Friday, June 08, 2007

Knitting, and also complaining about things -- plus, those little silver balls

Wow, the title of this blog seems so harmless, right? Not for some people.

I found out recently when I was listening to a knitting podcast (yes, I knit; I'm still learning, but mostly I am just trying out different podcasts of all types) that a company is trying to eliminate all instances of groups naming themselves Stitch 'n Bitch (or any variant thereof). The company, which I will not name here but you can see in the Wikipedia article, has a cafe with that phrase in the title, and trademarked the name of the cafe (not the phrase itself). However, they are sending lawyers out around the internet, patrolling and forcing removal of Yahoo! groups and CafePress accounts that use the phrase (not the name of the cafe). So, basically, all these little communities are being removed or forced to change their names because a company is trying to claim rights to a phrase first used around the time of WWII.

As Ophelia Ford might say, "That is duuuuuuuumb."

On a related note (related in that it is something dumb being done in an area of interest of mine), do you remember those little silver balls people put on cookies and cakes and stuff. They're called dragees, and they are now pretty much outlawed in California. There's a lawyer there who sues any shop that sells them because he considers them "toxic." Here is an excerpt from this article:

"Napa lawyer Mark Pollock takes silver dragees very seriously. He started suing to force dragees off the California market when he was a Solano County prosecutor in the early 1990s, and got the spice giant McCormick to stop selling them in the state. Now an environmental lawyer in private practice, he sprang back into action last spring when dragees surged back into vogue after Martha Stewart used them on holiday cookies."

Now, they do contain silver, which can build up over time and become toxic. But you'd have to eat quite a few of them, don't you think? Not to mention, I haven't heard anything about this guy trying to outlaw silver dusting over cakes and stuff, which is pretty popular, too. The FDA classifies dragees as non-edible, but they are basically hard sugar balls with a silver coating. I've always been more afraid of breaking a tooth than being poisoned.

It just goes to show that no matter what kind of fun you're having, there's always going to be a buzzkill out there.

I'm going to try to go back to more regular blogging, now that I'm up on my new computer (Windows Vista, ooh shiny). I'll try to think of something a little happier for my next blog!

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