Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

August 2010 Archives

Unkindest Cut: NY Enforces Sliced Bagel Tax

They are world famous, those New York bagels, and for good reason. No one else seems to be able to quite duplicate that chewy interior lovingly encased in a substantially crispy shell. Now the world capital of bagels will be famous for one more thing linked to its greatest all-time nosh: the sliced bagel tax. That is correct, the Empire State is levying a tax on sliced bagels, cream cheesed bagels and even whole bagels, under certain circumstances.

Pay close attention, because not only is the bagle tax amusing, it is quite precise as well. According to CNN Money, a bagel will be taxed if sliced, given any kind of topping or preparation (say a little lox) in the store, even just plain, if eaten on the premises. The only way a hungry customer can ensure his bagels are untaxable is for them to be tossed in a bag and for him to hoof it out of the store as fast as possible.

Status Update: If No 911, do We Facebook in an Emergency?

Ready or not, we are Facebook nation. Or nearly. In light of a new survey from the old school emergency service provider the Red Cross, it appears many of us now turn to social media like Facebook, Twitter or to a website in an emergency. Yes, in a real life, call-911-type of emergency, 1 in 5 people surveyed said if they couldn't get 911, they would Facebook the police, fire, or their high school boyfriend, whoever was actually looking at the status update when it came in.

According to the American Red Cross, in an online survey of 1,058 adults, one in five would try to contact first responders through digital options such as email, websites or social media. That is a bit worrisome, but it gets a little worse than that. Of those polled, 35 percent would post a request for help directly on a response agency's Facebook page and 28 percent would send a direct Twitter message to responders. Let's hope the EMT's are not actually on an emergency call and thus not checking their Facebook page or Twitter account at the time.

Counterfeit Goods Gone Bad: Cons Sell Low Tech Laptops

This case, friends, lends new meaning to the term "blockhead." Possibly well meaning but probably dim consumers of the latest in laptop computing have been flim-flammed into purchasing not the new Dell they thought they were getting, but quite literally a block (head) of wood. The product was dressed up in the prettily protective packaging of bubble wrap and, of course, a nice label. Don't believe everything you read.

Police in Norman, Oklahoma say they have busted a tri-state ring of computer criminals selling the fake laptops. As is often the case, a routine traffic stop helped pull the plug on the crime ring, according to a Oklahoma News 9 report. During the stop, police discovered what they thought were laptop boxes in the back seat of the car. The boxes looked authentic, right down to the dealer labels and bubble wrap, but inside there was nothing but a piece of painted plywood. Imagine the attention to fine detail -- they painted the plywood.

Too Shy to Ask For a Date? Call 911

A 43 year old Ohio woman decided to try out a new kind of speed dating and wound up facing charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated. Bernadette Music, (cool name by the way) was booked into Hamilton County jail for the incident. But what was her crime? Didn't you read the headline?

Music allegedly called 911 multiple times while she was drunk and asked the dispatchers to help her find a date. Apparently she was otherwise too shy to ask for a date. This tied up dispatchers who could have been attending to more pressing matters, like oh say, fires, murders, robberies, that sort of thing. In response, police were sent to her residence to investigate the calls. The dispatcher, meanwhile, assisted in a little sting operation. She discussed Music's difficulties in finding dates, whether some people are too thin and the challenges of finding a date without money.