Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 23rd, 2011

For Xmas season: Use imagination on wasteful gift cards presents

Every year, companies like Gap, Toys for US, Best Buy, all these health spas and gym facilities…cash in about $8 billion in services not rendered: 20% of recipient of gift cards never use them.  Consequently, companies retain the cash received in exchange of plastic gift cards that were not used by disgruntled recipients.

In 2006, the financial-service research firm TowerGroup estimated that $80 billion were spent on gift cards. The monetary amount of unused gift cards has a bigger impact on consumers than the combined total of both debit and credit-cards fraud.

Companies welcome Xmas season for making huge cash profit: First, consumers are readier to spend money to coincide with the “Xmas spirit” of giving and buying jacked up consumer’s prices on products and services because they cannot retain their zeal until the sales period immediately after the holiday season; second, for unused gift cards, and third, because returned gift cards shoot for more expensive alternative products…

If you won’t consider giving cash as 42% of grandparents do, you must start using better imagination strategy for understanding the psychology of the recipients, such as discovering the guilty-pleasure gift that people won’t buy on their own volition or delay on these tricky decisions.  You have got to know better than the recipient what he actually wants but didn’t know, like having a thorough pedicure (cutting feet nails), and be personally accompanied to these taboo parlor facilities…

With an equal amount of cash, holiday gift-giving destroys a third of the value of gifts:  Recipients lack bargaining power leverage and their choices are limited… Receivers of gift cards think they are easy and readily available to purchase and consequently are not that valuable: Gift card presents didn’t require any effort or time invested in the transaction…

If you intend on purchasing gift card, you had better understand the “wild-self” in recipients, like bungee jumping, gliding, kite surfing, joining team for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, treasury hunting in deep oceans, boarding civilian shuttles to the moon… Something to the effect of getting rid of another name on the list for next year gift round

I mentioned pedicure as priority gift card because many elderly and obese people cannot bend to trim their feet nails, even if they intend to.  Feet nails grow in length and in hardness that specialized saws are needed and specialized experts for doing a proper job.

Note: Inspired by a chapter in Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner

German city wiped out in one night: Dresden 1945

It is Feb. 13, 1945.  In the night, 773 British Avro Lancaster bombers dropped their loads on Dresden.  Dresden had no military installation or headquarter or even prisons: Dresden “The Venice of River Elbe” was welcoming hundred of thousands of refugees fleeing the Soviet advance of the Red Army.  Dresden was one of the cultural center in Europe since the 17th century. The war was almost over, but the Allied decided to wipe out several German cities in revenge.

By the end of the night, 2,500 tons of ultra explosive bombs, two-third of the burning kinds of phosphorous and magnesium bombs, have been dropped.  Over 25,ooo houses of the 28,000 were demolished, and over 150,000 civilians out of one million perished in one night. The casualty was three folds what British civilians suffered in three months of the Luftwaff aerial raids in 1942.

The fire storm generated temperature of 5,000 degrees Celsius.  The nightmare was not over. In the next two days and nights, hundreds of US bombers resumed the demolishing task. In addition to the 650, 000 of the city, hundred of thousands refugees were flocking to Dresden, fleeing the Soviet advances.

The story would like you to believe that General Arthur Harris, chief commander of the British air-force, was behind the decision. Harris said that the decision came from far above: Winston Churchill let the bombing on Hamburg, Lubeck, Berlin, and Cologne resume for another two months.  Why? It was a “strong message of intimidation for the Soviet troops to abide by the limit of their advances!…”

General Arthur Harris spent the remaining of his life in apartheid south Africa and was never tried for crimes against humanity and for violating Geneva Convention…

The city port of Hamburg was so badly burned by phosphorous bombs that the police had to achieve the citizens burned by the bombs because they knew not what to do with these burning alive bodies that kept re-igniting for ever…

The 20th century was the deadliest for the western world. The 21st is turning out to be the deadliest for the “Greater Middle East” with western weapon and for the western greed…

Note: Information extracted from the book “365 dates that changed history” by March and Garrick.




November 2011

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