A follow-up to my Ouija board post of last week
. This may be the only case of a Ouija board involved in an inheritance dispute.
When Mrs. Helen Dow Peck died in 1955, she left almost her entire estate to "John Gale Forbes," whom she met via Ouija board. Which is to say that John Gale Forbes was not a corporeal entity. Mrs. Peck's surviving (flesh-and-blood) relatives sued, arguing, in essence, that Mrs. Peck was clearly nuts. The court eventually agreed and voided her will. This has established the legal precedent that ghosts can't inherit money. Read more about the case here
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
- Mar 13, 1956
A great moment in the history of 'oops': Back in 1911, a lawyer accidentally tripped and smashed the phonograph record on which Hodson Burton had recorded his final will, revealing where he had hidden his fortune. (If this lawyer was true to form, I'd guess he still made sure to submit a bill for his services.)
I wonder if Hodson Burton's fortune has ever been found.
This was a great moment in American law. From the New York Times
- Feb 7, 1935:
In 1709, the German legal scholar Dr. Heinrich Klüver published the following important work (which, amazingly, is available in its entirety on Google books): Kurtzes Bedencken über die juristische Frage: Ob eine schwangere Frau wenn sie wärender Reise auf dem Wagen eines Kindes genesen, für selbiges Fuhr-Lohn zu geben gehalten sey?
Translation: Brief consideration of the judicial question: whether a pregnant woman, bearing a child while traveling in a stagecoach, is obliged to pay a fare for it or not.
Substitute Greyhound bus for stagecoach, and you have a question still relevant for present-day weird news scenarios.
Dr. Klüver's answer was: No, the woman doesn't have to pay an extra fare for the newly arrived baby.
His reasoning was that: 1) the baby wouldn't take up an extra seat if the mother held it in her lap.
And 2) The driver must have seen that the woman was pregnant when she boarded the coach, so he should have been aware of the possibility of her giving birth and charged her extra at that time, if he felt it was necessary.
The Zimmerman verdict which, whether you agree or disagree with it, is racially highly charged. Then this story
comes out of the same state at the same time. Apparently only certain races and one gender are allowed to stand their ground in the wonderful F-state.
I would have been proud to shake Ida Mae Stull's hand--except that she might have crushed mine!
Original article here.
In the UK, and in some countries formerly part of the British Empire, they maintain the strange habit of making barristers (attorneys) wear wigs. Apparently these wigs, traditionally made out of horsehair, are very expensive, so barristers often own only one. And according to the South China Morning Post
, barristers rarely wash them, so over time the wigs start to smell bad:
Tong said he had never washed or dry-cleaned the wig before, for fear that it would fall apart. "It is made of horsehair that is glued together and is not very strong."
In fact, few lawyers would have their wigs cleaned as there is an odd perception that an old and discoloured wig is a better symbol of seniority. But the rows of white curls can become stale and smelly as they absorb sweat and oil from the scalp. A court dress shop in Admiralty charges HK$760 to wash it.
This info is seconded by thelawyer.com
The aim of most barristers is to achieve a wig with a worn and matured look to create the impression of experience when standing before a judge.
"None of them likes to look the new boy," says David John Harris, manager of the legal department at Ede and Ravenscroft, which has been manufacturing wigs for barristers, judges and royalty since 1726. "If it is really grubby looking, it looks like they've been around," he says.
Barristers will go to great lengths to make their wigs look fashionably old. There are a number of tried and tested ways to age one, including stamping on it, kicking it in the dirt, giving it to kids, letting the dog at it, or shaking it in a Hoover bag...
Wigs should last for 100 years but are often damaged by perspiration. Ede and Ravenscroft suggests cleaning wigs every four to five years, while Thresher and Glenny recommends every 25 to 30 years. "The longer you leave it, the better it is," says Hill.
The sweet smell of tradition!
Heidi Peterson left her Detroit home empty for a year, and when she returned, she says, she found a woman, Missionary-Tracey Elaine Blair
, squatting there. The woman refuses to leave, and apparently you can't just kick someone out who's squatting. You have to go to court, prove you own the property, and then get an eviction order. So now both women are living there together.
Missionary-Tracey Elaine Blair, for her part, says she's not squatting. She insists she has a lease. [Yahoo! News
Whatever the case may be, the experience certainly qualifies Missionary-Tracey Elaine Blair to occupy the highest office in the land and squat in the White House for four years. So she's campaigning as a write-in candidate for President
, and wants your vote. That's her below, posing with George Washington. Remember her name on election day!
Here you see the main attraction at Fort Smith National Park
. A recreation of the gallows where Hanging Judge Isaac Parker
sent 79 criminals to their death.
And people say kids will get bored at such historical monuments! This makes history come alive! Er, come dead...?