A Renewed Migration from Mexico
One of America's favorite imports from Mexico is butterflies, especially the 300 million to 400 million monarchs that each spring and summer flutter across much of the U.S. and as far north as Canada in search of cooler weather. This year's migration is especially sweet. A devastating cold snap in January 2002 was estimated to have killed 75% of the monarchs that winter in the Transvolcanic Mountains of central Mexico, about 90 miles west of Mexico City, where they have inspired a growing tourism business. Lepidopterists had been worried that the butterfly population wouldn't bounce back, but it has--and gloriously so. Monarchs have shown up in Texas and the Southeast. They should reach the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic in late April, and the Northeast and Canada in May. To track the migration, go to learner.org/jnorth or monarchwatch.org The butterflies' next big challenge will come when they return to central Mexico, where logging--which provides more jobs than ecotourism--is encroaching on the sites where they spend the winter.
HIRING ABROAD Now, About That Arrest In Paris ...
As employers increasingly recruit talent from around the world, how can they know whether the resumes they get are legit? Kroll, the global risk consultancy, has introduced a worldwide background-checking service to verify job candidates' education, employment, references and, in some cases, credit and criminal records. Kroll conducts its research from offices in 66 cities, from Moscow to Sao Paulo to Hong Kong. During a trial run in Britain, Kroll checked the backgrounds of 1,400 job candidates from 37 countries and found that 80% of job seekers had glossed over or failed to mention negatives like dismissal or academic failure. Other Kroll programs have turned up some doozies, such as an accountant who lied about having worked at a firm in South Africa--to cover for the nine months she had spent in prison for fraud. The price per search starts at about $100.
INNOVATION The Contact Solution
Fix your vision while you sleep. That's the promise of a new contact lens made by Paragon Vision Sciences of Mesa, Ariz. The firm's Corneal Refractive Therapy lens is worn overnight to flatten the top layer of the cornea. In the morning the contact comes out, and the wearer has normal vision for one to three days, until the cornea gradually reverts to its normal shape. Similar contacts have been around for decades, but these are the first approved by the FDA for wear during sleep. They are especially attractive to athletes and those who find daytime lenses uncomfortable. A fitting and a pair of lenses may cost more than $1,000, vs. about $300 for standard contacts. Sales since August 2002 have been about $1.5 million and are growing 25% a month, according to Paragon, which is talking to potential distribution partners in Asia and Europe.
CEO COMP Win or Go Payless?