Motorbikes banned in China January 27, 2007Posted by grhomeboy in Cars & Motors.
Guangzhou, a prosperous city of about 11 million in southern China, has banned motorcycles and motorized bicycles.
It’s part of a crackdown on crime, the New York Times reports. These vehicles are apparently favoured by muggers, purse-snatchers and other robbers. In late 2005, one woman had her hand cut off by a thief on a motorcycle.
But the ban is also seen as an assault on migrants from rural areas and poorer cities. Motorized two-wheelers are the primary mode of transport for these workers at the bottom of the economic ladder, who make up about one-third of the city’s population. The ban has already forced thousands to leave.
Japan festival in Iceland January 27, 2007Posted by grhomeboy in Culture.
The Embassy of Japan and the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Iceland will host a Japan festival at the University of Iceland on Saturday.
Visitors will be given an introduction to Japanese culture, including Japanese martial arts, literature, poetry, history, food, drink and photography.
Apart from learning the secret of Origami paper folding (as mastered by the character of Michael Scofield in the popular 2005 US TV series Prison Break), how to play Japanese board games like Igo and Shogi, and Japanese computer games, guests will also be given the chance to perform at a (non-alcoholic) karaoke bar.
The Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Iceland was founded in September 2003, as the first university department in Iceland to teach an Asian language and to specialize in Asian culture.
The festival will be open from 1 pm to 6 pm on Saturday, January 27, in the Function Room of the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.
Set the budgie free January 27, 2007Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion, MetroSexual.
The latest wave of men’s swimwear is all about celebrating the male form.
But things are changing. Men’s swimwear today is not just about budgie-smugglers or boardshorts; there’s a flood of styles, colours, fabrics and prints for men to choose from, and it’s all about being bright, colourful and sexy.
“You wouldn’t say there’s one trend,” says Kelly Ingersole, a buyer for retail chain Swimwear Galore. “But there’s more variety out there for men now. For those who want do your basic trunks, there are the black and navy, but a lot of people are steering away from that now. Men are looking for more high-fashion items, and bold tropical prints.”
Dean White, of Bang Clothing in Prahran, is selling the popular aussieBum range but is also importing a lot of labels from the United States and Brazil, such as Rufskin and Pistol Pete. “All styles are popular; the Speedo cut, trunks and boardshorts,” he says. “We’re selling a lot of white, and bright colours. There’s a lot of 1970s and retro cuts around.”
Fitted trunks appear to be the hot news in men’s swimwear this year. Sexy new James Bond Daniel Craig caused a stir striding up the beach in a pair of tight pale blue La Perla trunks. Sales have gone through the roof in Europe and the US, and similar styles are selling well here too.
Clement Chuah, of new Melbourne men’s fashion label Clemente Talarico, says everything this year is a lot sleeker, sexier and more stylish. And swimwear is now smaller, he adds. “The birth of the metrosexual male has changed the way products are looking. Once upon a time, only a very small minority of men, the gay guys, was interested in looking hot, but now it ranges across the general public.”
Chuah’s range of swimwear is designed to “enhance the masculinity of the male form”, and so they’ve gone for an upmarket, retro St Tropez feel. He’s also used Italian lycra, which has a higher density than normal lycra, so the trunks hold their form.
“You don’t want to walk into the water looking 30 and come out looking 50,” Chuah says. “It’s also much more chlorine-resistant so it lasts longer and the colours will hold. And you can do laps in them. A guy will always be a guy. He might want to look good but he might want to swim. What’s the point of wearing swimwear if you can’t swim in it?”
Tied up in knots January 27, 2007Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion, MetroSexual.
Traditional, macho, metrosexual or just a bit chilly, is the way in which a man wears his scarf really that telling?
What is the right way to wear a scarf? What is the right kind of scarf? Why are men dressing like women? Why is Mr Shorter so very interested?
I don’t claim to have any answers to these questions. But I do seem to be wearing a scarf as I write this and it does appear to be knotted, though in what style I’m not sure, have invented a glossary of knots that include The Fling, The Arctic Tuck, The Classic Traditional and The Boho. I guess mine might be The Arctic Fling.
What does this piece of neckwear say about me? Firstly, and most apparently, that I am fighting a preventative battle against the common cold. If 70% of the body’s heat escapes through the head, it’s surely a fair guess to say 25% escapes from the neck. If I can keep that 25% in, I lower the risk of having to dash around looking for Sudafed come the weekend.
The second point is that I am a ponce. I wear things because I think they’re fashionable and because I think it distinguishes me from other people. This is not an uncommon thing to do. In fact I’m looking at a colleague with a shaven head, triangular goatee beard and floral Hawaiian shirt worn underneath a Next sweater at this very moment. But while it may be common behaviour in the modern age, it was less so when Britain had an empire and all that. When men, without exception, wore their scarves in the Classic Traditional way.
Tied up in this woolly debate, it seems, is the theme of metrosexuality, which I have no time for. Mainly this is because the phrase was deliberately invented by some bloke in order to further his media career but also because it covers such a wide range of behaviour (from moisturising to liking milk in coffee) that almost all men might fall under the definition at some point.
I get the general gist: that wearing scarves with knots in them is a signifier of the fact that men are less manly than in the past and that if, God forbid, we were all drafted into combat we’d quail in the face of the enemy and demand the opportunity to have a nice cry. But we don’t know that would be the case, because it hasn’t happened, while it is true that those people who do bang the drum for men being men are those who have benefited from the most cosseted period of existence in history, namely that which followed the second world war.
If men wear a tie in a knot, or wear it indoors, or even wear it when they go to sleep, it says less about modern masculinity that it does about modern individuality; the prevailing sentiment that people should be allowed to express themselves in the way they choose without facing the reproof of others. And in that I guess I do agree, as a little more communal experience, a few more common threads in our national knitwear, might be a good thing. But not in the domain of the scarf, on that point I remain steadfast.
How should men wear a scarf? January 27, 2007Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion, MetroSexual.
Once the gentlemen’s scarf was just draped sadly round the neck, barely visible beneath the buttoned-up overcoat, unless its owner was Rupert Bear or Dr Who.
But metrosexual man has put a stop to that. He’s wrapping and twisting and looping with abandon. And it’s nothing to do with the cold. Suddenly the debate has exploded: “Just what is the right way for a man to wear a scarf?” The question was posed by a reader who inquired why half of young men were wearing their scarves knotted like women.
A man’s scarf should be worn inside his overcoat and exposed an inch above the collar, with the tie on view. And the response to this mild observation? In short: Get knotted.
There is no other way now; this is a major revolution. Everyone is knotting. Scarves are just so long now, you’d be tripping over them otherwise. Is knotting too feminine? People will just have to take a view depending on the person.
Even the established Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes admits time has moved on. The classic drape was immensely popular to bring some breakage of colour with your lapel, said our friend with the tape measure. And with a silk scarf, really, that’s the only way to wear it. But for a woollen scarf, it’s perfectly acceptable for men to loop and knot.
Gareth Scourfield, the fashion editor of Esquire magazine, admits that men may be influenced by their wives and girlfriends. But it has allowed men to wear scarves in a much more creative way. Let’s face it, men don’t have as many exciting clothes to play with as women.
Nick Foulkes, the author and self-confessed “dandy” and style guru, said: The scarf is a sartorial flourish. It’s the early 21st century equivalent of the bold linings worn by 1980s estate agents.