Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos funded an expedition that has pulled up two pieces of rocket engines from the bottom of the ocean, possibly from the NASA Apollo flight that delivered astronauts to the moon. Mr. Bezos described the historic finding about 360 miles from Cape Canaveral as "an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end." He plans to restore the engines before they are shipped off to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Battle of the sexes
A CNBC report posed this surefire icebreaker: "Are women worse investors than men -- or just more careful?" This minefield of a question came up after an online debt-management program SaveUp.com analyzed account balances of 20,000 of its users during the past month and found men, on average, had savings account balances nearly twice that of women, 72 percent higher IRA balances and 30 percent more in taxable investments.
The study cited several possible reasons: Women typically are not paid as much as men and more often put careers temporarily on hold to care for children. But SaveUp CEO Priya Haji says women should be less timid about investing. "Insufficient market exposure is going to cause a compounding gap over time."
A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Twinkies to two investment firms who say they want the cream-filled treat back on the shelves by summer. Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. bought Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other brands from Hostess for $410 million.
Upward trend Downtown
New development plans are springing up all over Downtown. The former site of Saks Fifth Avenue on Smithfield Street could be converted into an apartment complex with a rooftop swimming pool and spa, while other projects include a new Hilton Garden Inn near Market Square; a mixed development of residences and offices where the Civic Arena sat in Uptown; and a Point Park University complex that will include three state-of-the-art theaters, just to name a few. For Mark Belko's full story, go to www.post-gazette.com.
Pittsburgh's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit its highest mark in two years in January, 7.5 percent. And even those getting in on the lower end of the job market aren't thriving. One national survey found that many earning $35,000 a year or less say they're worse off now than before or during the 2008 recession, and they are among the most pessimistic about job security and their career prospects.
Steve Twedt: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1963.