Tag Archives: Carnival

Trump wigs in big demand during Carnival season in Austria

It’s Carnival season and some costume shops in Austria have run out of plastic wigs mimicking Donald Trump’s “hairstyle.”

Shop owner Manuela Plank, recognizing a business opportunity, went to work making her own toupees a la Trump.

Plank thought she was ready to meet demand with the 10 Trump wigs she had stocked for Austria’s pre-Lenten season of balls and other masked events. But they were quickly snapped up.

That’s when she started snipping, backcombing, teasing and spraying blond hairpieces to give them the trademark Trump look.

“It all takes quite a bit of time,” Plank said as she assessed her latest creation on Monday. “You have to do a lot of back-combing. But you can get it done.”

Her shop in the town of Pfaffstaetten, south of Vienna carries more than 7,000 costumes, including ancient Greek outfits and the lace and ruffles of the Rococo period. But the Trump look is trumping most others.

Plank says that 25 of her Trump wigs are now in circulation within her community of just 3,500 people. Since Carnival extends into early March this year, she is making more.

“I think it’s simply because a lot of people are talking about him. And because everybody knows him,” she said. “And his hairstyle is very distinctive.”

While many Austrians go all-out for Carnival, Plank says dressing up as Trump carries extra appeal for people who don’t have the patience to create elaborate costumes.

“Wig, suit _ and done,” she says, tucking a stray wisp of plastic hair in place.

Present Music presents ‘Carnival’

Present Music is staging a good old-fashioned masquerade, and the guest list is stacked. Musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, including associate concertmaster Ilana Setapen will mingle among Present Music artists. Quasimondo Physical Theater will join to show off their theater/dance hybrid style. And the most special guest of all — Grammy-winning pianist Cory Smythe — will perform Robert Schumann’s Carnaval, along with his own original compositions and improvisations. A festival afterparty will follow, because a good carnival can’t stay contained for long.

At the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee. Tickets are $15, $25 and $35, with half-price tickets for students. Visit presentmusic.org to order.

8 p.m. Oct. 24

Cruise ships dump a billion gallons of sewage in ocean

Cruise ships dumped more than a billion gallons of sewage in the ocean this year, much of it raw or poorly treated, according to federal data analyzed by Friends of the Earth. The activsit group, releasing its annual report card on cruise ships, called for stronger rules to protect oceans, coasts, sea life and people.

The report shows that some of the 16 cruise lines graded are slowly getting greener; but more than 40 percent of the 167 ships still rely on 35-year-old waste treatment technology. Such systems leave harmful levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants in the water. By law, wastewater dumped within 3 nautical miles of shore must be treated, but beyond that ships are allowed to dump raw sewage directly into the ocean.

In a reversal from prior years of cooperation and transparency, all 16 major cruise lines refused — through their industry association, Cruise Lines International Association — to respond to Friends of the Earth’s requests for information on their pollution-reduction technologies. So the 2014 Cruise Ship Report card contains a new category — “Transparency,” in which every cruise line received an “F” grade.

“By working to stifle the Cruise Ship Report Card, the industry attempted to shield itself from continued scrutiny of its environmental practices, and obscure data from conscientious consumers who would make different choices based on how a cruise ship or line performs on the report card,” said Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels program director for Friends of the Earth.

“It’s time for the cruise industry to stop trying to hide the dirty ships in its fleet,” said Keever.

Friends of the Earth’s report card grades cruise lines on four criteria: sewage treatment technology; whether ships can plug into shore-based power and if they use cleaner fuel than required by U.S. and international law; compliance with Alaska’s water quality regulations to protect the state’s coast; and transparency which is a new criteria this year.

Disney Cruise Line, based in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, was ranked as the most environmentally responsible line, earning an A for sewage treatment. Its overall grade would have remained an A if it would have responded to our requests for information but this year it received a C plus.

At the other end of the scale, Carnival Cruise Lines of Doral, Florida — which has the world’s largest fleet of 24 cruise ships but only two with advanced sewage treatment technology —- received an F for sewage treatment again this year. Carnival Lines’ parent company, Carnival Corp. & PLC of Miami and London, also operates six other lines graded by the report card and all seven lines were downgraded for refusal to respond to Friends of the Earth.

“As the industry leader, Carnival Corp. has to step up its environmental game throughout all of its different lines,” said Keever. “No wonder Carnival Corp. refuses to respond to Friends of the Earth or be completely honest with its customers when it continues to use outdated technology that pollutes our oceans and threatens our marine ecosystem health, sea life and all of us.”

The Environmental Protection Agency says an average cruise ship with 3,000 passengers and crew produces about 21,000 gallons of sewage a day — enough to fill 10 backyard swimming pools in a week. That adds up to more than 1 billion gallons a year for the industry — a conservative estimate, since some new ships carry as many as 8,000 passengers and crew and the report card doesn’t include the entire worldwide fleet.

In addition, each ship generates and dumps about eight times that much “graywater” from sinks, showers and baths, which can contain many of the same pollutants as sewage and significantly affects water quality.

Cruise ships are also responsible for significant amounts of air pollution from the dirty fuel they burn. Even at the dock, cruise ships often run dirty diesel engines to provide electrical power to passengers and crew.

According to the EPA, each day an average cruise ship is at sea it emits more sulfur dioxide than 13 million cars and more soot than 1 million cars. Starting in 2015, cleaner fuel standards in the U.S. and Canada will reduce the amount of sulfur emitted by each ship about 97 percent and the amount of soot by 85 percent, in addition to the interim cleaner fuel standards already in place in North America.

“This is an industry worth billions of dollars that could install the most advanced sewage treatment and air pollution reduction technology available,” said Keever.

Carnival apologizes, says passengers can dress in drag on drag cruise

When Al and Chuck Travel announced the cruise Drag Stars At Sea: Caribbean Adventure – Revenge of the Wench, the response was so overwhelming that a Carnival cruise line had to be booked in order to accommodate all the travelers. The cruise is set to feature many performers from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on LOGO TV.

But then Carnival threw a wet boa over the event by disseminating an email asserting that passengers could dress in drag only in the main theater and not while offstage wandering within the cruise line’s “family friendly atmosphere.”

Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere,” the email said. “It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise. Although we realize this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognize that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas … Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.”

But responding to an outcry from LGBT consumers and activists, Carnival has apologized and reversed its police, according to thinkprogress.org/lgbt/issue.

In a follow-up email, Carnival said, “Anyone who wishes to dress in drag may do so.”

The company now says it was prompted to ban drag off stage only as a security issues.

“Please keep in mind that our safety and security procedures require guests to present government-issued ID, and to be recognizably that person,” said a follow-up email.

“At Carnival, we are proud to carry more than 4.5 million guests every year and we welcome them all aboard,” the email continued. “We do not practice any form of discrimination against the LGBT or any other community.  We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and for any unintended offense we have caused.”

 

Brazil handing out 55M condoms for Carnival

RIO DE JANERIO (AP) — Brazilian health officials have kicked off an AIDS awareness campaign and will hand out 55 million condoms during the annual Carnival festival that begins next week.

A new television ad features a talking condom that loudly reminds young people to take him along when they go out to party.

Health Minister Jose Temporao said that this year’s campaign is focusing on educating young women and young gay men to use protection.

The slogan is: “The condom. For love, passion or just sex. Always use it.”

Last year the government distributed nearly 500 million free condoms throughout Brazil, or an average 2.6 condoms for every citizen.

The government hasn’t said how many will be handed out this year.

Brazil handing out 55M condoms for Carnival

RIO DE JANERIO (AP) — Brazilian health officials have kicked off an AIDS awareness campaign and will hand out 55 million condoms during the annual Carnival festival that begins next week.

A new television ad features a talking condom that loudly reminds young people to take him along when they go out to party.

Health Minister Jose Temporao said that this year’s campaign is focusing on educating young women and young gay men to use protection.

The slogan is: “The condom. For love, passion or just sex. Always use it.”

Last year the government distributed nearly 500 million free condoms throughout Brazil, or an average 2.6 condoms for every citizen.

The government hasn’t said how many will be handed out this year.