Category: Arcana

The marginalia posts which are of interest to moi, but perhaps of less interest to others searching for pure intellectual property content

Trademarking Christmas

You may be surprised to know that SANTA CLAUS is a trademark, but it is. Father Christmas Ltd., a British company and the proud owner of www.santa-claus.com, also owns the rights to sell Santa Claus merchandise in the United States. Of course, it's not an exclusive license, since Santa has been around since the days of jolly St. Nick, but one hardly expects a trademark to issue on a man who is such a public -- nay, mythological -- figure. Santa Claus as we know him today is the end-product of neo-Darwinian evolution, a marriage of disparate elements such as Odin leading the fey on the Wild Hunt . . .

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Who Owns Your Facebook Account When You Die?

It's the first month of January 2013 and you're driving through Malibu in the new Audi coupe your lovely wife bought you for Xmas when, out of nowhere, a truck comes barreling through the intersection right next to D'Amore's Famous Pizza and the last thought you have is "What the . . . ."

Ten days later after the funeral your wife decides she wants to turn your Facebook page into a memorial page for all your friends to post pictures of you and tell intimate stories. So what happens when we die? As Lionel Barrymore famously said, "You can't take it with you when you go."

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The Luck of the Draw

When the same cards appeared several times in a row, it merely seemed like lady luck was smiling down from on high. Since part of  gambling's allure is based on an unpredictable marriage of luck, superstition, calculated odds, and the myth of the unbeatable system, nobody paid much attention when happy go lucky Joe won seven hands in a row. It's known to happen from time to time, so no one blinked an eye. But when the players at the baccarat table at the Golden Nugget began seeing the same sequence of cards . . .

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Borrowing Genius

Some might say that there is neither rhyme nor reason to the rule of plagiarism when the great Bard himself was a creative "borrower." No one tries to plagiarize Shakespeare because – among other reasons – getting caught is a foregone conclusion. But occasionally an intemperate, hot-blooded youth will think a little borrowing and re-mixing is simply fair play

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Espresso Yourself

While coffee has frequently borne the brunt of various misguided souls' animosity based on unsupported claims that it is detrimental to one's health, it has gotten an approving nod as the world's most popular stimulant from prince and pauper, beggarman and thief -- all of whom blearily queue up at Starbucks for their morning jolt.

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