Economy of Scales

An Alexandria, Va., man is looking to slither around a condominium covenant that bans exotic pets, claiming his 12 snakes, six lizards, and one frog are similar to multiple tropical fish in an aquarium and should be treated accordingly. The property manager disagrees and wants the animals gone in six months, according to local news reports. Attention was drawn to Nick Ignacio's reptilian roommates -- which include ball pythons, corn snakes, a bearded dragon, and the live mice and crickets on which they dine -- after Ignacio posted videos on YouTube that showed the pets' feeding sessions and removal of the animals from their aquariums. After community board members cried foul, a letter was posted on Ignacio's door by the property management team with the removal deadline and an immediate ban on live feedings. If Ignacio refuses, the board said it will cut off his cable TV, revoke his pool privileges, and refuse to process his packages.

The Real World

Recent surveys compiled by Chicago-based found that a majority of 2008 college graduates will once again toss their caps into the air without having given serious thought to how they will get a job, rent an apartment, or manage their finances. To help grads with their transition into the general population, has teamed up with and to calculate a graduate's "Freedom Quotient" score, which will gauge his or her overall level of independence and preparedness. The somewhat tongue-in-cheek FQ can be used in conjunction with the more traditional IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient) to measure personal development. What's more, all 2008 college grads who log onto to take the nine-question FQ quiz will be eligible to win a grand prize that includes free rent for a year, a career building package, and $10,000 in cold hard cash. "Fortunately, life after college doesn't have to be a scary transition," says PR and promotions manager Tammy Kotula. "With the right tools ... young adults ... will be poised to rent their first apartment, paunch their career, and manage their finances with confidence." College students graduating between March 31 and June 30 can qualify for the grand prize by visiting before May 4.

No Kidding Around

As part of the National Safety Council's National Window Safety Week (April 20 to April 26), Dallas-based window manufacturer Atrium Cos. is redoubling efforts to increase awareness of window safety issues throughout its distribution and sales network, the company said. Atrium's outreach includes improved labeling that graphically calls out the dangers of child play around open windows; downloadable window safety checklists from the National Safety Council; and a warning graphic with every Atrium Window that is accompanied with the message "Kids Can't Fly." "Window safety in any home is crucial, and homes in multifamily communities are no different," says Chris Reilly, director ofmarketing communications and replacement programs for Atrium Cos. "The design of our screen warning label, with the falling-child graphic, for example, makes it abundantly clear every time a window sash is opened that Atrium takes window safety seriously."

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