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PB and Spam, Skinnygirl On the Rocks...And Other Weird News

PB and Spam, Skinnygirl On the Rocks...And Other Weird News Credit: Peanut butter image via Shutterstock

Peanut butter and…spam?

Peanut butter and Spam sandwich, anyone? Hormel, the company that makes everybody’s favorite processed meat products, has announced this week that it will purchase the Skippy brand from Unilever for a whopping $700 million. It's perhaps the oddest food combo in a week of strange business news.

According to MSN Money, the high selling-price for Skippy might be at least partially due to peanut butter’s rise to second place on America’s list of popular sandwich ingredients. The riskiest part of this new investment for Hormel could be the rising numbers of recorded peanut allergies in young children, which doubled between 1997 and 2002, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

However, this widespread concern with the potential health effects of its most recent acquisition shouldn’t prove to be too much of a challenge for Hormel. After all, these folks have been selling us on meat in a can for 75 years and counting.

Au revior croissants…

If your stomach growls at the sight of a freshly baked baguette, then you may want to sit down for this next bit of news: Delish.com reports that Parisians will soon bid adieu to their city’s oldest bakery, Au Grand Richelieu Boulangerie. The 202-year-old business operates in the city’s 1st arrondissement, one of the swankiest neighborhoods in Paris. Rent prices there are due to double in 2013, and the bakery’s current owner, Claude Esnault, just can’t keep up with such a steep rise in costs.

Locals mourn the closing of this neighborhood fixture, which has been around since the days of Napoleon, and worry about the effect that rising rents will have on other businesses in their area.

[9 Strange Businesses You Didn't Know Existed]

Real ex-housewife…

What happens when a “Real Housewife” becomes a “real ex-wife?” That’s the question Bethenny Frankel wants answered now that the “Real Housewives of New York” star and business mogul is divorcing her husband of three years, Jason Hoppy. Us Weekly reports that the couple is trying to come to an agreement on how to divide the assets they’ve accumulated during their brief, but lucrative, marriage.

Frankel, 42, wrote four New York Times best-selling books, hosts a daytime talk show and founded the ever-growing Skinnygirl empire. A recent Forbes analysis suggests that Frankel netted around $55 million between mid-2010 and mid-2011 alone. Now the reality star and her ex will have to turn to their prenup to determine who gets what in the wake of their divorce.

Gangnam gone for good?

Does your New Year’s resolution include never listening to the song “Gangnam Style” ever again? If so, you may be in luck. New York Daily News reports that Psy, the Korean rapper behind this ubiquitous dance hit, announced that he is moving on from the single after he performed it on ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

In December 2012, “Gangnam Style” became the first video to ever surpass one billion views on YouTube. The rapper said that, while he’ll still honor his commitments to perform the single at various events, we can expect to hear less of the song in 2013. Let’s all just cross our fingers and hope that his next song also includes some updated choreography.

Office scammers?

How much would you pay to use an office scanner? How about $1,000? That’s how much some business owners are being asked to pay, per employee, for a license to use the patented technology of “distributed computer architecture.” If this sounds a little confusing to you, and perhaps a bit ridiculous, you’re not alone.

Arstechnica.com reports that small businesses from Minnesota to New Hampshire are now being asked to pay up for everyday office technology like scanning, emailing and the use of WiFi networks, and this newest onslaught of “patent trolling” has confused or outraged many business owners. While patent owners have been suing large companies for years over license agreements, the past few years have seen a marked increase on demands that users of basic technologies pay up. Welcome to the future, folks, where nothing is free, even the things you’re pretty sure you already paid for.

Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth writes about innovative technologies and business trends. She has traveled throughout the Americas in her roles as student, English teacher, Spanish language interpreter and freelance writer. She graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University. You can follow her on Twitter @techEpalermo or .