Japan cooling cat

A five-year-old Scottish Fold cat named Sun wears a battery-powered fan outfit for pets, developed by Japanese maternity clothing maker "Sweet Mommy", during the company's promotional event in Tokyo, Japan, on 28th July. PICTURE: Reuters/Issei Kato

• A Tokyo clothing maker has teamed up with veterinarians to create a wearable fan for pets, hoping to attract the anxious owners of dogs - or cats - that can't shed their fur coats in Japan's blistering summer weather. The device consists of a battery-operated, 80-gram fan that is attached to a mesh outfit and blows air around an animal's body. Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing maker Sweet Mommy, says she was motivated to create it after seeing her own pet chihuahua exhausted every time it was taken out for a walk in the scorching summer heat. "There was almost no rainy season this year, so the hot days came early, and in that sense, I think we developed a product that is right for the market," she said. After the rainy season in Tokyo ended in late June, the Japanese capital suffered the longest heatwave on record with temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius for nine days. "I usually use dry ice packs (to keep the dog cool). But I think it's easier to walk my dog if we have this fan," said Mami Kumamoto, 48, owner of a miniature poodle named Pudding and a terrier named Maco. The device debuted in early July and Sweet Mommy has received around 100 orders for the product, Uzawa said. It comes in five different sizes and is priced at 9,900 yen ($US74). - IRENE WANG/Reuters



Have a hankering for candy? A generic image (not necessarily products sold by Candy Funhouse). PICTURE: Dmitry Dreyer/Unsplash

• Sweet tooths pay attention! A Canadian candy company is looking for a "chief candy officer" to taste-test their products from the comfort of home. Online retailer Candy Funhouse posted a job ad on LinkedIn for the position, which carries a salary of $C100,000, for people based either in Toronto or Newark in the US state of New Jersey. "The Chief Candy Officer will be responsible for deciding which new candy products Candy Funhouse will be carrying, leading candy board meetings, being the head taste tester, and taking charge on all things fun!" the ad reads. The position, which will involve taste testing 3500-plus products each month, is open for people over the age of five. "All you need is a passion for candy, pop culture, and a sweet tooth!" the ad continues. The deadline for submitting applications is 31st August (and, yes, says the company, "the position does come with an extensive dental plan!")


Switzerland Mount Saentis giant flag

A cablecar descends in front of a huge 6,400-square-metre Swiss national flag on the western face of the north-eastern Swiss landmark Mount Saentis, Switzerland, on 31st July. PICTURE: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

• Teams of workers unfurled the world's biggest Swiss flag on an Alpine cliff on Sunday to mark the country's national day on 1st August. The 6,400-square-metre banner featuring the white cross on a red field weighs around 700 kilograms and took 600 hours of work to make, the Heimgartner flag company said. - With ARND WIEGMANN/Reuters.