The time the city of 'Batman' said movie producers stole its name and sued for royalties.

When you think of Batman, you probably think of this guy:

Image via Thinkstock.


Or this guy:


Image by Evening Standard/Getty Images.

Or this guy:


Image by Junko Kimura/Getty Images.

Or, maybe even this guy:


Image via Thinkstock.

But you're probably not thinking about these people:

Image by Ferhat 72.

That last image is an aerial view of the center of the town of Batman, Turkey.

It's home to about 370,000 people and is less than 100 miles from the Syrian border. Before the discovery of oil in the region in the 1940s, Batman wasn't much of a city — it was only home to about 3,000 people.

And it wasn't "Batman," either; it was a village named Iluh. Iluh was renamed in 1957, nearly two decades after the comic book character debuted, and took its name from a nearby river called the Batman River.

The name of the river and, therefore, the city has nothing to do with the comic book character. But in 2008, a man named Hüseyin Kalkan tried to change that.

At the time, Kalkan was the mayor of Batman (the town), and he wasn't too happy about “The Dark Knight," the film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale (he's the third Batman pictured).

"The name 'Batman' belongs to us. … There is only one Batman in the world. The American producers used the name of our city without informing us."

He told a Turkish news agency (via CNN) that "the name 'Batman' belongs to us … There is only one Batman in the world. The American producers used the name of our city without informing us."

And then Kalkan sued — according to various press reports, he brought an action against Nolan seeking untold royalty amounts.

But he didn't sue Warner Bros., who produced the movie, or DC Comics, for that matter.

Absurd, certainly, but the spark for the idea was even stranger.

A few years before the movie came out, Batman (the town, again) had fallen upon hard times. And worse, a few years before that — and horribly — the town was in the news due to a spate of “honor suicides."

As the New York Times reported, these occurred because when young women were engaged in premarital affairs, the culture sickeningly called for their brothers to kill them. To avoid this, in the words of the Times, "parents [were] trying to spare their sons from the harsh punishments associated with killing their sisters by pressing the daughters to take their own lives instead."

Bad news attracts reporters and, in this case, reporters led to crazy legal theories.

During one of Mayor Kalkan's many interviews during that period, a reporter facetiously (one hopes) asked him why the city hadn't sued the comic/movie/cartoon franchise seeking royalties.

After all, those dollars would go a long way toward balancing the city's books. (According to a Turkish news source.)

Kalkan took the question as a critique of his administration, and, as he told the media when announcing his lawsuit, “we found this criticism right and started to look for legal possibilities of a case like that."

And “The Dark Knight" was the first to fit the bill.

The lawsuit almost certainly went nowhere, of course; as of this writing a year later, there are few if any news reports discussing it further.

Nolan, on the other hand, wrote and directed "The Dark Knight Rises" for a 2012 release, without any reported legal threats from Turkish cities.

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know ("Learn Something New Every Day, By Email"). To subscribe to his daily email, click here.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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