The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!



Planecell Air Phones: Lots of buzz over the news that the feds are considering allowing the use of cell phones during commercial air flights. The FCC is due to discuss the option at its meeting Weds. I, for one, have never believed the nonsense about how they could allegedly interfere with plane navigations (but I'm the daughter of a retired UAL pilot, so I tend to be cynical about these types of proclamations). CNN/Money sez the reasons for the ban "have less to do with the effects on a plane's navigation than concerns that cell phones on planes could wreak havoc with cell phone systems on the ground."  And, says the magazine, cell phones often don't work well in the air because cruising altitudes are higher than the cell towers' range.

American Airlines and Qualcomm have been researching possibilities, the magazine reports. But perhaps the true rebellion would come from the passengers, it suggests. "Can you imagine being in the middle seat between two business people making phone calls for three hours?" said Les Glass in an e-mail to CNN/Money. "What are the airlines and the FCC thinking?"

December 13, 2004 | Permalink


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