Monday, April 17, 2006


A van inadvertently edits the word "Speeders" from a LTSA message. (Murphy's bus company in Thames has an excellent safety record.)

By Ana Samways

A list of the most profitable dead celebrities, compiled by online magazine includes a few surprises. The top five: Elvis Presley, who died 1977 managed to earn $45 million in 2005 by releasing DVDs and television series. And then there's the money-spinner Graceland. Number 2 is cartoonist Charles M. Schulz who died in 2000, yet made $35 million in 2005. The syndication of his Peanuts strip to 2400 newspapers would've helped, but it's the licensing that makes the real money. Every appearance of Snoopy and the gang generates revenue. Third is John Lennon, who died in 1980 and earned $22 million in 2005. Album sales are the main cash source. Other sources include a Broadway musical, licensed kids toys, and memorabilia. Yoko Ono controls the Lennon estate. Artist Andy Warhol is fourth with earning of $16 million in 2005. He died in 1987. Using his art in more commercial products has also made the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, a non-profit organisation, a pretty penny. This year it donated $750,000 to help rebuild museums and arts centres damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Author Dr Seuss, who died in 1991, makes the top five earning $10 million in 2005. Of a catalogue of 44 books, many have been published in 20 languages and have sold more than 500 million copies. Merchandise and a couple of blockbuster movies has helped profits, as has the $49.95 entrance fee for the Seuss Landing attraction at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida. (read the full Top 10 at

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Barbara Martin from Kings Seeds (NZ) Ltd writes: "If we ever moan about delays in postage, spare a thought for this customer in Cambodia who is trying to get a parcel safely delivered to the following address: 'past the old market over the first bridge and 50 m on the left 5th house opposite the crocodile farm' ... Being a mail order seed company we see many strange addresses but this one takes the cake!"

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Missing the the Sopranos? In an unusual marketing move the makers of Eskimo Pies have made an ice-cream sandwich called the Sopranos Cherry Chip Bada Bing! to keep the show alive until it's screened here later this year.

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A reader writes to say the Issey Miyake customer was not ripped off. "I used to work in a high end pharmacy and the 7ml refill would have in fact been a concentrate Parfum, whereas the 50ml (which seemed much cheaper in comparison) would have only been a Eau de Parfum ... a watered-down version of the 7ml parfum, hence the huge price difference between the two."


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