Tag: AustraliaView All Tags
Weird News / Melbourne / Australia / Art / → All Tags
A giant inflatable naked puppet with lots of detachable body parts recently died, then had a baby and lactated all over children in Melbourne.
For two hours, that (and much more) happened in a live art show put on by Snuff Puppets, a radical large-scale puppet company based in Footscray, Australia. The show is called “Everybody,” which is short for the show’s four separate acts: "Everybody’s Born," "Everybody Cries," "Everybody Shits," and "Everybody Dies." Needless to say, it commenced to very mixed reactions from parents in Melbourne.
The puppet was made to represent “the essential humanness of everybody.” (But last we checked, it isn’t possible for most people to take their boobs off.) It’s experimental live art at its finest and weirdest. The complex, high-tech design was handmade by Snuff Puppets and incorporates roaming human body parts, each being a character with its own storyline of sorts. The cast included: Mouth, Eye, Poop, Foot, Ear, Nose, Brain, Lungs, Baby, Penis, Vagina, Butt, Skin, Heart, Hand, Guts, Boob and Hair. With special guest appearances by Pig and Brick. (Spoiler Alert: Brick falls on the puppet’s head and kills it. But that’s how the show starts, so it’s not really a spoiler.)
Skyscrapers, much like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Why, just compare the sturdy, apple-bottomed shape of the middle-aged Empire State Building to the bean pole-like reediness of the adolescent Freedom Tower. But when it comes to architectural personification, you’d be hard-pressed to compare a building specifically to Beyoncé — unless, that is, you’re in Melbourne, Australia.
As reported by design website Dezeen, Australian architecture firm Elenberg Fraser just revealed the plans for a 741-foot Melbourne skyscraper that is consciously adopting superstar singer Beyoncé’s callipygous curvature.
According to the designers, the curvaceous figure is structurally more efficient than the blockish template of most skyscrapers. But the Melbourne studio also admits that there was a very specific aesthetic inspiration too. "For those more on the art than science side, we will reveal that the form does pay homage to something more aesthetic – we're going to trust you've seen the music video for Beyoncé's Ghost," said the studio, according to Fortune.
The bootylicious 68-story Premier Tower will contain 660 apartments along with a 160-room hotel. If the firm’s smart, maybe the building will include a penthouse decorated with blue ivy, old Destiny’s Child CDs, and, for good measure, name-recognition technology — because you've gotta say your name (say your name).
But has this form of flattery extended beyond praise and into straight up creeper territory? It’s one thing to paint a picture of your muse, but it’s another thing to erect skyscraper.
[Images via Elenberg Fraser]
So Cheesy / Food Travel / United Kingdom / Venezuela / Switzerland / France / South Africa / Mexico / Italy / Cyprus / Australia / → All Tags
The gooey, creamy sandwich that all kids grew up with (and most of us continued to eat religiously into adulthood) has a scrumptious legacy all over the world.
Grilled cheese is one of the simplest, yet most universally delicious dishes in existence. But the days of making grilled cheese sandwiches with cautiously white, airy bread and neon-orange processed cheese of questionable origin is a thing of the past. At least, we think it should be in your past — because there are so many other options.
Put down the Kraft singles and join us for a trip around the world to see how this iconic, lovable sandwich manifests in other parts of the globe.
We take full responsibility for your looming hunger.
Down Unda, grilled cheese often comes in the form of a jaffle, which is a traditional toasted sandwich made in an enclosed metal skillet (often called a jaffle iron). After inserting the sandwich into the jaffle iron, it becomes sealed around all edges; the excess crust is cut away once the iron is sealed. The result is sort of like an Aussie hot pocket. If you’re in Melbourne, pay close attention to Jafflechutes; they basically send you grilled cheese/jaffles via parachutes magically dropped from the sky. No really, that's what they do. [Photo via Flickr]
Some destination ad campaigns can be brilliant in doing their job to inspire travel, while others are simply awful. Luckily for Tourism Australia, they've decided to go in a different direction from that full-frontal kangaroo, in favor of the country's delicious food and wine.
Themed as "Restaurant Australia," the 3-minute commercial equates the country to one big restaurant. The menu is the journey, with obligatory shots of Sydney Harbour, Melbourne's Laneways, Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef interspersed with glossy close-ups of glorious seafood, sippable vintages and, of course, tender Aussie lamb, all set to a powerful soundtrack by Aboriginal musician, Dewayne Everettsmith.
Tourism advertisements are meant to attract more travelers to visit a certain region or country and there's no doubt that the most creative get the most attention. This week was like any other for Tourism Australia's official Facebook page as they posted stunning shots of sunsets over city skylines, beach vistas, and cuddly animals. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not so much.
The profile page then posted a picture of Baz the Kangaroo chillaxing at the Featherdale Wildlife Park in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and that's when it all when haywire. The roo was posing quite, well, provocatively, as if he was ripped from the pages of an adult magazine. While this natural display of the animal kingdom should not normally be racy, Tourism Australia made it so by pixelating his "anatomy," as if to maintain his modesty.
For travel geeks who follow the often-dry travel industry, the intrigue surrounding l'affaire Tourism Australiawhich has seen Australia's national flag carrier Qantas sever an agreement with Australia's official tourism agency over charges of sabotageis kind of entertaining.
Here's the gist of it: the airline halted a $50 million deal between it and Tourism Australia over charges that Tourism Australia's chairman was involved in a "syndicate committed to unraveling Qantas' structure and direction," and that was trying to overthrow the current management and buy out the company. The partnership had lasted 40 years. Scandalous.
If you're actually in the travel industry, let alone involved with tourism boards that try to promote travel to Australia, the situation is much less amusing. In that case you're scrambling right now to deal with the fallout and telling newspapers about all the "damage" that needs to be "contained."
Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Japan Travel / China Travel / Israel Travel / Egypt Travel / Australia Travel / Japan / China / Israel / Egypt / Australia / ANA / Japan Airlines / El Al / Qantas / Emirates / → All Tags
It's an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes politics impacts travel. It's an even more unfortunate fact of life that sometimes politics impacts travel so much that we have to write about it on a Friday afternoon instead of easing you into the weekend with baby animal pictures. And yet here we are, with flights being emptied or cancelled across three continents because of a variety of geopolitical flare-ups.
The most dramatic bit of travel politics comes out of Japan, where no less than 40,000 seat reservations to China have been canceled. China has been on a bit of a tear recently, claiming a bunch of islands that by and large aren't straightforwardly quite theirs. The campaign has put them on a collision course with various other countries in the region (obviously) and one of those countries is Japan. There have been anti-Japan protests in China and, apparently, lots of Japanese people are sufficiently pissed off to cancel vacations to China.
Hertz / Rental Cars / Australia Travel / Australia / Rent2Buy / Car Rentals / Cars / → All Tags
After a successful launch of the same program here in the US, the rental car giant is taking their negotiating skills Down Under. Potential car buyers will have the option to purchase late model vehicles previously rented to travelers. All cars come with the promise that they've been well-maintained and priced competitively, as in under the recommended resale value based on RedBook the Aussie version of the Kelley Blue Book. So, no lemons!
Celeb Travel / Qantas / John Travolta / Frequent Flyer Programs / Australia / SYD / MEL / Australia Travel / → All Tags
The never-ending saga of Qantas and the rebuilding of a reputation continues and today the process got a boost. While Barack Obama was touring Oz, John Travolta made a surprise appearance on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne. He wasn't a passenger but he was in the business class cabin of the B767.
We know that the Saturday Night Fever star is a world ambassador for the flying kangaroo and actually has a retired Boeing 707 parked in his driveway. We also know that he has been featured as a captain in the in-flight safety announcement. Now, he turns up to present the most frequent flyers with Qantas' top status, Platinum One. Unfortunately, this was a one-off presentation; he was just in town for a 91st birthday bash Qantas decided to throw for the elite status flyers.
Qantas / Australia Travel / Australia / New Zealand / Airlines News / Airline Industry / Airline Strikes / Frequent Flyer Miles / → All Tags
We already talked about how the CEO of Qantas decided to counter industrial action by shutting down the complete worldwide operations. Since that weekend, Qantas is back up in the skies with a new motto, "Book with confidence and certainty," and a lot of explaining to do for the more than 70,000 passengers that were left stranded.
Leaving travelers stranded and with unanswered questions, Qantas had to do something. During the shutdown, the company offered to reimburse those who needed to re-book on different airlines, even pay the difference of airfares. For those who decided to stay in the city in which they were stranded, Qantas paid hotels, meals and phone calls up to a certain amount. If you were one of the unlucky passengers and you're still struggling to figure out what you get from all this, visit Qantas' website for more details.
Airline Strikes / Qantas / Australia / Australia Travel / Airline Industry / Politics Travel / Travel News / Airline News / → All Tags
Australia's flagship carrier Qantas had been having labor problems for months. Within the last few weeks the union representing the airline's mechanics, pilots, baggage handlers and caterers escalated the dispute, launching a series of rolling work stoppages that triggered dozens of cancellations and created general chaos.
Then, over the weekend, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce re-raised by straight-up shutting down the airline, essentially forcing the situation.
As management no doubt hoped would happen, a hastily-called court brought the parties together, turned to the unions, and told them to get back to work. Qantas will now spend the next few days picking itself off the floor as flights begin again. Our backgrounder on the strike itself and the slow recovery is here, including details on how the airline tried to mitigate the pain over the weekend.
Big Ash Problems / Volcanoes / Delays / Travel News / Weather / Australia / Australia Travel / Melbourne / Melbourne Travel / New Zealand / New Zealand Travel / Qantas / Air New Zealand / Jetstar / → All Tags
Well this is getting kind of tired. In March Big Ash Problems caused by erupting volcanoes grounding flights throughout Japan. Then in May it was Europe's turn, with the ash cloud from Iceland's Grimsvotn eruption disrupting air travel first in Scotland and then in other parts of the continent.
Now the Puyehue volcano in Chile has blown its top. First the ash cloud first wrecked havoc on Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Then over the weekend it traveled across the Pacific and shut down airports from Melbourne to New Zealand. With some flights still grounded indefinitely, 2011 is shaping up to be even worse than 2010, the year of vengeful air travel volcano gods.