Let's say you're a professional musician and you decide to record an album with a block of silence in one of the cuts. Are you opening yourself up to a lawsuit for plagiarism? Answer: yes. At least, Mike Batt did with "A One Minute Silence" by his British rock group, the Planets. Alas, in 1952 an American composer named John Cage produced a copyrighted experimental number entitled 4'33" that consisted of no sound at all. Cage's publisher sued, and Batt agreed to settle out of court for a sum that both sides will say only is in six figures.
Need a place to live that is solidly built, affordable, and available for immediate occupancy? Valparaiso, Ind., may have what you're looking for. It also features a sturdy lock on each door and is so roomy you could throw a party for 132 guests and then put them up for the night. And all this for as little as $25,000 once it goes on the auction block Nov. 20. Yes, it's a jail. With a new pokey now, Porter County would rather find a buyer for the old one than pay $300,000 to tear it down.
Orange stripes on blue pants? A 20-year-old man found out the hard way that he'd made an unfortunate fashion choice.
A man dressed in a blue shirt and blue pants with orange stripes down the side was walking along a highway in Ludington, Mich., on Monday morning when he stopped at a gas station.
His clothing caught the eyes of two off-duty Michigan Department of Corrections employees, as well as an off-duty Lake County reserve officer, who decided he looked like a prison escapee and detained him.
The officers bound the man's hands with duct tape and searched him for weapons before asking gas station employees to contact authorities.
Within 30 minutes, authorities determined the man wasn't an escaped convict and released him.
The Mason County Sheriff's Department was investigating. Sheriff's officials said they would send the case to prosecutors to determine if officers violated any laws when they detained the man.
In Allentown, Penn., A man who pleaded guilty to trying to flee police said he would run as part of his punishment.
In a plea bargain, Chad M. Eschbach agreed to run in a 5-kilometer race that will benefit the Schuylkill-Carbon Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Eschbach, of Lower Towamensing Township, pleaded guilty on Thursday to fleeing and eluding police in a July 27 chase in downtown Palmerton. He also pleaded guilty to marijuana possession.
Carbon County Judge Richard W. Webb asked Eschbach during the hearing if he was a runner.
"He will be, your honor," said District Attorney Gary F. Dobias, who will also participate in the race.
Police said they tried to stop Eschbach for driving with a burned-out headlight. But Eschbach drove away and then got out of the car and ran a short distance before being caught, police said.
Webb deferred sentencing Eschbach and ordered the county probation department to do a pre-sentencing investigation.
Officials at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., say they won't charge a man the estimated $4,088 late fee for a book checked out of the school's library 56 years ago.
The book, "The New Simms History of South Carolina," has been missing from the shelves at Winthrop University's Dacus Library since 1946.
Alex McFadden returned the long lost book Tuesday. He said he hoped the library would add it to its archival collection. "Books are very dear to me," said McFadden, a native of Rock Hill and president of the Valdosta, Ga., Friends of the Library. "I thought this was interesting to discover.'"
McFadden found the history book 14 years ago while cleaning his aunt's house. It wasn't until he took it off the shelf three weeks ago that he realized it belonged to Winthrop.
It can be tough at the top. Hewlett-Packard chairman Carly Fiorina, No. 1 on Fortune magazine's list of the most powerful women in business for the fifth year in a row, made news leading an acrimonious fight to merge with Compaq Computer. No. 3, eBay president Meg Whitman, has been linked to a stock -offering controversy. Fortune's 10 most powerful businesswomen and their companies:
1. Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard
2. Betsy Holden, Kraft Foods
3. Meg Whitman, eBay
4. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
5. Andrea Jung, Avon Products
6. Anne Mulcahy, Xerox
7. Karen Katen, Pfizer
8. Pat Woertz, ChevronTexaco
9. Abigail Johnson, Fidelity Management and Research
10. Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Entertainment Group