Please Do Not Tamper With the Coin Slots in the Airplane Lavatory
New economic realities have forced companies to scrounge for any available penny. Airlines, those money-losing behemoth of the sky, in particular have cut the extras and foisted baggage charges onto anything larger than a shoebox on some routes. Now one Irish airline is inaugurating a pay-to-pee program that it hopes will help keep profits from flushing down the toilet.
By limiting their service to cheap secondary hubs like Wroclaw and Haugusund, maintaining high traffic at off-hours (3 a.m. arrival at Dubrovnik International, anyone?), and charging for just about everything except cabin pressure, the Irish discount carrier Ryanair was able to keep fares low while spreading its network across Europe and North Africa like a particularly virulent flu strain. And the fares were unbelievably low. This blogger credits Ryanair for his cheapest ticket ever snagged: Barcelona-Milan €13 round-trip.
But in the midst of crisis that's even affecting the most frugal companies, Ryanair has floated its most draconian measure yet. CEO Michael O'Leary announced on BBC Breakfast that he may require passengers to pay $1.43 to use onboard lavatories. The blogosphere followed the announcement imagining various scenarios of how such a rule might play out mid-flight.
Ryanair is probably one of the few comapanies unconcerned with negatively affecting their product quality by slashing costs. After all, they have built a legacy around low quality. Most businesses however must walk a thin line between leveraging cost-saving and sending their bottom line south. If big thinkers have any views on how businesses should strategize to remain attractive while delivering less, we encourage you to debate and discuss.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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