Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Valentine Leftovers and a patent lawyer for the poopamatic

There was a sale at one of the local CVS stores of Valentine's Day products.  Since it was 50+% off it seemed like the opportune moment to pick up a few backup treats in the even that we failed to get a cake hour donor.  Today was such a day and so we used the backup to ameliorate our cravings for sweet and as a side to a cup of coffee.
Today's selection courtesy of 50% off at CVS!

Leftover Valentine Heart!
And some M&Ms with a very unromantic looking character!
We had a lovely Russel Stover heart and some M&M Valentine's Day candy.  The latter, as you might expect, is just the classic M&M chocolate candies only packaged in colors associated with VD. So in this case we get the red, white and various shades in between.  This will be the last specially colored batch until Easter when all the pastel colors arrive. Isn't it funny that they don't make them for St. Patrick's Day.  That would be white and green. This is doable because they have red and green for Christmas but I digress.
Red, shades of pink and white make for VD colors!
What you do when you are bored!
The Russel Stover hear was filled with Russell Stover chocolates although given the size of the heart they could probably have squeezed in a few more. Russel Stover is ubiquitous around the holidays here in the US.  According to the package insert they got their start in Denver, Colorado, use only the freshest ingredients and make their candies in small batches.  Given how they can be easily found I am not sure the final point is true but let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

So what's the deal with Russel Stover, snyway!
A little bit of history!
And their customer pledge!
There is no doubt over the years that Americans have come to appreciate chocolate more.  This has probably put pressure on the old line confectioners like Russell Stover to try to keep pace and work towards a better product.  Truth be told these may not be Lindt or Godiva or the La Maison du Chocolat in Paris, France which makes the most freakin' awesome chocolates, but by and large these were not bad.  Cheaper chocolates usually mean colored or fruit flavored cream fillings that are grossly sweet. No one really likes them.  When we were younger we used to take a toothpick and stick it through the bottom of a piece. If it was a colored cream filling back it went and you ended with a bunch of chocolates with holes in them.   This box however had chocolates that hued to the caramel, truffle, dark chocolate types of fillings that are more appropriate and better tasting.  They also use the term enrobed to describe the milk or dark chocolate coating. These were better than expected and certainly worthwhile given the discounted price.

Not the largest selection given the size of the heart!

They do look appetizing, however, and were pretty good. Belgian chocolate is safe, though!
We found out that our Brazilian medical student, here for a research rotation, was actually working on his second career given that he already was a practicing lawyer back in Sao Paolo.  Who knew?  The legal career was paid for as part of his public education but now that he is in medical school it is up to him.   That's fair.  His specialty was patent law and the one thing we took away from what he had to say was you would be better off selling your technology for a profit rather than try to get a patent given the expense, the length of time and the lack of guarantee that it would even be awarded.

Yes, I'm also a lawyer....

...and my specialty was patent law!

Obviously patent law gets a lot of attention...
...from the whole room!
Some of us will remember this when it comes time to try to get a patent on a poop blender.  It seems there is quite a bit of research and quite a few studies being done that involve taking and processing poop samples. Their is even something called Fecal Microbiota Transplant where chronic diarrhea is treated by putting someone else's poop inside your colon.  In one of these protocols the poop has to be blended for ultimate storage.  This requires a blender and after each sample the blender has to be thrown away so there is no breach in protocol. Clearly this is a waste of blenders.  One of our entrepreneurial colleagues came up with the idea of a disposable pool blender...a Poopamatic! This would be less costly than tossing away a whole blender after each sample.  The probability of getting a patent on this remains to be seen. Another method that may interfere with the patent, though, is the protocol where the poop is merely placed in a bottle of normal saline, covered and then shaken.  This is effective in making a solution and is a lot cheaper. Sorry to dash the dreams of our Poopamatic gang but you should have thought of this in the first place, don't you think?

Maybe he can help patent my poopamatic!

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