Go Figure

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Percent of pet owners surveyed by Taubman Centers who say they will buy a Christmas present for their pet this holiday season. And we’re not just talking a nice tasty bone here and a squeaky toy there. Among the 6,000 people surveyed, 9 out of 10 said they plan to spend up to $50 on their nonhuman companions. Considering domestic pets outnumber human beings in the U.S. (350 million to 280 million, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers’ Association), the pet-product industry is a huge market: $31 billion in sales for all of 2003, to be exact, says the APPMA. That outpaces the candy industry ($24 billion) and the human-toy industry ($20.3 billion).

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New Boeing 737-800 jets in Ryanair’s fleet, the vertical fins of which sport a new, enhanced version of the Irish airline’s traditional angel logo. What’s different about the angel? Well, she’s had some work done. “Bosses thought the angel was flat-chested, and someone ordered, ‘Give her bigger boobs. We want her to stand out,’ ” said a Ryanair worker at Stansted Airport in London. The airline’s multimillionaire owner, Mike O’Leary, wants the bustier angel on all his aircraft by 2005. “We decided to give our customers a more uplifting experience,” said a company rep. “We think she is rather aerodynamic.”