Dragos Vlad, an Innovative CEO

What do you get when you marry a car rental company with an insurance company? Dragos Vlad, an innovative CEO from Romania, has done just that and he is now able to offer an added value to his customers.

The idea is simple, but it is out of reach for his competitors: sell car insurance policies, just like everybody else, but back them with an irresistible offer: give the customers a replacement car for as long as their car is being serviced, in case that it was involved in an accident.

This way, the rental cars that are not being rented don’t just sit in the company’s garage, but are used to attract more and more clients for Thrifty, the car rental company, as well as for the insurance company.

According to Thrifty’s CEO, the idea has increased his sales and customer base even during the economic turmoil years. And it is a well known fact that a customer that is happy with the quality of services that he or she has gotten is very likely to use the services offered by the same company over and over.

Well, it looks like we can learn a lot from the Eastern European entrepreneurs. If you know of a similar initiative that was brought to life and works well make sure to let us know about it.

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Positive News March 2013

1. As people are continuously pursuing their happiness, it should surprise no one that several studies are conducted every year on this subject. In a recent such study in Australia, the specialists have concluded that a happy family is a key to a real happiness.

The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Happiness Studies. The people that have been interviewed were asked to imagine themselves being 85 years old, and to create a list with the most important 30 things they would consider to be good, important and necessary for a happy life. The interviewed people responded that gaining wisdom and having a moral life would belong to the top ten items in the list. These two things were considered to be more important than being treated with respect due to the age, for example.

kangaroo mothers2. It is so good to learn from the animals and a proof of that is the decision that Africa has made in this direction. Learning from the kangaroo mother that cares for her baby a lot, mothers on this continent are encouraged to have skin to skin contact with their preterm babies, in order to curb the high mortality rates that many countries have. Thus, mothers and their babies are encouraged to have skin contact; this way babies will have the chance to spend time not only in the incubator, but also close to their mothers’ heart.

3. Teens are positively influence by the good sleep they have during night. The study has demonstrated once again how vital sleep is for the general well being of the human body. First of all, sleep reduces stress and makes teenagers more productive. Harvard scientists have showed a year ago that sleep deprivation is strictly related to money loss when it comes to companies and businesses, due to the fact that the tired, sleep deprived employees are less productive. Persons that sleep a sufficient amount of hours smoke less, drink less alcohol, are sharper, healthier and calmer. Also, people that practice sports have better performances when they sleep enough.

4. Belgian scientists have demonstrated that due to the ban of smoking, fewer preterm births take place. In this country smoking is forbidden in the public places, and a strong link has been established between this decision and the small number of preterm births. The Belgian scientists have concluded that banning smoking was a decision that had a positive impact for the mothers.

 

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Empowering Medical News

The National Institutes of Health has declared that some kids that were formerly accurately diagnosed with autism, once they grow older, lose the symptoms. These results come after a study that has been done in a small group of school aged kids. The kids were given this diagnostic several years ago, and now they are behaving just like normal kids. The study does not provide any details regarding the percentage of kids which will fully recover over the years, but offers great hope for those that have family members that were diagnosed with autism.

The Duchenne muscular dystrophy can be treated with genes, and scientists at the University of Missouri have managed to improve the technique. The dystrophy occurs when the healthy muscle tissue is replaced by fibrous, bony and fatty tissue, and thus ends up losing its function. It is a disease that affects mainly boys: their body stops producing dystrophin, which is a protein that helps the muscle cells survive and function well.

genetically engineered bacteriaWhen this protein is lacking, a chain reaction starts and in the end the patient dies. The dystrophin is the largest gene in the human genome, and scientists have managed to create a new micro-dystrophin gene, which did wonders in dogs that suffered from the disease. The dogs had a diminished inflammation and even improved the strength of their muscles. If the studies continue to be as positive as this one, the human testing phase will probably be approved within the following months.

New genetically engineered bacteria will significantly improve the efficacy of vaccines for flu, cholera and HPV. The new generations of vaccines will address diverse pathogens at the same time.

Due to the efforts and serious work of a group of scientists from the University of Queensland and the Department of agriculture, fisheries and forestry, chicken meat and several other foods will be screened for bacteria a lot faster and more effectively than before. The statistics show that a number of over 5. 4 million cases of food-borne gastroenteritis happen in Australia every year. Many of the cases are caused by two of the bacteria that will now be easily and more rapidly detected.

Strawberries and blueberries are demonstrated to be very effective for women that take up to three or more servings per week, drastically reducing the risk of heart attack. This is the conclusion of “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association”. It is well known that blueberries and strawberries contain flavonoids,  which can also be found in grapes, wine, blackberries, eggplant and that have the property of enlarging the arteries, counter the buildup of plaque and provide several other cardiovascular benefits.

Human hearts continue to create new cells even after birth. A team of scientist in Boston Children’s Hospital has analyzed the hearts of several persons of all ages, and this is the conclusion they have come to. The regeneration process is very ample during infancy, and then disappears after adolescence.

Active video games are proved to be very helpful to kids living in big cities, which have to face the threat of obesity in large numbers. In a recent study, 104 kids were asked to play some of their favorite active games. During these games, the kids in the third, fourth and fifth grade managed to be active enough to achieve the recommended levels of activity.

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Detroit News – Jan 2013

Two schools in New Jersey have recently complained that some of their students suffered side effects after drinking Marley’s Mellow Mood beverages. The drinks are produced by the Metro-Detroit based manufacturer. The company was built together with Bob Marley’s family, in an attempt to pay homage to their father.

The drinks are promoted as healthy and natural, containing melatonin, rose hips and valarian root. The combination is said to relax and relieve anxiety. Students that have drunk these beverages have complained of lethargy, headaches, nausea. The company’s representative declared that the company is sorry for the problems that have appeared, explaining that the drink is not for children but for adults only. Despite this in many stores in the US the beverages are sold with no limitation to the age of the clients.

The city of Detroit is said to have 40% of its surface unused or underused. For this reason the idea of having more dog parks does not seem like a SF project. Numerous citizens have declared they are afraid to walk their dog even if they are on leash as their neighborhoods are not safe enough. Things would completely change if more dog parks would be created so that dog owners could walk there their pets.

As the firefighters in Detroit were lacking some of their essentials, among them toilet paper, the call for support was welcomed by business men and simple locals. These days a truck filled with 70,000 rolls of toilet paper coming from Procter and Gamble was send to them. The same poor situation is to be found with some of the police stations in the city. It is not the only problem the firefighters had to face. Sometime ago they had to gather money and rent a toilet because the plumbing was not functional in their bathroom.

Recent statistics say that close to 50% of the kids in Detroit live in poverty and 50% of the adults living there are illiterate. The city which was once one of the greatest in the US has declined and is now deserted, a land of lawlessness and poverty. The same statistics say that the population has reached a historical minimum of 700,000 inhabitants. Detroit was once inhabited by more than 2 million people. Only 25% of the teenagers manage to finish high school education and numerous gangs control diverse areas of the city. 30,000 houses are vacant or in ruin in the former great city. In the better days 5,000 policemen were fighting to defend law and order. Now only 3,000 of them still do this more and more dangerous job. As a result normal families have started to buy guns in larger and larger numbers.

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