MAKE UP CAPITALISM
Who would have thought an American cosmetics company could have a positive impact on the Russian economy?
Since Mary Kay cosmetics expanded into Russia in the early 1990s, it's become a revolutionary way for 36,000 women of all walks of life to enrich their lives and their pocketbooks.
So much so, that for only the second time in its history, the Kremlin -- home of Russia's president -- has opened its doors to a non-government event, hosting a seminar for 6,000 independent Russian beauty consultants.
However, for those high make-up sales achievers, in Russia they do not drive pink Cadillacs, they drive silver BMWs.
HIGH TECH MAIL
The average American moves every five years meaning the mail has to find 40 million new addresses annually.
Unfortunately, it can take several days or more for mail to reach a person who has moved because the mail is delivered first to the old address and then redirected.
A new postal automated redirection system, known as PARS, will be implemented across the United States over the next several years to speed up the forwarding process.
Using smart read technology, PARS scans information on each piece of mail and checks to see if the listed name and address corresponds with a list of customers who recently moved. If it does, PARS applies a new label to the mail, thus avoiding the trip to the old address.
NUKE FREE HOME
For sale: in New York's Adirondack Park, the ultimate in mountain luxury -- three bedrooms, three baths, septic system, Jacuzzi and seven-story underground missile silo designed to absorb the shock of a direct nuclear hit.
All this and more, including a private airstrip, will go to highest bidder in an eBay auction that ends Sept. 25 -- the minimum bid is $2.1 million, The New York Times reports.
The property is one of several Cold War missile-launching sites around the country that have been converted to homes, part of a small, increasingly costly real estate niche.
The owners, who bought the place for $55,000, have advertised it as a cutting-edge "extreme home." When Y2K was looming it was billed as a "secure data-storage facility" and now it a place to weather a terrorist nuclear attack.
HORSE VERSUS TRAIN
A contest staged in 1830 between old and new technologies got a lot of attention, but didn't forecast the future very well, according to the U.S. Census.
The race was between a horse and the first locomotive built in the United States, known as the "Tom Thumb." The course stretched for 9 miles in Maryland from Riley's Tavern to Baltimore.
The horse won. Due to mechanical problems, the locomotive never finished. But steam locomotives went on to become essential to the growth of the nation. By the mid-1920s, there were some 70,000 of them hauling most of the nation's passengers and freight.
Today, there are just over 20,000 locomotives in service, but no one would dare race them, since today's engines move with the power of up to 4,000 horses.