Just in time for Halloween, another haunted house story, but this haunted house story is one about a haunted pool room, called--what else--the Flying Saucer, located in Nashville, Tennessee. The pool room is a converted train station. Paranormal investigators are hot on the trail. Read more here.
A Time magazine article from October 26, 1953 highlights "fourteen magic words": "I refuse to answer upon the ground that it might tend to incriminate me."
They became magic words in this country in a famous Supreme Court case, Blau v. United States (340 U.S. 159 (1950)). ( and see related Blau v. United States, 340 U.S. 332 (1951)). In that case, an individual refused to answer questions, asserting that to do so would result in self-incrimination. The Court agreed with her, ruling that "Whether such admissions by themselves would support a conviction under a criminal statute is immaterial. Answers to the questions asked by the grand jury would have furnished a link in the chain of evidence needed in a prosecution of petitioner for violation of (or conspiracy to violate) the Smith Act. Prior decisions of this Court have clearly established that under such circumstances, the Constitution gives a witness the privilege of remaining silent. The attempt by the courts below to compel petitioner to testify runs counter to the Fifth Amendment as it has been interpreted from the beginning....Reversed."
Even as we value the right of silence under our Constitution, this right is being limited elsewhere, most particularly in England and Wales. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, passed in 1994, discusses inferences that may be made concerning an accused's silence (sections 34-39).
According to the Metro Transit authority, it will accept ads that don't contain nudity or offensiveness. Other than that, its walls are open.
According to the BigAppleCOR (get it?) website, the organization that make up the coalition are
[C]ommitted to a more compassionate world; we are working for a more reasonable citizenry and a higher level of discourse; we are striving to increase the quality of life for all; and we find fellowship an integral part of the human condition. Theists and nontheists alike are the same people: we go to work everyday; we have families and friends; we are involved in our communities, state, and country; and we care deeply about life.
Big Apple COR aims to inform New Yorkers that there is a community of people who share a rational basis for their worldviews, who attend intellectual public lectures, enjoy philosophy discussions, and socialize. We invite you to visit our various websites, to contact any of those in which you are interested, and to feel free to attend the public gatherings of any of our organizations.
One supporter of the BigAppleCor is magician Jamy Ian Swiss.
Last night's The Big Bang Theory episode (The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary) reveals that Sheldon is a card counter (though he uses his gift for good, not evil--that is to say, he doesn't immediately see the point of using his gift at all). Koothrappali enlists him as a reluctant partner in a tournament where they end up facing guest star Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as himself. A wonderful and fun integration, once again, of "real life" in the "artificial world" of the BBT nerds. Remember Summer Glau (The Sarah Connor Chronicles)'s visit on the episode "The Terminator Decoupling"? And Charlie Sheen's crossover from Two and a Half Men on "The Griffin Equivalency"?
For more on card counting, and whether it's legal or not, and yes, it is if you are not using a "device"--that is, if you are using your unaided brain, see I.Nelson Rose's column on "Dealing With Card Counters."Professor Rose is a leading guru of gaming law and teaches at Whittier Law School. Among his publications: Gambling and the Law (a classic). Now, just because card counting is legal does not mean the casinos will like you if you try it, and they may exclude players who do so if they catch them.
Daniel Hauser, the Minnesota teenager who left the state in May accompanied by his mother rather than undergo court-ordered chemotherapy, preferring a course of alternative medicine, then returned, has finished his radiation treatments, and is doing well, according to his physicians and his family. His parents believe that alternative medical treatments have also helped him. Read more here in an article dated September 4, 2009, from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
In "Grayson's Anatomy," tonight's final episode of the season for the series Drop Dead Diva, the protagonist, attorney Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliot) dreams that she is the star witness in a showdown between the two men who attract her most: colleagues Grayson Kent (Jackson Hurst) and Tony Nicastro (David Denman). Paula Abdul, presiding as the judge, calls on each man to demonstrate why he should win Jane's heart. Tony dances--one interpretation of what lawyers do. But Grayson breaks a magic wand and makes scarves appear. Of course Judge Abdul announces she'll give her ruling after the break, and then Jane wakes up.
This comedy is fun to watch; it takes on real issues of ethics and hot button legal issues, and includes a little of the supernatural, since Jane harbors the reincarnation of dead model Deb, Grayson's fiancee. Lawyers, models, and the afterlife--something for everyone.
Update: With regard to Mr. Kam's comment, I thank him but I'm not certain what Mr. Sherman has to do with this case or this post. The language Mr. Kam, himself a noted lawyer/magician, cites comes from Judge Trott's dissent, and it is indeed wonderfully magical. Judge Trott is a lawyer/magician, so magical references come naturally to him, and a number of writers have quoted this particular passage in "law and magic" pieces.
From New Orleans Magazine, May 2009: this interesting piece by Carolyn Kolb on magicians in the City That Care Forgot. Ms. Kolb notes that a local judge helped test Harry Houdini's escape skills, and that local lawyer Lawrence "Cadillac" Smith put himself through Loyola Law School with money he made as a magician. Read more here.