How dare you have fun?
Be honest: Do your neighbors occasionally annoy you? If so, then perhaps you can relate to an unemployed apartment-dweller in Berlin. Matters reached the point with the woman who rents the unit above his that he sued ... on grounds that she laughs too loudly, especially when entertaining guests at dinner parties. But according to newspaper accounts, she - and you should pardon the expression - had the last laugh. A magistrate threw out the suit earlier this week, saying: "Laughter is a sound of life [and cannot] be banned" under German law.
Pocket change - and those whose faces appear on it
Naturalist John Muir is the latest historical figure selected to grace an American coin. The design of the California quarter bearing his likeness will begin circulating in September as part of the US Mint's 50 State Quarters Program. For decades, only presidents were honored on coins, beginning with George Washington on the dollar in 1899. Finally, in 1978, rights activist Susan B. Anthony became not only the first nonpresident but also the first woman (other than mythical figures) to appear on a circulating US coin. Individuals immortalized on coins who never were president, with the denomination and year of issue:
Susan B. Anthony, dollar Women's suffrage leader (1978)
Caesar Rodney, quarter Delaware delegate who cast the decisive vote for independence at 1776 Continental Congress (1999)
Sacagawea, dollar Shoshone Indian who provided critical help to Lewis and Clark expedition (2000)
Helen Keller, quarter Honored with first US coin to bear an inscription in Braille (2003)
Lewis and Clark, nickel Their keelboat is shown on one side of new nickel; Thomas Jefferson remains on the other side (2004)
John Muir, quarter Naturalist-writer and founder of the Sierra Club (2004)
- US Mint