On May 21, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed a complaint filed by a woman who said she had purchased "Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries" because she believed "crunchberries" were real fruit. The plaintiff, Janine Sugawara, alleged that she had only recently learned to her dismay that said "berries" were in fact simply brightly-colored cereal balls, and that although the product did contain some strawberry fruit concentrate, it was not otherwise redeemed by fruit. She sued, on behalf of herself and all similarly situated consumers who also apparently believed that there are fields somewhere in our land thronged by crunchberry bushes.
Cap'n According to the complaint, Sugawara and other consumers were misled not only by the use of the word "berries" in the name, but also by the front of the box, which features the product's namesake, Cap'n Crunch, aggressively "thrusting a spoonful of 'Crunchberries' at the prospective buyer." Plaintiff claimed that this message was reinforced by other marketing representing the product as a "combination of Crunch biscuits and colorful red, purple, teal and green berries." Yet in actuality, the product contained "no berries of any kind." Plaintiff brought claims for fraud, breach of warranty, and our notorious and ever-popular California Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Judge Morrison England Jr. dismissed the case, stating:
[W]hile the challenged packaging contains the word "berries" it does so only in conjunction with the descriptive term "crunch." This Court is not aware of, nor has Plaintiff alleged the existence of, any actual fruit referred to as a "crunchberry." Furthermore, the "Crunchberries" depicted on the [box] are round, crunchy, brightly-colored cereal balls, and the [box] clearly states both that the Product contains "sweetened corn & oat cereal" and that the cereal is "enlarged to show texture." Thus, a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into believing that the Product in the instant case contained a fruit that does not exist. . . . So far as this Court has been made aware, there is no such fruit growing in the wild or occurring naturally in any part of the world.
The judge noted a precedent in which the plaintiff's lawyers were unsuccessful in a complaint that Froot Loops did not contain real fruit.
My sister-in-law sent me a copy of this ad, which she saw in the Ventura County Star, asking: "Is our economy really THIS bad that people have to buy 99-cent items on layaway?" Lest you think this is photoshopped, you can click on the above picture for the full flier, which was distributed in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
I NEED TO ASK YOU SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH
TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS
HAD CRISIS THAT HAD CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800
BILLION DOLLARS USD. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THS TRANSFER, IT WOULD
BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.
I WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY
REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU
MAY KNOW HIM AS LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT
IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THIS
FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS
IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER
SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A
RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE
FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND
ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO
WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION
FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND
WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO
PROTECT THE FUNDS.
MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON
From the Los Angeles Times:
When the iPhone first hit the market in June 2007, those who paid the $499 entry price -- and signed the two-year AT&T contract -- owned a status symbol. A year later, we have the iPhone 3G, Apple's speedier, sleeker and, most important, less expensive smart phone, which introduced a section for downloading third-party applications. Now that the phone is affordable enough for a wider audience, a new status symbol has emerged: a seemingly useless application called I Am Rich.
Its function is exactly what the name implies: to alert people that you have money in the bank. I Am Rich was available for purchase from the phone's App Store for, get this, $999.99 -- the highest amount a developer can charge through the digital retailer, said Armin Heinrich, the program's developer. Once downloaded, it doesn't do much -- a red icon sits on the iPhone home screen like any other application, with the subtext "I Am Rich." Once activated, it treats the user to a large, glowing gem (pictured above). That's about it. For a thousand dollars.
Eight people bought the application before Apple removed it from its online store.
Via Consumerist, a very bad idea for candy:
There are some great comments on various blogs, such as:
- Don’t eat too many, you’ll have to get your stomach pumped.
- Oh man that’s a riot! So if you handle them too much does it turn into a Jolly Rancher?
- I understand those gummi Georgia O’Keefe miniatures didn’t go over too well, either.
- Is this hard or soft candy? Does it depend how hard you rub it before you put it in your mouth?
Does anyone know if this is a hoax? It seems a little hard to swallow.
I read the above-pictured article on the Independent website about the Austrian family in which the father imprisoned his daughter in a secret cellar and fathered seven children by her, three of whom were also imprisoned and had never been outside.
I clicked on the link "Interesting? Click here to explore further" and got links to three articles, including:
From that article:
Sam Dunn goes underground to look at the costs, benefits and pitfalls of building a new living area below stairs...
"I'm sure it will add value but we'd always thought about how we needed an extra room for our children to use."