At Home: Across the Universe
Possession is nine tenths of the law, the old saying goes. The other tenth part may be litigation, but It’s not always going to be successful. So discovered one man who was barred from filing further lawsuits after his recent, ridiculous demands.
As the London Free Press reports, Quebec resident Sylvio Langevin filed a suit ?[demanding] sole ownership of the Earth, the other planets and several moons.? He also claimed ?the space between the heavenly bodies.?
This request is just the latest in a long line of frivolous lawsuits from Langevin; in the past decade, he’s filed nearly 45 of them, even though he was restricted from filing after a 2009 suit requesting $1 billion from the federal government.
Even Langevin admits the lawsuit was frivolous, telling reporters that his goal was to collect planets ?like others collect hockey cards? and that only God could reasonably be the respondent in such a case.
The judge, pointing out the high taxpayer cost of Langevin’s frequent and foolish litigation, declared him to be a ?quarrelsome litigant, meaning he can’t file any more lawsuits without written permission from a judge.?
Around the World: What’s in a Flame?
Ever had a scientific question and been dissatisfied with the answer? You’re not alone. Now one man is seeking the ideal answer to a question he asked 65 years ago?and he’s created a contest to determine the best response.
As The New York Times reports, actor Alan Alda once asked a teacher what a flame was. Her response, ?It’s oxidation,? bothered him for years. ?It’s like saying, ?Well, a flame is Fred,?? he told reporters.
Although ?oxidation? may have been scientifically correct, ?the word did not capture why a flame burns orange or why it produces heat, or anything else that the young Mr. Alda really wanted to know about it.?
Now, at age 76, Alda is collaborating with Stony Brook University’s Center for Communicating Science to create The Flame Challenge, which seeks the best ?explanation of a flame.? The responses will be judged by a panel of 11-year-olds.
The contest deadline is April 2.