business news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports this morning that “a Japanese company has invented a new form of protection -- the anti-H1N1 suit.” According to the story, “Menswear company Haruyama Trading claims the suit can protect wearers from the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, as it is coated with titanium dioxide, a chemical commonly used in toothpaste and cosmetics and that breaks down when reacting with light, supposedly killing the virus upon contact.”

Wonder if I can get one in time for FMI Future Connect in Dallas next week?

(We kid because we love.)

Okay, which story is the strangest?

The surprise announcement that President Obama won the Nobel Peace, an award that even a lot of liberals no doubt would agree seems a tad premature? (After all, the nomination deadline for the 2009 awards was just two weeks after President Obama took the oath of office!)

Or the story that NASA bombed the moon this morning?

And here’s my next question…

Which body do you think is more bizarre? The Nobel Prize committee? Or the International Olympic Committee? Just curious…

The airline industry seems to be doing its level best to give pundits like me lots to criticize.

Not long ago, there was the story that RyanAir was considering the idea that it could or should charge passengers for visits to the on-board lavatories. And now, it appears that All Nippon Airways (ANA) in Japan plans to ask all of its passengers to go to the bathroom before they board its planes.

The idea is that if every passenger empties his or her bladder before boarding, they would shed so much total weight that it would equal three average adult men, and therefore cut down on gas expenses and carbon emissions.

ANA plans to test the policy for a month, and then make it permanent if it sees tangible results.

Now, people in the US moan and groan about the so-called “nanny state,” but this story suggests that they haven't seen anything yet.

There is no dearth of publicized commitments to the notion of a healthier US population.

There was the recent launch of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a national, multi-year effort to try to help reduce obesity – especially childhood obesity – by 2015. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation will promote ways to help people achieve a healthy weight through energy balance, focusing on three critical areas – the marketplace, the workplace and schools.

And now there is the ‘Healthy Kids – Healthy You” campaign, which will roll out in 2010 and is designed to help “individuals incorporate their specific health and wellness goals into the foods they choose and prepare at home. Initial partners include the Building Healthier America initiative, American Council on Exercise, and NutriStyle, Inc.”

One of the components of the campaign is a free-of-charge online program that helps people select the foods, menus and shopping lists that fit their health and wellness goals.

Surprising research from the University of South Carolina suggests that the notion of “comfort foods” may be overstated, and that when people feels stressed out they often will “pick unfamiliar, even healthier foods and lifestyle options,” according to a story from HealthDay News.

If true, this could mean that at the end of this highly stressful recession, when employment has begun to come back, there will be a lot of people in this country who will have more expansive palates and healthier lifestyles.

Which I somehow find hard to believe.

Speaking of comfort foods…try the 2005 Chateau Plaisance Bordeaux Superieur. Which truly is superior…rich and lovely and perfect as the days get colder.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you Monday.

KC's View: