Friday, September 21, 2007

The Patent Truth

I was driving the kids to school one morning when Sarah said, “When I grow up, I want to be a dentist."

"That's very good, Sarah."

"What do you want to be when you grow up, Kor Kor?”, she asked.

“I want to be a race driver.”

“Race CAR driver, Matthew,” I corrected.

“Oh ya, I want to be a race car driver.”

Sarah said, “What do you want to be when you grow up, Mummy?”

“I’m already grown up, Sarah!”

“No, what do you want to do, I mean.”

“Er... I’m a patent agent.”

“What’s a patent agent?”

“A patent agent is someone who helps you to get a patent.”

“What’s a patent?” Matthew asked.

“A patent... OK, if you invent something and you don’t want people to copy it, like say Toyota invents a new engine for cars (I pointed at the cars around us) and they don’t want other car makers to copy them, they can file a patent. And they go to a patent agent who helps them to do that.”

“But how does the patent stop people from copying?” Matthew pressed.

Good question.

“Yes, the patent itself can’t really stop people from copying, but if you have a patent, you can take it to a judge who will decide whether the person is really copying, and if he’s really copying, the judge can make him stop or make him pay a lot of money.”

“Oh!” Matthew replied.

Then Sarah piped up, “Kor Kor always copies me!”

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sophie or Kitty?

Watching Sophie crawling around on the floor one morning, I was comforted that we still had our own lovable little animal at home despite not being able to get the Ragdoll kitten I wanted so terribly.

I said to Matthew, "We don't have to get a kitten right, Sophie is so cute, she's like our kitten."

He replied, "Ya, she's really really cute. She's just like the kitten. Except she's not so furry."

Another time the kids were clobbering and tumbling all over each other on our big bed, and thinking again of the kitten I was denied, I said to the big kids, "It's ok if we don't have a kitten right, you can play so well with Sophie."

Matt replied, "Ya, Sophie is really fun. Except a kitten is not so rough."

Monday, September 03, 2007

L'Osservatore Condemns Twin Abortion in Italy

ZENIT - August 27, 2007

A Down's Syndrome fetus was targeted for abortion but her healthy twin was killed instead.

L'Osservatore Romano is the Vatican's semi-official newspaper.