loopholes

#loopholes

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Maddalena Pass, Col
Teknival 1, Sarkozy 0
In August 2002, shortly after French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy instructed local councils to strictly enforce laws allowing authorities to close raves, prosecute organisers and seize musical equipment, 120 armed riot police broke up an open-air techno party in the Ardeche—evicting 700 people, confiscating all the sound equipment and arresting the two organisers. Sarkozy was pleased. Sarkozy was less pleased when, one week later, organisers of the annual three-day Teknival (which attracted 25,000 people) held the festival 2,000 metres up the Col de Larche mountain in Haute Provence: The sound system and several massive loudspeakers were located across an unfenced border—in Italy. EPP Summit October 2010 Credit: Credit: European People's Party (CC BY 2.0)
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Paul Westerberg - Subtle Replacements
Saturday Night Live producers were so worried about an appearance by Paul Westerberg and the Replacements (who once sang their song "Shut up!" with a "F--- you!" chorus after disagreeing with a nightclub manager) that they forced the band to sign a $20,000 agreement not to swear on the air. Westerberg endeavored to sneak in as much profanity as possible with subtle replacements. During their performance of "Kiss Me on the Bus," for example, he replaced the word "bus" with a mumbled "butt." [He also mouthed the words "F--- you" as he stepped back from the mike. But because they were inaudible, Westerberg's words, while greatly annoying to the show's producers, did not violate the band's contract.]
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Eleanor Of Aquitaine - By The Wrath Of God
At age 15, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, King of France. Her subsequent petition for divorce from Louis was based on the claim that they were too closely related for the marriage to have been legal in the eyes of God (and the church). In 1154, just two years after the marriage was annulled, Eleanor married Henry II of England. "I am Queen of England," she drily remarked, "by the wrath of God." [At age 19, she knelt in the cathedral of Vezelay (before the celebrated Abbe Bernard of Clairvaux) and offered him thousands of her vassals for the Second Crusade. Dressed like an Amazon, Eleanor galloped through the crowds on a white horse, urging them to join the ...
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David Gilmour: Bollocks to You
After the release of The Final Cut in 1983, chief Pink Floyd songwriter Roger Waters quit the band—assuming that the others would follow suit. They did not. So when guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason started working on A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987), Waters sued to resolve "the question of rights to the name and assets of Pink Floyd." In December 1987, Gilmour persuaded Waters to sign an agreement allowing him to use the Pink Floyd name. Waters, however, refused to allow him to use the band's giant trademark flying pig balloons. To Waters's dismay, Gilmour found a solution. "If the pig had been exactly the same as the pig that I designed," Waters later remarked, "I could ...
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How Einstein Helped Kurt Godel Pass His U.S. Citizenship Exam
The Austrian-born mathematician Kurt Godel was every bit as eccentric as his theories. After several years of residence in the United States, he finally opted to apply for American citizenship. Having obtained the endorsement of two sponsors to vouch for his character (Albert Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern, one of the founders of game theory), Godel had only to attend a citizenship interview and answer some simple questions to demonstrate his general understanding of the American Constitution. As Einstein later recalled, however, things with Godel were never simple.  On the eve of the interview, Godel called Morgenstern and informed him that he had discovered a logical loophole in the framing of the U.S. Constitution which could conceivably enable a dictatorship to ...
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Institute for Advanced
When Einstein Promised Not to Buy Tobacco
While working with fellow physicist Abraham Pais at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study one evening, Niels Bohr, who was in the habit of repeating words over and over whenever he was engrossed in thought, began pacing around the office, repeating, "Einstein... Einstein..."  Suddenly Pais noticed the office door begin to open and Einstein himself tiptoed into the room. Bohr, standing at a window with his back to the door, did not see his colleague come in. "Then," Pais later recalled, "Einstein beckoned to me, with his finger on his lips, to be very quiet, his urchin smile on his face." Silently, he made a beeline for the table at which Pais was sitting. Finally Bohr, still muttering Einstein's name, ...
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How Pierce Brosnan Shot A Non-Tuxedo Tuxedo Scene
The filming of a party in John McTiernan's The Thomas Crown Affair was slightly complicated by a clause in Pierce Brosnan's James Bond contract barring him from wearing a tuxedo in any other film. The wily Brosnan simply undid his top button, loosened his tie, deemed it a suit, and shot the scene. 
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Dave Pelzer: Pulitzer Prize Nominee
Though Dave Pelzer's first three books, which purport to document severe child abuse, spent hundreds of weeks on the New York Times nonfiction paperback bestseller lists, several family members declared that they "should be in the fiction section." When Pelzer claimed that Help Yourself was a Pulitzer Prize nominee, another writer named Pat Jordan did some fact-checking: "It is true that Dutton submitted two of Pelzer's books to the Pulitzer committee," Jordan reported, "but that doesn't qualify it as a Pulitzer 'nominee'. The committee receives 800 unsolicited books a year and accepts them all without critical comment. Theoretically, the committee would accept Pelzer's grocery list as long as he filled out the proper forms and paid a $50 fee."
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John Dalton & the scarlet robe
In 1832, John Dalton, the father of atomic theory, received a doctorate from Oxford University and was presented to King William IV. Though tradition demanded that he wear a scarlet robe, Dalton happened to be a Quaker. Fortunately, Dalton had a solution. When the robe was brought before him, he simply declared that, as far as he could tell, the garment was completely gray; luckily Dalton was colorblind. [According to another story, Dalton, having purchased stockings for his mother's birthday, asked his brother to confirm that they were blue—and soon learned that both boys were colorblind. (Dalton went on to study his condition, which naturally came to be known as Daltonism.)] [Dalton kept detailed meteorological records of the weather near ...
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W. C. Fields: Caught With A Bible
A lifelong agnostic, W. C. Fields was at least somewhat concerned about the possibilty of being rejected at the Pearly Gates. Discovered by actor Thomas Mitchell thumbing through a Bible on his deathbed, Fields was quick to offer an explanation: "I'm looking," he said, "for a loophole."