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What's New In Who Knew?

May 31, 2008
Who knew the cost of gas would triple in eight years? Wyoming pays the least for gas and California pays the most - but the cost of gas is going up all around the country. Among the reasons given for this are unstable world conditions, increased demand because China and India are becoming industrialized, OPEC cutting production, strict U.S. emission standards, increasing refinery costs, oil company mergers and taxes added to the cost of gas for road maintenance. Although we need to be oil-free and have a safe source of energy, less than $1.13 per person per year is spent on solar, wind and ethanol research - combined. If government doesn't take action soon, I'll be forced to use a four-letter word - walk.

Since I may be doing a lot of walking, I'm thinking shoes. Who knew what was coming when Leon Leonwood Bean made a waterproof, hunting boot in his brother-in-law's, Freeport, Maine basement in 1912. Leon sent a mail-order brochure for his boot to all non-residents who had a Maine, hunting license. Unfortunately, 90 of the 100 pairs which were ordered were returned; but because Leon had guaranteed satisfaction, he redesigned his boot and the rest is history. L.L. Bean now sends out 150 million catalogs a year and sells hundreds of products worldwide. Instead of a "hasbean", Leon was a "shoeper" success.

Who knew looking at the Apple logo could make you more creative; but according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, it does. People shown Apple's logo for 30 milliseconds behaved 20-30% more creatively than those shown IBM's logo. IBM's logo made people feel more competent and professional. It seems we unconsciously mimic the traits we associate with logos. This might mean an apple a day could keep both the doctor and doldrums away.

Finally, who knew bottled water consumption would double between 1999 and 2004, reaching 41 billion gallons a year. At 7 billion gallons, the U.S. is the largest consumer, followed by Mexico, China and Brazil. Unfortunately, most bottled water isn't consumed at home, which means only 12% of the bottles are recycled - as opposed to 30% of plastic, soft drink bottles. The rest go into the trash or become litter. Because states that have bottle deposit laws recycle 4 out of 5 bottles, it may be time for a national law. It may be time for an idea that holds water.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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