Fairness in fares, or a ‘fat tax’?
Samoa Air is a little airline with a big idea. Back in April, the company made news with the announcement of its unique pricing plan: individual airfares would be determined according to each passenger’s weight.
“It’s the fairest of any system,” claims a page on Somoa Air’s website. “Think equality of purchase. Think no discrimination. Think one price for all because a kilo is a kilo is a kilo.”
Now the airline is going one step further by super-sizing its seats. One of the rows in its aircraft is being designated “XL Class” for extra large passengers. The row has been extended by 12 to 14 inches, the airline’s chief exec explained on Australian radio, and a ramp is being added for easier access.
Go ahead, treat yourself to something special. You deserve it. No, really, you do.
If the idea of spending money without retail regret gets you all fired up, National Splurge Day is the holiday for you. There’s no room for retail regret today, so tap that “mad money” stash and pull the spending trigger on whatever splurge you’ve had your eye on.
I took a quick poll to find out what people splurge on; here are 12 of my favorites:
National Splurge Day is only a few days from the official start of summer. For that occasion, I wanted a patio table and chairs. I refused to settle for a cheap, plastic set, so I splurged on a quality 6-piece set with an umbrella. It cost me $2,300, but I won't mind when I'm relaxing on my patio while sipping margaritas and eating fish tacos!
Nikki Lavoie of Smyrna, Del.
A tankless water heater. Long hot showers without guilt, endless hot water, showering while I have the dishwasher on or after three other family members. Whoo hoo! That is an affordable luxury that will last more than a day.
Gretchen Kucher of Seattle, Wash.
And you thought you were having so much fun.
Summer is great, right? Sure it is. But if the barbecues and vacations get to be too much fun, here are some things to complain about.
Bugs, bugs and more bugs. There are approximately 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, and it’s believed they can find warm-blooded mammals from 100 feet away. Then there are the disease-spreading ticks that make the jump from tall grass and foliage onto people and pets, with potentially serious outcomes. This summer we also have the obnoxious cacophony of cicadas cutting through the heat in the East — their noisy calls can be heard up to a mile away. Even fireflies, while not entirely without charm, have a dark side: The females are cannibals, and copy the flash patterns of other fireflies to make a meal of the males.
Gas prices often go up in summer months. The increased demand resulting from vacations and road trips is one justification, plus energy companies shut down their refineries for maintenance in the spring, limiting capacity until late May. But the main reason for the summertime pump-up in prices is that the U.S. fuel supply changes twice annually. The “seasonal gasoline transition,” instituted in 1995 to reduce pollution and smog during the summer ozone season, increases per-gallon gas prices in summer from 2 cents to as much as 15 cents in some states.
June 15 is the Worldwide Day of Giving. Get involved, give back and feel good.
June 15 celebrates the Worldwide Day of Giving. The idea was birthed in 2009 when Reed Sandridge lost his job at a nonprofit and decided to embark on an altruistic journey to honor his deceased mother.
The idea was simple: Give away $10 to a different person every day and learn a little something about each person along the way.
Parking is such a precious commodity in Boston that one woman was willing to pay big for two off-street spaces near her home
BOSTON (AP) — Lisa Blumenthal paid $560,000 for two parking spots in the city's Back Bay neighborhood during an on-site auction held Thursday in a steady rain by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS had seized the spots from a man who owed back taxes.
Blumenthal, who lives in a multimillion-dollar home near the parking spaces, tells The Boston Globe she didn't expect the bidding to go quite so high for the spots she says will come in handy for guests and workers.
Wallflowers need not apply.
VIENNA (AP) — It's no joke. An Austrian hotel is advertising for a modern-day court fool who is communicative, extroverted, musical, creative and imaginative.
Applicants are asked to bring and play their musical instrument during the job interview. Also welcome: creative costumes. The successful candidate will earn around $1,900 a month.
Thoughts on 'dog days,' Popsicles and the dreaded summer job.
Summer conjures thoughts of sand between the toes, long dips in cool water and nicking off time at work to extend the weekend. As you head out into the sun, here are 10 little-known facts to take with you.
• The Popsicle: This longtime summer favorite was invented by 11-year-old Frank Epperson in 1905. He had mixed powdered soda flavoring with water and inadvertently left the mixture outside overnight, with the stirring stick still in it, when temperatures dropped below freezing. He patented the “Epsicle ice pop” in 1924.
Man accused of writing the word 'help' on the royal picture.
LONDON (AP) — A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly defacing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on display at London's Westminster Abbey, police said.
Fathers 4 Justice, a protest group that campaigns on behalf of fathers denied contact with their children, said the arrested man was a member. It said he had written "Help" with paint on the picture in the abbey's Chapter House.
Police said a 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and taken to a London police station.