Specialty Coffins for Gay Men?

The unconventional coffin, which costs 1,650 euros ($2,300), has aroused fascination among customers, said Brandl: “People are really interested because it’s so unique. Reactions have been very positive so far.”

Brandl, 32, and his 34-year-old business partner Michael Koenigsfeld, said they had branched out into the gay market in order to satisfy the increasing number of special requests they received.

“Even though the Lord Mayor of Berlin, the vice-chancellor and many others openly admit to being homosexual nowadays, marginal groups still face prejudices and bureaucratic hurdles,” the pair said in a statement.

They said they provided an individual and different service which offered “a warm and fantastical departure for same-sex couples.”

The gay couple also sell coffins and urns in rainbow colors — the international symbol of the gay and lesbian movement — and offer burials around a tree reserved exclusively for homosexuals.

Given estimates which suggest that around one in ten of Cologne’s population is homosexual, Brandl and Koenigsfeld are well placed to serve the gay community.

The pair also cater for the heterosexual market in an unconventional way, giving customers the opportunity to get involved in designing coffins for their loved ones.

“You can choose different colors and designs,” Brandl said. “You could go for Cologne’s skyline or lots of women on your coffin. A grandmother might like images of her grandchildren on hers — there are loads of possibilities.”

Who Wants Harry Potter Underoos

I am looking forward to these, hope they come in XXL!  In a blog post entitled “Expecto Legalus” on Greenberg Glusker’s website, attorney Dan Nabel points out that Harry Potter’s favorite sport Quidditch has recently become an actual athletic event with a competitive circuit in New York City. Nabel examines whether Warner Bros. has any legal recourse to shut it down.

We already know that Warners isn’t too keen on Harry Potter condoms. And it turns out that the studio has grabbed extensive trademark rights over “Quidditch.”

The studio’s first rights grab came back in November 1999. Warners went with the basics, locking up the typical Quidditch merchandise that might one day be licensed to playmakers:

“(S)porting goods, games and playthings, namely, action figures and accessories therefore; plush toys; balloons; bathtub toys; ride-on toys; equipment sold as a unit for playing card games; toy vehicles; dolls; flying discs; electronic hand-held game unit; game equipment sold as a unit for playing a board game, a card game, a manipulative game, a parlor game, a parlor-type electronic game and an action type target game; stand alone video output game machines; jigsaw and manipulative puzzles; paper face masks; skateboards; ice skates; water squirting toys; balls, namely, playground balls, soccer balls, baseballs, basketballs; baseball gloves; swimming floats for recreational use; kickboard flotation devices for recreational use; surfboards; swim boards for recreational use; swim fins; toy bakeware and toy cookware; toy banks; and Christmas tree ornaments”

The fact that the studio trademarked “Quidditch” t-shirts will surprise nobody, but how about “Quidditch” lingerie?

“Clothing for men, women and children, namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging suits, trousers, pants, shorts, tank tops, rainwear, cloth bibs, skirts, blouses, dresses, suspenders, sweaters, jackets, coats, raincoats, snow suits, ties, robes, hats, caps, sunvisors, belts, scarves, sleepwear, pajamas, lingerie, underwear, boots, shoes, sneakers, sandals, booties, slipper socks, swimwear and masquerade and Halloween costumes and masks sold in connection therewith”

It doesn’t stop there. Here’s what the studio secured “Quidditch” trademark rights to in 2007:

“Motion picture films featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and animation, and motion picture films for broadcast on television featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and animation; audio tapes, audio-video tapes, audio video cassettes, audio video discs, and digital versatile discs featuring music, comedy, drama, action, adventure, and animation; stereo headphones; batteries; cordless telephones; audio cassette and CD players; CD ROM computer game discs; telephone and radio pagers; short motion picture film cassettes featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and animation to be used with hand-held viewers or projectors; video cassette recorders and players, compact disc players, digital audio tape recorders and players; radios; mouse pads; eyeglasses, sunglasses and cases therefore; game equipment sold as a unit for playing a parlor-type computer game; video and computer game programs; video game cartridges and cassettes; cellular telephone accessories, namely, hands-free accessories, cellular telephone covers and cellular telephone face covers; encoded magnetic cards, namely, phone cards, credit cards, cash cards, debit cards and magnetic key cards; and decorative magnets”

And then in 2008:

“Printed matter and paper goods, namely, books featuring characters from animated, action adventure, comedy and drama features, comic books, children’s books, magazines featuring characters from animated, action adventure, comedy and drama features, coloring books, children’s activity books; stationery, writing paper, envelopes, notebooks, diaries, note cards, greeting cards, trading cards; lithographs; pens, pencils and cases therefore, erasers, crayons, markers, colored pencils, painting sets for children, chalk and chalkboards; decals, heat transfers; posters; mounted and unmounted photographs; book covers, book marks, calendars, gift wrapping paper; paper party favors and paper party decorations, namely, paper napkins, paper place mats, crepe paper, paper hats, invitations, paper table cloths, paper cake decorations; printed transfers for embroidery or fabric appliqués; printed patterns for costumes, pajamas, sweatshirts and t-shirts”

And then in 2009:

“Bath linens, namely, bath towels and wash cloths; bed linens, namely, bed blankets, bed canopies, bed pads, bed sheets, bed spreads, pillow cases, comforters, duvet covers, mattress covers, dust ruffles, crib bumpers, pillow shams and bed spreads; textile wall hangings; curtains; draperies; linen; kitchen linens, namely, barbecue mitts, cloth doilies, cloth napkins, dish cloths, fabric table cloths, kitchen towels, fabric place mats, oven mitts, washing mitts, fabric table runners, pot holders and cloth coasters; handkerchiefs, quilts, and golf towels”

Even that was not enough to cover the gambit of all things “Quidditch.” So Warner Bros. made yet another trademark registration in 2009 over these rights:

“Clocks; watches; jewelry, namely, bracelets, ankle bracelets, brooches, chains, charms, cuff-links, earrings, lapel pins, necklaces, ornamental pins, pendants and rings”

Add it all up and Warner Bros. could open its own department store. The film franchise may be coming to an end, but the studio can sell Quidditch ankle bracelets forever.

Weird Use for Old Jeans

Has going green gone too far? The 2012 Ford Focus–launching early next year–is set to be decked out in recycled blue jeans in Ford’s latest effort to maximize eco-friendly materials.

The automotive company has a history of experimenting with eco-friendly materials–they’ve even used soy foam cushions before–and the recycled denim will be used in carpet-backing and sound absorption materials for “interior quietness” according to their press release.

I am not sure how I feel about having someones old jeans built into my car…..

Some might not be that appealing?

Then again, some do have a bit more re-use appeal!

Nice Criminals you have in Sweden

A professor at Umea University in northern Sweden had his laptop stolen but was completely surprised when the thief mailed him back the computer’s contents on a memory stick.

The professor left his bag in the stairwell of his apartment complex while he went to the laundry room. When he came back the bag and all of its contents — including his wallet, datebook and laptop were gone.

After reporting the theft to police, the professor returned to his apartment to find his bag and its contents — except for the laptop — back at the stairwell.

A week later he received an envelope in the mail containing a USB memory stick that had all the files and documents from his laptop, which would have taken the culprit hours to copy and paste.

The laptop, as well as the professor’s library card, has yet to be returned.  My guess is he knew the person that stole it!

Crazy, Weird Headlines for Sept.

– Now I love WalMart, but not this much!! A man was arrested in Sarasota, Fla., after he allegedly stole a copy of Sports Illustrated from the shelf and pleasured himself in the store’s toy section.

– Here is one from the files of dumb criminals.  An Australian man has been charged after he sold a rental car for just under $20,000. Police said the man recently rented a luxury car from a company at the Melbourne International Airport, then used fraudulent documents to sell it.

– More dumb criminals from across the world.  A Paris man who registered 55 children by 55 different mothers faces up to 10 years in jail and fines for suspected paternity fraud and for helping to obtain residency under false pretenses, police said on Friday.

Very Weird News Headlines

– A Utah man is suing a group of would-be property owners for $38 quadrillion. Considering there is only about $24 trillion in circulation around the entire world at any given time, that could prove a difficult number to collect.  What a waste of courts time, I hope they hit him with costs.

– In Barrie, ON a pizza pie with tomato sauce, oregano and cheese was on the menu at a spectacle which attracted a prize-winning eater – and eventual champ – from the United States, another from Mississauga and 10 others, including a local couple. In 12 minutes Kobayashi downed 10 pizzas sliced into 40 pieces.  Ummm, I love pizza but that is gross!!

– A student from Brazil entered a Florida bar Tuesday morning, peed in two cups, then placed them on the bar, police say.  OK, this one is even more gross, what a freak’in idiot!

Shitty Coffee for $200 a Pound?

The coffee is highly prized for its smooth flavor and bitterless aftertaste, sometimes fetching well over $200 a pound online.  Indonesia’s top Islamic body declared Tuesday that Muslims can drink civet coffee — the world’s most expensive coffee, which is extracted from the dung of civet cats.

A preacher recently suggested the beverage might not be “halal” — or religiously approved — because its provenance makes it unclean. But after a long discussion Tuesday, the influential Indonesian Ulema Council said that the coffee, known locally as Kopi Luwak, could be consumed as long as the beans were washed.

Kopi Luwak, which takes it name from the Indonesian word for civets, is made from hard beans that have been eaten by the nocturnal critters and then fermented in their stomachs before being pooped out and roasted. Civet cats are mongoose-like animals.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Kopi Luwak is produced in the main Java island, Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is also found under different names elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Only 1,000 pounds are said to be produced annually worldwide.

The Ulema Council has often issued fatwas, or edicts, including several controversial rulings against smoking and yoga. Its edicts are not legally binding, but many devout Muslims abide by them. I will stick to Tim Horton’s and Starbucks, thanks.