Where Law and Logic Diverge

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is suing a Florida Keys restaurant for trademark infringement.

Generally speaking, trademark infringement cases are brought where there is a reasonable chance that consumers could confuse one business with the other. Logic dictates that no reasonable person would "confuse" the restaurant in the Keys with a governmental agency in New Jersey. In fact, the restaurant ignored the cease and desist letter it received from the turnpike agency three months ago.

Here's an owner,

“It’s hysterical. We’re all the way in the Florida Keys. It’s not like people are going to confuse us.”

They may not "be confused" in the classic sense as in "Which place are we going to eat tonight?" Or, "Who should I call about that big pothole at Mile 35 of gthe Parkway?" But it is difficult to say that one familiar with New Jersey can see the logo and NOT think of the turnpike authority.

“[The agency] has invested a substantial amount of time, money and other resources advertising, promoting, marketing and publicizing its services provided under the Garden State Parkway logo mark,” which has been in use since 1956.

Clearly the restaurant is hoping to bring in people who recognize the logo, perhaps even a Jersey girl or two. The name of the restaurant, coupled with the use of the logo, makes the issue of whether there is intent to infringe a fairly simple argument. The Turnpike Authority has a duty to enforce its rights or risk losing them all. Logically this makes little sense. Legally, it is probably imperative.

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Can A City Be Unhappy?

A Harvard researcher has a working paper titled Unhappy Cities in which he examines the "self-reported subjective well-being" of US metropolitan areas, and coming to the conclusion that residents of "declining cities" are less happy then residents in other areas.

The syllabus says that the happiness factor may be offset by wage or housing benefits one may garner from living in an unhappy place. Further it is suggested that "declining cities" have always been unhappy places, even in times of prosperity, such that one can infer that these places are simply and inherently unhappy.

So Eric Jaffe of The Atlantic examines the question of why then, if these places are unhappy, would anyone relocate there?

Here's his answer.

If people truly prioritized happiness over everything else in life, they might never move to an unhappy city. But if happiness were just one factor among many that people considered when making decisions about where to move, other reasons might outweigh happiness (or at least counterbalance any expected decline in happiness).

Here's mine.

Happiness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Toledo (not mentioned) often end up in discussions like this because it is part of their brand. These cities are not inherently unhappy places. To be sure there are likely unhappy people living there, just as there are undoubtedly unhappy people living everywhere. Life is as you make it, and the people move to these "unhappy places" for the opportunity to be happy or even happier then they were before moving.

The world is a cruel, vicious place, and happiness is essential but never a fully-guaranteed full-time experience. Often we are forced to sacrifice happiness for some other thing, but always with the intent that the sacrifice will ultimately increase our level of happiness. Why do it otherwise?


I believe this video shows the Rolling Stones at their primest.

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Thank (the) Gods For (the) Internets

I believe there is plenty of fodder out there to sustain a new category. I shall call it TGFI, as representing the title of this here post. I will post things here where I come across an item on the internet that appears in the form of advice but is really a notion that is probably so inherent in one's common sense that many of us would perform (whatever it be) without really thinking about it. I haven't looked, but I bet there is enough material out there for an entire blog on just that subject alone.

First up is this invaluable advice. If you are hosting a party and thinking about transferring your chips from bag to bowl, but you don't want all the crumbs from the bottom of the chip bag to be on top of the bowl, perhaps you could open the bag at the bottom

The hardest part of these posts is going to be coming up with a theme song each time.

In this case, I will just go with my gut and since I just had this LP on the music box, it is the first thing that came to mind. On a side note, most artists discourage taking videos, and this is clearly not an official video, but whoever took this video had to be pretty brazen about what she was doing.

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RIP: James Garner

Jim Rockford has died at the age of 86.

I recall being a kid and getting down to Riverfront early for a double header one fine summer day. The stadium was nearly empty, batting practice about to begin and this song played in the echoing concrete valley that was that colossal architectural mess. Though I was not a fan of this song, that moment, well, it was pretty memorable.

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Blog Update

I am in the process of developing a new host for the blog considering that my term is about to expire on my current host, and I have become less than enthusiastic about giving them any more of my money given the overall decrease in "bang for my buck."

That process has led to a general malaise on my part. I've toyed around with dropping the blog all together, and I may ultimately do that as part of this phase, but for now I am sticking with it.

So check back every so often and I may have some new material for you to consider.

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Filed Under: Things I Like

I inherited an appreciation of grammar from my parents, and more specifically, my father. Although I fracture a rule or two every now and again, I try to do my best to teach by example, when possible.

Having stated that, here's a recent video from "Weird Al" on this very subject.

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Thank You, Captain Obvious

Apartment Therapy's list of five things to run away from if you are a renter is pretty staggering cutting-edge, pushing-the-envelope type stuff.

I would have never thought to run away from a place that had infestations, mold, broken appliances and/or faulty wiring, excessive fees or unavailable landlords. I mean all five may have been a clue to keep looking around, but thankfully Apartment Therapy is there to guide us in the right direction.

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Truth In Advertising?

Have you ever purchased a bucket of chicken from KFC? I have. Allow me to describe it to you. It comes in this paper bucket with deli paper and it has a flat lid over the top that is notched in a few places so you can reach in and pull the lid up with a finger tip. It certainly does not ever, ever, ever look like the bucket of chicken does at the 0:14 mark of this video.

Oh, and isn't the pool of grease at the bottom of the bucket simply delightful disgusting?

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half-baked intelligence, with a side of music