Friday 5 October 2018 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Friday. 5/10/2018

The Monocle Minute

Image: Shutterstock


All for (astro)naught?

One could be forgiven for thinking that Bavaria One: Mission Future is a sci-fi film where people in lederhosen-inspired space suits attempt to colonise the galaxy. It is in fact the name given to Bavaria’s space programme, announced this week by the state’s Premier Markus Söder. During the meeting of his Christian Social Union (CSU) party he pledged €700m of investment into aerospace. Astrophysicist Dr David Whitehouse isn’t convinced: “As a proper space agency it probably wouldn’t work. It may involve an administrative clash with the EU’s programme,” he says. “But it certainly could bring in lots of jobs to the region and benefit the local economy.” It seems that Bavaria One: Mission Future may not have to leave terra firma to give Söder a boost in the polls.

Image: Benjamin McMahon


Art of the meal

Taste-making fairs call for tasty catering but there’s improving on a stale baguette and then there’s booking perhaps London’s best restaurant for refreshments. Especially if – as is the case for Hammersmith’s beloved The River Café at this edition of Frieze – the restaurant has long-shunned additional premises. Indeed, Ruth Rogers’ Italian joint in west London earned itself top spot in Monocle’s 2018 Restaurant Awards partly because of her determination to avoid franchising or diluting its good name with hasty second or third sites in unseemly locations. However, its temporary Frieze home has been designed as closely as possible to architect Richard Rogers’ original interior – telling of the care that went into the project (yes, there’s even a balcony with a view onto greenery). It is proof that sometimes, in food as well as brand collaborations, all you need is the right pairing.

Image: Irving Shipbuilding


Heat is on

Champagne will be flowing at the Halifax Shipyard today. In Royal Canadian Navy tradition, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is set to break a bottle of bubbly against the hull of HMCS Harry DeWolf, the first of Canada’s six new Arctic patrol vessels built to protect the country’s interests along its northern coast. Once they’re delivered to the navy and become operational in 2019, the ships will head for the Arctic, where shrinking sea ice has created new opportunities for exploration as well as fishing and energy projects. The US, Norway, Denmark and China have all tried to assert their authority in the area, while Russia has unveiled a new military base and nuclear-capable ships. As the Arctic’s ice continues to thaw, Canada is preparing for a future where relations between those acting in the region might freeze over.

Image: Getty Images


Snapped up

When it comes to chasing talent, Japan’s corporate titans show unusual restraint. Companies only start to court the country’s bright young things when they enter their final year at the top universities. This is because of a rule observed by members of the Japan Business Federation (JBF) – a huge consortium of about 1,400 businesses that includes Toyota and Toshiba. The rule was put in place to ensure students’ work isn’t interrupted by overzealous HR directors. But not everyone is so scrupulous: foreign firms as well as smaller Japanese companies are getting in early and gaining the loyalty of precocious students. So, on 9 October the JBF is expected to end its practice and level the playing field, beginning with the class of 2021. Expect strong opposition from the Association of Private Universities of Japan, but the alternative is less appealing: a corporate sector unable to attract the best talent.

Image: Rich Gilligan


Irish musician Conor O’Brien has been playing under the moniker Villagers for the past decade. His fifth album, ‘The Art of Pretending To Swim’, brings his usual folk songs to the dance floor for an electro-fuelled meditation on faith.

Parc de Belloch: the home of Catalonian design

Show-stopping design firm Santa & Cole takes inspiration from the Catalonian countryside and the fact that it’s just far away enough from bustling Barcelona.


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