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January 31, 2009

Taking photos of cops? You’re aiding terrorists, says UK

Jack Yan/13.29

[Cross-posted] As if Britain wasn’t already sufficiently heading down the V for Vendetta path (remember how last year, Mr Brown seized Icelandic funds on the grounds of terrorism—anyone know an Icelandic terrorist?), along comes amendments to the big catch-all Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 where people could be arrested and imprisoned if they take a photograph of officers ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of ’, says the British Journal of Photography.
   Anything could really qualify, couldn’t it? A taking a photograph for a newspaper might fall foul of the provision. One time I photographed two French policemen hassling a street vendor. I never published it but it struck me that the gentleman was being hassled because he was black.
   Could this be helpful to a terrorist? Probably. While my motives were to document possible racism, a terrorist could use this image to show the prejudice against non-whites in the west and encourage attacks on the occident. Lucky I didn’t take the photo in Britain then.
   Equally a photograph of Big Ben with a police officer in front could be helpful to terrorists in figuring out just where policemen walked on their beat. Tourists beware. You could become a crook after taking pics of HM Life Guards (no, not the Baywatch–Alerte à Malibu sort).
   ‘Set to become law on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 regarding offences relating to information about members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer,’ says the Journal.
   ‘The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 Act and section 58A of the 2000 Act, will target anyone who “elicits or attempts to elicit information about (members of armed forces) … which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.’
   Someone found guilty could be liable for 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine.
   This goes to the heart of in the , something already eroded over the years by the European Union and now, under the guise of . If it were proposed in the United States, some would label it as ‘un-American’, striking at the heart of their . Well, this is un-British. Forgive me for having a memory, but when Britain was a regular terror target during the Troubles—when Britons were being blown up by the IRA—no such laws were required and the country muddled through.
   Policies regarded as anathema when I was a child, such as a UK , are now accepted; this is merely another in a long line of Labour policies of late that leave me unsurprised at the number of UK immigrants to New Zealand. Many are documented regularly at Alfred the Ordinary’s blog, which actually has a V for Vendetta (movie) line in its header. It is becoming more appropriate by the day unless the British public stands up—and recent events have shown that, in the words of Bob the Builder (in Neil Morrissey’s finest hour?), ‘Yes we can.’

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Porsche Museum opens today

Jack Yan/5.30

Porsche Museum
Inside the Porsche Museum
Some years ago I had the privilege of driving through Europe visiting the famous car museums there—from the less-known Rosso Bianco collection in Aschaffenburg to the Musée Nationale in Mulhouse.
   There’s a new one that’s a must, opening today in Stuttgart: the Porsche Museum.
   Delayed by a year and with its construction costing double what was projected, the Porsche Museum has already received acclaim by our colleagues in the motoring press. There are currently 80 cars there, with 300 expected; and Porsche owners can even commission restorations inside the museum for others to see, according to Car magazine.
   Entry prices are very reasonable: general admission is €7 and children under 14 can enter for free.

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January 29, 2009

Barbie’s 50th birthday approaches

Lucire staff/5.02


Above: The late Ruth Handler, Barbie’s creator, admires her creation at its 40th anniversary celebration at F. A. O. Schwarz in New York, March 9, 1999. At the time, two Barbie dolls were sold per second.

Mattel’s Barbie doll celebrates its 50th anniversary on March 9, 2009.
   Barbie was launched at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959, named after the daughter of Ruth Handler, president of Mattel. It was inspired by the Bild Lilli doll, which had become famous in Germany earlier in the 1950s, which Mrs Handler saw during a trip to Switzerland.
   Mattel has been reaching out to the fashion press, with one of the press release quotations reading, ‘Inspiring over four generations of women and girls, at any given moment in history Barbie is a reflection of the times and always culturally relevant. She is on-trend and classic. She is always distinctly, unapologetically … Barbie.’
   Do readers have any Barbie memories they would care to share? Is she a harmless toy or a harmful icon? A toy that helps girls aspire, or one that holds them to an unfair ideal?

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January 26, 2009

Hetty Rose recycles kimono fabrics for spring–summer

Lucire staff/11.17

Hetty Rose
Hetty Rose
We’ve had a few chats lately to readers about shoes—especially ones with prints and how they would make more of a comeback.
   We were very interested to see the Hetty Rose collection for the spring–summer season. Embroidery and kimono fabrics—some are vintage and recycled, sourced from Japan—are the hallmarks of this new collection. The look is less feminine and more chunky. The collection, in our view, fits with the year’s trend and some of the fashions we’ve seen for spring–summer worldwide.

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January 22, 2009

Glassons shows 2009 Breast Cancer Research Trust T-shirts

Lucire staff/3.39

Glassons BCRT T-shirts 2009
Above: Steve Ferguson in Jayshri Ganda’s T-shirt design; Miriama Kamo in Cybèle; Maria Tutaia in Stolen Girlfriends’ Club. Below: TV personality and the star of last year’s acclaimed The Jaquie Brown Diaries, Jaquie Brown, in Karen Walker.
Jaquie Brown in Glassons BCRT T-shirt 2009
Glassons has released its 2009 T-shirts benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Trust in New Zealand.
   Participating designers are Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Trelise Cooper, Zambesi,
Cybèle, Ruby and, for the first time, Stolen Girlfriends’ Club. Two members of the public have also created T-shirts: Louise Clarke of Auckland and Jayshri Ganda of Christchurch.
   This year’s theme is Think Cure and Play Your Part, and the T-shirts went on sale January 21. They will remain on sale for a few months.
   A total of NZ$3·2 million has been raised for BCRT over the last seven years through the campaign.

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January 21, 2009

Michelle Obama chooses Loree Rodkin jewellery

Lucire staff/11.28

First Lady Michelle Obama selected jewellery from American designer Loree Rodkin for her inauguration outfit.
   Rodkin created jewellery for Mrs Obama for election night, the Inaugural Concert, the Kids’ Inaugural Concert and the Inaugural Ball.
   The pieces will become part of the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection.
   Rodkin says she found the First Lady’s choice of her designs fitting. ‘For three years I have ended all of my emails with, “Change is the only constant.” It’s fitting my designs are now associated with First Lady, Michelle Obama,’ she said in a release.

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January 19, 2009

New works by David Kapp at Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica

Lucire staff/0.43

Square Crowd by David Kapp

Chinatown (Age of Man) by David KappI am a big fan of this artist, who only gets better and better as the years pass. Had the pleasure of visiting Kapp’s latest installation of work completed in 2008 at the opening in Santa Monica last night, and found the canvases as durable and surprising as ever. His colour palette evolves with deep layers of paint, scraped back, overpainted, rubbed out again, an archaeology in nuances of cool blues, greys, mauves, taupes, contrasted by piercing stabs of oranges and reds. The theme image, Square Crowd, is a tour de force of gestural paint applied in large scale—too late to grab it, as it quickly sold—though Chinatown (Age of Man), a 60-by-48-inch allegory has seductive content and some racy visual wit along with an adventurous composition. There’s a fine, small work just to the left of the entry, which could easily have been painted by an AbEx artist, if it didn’t have the solid trappings of figuration. Mostly it’s a colour field painting in modest scale, and a super bargain for a work by one who counts NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art as a collector. There’s still time to look at the show, which stays up until February 21.—Stanley Moss

Ruth Bachofner Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite G2
in the Bergamot Station Art Center
(adjacent to Santa Monica Museum of Art)
Santa Monica, CA 90404
USA
Telephone 1 310 829-3300

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January 16, 2009

Opel Insignia wins another award

Lucire staff/12.42

The Opel Insignia has done very well for GM—such a shame it has come while the company is in such a deep crisis. It took home the 2008 Car of the Year award from European journalists, as we reported last year. It has also won the ADAC (German Automobile Association) Gelben Engel award on January 15 in München, received by Carl-Peter Forster, General Motors VP and President of GM Europe. For those who have not seen the Insignia, below is a new video shot in London.

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