Monday, January 10, 2005

Celebrity Twits

It's been a good few months for celebrity twits. First up, we had Jeanette Winterson's food shop in Smithfield Market. How sweet! How, er, lefty! Unfortunately it turned out the shop that sold food from "local producers" actually imported its eggs from Tuscany. (An idea: the Waste a Ton of Jet Fuel prize for the most superfluous use of air freight....) Then she capped that by starting an appeal to send homeopathic remedies to AIDS sufferers in southern Africa.

You wonder, don't you?

But then you don't. Not long after the tsunami, it was reported that Madonna and some other supposed Kabbalists were raising a million US dollars to send 10,000 litres of their $4 a bottle holy water to the victims. I had my doubts, but I was recently able to do the maths. Now, if it cost Save the Children $185,000 to charter an aircraft to move 30 tonnes of stores from the UK to Aceh, and we assume that the freight rates aren't significantly higher ex-LAX (the distances are comparable), we can attempt to evaluate this exercise. Now, that implied a rate of $6,166 per tonne. As I'm sure you're aware, 1 litre of water=1 kilogram. So the freight bill pro-rata would come to some $61,660. Now, if the water was accounted for at its retail price, we have a water bill of $40,000 = $101,660.

Which leaves a handsome balance of some $898,340. How charitable, not to mention the profit margin on the water in our example...does anyone know if they went through with it?

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