Royal ratings, Biden visits and the vogue for non-fungible tokens

Planet Business: When the Boot is on the other Foot

Image of the week: Biden’s hardware

In the first of an occasional series, Just Joe Biden Visiting Places, here is a picture of US president Joe Biden visiting Washington DC hardware store WS Jenks & Son where he once again excelled at the art of not being Donald Trump. Biden, while busy not being Trump, had a chat with the store's co-owner Michael Siegel, as well as Mary Anna Ackley, owner of the Little Wild Things Farm next door, two businesses in receipt of special Covid-19 loans, though he declined to take media questions about an increasing number of arrests on the US-Mexico border. The hardware store dates back to 1866 when the White House occupant of the day was Andrew Johnson, one third of the correct answer to the quiz question which US presidents have been impeached.

In numbers: Royal drama


Average size of the audience that watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview with royal couple Meghan and Harry on RTÉ2 on Monday night.



Viewers who were watching Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ One at the same time.


Complaints to UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom about ITV's Good Morning Britain, on which now departed presenter Piers Morgan said he didn't believe Meghan Markle when she told Winfrey she "didn't want to be alive anymore".

Getting to know: Terry Boot

Congratulations to Terry Boot, who has stepped into the role of finance director of Shoe Zone, the London-listed footwear retailer. This is not Boot's first brush with nominative determinism. He has pounded his way into Shoe Zone with a CV that includes Shoe City, its Belgian acquirer Brantano and Brantano's sister company Jones Bootmaker, so his qualifications go beyond his surname. Even considering his highly appropriate name, Boot's appointment attracted an unusual level of news coverage earlier this week, which wasn't entirely down to him. It was also because the man he replaced as Shoe Zone finance boss was one Peter Foot.

The list: Non-fungible what?

In further proof that people have lost the true meaning of joy, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become all the rage in certain cryptocurrency-loving circles. The idea is you bid for a digital asset and your ownership will be recorded on a blockchain – yes, it’s that exciting. They’ve also been dubbed “crypto collectibles”, if that helps. This week, a purely digital artwork by Beeple fetched $69 million at auction. Here are some of the NFTs to go on sale lately.

1 The first tweet. Jack Dorsey's "just setting up my twttr" message can be "bought" as an NFT through a platform called Valuables. But only if you have a few million to spare.

2 A cat meme. A digital art rendition of the Nyan Cat meme from 2011 sold for $590,000 (€495,940) at auction last month. The Nyan Cat is an animated cat with a Pop-Tart body that flies through space.

3 Lindsay Lohan collectibles. It's not quite clear why they're collectible, but the actor was an early player in the NFT artwork auctioning game.

4 Grimes stuff. Canadian musician Grimes recently sold 10 pieces of digital art through marketplace Nifty Gateway, making about $6 million for her trouble.

5 Kings of Leon merch. The band's new album can be purchased in the form of an NFT, as can a "golden ticket" for front-row seats at a gig in each of its future tours. Sounds a bit too "real world" for this world.