Results for “markets in everything” 1652 found
[Paul] McCartney was still wrestling with the comparison between the two bands [the Beatles and Wings]. A few months earlier he had commissioned veteran sci-fi author Isaac Asimov to write a screenplay. “He had the basic idea for the fantasy, which involved two sets of musical groups,” Asimov recalled, “a real one, and a group of extraterrestrial imposters. The real one would be in pursuit of the imposters and would eventually defeat them, despite the fact that the latter had supernormal powers.” Beyond that framework, McCartney offered Asimov nothing more than “a snatch of dialogue describing the moment when the group realised they were being victimised by imposters.” Asimov set to work and produced a screenplay that he called “suspenseful, realistic and moving.” But McCartney rejected it. As Asimov recalled, “He went back to his one scrap of dialogue out of which he apparently couldn’t move.”
That is from Peter Doggett’s excellent You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup.
A 2003 Mercedes station wagon fetched nearly $420,000 at a Delaware auction last month—$6,800 for the car, $410,000 for the license plate.
“I wanted it,” says the tag’s winning bidder, William Lord. “I’m happy I did it.”
And who wouldn’t be? The plate reads “20,” a highly coveted low Delaware license-plate number.
The bidding was fierce. “I got caught up in the moment,” says Dr. Lord, 83, a retired dentist in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “My father and I used to go to auctions to buy cattle, machinery. There was nothing I liked better than looking at an opponent across the way and outbidding him.”
For a fringe of American drivers, having a fine car isn’t enough. They must have low license-plate numbers, too, and they’re fueling competition for the tags that can be relentless. In Delaware, a decadeslong obsession over tags with few digits has given rise to a vibrant private market.
This isn’t China, however, where lucky numbers are part of a longstanding cultural or even religious tradition. May I be allowed to wonder whether the residents of Delaware have nothing better to spend their money on? This point has at least been addressed:
“It’s a real part of who we are,” says state Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan. “We’ve got some loyalty to some strange things, and license plates is one of them.” A low number signifies one of two things, she says: deep roots or deep pockets.
“They are something people fight over a lot. A lot,” says Delaware divorce lawyer Marie Crossley. “It’s almost a badge of how Delaware you are.”
I am surprised issues of this kind have taken so long to surface:
Amazon is investigating claims that employees accepted bribes to disclose confidential data that would give sellers that use its marketplace a competitive advantage. The company confirmed the investigation following a report in the Wall Street Journal that Amazon employees, working through brokers, have sold internal sales data, the email addresses of product reviewers, and the ability to delete negative reviews and restore banned accounts. “We are conducting a thorough investigation of these claims,” an Amazon spokeswoman said.
These practices seem to be a particular problem in China, though not only. Here is more from Shannon Bond at the FT. Here is further coverage at Verge: “The WSJ also reports that it costs roughly $300 to take down a bad review, with brokers “[demanding] a five-review minimum” per transaction.”
Suffolk County locals in New York’s Long Island are on alert in the wake of the appearance of three potential crack pipe vending machines, with authorities trying to find out who planted them.
The town of Brookhaven received complaints about the machines last weekend and two have been removed. One of the machines that was removed was partially destroyed by the community, according to WABC-TV.
The station reported that the machines featured the words “Sketch Pens” and were mounted in cement into the ground. It would dispense a small glass tube and a filter for $2 in the form of eight quarters.
The dispensers were initially reported to officials as merely pen dispensers as it was the first week of school in the community.
Stressed out, overworked, or just over it: Workers in Japan who want to leave their jobs — but don’t want to face the stress of quitting in person — are paying a company called Exit to tell their bosses that they won’t be back.
People hoping to never set foot in their workplace again pay Exit $450 to help them quit their full-time jobs; those who have had it with part-time work can pay around $360. And as Alex Martin reports for Japan Times, “Repeat clients get a [$90] discount.”
Stanley emails me:
Since Google Maps and even most paper maps don’t help navigate a visitor around the Fez Medina (particularly the inner non-tourist parts), it creates an interesting markets in directions. Gentleman (nearly all as far as I can tell) stand around the various pedestrian-only streets* (if you can call them that) and offer to help, which usually ends up with them walking alongside you in the direction they think you might want to go (or the place you requested thinking it was simply a free helping hand). At the end of the partnered walk they ask for money (even though they insisted it was free or pretend they didn’t hear you ask before embarking). While most people would see this as a “tourist trap” (and it certainly is), the more interesting part to me (as a former econ major and MR enthusiast) is the the market problem – that is, lack of technology/tools and asymmetric information – is paired with a market solution, which is the locals providing only the information they know (directions)…In very minimal engagement in the market I found a piece of information cost between 5 to 20 dirham ($0.50 to $2.00) depending on the length of service (how far they walk with you) and your ability to negotiate.
Darth Vader Is in Demand at Summer Weddings
Forget flower girls. Couples want stormtroopers throwing petals, and Vader leading the congo line.
There is, however, a shortage. Note this:
Disney forbids the garrisons from participating in certain events without approval, such as gatherings that promote a local business or professional sporting events. Weddings are allowed because they’re considered “community service.”
The 501st has had to adopt an unofficial list of rules to narrow the number of wedding requests. That includes sufficient space to get dressed in costume and having drinking water available on hot days. The plastic and rubber costumes offer no ventilation. “They’re basically death traps,” said Mr. Johnson, who recently returned from a Star Wars event in Singapore where three people dressed as stormtroopers passed out from the heat.
Metro significantly relaxed its policies on extended hours for the Washington Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup Final, including extending service for Thursday night’s series win without ever planning for any cash to change hands, WTOP has learned.
Since last summer, Metro has required a $100,000 deposit for each additional hour of service, and Metro suggested Wednesday that the Capitals’ parent company, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, would cover those costs for Thursday night’s game.
In fact, Thursday night’s extended service was part of a trade between the Caps and Metro that Metro valued at $100,000, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said in an email…
Revised requirements issued last year normally call for the $100,000 deposit two weeks ahead of an event for each extra hour of service. Instead, Metro is billing each of the other groups that agreed to pay for the extended service for Capitals playoff games after the fact, Stessel said…
Here is the bizarre story, via Bruce Arthur. For those of you who don’t get the joke, the D.C. Metro system shuts down too early relative to when many sporting events are likely to end.
The governments of Myanmar and Israel signed an agreement on Monday that will promote Holocaust education in Myanmar and allow each country to determine how it is depicted in the other’s history textbooks.
The agreement provides for a variety of joint initiatives that feature in standard agreements Israel has signed with other countries, such as encounters between educators and students from both countries and joint study trips. The two countries will also “cooperate to develop programs for the teaching of the Holocaust and its lessons of the negative consequences of intolerance, racism, Anti-Semitism and xenophobia as a part of the school curriculum in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.”
Here is the unusual story, via a retweet from the excellent Chris Blattman.
Meditation app Calm provides what it calls “bedtime stories for grown-ups” (an eclectic mix of lullabies, fairy tales, and short stories in audiobook form). But it’s now added highlights from the GDPR legislation to its roster, narrated aloud by former BBC radio announcer Peter Jefferson, who is famous in the UK for his readings of the Shipping Forecast — a nightly maritime weather report that’s cherished by non-maritime listeners for its repetitive and ritual qualities.
Jefferson doesn’t read the entire legislation (“which would take more than all night”), but he picks out more than half an hour of material, which is enough to send anyone to sleep. You can listen to an excerpt for yourself below, or download the app from Google Play or the App Store. Unfortunately, you have to pay to unlock the full GDPR reading (and a number of other Calm features), but you can test them all with a seven-day free trial.
A DENTIST who bought John Lennon’s tooth is looking for potential love children of the late-Beatle in a bid to stake a claim to his £400million estate.
Dr Michael Zuk, 45, from Alberta, Canada, purchased the legendary songwriter’s decayed molar at auction in 2011 for around £20,000…
Speaking with The Sun Online, the dentist has sensationally revealed that he plans to stake a claim to the music icon’s vast estate using DNA from the body part.
He said: “I am looking for people who believe they are John Lennon’s child and have a claim to his estate and hopefully I can legitimise their claim.
“John was a very popular guy who was having sex with lots of women and I doubt birth control was on his mind.
…“I would ask anyone who is participating to sign a commission agreement which would mean if they were related they would pay my company a percentage of their inheritance.
“Like a finder’s fee.”
Here is the story, via Michael J.
P.s. Solve for the equilibrium.
The recycling bin behind the cremation chamber is the first tip-off that Elgin Mills Crematorium, north of Toronto, is up to something different.
The green bin is full of medical implants, including titanium hips and knees, stainless steel bone screws — even gold teeth.
The pieces gathered here were, until recently, inside the bodies of deceased people. Cremating a body incinerates nearly all biological material, but artificial materials can be collected quite literally out of the ashes.
But the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Group, which operates Elgin Mills Crematorium, has adopted a system not only to safely recover these materials but recycle them with a rather altruistic buyer — who compensates them based on what they pass on.
Here is the story, via Shaun F.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Wall Street billionaire, was prepared to cut a $25 million check to the high school he attended here in the 1960s, to help it pay for a huge renovation project.
He wanted only a few things in return.
For starters, the public school should be renamed in his honor. A portrait of him should be displayed prominently in the building. Spaces at the school should be named for his twin brothers. He should have the right to review the project’s contractors and to sign off on a new school logo.
The school district’s officials accepted the deal.
So it was that this Philadelphia bedroom community of 55,000, not normally a hotbed of civic unrest, exploded into a populist fury.
That is from Kate Kelly at the NYT.
An effort that animal rescuers began more than a decade ago to buy dogs for $5 or $10 apiece from commercial breeders has become a nationwide shadow market that today sees some rescuers, fueled by Internet fundraising, paying breeders $5,000 or more for a single dog.
The result is a river of rescue donations flowing from avowed dog saviors to the breeders, two groups that have long disparaged each other. The rescuers call many breeders heartless operators of inhumane “puppy mills” and work to ban the sale of their dogs in brick-and-mortar pet stores. The breeders call “retail rescuers” hypocritical dilettantes who hide behind nonprofit status while doing business as unregulated, online pet stores.
But for years, they have come together at dog auctions where no cameras are allowed, with rescuers enriching breeders and some breeders saying more puppies are being bred for sale to the rescuers.
Here is more from Kim Kavin at WaPo, substantive throughout with photos and video. In essence, somebody has solved for the equilibrium.
For the pointers I thank Tom Vansant and Alexander Lowery.