13 March 2014 | Saint Homobonus
The patron saint of purchasers takes a look at the month’s more unlikely business tales.
Keep it ‘Over-Easy’
While enemy action is an ever-present threat when one is in an army, there are other issues to contend with too. For instance, how to cook your eggs. In the mess halls of US bases in southern Afghanistan, signs above the breakfast fry-up stations warn that eggs are only available ‘over-easy’. Why? Because diseases apparently lurk in runny yolks and incapacitate the troops – so asking for your egg ‘sunny side up’ is a big no-no! And as we all know ‘an army marches on its stomach’ so, one of the most important US military technological break-throughs of recent years? The ‘three-year pizza’, created after years of research and millions of dollars, which will last in a ration pack for 36 months and still tastes good!
More than won ton
Talking about armies and food, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is finding that its soldiers’ physiques are changing ‘significantly’. Two centimetres taller and five centimetres wider than 20 years ago, the soldiers are having trouble fitting into military equipment. A survey of more than 20,000 soldiers, initiated in 2009
by a research institute, said a soldier
with a normal body figure can feel cramped in some tanks as the vehicle designs were based on average physiques of 30 years ago. Ding Songtao, director of the
survey, said there was an “urgent need for military equipment
with larger models”.
‘Love’ on a plate
Hopefully you all enjoyed some kind of Valentine’s Day gesture? A rose or a dinner perhaps? But can any of us compare our evening to the menu offered by Michelin-starred chef Adam Simmonds who came up with a £61,000 eight-course menu which included almus white caviar, gold leaf, truffles and bluefin tuna, seen by conservationists as close to extinction. Washed down with a £17,000 La Romanée-Conti wine and champagne, it was designed for luxury website veryfirstto.com.
Agony aunt apps
Feel like you need advice on your love life or a job situation? Then download Crowdpilot, an app which lets you choose from a menu of people to offer you advice – from Facebook friends to total strangers who are paid to listen to your woes through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk programme. And you can tell them what kind of chat you are having: a date, a meeting or an argument. It’s an experimental app and developer Lauren McCarthy wants to see how people use it. “Will it make us more connected or turn us into total robots?” she asks.
Smart specs time
Google has released advice for those wearing its smart specs. This includes asking for peoples’ permission before recording them and warning users against ‘glassing out’ by focusing on the screen too much. The company is expanding the number of users who have access to the $1,500 prototypes and increasing its ‘Glass Explorer community’ as the product rollout is expected later this year. Dos include using the glasses to help you find that new restaurant, don’ts include glassing-out, which is when you start “looking pretty weird to those around you”.
Make mine mature
Celebrity chefs and cookery shows are being blamed for UK shoppers increasingly choosing continental and more exotic varieties of cheese over English staples such as cheddar. Analyst Mintel says however, that those still buying cheddar are going for the very strong stuff with sales of extra mature cheese up by 7 per cent
and farmhouse cheese up by 5.
Nah, I love my old supply chain management system. What I’m tired of is promoted tweet spam @fredkiesche