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Intermission: How to Paint a Childhood Classic

Artist Duane Keiser, the man behind "A Painting a Day," animates how to make a proper PB&J with a paintbrush.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cIM5d7Hgs8&context=C32b906bADOEgsToPDskJKwGRtjlcMZNNochzB91DM

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Watch Your Mouth: Can You Patent a Sandwich? Can You Patent a Sandwich?

What one peanut butter and jelly sandwich says about the wrongs of intellectual property rights.


On a summer’s day in 1995, David Geske and Len Kretchman are hanging out on Geske’s Fargo, North Dakota patio. Geske is in the ice business. Kretchman works as a consultant. At some point, their wives, Kristen and Emily, head inside to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and their kids file a standard childhood culinary request with their moms: No crusts, please. Later, the women relay the request to their husbands. “You guys should make a sandwich with no crust,” they tell them.

The two men run with the idea, and begin mass-producing pre-baked, crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for schools. Kretchman and Geske crimp the ends of the sammy and wrap it all in freezer-ready foil so that by the time lunchtime rolls around, kids could eat a thawed sandwich. Later, Kretchman and Geske sell the idea to jelly giant J.M. Smucker Co., and in 1999, a Smucker’s subsidiary submits patent number 6,004,596 for a “Sealed Crustless Sandwich”—a round peanut butter and jelly sandwich with no crust, sealed in a foil wrapper.

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