10 April 2014 | Saint Homobonus
The patron saint of purchasers takes a look at the month’s more unlikely business tales.
Planning a trip to the US? A nervous traveller? With the ever-changing climate playing havoc with plans, why not study Google’s weather pattern maps of the US and decide for yourself what, if any, trends are emerging. For example, the amount of strikes Florida gets on Google’s ‘most lightning hits’ map shows it’s highly unlikely to be toppled from its ‘lightning capital’ title. Other maps show the frequency of tornadoes, tropical cyclones and earthquakes – you can see results state by state. The saying ‘too much information’ springs to mind. Perhaps I should book a staycation?
Eau de York please
Visit York has come up with the UK’s first scented travel guide, entitled Smell York, and apparently infused with 12 odours, including those of wild moorland, gunpowder, chocolate, afternoon tea and ‘a day at the races’. Designed to promote the city and its environs, it was produced by scent engineers who analysed smells associated with York and recreated them in the lab. A Visit York spokesperson said there are 12 smells, one for each month of the year. And the gunpowder? Guy Fawkes was born in the city.
Available at Visit York Visitor Centre or contacting email@example.com, it even caters for those enthralled by York’s ‘ghostly’ past, with the paranormal conjured up
by the ‘pong of bad eggs’.
A grave situation
The damage and heartache caused by flooding in Somerset and along the river Thames has been widely covered in the UK press. A new issue recently came to light when the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management announced that areas had been left so waterlogged it was ‘too dangerous’ for gravediggers to get stuck in. Tim Morris of the ICCM said it was the first time in his 30 years in the industry that the weather had caused such a disruption but that there was little that could be done until the water subsides.
As you might know, for just £30 a year British couples can save on their train travel. The Two Together Railcard, released by the Association of Train Operating Companies, will let couples travel across Britain with a 1/3 discount. It is expected to make customers an average annual saving of over £100 per year. But it’s probably not a great idea if the relationship is rocky – couples have to travel together as names and photos will be checked. But it is possible to buy more than one card with more than one person. Just remember who you are with!
London is testing ‘intelligent’ pedestrian crossings that will include sensors to detect the number of waiting pedestrians at the crossing, the speed at which pedestrians cross the road and technology to cancel the stop light if the pedestrians ‘wander off’. The new ‘Split Cycled Offset Optimisation Technique’ aims to prevent any shilly-shallying around, so now it just has to get the humans into line!
Fun times at work
It’s a fact! Fun is key in work-related learning. In research conducted by Sheffield Hallam University for Alton Towers Resort, 57 per cent of respondents said they would concentrate more on a work-based activity if there was an element of fun and 60 per cent would be more interested in corporate events. The research conveniently fell into line with Alton Towers Resort’s ‘Business with a twist’ approach. Its Corporate Family Fun Day includes a choice of ‘scream’ or ‘adrenaline’ tickets.
Some fearful fun anyone?
It’s all child’s play at Butlins
With an eye on its target market, the company has appointed a three-year-old girl as its latest quality control officer. Sophia Jade Carr from Plymouth saw off some stiff competition from 650 other UK toddlers – and no wonder – her job is to test the toys, slides and pools on offer at the Bognor Regis resort. Putting its ‘Just For Tots’ break under the spotlight, Sophia will have to sample new toddler-friendly dishes, test the ‘bounciness’ of the beds and rate acts like Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam. Butlins MD Dermot King said she had been chosen because of her “leadership skills among her peers” and the fact that her co-workers (parents) described her as “strong-willed and demanding”. Having beaten off the other candidates, Sophia’s feedback will be used to make facilities even more child-friendly. Spare a thought for the young worker as she tests the ‘slipperiness of the slides’ and the ‘splashiness of the water’ at the iconic British resort.
Tweet of the month
Attention big business outsourcing procurement to incompetent arsey jobsworths: it is doing wonders for
your brands amongst us SMEs #not