In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011 -- Christopher Hitchens--the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant--died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.
Peter Smith looks ahead to 2012.
Bravo! New Year's Resolutions for Procurement People -- We've written "10 New Year Resolutions for 2012? especially for procurement people, sponsored by the nice folk at BravoSolution, and available to download free of charge here. It is (well, it is intended to be) short, snappy, humorous but with some serious points. We'll give you more of a flavour of it here next week but if you want to get ahead of the curve, you can read it now.
Tourism at its best.
Japan Tsunami-Debris Cruise Attracts Travelers to Ocean Garbage Patch -- The March 11 Japanese tsunami pulled millions of tons of debris from the country's coastline following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake off Sendai. Since then, scientists have been tracking and monitoring the wreckage--bits of houses, whole cars, and household appliances--floating at sea, corralled by ocean currents in the North Pacific into an area researchers estimate could be the size of California. And now they're inviting the public along for the ride, for a price.
It's been one expensive, expensive year.
Disaster Losses Hit Record Levels in 2011 -- The disasters that plagued the globe this year will send 2011 into the record books as the most costly year for catastrophes on record. Japan's powerful tsunami, earthquakes in New Zealand, floods in Thailand and a series of severe tornadoes in the U.S. all contributed to $350 billion in disaster losses, according to a new estimate from reinsurance company Swiss Re AG. The long list of calamities crippled factories and cut supply chains, rippling through the world's economies. In Christchurch, New Zealand, entire city blocks remain uninhabitable; in Alabama and Missouri, neighborhoods have been wiped off the map.