Odd Files

Modest Meat

The International New York Times edition published in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 22 carried a page-one story noting increased worldwide demand by meat processors for pigs raised in the fresh air rather than enclosed in pens — illustrated by a photograph of a cluster of pigs feeding in an outdoor stall.

However, the Malaysian printer (who had downloaded the digital pages and set them to paper) had added black boxes to cover just the faces of each pig in the photo. “If there is picture of nudes or (the) like, this we will cover (up),” a publisher’s spokesman told the Malay Mail. “This is a Muslim country.” (The story, headline and photo were otherwise identical to the versions that appeared elsewhere in New York Times editions.)

The Entrepreneurial Spirit!

The convenience beverage market got jumbled recently when, first, Oregon-based Union Wine Co. announced in November that it would soon sell its Underwood pinot gris and pinot noir in 12-ounce cans and, second, the London department store Selfridges unveiled a champagne vending machine for New Year’s celebrations. (The French bottler Moet & Chandon offered bottles of bubbly behind glass doors for the equivalent of $29.)

Weird Science

If We Can Do It, We Should Do It: (1) ThinkGeek.com has introduced the Tactical Laser-Guided Pizza Cutter, at a suggested $29.95, for helping to achieve straight-line precision in those difficult four-cut (eight-slice) pizza formulations.

(2) From the Japanese lingerie manufacturer Ravijour comes a bra whose front clasp can be locked unless its built-in heart-rate monitor signifies that the heartbeat is characteristic of “true love.” (Ravijour said it is still testing the bra.)

The Kingdom

Who Knew That Racoons Were Easily Offended? The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals condemned a Pet Expo in Greenhithe, England, in October after reports emerged that a trainer had showcased “Melanie,” a racoon who rides a bicycle-like device, apparently to great acclaim. An RSPCA statement denounced the expo for “degrading” a “wild animal” in such a “demeaning light.”

 

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