In April, a research ship will begin surveying the Atlantic Ocean floor off of Nova Scotia as the first step to building, by 2013, a $300 million private fiber-optic line connecting New York and London financial markets so as to speed up current transmission times — by about five milliseconds. Those five milliseconds, though (according to an April report in Bloomberg Business Week), will enable the small group of firms that are underwriting the project (and who will have exclusive use of it) to earn millions of dollars per transaction by having their trade sales arrive five milliseconds before their competitors' sales would have arrived.
Brazil'sSafety Net for the Poor: Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, the most celebrated plastic surgeon in the country, apparently earned enough money from well-off clients that he can now "give back," by funding and inspiring more than 200 clinics to provide low-income women with enhancement procedures (face lifts, tummy tucks, butt lifts) at a reduced, and sometimes no, charge. A local anthropology professor told ABC News, for a March dispatch, that "(i)n Brazil, plastic surgery is now seen as something of the norm" (or, as the reporter put it, "(B)eauty is (considered) a right, and the poor deserve to be ravishing, too").
Perp's Remorse: (1) Jason Adkins was charged in March in Cynthiana, Ky., with stealing electronic equipment from the home of a friend. According to police, Adkins admitted the break-in but said he felt guilty the next day and returned the items. However, he then admitted breaking back into the home two days after that and re-stealing them. (2) Ivan Barker was sentenced in March in England's Stoke-on-Trent Magistrates Court for stealing a laptop computer and cigarettes from the home of a wheelchair-bound man of his acquaintance. Barker subsequently visited the man and apologized for the theft, but then, during that visit, Barker stole the man's new replacement laptop computer and more cigarettes. [Cynthiana Democrat, 3-23-2012] [ThisIsStaffordshire.com, 3-22-2012]
The Japanese delicacy "fugu" (blowfish) must be properly filleted by trained chefs because of the highly concentrated poison in its tissue, and indeed, a few deaths are reported every year in Japan from people who prepare fugu at home, since a single drop can be fatal. (The additional training, and chef-licensing, partly explains why Tokyo restaurants charge the equivalent of $120 or more for the dish.) However, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which is apparently newly concerned about restaurant competition, announced recently that it would soon no longer require formal training of fugu chefs, leaving it to individual restaurants to set their own standards. Said one 30-year veteran chef, "We licensed chefs feel this way of thinking is a bit strange."
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