Category Archives: Odds and sods

Articles and discussions that defy classification, with an emphasis on unusual practice and cultural issues that arise from operating in an international business environment

Solved! The mysterious case of page 36 of the November 2014 Lufthansa magazine

WARNING – unsuitable for those of a nervous disposition

In an earlier post I drew attention to the peculiar censorship of page 36 of Lufthansa’s November in-flight magazine.  After literally minutes of detailed research I am now able to reveal – exclusively – the origin of the fuss.

Most of the copies I encountered after boarding a flight had the corner of the page cut off and removed, but on a couple of occasions paper had been stuck over the offending image.  Say what you will about the Germans, but they sure know how to source sticky glue.  Nonetheless, twenty minutes with a sharp knife and patience enabled me to reveal the picture that caused all the fuss.

Come hither cakes, apparently
Come hither cakes, apparently

Despite my best efforts I was still unable to overcome Lufthansa’s special glue fully, but I think there is enough detail there to see the origin of the issue.

What is most disappointing is that someone somewhere decided that this picture was so shocking and offensive that it merited such drastic action.  Sense of humour failure, sadly.

The mysterious case of page 36 of Lufthansa Magazin November 2014

The November 2014 edition of Lufthansa Magazin
The November 2014 edition of Lufthansa Magazin

If you fly with Lufthansa during November take a look at pages 35 and 36 of the in-flight magazine.  As you browse through there’s an interesting article on Jeju island, where South Korean lovers go for romance and fun.  Curiously, though, the top left hand corner of page 36 is likely to have been removed, not by an interested passenger but by Lufthansa themselves.  Look at the online pdf or App version and you’ll see that an image has been edited out:

Lufthansa Magazin November 2014 page 36;  see that missing image?
Lufthansa Magazin November 2014 page 36; see that missing image?

Now why should Lufthansa go to such trouble?  The answer lies in the caption that has been left: ‘Come hither cakes at Love Land’.  On one flight my copy of the magazine had the picture not removed but covered with a very sticky (and difficult to remove) piece of paper.  I gingerly peeled back the censor’s attempt to protect my enquiring mind.  I now know that a ‘come hither cake’ (of which I had not previously heard) is.

The offending image is of a number of items (cakes, presumably) in the very lifelike shape of exceptionally healthy gentlemen’s wedding tackle!

Technical Distribution – with a helicopter

Mil-8 chopper on Technical Distribution duty in Prague
Mil-8 chopper on Technical Distribution duty in Prague

Technical Distribution often needs specialist equipment, but seldom a soviet-era helicopter.

I have been involved in some Technical Distribution activities over the years so I’m used to stair-crawlers, cranes and the like but a couple of weeks ago I saw something new.

Apologies for the poor quality of the picture above, but i was visiting a friend and didn’t have my camera with me.  I heard the sound of a chopper and when I looked up two odd thoughts occurred to me:

  1. ‘That’s an unusual helicopter flying over the rooftops’; and
  2. ‘What’s it doing with a large piece of equipment hanging underneath it?’

It flew into the middle of town, hovered for a while, lowered its load, then rose and flew back whence it came.  My local aerospace expert identified the aircraft as a Mil Mi-8.  That’s one hell of a specialist piece of kit.

Local custom and practice

Screw local custom and practice, I know what works for me...
Screw local custom and practice, I know what works for me…

Few industries have been as affected by globalisation as has that of logistics, and the expansion of the European Union in 2004, 2007 and 2013 has led to movement of people, generally but not exclusively, from East to West.

Sometimes the visitors struggle to adapt to local custom and practice or, perhaps, just need familiar surroundings to ease their loneliness.

A fine example of this, the unfamiliarity of East European migrant labour with West European warehouse lavatorial standards, and the practical response of an enlightened employer can be found here.