It is clearly NOT a Project class method.
that's a instance method. Those are written as Project#method. In other
words, an instance of project, such as @project = Project.find(:first),
(writing self is the equivalent of writing Project.method)
This is a class method, and you access it by going Project.method. The
method and self.method are two different methods, and can co-exist even
though they are named the "same".
Also, you are obviously missing some basic rudy knowledge, as you say
that that first block is a controller (it is obviously a model). Or
perhaps you were drunk/tired? =P
I strongly reccomend the Ruby for Rails book, it really revolutioned my
way of using rails.