Blood in the Water by Kip Azzoni Doyle with Scott Burr

Blood in the Water - Kip Azzoni Doyle and Scott Burr

Inventors and innovators are an interesting breed. They are unique and very much at the heart of America’s rise to the top following our War for Independence and the ratification of our U.S. Constitution. Our Founders knew what an impact these special people would have and specifically built the “exclusive Right” to their discoveries into Article I Section 8 Powers of Congress Clause 8.

For over two centuries, American inventors discovered and created some of the best products in the world. Yes, there were infringers but those who stole inventions from others were headed to court and, much more often than not, were found guilty and ended up paying the person who actually made the discovery anyway.

That all changed when BigTech and multi-national conglomerates lobbied their way into an infringer’s dream…with passage of the America Invents Act of 2011 and the creation of “the Patent Death Squad.”

Patent Death Squad

The administrative tribunal, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), has laid waste to independent inventors and innovative small businesses and startups. During the first decade of the AIA, the PTAB had invalidated (revoked) 84% of the patents they had reviewed. What is remarkable is that the PTAB reversed decisions made by highly trained Patent Examiners despite the fact that 60% of the Administrative Patent Judges – who are not real judges – have zero technical background or expertise.

Suffice to say that thousands of people and businesses have suffered greatly at the hands of the PTAB.

One independent inventor, Kip Azzoni Doyle, has escaped being taken to the PTAB. That does not mean, however, that she is not familiar with the proceedings and what has befallen her fellow “thinkerers” and innovators.

Kip Azzoni Doyle - inventor author racer

Kip is a writer, inventor [CardShark WalletSkin], adventurer, entrepreneur, gearHead, screenwriter, freelance journalist, content creator, car and bike racer, humanitarian and is mission-driven for veteran causes. Fed up with what has happened to our once mighty Patent System, she decided to write a book about not only her experiences but also those of many others.

The result of her note-taking and story extracting, as she calls it, is Blood In The Water: America’s Assault On Innovation, co-authored with Scott Burr.

In her owns words Kip says, “I’d like to think that everyone could learn a thing or two about how skewed the patent system has become…to actually understand the corrupting of the patent system in words and stories that they care to read and can understand. No legalese to drug you into LaLa land…I’m honored to do my best to bring their stories of loss and perseverance to the forefront.”

Along with many other troublesome activities occurring in America today, Blood in the Water brings to light what many Citizens know little about, even though the everyday items we use, and the devices that we play with and utilize for work, were brought to life by an inventor.

As Ayn Rand said, “An inventor is a man who asks ‘why?’ of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and his mind.” 

Next time you pick up an ice cream scoop (Alfred L. Cralle, inventor), use your dishwashing machine (Josephine Cochran), throw on your Kevlar vest (Stephanie Louise Kwolek), or use your telephone (Alexander Graham Bell) consider how much better the world is, particularly America, because of those thinkerers from all walks of life who invent, and who were, until the patent death squad, able to achieve the American Dream because of what they created.

Then go out an get a copy of Kip’s book, Blood In The Water: America’s Assault On Innovation

Over For Now.

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Hawkesmill – The Ultimate Photography Messenger Bag

Finding a photography bag that actually caters to a professional (or a very serious enthusiast) has been no easy feat.  It seems even the best of them fall short in one area or another.  Fortunately, Hawkesmill, a new company founded by pro photog Taylor Young, has just launched its commanding and impressive line of handmade bags.

Young, an American residing and working in England, was tired of bags that were missing one or (usually) more essentials that he felt were required to provide what could be termed as the ultimate bag to both carry and protect his equipment.  He set out to produce what a pro really needs.  He has definitely hit the mark, with several options available.

Hawkesmill Jermyn Street Messenger Photo BagRenowned portraiture photographer Felix Kunze was fortunate to acquire one prior to the official launch.  Here is what he said about his bag on Instagram:  “Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this baby.  I could go on and on about all the details in the water resistant fabric, the perfect design, fast access, security and wonderful craftsmanship, etc, etc. But then you’d just want one.”  His bag is the Hawkesmill Jermyn Street Large Messenger, a deep olive triple layer waterproof canvas with a Lovat Harris Tweed flap, shown above (photo courtesy of Hawkesmill England).

Hawkesmill Sloane Street Large Messenger BagLet us take a closer look at the design and materials, which definitely set these bags far apart from the rest of the pack.  As a note, they are all hand crafted in England.  The canvas is made in Scotland while the tweeds are woven there.

There are bags, such as the Sloane Street Large (pictured above), with black triple layer waterproof canvas and a charcoal Harris Tweed flap, featuring Italian leather straps and accents.  As well, there is the Marlborough Large (below) featuring 18oz Superdry canvas and flap.  Images that follow are all courtesy of Hawkesmill England and Taylor Young Photography.

Hawkesmill MarlboroughRefinements.  Many high-end bags do not have detachable straps.  Pity.  All Hawkesmill  bags come with a rugged and stylish adjustable military-grade webbing strap, with a cushioned shoulder pad, that detaches with ease.  The straps have custom branded nickel trigger hooks with rotating rings.  So, if you detach the strap what is left?  A nicely cushioned and very comfortable hand strap that is securely riveted to a steel bar, running the entire length of the flap.  Rivets are used at all stress points, including the turn lock and the front and shoulder straps.

Hawkesmill InteriorInside, there is a removable insert with room to fit up to a 15″ MacBook along with your needed gear.  Depending on what you decide to tote there are removable Velcro dividers that can be repositioned virtually anywhere.  The insert cradles your precious camera gear and may be removed in the event you decide to utilize it as just an exceptional messenger bag.  I can comfortably stow the following in my Sloane Street Large: Nikon D7100 w/Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 attached; SB-600 SpeedLight in soft case; Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 70-200 f/4 attached; 2nd SB-600 Speedlight in soft case; Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 in soft pouch; Apple iPad 2 w/Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard.

The back features a flap with a snap containing a removable portfolio organizer, perfect for memory and business cards, passports, and other smaller items.

Hawkesmill OrganizerFor security while on the move or traveling, the nickel and leather buckle system provides peace of mind that your gear will not accidentally fall out.  While on site, the center Italian turn lock can be used for one hand entry while wearing the bag or when it needs to be moved a short distance during your photo shoot.  There are custom branded nickel feet on the bottom to protect the bag from the elements, which are replaceable when worn.  The overall dimensions are 15.7″ wide x 11″ high x 5″ deep (39.88cm x 27.94cm x 12.7cm).

Hawkesmill FeetThe attention to detail is simply phenomenal.  For instance, the gusset folds into the flap, thereby stopping water and dust from entering the bag.

Suffice it to say that no other bag on the market combines all of the precision, features, quality materials and workmanship that make Hawkesmill the absolute tour de force within the photographer’s messenger bag market.  And, when one couples the above with a lifetime warranty against defects you just cannot lose.

Hawkesmill Camera StrapIf you are serious about quality accessories, you may want to check out the camera straps offered by Hawkesmill.  They are crafted with Horween Chromexcel leather and come in either brown or black and for Nikon mount (the Westminster) or Canon mount (the Borough).

They may seem a bit pricey.  However, if it lasts for a lifetime of capturing images, and could possibly even be passed down to the next gen photographer in the family, the annual cost is almost nil.

All of the above, and more, may be seen and ordered at Hawkesmill.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) at San Diego Comic Con 2014

Many people who have enjoyed Agent Peggy Carter in comics as well as her big screen version (i.e., Captain America: The First Avenger, the Marvel One Shot and Captain America: The Winder Soldier) were excited to hear that there will be a TV series devoted to the character, to be played by the beautiful and talented Hayley Atwell.

Marvel Agent Carter
Marvel’s Agent Peggy Carter – Hayley Atwell

The one unfortunate part of this is that it is only an eight-episode series that will air beginning in January 2015, during the mid-season break of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Regardless, it should be fun to watch Atwell develop the character who will be balancing her post World War II job with SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve) with that of other, more daring, work with Howard Stark (played by Dominic Cooper), the founder of S.H.I.E.L.D.

At the 2014 San Diego Comic Con several members of the Agent Carter creative team, along with Atwell, discussed a bit about the upcoming series.

The above video is from the YouTube site of Flicks And The City, where many other videos may be watched.

Very much looking forward to seeing Agent Carter/Hayley Atwell on the ABC television network.

Over For Now.

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Auto Show Philadelphia 2014

There is a wide array of brand new and soon-to-arrive vehicles available for viewing, as well as some offering test drives, at the 2014 Auto Show Philadelphia, running Feb 8-16, at the city’s massive state-of-the-art downtown convention center.

Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce

While there are many people attending who are intent to find their next auto acquisition, others show up simply to see exotics up-close-and-personal, such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin, or truly fine classics, like a 1914 Ford Model T Runabout or a 1931 Studebaker Roadster.

1931 Studebaker Roadster
1931 Studebaker Roadster

Aside from virtually every motor vehicle manufacturer attending the show to display their beautiful shiny offerings, several of them provide various forms of entertainment, in the form of a test ride or the like. One example is “CampJeep,” where visitors are able to ride a bumpy obstacle course, courtesy of log and steel beams, in a Grand Cherokee, Wrangler Rubicon or Unlimited.

Lamborghini
Lamborghini

The show offers literally everything available, from absolute luxury to super-smart economy, from sporty to big hog trucks and muscle cars, in a friendly no-sales-pressure atmosphere.

1914 Ford Model T Runabout
1914 Ford Model T Runabout

The eye candy displayed 2014 Auto Show Philadelphia is truly spectacular and well worth the modest entry fee, a portion of which is donated to the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. Parking costs, however, are another financial matter, but utilizing SEPTA is a good alternative. Complete information is available at Philly Auto Show.

Over For now.

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