How to Prevent Real Identity Theft: Claim Your Name

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this-is-real-gold-1175628-1279x1032During the heady days of the California Gold Rush of 1849, prospectors would hurry to their preferred site. They hoped to be the first to discover the valuable ore there and then stake their claim, thereby giving them preemptive rights over all other prospectors to that particular spot of land. This practice wasn’t limited to miners. The Homestead Act of 1862 (and the other Homestead Acts that followed) allowed any adult who was the first to settle a piece of property to lay claim to it. You even see elements of this “first come, first serve” philosophy in traditional U.S. Patent Law. Here, the first to claim an invention retains all patent rights on it.

These three examples have one thing in common: a wide open territory. Whether it be undeveloped land for miners and settlers, or the vast unexplored realm of ideas, there’s a bit of terra incognita associated with the idea of being the “first to claim.” The other commonality they all possess is they aren’t new. They come from an era when America was a frontier waiting to be discovered. With the passing of centuries, this “Wild West” spirit has since dissolved into the annals of history.

Yet, there remain new worlds to discover, new territory to explore, new stakes to claim. Remember when the internet exploded in popularity in the 1990s? Prospectors in that era Continue Reading “How to Prevent Real Identity Theft: Claim Your Name”

Such is Fame: The Real Enduring Legacy of Niagara Falls

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In crafting a list of hidden gems of Greater Western New York, it’s apparent one must define what one means by the word “hidden.” Of course, if one of these not-so-hidden gems turns out to have inspired something truly outstanding, well, that would be worth writing about. Before I get to that, though, let me share with you my methodology for compiling this list, but allow me to do this by showing you, not telling you (assuming that’s even possible in the format of the written word).

For example, we have plenty of gems that have received broad national attention. Indeed, several people, events and activities from, in and around the Greater Western New York region have found themselves honored with places in our history books.

What school-aged child doesn’t know the name of Continue Reading “Such is Fame: The Real Enduring Legacy of Niagara Falls”