Image of the week: Plastic beach
Ah, the beach: golden sands, high spirits, refreshing breeze, crashing waves, 4m-high faeces. Thankfully, this particular faecal specimen – rather than alerting humankind to the existence of giant sea creatures wading onshore to take a post-plankton dump – is made out of recycled plastic.
It is not, in fact, s**t, but art. S**t-themed art.
The sculpture, deposited on to Sydney’s Bondi Beach to mark World Environment Day, is designed to draw attention to the amount of plastic that is dumped in the world’s oceans every 30 seconds.
Held together by second-hand fishing nets, it’s also an advertisement designed to draw attention to the company responsible for it, New Zealand-headquartered Better Packaging Co, which sells eco-friendly bags and wraps made from recycled plastic retrieved in southeast Asia.
And, if all else fails – as it mostly has in efforts to control plastic pollution to date – it’s one intriguing selfie opportunity for anyone who happens to be round Bondi way.
In numbers: Coldplay climate
Reduction in carbon emissions on Coldplay’s current Music of the Spheres tour, now in its second year, compared with the band’s previous 2016-2017 world tour. Its target is to reach a 50 per cent drop.
Trees planted to offset the emissions, according to the band. Lead singer Chris Martin was reported to have “shocked” and “stunned” commuters by taking a train from Manchester to Cardiff rather than helicoptering in to the next stop on the tour.
Rate at which the reusable, plant-based LED wristbands given to audience members on the way in to the concerts have been returned, the rest of them presumably glowing in concertgoers‘ bedroom bins for another 24 hours before dying.
Getting to know: Debra Crew
Debra Crew is a Hawaiian-born former US army captain serving in the field of military intelligence. And if you think that job might drive a person to drink, you would be right in a roundabout sort of way: Crew is now the chief executive of Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff maker Diageo.
She was announced as the successor to Ivan Menezes in this role back in March, but she took the role a month earlier than expected on Monday as Menezes died at 63 in hospital on Wednesday, where he had had emergency surgery.
Crew’s priors include Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Mars, and she was also a tobacco boss, leading Reynolds American – a subsidiary of British American Tobacco – for a spell before joining Diageo, most recently serving as its chief operating officer. The drinks giant is now one of the few FTSE 100 companies to have a woman at its helm, with Crew its first woman chief.
The list: All things Apple
Sometimes when Apple holds product launches, it can seem like all it has to say is “our devices have slightly better cameras now” or “we’ve added/subtracted a millimetre from our next-generation iPhone”. But earlier this week at its Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California, the tech giant actually had stuff to announce. Here are five things it said.
1. Mixed reality headset: Vision Pro is a pair of high-tech goggles that blend the real world with virtual reality. The perfect Christmas present? Well, no, the headsets won’t be available until next year and, when they are, they’ll cost $3,500 (€3,260).
2. New MacBook Air: Apple also announced a 15-inch MacBook Air laptop, which it says is the “world’s thinnest laptop” at just 11.5mm and, more to the point, weighs very little indeed.
3. Just Siri: It is no longer necessary to say “Hey Siri” to activate Apple’s voice assistant. Just “Siri” will do. Or just live a Siri-free life, that’s also an option.
4. Live voicemail: Among a slew of updates to Apple’s next operating system, iOS 17, is a feature that transcribes a caller’s voice message in real-time, so you can decide to ignore it much more efficiently.
5. Ducking hell: The biggest news of all was that Apple will update its autocorrect feature so that “f***ing” will no longer become ducking. Better ducking late than ducking never.