• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 7:20am
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 2:19am

Find love, wealth and friendship with fung shui flying

BIO

Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.
 

Looking for love, wealth or health? Then Jetstar Asia may have just the thing for you.

The airline, a low-cost subsidiary of Qantas, has come up with a novel marketing wheeze: it has hired Singaporean fung shui master David Tong to determine the fung shui of its aircraft, to better enable passengers to choose their seats and flight times depending on whether they are seeking success in love, wealth, career, friendship or health.

The airline has a website at fengshui.jetstar.com where passengers insert personal details and reason for travelling, eg love or career.

The website calculates the best place to sit, what time to travel and the best destination to meet your objective, or at least the best one on the Jetstar network.

More mature flyers may be disappointed, since the system doesn't cater for those born before 1950. Or maybe Jetstar thinks that past the age of 64 you're too old to find love.

 

Slosar's murky crystal ball

Cathay Pacific's chief executive, John Slosar, doesn't appear to have an overly encouraging view of the world going into the Year of the Snake. His message in the latest edition of Cathay's company magazine, CX World, although frank, poses more questions than answers.

"Uncertainties abound," he writes. Last year was tough but "it is still remarkably difficult to predict what will happen over the next 12 months. Will the world get itself on a firmer footing? Will passenger demand, and yield, get back to the kind of levels we enjoyed in 2010?"

Slosar says he hasn't a clue how it will turn out: "The crystal ball remains distressingly murky."

Shareholders seem more sanguine; the stock has risen some 26 per cent from its low last year in June of HK$11.90 to HK$15.10 yesterday, just about in line with the Hang Seng Index.

 

What women want

Many men have tried and just as many have failed to divine what it is that women want.

However, help is at hand this coming Valentine's Day from the website Groupon. It has concluded from an online survey that what most Hong Kong women want this Valentine's Day are electronic gadgets, bags and jewellery. No surprises there, and not much romance either.

The survey also revealed, according to Marketing Magazine, that, regardless of their marital status, a quarter of both female and male respondents prefer practical consumer goods like electronic gadgets.

The survey then claims that for their second preference 15 per cent of Hong Kong men prefer teddy bears or chocolates (this we find hard to believe) whereas 14 per cent of women prefer bags or jewellery.

The survey reveals that half of those surveyed said they want to go shopping, see a movie or eat out for Valentine's Day. So much for surveys.

 

Was it another tofu bridge?

We've been puzzling over the amount of damage that occurred when a truck loaded with fireworks exploded on a bridge in Henan province.

An 80-metre section of the bridge collapsed, prompting netizens to query whether the bridge was structurally sound.

A professor from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Mechanics said if all the fireworks exploded at the same time or in quick succession, they would have enough power to bring down a bridge.

But older heads might recall that efforts by aircraft bombers to destroy German bridges during the second world war often resulted in failure, even though the bridges received direct hits.

Engineers have expressed surprise to Lai See at the extent of the damage, noting that the explosive force of the fireworks would have been upwards and outwards.

In addition, fireworks are made of gunpowder rather than modern high explosives. "You would have expected a lot of shrapnel damage from pieces of the truck. But the extent of the damage to the bridge was most surprising," one engineer told Lai See.

The suspicion must be that this is another so-called tofu bridge.

In the five years to August last year 18 bridges have collapsed in the mainland, killing 135 people, reviving memories of the poorly constructed, or "tofu" schools that collapsed during the Sichuan earthquake, killing 6,000 schoolchildren.

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zreal
Your "efforts by aircraft bombers to destroy German bridges during the second world war often resulted in failure" reminded me of a few WWII movies. Unless the bridge is a small one or made of timber, usually it needs to be dynamited. Bombing and shelling may not be effective.
 
 
 
 
 

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