Biz Bits: Scared into saving their pennies
Japan has a new weapon to scare people into saving for their retirement -- an exploding piggy bank.
The "Savings Bomb," which goes on sale in Japan next week, "explodes" and scatters coins if users fail to top off their piggy bank often enough, toy manufacturer TOMY Co Ltd said Thursday.
"Users must pick up and collect the scattered coins and reflect on their laziness," the Japanese company said.
A Dollar Just Doesn’t Go As Far These Days
What has ninety gemstones, nine diamonds, a star-shaped ruby and an entry in the Vietnamese “Guinness Book of World Records”? If you guessed the expensive bouquet on display on the sixth floor of Ruby Plaza in Hanoi, you’d be right. Valued at around $125,000, this wedding bouquet of red and white gemstone flowers is the most expensive bouquet in the world. - http://most-expensive.net
Whether you’re in the holiday mood or not, the Christmas buying season has begun. Over the next couple of months, we’ll highlight some of the hottest toys out there.
Big Bad Booming Bugs Giant Bug Projector, $10.95: Big Bad Booming Bugs Giant Bug Projector transforms any regular sized bug into a monster-size bug that’s projected onto a wall or ceiling. Kids catch a bug or two with the bug scooper and place them inside the observation chamber. Everything changes when the lights are turned off and the Bug Projector is turned on, projecting an image of the creeping crawling bug that’s magnified 50 times. When the viewing is done, switch the lever and the bug drops into the bug habitat below. – amazon.com
Number to Know: $4.85 billion
Merck & Co. said Friday it will pay $4.85 billion to end thousands of state and federal lawsuits over its painkiller Vioxx in one of the largest drug settlements ever.
Company officials estimated the deal, if accepted, would end 45,000 to 50,000 personal injury lawsuits involving U.S. Vioxx users who suffered a heart attack or ischemic stroke, the type in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.
Quote of Note
"I think we are at a moment of economic crisis. I'm not surprised to hear experts, such as your predecessor Alan Greenspan, warn about the threat of a recession. I have begun to worry about it, too."
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Bernanke said Thursday that economic growth will slow noticeably in coming months while surging oil costs will raise inflation pressures. But he said the economy is nowhere close to the stagflation nightmare of the 1970s and he predicted an economic rebound by mid-2008.
Tech Tip: Get organized online
Here’s a handy site for anyone who needs help getting and staying organized. www.37Signals.com offers free business and organizational tools that can really help you stay on top of your work. Sign up for free, create your own page featuring checklists, photos and reminders, or chat and collaborate with coworkers. -- techtips101.com
Best Business Schools
This 2007 ranking of business schools highlights the appeal of one-year programs. The survey ranks schools based on return on investment--meaning compensation five years after graduation minus tuition and the forgone salary during school.
1. Dartmouth (Tuck)
4. Virginia (Darden)
5. Pennsylvania (Wharton)
9. Northwestern (Kellogg)
10. Cornell (Johnson)
Tip of the Week: Save money on holiday travel
- Don’t travel at peak times. The busiest, and typically most expensive, days to travel are the days just before and after any other major holiday.
- In general, it’s cheaper to fly out of major airports in large cities than board in a small, outlying city and switch planes at a hub.
- If you haven’t bought your tickets by now, you may have missed the best deals. Book your trip well in advance and you’ll probably save on airfare, motels and car rentals.
- Remember that impulse buying of doodads and thingamajigs at airport gift shops or rest stops along the Interstate doesn’t qualify as a legitimate use of your backup money.
- Conduct Internet searches to find the best price for major expenses. Use comparison shopping Web sites to get the best deal on airfare, motel and other travel expenses.
- Clip coupons. You may be able to save on motels and airport parking, especially if you’re willing to leave your car at a lot some distance from the terminal. – yahoo.com
Dirty Jobs: Esthetician
Anything that involves removing unwanted stuff from other people's bodies can't be pleasant. Estheticians perform a couple of tasks that have the potential to be quite dirty, including extracting zits during facials, bikini and other "intimate" waxing, and perhaps an esthetician's most unpleasant job -- waxing a man's hairy back. – Forbes.com
GateHouse News Service