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Monday, July 4, 2005

Splitsville for Pitt, Anniston

Actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston have decided to part ways in their production company, Plan B Productions.  The two were partners with talent manager Brad Grey in the venture, which has several projects under way with Warner Bros., including the upcoming remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

After the two stars split up and Grey was hired to become chair of Paramount Pictures, the trio decided to go their separate ways.  Anniston is no longer a partner, and Grey is moving the existing productions over to Paramount.

July 4, 2005 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Should have gone for an injunction

A Russian astrologist is suing America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration for crashing a space probe into a comet yesterday.  She says it will now mess up all her astrological calculations and claims damages of $300 million.

July 4, 2005 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in History: July 4

1803: The Jefferson Administration announces the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, for $15 million.  The purchase, one of the largest real estate deals in history, nearly doubles the size of the young United States.

1817: Workers at Rome, New York, begin construction of the Erie Canal.  By connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, it will ensure that New York, not Montreal, becomes the commercial capital of North America.

1826: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  The same day, songwriter Stephen Collins Foster is born at Lawrenceville, a town that is now part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1837: The first long-distance railroad ever constructed, the 82-mile-long Grand Junction Railway, opens for business.  The highly profitable line, which will never pay a dividend below 10 percent, connects Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, and Warrington to the existing Liverpool & Manchester line.

1840: The first passenger steamship to cross the Atlantic, the Cunard Line's paddle-wheeled RMS Britannia, leaves Liverpool en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1845: Henry David Thoreau begins his experiment in Wilderness living by moving into a cabin on Walden Pond, a full fifteen minute walk from downtown Concord, Massachusetts.

1862: Ten-year-old Alice Liddell asks Charles Dodgson, who is with her on a boating picnic party, to tell her a story.  He invents one about a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole.

1872: Small-town lawyer John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., is born at Plymouth, Vermont.  He'll become one of the few American presidents who finds it possible to keep his mouth closed when he has nothing to say.

1881: The Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, opens at Tuskegee, Alabama.  Much of the construction of the original campus buildings is done by students, who perform the work in exchange for education.

1946: The United States grants independence to the Philippines.

July 4, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in History: July 4

1803: The Jefferson Administration announces the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, for $15 million.  The purchase, one of the largest real estate deals in history, nearly doubles the size of the young United States.

1817: Workers at Rome, New York, begin construction of the Erie Canal.  By connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, it will ensure that New York, not Montreal, becomes the commercial capital of North America.

1826: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  The same day, songwriter Stephen Collins Foster is born at Lawrenceville, a town that is now part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1837: The first long-distance railroad ever constructed, the 82-mile-long Grand Junction Railway, opens for business.  The highly profitable line, which will never pay a dividend below 10 percent, connects Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, and Warrington to the existing Liverpool & Manchester line.

1840: The first passenger steamship to cross the Atlantic, the Cunard Line's paddle-wheeled RMS Britannia, leaves Liverpool en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1845: Henry David Thoreau begins his experiment in Wilderness living by moving into a cabin on Walden Pond, a full fifteen minute walk from downtown Concord, Massachusetts.

1862: Ten-year-old Alice Liddell asks Charles Dodgson, who is with her on a boating picnic party, to tell her a story.  He invents one about a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole.

1872: Small-town lawyer John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., is born at Plymouth, Vermont.  He'll become one of the few American presidents who finds it possible to keep his mouth closed when he has nothing to say.

1881: The Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, opens at Tuskegee, Alabama.  Much of the construction of the original campus buildings is done by students, who perform the work in exchange for education.

1946: The United States grants independence to the Philippines.

July 4, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Willie Wonka and good faith in contracting

Sam Beauregarde: Don't talk to me about contracts, Wonka, I use them myself.  They're strictly for suckers.

       From: Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)

July 3, 2005 in Film Clips | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

UNCITRAL tackles procurement issues

Uncitral There are few thornier areas in international commerce than that of government procurement, where national security concerns, xenophobia, popular economics, and powerful interest groups all play a major role.  The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law is working on potential reforms to its Model Procurement Law.  In a forthcoming paper in The Procurement Lawyer, UNCITRAL Model Law: Reforming Electronic Procurement, Reverse Auctions, and Framework Contracts, three advisers on the project (Don Wallace and Christopher Yukins of George Washington, and Jason Matechak of Reed Smith LLP) provide a rundown.  Here's the abstract:

A Working Group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is working on potential reforms to UNCITRAL's Model Procurement Law and its Guide to Enactment. This article, written by several advisers to the U.S. delegation to the UNCITRAL Working Group, reviews the Working Group's progress on several important fronts. The Working Group has reached initial consensus on a number of difficult procurement issues, including electronic commerce, reverse auctions and framework contracts, and significant progress has been made in a number or other areas, including the procurement of services, the strengthening of procurement remedies (known in the United States as bid protests), and the utilization of socioeconomic policy tools.

July 3, 2005 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in History: July 3

1608: A party under Samuel de Champlain begin construction of the first blockhouse and moat at what will become Quebec City.  Of the 25 residents who settle there, only eight will be alive the next spring.

1870: New Brunswick lawyer Richard Bedford Bennett (Dalhousie Law 1893), who will become Canada's 11th Prime Minister, is born at Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick.

1886: The New York Herald becomes the first newspaper to use the new Linotype machine, which eliminates hand typesetting and puts thousands of skilled workers out of work.

1890: Idaho is admitted to the Union as the 43rd state.

1893: Blues guitarist "Mississippi" John Hurt is born at Carroll County, Mississippi.  He'll get his nickname when an Okeh Records label rep decides he needs a gimmick to sell.

1929: E.A. Murphy of Dunlop Latex Development Laboratories in Birmingham, England, tries putting some raw latex rubber into a home mixing machine, and discovers foam rubber.

1935: André-Gustave Citroën dies at Paris.  At the time of his death, his eponymous automobile company is the fourth largest in the world.

1938: The London & North Eastern Railway's 4-6-2 Mallard engine sets the world record for a steam locomotive, when it hits 126 mph at Stoke Bank, south of Grantham.

1962: Actor Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is born at Syracuse, New York.  He'll become the first actor to star in five conesecutive $100 million-grossing films:  A Few Good Men (1992), The Firm (1993), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Mission: Impossible (1996), and Jerry Maguire (1996).

July 3, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)