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News and Trends
April 2, 2007


Surf's Upscale!
Newborn Nixons & Little Lenins
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda . . .

Surf's Upscale!
Once the sport of Hawaiian kings, surfing has now come full circle: After decades of association with beach bums and slackers, it's become a status sport, like skiing and golf. Surfing schools and equipment sales are booming. And—for $10,000 a day—surfers can vacation in Indonesia aboard a 110-foot charter boat with 15 cabins, a heli-pad, and three-course meals. It was different in the 1970s, according to Chris Mauro, editor of Surfer Magazine. Back then, being a surfer carried a negative image. "You would stop [surfing] at 25," Mauro says, "or you were going straight to loser-dom." Surfing is now considered an ideal activity for discussing business: There is plenty of time for talk while waiting between sets of waves. Todd Juneau, a real estate consultant in San Diego, uses that time to seek out new clients. "In San Diego," Juneau says, "you never know if the guy next to you could be a multi-millionaire, or a judge or an executive."

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Newborn Nixons & Little Lenins
Venezuelan parents show a creative spark when it comes to naming their children. A glance through a phone book or the government's voter registry reveals names like Nixon Moreno, Darwin Lenin Jimenez, and Elvis Presley Morillo—not to mention a Nefertiti or two. Even names with negative connotations—like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao—are no obstacle to social acceptance. "Naming your child in Venezuela is an almost irresistible invitation to rebel against centuries of tradition," says Roberto Echeto, a Venezuelan novelist. "Politics used to influence naming, but now it's kind of random."

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Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda . . .
Someone in Connecticut could have been a millionaire, if only he or she had kept an eye on the calendar. Such was the fate of whoever held the winning lottery ticket—worth $3.5 million—that expired on February 14, after one year. Nationwide, dozens of jackpots have been left unclaimed. In 2002, no one stepped forward for a $51.7 million jackpot in Indiana, apparently the largest unclaimed prize on record. Clarence Jackson Jr. of Hamden, Conn., was three days late turning in a winning ticket in 1996, and he's still trying to get the $5.8 million prize. Over the past decade, he has been lobbying the state legislature to change the law and let him have his should-have-been fortune.

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