John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Also, Britain bans curves from school architecture and two chaps get exiled from an all-you-can-eat Mongolian restaurant.
Here are the latest bans from around the world:
GAY PRIDE, IN SERBIA
In a “victory for Serbia,” at least according to the country's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Belgrade officials have succeeded in canceling the city's annual gay-pride parade. It's actually the second year they've done so: In 2011, they nixed the event because they said they didn't want a repeat of the previous year's violence, when anti-gay protesters rioted against the police. (Seems like they should ban protesters by that logic, but whatever.) The reason given for eliminating the march this weekend was “security assessments,” according to the BBC, as well as establishing Serbian dominance in the European Union, where it just won membership. Said Dacic: "Nobody will be telling anyone what should happen in Belgrade, be it the EU or any of the countries of the world, or any extremist or radical organization.”
CURVY BUILDINGS, IN BRITAIN
Shooting its foot by removing an easy visual lesson in parabolas, Britain has banned curves from the architecture of school buildings. This highly concerning crackdown comes as U.K. officials try to reign in “wasteful extravagance in educational architecture” such as one planned school designed by international star Zaha Hadid, reports the Guardian. A stunning 261 as-yet-built schools will be affected by the mathematical prohibition against helixes, splines, ogees, conchospirals and brachistochrones; they also won't be allowed to use pricey glass or folding walls. Education secretary Michael Gove warned of the coming Lineworld at an education conference last year, saying, “We won't be getting Richard Rogers to design your school, we won't be getting any award-winning architects to design it, because no one in this room is here to make architects richer.”
THIS VIDEOGAME AD, IN BARCELONA
Back in 2010, Barcelona's official soccer club banned a rather anti-authoritarian advertisement for the game “Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit.” The spot starred soccer player David Villa punishing a cop car in an unusual fashion. This week, a Spanish newspaper released the video; take a look and decide for yourself whether it should've aired
THESE WHINY OVEREATERS, IN BRITAIN
This column rarely dips into private-sector bans, but the photo of these two chaps exiled from an all-you-can-eat Mongolian restaurant is too hilarious to ignore. Soooo hungry!