The Australian nicotine replacement market has grown immensely since nicotine gum first became available on prescription in 1984, helped by a rise in the social stigma attached to smoking and wider availability of the products.
Nicotine replacement products gradually release nicotine into the bloodstream, relieving the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal without the other harmful chemicals contained in tobacco smoke.
In 1997, when patches and gum became available over the counter at pharmacies, sales spiked 1117 per cent in a single year.
In the year after their sale was further liberalised in 2003, sales increased by as much as 5257 per cent, revealed a study conducted by the Smoking Cessation Research Unit at Sydney University, which was funded by the nicotine replacement product manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.
Here's the news guys, we want the buzz. If we have to risk life and limb to GET it, we will do so without hesitating, if some nice person in a white coat will give us unvarnished BUZZZ, so much the better.
The Humans START with weird
and dangerous and go steeply downhill from there, driven by the buzz.
We are a species that has been known to mate with other species and inanimate
objects, including vaccum cleaner hoses, even when we KNOW its a vacuum cleaner, sometimes even when its RUNNING. Perhaps that too is about the buzz. OK, TMI.
Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday finally came to grips with what legions of Ford truck men and upper-crust British luxury-car fans knew from the outset: A marriage of the two sides was destined for failure.
After decades of losses at Jaguar and a history of reliability issues at Land Rover, Ford announced that it will sell the two brands operations to India's Tata Motors Ltd. for $2.3 billion and will contribute as much as $600 million to the unit's pension plan.
It was a shock to the system, and a clear swallow of an Asian summer when the 7-11 venture in Japan resulted in the Japanese arm of the company buying out its parent back in the 90's when the company ran into financial difficulties and was rescued from bankruptcy by Ito-Yokado, its largest franchisee.
The colonists were being colonised by the colonees even then, but almost nobody (as usual) took it as a warning of the end of empire. The US former colony was still buying out its previous owner's assets.
But then IBM sold its PC business to China, Whirlpool and a bunch of other brands did the same and it became obvious that the centre of economic power was shifting. Some of it, like aircraft manufacture, was moving to Europe with Boeing playing "me too" but not really taking the leading edge risk, and in the last few weeks the entire US financial system has been effectively colonised by Sovereign funds from the Middle east and Asia as they have bought up the results of the silly games of the late empire wastrels on wall Street.
But Jaguar? And Land Rover? Picked up in a fire sale by an Indian company? After what the British did to India (OK apart from the railways) that is both a delicious irony and a whole flock of swallows darkening the empire sun.
Those of us whose lives have been invisibly advantaged by being part of that empire need to be aware that the rules, and the rulers, have changed.
The cover of the latest issue of Caltex's magazine The Star features a cover predicting some time in the next decade when prices are 334.9c per litre.
The publication, sent to employees, franchisees and resellers, includes a foreword from managing director Des King saying prices in other countries were already more than $2 a litre and consumers have had to adjust to these.
Damned right, my mates in Sweden (along with taxes to loosen political bowels in this part of the world) are already paying SEK12.43 or about NZ$2.55. Tghis is exactly why we chose to buy a house within walking distance of my wife's workplace when we shifted home to NZ.
And here's the payoff, still well hidden down the article
Mr King believes prices will soar over the next few years as crude oil
supplies dwindle and governments introduce charges to combat climate
Copy, paste, enlarge, print, stick up on the wall of your favourite Peak Oil denier.
"the next few years as crude oil
Rory O'Connor has an interesting take on the "fashion accessory" model of technology progress: That PC is SO You.
A recent article in Business Week titled “That computer is so you” by Steve Hamm and Jay Greenehas an interesting perspective about design. According to the authors there is an emerging trend of turning PC’s into fashion statements, with Lenovo, HP and Dell raising the bar in terms of design and Michael Dell quoted as saying “We’re in the fashion business. The products we sell increasingly make a statement about who you are.”
Its pretty obvious that comoputing has now fallen right off the end of the value chain identified by Clayton Christensen in After The Goldrush where innovation follows a very predictable trend:
Compete On Better Functionality
Compete On Improved Reliability
Compete on price
Once you have gone down that chain with ever increasing sales and ever diminishing margins, you get to the point where any actual device (car, computer, kitchen whizz) will almost certainly be more capable and have more capacity than you will ever ask of it. It will also be made in China and have near zero profit margin.
Michael Dell is therefore shifting to the next nearest available value chain and that is vanity, which apparently knows no bounds in human society. While the very small number of actual geeks will continue to buy machines based on arcane innards, most of us will choose other criteria because any standard set of innards will do what we need. Dell is betting that, along with Faberge eggs and gold bathroom fittings and a 2008 branded SUV, you will be sucked into paying for the case not the contents.
I'd even bet that in the 20th century he would be right; these days, as people watch their houses and SUV's being repossessed at ever faster rates, I doubt this will fly, in fact at this rate we will not only be sliding down the value chain, but UP Maslow's hierarchy as well.
I think the most interesting point in the article however was made by Donald A. Norman, a professor at Northwestern University talking about Apple’s success: “the company’s design genius lies in its dedication to making simple, elegant devices for specific activities, not demographic types…the proper way to design is not to target an individual type of customer. You want 100 million customers.”
Would this be the old function rather than form chestnut?
Nah, the network says that NOBODY gets 100 million customers any more and nobody gets a lock on any specific kind of functionality, once you have passed that phase you can't go back up, except by invoking fashion.
The market technicians talk about "support" - how far will a stock or a market fall before it reaches a low that people are prepared to buy into, and "resistance" - a high that buyers will no longer accept and switch to finding ways to do without.
Crude-oil futures rose for a second day Thursday and closed above $105 a barrel for the first time, after hitting a record high of $105.97 earlier in the session. Crude oil for April delivery rose 95 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $105.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
So, where will it go from here? How long will it take to reach $150? $200? Is there any realistic top for a product where demand exceeds supply by increasing amounts? And at what level does it break the economics based on cheap, plentiful supply that exceeds demand?
We ALL have skin in THAT game. No doubt someone will tell me its just the speculators again, and that any day now the high prices will result in a flood of alternative sources into the market; that IS how its supposed to work isn't it?
Crude's new record was brought by a new low of the value of the dollar against the euro, an unexpected drop in U.S. inventories, and the escalating tensions between Colombia and Ecuador.
Call me cynical but when a US surrogate state laden with "advisers" and CIA people stages an attack in a neighbouring country that is daggers drawn with the US, over oil, the first thing that occurs to me is, that SOMEONE is trying to start another war over oil.
Especially since the "Iran is going to kill us all in our beds" shtick appears to have been treated with contempt.
No doubt there is a perfectly innocent expalnation and i'm sure we will see several orf them as the year progresses; possibly including, "we had to invade to close down the drug barons and oh, look, we just happened to get control over the oil".
What I can't understand is why ANYONE getting this email would do anything but delete it.
You are entitled to a prize sum of US$4,500,000.00
Reference number for your prize is WPL/UK/61-812087, email ticket number HF754/22/76, winning number: 37-13-43-85-67-11.
As a category A winner,you have been selected from a total number of 25,000 names drawn from Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and America. After the computer ballot of our International Promotions Program, only six winnersemerged in the category and therefore both are to receive payouts of US$4,500,000.00 from the total 27,000,000.00 United States Dollars for second category winners. (emphasis mine)
What kind of world view does it take to read that they have, totally without effort, become the recipient of $4.5 MILLION? Now send me a message purporting to be from my bank saying there has been a $500, even a $5000 error in my favour or that a distant relative has left me a porcelain vase worth approximately $1,000 and the plausibility nodules will get engaged, but $4.5 MILLION? Out of the blue?
What fascinates me is the mind of anyone who would respond to this as if it were in any way related, even as a distant and disreputable cousin, to reality because I share a planet with these people and pretty soon there is going to be a LOT of pressure for all of us to get real with it.
BTW, I know who some of these people are, they also negotiated no-doc adjustable rate mortgages with a 3 year low rate sweetener that rolled the unpaid portion into the principal when the mortgagore had no income, no assets and no job; said people were on BOTH sides of that transaction and living in a candy floss economics.
ArmeniaNow has learned from a doctor at Emergency Hospital N3 that at least two people have been killed – one civilian and one policeman – in the melee currently underway in Yerevan.
The day of clashes has turned into a night of widespread violence as law enforcement is clashing with protestors in pockets of unrest in the center of the capital.
Three cars have been set afire outside Yerevan’s popular indoor market “Pak Shuka” while sporadic automatic fire continues to be heard and tracer bullets ripping like fireworks above the sky of downtown Yerevan.
Cars are frantically rushing to sites near Mashtots Boulevard and Proshian street taking injured from scenes where law enforcement and protestors have clashed.
Horrible though it is, its also great that I can chat with a guy I trust in Yerevan who can point me to a YouTube video and Armenianow.com; who can tell me that the secret police are now rounding up their list of ringleaders going house to house in the capital.
We are now talking about what he should be doing next rather than sitting around consumed with anxiety. When the sewage hits the ventilation here one day,. I hope I can still just ping some people outside to talk to and help me think when the limbic system is screaming "run for your lives!!!"
Interesting point from the Armenianow site, there's arumour that at one point the cops refused to fire on the people, if true, that's one that the Armenian government had BETTER take seriously. The Ceausescus waited too long after that happened and look where it got them.
Service in the military is a mugs game. Young men get sucked into the glamour by their testosterone fueled fantasies, and are encouraged to disguise it under a film of patriotism. But when it comes to the sharp end, and they are sent off to war, or even seriously injured in peacetime military service they come up against the reality of the military; soldiers are, pretty well by definition, expendable.
And when they get home, physically and mentally and emotionally crippled by what they have seen and what they have done to other human beings, they are treated like rubbish.
Oh yes, they get the heroes parade and the marching band, then they are kicked to the gutter because, in the end, nobody WANTS to pay the real cost of making war.
Scott Nichols risked his life to serve his country. He almost died, as nine mates did, when a navy Sea King went down. Now, almost three years later, as he fights for compensation, he reveals to Frank Walker the anguish of his battle - and how he was asked to prove he was even on the helicopter.
Hero they forgot? BS, broken soldiers are treated as trash; a friend on mine in the US is in the Marines, his wife works voluntarily with wounded soldiers in Walter Reed hospital in DC, at one stage a while ago I gave her $20 towards phone cards for wounded, seriously wounded, as in missing arms, legs, bits of intestine, serious burns and crippling head injuries. The US military would not even pay for their phone calls home.
I gave her the $$ not because I support their cursed war, but because the people she works with have been utterly betrayed by their government and the people who voted for it and to thank her for caring about them.
But the US is not the only one, it happens in Russia where I have seen legless vets on wheeled carts begging in the streets of St Petersburg, and in poorer countries just god help the old soldier because nobody else will.
But young men, and these days young women as well, will NOT learn from past and they have to find it out for themselves all over again.
And their so-called leaders will exploit that gullibility all over again. Every. Single Time.
And no, I'm not advocating that there should not be a military, just that we, the "gimme another tax break" tax payers, should pay the damned price, all of it, without whining, and do more to make sure that its justified.