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Chemists Make Olympic Rings On a Molecular Scale

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the arts-and-crafts dept.

Idle 89

ananyo writes "Chemists in the UK have made a five-ring polyaromatic hydrocarbon and dubbed it 'olympicene'. The molecule is just a couple of nanometers wide and can be regarded as a little fragment of graphene. Strictly speaking, of course, the molecule might constitute an 'unofficial use' of the motif and land the scientists in court for copyright infringement."

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Finally! (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134549)

Finally, an Olympics logo that accurately represents how little I care about the Olympics. They used to be meaningful, but they've devolved into just another international political dog and pony show.

Re:Finally! (2)

cmuncy (530892) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134817)

Exactly. Now watch the IOC jump all over this.

Re:Finally! (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40138017)

Yeah really. I read the headline and the thought which immediately sprang to mind turned out to be the third sentence of the summary.

Re:Finally! (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40141647)

Except that the potential infringement is trademark, not copyright. Copyright has expired on the symbol, which was designed 100 years ago.

Re:Finally! (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153365)

Well yes, the summary did get that wrong. I meant the spirit, even if the letter wasn't exactly accurate.

Re:Finally! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134959)

They used to be meaningful

When?[citation needed]

Re:Finally! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135339)

During the hellenistic greek era.

Re:Finally! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135395)

They used to be meaningful

When?[citation needed]

I'm sure there are instances after this one, but Jesse Owens [wikipedia.org] springs to mind.

Re:Finally! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40144069)

1968 [wikipedia.org] ?
1972 [wikipedia.org] ?
19 [wikipedia.org] 80 [wikipedia.org] ?

oh wait, 3 of those 4 were notable for non-sports reasons...

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40137187)

Before you were born.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135267)

Don't you mean drug and pony show?

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135805)

They are still meaningful to the athletes. The olympians that I have met (all Team USA Track & Field) pretty much ignore the politics as much as possible. They just want a chance to compete.

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40136621)

They are still meaningful to the athletes. The olympians that I have met (all Team USA Track & Field) pretty much ignore the politics as much as possible. They just want a chance to compete.

Then perhaps the athletes can organize and pay for their own show?

I personally gave up on them when they started letting Pro Athletes into the games. Those Basketball and Hockey dream teams were the exact opposite of what the games should be. I remember how exciting it was in th e1980 winter Olympics, when the US beat the professional (foro all intents and purposes) Russians. Fast forward to the professionals today, and you can understand why the world will root against you.

It was a disappointment when they changed the women's gymnastics purposefully to favor extreme small size. It changed that sport from graceful ladies to little trolls on the mats.

Finally, the endless "gifts" for the selection committees, the frank bribes as in the Salt Lake City incident, the corrupt judges, and you have a must miss event.

Re:Finally! (1)

rusl (1255318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40137285)

I am so much more happy with my city now that the 2010 Olympics are behind us. It's like a veil of idiocy was lifted. For one thing, there a lot fewer short sighted mega-projects that will cost the taxpayer "nothing" (actually about 25 years of debt)

Re:Finally! (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40136091)

but they've devolved into just another international political dog ® and pony(TM) show (© IOC 2012).

...fixed that for you...

(Disclaimer: I am not the official sarcastic git of the 2012 egg-and-spoon-race-named-after-a-Greek-mountain).

The Summer Event Police are coming (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134555)

The Summer Event Police will be arresting them and locking them in the Twenty Twelve containment area under Stratford.

All worship our Penta-ringed overlords.

Trademark, not copyright (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134561)

Aren't the rings a trademark, not a copyright? Trademarks must be defended, otherwise the owner may lose the right to exclusive use of the trademark.

Hardcoded famous trademark (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134643)

As I understand it, countries that have hosted the Olympic Games have to treat the rings and other IOC symbols as hardcoded famous trademarks, with sui generis restrictions that parallel the dilution restrictions on famous trademarks [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (3, Interesting)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134711)

In the spirit of competition, these chemists will patent the process, which will trump the trademark. Touché

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135709)

No, a patent on the process would only mean that others would not be able to use the process without getting a license from the owners of the patent. I give people who confuse copyrights, trademarks, and patents and cannot reason about them the same consideration as people who consider LSD and heroin to be similar because they're both illegal drugs. Both groups of people just give their predictable knee-jerk reactions: drugs are bad, IP protections are bad.

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (1)

dido (9125) | more than 2 years ago | (#40138919)

Which is why we should all avoid use of the term 'intellectual property [gnu.org] '. Use of the term promotes precisely this sort of confusion.

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140393)

I give people who confuse copyrights, trademarks, and patents and cannot reason about them the same consideration as people who consider LSD and heroin to be similar because they're both illegal drugs.

Cool, let's have a drugs flame war.

I'm betting that most slashdotters will be LSD fanboys, even though they've never taken either.

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#40165429)

Accuse me of bad humor, but I think somebody confused satire with legal analysis.

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134973)

As I understand it, countries that have hosted the Olympic Games have to treat the rings and other IOC symbols as hardcoded famous trademarks

Yeah, another example of how copyrights and trademarks can never die; 776 BC and it still hasn't expired.

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135203)

The olympic rings were designed in 1912 [wikipedia.org] , not -775

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40137193)

That's still earlier than this year...

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (1)

sbrown7792 (2027476) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135221)

IIRC, a trademark's lifespan is dictated by how long it is actively defended (in this case, by the IOC or whatever).

Re:Hardcoded famous trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135403)

You don't actually believe that the modern games have anything to do with ancient Greece, do you?

Re:Trademark, not copyright (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134693)

Don't worry. The IOC and their local corporations that sponsor the games and license the trademarks are nothing if not diligent in defending their trademarks. When the winter olympics were held here in Vancouver in 2010, much to my dismay, they scanned the city and sent out letters to any business that had any word like olympic in it that they were infringing on their trademarks and had to desist. Poor old Olympic Pizza. They'd been in business for over 30 years under that name but now THEY were infringing. The copyright laws even were amended so that sentences with the words or phrases with the following strings in close proximity were copyright protected to the VOC; 2010, olympic, winter, and a number of sports names.

Dog and pony show where the venues are selected not by whether the community really wants/needs/can afford to host the games but by how much swag the selection committee can take away from that town. Our city and the local taxpayers are on the hook for almost $500 million for the real estate blunder that started as the place where the athletes were to be housed. And I don't want to know how much it cost to truck and helicopter in all the snow from the interior to blanket the mountains deep enough for the events to be held. What a waste. It sickens me every time I see a sign still up boasting about how Vancouver hosted the 2010 winter olympics. If it weren't for family concerns, I'd move to Owl's Anus, Alberta. Sorry, that turned into a rant but it felt very good to get it said. If anyone reading this ever gets a chance to speak out against or otherwise block their city from hosting an olympics, do it.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134993)

Nothing like your games did just south of the boarder in Washington State. Recall that the state capitol is Olympia and we have the Olympic mountain range. I couldn't venture how many businesses have the name Olympic in the area. Lots of nasty legal letters flying around back then.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140421)

Nothing like your games did just south of the boarder in Washington State. Recall that the state capitol is Olympia and we have the Olympic mountain range. I couldn't venture how many businesses have the name Olympic in the area. Lots of nasty legal letters flying around back then.

How about the Ancient Greek city of Olympia * sues the fucking IOC for several hundreds of billions of euros for persistent and blatant infringement of their name?

Might even solve the Greek debt crisis.

* There must be something left there still.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135091)

Why hasn't the IOC sued Audi? Audi's logo is obviously a rip off of the Olympics logo.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (4, Informative)

Zorpheus (857617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135301)

They actually did in 1995, but without success. Just found this as a reference on wikipedia: http://www.autoevolution.com/news/audi-reveals-updated-logo-10315.html [autoevolution.com]

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40137283)

Egads - that's just....

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134849)

I don't see how it's relevant, since the Olympic Committee isn't a profit making corporation, but is actually only a group who organise a non-profit event for the promotion of sports worldwide, right? What's a trademark if they're not actually trading in anything after all.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (3, Informative)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135849)

I don't see how it's relevant, since the Olympic Committee isn't a profit making corporation, but is actually only a group who organise a non-profit event for the promotion of sports worldwide, right? What's a trademark if they're not actually trading in anything after all.

The Olympics haven't been non-profit in many years. (I'm sure they're officially non-profit for tax purposes, but not in the "we don't make money at this" sense).

For instance, between 2005-2008, the IOC (home of "Olympics, Inc.") generated nearly six billion dollars in revenue [businessinsider.com] . And remember, the terms of hosting the Games is that you, not they, are responsible for any and all cost overruns.

There's plenty of reading out there showing the real reasons why cities and countries bid for the Five Ring Circus. (Vancouver in particular is a nice case study.)

Re:Trademark, not copyright (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40136647)

I don't see how it's relevant, since the Olympic Committee isn't a profit making corporation, but is actually only a group who organise a non-profit event for the promotion of sports worldwide, right? What's a trademark if they're not actually trading in anything after all.

Was that a joke? Now drop your daily gifts off with the selection committee, and stop talking.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135721)

All bets are off when it comes to olympic IP. They force countries to actually modify existing IP law to suit them as needed or that country doesn't get the Olympics held there.

Re:Trademark, not copyright (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140213)

>>Aren't the rings a trademark, not a copyright?

The Olympic Rings have super special protection under the law. Not only are other people not able to use the Olympic Rings without permission, but you are not able to make ANY logo with five interlocking rings on it, even if they look nothing like the Olympic Logo.

Look at what the back of the Legend of the 5 Rings card game used to look like versus what they look like now:
http://www.lizdanforth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/L5R-backs-300x255.jpg [lizdanforth.com] ...after they got sued by Olympian Assholes.

They get the gold in the nerd olympics (5, Funny)

_0x783czar (2516522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134581)

now can they make a microscopic torch and a nano bot to carry it?

Re:They get the gold in the nerd olympics (1)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135185)

And the nanobots will be selling them on ebay for megabucks in a week!

Re:They get the gold in the nerd olympics (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135407)

Nerdy as that might be, I'd still rather have David Tennant carry the torch and light the flame.

Transformative Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134599)

Does anyone have any good anecdotes or examples of when the transformative work clause worked?

Who pays these eggheads' salaries? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134605)

Seriously, why would we waste our time/money on this? What did it gain for our society or for any person in particular? This is why we need to shut down all colleges - waste of our resources.

no violation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134623)

the olympic rings are interconnected, and coloured.

this is just 5 (admittedly very small) circles pressed up against each other... blurry ones at that.

Category error (2)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134633)

Trademark infringement. Trademark.

Re:Category error (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134681)

To be fair, when their own enforcement officers can't tell the difference, why expect a little news article to get it right?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4342335/Olympic-ban-for-florist.html [thesun.co.uk]

Coca-Cola threatened her for copyright infringement over their trademark. It was said literally one sentence after another.

So I in fact think it is perfectly justified to *repeat* the threats of trademark infringement and copyright infringement as Coca-Cola themselves have stated.

Useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134647)

This is probably a useful discovery in some way but I fail to understand how.
I read TFA and it says it "might" have some useful optical properties. So they were just going for something that can make into the "nerd news"? Any chemists here to enlighten us?

Re:Useful? (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40139677)

It's of dubious usefulness. Inevitably, several groups will cite this paper for its synthetic route when making something more complicated based on this structure, but the chances that this exact molecule will be used for anything are very slim - simple multicyclic polyaromatics have been done to death and have crappy efficiency as solar cells (too narrow of an absorption cross-section), and don't really see much use for anything beyond building blocks for other, more interesting, molecules. It may turn out, when all is said and done, that chaining this molecule together for an organic solar cell might be useful, but getting reproducible polymerization at just a couple or a few of the reactively-similar sites will be a bitch, and arguably be more impressive than this particular synthesis.

Of course, it might turn out that randomly polymerizing each one of them gives a more interesting absorption cross-section, making it more useful as a solar cell, but that's pretty unlikely.

Doubly sad (5, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134709)

The first thing I thought as soon as I read the first sentence was that the Olympic authorities would be all over them. The second was seeing that the submitter had also thought the same thing.

Just another indication of how badly the Olympics have been corrupted--and how they in turn corrupt the IP laws of host countries like a cancer.

Re:Doubly sad (2)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134835)

Host countries like my own.

We've been watching the torch being bussed around the country via the BBC's live stream. I don't know about other countries, but ours have flashing 30mph signs that only flash when you're going above the speed limit. We've been counting...

I'm not doing so well at the game. I've only counted them speeding twice.

The laws don't apply to those in charge.

Corrupted.

Re:Doubly sad (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134919)

We've been watching the torch being bussed around the country via the BBC's live stream.

Erm, why?

Re:Doubly sad (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140435)

We've been watching the torch being bussed around the country via the BBC's live stream.

Erm, why?

I'd guess they're bored, stoned students waiting for the end of term and with no exams to worry about, but that might be unfair.

It's also entirely possible they're a dangerous bunch of anarchist terrorists plotting to disrupt the mythical passage of the Torch through Albion for their own seedy ends.

close, except the olympic rings... (4, Informative)

doug141 (863552) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134715)

interlock, instead of sharing edges.

Re:close, except the olympic rings... (2)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134745)

True, but on the scale of things this is a very small nitpick. Positively microscopic, one might say.

Re:close, except the olympic rings... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135011)

Does the original design fit into the tolerances of this system? If so, it's not a nitpick.

Re:close, except the olympic rings... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135413)

On this scale, even a nit is colossal!

Re:close, except the olympic rings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134757)

Probably the only reason why the IOC hasn't already had the University lab burned to the ground.

Anti-aliasing (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134873)

That's why they used hexagons instead of perfect circles.

my thought exactly (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134957)

6 ring carbon is too constrained to link within each other, so pick some other ring structures:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterocyclic_compound [wikipedia.org]

or better yet, a different ring structure for each color (yellow would be cyclo-octasulfur, pyridine for green, etc.)

then build them interlocking

to actually formulate this would win the team a nobel prize, so complex would it be

oh... a nobel, not an olympics gold

polyaromatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134739)

The chief chemist sniffed it to get high, but got brain cancer instead.

Not linked! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134751)

Well it's OK I suppose, but the rings in the olympiadane molecule are properly linked, and that was synthesized already back in 1994.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiadane

I thought the rings had to be circular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40134801)

... And interlocking. Not to mention the colours. If your trademark has a) 5 b) circular rings c) interlocking in d) 5 different colours, I find it hard to believe that something that only matches with the condition a) really breaks the trademark.

Rather apt (4, Funny)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134813)

Rather apt i'd say considering so many of the athletes are chemistry buffs themselves. I care not a jot.

Re:Rather apt (2)

Dogbertius (1333565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135321)

Rather apt i'd say considering so many of the athletes are chemistry buffs themselves. I care not a jot.

Rather apt i'd say considering so many of the athletes are chemically buffed themselves.

FTFY :)

Re:Rather apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40136005)

I'm pretty sure that was the subtle joke

The IOC lawyers would sue but (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134941)

first they have to find the offending molecule

Re:The IOC lawyers would sue but (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40134969)

Since when did filing litigation require evidence?

TRADEMARK Infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135025)

Dudes!! TRADEMARK infringement, not copyright.

"Umm, no, I will not be clicking 'like'." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135119)

I'm gonna guess these are the same guys who made the ring for Mr. Facebook's wife.

It's time to disband the IOC and reboot the games. (4, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135191)

I think the IOC has strayed way too far from the original principles of the olympic games and it might be time to reboot the games.

We all have a responsibility to "vote" with our wallets and eyes by refusing to buy anything related to the olympics and to not watch the games. Stop the madness and save the original spirit of the games. The games were supposed to be about amateur sport, not money.

Re:It's time to disband the IOC and reboot the gam (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135519)

Good luck with that.

Myself, I haven't watched the games in decades nor have I bought anything "Olympic". You're only starting now?

Re:It's time to disband the IOC and reboot the gam (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140451)

The games were supposed to be about amateur sport, not money.

Well, that was fine in pre First World War Europe when only gentlemen sportsmen competed (in between running the Empire and big game hunting), but it's a bit irrelevant nowadays.

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135397)

as possible? How are having 7rouble

i demand ICE seize the domain of these terrorists (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135705)

stealing intellectual property is NOT ok. why is Obama allowing the terrorists to win?

Re:i demand ICE seize the domain of these terroris (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40138081)

I demand drone strikes on the laboratory!

Re:i demand ICE seize the domain of these terroris (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140473)

I demand drone strikes on the laboratory!

Hold on, the IOC has its own military now? Maybe that means here in the UK we won't have to provide them with free police and military cover.

Re:i demand ICE seize the domain of these terroris (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153357)

No, obviously they would be provided and paid for by the UK as a result of contractual provisions in London hosting agreement. Don't tell me there's no Drone Strike Clause. How could the IOC overlook that?

Might get sued? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40135801)

No, you can count on it.

Next Step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40135963)

In our next project we will create the Audi logo.

Audi rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40142139)

And we'd have to call that compound "Quattrene" eh?

(proud owner of a classic Audi A4 Quattro)

Five Circles (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40136261)

To be honest, the photo of it reminds me more of a very common arrangment in which 5 spherical objects can be laid out. There's almost nothing about it that reminds me of the olympic rings. The colors aren't there, the rings don't overlap, and the circles look more like hexagons.

Basically, it just looks like some molecule to me...

Dear nano-chemists: (1)

rusl (1255318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40137319)

Thank you for your ambitious start. Please do us all a favour and shrink the rest of the Olympics down to that size too!

Sincerely,
The citizens of the host contries paying the massive public debt for the private advertising spectacle every 2 years.

It's VERY unlikely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40137453)

"Strictly speaking, of-course, the molecule might constitute an 'unofficial use' of the motif and land the scientists in court for copyright infringement."

They may end up in court for TRADEMARK infringement, but not copyright infringement.

Already has been done. (1)

structural_biologist (1122693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40137613)

A molecule like this has already been made by Frasier Stoddart in 1994 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiadane). The 1994 version, unlike the olympicene synthesized here, actually has interlocking rings versus rings that are simply juxtaposed.

Sigh.. (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 2 years ago | (#40138777)

Another example of overblown novelty... AFM is nothing new, and "olympicene" is also nothing new.. it's been made before... at least as early as 1965.. and possibly earlier still (haven't looked deeply in the scifinder databases).

Here's a literature citation (something the parent article sorely lacks) with proof. You know.. the stuff science is supposedly made of ?

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/1965/JR/jr9650005920 [rsc.org]

London Olympics (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40140497)

Boy am I glad I don't live in London any more.

It's going to be a fucking nightmare. If I still had a house there, I'd burn it down now, collect the insurance and piss off abroad for a couple of months.

When it has eventually struggled back to life from the smoking ruins left by rioting crazed crowds driven to madness by blocked roads and stationary trains, there will probably be some good property bargains to be had.

Westinghouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40140539)

It's the Westinghouse logo.

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