Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Allstate Says May Disasters Cost $600 Million -- Allstate Corp. said it had about $600 million of disaster losses in May, a figure that marks the second quarter as the insurer's most expensive for catastrophes since Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. in 2005. Combined with previously announced losses from April, Allstate is now estimating catastrophe costs of $2 billion before taxes for the quarter--with a month to go.

Guilty government!
The Government's Gadget Habit Has Cost You Hundreds of Millions -- Given what dire financial straits the government is in, we thought it would be interesting to see how many of our tax dollars are going to gadgets. We also wanted to see what kind of electronics the government is buying--in case there was a company making a consumer-grade teleportation machine that we might have overlooked. We searched through a decade's worth of government purchase orders, from June 2001 through today. It turns out, the government has some serious gadget lust, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on garden variety consumer electronics.

Govt funds squandered in toner scam -- Victorian government employees have allegedly rorted the state's procurement system by buying overpriced toner cartridges from an unauthorised government supplier, and in some cases cartridges that were not even required. Nine government bodies purchased goods from the supplier in question, to the amount of $260,937, with one public officer being responsible for $148,000 of that spend, according to a recent report by Ombudsman Victoria.

CSR for Eurostar!
Eurostar to tackle carbon footprint of supply chain -- The high-speed train operator, which runs services between the UK, France and Belgium, said it was setting a target to reduce the carbon emissions of its own operations and those of its suppliers by 25 per cent over the next four years. Eurostar also aims to increase the number of passengers using high-speed rail from 2.5 million to five million over the next two years by getting them to switch from air to rail travel.

Happy Bloomsday! I know today is about Ulysses, but The Dead is my favorite short story of all time.
"The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling...His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

- Sheena Moore

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