Do you remember McArthur Wheeler, the bank robber who robbed a bank in broad daylight with no disguise? He was caught immediately after the police broadcast the security footage showing him holding up the bank. When they arrived to arrest him, he was incredulous that they had caught him. “But I was wearing the juice!” he said, as they took him off to jail.
Wheeler told police he rubbed lemon juice on his face to make it invisible to security cameras. Detectives concluded he was not delusional, not on drugs — just incredibly mistaken.
Wheeler knew that lemon juice is used as an invisible ink. Logically, then, lemon juice would make his face invisible to cameras. He tested this out before the heists, putting juice on his face and snapping a selfie with a Polaroid camera. There was no face in the photo! (Police never figured that out. Most likely Wheeler was no more competent as a photographer than he was as a bank robber.) Wheeler reported one problem with his scheme. The lemon juice stung his eyes so badly that he could barely see.
The most surprising thing about the Brexit vote, to me, was that there was a Brexit vote—that the question was put to a nationwide referendum. Many US states made provisions in their constitutions for referenda and initiative petitions in their constitutions during the Progressive Era. Even my own state, Massachusetts, did it—the only New England state other than Maine to do so. This year’s crop includes an initiative petition to prevent cruelty to farm animals, one to increase the tax on incomes over $1 million, and one to legalize possession of marijuana under Massachusetts law. Not exactly Brexit-level questions. Continue reading An American View On Brexit→
The case of the day is Comcast Cable Communications, LLC v. Hourani (D.D.C. 2016). Issam Hourani was plaintiff in a libel action in England against PsyberSolutions LLC, Allison Blair, Alistair Thomson, and Bryan McCarthy. The claim was that the defendants had falsely asserted that Hourani was involved in the abduction, torture, rape, and murder of Anastasya Novikova in Beirut in 2004. The English complaint alleged that the defendant published the allegedly libelous statements on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Hourani claimed that an unknown Comcast subscriber using a computer with a particular IP address was “hired to stage fake performances to defame and cause harm” to him and to “film the performances to be uploaded onto websites and social media sites.” In 2015, the English court ordered Comcast to disclose to Hourani the identity of the users of a particular IP address. Continue reading Case of the Day: Comcast v. Hourani→