John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Also, Ireland puts the chill on tanning beds and trashy fashion models of the U.K., beware.
Welcome back to our weekly look at what's been outlawed in cities across the world (last week's edition here):
ARTIFICIAL TANNING, IN IRELAND
The whitest sector of Planet Earth is due to get even whiter under tightened restrictions on tanning beds in Ireland. Anybody under the age of 18 is forbidden to enter the UV pods in northern Irish cities, under a new law sponsored by Irish Health Minister Edwin Poots. (BREAKING: There is an Irish minister named Mr. Poots.) City councils are responsible for helping prosecute businesses that deal melanin-enhancement services to minors. Said Poots: “There is a misconception among young people that tanned skin looks healthier, but using sunbeds to achieve this can give you wrinkles and brown spots resulting in premature ageing, and increasing the risk of developing skin cancer." (They can also give your young daughter wicked burns if you take her in with you.)
LOOKING LIKE A REALITY-SHOW STAR, IN THE U.K.
An organizer of this fall's Liverpool Fashion Week, the second-largest annual couture event in the U.K. (London's is first), is forbidding models from adopting what's been deemed the “Desperate Scousewives” look. In a Facebook post, Amanda Moss announced that any person walking into her casting room wearing “big hair, brows and OTT lashes” will be summarily booted. She added: “Anyone touching up make up themselves will NOT be allowed on the catwalk.” The “Scousewives” style that's caught the fancy of so many (shudder) “Liver Birds” is the product of a 2011 reality series, which followed a gaggle of interchangeable blondes and brunettes as they artificially create drama, sometimes without pants (NSFW). The show was canceled but started being repeated last month. British journo Keith Watson has written that the Scousewives live in a "toxic, self-absorbed bubble," and that “[f]ive minutes in the company of Amanda, Joe, Layla and poison blogger Jaiden, and my faith in human nature was hitting zero.”
AN ANTI-SEMITIC STREET, IN AUSTRIA
Officials in Vienna have retitled a downtown street named for a former, anti-Semitic mayor of the city, in a move they probably should've done oh, say, 50 years ago. The Dr. Karl Lueger Ring will now be called University Ring in honor of a nearby college. During his rule from 1897 until 1910, Lueger used discriminatory policies and statements against Jews to gain popular support; he is said to have been an inspiration to Adolf Hitler. (However, Lueger did improve the city's water infrastructure, so there's that.) The head of Austria's Freedom Party, the country's second biggest political group, called the street renaming a “scandal.”
Top image: Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters