An Early Misuse of Geographical Indicators

March 5, 2008

From The Big Oyster – A Molluscular History of New York:

The leading merchants realized that such practices were damaging the reputation of their most valuable product. One of the leading New York City houses grew concerned that Chesapeake oysters were being sold to England as Bluepoints. An agent for the house intercepted a shipment of Bluepoints, opened the barrels as they were being loaded, and found that they were mostly “Virginias.” It was a new age of communications and the agents was able to telegraph Liverpool so that British authorities were waiting for the shipment when it landed. The oysters were confiscated, though it is not clear what happens to a healthy confiscated oyster. The American shipper was charged with mislabeling, which carried considerable fines. The New Yorkers were not accustomed to such stringent consumer protection and the American agent argued that the oysters had spent a little time in Great South Bay and they had thought that this was all that was required to label them Bluepoints. That the Americans don’t know any better is always an argument of some currency in England, and the charges were dropped.

My KQA Debut

November 15, 2007

I’ll be conducting my first ever quiz for the Karnataka Quiz Association this Sunday. It’s a ranking open, with a History, Geography, and World Culture theme.

(The World Culture has been thrown in for the sole purpose of letting me sneak in general questions in case I run out of history and geography fundaes).

Before leaving for work this morning, I had 31 questions made, which leaves me with 59 to make by Sunday afternoon. Difficult but doable.

In case you’re in Bangalore, and interested, drop by. The prelims start at 3 p.m., and the finals at 4 p.m. The venue, as is usual, is Daly Hall on Nrupathunga Road.