Too ugly to eat at the front of the restaurant?

Night.Time_.Outdoor.Cafe_.Paris_You wait two weeks to get a reservation at the best new restaurant.

You wear your best clothes and prepare your wallet for the best food.

And finally you arrive, and what happens? You’re placed out the back, somewhere between the shouting chef and the constantly swinging door of the toilet.

The place isn’t even that busy, so what’s with that?

Well, sorry to break it to you but you just may not be attractive enough.

Reports from former waitresses at major restaurants in Paris prove that they were told to put the best-looking customers at the front and move the less attractive further along, out of sight, to create a view of an ugly-free Paris.

Le George, an upmarket restaurant on top floor of the Pompidou Centre, and Café Marly, which overlooks the Louvre, are both landmark Parisian eateries and have been accused of being biased snobs.

The waitresses say they were getting in trouble for not following this policy, with the owners and managers asking: “What are these ugly mugs doing at this table? Everyone can see them when they come in. It’s very bad for our image.” (Let’s just take a step back here and remember that this is the city with a dedicated cat cafe).

The only ones exempt seem to be celebrities, who get to enjoy the Parisian view without having to worry too much about having a face like an angel. (All’s well for Gérard Depardieu, then.)

Even the hostesses don’t have it easy, with the criteria for a job at either restaurant stating anyone “without a model’s physique and over 30 need not apply”. They were also told off for not showing their boobs and wearing long skirts.

And don’t even think about bribing the staff, with the boss of Le George, Gilbert Costes, visiting his restaurant periodically to “harp on about the house principles of which he is very proud, as he invented them” as one of the former waitresses told The Telegraph.

Looks like you may need to find a new favourite restaurant, or plastic surgeon.

(Image Source)

Published on Urban Society / 12 November, 2013

Melbourne Remote Control Tourists

Melbourne4Ever wanted to control another human being?

Make them try those dumplings that look a little risky?

Or check out all the best dark alleys in Melbourne? (Okay, maybe that one’s a little mean. These are living, breathing humans after all!)

Well prepare for all your dreams to come true. Tomorrow, Play Melbourne will introduce two remote control tourists who will be traveling around Melbourne, completely in your control!

One lucky guy and girl will be at your disposal from tomorrow, October 9th, until Sunday, October 13th. Through the Play Melbourne Twitter and Facebook page, viewers will be able to tell the tourists what to do, and then watch it all live-streamed.

You can tell them to try all those restaurants you’ve been meaning to visit, and then perhaps a stroll through the art galleries. You can feel all cultured while sitting at your desk munching on watermelon whole fruit popsicles.

Let them make all the mistakes before you even set foot in Melbourne, leaving you to enjoy the finer things.

Watch the Youtube video to get you prepared.

Live-streaming
9th Ocotober: 10am – 8pm
10th October: 12pm – 8pm
11th October: 12pm – 8pm
12th October: 12pm – 8pm
13th October: 12pm – 8pm

Website

Published on Urban Society / 08 October, 2013

Argentina Ghost Town new tourist attraction

Underwater2Would you believe that this place was a bustling tourist town just thirty years ago?

It’s called Villa Epecuen, and lies just south of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

In 1985 the town experienced a particularly heavy rainstorm, followed by several wet winters. A dam finally bursting on the 10th of November, 1985, submerging the town in water. People waited on their roofs for two days for the water to recede, something that didn’t occur until 2009.
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Established in the 1920s, the town used to be a thriving spa resort. Now it features dead trees and signs pointing to nowhere. Remnants of tourists can also be found among the rubble, including coke bottles, plates and glasses. The most unnerving feature is the trees, which still stand in neat rows.

In a twist of fate, the Argentinian town is a tourist attraction once again, but this time as a ghost town, attracting visitors who come to gape at the ruins.

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Villa Epecuen was home to 5,000 residents and thousands of tourists. Now only one man lives here: Pablo Novak. The 83-year-old, who has lived in the town since his youth, never left. He was the only one to return when the town drowned, living there ever since in a stone hut with a fridge and a basic cooker.

“Whoever passes nearby cannot go without coming to visit here,” Novak said to The Associated Press. “It’s getting more people to the area, as they come to see the ruins.”

Many of the other residents fled to nearby Carhue, building new hotels and spas.

Published on Urban Society / 04 October, 2013

The Bondi Hipsters have their own series on ABC2

Screen.Shot_.2013.09.17.at_.3.09.09.PM_It wasn’t enough to promote online fashion site The Iconic earlier this year. Now The Bondi Hipsters have their own series on ABC2.

It seems The Bondi Hipsters – Christaan Van Vuuran and Nick Boshier – have officially sold out, and props to them.

But you’ll quickly forget that idea when you see the first trailer for the show. Titled “ABC2 Can Suck My Dick” the boys make it clear that they aren’t like the other “sell-out barns”. Of course, there was a lot more naughty language involved.

ABC2 has also put together series on The Bedroom Philosopher and Axis of Awesome in a bid to show that they aren’t ‘just a kids’ channel’ – they’re hip and ironic, too! Well, we kind of knew that when Ja’mie King hit the scene, but now their Gen Y anti-hero home status is firmly cemented. Practise your ‘yah’s everyone…

The station’s controller Stuart Menzies told Mumbrella that the artists were given the freedom to choose how they would promote the channel.

“We have all the problems of being a small voice in a crowded marketplace and there’s no point hiding that that… doing it in the voices of the people we’re including and letting them loose is actually just fun. If you try to interfere in that process, edit or manipulate it you would actually destroy it.” Menzies says.

Watch how The Bondi Hipsters chose to promote the channel below. In the words of the boys themselves: “Watch it if you want to, or don’t if you don’t.”

Published on Urban Society / 17 September, 2013

Angelina Jolie wants YOU in her movie

Angelina_DirectingCalling all scrawny, pasty white guys: Angelina Jolie wants you in her movie.

Remember when you were like ‘shut up mum, stop oppressing me. I don’t want your stupid dinner.’ and she was like ‘you look like you’ve been in a concentration camp’ – well, send her a smarmy text, your wise decisions are landing you a one-way ticket to fame!

But only if you are a 17-50 year-old very skinny Caucasian male who could portray a prisoner of war in a detention camp in WWII.
Oh and you also need to be willing to get your hair cut, and not have any tattoos.

Any of you still with us? Good.

Because you females out there still have a chance. The casting call also asks for Louise Zamperini “30s-40s; Italian; MUST SPEAK FLUENT ITALIAN; Louis Zamperini’s beloved mother; she constantly prays for him to get his life on track and stop causing so much trouble. She loves him dearly.”

Better get in there quick and you may be close enough to touch Angelina Jolie; but we advise against it, that would be creepy.

Jolie is coming together with Universal Pictures to make this movie, named Unbroken. The film is based on bestselling book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand.

The story centres on Louis Zamperini, a former prisoner of war and Olympic long distance runner. Ten-time Oscar nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join the team as director of photography along with Jon Hutman as production designer.

Still interested? Submit your headshot and resume to http://www.unbrokenmoviecasting.com/

Bring your jazz hands (but check ‘em at the door – it’s a prisoner of war camp, not Gaga’s Alejandro).

Published on Urban Society / 11 September, 2013

Fourth porn performer HIV positive

codom-1-1An AIDS health care advocacy group claims that a fourth porn performer has been tested positive for HIV.

President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Michael Weinstein, told the Huffington Post that the performer approached the group saying he was HIV positive. “I think he wanted to check out everybody that could be of any help to him. We gave him information, but he’s not ready to come forward,” said Weinstein.

But it seems that’s all they know. Or, all they are willing to say…

It is not clear whether the performer contracted HIV on set or off, and Weinstein declined to say when the performer approached them or when he discovered that he had the disease.

The Free Speech Coalition, the industry trade group that oversees a database of all performers and their STD test results, has accused the Foundation of being untruthful.

“This information came from AHF who is currently trying to push regulation on the industry… It is extremely likely that this situation is more posturing for AHF’s political agenda,” the spokeswoman for FSC has said in an email.

Weinstein and the AHF helped pass a mandate in 2012 to have condoms made mandatory on porn sets in LA County, despite a large, coordinated campaign against it by the porn industry.

The porn companies say that condoms would hurt their profits so much that it would have forced them to film outside LA. Some porn performers even say that being forced to wear a condom is a violation of their freedom.

If you would like more information on living with/diagnosing HIV, contact ACON

Published on Urban Society / 11 September, 2013

Russell Brand’s Hugo Boss nazi jokes

Screen.Shot_.2013.09.11.at_.12.31.23.PM_.1Hugo Boss Nazi jokes.

That’s apparently what you can expect from Russell Brand when presenting him with an award.

The British comedian got banned from the GQ Men of the Year Awards after-party after ripping apart the magazine and their sponsor, Hugo Boss, while accepting an Oracle award.

“Any of you who know a little bit about history and fashion will know that Hugo Boss made the uniform for the Nazis,” Brand told his audience at London’s Royal Opera House. “The Nazis did have flaws, but, you know, they did look fucking fantastic.”

Not surprisingly, the magazine’s editor, Dylan Jones, kicked Brand out shortly afterwards.

So then what do you do? Well if you are a righteous British comedian you go home and tweet this:

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Check out the hilarious full video below.

Published on Urban Society / 11 September, 2013

Vintage Hollywood star diet

ku.xlarge-1A cup of hot water for breakfast.

Cottage cheese, pineapple and buttermilk for dinner.

This was a vintage Hollywood star diet found in a magazine from the 20s proving what we already suspected, celebrities are bonkers.

A January 1929 issue of Photoplay magazine, unearthed by Jezebel, features a vintage diet story that warns that women put their lives at risk to be Hollywood skinny. Yes, even back then.

In the article titled ‘Diet – The Menace of Hollywood’ writer Katherine Albert explains why eating like the stars of the time caused illness and death. “Barbara LaMarr died of tuberculosis brought on by weight reduction. Kathryn Grant ruined her career and was made an invalid from starvation. Lottie Pickford took her life in her hands when she resorted to quick reducing medicines and is today virtually an invalid.” Were just some of the examples Albert used to prove this point.

Fortunately the article also provides a ‘correct diet’, which includes, “roast beef, baked potato, spinach, picked beets, cucumbers, buttermilk and fruit cup.” Obviously more appealing then saltine crackers, but we feel they could have put a little more effort in. Perhaps not encouraging women to lose two or three pounds a week would have been sufficient.

Sadly, today seems no different. Even though we now know more about physical and mental health than ever, fashion magazines are still shoving celebrity diets in our faces, reminding us that those jiggly bits just aren’t natural.

Sigh. It seems that the only thing that has changed over the years is that we now have much better diets.

Published on Urban Society / 11 September, 2013

8-year-old Yemeni child bride dies after wedding night

large_child.bride_.again_UPDATE: Authorities in Yemen are saying this story is fake. What do you think?

An eight-year-old girl in Yemen has died of internal injuries due to sexual trauma on the first night of her marriage to a 40-year-old man.

The Gulf news has reported that the Yemeni child bride, named Rawan, has suffered a tear to her genitals and severe bleeding.

Yemini activists and human right organisations have called on police to arrest the groom and Rawan’s family. They are hoping the death brings attention to the issue of forced child marriages in Yemen.

More than a quarter of Yemen’s females marry before age 15, according to a report in 2010 by the Social Affairs Ministry. Adding to that, the United Nations Population Fund have stated that between 2011 and 2020 more than 50 million brides will be under the age of 15.

One of the main human rights issues in countries like Yemen is that there is currently no consistent established definition of a ‘child’ that has been agreed upon worldwide, leaving each country to decide for themselves. Establishing an age limit is among the top priorities of groups like the Human Rights Campaign as more pro-age-limit organisations agree that 18 should be the legal age for marriage.

But there is also the problem of tribal custom, which perpetuates the idea that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation. It is believed that the gripping poverty in Yemen plays a key role in hindering efforts to stop the practice. ‘Bride prices’, which the husband pays to his future wife’s family, can be hundreds of dollars. For families in poverty, this can be difficult to refuse.

In February 2009 a law was created in Yemen that set the minimum age for marriage at 18, but it was repealed after more conservative lawmakers called it un-Islamic.

Thanks to PROJECT FUTURES, our Not For Profit partner, for bringing this story to our attention.
If you wish to support champions of women and children’s rights all over the world, please support them and donate.

Published on Urban Society / 11 September, 2013

“Fallen Princess” series shows a not so happily ever after

princesses-snowwhitePrincesses usually get a happily ever after. But what if they don’t?

What if Cinderella turned into an alcoholic, and Ariel ended up exploited in an aquarium?

Photographer Dina Goldstein captured such images in her “Fallen Princesses” series, showing a dystopic demise for all of our favourite fairytale princesses.

Princesses_ariel

These images depict the princesses facing quite depressing real life problems, such as struggling with kids, weight problems and undergoing chemotherapy.

As Goldstein herself says; “I began to imagine Disney’s perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues,”

Princesses_Belle_RedRidingHood

One image depicts Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, laying on an operating table while doctors inject needles into her already bruised face. A contemporary Snow White’s queen?

Another shows Pocahontas surrounded by a shit-tonne of cats – who would have known she would turn into a crazy cat lady? Well John Smith did leave her, so there was no other option, right?

Princesses_Pocahontas

Goldstein says she put much thought into these images, giving backstories to all of them. She justifies Pocahontas’ predicament by explaining” “She’s an agoraphobic and, after her love disappeared, Pocahontas waited and waited and eventually just went into a depression and wouldn’t leave her house. She’s now working a job out of the house and her only interactions are with delivery people who come and pick up packages from her—and her cats … and her one dog.”

Princesses_Rapunzel

We still find this hard to believe, last time we checked Pocahontas loved the outdoors and Belle was more interested in books than her self-image.

Nice try Goldstein, but we will stick to our happily ever afters.
Keep dreaming Urbanites; your Prince Charming is coming*

*May not come.

Published on Urban Society / 13 August, 2013