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International Briefs

Above: Photo Courtesy Pixabay

The Wine Wars

Trust Donald Trump to create an international disagreement without quite realising its larger impact. The US President recently threatened to impose a tax on French wine imported into America in retaliation for the French government’s proposal to levy tax on US technology giants, or GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple).

It has created a huge backlash among French winemakers. What irks them even more is Trump’s assertion that American wines are better than French wines. That is nothing short of blasphemy—the French consider their wines to be the gold standard for the product and winemakers in hallowed areas like Bordeaux are up in arms at what they see as Trump’s “moronic ways”.

They point to his statement to reinforce their stand about his ignorance. Trump had said: “I’ve always liked American wines better than French wines—even though I don’t drink wine. I just like the way they look.” He was probably referring to the fancy labels that winemakers in Napa Valley put on their bottles, hardly a fair comparison of the quality of the contents.

French producer and exporter Olivier Fleury, who makes wines in Bordeaux, was quoted as saying: “It’s such a shame because the euro is getting closer to the dollar, but with a couple more dollars per bottle it could simply mean that our products would be taken off the shelves.” Price sensitivity is one thing, but even that cannot match French sensitivity about the quality and class of their wines.

The Golden Arches

Most fans of McDonald’s burgers assume that the famous logo is an abstract depiction of two massive French fries being dipped in a pool of ketchup. Actually, the logo has a higher purpose to do with the colours used.

According to Reader’s Digest, the logo and its colours have a specific psychological reason behind the design. The colour red is said to be stimulating and associated with activity. Indeed, according to a study reproduced in Science Daily, students asked to squeeze a handful of coloured crayons used more force when the colour red was involved. The psychological reasoning is that vehicle drivers might be more inclined to crave a big Mac when seeing the red in the McDonald’s logo.

The second colour, yellow, according to psychologists, is generally associated with happiness, apart from being the most visible colour in daylight. It seems there’s more to that iconic logo than just French fries and ketchup.

Gamers Day Out

All those parents who express serious concerns about the amount of time their kids spend playing video games may be having a rethink after a 16-year-old kid from America won a mindblowing $3 million at the first world championship for gamers.

The inaugural event saw over 100 participants from 30 countries and was held in the Arthur Ashe stadium where the US Open tennis tournament takes place. The irony was not lost on anyone. Just last week, the US Tennis Association announced that the winners of the men’s and women’s singles titles at the 2019 US Open, which starts shortly, will receive record prize money of $3.85 million each. The fact that a 16-year-old gamer, who calls himself “Bugha” on gaming sites, won $3 million by playing just six video games wasn’t the only twist—the total prize money for the gaming championship, called Fortnite after the sponsors, an online video game, was a whopping $30 million.

For further perspective, the prize pool for the Fortnite competition matched that of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the biggest event in women’s soccer. In fact, statisticians point out that the teenager earned a whole lot more than Tiger Woods did for winning the Masters a few weeks ago—the golfing legend earned $2.07 million as prize money.