Displaying articles for: May 2014

Snap Judgment

“Th[e] truth was laid bare... when Snapchat, the popular mobile messaging service, agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that messages sent through the company’s app did not disappear as easily as promised.” – The New York Times







literally hundreds of thousands

of others similarly situated,









(In open court; case called)


THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, good morning and welcome back. Yesterday, you heard opening statements from both Mr. Brickman, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in this class action, and Ms. McCann, lawyer for the defendant corporation. Today, the plaintiffs will begin to present their testimony and exhibits.

Mr. Brickman, call your first witness.

MR. BRICKMAN: Thank you, Your Honor. The plaintiffs call “John Doe” to the stand.

JOHN DOE, called as a witness by the plaintiffs,

having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

THE COURT: Please state your full name, first and last, spelling both names for the record.

THE WITNESS: Ah, I’d rather not, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I beg your pardon?

MR. BRICKMAN (INTERRUPTING): If I may remind the court, this entire case concerns whether the defendant failed to provide the users of its software the very high level of privacy promised. Specifically, the users of the Ephemerotic photo messaging application--or, “app”--were led to believe by the defendant’s misrepresentations that their photographs and videos, which users could modify with text and drawings, would not be stored or viewable on any device anywhere after the duration of between one and ten seconds chosen by the sender, even though this was not true, as the evidence will show.

THE COURT: I’m seventy-two years old, Mr. Brickman. Can you say that in words I’ll understand?

MR. BRICKMAN: I’ll try, Your Honor. Here... this is Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 1, which I was going to offer into evidence in just a moment. It’s a physical copy--a print--of a digital photograph that the witness took with his smartphone... his cellular... er, his portable telephonic contrivance that has a built-in camera... and which the witness then transmitted to his best friend’s girlfriend. While the witness will testify to his understanding that the photograph would cease to exist in any form mere seconds after he sent it to his friend’s girlfriend, because of shortcomings of the defendant’s software of which the witness and his fellow plaintiffs were completely unaware, we, the plaintiffs’ lawyers, were able not only to retrieve the photo from the defendant’s computer servers but also to print onto paper for use in this lawsuit. May I hand the photograph up to Your Honor at this time?

THE COURT: Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: Objection!

THE COURT: I’m sorry?

THE WITNESS: I object! I don’t want you to see that photo, Judge! I don’t want anyone to see that photo! I didn’t know anyone had that photo, and I certainly didn’t have any idea that it was going to be an exhibit in this lawsuit! Give me that photo! Give me all of the copies of that photo!

MR. BRICKMAN: Your Honor?

THE COURT: He’s your witness, Mr. Brickman. This is between you and him.

MR. BRICKMAN (to the witness): Brian--

THE WITNESS: Gah! Don’t use my real name! What’s wrong with you?! Do you not see this paper bag on my head?

MR. BRICKMAN: My apologies, “Mr. Doe.” My apologies to the Court as well.

THE COURT: That’s all right. Proceed.

MR. BRICKMAN (to the witness): “Mr. Doe,” if you would prefer that the judge and the members of the jury not be shown what was previously labeled “Plaintiffs’ Exhibit 1,” a photograph of your genitalia taken by you, annotated with text reading, ”Wish you were here!!” and sent to your best friend’s girlfriend, then I’m afraid we will be unable to use your testimony.

THE WITNESS: That's it.  I'm out of here.

[Whereupon the witness fled.]

THE COURT: Mr. Brickman, do you have a new witness?

MR. BRICKMAN: I’m afraid not. Mr. Gardn... er, “Doe” was the only person even willing to admit on the record that he’d used the defendant’s service.

THE COURT: Does that mean that the plaintiffs are discontinuing this action, counselor?

MR. BRICKMAN: No, Your Honor. I believe I can proceed by presenting evidence from members of the class at large. If I may hand a new photograph up?

[Whereupon MR. BRICKMAN handed a photograph to the BAILIFF. Whereupon the BAILIFF accepted the photograph, looked at the photograph, looked at MR. BRICKMAN, unholstered his sidearm, cocked his sidearm, raised his sidearm, and stated, “Oh, hell no.”]

MR. BRICKMAN: Maybe not that photograph. This one instead, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Is this... is this counsel for the defendant?

MR. BRICKMAN: Yes, Your Honor. Ms. McCann in fact sent me that photograph while we were both watching Game of Thrones in our respective homes. Although the costume obscures--

MS. MCCANN: Objection!

THE COURT: Sustained. Mr. Brickman, you have exactly one more chance to offer this court an acceptable exhibit.

[Whereupon MR. BRICKMAN looked through some papers at counsel’s table]

MR. BRICKMAN: Would Your Honor be willing to testify regarding a photo the court sent to Juror Number 6 after yesterday’s session with the textual annotation, “I’d like 2 preside over u”--

THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are dismissed with the thanks of the court. The case of John Doe et al. versus Ephemerotic is hereby dismissed with prejudice, and the reporter is ordered to see to it that every existing copy of the record of these proceedings, in whatever form, be made inaccessible by any person, by any means. We stand adjourned.

[Whereupon this transcript was destroyed forever.]


Matthew David Brozik is happily married and therefore has no need to transmit embarrassing messages through the ether. Read more at matthewdavidbrozik.com.




vol. 1, no. 1

Fall, 1903


This is your captains speaking: These are exciting times indeed. With the advent of controlled, powered, and briefly sustained heavier-than-air human flight, men, women, and children will be able to travel distances of up to 250 feet in a matter of seconds at altitudes of almost a dozen feet above the ground! And what better way to spend those heady moments in defiance of gravity than by shopping for unique items that we’ve chosen especially for you! — O & W.



• NEW! Ever wanted to measure your heart’s electrical conduction system? Now you can!

For entirely too long, it was impossible to detect electrical impulses generated by the polarization and depolarization of cardiac tissue, but now it’s as easy as immersing each of your limbs into containers of salt solutions! Far superior to 1873’s Lippmann Capillary Electrometer, Dutchman Willem Einthoven’s innovative “ElectroKardioGraph” represents the very latest in technology to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats, not to mention the size and position of the heart’s chambers, the presence of any damage to the heart, and the effects of drugs used to regulate the heart. Comes with four starter salt-solution-immersion packets; additional immersion packets sold separately. Some assembly required. Patent pending.

EKG101A ElectroKardioGraph  $99.99  

EKG101B Replacement string galvanometer  $9.99


• NOVEL! A “bear” necessity for kids of all ages!

It’s the soft, cuddly toy inspired by a political cartoon and endorsed by the President himself—“Teddy’s bear”! The Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. manufactures the most adorable and agreeable traveling companion, covered in tawny mohair fur and adorned with realistic eyes, nose, and claws. So cute, you might not be able to bear it!

POTUS26 Teddy’s bear $1.99


• COLORFUL! Mark our words: Chalk + oily paraffin wax = fun!

Another one for the kids: They’re called “crayons,” and they’ll keep tykes busy for hours—the artistic ones even longer! The basic box from Binney & Smith Company contains eight safe, high-quality, paraffin wax sticks suitable for drawing on almost any surface, although you’ll probably want to limit the creativity to paper. Assorted colors include barnside red and carbon black. Mostly non-toxic; semi-flammable.

CRYLA8 Box of eight crayons  


• ORIGINAL! Show your team spirit in advance of the first “World Series”!

The matchup the country demanded begins on October 1, when the Boston Americans of the American League face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League in the first World Series of Major League Baseball, a best-of-nine-games matchup to determine the very best “America’s pastime” team until, possibly, next year. But even if you can’t make it to Huntington Avenue Grounds or Exposition Park, you can make your loyalties known with a full-color pennant, suitable for flying just below the noble 45-star flag of the United States of America on any pole or mast! 100% wool. Double stitched. 36 inches long. No refunds after October 13, 1903; no exchanges after Game 5.

MLBWS1A Boston Americans pennant  $4.99

MLBWS1N Pittsburgh Pirates pennant  $4.99


• CLASSIC! Ready... aim... shoot—at home: the weapon made famous in the cinema!

This winter will bring the release of the film already being hailed as “absolutely the superior of any moving picture ever made” and a “faithful imitation of the genuine 'Hold Ups' made famous by various outlaw bands in the far West...”—it’s The Great Train Robbery! An unprecedented twelve minutes long, made on a budget of $150, the “movie” is a milestone. When you’ve seen it, you’ll want to relive it—especially the climactic final scene, which we won’t describe here. (We don’t want to spoil it for anyone!) Suffice it to say, though: You’ll need a Colt Single Action Army revolver—the “Gun That Won the West”! Cartridges sold separately. Not recommended for the fair sex or children under 12.

CLT45 Single Action Army revolver  Telegraph for price.


• LOOK! Get the hang of this creative contrivance without losing your shirt!

If you’ve ever gotten to your place of employment—be it the bank, the meatpacking plant, or the shirtwaist factory—and went to hang your coat on one of the hooks provided by management only to find that your colleagues have claimed them all, then you know the hardship that Albert J. Parkhouse faced when one morning earlier this year he arrived to work at the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company in Jackson, Michigan. Irritated but inspired, Parkhouse picked up some wire at hand and fashioned it into what Timberlake is now selling as the Wire Hanger. Lightweight and exceptionally thin, these admirably simple devices will quickly replace the bulkier wooden and whalebone hangers in your closets and your heart.

TWNC2 Box of 48 wire hangers  $3.15


• STATE-OF-THE-ART! The “most reliable machine in the world”!

The Ford Model A is the first and best car produced by Ford Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan. This mechanical marvel comes as a two-seater runabout or four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated amidships of the car, produces a powerful 8 horsepower! Standard with a “planetary transmission” fitted with two forward speeds and reverse, the automobile weighs just 1,240 lb and can zoom to a top speed of 28 mph—almost enough to take flight! 72-inch wheelbase, band brakes. Available in any color, as long as it’s red. 

FMCMA1 Runabout  $750

FMCMA2 Rear tonneau (two seats + rear door)  $100

FMCMA3 Rubber roof  $30

FMCMA4 Leather roof  $50


• FREE! Wear your enthusiasm... with sleeves.

Make “plane” your excitement about the new age of aeronautics with this “union suit” that reads, “I’ve Got the Wright Stuff!” across the breast. 100% fine cotton yarn. Sizes S through XXL. A $1.20 value, yours at no cost with any purchase, while supplies last.



To purchase valuable Matthew David Brozik merchandise at low, low prices, visit matthewdavidbrozik.com. Satisfaction more or less guaranteed.


July 26: On this day in 1602 "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke" was entered in the Stationers' Register by printer James Robertes.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).