helpful article entitled Mind Maps: Everything You Need to Know. It’s the clearest self-contained “one-page” introduction to mind mapping I have ever seen. The article includes several useful links, so it’s also an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to go on to explore the subject in more detail.

Great job, Marelisa!

Doc shock

A couple of “random” numbers caught my attention this week:

The examiner’s report on Lehman Brothers takes up 2,292 pages from start to finish (add to that another 1,813 pages if you include the 34 appendices).

Meanwhile, as confirmed by a letter in The Economist this week, the documents amassed as evidence in AMD’s antitrust case against Intel (settled in the US last year) accounted for a staggering 200 million pages.


Making peace with negative numbers

The eminent linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin of Oxford once gave a lecture in which he asserted that there are many languages in which a double negative makes a positive, but none in which a double positive makes a negative – to which the Columbia philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser, sitting in the audience, sarcastically replied, “Yeah, yeah.”

From a fascinating article entitled “The Enemy of My Enemy” by Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, in The New York Times.

Hat tip: The Computational Legal Studies Blog

Buzan’s iMindMap for iPhone – FREE!

Already available in Windows, Mac and Linux versions, Tony Buzan’s brilliant iMindMap software has now been launched as an iPhone app. And it’s free!

Download it from iTunes here.

Back-Up Your Brain!

(Click on the image to view the full-size version.)

Computer memory is increasingly being used as a virtual extension of human memory (although we are still a long way from achieving a world where nothing is forgotten, as envisaged by Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell).

This mind map is about three computer-based tools that help me organise, store and retrieve things I want to remember: Evernote (my “external brain” on the Web), iMindMap (which is also the tool I used to create the mind map itself) and Personal Brain (a powerful application I’ve been using for some time now and whose potential I am still discovering and exploring). I find them all “mind-expanding” in different (and complementary) ways.

The image I used as an illustration for the “iMindMap” branch in this iMindMap mind map is actually an image of the mind map itself. And if you look closely, you’ll see that that image, in turn, also contains an image of the mind map! The Screen Capture tool and Insert Floating Image option in iMindMap version 3 make effects like this very easy to achieve.

For fun with legal language, see infra

Click on the image to see the original cartoon, or click here to see the latest addition to the gallery: Courtoons. The site is updated five times a week. Bookmark it now!

Mind Mapping Software, 1977-style!

Mind mapping software is getting more and more attention these days, and Chuck Frey does a great job of keeping us all up-to-date with the latest ideas and developments on his Mind Mapping Software Blog.

But back in the days when I started studying computer science, if I’d heard the words “mind mapping software”, I might have interpreted them a little differently. Just for fun, I thought I’d show you how I was “mind mapping Software” back in 1977 (together with Hardware and Applications). This is a mind map I drew in June 1977 to summarise my first-year Computer Science course at Aston University.