D’oh! Simpsons Settle with Hologram Company

Giant Homer Simpson on Giant Hill, Cerne Abbas, by Wikipedia User GeographBot, licensed by Creative Commons.

Mmm, lawsuits.

The Simpsons are going to court! Well, they were planning on it, until reaching a settlement. 20th Century Fox recently came to an out-of-court settlement with a special effects company over a 2-minute hologram of the popular cartoon character, Homer Simpson. Appearing at Comic-Con, an entertainment-themed convention in California, Homer’s hologram told several jokes and interacted with Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening, much to the amusement of everyone other than Hologram USA. The company claims that they have an exclusive patent to the technology behind the hologram, and that without their consent or approval, Fox owes them a monetary fee. The groups were able to meet and come to an agreement, although the terms were not immediately disclosed. Read more

Utah Woman Nearly Killed by Toxic Tea

Iced Tea

Enjoy this refreshing beverage with caution…

A few short months ago, Jan Harding was almost killed after she drank iced tea that was mixed with chemicals. Harding drank a single sip of sweetened iced tea at Dickey’s Barbecue in South Jordan, UT and stated, “I think I just drank acid”. After investigation authorities confirmed, “A restaurant employee unintentionally put the heavy-duty cleaner lye in a sugar bag, and another worker mistakenly mixed it into the iced tea dispenser. Lye, which looks like sugar, is an odorless chemical used for degreasing deep fryers”. The restaurant quickly reassured consumers that Harding was the first and only to drink from this botched batch of iced tea, and no one else was harmed. Other allegations have arisen  of incidents with this particular chemical in this restaurant chain, Dickey’s has not provided comment.

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Judge Pushes Settlement for Alaskan Natives

Snow covered peaks and glaciers in Prince William Sound, Alaska, by flickr user  Frank Kovalchek, licensed by Creative Commons

Don’t rock the vote

The United States is a very big country, and while most citizens can read and write in English, there are parts of Alaska where that is not the case. Sharon Gleason has asked those involved in a lawsuit against the state of Alaska to perform their due diligence and move towards a settlement. A recent ballot for elections was released in English only, and did not provide an option for native Alaskans who prefer their own language. Yup’ik and Gwitch’in are native Alaskan tongues that are mainly verbal and not often written, leading to controversy over translating voting ballots. The Native American Rights Fund is a strong advocate of multi-cultural and language-based alterations to these ballots. Read more

Lawsuit: Oil Spill Funds Used for Gulf Hotels

Lousiana Gulf Coast, by flickr user dusted, licensed by Creative Commons

Stronger than the storm

Adding fuel to the fire is never something BP wants to do after the Gulf Coast disaster in 2010. Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit and are attempting to block the building of new hotels in Florida & Alabama with funds granted to restore the coast itself. BP had pledged $1 billion to improve the coastline after the infamous oil rig explosion, and have continued to fund the project. Now, scientists state that the money should only be used for ecological purposes, not for real estate development (regardless of the fact that new hotels could produce new revenue along the coast). This has sparked a hot debate about the strength of economics vs biological and scientific research. Read more

Satellite Radio Has Serious Problems

Rocktail Beach Camp KZN, by flickr user Jolene Bertoldi, licensed by Creative Commons.

“God I love being a turtle.”

Contrary to popular belief, music is never really free; just ask a musician. The satellite radio company Sirius XM was sued over copyright and trademark laws by a 1960s band called The Turtles. With the passing of federal copyright protection for recorded music in 1972, the royalties for music made before that date have been a hot button issue. The band claims that its’ music was broadcast on satellite radio without any compensation or consent of the creators. A series of lawsuits were filed against both Sirius XM and Pandora Media in New York, Florida, and California, with the band seeking about $100mm worth of damages. Read more