Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ya Gotta Laugh--This Week's News

It was reported that a Chinese teenager sold his own kidney to buy and iPad.  The 17-year old, identified only as Little Zheng, says that he was paid around $3,000 for his kidney with all surgical expenses thrown in for free.  The teen then used the money to fulfill his dream of owning the popular Apple tablet computer as well as a laptop.  I always thought of Chinese youth as being smart and astute, but I am wondering about Little Zheng . . . the kid got taken to the cleaners on this one!  According to Havocscope Black Market (http://www.havocscope.com/black-market-prices/organs-kidneys/), an online database of black market activities, the average price for a kidney (world-wide) is $150,000 with the seller averaging $5,000.  In the United States the average price for a black market kidney is $30,000--in China it is $87,000 to purchase a kidney on the black market.  According to this website the average price a seller in China gets is $15,000.  So why in the world did this kid settle for a mere $3,000?  Sometimes youth do impulsive things to get what they want.  Haven't we all said, "I'd give my left kidney for that", when we really wanted something we couldn't afford?  The kid needs to stay awake in his economics class--he could have bought a lot of iPads for what others were willing to pay for a kidney.

Seems that the black market for organs isn't the only place where the big bucks are getting bigger.  Last year airlines hauled in $21.5 billion from charges for add-on fees such as checked baggage, food, and buying a little more leg room.  According to CBSMoneyWatch.com that is a 38 percent jump in revenue from such fees in a year.  Whatever happened to "flying the friendly skies"?  I understand that they will be adding pay toilets to the planes by the end of the summer.  This will probably be the next evolution of the snack on flights:

We Americans have finally caught up with the French and passed them.  The Chicago Tribune reports that last year, for the first time ever, Americans annual consumption of wine surpassed that of France.  I'll raise a glass to that!  But, hold on, don't go popping the corks yet!  That is in quantity--the French still beat us Americans in per capita.  When it comes to wine consumption the French still drink us Americans under the table.  The population of the United States is almost five times as large as France's and we used it to our advantage.  Now if they wanted to talk beer, well, Montana by itself could give France a good run for its money!

On the health scene . . .

They say that commuting can be bad for your health.  Commuting can cause back problems, stress, obesity, and mind-numbing from having to listen to Lady Gaga over and over again on the radio.  Now you can add divorce to the list!  A study in Sweden says that couples are 40 percent more likely to split up if one partner has a daily commute of longer than 45 minutes each way.  Thank goodness I only have about a 35 to 40 minute commute into the big city!  I think that my marriage is going to make it!  Now if I could only find some way to prevent the mind-numbing that comes with the radio life would be good.

I always knew work would eventually kill me.  There is a new report that states that work is making us American workers obese.  According to the report the American obesity epidemic may have less to do with what we eat than with what we do all day.  Work is less active than it used to be 50 years ago.  Today only one in five workers puts in physically demanding hours, as opposed to one in two in 1960.  This means we are burning an average of  up to 140 calories less per day.  The bottom line is we are less active in what we do for work.  Boy, that was great news for me . . . I thought that I would have to give up my two donuts a day habit!  Besides, they make pants that stretch!

And, finally, this last information just proves that it is never too early to get started . . . Matt and Ellie Greene of Whitehouse, Texas, made a Facebook profile for their daughter--Marriah--even though she has yet to be born.  Marriah already has 268 friends!  I have been on Facebook for two years now and I am only up to 70 friends!  If I didn't laugh, I'd have to cry.  I think I'll go have a donut!

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