Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's in a name? King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite denied British passport

The Briton formerly known as Mathew Whelan, a 34-year old Lib Dem activist from Birmingham, changed his name to King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite in 2009, according to Sara Malm's story posted Sunday on The Daily Mail. Malm writes that "Body Art" (that's the tattooed one's choice of diminutive for King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite) was able to procure a driver's license bearing his adopted appellation (one wonders whether the length of the driver's license had to be extended as an accommodation) but not a passport.

King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite's old passport had expired, you see, and when he went to renew it using his new name the office had a problem. When the Passport Office questioned the name, requesting further documentation, King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite sent in his driver's license, a registered letter that had been sent and delivered to him (one wonders if the name took up one line or two on the envelope), and a letter from his local MP.

Yes, King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite is being supported in his quest for a new passport bearing this name by his local Member of Parliament. (Several Monty Python sketches come to mind, don't they?)

But Body Art is quite serious about his quest; he insists that denying him his choice of name is a violation of his "human rights."

Malm's article says the Passport Office refused to comment specifically about why it has so far refused to grant a new passport in King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite's name. However, Malm quotes office policy as follows:
Where an applicant changes his or her name to a string of words or phrases that would not normally be recognised as a name, this should not be entered onto the personal details page of the passport.

For example, the names "New Year" "Happy Easter" or "Good Bye" are unacceptable as, when put together, they became a recognised phrase or saying.
I'm not certain how recognizable a phrase or saying "King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite" might be, but I can certainly understand that this string of words might not be normally recognized as a name.

Interestingly, King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite claims to be Britain's most tattooed person, with tattoos over 90% of his body. According to the Daily Mail, King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite even had his left eyeball tattooed black. Body Art has spent more than £25,000 on his extraordinarily personal art project. The reason he's looking for a new passport is that "he has been offered work abroad to turn his hobby into a job," according to the article.

Clerk Brown's office posts virus warning

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Visitors to the website of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown may have noticed the warning reproduced above in recent days. In case you're reading this post on a device that doesn't have a screen large enough to make that snippet legible, here is what the notice says:

Please be aware that there is an email scam currently targeting individuals with the following subject line: “Hearing of your case in Court (followed by a number).” The email has an ATTACHMENT, which, if opened, CONTAINS A MALICIOUS COMPUTER VIRUS that will infect your Windows computer. This message is NOT sent by any Court. DO NOT OPEN under any circumstance, DELETE IT from your mailbox.

More information about this virus can be found at: http://www.onlinethreatalerts.com/article/2013/12/23/hearing-of-your-case-in-court-nr-virus-emails.
If you follow the link provided on Clerk Brown's website you will see that this warning does not stem from any compromise in the online notification system that we were all required to sign up for just last year. The Clerk's office is simply providing this warning as a public service for attorneys and others who may not be wise in the ways of technology.

Still... no virus has ever compromised any of the paper files in my office. I have spilled the occasional cup of coffee, but the resulting stains don't necessarily compromise the information stored on the printed pages. I embrace the brave new digital world -- I'm out here in the Ether with you, aren't I? -- but my love of technology is not unconditional. I still worry that so much of our personal and business and professional lives is just one power surge away from destruction, or else at the mercy of some bright, but bored, teenager in Eastern Europe. I don't think that makes me a Luddite, does it?