THIRSTY THURSDAY – Cheap Beer!

Ever wondered where the best place to have a beer at the end of a long day of work meetings is? Well if you are on a business trip hopefully you are in a “cost effective” country, otherwise you are stuck at home paying the usual prices. Here is a guide on where is the cheapest and most expensive place to order a cold one!

The Top 3 countries in the world with the highest tax rates on beer are Norway, Finland, and Canada

In Turkey between 2002 and 2009, taxes on beer increased a whopping 737%, with an additional 45% increase between 2009 and 2010

In Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the UK, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Ireland alcohol has become over 50% more affordable in 2011 than it was in 1996.

Cheapest beer prices
10. Democratic Republic of Congo – $ 0.68
9. Philippines – $ 0.67
8. Rwanda – $ 0.59
7. Myanmar – $ 0.59
6. Madagascar – $ 0.59
5. Democratic Republic of Korea – $ 0.59
4. Burundi – $ 0.57
3. Bhutan – $ 0.56
2. Panama – $ 0.48
1. Tadjikistan – $ 0.41

An remember even if you do eat beforehand, the presence of food in the stomach slows the rate of alcohol absorption, BUT the amount of alcohol absorbed remains unchanged.

WIRED WEDNESDAY – Networked

A Cisco survey of 2,800 twentysomethings across 14 countries said they would accept a lower-paying job in exchange for more latitude regarding the use of social media, ability to work from home, and choice of mobile phone talent.

If you are lucky to be able to access social media sites already at work – you may want to bookmark these and use your online time to your advantage by networking across the globe from your desk.

LinkedIn: a networking site to connect online
Ecademy: connects business people through its online network, blog and message-board chats
Focus: where business professionals can help each other with their business decisions by accessing research and peer expertise
YorZ: networking/job site
Xing: helps you find experts at the click of a button, market yourself and open up new sales channels
Facebook: not just for posting photos… advertising opportunities, event promotion and alumni
Care2: the global network for organizations and people who Care2 make a difference… is your business going green?
Gather: this thinking community talks about books, health, money, news and more to ignite discussions on politics, business and entertainment. This will help your company tap into its target audience and find out what they want.
MEETin.org: acquire contacts in your city on MEETin.org, and then organize an event so that you can meet face-to-face.
Tribe: Unique online communities where you can search for favorite restaurants, events, clubs and more (but not available everywhere yet).

TRAVEL TUESDAY – Going Green

If you are booking your next business trip, have you considered staying at a “green” hotel?

Environmentally friendly hotels are all the rage, and many hotels have been doing their bit (albeit sometimes token) for the environment for a while. More than 33% of business travelers “seek out hotels that are environmentally friendly”, and 28% said they will pay 10% more to stay in a green hotel. Business travelers expect hotels to recycle, use energy-efficient lighting, give guests the option of not having sheets and towels changed every day and use environmentally safe cleaning products.

But the Travel Weekly business travel survey found that 75% of those surveyed said that their company’s travel policies do not recommend staying at hotels with green programs. Does your corporate travel agency??

In my experience these guys are setting the standards in business green travel:

Kimpton Hotels – green efforts date back to 1981 and continue strongly to this day http://www.kimptonhotels.com/kimpton-cares/earthcare.aspx
Hyatt Olive on 8 Seattle – the best hotel I have stayed at in Seattle http://olive8.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/
Marriott – is named best hotel chain for green efforts

And if by chance you want to take a break this chain is amazing at doing luxury eco-friendly 5 star stays! http://www.sixsenses.com/soneva/

MUST HAVE MONDAY – Run to Me


I love my Nike Free running shoes (and no, I don’t get paid to mention them) so when I found out you can personalize them I was even more excited. Gone are the days when you have to pay an artist located in Tribeca a year’s wage to get a pair of custom painted sneakers – now it costs you about $20 extra to come up with your design and all from the comfort of home. A ‘must have” for anyone who wears sneakers for exercise or pleasure.

NikePick materials, colours and even have a one-on-one design session with a consultant for you or a group thanks to NIKEiD studio. http://nikeid.nike.com/nikeid/index.jsp#home

ConverseThe Converse MAKE project is pretty irresistible. And they have some funky kids options. http://www.converse.com/#/products/shoes/converseOne/scratch/all

Not satisfied? New Balance and Reebok have also joined in to offer online design services.

And ever wondered what happened to one of the original “design sneakers”… LA Gear! Introduced in 1992 the immortal L.A. Lights, was the shoe line from L.A. Gear that featured red LED bulbs in the heels that blinked every time you took a step. Alongside Reebok’s Pump series, the wildly popular sneakers dominated the shoe scene in the early ’90s with athlete endorsers such as Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep the company going and they filed for bankruptcy in 1998. LA Gear has since eased its way back into the market, and re-released the classic L.A. Lights hoping to take piece of the retro market.

FASHION FRIDAY – Bagged


With the Olympics around the corner, women’s handbags trends are racing toward the finish line with all things athletic. Perforated leather, mesh paneling, and athletic detailing are being woven into all pieces. And these aren’t just for gym bags and backpacks, it’s for every day, take me anywhere use.

Don’t worry guys – you get to look stylish in a “manly” way too. Billy Reid has a range of leather bags made especially for men which will be the envy of everyone at the gym or going to work. http://www.billyreid.com/category/luggage/horween-cordovan.html

These are certainly a step up from the original duffle bag (the name comes from Duffel, a town in Belgium where the thick cloth used to make the bag originated) which are still used by military personnel.

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Tea Time

More and more tea houses are popping up around the world so if you are meeting a colleague for coffee, why not make it tea for a change.

Here are some of the best tea houses in the world, which will be sure to impress for a business meeting.

Bangkok: The Author’s Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Singapore: Raffles Hotel, TWG Marina Bay Sands
Tokyo: The Peninsula Hotel
Paris: Maison des Trois Thés
Las Vegas: Petrossian Lounge at the Bellagio
Boston: The Bristol at the Four Seasons Hotel
New York: Astor Court at The St. Regis Hotel, Alice’s Tea Cup
London: Orangery at Kensington Palace, The Modern Pantry, The Connaught
Melbourne: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The most hard to get to tea house in the world may be this one in Anhui Province, China, which is only accessible after rappelling up a mountain (photo in post)

And while you are drinking your tea, here are some talking points to impress your guest.
After water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. While pure tea may have more caffeine than coffee, once water is added tea contains far less than a cup of coffee.
The UK consumes about 130,000 tonnes of tea a year of which at least 95% is in teabags
On a daily basis, about half of the American population drinks tea, and Americans drink 85 percent of their tea on ice.