Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, March 29, 2021

Perhaps acknowledging that Earth Day has devolved into a passive naval-gazing session for eco-slackers, the World Wildlife Federation has launched Earth Hour, which requires an active lights-out global effort to raise awareness.

Starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand, citizens from around the world will shut off their lights for an hour, to draw attention to the connection between energy use and climate change. From New Zealand, the event will move westward with the sun to Australia, Manila, Dubai, Dublin, New York, Chicago and finally end in San Francisco, where both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge will go dark for an hour.

And there’s no better way to raise awareness than this:

Earth Hour won’t suffer for a lack of gimmicks. Servers wearing glow-in-the-dark necklaces will sell eco-tinis at bars and restaurants in Phoenix. A local yoga house in Michigan will offer sessions by lamplight, and the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago will have check-in by candlelight.

I guess I’ll see what it’s like in a couple of hours. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I would have noticed if I hadn’t gotten early word of it.

UPDATE, EARTH HOUR PLUS 24: Looks like NYC took a pass on this little green-fest. I saw no evidence of a municipal-wide lights-out; a few corporate advertisers shut down their Times Square mega-watt billboards for the 60 minutes, but no coordinated observance. Most people I talked to had never even heard of the thing. Maybe momentum will be stronger next year.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/29/2008 04:55:28 PM
Category: Science, Society
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all rights reserved
In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster got $130 (roughly $1,800 in today’s dollars, per this historical inflation calculator) in exchange for selling all rights to a little character by the name of Superman.

Seventy years later, their heirs have legally reclaimed part of the copyright to the world’s more famous (and marketable) superhero, potentially complicating Time Warner’s use of the character in films and other media.

Compensation to the Siegels would be limited to any work created after their 1999 termination date. Income from the 1978 “Superman” film, or the three sequels that followed in the 1980s, are not at issue. But a “Superman Returns” sequel being planned with the filmmaker Bryan Singer (who has also directed “The Usual Suspects” and “X-Men”) might require payments to the Siegels, should they prevail in a demand that the studio’s income, not just that of the comics unit, be subject to a court-ordered accounting.

What this recounting fails to mention: If the ruling stands, it opens a can of worms. Practically every iconic comics and pop-culture character is probably covered under this precedent: Batman, Spider-Man, Bugs Bunny and hundreds others. The intellectual property held by companies like Time Warner are consistently undervalued; a flood of legal claims not only would rightfully revert rights back to the creators and their families, it might also bring to light just how much money their creations bring to corporate bottom-lines.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/29/2008 04:26:03 PM
Category: Business, Pop Culture, Publishing
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