6 Crazy Celebrity Trademarks That Actually Exist

If you asked me, I genuinely thought that we we’d be leaving the whole “trademark business” in 2015. Don’t you know what the “trademark business” is? It’s a trend that, while not started by Taylor Swift, definitely escalated thanks to her. All you need to do is spend copious amounts of time on the Internet and forever damage your social life, in order to be up to date with all events that shake the world of entertainment. Unfortunately, going by my dark circles and incredibly limited circle of friends, I’m that person described before. That being said, I was right in the eye of the storm when Taylor, and now the infamous Fine Brothers, decided that they need to be paid for a combination of words and, worse, for the invention of a word that was never theirs to begin with. Believe it or not, it wasn’t Swift who filed the first request for a trademark. There have been many before her, though whether there will be more in the future is debatable given how badly the audiences take these things. Either way, these are 6 Crazy Celebrity Trademarks.

1. The Fine Brothers

Crazy Celebrity Trademarks - FIne Brothers

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. They’re the reason this article exists, because no one had to face the wrath of their fans after filing a trademark request, the way the Fine Brothers had to. The YouTube duo started off with a rather promising premise: they wanted to launch React World, a project meant to bring their format all over the world by allowing us, the viewers, to participate. But then, they made the mistake of trademarking the word “react” and it was revealed that videos of the “reacting kind” were being taken down. The only way to produce them would be to direct some of your revenue to their company.

Needless to say, fans didn’t take it well. After the announcement was made, people started mass disliking every video they could and in less than five days, their subscriber count dropped with nearly one million. Since then, they took down the two videos that explained the concept and made a public apology on Twitter, though that doesn’t seem to convince the fans, who demand that the Fine Brothers upload a video of apology on YouTube.

2. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Crazy Celebrity Trademarks

The other elephant in the room is the artist who is responsible for turning trademarks into a new kind of Internet meme. After the success of her Shake It Off song, she decided that for the sake of merchandise she would trademark phrases like “this sick beat,” “party like it’s 1989″ or “nice to meet you, where you been?” In her case, people on the Internet didn’t reciprocate with barrages of wrath, instead turning Taylor into a parody of herself that nowadays is the absolute synonym of the word “trademark.”

3. Beyonce & Jay-Z

Beyonce And Jay-Z Are Behind One Of The Crazy Celebrity Trademarks

When the world first heard that the power couple’s daughter’s name was going to be Blue Ivy, we were momentarily bedazzled. It was definitely a strange name and, in our defense, Kanye West’s and Kim Kardashian’s children weren’t around at that time to eclipse it. We grew used to it in time, with some people even taking the name for themselves to use it for their various businesses. An example is a woman who started in 2009 an event planning company named Blue Ivy, something that upset the two artists and convinced them to file a trademark for the name. Jay-Z later explained himself, by saying that his sole intention was to protect his daughter from people who try to profit off her name.

4. Paris Hilton

Crazy Celebrity Trademarks Were Launched By Paris Hilton

For this entry, we take a trip into the vintage section of our topic. Paris Hilton was one of the initiators of this growing trend, when she filed a trademark request for the phrase “that’s hot.” More than that, if you think that trademarks and patents are basically pointless (I mean, who checks these things, right?), then you need to reconsider. Paris clashed with the popular TV channel Hallmark back in 2009, when it supposedly used the infamous phrase on a birthday card. The dispute was settled one year later, without the intervention of a court, but I’m sure that should this happen again, Paris will immediately surface to fight for her rights.

5. Charlie Sheen

Crazy Celebrity Trademarks - Charlie Sheen

You guys remember Charlie Sheen, right? Good, because I don’t think he does (if you catch my drift). Back when Sheen was on a roll and every television and paparazzi in the world had their eyes on him, his media coverage and popularity seemed like the ideal moment for him to vacuum some money into his bank account. He filed trademark requests for not one, not two, not even close to three, but for twenty-two words and phrases! The most notorious one was, of course, the famous “duh, winning” phrase, which, thank God, died out along with Charlie Sheen’s career.

6. Donald Trump

Donald Trump - Crazy Celebrity Trademarks

Just when you were thinking Trump couldn’t be in any more articles, here he is! Before he became famous (and not in a good way) for his extremely controversial presidential campaign, he used to be a constant presence on TV through his well known contest show, Celebrity Apprentice. During the programme, he used the phrase “you’re fired,” which he eventually patented because he was, I don’t know, in dire need of more money, I guess? Can you blame him, though? He managed to survive his youth with just a small loan of a million dollars, it’s good to know that years later, he’s just as financially savvy. I guess employees everywhere have Trump to thank for the fact that they are now impossible to fire due to copyright issues.

Sometimes, with celebrities, you often need to question the nature of their intentions. Which of these trademarks had a solid reason that had nothing to do with finding a quick way to rip off money? Which of these were simply a reflection of the person’s ego? Whichever it is, these 6 Crazy Celebrity Trademarks definitely live up to their name. But more importantly, what kind of repercussions you reckon using all of them in one article has? See you all in court, I guess.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

5 Times the World Was Supposed to End

We are always fascinated by the unknown, by the things that could happen but never come to pass, but we are also always trying to find explanations for events we do not completely understand. There are also people who truly believe that life itself is a table that has been set long ago and everything that goes on could not happen any other way. Others like to make predictions about the future. And what could be exciting than predicting a complete disaster? The world was supposed to end several times, but here we are still living and breathing. So what made us think that our impending doom was approaching?

1. The Mayan Apocalypse

Last time the world was supposed to end was in 2012.

The most recent time the world was supposed to end was only three years ago. According to some people who have interpreted the Mayan calendar, the last date inscribed on it was December 21, 2012, and thus it meant that the world would meet its doom. This gave way to much speculation and even a famous movie. There have been people who actually built forts cluttered with resources in order to survive. However, by taking a closer look they could have found out that the ancient Maya believed that after this date a new era would begin.

2. Elenin Comet

The comet that passed in 2010 frightened many doomsayers.

Another threat to all life on Earth came from a comet named Elenin or C/2010 X1, which entered the galactic proximity of our planet near the end of 2010. As NASA stated in 2011, this comet became the main subject of quite a few bloggers who believed that it would cause massive destructions to our home. As it has done many times in the past, science defeated unfounded beliefs. NASA explained that Elenin posed no threat whatsoever, while underlining the fact that many doomsayers expect death to come from above and become paranoid when a cosmic object passes close by Earth.

3. Year 2000

The start of the new millennium was another moment the world was supposed to end.

The beginning of the new millennium sparked many controversies, among which the one that the world was supposed to end. It all started with the abbreviation of the years to only two digits ( “00” instead of “2000”) on computers in order to save money. However, this lead to a rising fear that computers would not be able to distinguish the year 2000 from 1900. Thus they will start malfunctioning and destroy the balance of the world itself. Doomsayers went even further by saying that computers are carrying the burden of Atlas, the Titan from Greek mythology. Fortunately, we were able to survive Doomsday once again.

4. Nostradamus’ Predictions

Nostradamus' predictions are yet to be all interpreted.

Nostradamus was a famous oracle who wrote entire collections of prophecies back in the 1500s. His skills as an author, physician, astrological consultant and translator have determined many to believe his predictions. Oddly enough, many have come to pass, such as the rise of Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte, the Great Fire of London and even the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Thus, it was only reasonable that the world was supposed to end in 1999, since Nostradamus wrote that a comet will appear, the Catholic church will die and daylight will return. As none of these have happened, we can only assume that no one managed to truly interpret the true meaning of his words.

5. The Black Hole

Many assumed that the LHC would create a black hole that would bring our doom.

The last on our list of moments the world was supposed to end is when scientists created the Large Hadron Collider in 2008. This is the most complex facility for experiments ever built and the most powerful and largest particle collider. It took ten years to build, but the European Organization for Nuclear Research managed to finish it with the help of more than 10,000 engineers and scientists. This is surely the most justified fear for doomsayers, or at least the only one that can be explained by science. It was believed that the LHC had the potential of creating a black hole that would swallow the whole world. Fortunately, when it was activated in 2010 this did not happen.

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5 Stories of Lost People Who Resurfaced

Losing someone dear, either by death of by mischance brings a lot of pain in our hearts. However, we must always remember that miracles can be wandering just around the corner. The following list of 5 stories of lost people who resurfaced will make you wonder at the different fates of people. These stories will also show you how misfortune can turn into a blessing. All these people had one thing in common: their unwavering belief that they could find their loved ones and their determination in doing so, even if it took them many years.

1. Homeward Bound

The top stories of lost people who resurfaced include Saroo's childhood.

The first of our 5 stories of lost people who resurfaced happened in India. Five-year old Saroo was on a train with his brother when he decided to take a nap. His older brother promised to wake him up when the train stopped near their home, but Saroo woke up by himself, completely alone. He boarded the first train he saw, thinking and hoping it would take him straight home, but it was not to be. The boy arrived in Calcutta, 750 miles (1,200 km) away from his home in Khandwa. Saroo became a beggar on the streets of the city until he ended up in an orphanage. From there, he was adopted by a Tasmanian family and he moved with them to Australia. All went well, but Saroo grew homesick as each year went by. In 2012, twenty-six years after he got lost he set out to search for his home and mother. Thanks to his memories, the information on Indian train speeds and Google Earth, Saroo managed to arrive home. His mother was stunned to see her lost son, but nevertheless happier than she had been for the past twenty-six years.

2. Lost, but not forgotten

Raymond Power had forgotten all his life when he was found by his family.

Raymond Power found himself completely lost on the streets of Chicago. With no memory of his life or name, homeless and alone, he went to the Pacific Garden Mission for help. One of the employees who was trying to help him found out his name on America’s Most Wanted website. Apparently his wife, sister and children had been trying to find him for seven months. But what had happened during this time? No one could tell. He just disappeared one day after leaving work and according to his credit card usage, he had been to Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the end, it would seemed that Raymond, who was a former police sergeant and a Vietnam veteran, had been greatly influenced by the horrors he had witnessed. His breakdown was triggered the day he narrowly escaped the attacks of 9/11. Unfortunately, this is one of the stories of lost people who resurfaced which did not end happily, as Raymond was not able to regain his memory. Nevertheless, his family was happy to have him back home.

3. Music for the Soul

The homeless man who became known by playing the piano is included in the top stories of lost people who resurfaced.

Last summer in 2015, a dozen of pianos were brought to the downtown area of Sarasota, Florida. Everyone who wanted to try their hand at the musical instrument or showcase their talent could do so. Thus, a homeless man named Donald Gould decided to play for the public. The people were so impressed that NFL recruited him to play on Levi’s Stadium. In this way, Gould gained popularity as many videos of his performance were posted online. This was exactly his purpose. Gould had lost his son fifteen years ago when his wife died and he turned to drugs, ending up on the streets. Thankfully, his son who was eighteen years old, saw him online and contacted him. The story had a happy ending, and Gould concluded that music was the one that made him see the world when he was young, and now reunited him with his long lost son.

4. Impossible Coincidences

The two South Korean sisters were reunited by an incredible coincidence.

Our top stories of lost people who resurfaced continues in Sarasota, Florida. Holly Hoyle O’ Brien, born Pok-nam Shin was originally from South Korea. It was there she lived with her half sister, Eun-Sook, and their alcoholic father. Because of his behavior, Eun-Sook’s mother removed her from the house, after which the father was run over a train. Thus, O’Brien ended up in an orphanage. An American family adopted her, but she never forgot her sister. Finding herself in the impossibility of tracking her, she began working at a hospital in Sarasota. It was there she met Meagan Hughes, who worked the same hours as her, was born in South Korea, had lived with her biological mother and was originally named Eun-Sook. A DNA test proved that the two sisters have been reunited by fate.

5. The Catholic Orphan

Our top 5 stories of lost people who resurfaced includes the life of Paddy Monaghan.

The last of the stories of lost people who resurfaced belongs to Paddy Monaghan. In the 1920-1950 period there was a time when about 130 young Northern Irish children were sent to Australia, as a result of an alliance between Australia and Britain. The purpose was to populate Australia with good white children, who were to be raised by Catholic churches. Such was the case of Paddy. The boy was left in the nuns’ care at only two weeks old, and journeyed to Australia when he reached ten years old. Paddy was raised as a good Catholic by the Sisters of Nazareth. However, these nuns lied to the young boy that his whole family had died and that he was an orphan. Paddy never believed them. Unfortunately, it took him 46 years to discover his family. By the time he found the letter his mother wrote to the nuns so many years ago, she was already dead. However, he did find other relatives who were more than happy to be reunited with him.

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5 Inappropriate Real Toys

Toys are supposed to be the things that augment a childhood into carefree awesomeness and develop a child’s imagination, sociability and/or hand-eye coordination.

So, those who make toys have a big responsibility on their shoulders. Seeing how most grown-ups tend to live in a completely different, warped mind-frame than that of an innocent child.

When toy makers mess up, the consequences can be quite grievous regarding either the risk of physical injury of the child or, more often and more damaging, the psychological damaging of the child that can last for years, if not his/her entire life.

Take a look at the 5 inappropriate real toys below that actually made it to the shelves before someone realized that something is amiss or public outcry forced them recalled and/or banned.

1. Oreo Fun Barbie

5 inappropriate real toys - The black Oreo Fun Barbie pictured here

The Barbie doll line had a notorious entry when the makers decided to collaborate with the biscuit company and put the Oreo Fun Barbie, an Oreo themed Barbie which had a biscuit replica in the box with her, on the market.

As Barbie had the custom of putting out black and white Barbie dolls on the market, this was hugely uninspired. Because “Oreo” in the black community refers to a black person that is black only by skin color, not by beliefs and social/cultural norms. So, a strong derogatory term.

Now think about it again: a black Oreo Barbie. See the problem?

2. WTC Plane Blunder

One of the 5 inappropriate real toys was the WTC Plane Toy pictured in this photo.

In a mammoth example of blatant disinterest on the one side, coupled with insensitivity and shrewdness on the other side, some customers of the company Lisy Corp were very unpleasantly surprised.

You seem they received candy with surprise toys inside from the company. And the toy in question was a plane between two buildings clearly representing the two towers.

But it wasn’t Lisy Corp who designed the toy. They just purchased it from another company called L&M Import and then didn’t bother to check what toy they had purchased! They just put it in along with candy and sent 14,000 of these wonders to customers!

3. Poopsy Pets

The list of 5 inappropriate real toys includes the Moxie Girlz Poopsy Pets series of which three examples can be seen in the image.

Moxie Girlz Poopsy Pets is a series of dolls made by MGA Entertainment which features girls with various pets that poop. For example, the girl with the unicorn pet can feed her unicorn and it will poop out rainbows!

There are so many wrong things with this toy that no further comment is necessary. I hope…

4. Roadkill Toys

5 inappropriate real toys - Roadkill Toys make the bunny portrayed here.

Hard to believe there’s a company out there catering for kids by offering them a series called Squash-plush that consists entirely of different species of animals represented as squashed, but plushy, roadkill.

Yet that’s exactly the business model of Roadkill Toys and they’re proud of it. They declare on their site that: “We’re avant-garde toy designers. Actually scratch that. We’re Toy Terrorists. We take standard toys and we mess with them. We like toys that don’t take themselves too seriously. Toys with a bit of humour. Toys with a twist.”

5. Snack Time Cabbage Patch Dolls

The Cabbage Patch Snack Time doll pictured here is one of the 5 inappropriate real toys

 

Created by Mattel, Cabbage Patch Dolls were generally harmless, lovable and popular.

Generally, because the Snack Time iteration had a bit of a problem.

They were designed, as the name implies, to allow children to feed them various plastic foodstuffs, which the dolls would dutifully eat up.

The problem was that they worked a little too well. As in, they tended to chew off more than the plastics they were offered.

The fingers and hands of those that fed them, to be more precise. The horrific part was that they couldn’t be shutdown mid-chew, so children and parents had to find a way to pry out the body parts under attack without losing them.

This naturally led to a bit of an outrage and the toys being recalled. But not before the company tried to apologize by offering 40$ recompense to those that had already bought them and adding a warning on the rest of the unsold toys, in the hope that parents wouldn’t ask for a total recall and they can keep on selling.

Enough parents did, thankfully, ask for a recall and the whole mess ended.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

5 Illuminati Conspiracy Theories Facilitators

When it comes to outstanding and indemonstrable claims, there are few things as persistent as the belief in the Illuminati and their involvement in everything under the sun. And possibly in space and the universe at large if you believe some theories.

It seems like the whole Illuminati craze has even gone past the point at which it requires (like any respectable outlandish phenomenon) remarkable circumstances so that its adherents can sagely point their fingers and amiably shout: “A-ha! Illuminati. They’re behind THAT”.

Nowadays anything from a musical performance to possibly even your cats ominous and suspicious whiskers twitch are liable to produce the “Illuminati!” cry as the “obviously” lone plausible explanation.

So what is the Illuminati, you might ask? Well it’s (allegedly) a secret organization that over the centuries has grown so powerful that it now basically rules the world from the shadows.

And what is the Illuminati conspiracy theory all about? Proponents claim many things, but the main one is that this group are guiding the world from the background, with the impressive resources at their disposal (both financial and human) with the aim of imposing the New World Order, which allegedly is characterized as an age without religions or national governments, the place of the latter being taken by a world government consisting of the Illuminati, of course.

Finally, what is the meaning of Illuminati? It’s Latin for “The Enlightened”.

That’s about it when it comes to what the various Illuminati conspiracy theorists agree upon when it comes to their claims (well, most of them anyway).

Apart from this, there’s a host of other claims, as I was jokingly pointing out at the beginning of the article, including for example, that the Illuminati are working with the Aliens. For real. No joking this time (on my part at least). Or that they are aliens and many many more claims.

But you have to wonder, how did it get to the point at which a (supposedly) secret organization is so damned popular?! That’s a neat trick to perform for sure. I mean, celebrities probably work assiduously to become famous. While the Illuminati have not only managed to become a name that everybody recognizes without breaking a sweat, indeed they’re so proficient that they’ve done this while maintaining their secrecy?!

If they even exist, of course. We are still keeping that possibility firmly in mind, right?

Well, whether they physically exist or not, the Illuminati most certainly exist as a psychological, social and cultural phenomenon.

So let’s look at the 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators who wittingly or unwittingly aided this (fictional?) organization to grow in popularity.

Also, you do know that your cat’s whiskers are twitching in a really suspicious manner, right? What’s that all about? (Oh, and don’t tell me you don’t even have a cat. That’s what you think! She’s been lurking out of sight, right behind you for the past 4 years. Ask your friends. They didn’t have the heart to tell you.)

1. Augustin Barruel

Portrait of Augustin Barruel one of the 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators.

Is one of the two “founders” of all the Illuminati conspiracy theories, because without his work “Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism” it’s quite probable that the modern Illuminati would not be around in the public’s attention.

He was a French Jesuit priest (and publicist) and published this book in 1797. In it, he claims that the historical Illuminati organization in Bavaria (yes, there was one) had survived its apparent decline and ultimate demise by the 1784, 1785, 1787 and 1790 edicts of the Bavarian ruler which outlawed all secret societies, including the Illuminati.

He goes on to claim that they had been working illegally and privately ever since and and were responsible for infiltrating the Freemasons (another historically confirmed secret organization) and setting in motion the events which led to the French revolution.

As the founder of the Bavarian Illuminati (the historically attested group, not the modern controversial one) Adam Weishaupt created the organization to battle abuses of power by state actors and most importantly to rid the world of superstition and religious influence over public life, in short to promote reason and science, Barruel’s theory isn’t extremely far-fetched, as it fits with what is known about the Bavarian Illuminati’s short activity (1776 – 1787).

Still, no hard evidence exists to support his claims.

2. John Robison

One of the 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators is John Robison, portrayed here in a painting.

Across the channel, another man shared Barruel’s opinions. This time we’re talking about a mathematician, physicist and philosophy teacher: John Robinson. Who in the exact same year as Barruel published a book called “Proofs Of A Conspiracy Against All The Religions And Governments Of Europe”

He claimed almost the exact same things as Barruel (Freemasons being infiltrated by Illuminati and the French revolution being orchestrated by them), so I’ll not detail his work more.

Suffice to say that both works were analysed by historians who were contemporary with Robison and Baruel and have been analysed ever since by many in later generations without a shred of irrefutable evidence being produced to support their claims.

3. Nesta Helen Webster

The list of 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators includes Nesta Helen Webster (right of the image).

Probably because the historians of the time dismissed the works of Robison and Barruel, the whole Illuminati are alive and well and working to impose their New World Order theory lay dormant until 1920 (more than a hundred years), when English Nesta Helen Webster, as one of the authors of “The Jewish Peril” series of articles which appeared in the London Morning Post published the same ideas as before.

But with a twist. This time on top of the previously presented claims, the Illuminati are in fact a Jewish cabal.

Many other works by Webster followed revolving around the Illuminati theory with its new-found antisemitic tone but as you’ve gotten used to the pattern by now, no irrefutable evidence. Which of course only serves to illustrate how able the Illuminati are if they managed to confound everyone and not leave a trace behind, despite the interest shown towards them by an increasing number of people at the behest of now already three authors.

What’s more, even Winston Churchill gave credence to the works of Helen Webster when he said in an Illustrated Sunday Herald article that “Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown” the Illuminati’s involvement in the French Revolution.

The able demonstration in question was also based on evidence in the form of “leaked” minutes of a gathering of Jewish Elders, called the “Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion”, supposedly from the end of the 18th century. They were demonstrated to be a Russian forgery at the time by many, including Webster’s countrymen. And have been re-confirmed as a forgery many times since.

4. William Guy Carr

One of the 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators is William Guy Carr, photographed here in uniform.

Among modern Illuminati conspiracy theories you will see quite a lot of debate regarding what is the Illuminati symbol. Not because one such symbol can’t be found, but because several are proposed by conspiracy theorists.

Historically, the Bavarian Illuminati chose the Owl of Minerva as their symbol. This is confirmed.

But regarding the modern Illuminati, no such confirmation exists because no documents or other paraphernalia containing symbols have been presented as belonging without a doubt to the Illuminati.

The first attempt to do so though belongs to William Guy Carr a Canadian naval officer and author, though he was born in England.

Apart from his books on submarines and combat in such vehicles, he was also a prolific writer of Illuminati conspiracy theories during his life (1895 – 1959). And it’s one of those that claims that the All Seeing Eye on the back of the dollar bill is in fact the modern Illuminati’s symbol.

This claim gained massive popularity in time and is still widely used in Illuminati conspiracy theories.

5. John Todd

The list of 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators includes John Todd, featured in the left of this image.

Is the first (in)famous one to claim that he was part of the Illuminati or at least knew them personally and had interacted with them.

Many others followed his example afterward, including the most recent mysterious “Hidden Hand”, a user that claimed on the Abovetopsecret forum to be of one of the Ruling Families of the Illuminati and that he was authorized and in fact bound by duty to answer the questions of subjects as long as they are respectful, intelligent and pertinent.

He proceeded to do that via 154 posts in a surprisingly eloquent and seemingly educated manner of replying.

What is strange about Todd’s Illuminati story though is that it is so riddled with inconsistencies and outrageous claims that it would seem common sense that nobody would take him seriously. But that’s not what happened. As an occultist, he even managed to start his own Wicca coven before he was arrested by the police when it was found out that he made girls perform sexual favors as part of the initiation rites.

The fact that they were underage didn’t help either.

Todd died in 2007 in the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, but his influence on modern Illuminati conspiracy theories continues, sadly, to this day.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.