The CEO of Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media has stepped down and left the company, according to a statement issued on Friday.


     The nation's top manufacturers of contact lenses struggled Thursday to show the 10th Circuit that a Utah law unconstitutionally favors 1-800 Contacts.

     "Do you pat bees?" Gracie asked.
     Jane was finishing up a real estate closing and I was sitting with her clients' kids and our dogs on the back porch. Bumblebees buzzed around the big pot of catnip on the picnic table.
     "Umm, no," I said. "I don't pat bees."
     Gracie patted the bees.
     "They're soft," she said. "They don't mind it if you pat them."
     Leave it to kids to teach you something new. I'm beginning to think adults are incapable of it.
     Gracie's brother took a break from throwing tennis balls for our retrievers and sat down with us.
     "Do you have dogs?" I asked him.
     "We have three dogs," he said.
     "Are they big dogs or little dogs?"
     Cyrus gave me a look of apologetic commiseration.
     "I don't want to insult you," he said, "but our dogs are bigger than yours."
     Doris Lessing said that all children are geniuses until they're around 7 years old. Then, she said, they become stupid, and most of them stay stupid for the rest of their life.
     I've never been a fan of Doris Lessing. Probably because she wrote most of her stuff when she was 8, or even older. But she was right about that one.
     Parrots are probably smarter than kids, which is why parrots are so obnoxious. And I say this as a parrot owner who loves my parrot.
     A successful parrot breeder whom I shall not identify because he works undercover busting parrot smugglers explained this to me. I'll call him Butch. Butch is a very smart guy. He's worked as a cop and has a degree in psychology.
     Most people think parrots are about as smart as a 3-year-old kid. "I think they're smarter than that," Butch said. "I think they're at the 5 to 7 break."
     The 5 to 7 break, Butch said, is when kids begin to understand that they and their families are not the center of the world - that there's a big world out there, which they can't control, and into which they're going to have to learn to fit in.
     The 5 to 7 break is also around the time that kids learn how to lie. They're not very good at first, of course, but they get good pretty fast.
     As they learn to do all this, they become what Doris Lessing calls stupid.
     That's why you never see little kids involved in mass political movements. They're too smart for that. Also, of course, because we won't let them. But they wouldn't do it anyway.
     Genius, Baudelaire said, is childhood recovered at will. And there is something childlike about most great artists, except for the really obnoxious ones. Brahms, for example. That guy was born old.
     Creative scientists are childlike too, Richard Feynman being one. I read a reminiscence from another Nobel laureate just yesterday, whom Feynman persuaded that there are twice as many numbers as there are numbers.
     Most of the people who run the world are stupid, because they've devoted their lives to figuring out how to fit into it, and control it. They're great liars, and immensely powerful, and stupid as hell. I could name names.
     Ah, well. You probably know all this. You just forgot it. So do I. That's why I like to talk to little kids.
     Sitting on the back porch, I told Gracie and Cyrus I had to go to the store for a minute, but I'd be right back. We'd known each other for about 10 minutes.
     Gracie walked me to my car. "I'm sorry you have to go," she said.

     Challengers of NSA mass surveillance have not proven they have standing to sue the agency to block the collection of telephone metadata, the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday. 

     The North Carolina police officer whose manslaughter case ended in a hung jury last week will not be retried, prosecutors said Friday.

     The California Senate on Thursday limited drones from flying lower than 350 feet above private property, and sent the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown.

     Thirteen people have died and many more injured because cars with keyless fobs do not automatically turn off after the fob is removed, according to a federal class action against 10 major automakers. 


     A Phoenix suburb's unconstitutional law forces landlords to evict tenants who call 911 four or more times in 30 days, a victim of domestic violence claims in Federal Court. 

     The Army Corps must pay the full cost to restore wetlands damaged by a shipping channel, just as Congress intended, a federal judge ruled. 

     Major League Baseball on Thursday asked a federal judge to dismiss Minor League players' antitrust class action lawsuit that accuses the 30 teams of conspiring with the commissioner to fix their salaries.

     A Southern California water district is giving golf course 25-year contracts but only 1-year deals to a wildlife preserve that shelters millions of birds and dozens of protected species, environmentalists claim in court. 


     A proposed federal settlement would bring drastic changes to the municipal court in Jennings, Mo., similar to those imposed on its next-door neighbor, Ferguson. 

     An Idaho State policeman forced a woman to have sex in his squad car in a police parking lot and told her he would "ruin her life" and arrest her if she told anyone, she claims in Federal Court. 

     A bowling alley's pin-setting machine strangled a worker to death by snaring his shirt, his parents claim in a $1 million lawsuit. 

     A jury nullification group wants Denver police held in contempt for interrupting its protest outside a courthouse after a judge issued an injunction allowing them to do it.

     California's prison health care operator did not seek competitive bids and wasted $3.2 million of tax money to pay a contractor to shuffle paperwork, the state auditor says. 

     With a stormy weather and sewage-pumping stations that are not fully operational, wastewater flowed from manholes to cause floods and beach closures - including Waikiki.

     An accountant embezzled $824,000 and spent it on a house and charity events to promote her own business, her former employer claims in court. 

     Verizon hired an experienced web analyst in California but quickly fired the man once it realized he is blind, he claims in court. 

     The disgruntled former co-worker who shot and killed two WDBJ journalists on air Wednesday had spare ammo, a wig, notes and letters inside the rental car he used to flee from police, a search warrant inventory shows.

     A federal judge Thursday refused to dismiss charges against a San Francisco political consultant accusing of possessing a weaponized biological toxin. 

     Congress properly enacted a federal law criminalizing prison rape in state detention facilities where federal inmates are held, the Ninth Circuit ruled. 


     A Texas judge ordered the Australian publisher of the erotic bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey" to set aside over $10 million for a woman who claims she was cheated our of her share of the book's royalties.


     An Alaska judge today will decide whether state lawmakers can stop Governor Bill Walker from giving 20,000 people expanded access to Medicaid without permission from the Legislature. 

     Nevada's lifetime supervision of sex offenders is unconstitutional double jeopardy, often making it impossible for them to find work and comply with terms of their punishments, 16 John Does claim in Federal Court. 

     Film producer Joel Silver's money struggles are laid out in a lawsuit claiming he owes $1.3 million to a firm that helps clients in financial distress.

     An administrator for Virginia's juvenile correctional system was handed a two-year prison sentence for accepting bribes in exchange for federal contracts.

     Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano may get out of prison early after the Ninth Circuit vacated some of his convictions for wiretapping celebrities. 

     A federal judge Wednesday threw out a legal malpractice claim by Encyclopaedia Britannica against law firm Dickstein Shapiro, bringing to a close a five-year fight over patents the firm filed for the publisher in 1993. 

     A federal judge this week approved a $22,500 settlement of claims that San Francisco police arrested and choked a man for taking his baby on a bicycle ride with no helmet. 

     Federal law doesn't allow for sanctions against law firms - only individual attorneys, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday. 

     Two Occupy protesters arrested for pitching their tent outside the offices of Merrill Lynch cannot sue the District of Columbia, the D.C. Circuit ruled. 

     A Courthouse News investigation has tied cryptic posts on social media to the New Yorker positing an insanity defense for the stabbing of a Muslim man in 2012.

     Dole Food's top executives must pay $148 million for misleading shareholders after pushing a buyout that significantly undervalued the company, a judge ruled. 


     The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Thursday to investigate the safety and corporate culture of Pacific Gas & Electric, after a 5-year string of safety problems, including two explosions.

     The home of a former small town police officer who ran for local offices was illegally raided and his son was falsely arrested for murder because of his political activities, he claims in court. 

     An Arizona man was indicted for his alleged role in smuggling a 24-year-old college student into Syria to get ISIL terrorist training there, the Justice Department announced Thursday.


     A spokeswoman for Chicago Bulls basketball player Derrick Rose has responded to "outrageous" claims that the point guard drugged and gang-raped his then-girlfriend with two other men.


     The rapper Pitbull strung a distributor along on a speaker-system deal he sank because of a conflict with Sony, the partner claims in court. 

     A Westchester County businessman pleaded guilty to submitting false loan applications to banks and tax fraud, the government said Thursday.

     A Wisconsin man who posed as the father of his girlfriend's child on Facebook is liable for his defamatory online comments, a state appeals court ruled. 

     The NYPD's largest undercover weapons buy earned a Georgia man 18 years in prison Thursday for funneling guns up I-95, also known as the "Iron Pipeline."

     Mars fails to disclose "artificial flavor added" on the labels of its Twix ice cream bars and M&M's ice cream cones, a class claims.