By Chuck Shepherd
11:15 AM EDT, April 9, 2013
Wait... What? A startup company in Austin, Texas, also serving San Francisco, promises to take its customers' incoming U.S. mail three times a week, photograph it and deliver it back to the customers via mobile phone app, for $4.99 a month. The company, Outbox, provides some value-added services, removing the customer from junk-mail lists and paying bills. Still, Outbox's unorthodox business model assumes that a growing number of people absolutely hate opening, filing or discarding pieces of paper. Co-founder Will Davis told CNN in February that at least he does not fear competition: "No one is crazy enough to do what we're doing."
College basketball player Shanteona Keys makes free throws at a 78 percent rate for her career, but on Feb. 16, she weakly shanked one of those 15-foot shots, causing it to thud to the floor about eight feet short of the rim -- the worst collegiate free-throw attempt of all time, according to several sports commentators who viewed the video. Keys explained to Deadspin.com that she always brings the ball close to her face when she shoots, "and my fingernail got caught on my nose, so I couldn't follow through correctly." Her Georgia College (Milledgeville, Ga.) team lost to rival Columbus State, 70-60.
Rachel Hope and Parker Williams, both apparently intelligent and attractive, decided to procreate and fully raise a child together -- even though neither has romantic intentions toward the other. Their relationship is likened to a business one, according to a February New York Times profile, in which they do their respective biological duties, separately, and then each basically outsources half the subsequent child-rearing to the other. Said another parent in a similar relationship: "When you think about the concept of the village, and how the village was part of child-rearing for so many cultures ... it makes total sense."
Fine Points of the Law
Even though the British government refused to grant trademark protection to the Italian maker of "Jesus Jeans" because it would be "morally offensive to the public," the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had no such qualms and approved the application in 2007. Since then, according to a February Wall Street Journal story, the company has prevented a dozen other companies from using such clothing names as "Jesus First," "Sweet Jesus," "Jesus Couture" and, most recently, "Jesus Surfed."
(1) A judge in Racine, Wis., granted bail for Tyree Carter, 20, for his March arrest for "lewd and lascivious conduct" in the Racine Public Library, but among the conditions of his release was that, until trial, Carter "stay out of all the libraries on the face of the Earth." (2) In a ruling that lasted less than a week, England's Mid Devon District Council had decreed in March that henceforth, no street name could contain an apostrophe, e.g., St. George's would be St. Georges. Outraged punctuationists swung into action.
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