The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 27 December 2018

Technology

Image: Getty Images

Follow the herd

Forget Rudolph’s red nose: Finland’s reindeer-keepers will soon be able to track their animals via an app.

Christmas is over – at least as far as reindeer are concerned. Herders in Finland now face the challenge of keeping track of their animals as they roam Lapland’s vast snow-covered forests in sub-zero temperatures. But that task is about to get easier thanks to a new gadget: internet-enabled collars that will allow herders to see the location of their reindeer on a mobile-phone app. The collars, which will form one of the world’s northernmost “Internet of Things” networks, will also help herders find the corpses of dead reindeer (5,000 per year are killed by predators such as wolverines and lynx) so that they can claim compensation from the Finnish government. The trackers, which will be worn by the herd’s alpha female, are likely to cost about €90. Santa might be adding them to his Christmas list next year.

Society

Image: Alamy

Don’t stop the music

If your stamina for the dancefloor knows no bounds, consider a time-zone traversing NYE.

We’ve all been to a party that we’ve wished would go on forever – and with enough cash in the coffers this New Year’s Eve, it will (sort of). For about €224,000, merrymakers can see in 2019 at a VIP club in Sydney before travelling on board a private jet to a similarly glamorous venue in LA. There guests can repeat their celebrations in the new time zone, fuelled by copious amounts of champagne and lobster during the 13.5-hour flight. The party package is organised by jet charter broker PrivateFly whose co-founder, Carol Cork, says that the 19-hour time difference, gaining 5.5 hours of unbridled carousing in the process, is as appealing to prospective customers as the luxury of the evening itself. But is this just another gimmick in the market of rarefied experiences and a culture of one-upmanship? If it were up to us, we'd party on with the Sydneysiders.

Transport

Image: Alamy

Legal turbulence

Airlines are facing the removal of the “no-show clause” – and the judgement could heap costs on to mounting losses.

Some of the world’s largest airlines have until today to respond to a legal reminder that they might be breaching consumer laws. Which?, a consumer association, has joined forces with similar groups across eight European countries to inform carriers, including British Airways, Air France and Swiss, that the “no-show clause” could be illegal. The clause states that if a passenger fails to show up for an outbound flight then all connecting flights, even a return one, will be cancelled. The consumer associations might be on to something: a London court has ruled against the clause in a case involving Iberia and the EU Commission. The removal of the stipulation would lead to higher costs for airlines, which are already facing mounting losses as a result of rising wages, an increase in oil prices and industry deregulation.

F&B

Against the grain

The third cookbook by Spanish magazine ‘Apartamento’ focuses on rice – and could provide the antidote for those bored with turkey sandwiches.

Illustrator Stefan Marx has turned his talented hand to etching the images that adorn Barcelona-based magazine Apartamento’s third and latest cookbook. The focus of the 40-page hardback is as singular as the first two instalments (on cakes and desserts and winter soups, respectively). This time the team turns its attention to recipes with rice from the likes of Darina Allen, founder of East Cork cookery school Ballymaloe, Ruth Rogers of the River Café in London, Lebanese chef and tastemaker Kamal Mouzawak and Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes. A fitting post-Christmas gift for those whose culinary resolutions include dab-handed, step-by-step renditions of jollof rice (courtesy of New Orleans chef Tunde Wey) or arroz negro (from Mexican chef Daniela Soto-Innes). Service!

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