Image of the week: Omicron cut
In South Korea, shaving your head has long been seen as a form of protest, a way of signifying your commitment to a cause rooted in traditional Confucian teaching. This week, it was the turn of about 300 small-business owners, women included, who lined up to lose their hair as a protest against Covid-19 restrictions near the National Assembly in Seoul. As new coronavirus infections topped 8,000 for the first time on Tuesday in a country with a population of 52 million that has largely been successful at containing Covid-19, the newly shaven business owners urged the government to lift curbs including a 9pm curfew for diners and sought “realistic compensation” for losses as the spread of the Omicron variant took its toll. A strategy for Irish industry representatives to consider, perhaps, for next winter’s lockdown.
In numbers: Bumpy ride
Record high intraday trading price for Peloton, the exercise equipment company. Alas, this was reached in January 2021, after it just reported a tripling of revenue growth, and things haven’t gone quite so well since.
Peloton’s closing price on the Nasdaq on Tuesday, after the stock dropped a further 11 per cent to a point below its September 2019 IPO price of $29 per share. The company is seen as a “stay-at-home” stock in a world that just wants to leave home as often and for as long as possible.
Number of characters in US television shows that have now been depicted suffering heart attacks after using Peloton bikes. Following the fatal demise of And Just Like That’s Mr Big, last Sunday’s episode of Billions saw Mike “Wags” Wagner taken to hospital with chest pains after a spin.
Getting to know: Peter Doocy
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy is the son of Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy and also “a stupid son of a b****” – or, at least, that’s what an impatient Joe Biden felt moved to call him earlier this week after Doocy asked him if he thought inflation would be a political liability for the mid-term elections.
In a hot mic moment, the US president sarcastically muttered “no, it’s a great asset” before invoking more colourful language, necessitating an air-clearing telephone call and the assurance that this was “nothing personal, pal”.
Doocy, who laughed on Fox that “nobody had fact-checked him yet” on his SOB declaration, has asked edgier and more dubious questions in his time. Back in 2008, when he was a student yet to officially join the Fox family, he asked the campus-visiting Republican presidential nominee John McCain whether he thought Hillary Clinton had “finally resorted to hitting the sauce because of unfavourable polling” – a question that made his father proud.
The list: Celebrity NFT bores
With any luck, a recent spate of cringe-worthy celebrities declaring their enthusiasm for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) should be enough to kill the “digital collectible” trend off for good. But which stars have been banging on about how much they love them?
1. Paris Hilton. The reality series veteran, a relatively early NFT adopter, fancies herself as an Iconic Crypto Queen and has the digital art to prove it.
2. Jimmy Fallon. The US talk show host and Hilton showed off their respective NFTs from the supremely naff Bored Ape Yacht Club collection on air this week in a segment the website PC Gamer called “the longest 77 seconds ever”.
3. Lionel Messi. The football great has an NFT crypto art collection known as the “Messiverse”. It’s not quite investor of the year territory just yet.
4. Matt Damon. The former Dalkey resident has fronted an ad for NFT and crypto platform Crypto.com. Even The Last Duel was better.
5. Reese Witherspoon. After the actor started dabbling in NFTs last October, she tweeted “talk to me #cryptotwitter”, becoming the first person in history to actually invite a conversation about NFTs.