November 19, 2004

LinkNews Digest [11/19/2004]

Hooters Chain Defends "Copyright" on Scantily-Clad Waitresses

ORLANDO, Fla. - Hooters of America and a rival restaurant chain began arguing in federal court over who has rights to the concept of using scantily clad women to sell food and beer.

Atlanta-based Hooters of America accuses Ker's WingHouse of Kissimmee of poaching the idea coined when it opened its first sports bar in Clearwater in 1983, Hooters lawyer Steve Hill said in opening statements Wednesday in Orlando.

"The evidence will show WingHouse has copied the Hooter girl almost from head to toe," Hill said. "For want of a better expression, the Hooter girl is our Ronald McDonald."

But Crawford Ker said he based his chain on Knockers, a failing restaurant with an all-female staff in Largo that he took over after retiring from the NFL, according to pretrial deposition.

Hooters said in a trade dress infringement lawsuit filed last year that Ker's WingHouse stole everything from the design of its parchment menus to staff calendars and celebrity photographs on the walls.

Hooters said other ideas swiped by its rival include hula hoops for waitresses, Christmas lights and surfboards hanging from the ceiling and traffic-style signs on the walls warning "Double Curves" and "Caution: Blonde Thinking."
LINK


David Lee Roth Training as EMT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rocker David Lee Roth, the former Van Halen frontman, is taking up a new trade.

Instead of screaming "Jump," he'll be yelling "Clear!"

Roth, 50, has been riding for several weeks with a New York ambulance crew in training to become a paramedic, The New York Post reported Tuesday. "I have been on over 200 individual rides now," said Roth. "Not once has anyone recognized me, which is perfect for me."

The singer, who spent a decade with Van Halen before embarking on a solo career, except a collaboration with the band for two new songs on a greatest hits album, has been riding along with crews in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn several nights a week.

His training seems to be going well.

Several weeks ago, Roth saved the life of a heart attack victim in the Bronx by using a defibrillator.
LINK (CNN)

...When asked about the reasons for this change of trade, Roth replied that the scene in his video for "Just a Gigolo/I Aint Got Nobody", in which he gives a geriatric censor a heart attack by suggestively dancing in front of him, "Really moved me. I mean, The director meant for it to be funny and all, but heart disease is the number one killer in America, and I didn't find it funny at all."

Segway Aross America

Dean Kamen designed his Segway transporter to serve as a cheap, clean and flexible form of urban transit, not as a platform for traversing national parks and encountering wildlife.

But that hasn't stopped former vacuum cleaner salesman Josh Caldwell, 27, who has put the Segway to perhaps its most grueling test yet by piloting the scooter across the length of the United States.

His journey is scheduled to conclude when he arrives in Boston on Tuesday, a little more than three months after he and a small support crew started out from Seattle with a single Segway scooter, more than a dozen spare batteries, one loyal dog and a Jeep Cherokee filled with filmmaking gear to document the trip.

The "America at 10mph" project, hatched by Caldwell and buddy Hunter Weeks, began as something between a joke and a dare but quickly turned into a serious expedition to see America in a new way. Caldwell and Weeks plan to produce a documentary film from footage shot during the trip, showing what small-town America looks like from 6 inches off the ground.
LINK

Ebay pulls "Virgin Mary Sandwich"

MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- The people at eBay were no believers in this cheesy miracle: half of a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich whose owner claimed it bore the image of the Virgin Mary.

Diana Duyser put the sandwich up for sale last week, drawing bids as high as $22,000 before eBay pulled the item Sunday night. The page was viewed nearly 100,000 times before being taken down.

An e-mail Duyser received from eBay said the sandwich broke its policy, which "does not allow listings that are intended as jokes."

But, Duyser, a jewelry designer who has bought and sold items on eBay for two years, insisted this was not a laughing matter.
LINK

Government Tests "First Light"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A Boeing Co.-led team has successfully fired for the first time a powerful laser meant to fly aboard a modified 747 as part of a U.S. ballistic missile defense shield, officials said on Friday.

The test, dubbed "First Light" by insiders, lasted only a fraction of a second but gave the project an important boost at a time it was deemed at risk of cuts or cancellation.

The Chemical Oxygen Iodine laser is built by Northrop Grumman Corp. It includes breakthrough optics designed to focus a basketball-sized spot of heat on a missile's skin to rupture it up to hundreds of miles away.

Pentagon officials envision several such aircraft flying by turns near North Korea or another potential foe's territory. The goal is to detect, track and destroy a missile when that would be easiest, before it releases a warhead that could be tipped with chemical, nuclear or germ weapons.
LINK

"...In a previous test-firing of this laser, the targeting system malfunctioned, causing the laser to strike a home in southern California. The laser itself did minor damage to the house, but the laser struck an unusually large container of popcorn, which caused serious structural damage when its contents popped."

Human Microwave Gun Goes Airborne

It was only a matter of time, I guess. First, the Air Force builds a real-life, microwave-like pain ray. Then, it gets a company to strap that real-life, microwave-like pain ray to the back of a jet.

For years, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been working on a millimeter-wave beam that penetrates a 64th of an inch beneath the skin. That causes the water molecules there to bubble. And that hurts like hell; people tend to run -- fast -- in the other direction. Small wonder, then, that non-lethal weapons experts call this "Active Denial System" the "holy grail of crowd control."
LINK (DefenseTech)

Hunting by Internet in Texas

Hunters soon may be able to sit at their computers and blast away at animals on a Texas ranch via the Internet, a prospect that has state wildlife officials up in arms.

A controversial Web site, www.live-shot.com, already offers target practice with a .22 caliber rifle and could soon let hunters shoot at deer, antelope and wild pigs, site creator John Underwood said Tuesday.

Underwood, an estimator for a San Antonio auto body shop, has invested $10,000 to build a platform for a rifle and camera that can be remotely aimed on his 330-acre southwest Texas ranch by anyone on the Internet anywhere in the world.

The idea came last year while viewing another Web site on which cameras posted in the wild are used to snap photos of animals. "We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said, 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little lightbulb went off in my head," Underwood said.

Underwood, 39, said he will offer animal hunting as soon as he gets a fast Internet connection to his remote ranch that will enable hunters to aim the rifle quickly at passing animals.

He said an attendant would retrieve shot animals for the shooters, who could have the heads preserved by a taxidermist. They could also have the meat processed and shipped home, or donated to animal orphanages.
LINK (CNet)

I hope they remember to disable the gun when the attendant is on the field. Golf Driving Ranges have a "Friendly Fire" rule, and we see how well THAT works...

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