Thursday 11 January 2018 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Thursday. 11/1/2018

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images


Screen grab

Televisions have always been a staple of CES and the standout model this year was Panasonic’s latest OLED, with its dazzling screen quality. There were also decidedly quirky launches from more established names, including a screen from LG that rolls up so you can store it out of sight and The Wall from Samsung, a 146-inch TV using a new technology called micro-LEDs. The same company also showed an LCD screen disguised to look like a flip chart. Oh, and Aibo, the adorable robot dog from Sony is back, both raising smiles and breaking hearts with his plaintive yelping. CES usually balances mainstream products with off-the-wall items but the fact that many of the latter have this year come from the biggest brands is a new development.

Image: Getty Images


Read ’em and weep

The past week has seen a media blast from US journalist Michael Wolff – the author of the warts-and-all book on the Trump White House – as he tours the morning TV shows. But while Fire and Fury may be the hottest political book of the year so far (well, it is only January), the rest of 2018 promises a deluge of works on the current president. In July we can expect a memoir from former press secretary Sean Spicer called The Briefing. But far from lambasting the president, his promises to be much more loyal, countering what he sees as a biased media. Perhaps we should look to former FBI director James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, scheduled for May, for something spicier.

Image: Shutterstock


Don’t stop me now

Tears were shed when Japan’s greatest animator, Hayao Miyazaki, announced his retirement in 2013, as fans around the world feared they’d never see the likes of classics such as Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro again. It seems the histrionics might have been premature as the 77-year-old has just announced that he has made a new short film – Boro the Caterpillar – that will be screened exclusively at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo from 21 March. The 15-minute animation is Miyazaki’s 10th short film and tells the adventures of a newly hatched caterpillar making his way in the world. There’s more good news: Miyazaki has a full-length animated film – his last, apparently – in the pipeline. Tickets for Boro the Caterpillar go on sale from 10 February.

Image: Shutterstock


Emergency stop

In an attempt to get to grips with India’s traffic-related deaths – around 400 people are killed every day – prime minister Narendra Modi has put forward a bill that’s set to pass through the upper house of parliament soon. If passed, it will require car manufacturers to add safety features to their vehicles, such as airbags or anti-lock braking systems, from July. That could spell trouble for the domestic manufacturers trying to keep production costs down as they make low-priced cars with minimum features. More importantly, the new rules might not make much of a difference: between India’s poorly enforced traffic laws and millions of older model vehicles navigating the country’s congested roads every day, it’s hard to believe that a few more airbags will go the distance.

Growing business

Freddie Blackett and Ed Barrow’s technology-savvy horticultural firm is blossoming in London. Patch is an online garden centre that identifies the best indoor and outdoor plants for each customer using a unique algorithm.

Soft Power Survey 2017/18

Who's in and who's out in 2017? We survey the top 25 nations who got it right (and wrong) in this most delicate of diplomatic skills.


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