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The Harry Potter Lexicon trial has come and gone, with no decision yet, but with plenty of informal opinon from judge Robert Patterson that the trial is "lawyer-driven rather than client-driven", that the dispute falls in a gray area, and that a settlement would be the obvious outcome if anyone were interested. Sadly, the lawyers on both sides are made of sterner stuff.

Speaking of lawyers, the US patent system has now claimed its first victim in space. The AMC-14 satellite, which didn't quite make it into geostationary orbit when it was launched in March, was the subject of plans to get it into a proper orbit via a trip around the moon. Unfortunately, this had to be abandoned due to patent 6,116,545, which says that Hughes Electronics thought of traveling around the moon first. Terms could not be agreed, and the satellite was then derobited as quickly as possible so that the owners could collect their insurance money.

In more enlightening news, Dutch PhD student Suzann Nooij has discovered a possible explanation for spacesickness-- asymmetry between the right and left inner ears. The more direct test, however, involves being placed in a centrifuge at 3g for one hour. If you don't come out suffering symptoms of what NASA politely calls Space Adaptation Syndrome, you're good to go.

In other health news, Wiscon got a firsthand lesson in epidemiology when around 50 people came down with a suspected norovirus. Health authorities traced it to unnamed persons who arrived at the convention ill and spread it through communal food bowls. So if you're not feeling well, please let someone else get you food from Hospitality, okay? Thank you.

Closer to home, at least for this publication, the home of the Spruce Goose is now officially the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. To promote the grand opening of its space section, it entered a float in the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade, modestly garnished with an actual spaceship. Yes, folks, that was a real Gemini capsule ambling by. The float won a trophy for "Best Use of Flowers".

And finally, with spring and a favorable court ruling in the air, George Takei has accepted the proposal of longtime partner Brad Altman. The wedding is set for September 14th, with Walter Koenig to be the best man and Nichelle Nichols to be the matron of honor.

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