By Ryan Mallough - Monday, January 28, 2013 - 0 Comments
Kleenex ‘sneeze shield’ tissues cost 12 times as much as a regular box
Flu season is a miserable time of dizzying nausea and hacking coughs for millions across North America. But for some companies, it’s also an opportune time for sales.
Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex brand tissues, has seen a net jump in its stock price in nine of the past 12 flu seasons (October-March), and is on pace to do it again this year. Its stock sits at $86.33 per share, up from $85.99 in October with peak flu season just around the corner.
Kleenex controls roughly 45 per cent of the approximately $1.5-billion tissue market, but saw its share slip last year as store brands made small gains. Recently, Kleenex has made a marketing push for what it calls its “sneeze shield” tissues, which are coated to prevent mucus from getting to the hands, and its antiviral tissues. These anti-flu tissues don’t come cheap. Sneeze shield tissues cost $3.99 for a box of 120. The antiviral tissues are $4.29 for a box of 68, or an incredible 12 times the cost of a run-of-the-mill box of Royale tissues at $0.69 for a box of 132. Continue…
By Julia Belluz - Friday, March 2, 2012 at 5:08 PM - 0 Comments
You’ve probably heard it a zillion times: take some vitamin C if you feel a cold coming on, and chase away illness with a gallon of orange juice. Even though we know there’s no cure for the common cold, many of us still believe in the sweet, orange elixir and don’t even question what the makers of the stuff guarantee: an 8 oz. glass delivers “100% of the vitamin C” needed to “maintain a healthy immune system.”
Science-ish looked at high-quality studies on the subject of vitamin C and sickness, starting with this recent Cochrane systematic review (the highest form of evidence) on the supplement for prevention and treatment of the common cold. The lead author, Dr. Harri Hemilä, of the department of public health at the University of Helsinki, told Science-ish he has spent much of his career exploring this very question—with some interesting results.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
Plus, revelations from Pickton’s survivors, tales of Palin from the campaign trail, a beguiling twentysomething memoir and histories of malaria and the common cold
Two years before his death at 87 in June, José Saramago—voice of peasant sensibility and hyper-modern stylist, unrepentant Marxist, and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature—completed his last novel, now available in English. It’s more a fairy tale than a novel, certainly not the sort of searing social commentary that made his reputation in works such as Blindness. But Saramago’s take on a remarkable historical fact—the slow progress of an elephant from Lisbon to Vienna in 1551, a wedding gift from the king of Portugal to the archduke of Austria—is as much a satire, albeit far funnier and more gentle than most, as anything he ever wrote.
Saramago is well-known for his all-encompassing view of creation, the way in which dogs often have a major presence in his novels, the better to remind readers that humans are not the only creatures who matter (or feel, or even think). Naturally, that rings true even more for his elephant, a beast as kindly as any human in the tale—when, affronted, he kicks a priest trying to exorcize a supposed demon, the elephant is careful to break no bones—and often notably smarter, as befits his name, Solomon. He’s at least as much a leading character as his philosophical Indian driver, who goes by Subhro until the Austrians conﬁrm his utter ﬁsh-out-of-water status by renaming him Fritz.
The Elephant’s Journey is, in a very real sense, Saramago’s late-in-life musing on his craft. He constantly breaks into the narrative, on one occasion to explain that many things happen not quite by chance but because one word follows “sweetly and naturally” after another, and so drives the story in a new direction. Or to praise the virtues of onomatopoeia: when a man on a mist-shrouded path disappears from sight, Saramago notes: “He went plof. Imagine if we’d had to provide a detailed description. It would have taken at least 10 pages. Plof.” But it’s also a charming story, a Renaissance-style human comedy reminiscent of Cervantes’ Don Quixote. For a great writer’s epitaph, it doesn’t get any better than that.
- Brian Bethune