Mackinac mania, driving on the left, satellite collisions, mammary-shaped mountains, in rem Supreme Court plaintiffs, and the Senate sweet tooth

Today, we take a close look a series of Supreme Court cases used with in rem jurisdiction, breast-shaped hills, Kessler syndrome, the Senate candy desk, Mackinac Island, and the diverging diamond interchange.

Kessler syndrome is a theory proposed by NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978 regarding space debris. He suggested that once the density of objects in low Earth orbit reaches a certain point, collisions will begin a domino effect, where the debris begins to cause further impacts, and eventually make space exploration or satellite orbit unsafe or even impossible. While we looked at space law a bit before, the simple requirement for nations to register any satellite doesn't require them to make sure they avoid other satellites, nor is there any sort of body to manage traffic up there. NORAD tracks thousands of satellites and debris in orbit every day, and sometimes, they do smack into each other (I recall a Chinese satellite getting smacked as recently as 2009). The sheer velocity of an object in orbit makes anything larger than a flake of paint potentially deadly to a spacecraft, and we know that the cloud of junk is getting larger with every launch. Lately, many nations have taken to planning and designing satellites and missions that will send junk into the Earth's atmosphere for vaporization (like the space station Mir), or ensure there is enough fuel to boost it to a higher orbit once it's lifespan is exceeded (a kind of graveyard).
The visible ring is mostly satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

Mackinac Island (pronounced MAK-in-aw) is an island, city, and state park in Michigan (between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas) that is just shy of four square miles (10km) and just shy of 500 residents. Why does it swell to over 15,000 tourists per day at the peak of summer? It's not just the resorts or the fudge. The island does not allow automobiles or motor vehicles of any kind, except for emergency and service vehicles, and snowmobiles in the winter. M-185, an 8-mile circumferential road, is the only state highway in the U.S. that doesn't allow vehicles, and most of its users are pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers in horse-drawn carriages. As the name suggests, it was populated by Native Americans for centuries, and first saw white men during Jean Nicolet 's 1634 explorations. Missionaries and fur traders followed, the British built a fort there in 1780, and the U.S. got it in the Treaty of Paris. The Brits captured it in the War of 1812 and successfully defended it until 1815, and briefly served as a prison during the Civil War. Fishing became the dominant industry, and the nation's second national park (just after Yellowstone) in 1875 as tourism began to boom. Federal land was given to the state in 1895, and automobiles were prohibited three years later for health and safety reasons.
As you can see, about 80% of the island is stae park.

The U.S. Senate's candy desk is a tradition started by George Murphy in 1968, who began offering his considerable stock of sweets to his fellow senators. After his term was up, the next senator to sit there continued the tradition, and while seating arrangements have changed over time, the desk has always been one of the seats near the eastern door of the chamber, which is closest to elevators and highly trafficed. Traditionally, the candy is donated by a confectionery in the politician's constituency, taking advantage of a loophole in Senate ethics rules on gifts from one's home state. Because the deck is usually held by Republicans, the Democrats have had a competing candy stash in the desk of the Caucus Secretary since 1985, which is so poorly known that even the Senate Historian wasn't aware of it until 2005. The candy desk is currently occupied by Mark Kirk.
This undated photo is probably recent within the last few years.

The diverging diamond interchange is a fairly new form of freeway junction, being seen only in France until 2003. It's unusual in that the overpassin freeway road sees its lanes change side, driving on the opposite side. Taking inspiration from the ccontinuous-flow intersection, it eliminates left turns that must clear opposing traffic, and sometimes uses traffic signals at the intersections of the overpassing lanes. However, the complication does eliminate the straight shot between on- and off ramps, which can hinder emergency movement. It has become a bit of a fad in American highway design, with two completes since 2009, and many more under construction or proposed.
Loopedly loo!

More Supreme Court madness; the cases we will look at here relate to in rem jurisdiction, which is a court's authority over property or status, instead of a person (from the Latin term "the thing"). Originally, it was used as a way of allowing proceedings when the owner of a property was undetermined, but has tended lately to become a kind of workaround for cases where the owner cannot be acknowledged (such as seizures/forfeitures) or other odd circumstances. In United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, the government lost its 1916 attempt to force the company to stop adding caffeine contents as a deleterious and habit-forming ingredient by claiming that the product was adulterated and misbranded. In Marcus v. Search Warrant, the warrant itself (and not the seized obscene property) was the object in contention because the police officers seizing the magazines and the issuing judge hadn't committed any legal violation in 1957, though the warrant was overly broad to the point of being a constitutional violation. United States v. Thirty-seven Photographs and United States v. 12 200-ft. Reels of Film both dealt with pornographic material seized as obscenity in the early 1970s.

Well, I don't suppose that breast shaped hill needs me to comment on it too much. And no, I'm not copying  a photo.

That's all for today. Happy reading!
EDIT on April 8: uploads are fixed, and picture posted.

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