September 12, 2007, 7:14 PM CT
How consumers miscalculate sale prices
Quick: Youre walking by a store window and you see a sign that says, 20% off the original price plus an additional 25% off the already reduced sale price. So, how much is the discount" Consumers often mistakenly think the total discount is 45% off the original price when, in fact, the true discount is 40%. A thought-provoking new study from the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research explores why consumers frequently think a double discount is a better deal than a single discount of the same total magnitude.
Retailers frequently use the strategy of double discounts for their regular promotions or to induce customers to open a credit card account with them. Such errors in peoples judgments of the net effect of multiple price discounts. have implications for a variety of marketing settings including advertising, promotion, pricing, and public policy, write Haipeng (Allan) Chen (University of Miami) and Akshay R. Rao (University of Minnesota).
Previous studies have shown that even math teachers frequently have trouble calculating percentages. In the first experiment, the scientists observed that 59 percent of the respondents students at a large university erroneously added the two percentages to calculate the overall discount. Only 26 percent of students got the answer right.........
Posted by: Ethen Read more Source
September 12, 2007, 6:56 PM CT
Skyscrapers: past, present, future
Photo: Shaw Shieh, Evergreen Consulting Engineering Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan
At 1,667 feet, Taipei 101 is currently the world's tallest building. The building was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and engineered by Evergreen Consultants, Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan.
Soon after the World Trade Center's twin towers were brought down by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, some observers questioned whether tall buildings - now viewed as potential targets for future attacks - would continue to be built.
Among those who predicted the world's skylines would not yield to such threats was University of Illinois architecture professor Mir Ali.
"This phenomenon cannot be stopped simply because these two buildings came down," Ali said nearly three weeks after the attacks.
Eventhough he suspected the pace of such construction might slow a bit, he remained convinced that the economic, social and political realities that fueled such construction in the first place would not go away.
As it turns out, Ali - co-author of a new two-volume book, "The Skyscraper and the City: Design Technology and Innovation" (Edwin Mellen Press) - was right.
"There was a little pause after 9/11, particularly in the United States," he said. "But tall buildings are a reality that can't be avoided. Wherever you have high population density, you have to build them. And it is happening all over the world".
On the homefront, he pointed to the Trump International Hotel and Tower under construction in Chicago and scheduled for completion in 2009.........
Posted by: Ethen Read more Source
Thu, 06 Sep 2007 02:27:45 GMT
Office You Can Bring Anywhere
If you're someone who has a so big a house and you're just too fidgety while working at home you simply just have to have a mobile home office, you might want to get something like FileMaster - a mobile office.
- With capacity for 50 or more hanging files, this desk is a must-have for mobile workers who need a great deal of filing space to keep papers organized and efficient.
- Aspecial opening in the top of the desk creates a second storage area for hanging file folders. The file folders face the driver which makes it easier to see and access.
- The remaining top surface of the desk is covered with the rubber Non-skid material - this ensures that a laptop, briefcase, PDA, or cell phone will keep from sliding while the vehicle is in motion. The large storage area is great for office tools and accessories and also for keeping a laptop hidden out-of-sight. Additional storage compartments hold small supplies such as pens, maps, etc.
- This desk model is ideal for those needing quick access to files and mobile equipment and at the same time needing work space to write.
If you have wifi and you like the ability to bring your work anywhere, you might not mind the $169.95 price tag of this mobile office.
Posted by: noel Read more Source
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 23:25:50 GMT
Partnership limits invasive species
Poking around on The Nature Conservancy’s website, I found a recent press release about a partnership between TNC and Meijer, a department store in the Midwest that apparently has a pretty big nursery business in the spring and summer. I think it’s an interesting and positive development in light of our recent discussion on how the “green industry” should deal with invasive species.
TNC scientists worked with Meijer to improve their approach to selling native and invasive plants. Meijer will eliminate 2 major Midwestern invasives, Norway maple and Lombardy poplar, from their inventory, and will carry more non-invasive plants recommended by TNC. In fact, sixteen percent of their inventory will be TNC-recommended non-invasives, such as big blue-stem grass, white pine, big leaf dogwood, & purple coneflower. These plants will carry a specially-designed tag that indicates the plant is recommended by TNC.
In addition, TNC has trained Meijer salespeople about why these TNC-recommended non-invasive plants are better so they can explain it to customers. And to top it all off, Meijer is donating $450,000 to help eliminate invasive plants from the Lake Michigan shoreline.
This is great news in many ways. It’s obviously a good first step towards reducing the impact of invasive species, and it also shows that industry and environmentalists can work together to come up with creative solutions for solving environmental problems. Let’s hope that TNC and other organizations can use this deal as a model to develop similar partnerships with other nurseries.
Photo of purple loosestrife by B. Blossey, courtesy of Invasive.org.
Posted by: Caroline Brown Read more Source
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 13:42:52 GMT
Glitter, Layouts and Fun by PopDarts.com
Decorate your social networking site. As long as you're social networking site allows you to add your own layouts and codes you can use PopDarts.com to help decorate your site. PopDarts.com has layouts, glitter designs, comments, graphics, videos and more that you can use on your site.
If you're using Hi5 then you're in for a special treat. PopDarts.com has a variety of codes for Hi5 sites to use. There are many different types of Hi5 layouts for your Hi5 site in various themes: female singers, video games, abstract, brand names, glitter and more.
If you don't have Hi5 there are still a lot of things on PopDarts.com for you too. Try the PopDarts.com graffiti generator where you can create your own graffiti for your site. The cootie catcher will tell your friend's fortune. The rotating Earth globe is a cool way to find out where all your friends live around the world.
Posted by: Linda Roeder Read more Source
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 06:58:29 GMT
Venice. Cassandra's Dream.
"Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream is a humorless misfire that wastes the talents of some fine actors including Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell and Tom Wilkinson while continuing the mystery of Colin Farrell's appeal to major filmmakers," writes Ray Bennett in the Hollywood Reporter. "As writer, Allen offers lazy plotting, poor characterization, dull scenes and flat dialogue. As director, he makes no demands on the abundant talents of cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and composer Philip Glass."
This year's model "sends out more mixed signals than an inebriated telegraphist," writes Derek Elley in Variety. "The third consecutive Allen pic to be set in the UK, but the first to have no Americans in the cast, Cassandra's Dream leaves behind the touristy, upper-class POV of Match Point and Scoop to go down-and-dirty with more average Londoners. Here's where the problems start...."
Updated through 9/4.
Posted by: dwhudson Read more Source
Sun, 02 Sep 2007 13:50:34 GMT
While at Chautauqua Institute every speaker, presenter and teacher found a way to weave "continued learning" into their speech. The point being that we are never too old to learn. Learning continues long after we've completed our formal education.
To that end, check out the latest in the list of blogs to check out: Top Personal Development blogs. In the style of the "W" Priscilla Palmer has started a list of her favorite personal development blogs.
Priscilla has done an excellent job of collecting a wide variety of blogs:
Personal development is a large topic that includes but is not limited to (law of attraction, goals, time management, physical fitness, education, motivation, inspiration, and social skills
Do you have any to add?
Deborah Chaddock Brown
Posted by: Deborah Brown Read more Source
Sat, 01 Sep 2007 13:01:27 GMT
New life from an old chestnut
One morning this past May, on the second of our two annual point counts for the Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area, I was pleased to run across a couple of these brown, porcupiney things in the middle of our Laurel Ridge Trail. American chestnut husks! We looked around for the tree of origin, but we were in a hurry, and I had to return the next day and find it. It wasn’t more than fifteen feet off the trail — a forty-foot-tall tree, to all appearances still healthy, about five inches in diameter at breast height. The ground around it was littered with the tell-tale husks.
Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area
The day before yesterday I went for another look. Despite the absence of obvious lesions on its bark, it clearly had the blight; all the leaves had turned brown with the exception of those on the new sprouts that were already clustered around its base. (You can see the lowest branch in the above photo; none of my photos of the crown of the tree were worth sharing.) Like every other American chestnut on our mountain — and well over 99.9 percent of all native chestnuts in the eastern United States — this individual will never again be able to grow an above-ground stem for more than a couple of decades before succumbing to the introduced Asian fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica.
But unlike most of the other spindly chestnuts on our ridges, this stem lived long enough to produce one crop of nuts before it died. There’s a slight — very slight — chance that they were fertile, cross-pollinated with some other rare tree that happened to flower in the spring of 2006 somewhere in the vicinity. And there’s an even slighter chance that one of those fertile nuts was spared by the squirrels and managed to sprout in a favorable location. Do you believe in miracles? But it is upon just such miracles — and/or the intervention of geneticists — that the future of this totemic species depends, because it is only through sexual reproduction that the American chestnut will be able to evolve resistance to the blight.
I know: you thought the purpose of sex was reproduction, didn’t you? But many plants can reproduce vegetatively, too; Castanea dentata is a great example. “King of the coppice,” biologist Joe Schibig Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area. Who knows how the hell old some of these ridgetop rootstocks might be? It’s eerie to stand among the twisted chestnut oaks and the mountain laurel (now also dying en masse due to a blight of unknown origin) and realize that 100 years ago, the woods here would have been dominated by straight, soaring trunks, and that 200 years ago — before the first clear-cutting of Plummer’s Hollow around 1815 — the forest primeval would’ve been an almost unimaginably full cornucopia, with a deep carpet of chestnut burrs every fall. Even on years when the acorn and hickory crops failed, chestnuts, having bloomed well after the last frost, were still available to fill the bellies of squirrels, deer, raccoons, mice, chipmunks, and a host of other creatures. Evolution called the vast flocks of passenger pigeons into existence in part as a response to this superabundance of chestnut mast. One out of every four trees in the Appalachians was an American chestnut. Its wood was straight-grained, easy to split, rock-hard, and virtually impervious to rot.
It’s a bit of an irony, I guess, that trees so resistant to the common agents of decay would fall victim to a fungus. First spotted at the Bronx Zoo in 1904, the airborne disease spread at a rate of about fifty miles a year, wiping out in excess of three billion trees over the next half-century. A half-century after that, what’s the prognosis for the species? As Schibig Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area,
Some chestnuts have repeatedly died and sprouted again from their root collars for the past 70 years, but the vigor and number of these sprouts have been declining. After all, they can’t be expected to forever battle the blight, other diseases such as root rot, ravenous insects, browsing by deer, competition from other trees, unfavorable weather conditions and habitat destruction by humans. It was hoped that in some parts of its natural range there would be pockets of chestnuts that would have resistance to the disease and would be reproducing successfully from their nuts, not just by sprouting. To my knowledge, such populations, sometimes called the “holy grail” by American chestnut fans, have never been found. It appears that human intervention will be necessary to restore the American chestnut to the forests of the eastern U. S.
The remainder of Schibig’s brief essay describes the effort to resurrect the American chestnut. I’m most familiar with the efforts of Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area, whose quarter-century-long experiment began by crossing American chestnuts with blight-resistant Chinese chestnuts, then crossing the resulting hybrids with more American Chestnuts, and so on: crossing each new generation with pure C. dentata stock until they get a tree that has all the attributes of an American chestnut, but with the disease resistance of its scrubbier East Asian ancestor. The main site for this research in Pennsylvania is at the Penn State Experimental Forest in Stone Valley, less than 25 miles away from our mountain as the pigeon flies.
Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area
The passenger pigeon and the American chestnut were almost certainly both examples of what ecologists call keystone species: species without which basic ecosystem functions such as carbon cycling and nutrient storage are fundamentally altered. Without a steady supply of chestnut mast, many wildlife populations have probably become a great deal more unstable, with repercussions up and down the food chain. Without passenger pigeons — which were on the way out well before the introduction of the chestnut blight, due to market hunting and widespread clear-cutting — our forests have lost a major, periodic source of fertilizer and a disturbance regime as natural and necessary as the once-in-a-century wildfire.
It’ll be great if the American Chestnut Foundation’s back-crossing scheme works and we can restore at least one of these two species. But in order to do so, we will also have to be mindful of a third keystone species: the white-tailed deer. Here in Plummer’s Hollow, as I’ve Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area, a number of years of good hunting have brought the deer herd down to reasonable levels, allowing a few of the chestnut sprouts to survive. But we can never quite relax: one year of poor hunting combined with a mild winter could change all that. Eternal vigilance, it seems, is the price not only of liberty but of healthy forests as well.
I know I will never see a fully mature American chestnut tree in my own lifetime — just as I will never see a large, old-growth mixed-deciduous landscape in the East outside of the Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area, way over on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area on the American Chestnut Foundation’s research sounds a hopeful note, projecting enough nuts for a large-scale replanting effort to commence by 2015. Hope is good. But I do think a consciousness of just how much we’ve lost is also important if we really want to overcome public complacency and rally support for protecting and restoring what we have left.
Don’t forget to submit links for the upcoming Festival of the Trees #15 by Thursday at the latest. See the details Bald Eagle Ridge Important Bird Area.
Posted by: Vianegativa Read more Source
Sat, 01 Sep 2007 06:52:15 GMT
Google To Start New York Transit Guide
Search engine giant is preparing for a big venture - and that is offer online transit guides for more than a dozen cities in the United States that cover Dallas and San Diego. Now it may take on the biggest, reported Bloomberg.
"We are always looking for ways to incorporate technology in what we do,'' Jim Redeker, assistant executive director of New Jersey Transit, said in a telephone interview from Newark. Google has "good experience at making this work.''
New Jersey Transit plans to share maps and schedules with Google as part of a pilot program to post more information about the system on the Web, Redeker said. MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin confirmed the New York agency is also working hand in hand with Google Transit. He declined to go into details.
So far, the New York market would be the largest and most complex Google has tried to crack with its online guide. The New York MTA had 8.27 million daily riders as of Dec. 31 and runs the city's subway and buses and the Long Island and Metro-North railroads, the busiest U.S. commuter lines, the report stressed.
"Customers don't care what agency is running what, they just want to know how to get from one door to the next,'' said Allison de Cerreño, director of New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management.
"Most people know Google,'' said Cerreño, who walked more than 20 blocks to her job when she came to New York two decades ago because she was daunted by the subway. "That's actually a very powerful way to get the information in one place, in a way that most people are familiar with.''
Posted by: noel Read more Source
Older Blog Entries
Sat, 01 Sep 2007 03:55:13 GMT
Lust, Caution is set to screen in Venice and Toronto before opening on September 28. Dennis Lim talks with Ang Lee and James Schamus - and even exchanges a bit of email with Tony Leung: "'Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden,' Mr Lee said this month, taking a break from a final sound-mixing session in Manhattan. 'But this one - it's down in the cave, a scary place. It's more like hell.'" Related: Glenn Kenny on how Lee and Schamus have reacted to the NC-17 rating; and on how the story's been reported.
Also in the New York Times:
In the wake of this summer's deluge of sequels, "most of which scared up satisfying revenue if not critical approval," Jeanette Catsoulis argues that "only three films succeeded on both fronts: The Bourne Ultimatum, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Live Free or Die Hard. Though hardly artistic milestones, or even unanimously feted, all three were smart, entertaining and - most important - keenly attuned to the expectations of their audience."
Death Sentence, The Brave One, Outlaw. David M Halbfinger looks into "why revenge movies are making a comeback this season, as politics bleeds over into another film genre."
Posted by: dwhudson Read more Source