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Lance Armstrong Does An Elway Exit

Lance Armstrong, unofficial American cultural ambassador and potential future governor of the state of Texas, won his seventh and final Tour de France (registration required). His victory last year tied the performance of previous greats like Jacques Anquetil, a Frenchman; Eddy Merckx, a Belgian; Bernard "The Badger" Hinault, another Frenchman; and Miguel Indurain, a Spaniard. But by adding a seventh victory, Armstrong has done what few athletes have done. "Elway Exit" apparently means "one who leaves at the top of his/her game". (It has absolutely nothing to do with the number '7' - which is coincidentally both the number of Armstrong Tour de France victories and the number of former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.)

I didn't coin the term - credit goes to Daniel Ritchie, former chancellor of the University of Denver, who was the first to use the term "Elway Exit" in an interview which appeared in the June 27 Denver Post. Maybe Jim Saccomano, Denver Broncos media relations guru, or Kathy Hatch, longtime Elway assistant, might be helpful in determining the term's origins. After all, a media- and sports-obsessed blogosphere continually adds new words to the zeitgeist. "Blog"? "Podcast"? Why not look to sports for other highly descriptive terms? Like ...

Camby v. To reach things at will – grabbing some, swatting others away. As in, "You ever see Clinton work a cocktail party? He could Camby like nobody's business." (Marcus Camby, Denver Nuggets)

Ginobili adj. Dexterous, deft, versatile. As in, "Jeffrey Wright's performance in 'Angels in America' was perhaps the most Ginobili turn by any working actor in the last 10 years." (Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs)

Posey v. To vanish off the face of the earth. As in, "Alice doesn't live here anymore; she Posied." (James Posey, Memphis Grizzlies)

Thanks, ESPN!!

Carnet Travel: Blogging Luxury

CarnetWWD, Vogue and Gotham Magazine move over: meet Eva Hamilton-Clarke, your guide to what's really in vogue in New York.

Today's New York Times profiles the adventures of Raquel Brulé and Eric de Lavandeyra, who have canvassed Milan, Paris, and now New York City to serve up what they consider "carnet". While Jason Binn and Andrew Essex target those that make $500,000 a year for their publication, Carnet Travel appears to be targeting affordable luxury. The Times article quotes Brulé as saying, "It's all about feeling like a million bucks, but that doesn't mean you can't have a good hot dog."

The advent of the Internet has launched the ships of what must be thousands of new city guides, from venerable brands like Guide Michelin to not-quite upstarts like Louis Vuitton. The blog format - where Brulé and Lavandeyra collaborate to create the "voice" of Hamilton-Clarke - provides a highly approachable, alternative format to stodgy guides. The reference guide format is well-suited to provide facts and backstory, but other formats like Daily Candy and 7x7 Magazine have shown the power of real reviews written by real people. While purists might argue that the Carnet format may not technically be a blog, the fact is this format is still young, and as long as people are excited about the format, it really doesn't matter what the purists on either side of the aisle think.

Link: PRLeap.com Carnet Travel Release

The Fallout From Louis Vuitton v. Canal Street Landlords

The fight is over. ICSC reports that Louis Vuitton's suit against Canal Street landlord Richard E. Carroll has resulted in a judgment where Carroll must post signs indicating the sale and purchase of counterfeit goods is illegal.

Louis Vuitton is moving fast against all kinds of piracy. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that LVMH shut down a house party where the hostess Jacqueline Sharon Feilich intended to sell fake luxury handbags.

Whether you're dealing with music or handbags, the counterfeit police are increasingly going down the foodchain to discourage piracy wherever it exists. Perhaps soon we'll be talking about the Long Tail of counterfeiting.

26 Million Text Messages Can't Be Wrong

ReutersReuters reports over 26.4 million people sent text messages in support of Live 8, a worldwide campaign to cancel the debt of the world's poorest countries. The event obliterated the previous record of 5.8 million text messages set by an episode of American Idol.

Irish singer Bob Geldof and U2 frontman Bono have found support from World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz for the measure. The BBC reports finance ministers from the world's richest countries, grouped together in the G-8, agreed Saturday to cancel US$40 billion (euro33 billion) worth of debt owed by 18 of the world's poorest nations, most of them in Africa. Much of the canceled debt was owed to international institutions such as the World Bank.

At the same time, AOL.com also claimed a world record, saying that more than 5 million logged on globally to watch streamed video of the concerts, making it the biggest streaming event ever.

Kristof: The Economics of Thievery

Nicholas Kristof writes how the introduction of the LoJack - a hidden radio transmitter that turns on if the vehicle is stolen - has reduced crime, not only for those who purchase the device, but for all automobile owners (registration required).

The invisible device turns automobile theft into a game of Roulette - you may get lucky a few times, but miss just once and you get caught. As a result, he writes, auto theft is down 50 percent in Boston.

In the meantime, companies like PartyGaming.com openly mock American laws, while other scofflaws like Borders create legal structures either domestically or in remote tax havens to escape tax consequences.

Cities must become more creative in how they set up incentives, not just to attract businesses, but also to stop the flight of tax revenue. Today, local tax collectors spend a disproportionate amount of time tracking small to medium sized businesses, and shrug their shoulders when confronting the real culprits.

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