Bitter News, Week of July 18th, 2011

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Here are your headlines from the Bitter Newsroom, where we quit our jobs with style!

212® or 213™? Anheuser-Busch InBev wants to trademark over a dozen major U.S. area codes. The Belgian beer-maker, seeing the local marketing success of 312 Urban Wheat Ale by Goose Island (a company it acquired earlier this year), decided to do what any large corporate parent would do: beat it lifelessly into the ground.

Monkey Business: If a monkey steals your camera and shoots some amazing self-portraits, who owns the copyright? There is an actual dispute going on about this.

It’s jobs, stupid: More and more law schools are adding mandatory practical skills courses to make their graduates better job candidates. While lower ranked law schools have long used practical experience classes as a way to make their graduates more marketable, the new push brings in heavy hitters such as Harvard and Stanford; traditionally the higher ranked schools feared the appearance of being a “lawyer factory”. Safe to say these changes will not affect their prestige in the eyes of employers (who drove these changes); however we do wonder what lower ranked schools will do next to distinguish their graduates.

All Hail His Noodly Appendages! An Austrian man won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as “religious headgear”. As a Pastafarian, he wore the piece in honor of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The man next plans to try and get the Church of the FSM legally recognized in Germany; however considering he and most members are also professed atheists, it might be difficult. But you never know…

Even Lorena Cringed: A real wife of Orange County drugged her husband and tied him to a bed. While that’s about par for course in some households, once he awoke she took things a step further by dismembered his member and, upping the ante on cringe-worthy moments, disposed of the parted penis using the garbage disposal. (Pardon: allegedly.) If we were to give advice to the prosecution, it would be thus: All you need to do is play the sound effect of a sausage going down a garbage disposal.

Can Lawrence v. Texas help Polygamy? Justice Anton Scalia, Catholic Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and opponents of same-sex marriage seemed to think so. Well now they get their chance to know as reality TV stars/polygamists rely on the decision to ask the federal courts to tell states that they cannot punish polygamists for their own “intimate conduct” so long as they are not breaking other laws such as seeking multiple marriage licenses.

The Doctors Pepper: Soda heads across the nation are abuzz about the legal clash between the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Co. and the parent company of Dr Pepper. The small Texas-based bottler, the oldest in the nation and only one that never switched from using sugar to high-fructose corn syrup, has had a recent renaissance as internet orders for their old-fashioned, “Dublin Dr Pepper” branded bottles have given them a reach beyond their 44-mile territory. This angered their soda HMO, resulting in the invocation of the Soft Drink Interbrand Competition Act of 1980 (which prevents bottlers of the same brand from competing with each other). Apparently other bottlers do not want to compete with real sugar, however this opens the opportunity for potentially lucrative gray market.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens feels he may have retired a bit too early, telling the ABA Journal he still feels perfectly capable. While going back to the Court is unlikely, we would love to see Justice Stevens transition into a number of areas, not limited to performing high profile marriages and/or doing a guest stint on Judge Judy (we’re sure even CA would waive him in).

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