News of the Week: Facebook May Owe You Money, Ed Sheeran Is Being Sued, and Honking Your Horn Is Not Free Speech

In the news for the week ending April 28, 2023, are getting your two cents, sounds in court, Banana Boats, and more.


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There’s an old joke — I guess we can call it old now — that Facebook and other social media should pay us to use their platforms because, even though they’re free to use, they need our information and eyeballs and our clicks to stay in business. Now you actually might be able to get some money from Facebook.

If you were on Facebook between May 2007 and December 2022 — and you probably were — you might be entitled to part of the $725 million settlement Facebook agreed to in a case involving a breach of privacy on the site several years ago. You might be entitled to money even if you’ve since deleted your account, if you remember the dates you were actually on it.

Of course, with the number of people who used Facebook in those 15 years, each person might only get 94 cents. But hey, it’s something!

Let’s Get It On (In Court I Mean)

A big music industry legal case began this week. The estate of Ed Townsend, co-writer of the Marvin Gaye hit “Let’s Get It On,” is suing Ed Sheeran, saying his song “Thinking Out Loud” is a copy of Gaye’s classic.

Here’s an analysis from audio engineer and musician Rick Beato, who says that even though the two songs have some similarities (which become very apparent if you play sections from each one after the other), the melodies are different. But can you copyright tempo or a groove? Does it matter that Sheeran actually played “Let’s Get It On” in concerts?

Honking Your Horn Is Not Free Speech, Court Rules

Another lawsuit involving music (if you consider a car horn “music”).

In 2017 a woman honked her car horn several times during a protest in front of Representative Darryl Issa’s office. Police at the scene ticketed her, but the case was dismissed when the officer failed to appear in court. The woman sued anyway, saying her first amendment rights were violated. A three judge panel has now ruled against her, citing safety concerns.

One of the judges dissented, saying there’s no proof that such political horn-honking during a protest disrupts traffic or causes other problems.

If honking your horn a lot is a crime then many of the drivers who roll through the intersection in front of my house should get life (without parole).

RIP Harry Belafonte, Jerry Springer, Barry Humphries, Len Goodman, Richard Riordan, Gail Christian, Rita Lakin, Ken Potts, Ron Faber, and Ginnie Newhart

Harry Belafonte was a singer known for the song “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” as well as an actor and civil rights activist. He died Tuesday at the age of 96.

Uploaded to YouTube by The Harry Belafonte Television and Video Archive

Jerry Springer was a controversial talk show host for almost 30 years. Before that he was a campaign adviser to Robert F. Kennedy, a Cincinnati councilman, and was mayor of the city in 1977-78. He died Thursday at the age of 79.

Barry Humphries was a Tony-winning comedian who created the popular character Dame Edna Everage. He died Saturday at the age of 89.

Len Goodman was best known as being one of the judges on Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing, but he was also a professional dancer himself and the founder of the Goodman Academy dance school. He died Saturday at the age of 78.

Richard Riordan was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1993 until 2001. He died last week at the age of 92.

Gail Christian was a news correspondent for NBC and PBS. She died earlier this month at the age of 83.

Rita Lakin created the TV shows The Rookies and Flamingo Road, wrote for such dramas as The Doctors, Peyton Place, Dynasty, and The Mod Squad, and wrote several TV movies. She died last month at the age of 93.

Ken Potts was one of the last two survivors of the USS Arizona, which sank during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He died last week at the age of 102.

Ron Faber was an acclaimed stage actor who also appeared in many films. He was one of the voices of the demonic girl in The Exorcist. He died last month at the age of 90.

Ginnie Newhart was the wife of comedian Bob Newhart. She came up with the classic ending to Newhart. She died Sunday at the age of 82.

This Week in History

Woolworth Building Opens (April 24, 1913)

It was designed by Cass Gilbert, who also designed the Supreme Court Building, and was the world’s tallest building until 1930.

Samuel Morse Born (April 27, 1791)

In Morse Code, “Samuel Morse Born” is … .- — ..- . .- .-.. / — — .-. … . / -… — .-. -.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Ticket for Roadster (April 27, 1957)

Maybe the guy on this George Hughes cover was honking his horn too much?

Salad Season(s)

I had a salad the other day. Now there’s an exciting sentence.

I always associate eating a salad with the warm months of the year. Of course, there are no laws against eating a salad October through February (The Warm Weather Salad Law of 1920 was repealed just a year later), but people often eat lighter, healthier foods during the spring and summer, right?

Curtis Stone has a Grilled Asparagus Salad with Herbed Dressing (asparagus is an underrated vegetable) and this Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad. You can try these Giant Kale Salads (kale has been an overrated vegetable the past several years, but if you like it …) or maybe Martha Stewart’s Chicken Club Salad. And A Couple Cooks offers 50 salad recipes, including a Chopped Salad, a Crisp Apple Salad, and a Perfect Caesar Salad.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Day of Prayer (May 4)

While some form of this day has existed since the late 1700s, Congress officially declared it a national day in 1952, in response to worries about the Korean War.

Star Wars Day (May 4)

You can probably figure out why May the Fourth is Star Wars Day.

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  1. Have NEVER been on Facebook by choice, yet still get daily text messages this woman or that woman is a ‘Facebook friend’. I delete them, but it’s a nuisance nonetheless. As far as this Ed Sheeran/Marvin Gaye “controversy” goes, I’ve heard it this week about 4 times. Sheer nonsense!

    Harry Belafonte represented the best of America in its heyday in multiple ways. Jerry Springer the opposite, contributing to its decline and ruination. Thanks for the George Hughes cover’ just a month older than me. The cop and the motorcycle still look eerily modern. This is one that I know I’ve seen in the book, but looks brand new at the same time. The contents cover blurbs above the illustration listed here were extremely unusual.

    Hmm, Bob. I’ve also heard May 4th is ruination of film day. Well, May 5th IS Cinco de Mayo. Hasta la vista!


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