September 26, 2015 archive

This Week in Dumb IP Claims

Normally the beat of my Tech Dirt homes, this one struck me because I’m a sucker for Gummy Bears.

Lindt wins legal battle after court rules Haribo claim does not bear up

by Sean Farrell, The Guardian

Wednesday 23 September 2015 12.21 EDT

The decision ended a dispute between the companies that started in 2012 when Haribo accused Lindt & Sprüngli of copying its Gold Bear trademark by launching a foil-wrapped teddy.

Haribo, which invented gummy bears in the 1920s, said shoppers would confuse the two products, even though Lindt’s bears are made of chocolate and gummy bears are a jelly sweet.

Lindt argued that its bears were a variation on its Easter rabbit chocolates. Both are wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon. Haribo’s gummy bear marketing is fronted by a yellow cartoon bear with a red ribbon round its neck.

Last week the European court of justice failed to uphold Nestlé’s attempt to protect its four-fingered KitKat in another long-running dispute between the Swiss company and Cadbury. Cadbury tried to thwart Nestlé’s attempt to trademark KitKat in 2010 after Nestlé blocked Cadbury’s effort to trademark the shade of purple used for its chocolate wrappers.

Georgie Collins, a partner at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The confectionery industry is extremely competitive so it’s not surprising that you often see these rivals coming up against each other.

“The cost of these cases is significant, but it’s about being seen to take action and ringfencing your brand and intellectual property rights as much as you can.”

Why this is at once hilarious and very, very wrong is a little too involved to go into right now, but you should really read Tech Dirt.  And now, a recipe to make Gummy Bears at home-

Take one 3 oz. box of any flavored jello and add sugar according to directions if required (not usually).  Add 7 packs of unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup of water.  Heat over low in a pan until everything is completely dissolved.  Pour into molds (available at most cooking stores) and chill in freezer for 5 minutes, then refrigerate until very firm.  If you coat the molds with a little flavorless cooking oil spray (canola works) you can remove them easier.  Let them continue to dry unrefrigerated until they have the chewiness you like.


The Breakfast Club (Catapult Propaganda)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgIt’s been a while so let’s review-

The Rules of Opera

  1. It must be long, boring, and in an incomprehesible foreign language (even if that language is English).
  2. The characters, especially the main ones, must be thoroughly unsympathetic and their activities horrid and callous.
  3. Everyone must die, hopefully in an ironic and gruesome way.

Ballet is the same, but with more men in tights and without the superfluous singing.

The case in point is Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.  It’s sometimes called the first English Opera but while it is very early indeed (1689) that honor probably belongs to his teacher John Blow’s Venus and Adonis.

Aeneas you may recognize as the “hero” of Virgil’s Odyssey rip off The Aeneid.  The Roman source is actually kind of a great screaming neurotic rant of self justification about why exactly Romans were such bloodthirsty assholes.

First of all let’s talk about the psychological depravity and inferiority complex that would lead you to rewrite the seminal national text of your cultural superiors who’s land you had violently conquered and whom you were still dependent on for intellectual talent because you’re basically a bunch of frat boy barbarians so that the bad guys were the good guys and the founders of your own state.

Then let’s add the seduction and abandonment of the Queen of the nation that was your chief rival.

I think we’re in Operatown Jake.

So Aeneas, noble warrior of Troy cruelly cheated and defeated by those perfidious Greeks, especially Odysseus who’s story he’s stealing, is sailing with a boatload of refugees to find someplace new to settle down when they are blown off course and shipwrecked due to internecine disputes among the Gods related to the Judgement of Paris.

Oddly enough for this ancestor of the founders of Rome (who were raised by wolves in a sterling example of good parenting) he ended up at the gates of Rome’s great future rival- Carthage.

Dido Queen of Carthage, a widow, falls in love with him and fixes up his ships.  Witches plotting against Dido conjure up a storm and when the couple is temporarily separated one of them, impersonating Hermes, tells Aeneas that he simply must hit the road and found that New Troy in Italy he’s been planning.  Aeneas, being a cad in addition to a credulous dope, promptly shoves off.

Dido, despondent, kills herself.  The End.

Now there were in fact heavy political subtexts to both The Aeneid and Dido and Aeneas.  Virgil was not just stroking the Roman sense of entitlement and righteous justification but, because of Ceasar’s reputed descent from Aeneas, sucking up to the Julio-Claudian Emperors (it was written between 29 and 19 BCE).

With Dido and Aeneas Purcell is alluding to the (for him) recent events of the English Civil War.  Aeneas is said to represent James II and the Witches Roman Catholicism while Dido represents Britain, abandoned due to deception.

Like many early compositions it’s not entirely complete and for performance various arrangers fill in the gaps in a variety of ways.  This particular version is from the San Francisco School of the Arts.

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

On This Day In History September 26

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 96 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day on 1957, West Side Story premieres on Broadway. East Side Story was the original title of the Shakespeare-inspired musical conceived by choreographer Jerome Robbins, written by playwright Arthur Laurents and scored by composer and lyricist Leonard Bernstein in 1949. A tale of star-crossed lovers-one Jewish, the other Catholic-on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the show in its original form never went into production, and the idea was set aside for the next six years. It was more than just a change of setting, however, that helped the re-titled show get off the ground in the mid-1950s. It was also the addition of a young, relatively unknown lyricist named Stephen Sondheim. The book by Arthur Laurents and the incredible choreography by Jerome Robbins helped make West Side Story a work of lasting genius, but it was the strength of the songs by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein that allowed it to make its Broadway debut on this day in 1957.

There are no videos of the original Broadway production which starred Larry Kert as Tony, Carol Lawrence as Maria, Ken Le Roy as Bernardo and Chita Rivera as Anita (Ms. Rivera reprized her role in the movie), so here is the Prologue from the Academy Award winning movie. The area that the movie was filmed no longer exists. The 17 blocks between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, from West 60th to West 66th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he filming took place were demolished to build Lincoln Center for the Preforming Arts.

The Daily Late Nightly Show (Trevor)

So it’s been 3 weeks, hardly seems it.  I think we know pretty well by now what Stephen’s format is going to be- dancing, a little monolog/guest intro/joke, the playover, a longer desk monologue, break, another monologue/sketch, break.

That’s the first half hour.

Then first guest, break, second guest, break, musical guest.

Unfortunately it is likely that all the good parts are going to be in that first half hour which goes head to head with Larry.  I’m more conflicted than before about what to pay attention to.

Next Week’s Guests

Of that lot the one I’m really excited about is John, but clearly Stephen is downshifting into production mode and not every night is going to be ‘must see’ TV, at least for me.

Tonight we have Malala Yousafzai, Kerry Washington, and the Arcs.

The New Kid

I don’t know what to expect from Trevor and neither I suspect do you.  He’s diversified the writing and correspondent teams.  Most of the senior production team has stayed though there have been some shifting of responsibilities and promotions.  He has a new “social media” co-ordinator who’s supposed to be very good (maybe he can talk to Larry about his terrible site).

He’s been hated on by professional racists his whole life and there are indications he views the United States as amateur hour.  His political orientation is literally unAmerican (in that peculiar way we’ve adopted a term that spans 2 continents to mean only the United States) and says that he’ll be non-partisan.

Less confrontational too and I must say it amazes me that this meme that Jon Stewart was some kind of raving, rabid, radical Lefty has in such a short time become conventional wisdom.

Or maybe not.  That someone as weak tea as Jon (remember his bi-partisany bits?) should be cast this way serves the interests of the neolib consensus “centrists” that pervade D.C. and the corporatist whore Media.

We have always been at war with EastAsia.

Here are some pieces to read-

His initial guests are-

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Stir-Fries With Fresh Vegetables


Stir-Fried Broccoli, Red pepper and Chicken

Over 50 percent of this colorful chicken stir-fry is composed of vegetables.

Spicy Stir-Fried Japanese Eggplant and Cucumber

Crunchy, water cucumber contrasts nicely with soft eggplant in this stir-fry.

Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu With Corn, Green Beans and Cilantro

This stir-fry is a light meal, sweet and spicy.

Stir-Fried Brown Rice With Poblano Chiles and Edamame

The rich, nutty taste of brown rice adds a satisfying note to this dish.

Rainbow Peppers and Shrimp With Rice Noodles

For a vegetarian version of this dish, try it with tofu instead of shrimp.

The Pump don’t work…

…cause the vandals stole the handle.

A group of graffiti artists (BlakCollectiv), led by Kalkidan Assefa, created an impressive, and legal, mural during Ottawa’s Pride Week honoring transgender women of color who had been murdered during the past year.

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On Wednesday night an unknown person or group who were offended by the memorial spray painted over much of the mural and added these sentiments:


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