Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pasckie keeps on talking: Lookism. The Big Tipper. “Sense and Sensibility” for a 2-year old? Entrepreneurship among the young.

DO you know what “lookism” means? It means preferential treatment given to those who conform to social standards of beauty. Research suggests that people who are judged physically attractive are seen as more competent and more socially graceful than those who aren’t; they have more friends and more sex; and they make more money. One economic study found a 5 percent bonus for being in the top third in the looks department (as assessed by a set of observers), and a 7 to 9 percent penalty for being in the bottom 9 percent... 
          All of which might come as a surprise to Melissa Nelson, a 33-year-old dental assistant in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Ms. Nelson, you see, was fired in 2010 by her dentist boss, James Knight, because she was too attractive. Mr. Knight, who is married, said he felt that Ms. Nelson’s beauty was simply too tempting to pass unnoticed and that he was worried he would have an affair with her. And so as a pre-emptive move (and at his wife’s insistence), he fired her. Humans are so weird, isn't it?

NEWS: “The Big Tipper: $5,000, $1,000 tips left at two Ogden (Utah) bars.” Lucky recipients of those thousands, indeed! It's good to know that some millionaires—or billionaires—are so kind to share some to ordinary people, right? Mathematically, a member of Forbes top 300 wealthiest in the world—tipping $2,000 to a wait staff, hotel housekeeper or valet dude is not really so big deal. They can even do that 5 days a week each week, yet their bank accounts won't even budge. I mean, how many rich people splurge on a Tiffany & Co. jewelry, Nobu sushi dinner, $2,000/night seat on a ringside sports event, or blow $100,000 a year on cocaine, or $50,000 on baccarat table one weekend in a Las Vegas casino? A thousand bucks is spare change. So might as well make one minimum-wage earner's soul happy.
          Many times, I ask why don't rich rock stars, sports “gods,” or Hollywood personalities simply write checks to charity, whenever there is a huge calamity—than wait for earnings from a benefit show? Their money is safely sitting in banks, anyways... So just write the damn check, quit the pageantry, and enjoy the mojitos at Ibiza. If I'm that rich, that's what I'm gonna do. Call my accountant, cut me $2 million check, send it to where it is needed, ASAP... And then, leave me alone, I am busy Facebooking.

NEWS: “Italian scientists claim it's now possible to perform human-head transplants.” --Rolling Stone magazine. I hope that includes the brain. Should be a lucrative business.

NEWS (Yahoo News): “Congress weighs national park on the moon.” Yes, go ask Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas. Didn't I tell you few months ago that Martians have sent Earth 1 million anti-Walmart signatures?

NEWS (Y! Health): “Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in 98 Shampoos and Soaps... Nearly 100 personal care products are in violation of a California law requiring that consumers be warned about the presence of cancer-causing chemicals...” REPEAT: Ninety-eight! Come to think of it, it seems all that we buy in groceries and stores these days are most likely toxic. The only non-toxic shit is a moringa leaf from Saturn.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN. The humble board book, with its cardboard-thick pages, gently rounded corners and simple concepts for babies, was once designed to be chewed as much as read. But today’s babies and toddlers are treated to board books that are miniature works of literary art: classics like “Romeo and Juliet,” “Sense and Sensibility” and “Les Misérables”; luxuriously produced counting primers with complex graphic elements; and even an “Art for Baby” book featuring images by the contemporary artists Damien Hirst and Paul Morrison. Booksellers say that parents are flocking to these books, even if the idea that a 2-year-old could understand “Moby-Dick” seems absurd on the face of it. 
          A toddler might not be expected to follow the plot, but she could learn about harpoons, ships and waves, with quotes alongside (“The waves rolled by like scrolls of silver”). Publishers of these books are catering to parents who follow the latest advice by child-development experts to read to babies early and often, and who believe that children can display aesthetic preferences even while they are crawling and eating puréed foods. “If we’re going to play classical music to our babies in the womb and teach them foreign languages at an early age, then we’re going to want to expose babies to fine art and literature,” said Linda Bubon, an owner and children’s book buyer at Women & Children First, a bookstore in Chicago. “Now we know there are things we can do to stimulate the mind of a baby.” Or are these publishers simply marketing products? I believe kids will learn art and literature as life flows—take them out in the prairie, travel with them, let them dance under the rain etc etcetera.

BIG business makes it a point to profit on anything where it could excise some cash from. Like carpooling which used to be a hallmark of community camaraderie. Then rent-a-car bigwigs like Avis and Enterprise took over... But wait—all of a sudden three high school students in Frisco played online and “rewrote” carpooling entrepreneurship and got the giants reeling, caught off-guard by their upstart rival... Now, let's turn to another traditional practice or old-fashioned concept, shipment of care packages to loved ones and friends. For a time courier companies DHL and UPS (if not US Mail) take care of business. Then, a small group of students at the University of New Hampshire, led by Jessica Streitmater, formed Regaalo, a web service that allows parents to send gifts to students. 
          Regaalo (a take on the Spanish word for gift) partnered with merchants around the UNH campus in Portsmouth to offer products ranging from pizza to massages; the company now has a total of 45 partners in New England. Orders are placed at, and notification of the gift--along with a code to redeem it--is sent to students via text message. Sales may be small so far, but the company's potential has not escaped notice--Streitmater and her partners have raised $200,000 from private investors. Well, at least, the big guys are getting some competition... 

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