(1) In the grip of a low-carb diet fad, Norway has consumed its entire stock of butter. 250-gram portions of butter are now being offered for sale on a Norwegian auction site, with the bidding set to begin at $13. “Top dairy producer Denmark lies just across a narrow sea channel, but its stores of creamy butter will be kept out of the country by the high import duties of Norway, the only Nordic nation that does not belong to the European Union. […] The problem has certainly provided the Danes with a good laugh over their richly buttered breakfast toast.” Surely Scandinavia and the World will be all over this story soon.
(2) There is nothing quite like the savagery of the British political commentariat towards a damaged political leader. Which isn’t to say the savagery isn’t often deserved. In the Guardian, Marina Hyde observes the travails of LibDem leader Nick Clegg, whose decision to enter a coalition government with the Tories looks increasingly like one of the great strategic mistakes of the century. “[Clegg’s] story arc is like some Westminster version of Trainspotting, featuring grotesque scenes of personal degradation in pursuit of what must surely now be an ever-diminishing high. Perhaps a physicist would care to get in touch to explain whether there is a theoretical point at which a being has switch-backed on so many positions that he might simply atomise, leaving nothing but a thin coating of yellow dust and a pair of shoes he never grew into. […] Of more ghoulish fascination, though, is the next Lib Dem manifesto. What could this document possibly include? There are whole areas that in any sane universe it would be literally too embarrassing to mention, and given that these include major planks of what used to be called Liberal Democrat policy, such as Europe and education, I’ve genuinely no idea where they’ll go with this one. Blank pages? Something nice and inclusive about fish? The mere fact of something appearing as a Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge has come to symbolise that it is terminally doomed as an idea. Perhaps the best way to eradicate poverty would be to draft up a Lib Dem manifesto commitment to perpetuating it.”
(3) Welcome, Paul Krugman readers!