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Stan # 72: Captivating Venice
20 August 2003
According to Mark Knapp, communication professor at the University of Texas, 'nice' and 'good' are used in 42% of compliments but creative words are more memorable. Men give and get fewer compliments than women. In one study, women received 78% of compliments on looks and men just 22%.
54% of households in Hong Kong have high speed non-dial-up Internet modems compared with 9% in the UK and only 5% in the US.
According to the Halifax Bank, a typical day's graft in a British office involves around 90 minutes of non-work activities including 54 minutes gossiping, 16 minutes flirting, 14 mintues surfing the Net, nine minutes e-mailing friends and three minutes shopping on-line. From my observations, 90 minutes work would seem a heavy load for some people. I guess a chunk of those 14 minutes involve looking at Stan's Desktop. Couldn't be a better way to spend your life.
Those of you who have been to Venice I'm sure will have been captivated by its charm. I was captivated on a water bus a few weeks ago. The sign at the bus stop said it was going to Torcello. The signs on the bus said it stopped at Torcello, but no it didn't. You had to change at Burano. So, off I went to Trepunti, then back to Burano, then a change for Torcello. I spent three hours captivated or was it captured? But the weather was good and I did get good value for money. Boats are big in Venice. With most of the streets flooded, they are useful things to have.
There are 406 gondoliers in Venice. A permit to be a gondolier can be bought for around $470,000 though I not sure if this includes singing lessons. A gondola costs around $20,000 and is made of six different types of wood - oak, fir, cherry, mahogany and some others, the names of which I didn't catch. Some gondoliers compete for the gaudy gondolier award and spend upto another $20,000 on gold fittings and the like. So you can see why it costs several limbs to take one. They are painted once a year. My favourite gondola is the one in the James Bond film which is powered and seems to work well on dry land, not that there's much of that in Venice.