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Monday, March 29, 2010

Kiwi Biker Wins Right to Bicycle Naked

by Christine Lepisto, Berlin

Naked cyclist Nick Lowe wears a helmet photo
Image: Craig Simonox, Dominion Post and TVNZ

Nick Lowe, of Johnsonville, New Zealand, pulls on bike shorts and a t-shirt when he climbs on to pedal away through the city. But as soon as he hits the open road, a "change of clothes" is on the agenda. The t-shirt graces Lowe's handlebars. The bike shorts he carefully arranges on the saddle so that the chamois seat pad still performs as point of contact. "The majority of the public has no issues with it," Lowe told TV New Zealand.

But one person did take offense. And took Lowe to court. Lowe explains the philosophy behind his fight in a YouTube video. And we look at the verdict: does it mean a free-for-all for nudists in New Zealand?

Lowe first suspected trouble when a car driven by a woman on her cell phone passed him, slowly. She pulled over to let Lowe pass by. Then drove past him again, slowly. In all, the woman took advantage of the "offensive" scene fully five times. Curious about the strange behavior, Lowe assessed his new admirer. The look on her face convinced the fit 40-year old cyclist that she was not enjoying the view. Shortly thereafter, Lowe was pulled over by the police.

Lowe represented himself at the trial. He walked away with a NZ$200 (US$140) fine, and court costs, on his tab. The Johnsonviller decided to fight. On appeal, he took his lawyer. And walked away with a singular precedent.

Justice Clifford of the Wellington High Court ruled that Mr. Lowe's behavior did not meet the standard of "offensive." According to reports in Der Spiegel (German), the ruling determined that one person finding a behavior offensive is not sufficient to support a conviction for offensive behavior.

Now when Lowe takes to his bike, he applies his chafe cream liberally, and packs one additional item under the saddle: a copy of the verdict. But does his case clear the path for nudists of all stripes? Not so fast: analyses of the Justice's ruling point out that it is specific to the behavior in question in this particular case. Walking nude on a public path may be evaluated differently than a bicyclist on a country road.

So what about world naked bike day activities? Nude activism in organized demonstrations is judged by a different standard: if people are aware of a planned activity to which they might take offense, they have the right to stay away. Did it help Lowe's case? The Justice chuckled as he viewed photos of other activities on world naked bike day, which happens to be precisely the day on which one woman took offense at a naked cyclist on a rural route.

If you are interested, Lowe tells his story to Close-Up for TV New Zealand.

Eco Coke Bottle design

Andrew Kim - 김승현

My midterm project for my semester 2, freshman product design studio II class at CCS.

Renders / Graphics: Adobe Photoshop
Mock-Up: dense foam

*Edit: Here are the sketches from this project:

24 Officially Canceled

24 season 8

Earlier this month it was reported that this season of 24 would likely be the last for the series as the ratings have dropped and Fox seems disinterested in continuing production. At the time it was mentioned that the studio is considering shopping the series to other networks, but everyone believed that interest would probably be limited due to the high costs involved. It was later reported that Fox has been approached by NBC to pick up the series. But that last ditch effort did not come through. Series director/producer Jon Cassar announced minutes ago on Twitter that the show has been officially canceled:

News from the 24 set,the crew has been told that 24 has come to an end. There will b no season 9. Its been a great run, thanx all 4 watching


Last month it was announced that Billy Ray had been hired to pen the screenplay for a big screen 24 movie. All we know about the planned story for the feature film is that it will be set in Europe. Kiefer Sutherland and producers have said that the big screen movie would be “a two-hour representation of a day.” Ray’s filmography includes State of Play, Flightplan, Suspect Zero, Hart’s War, Volcano and Moon director Duncan Jones’ upcoming much-buzzed about project Source Code. He both wrote and directed Breach and Shattered Glass.

At the time, studio insiders cautioned that a 24 movie “is still very much in the preliminary stages,” and that there are “a number of factors influencing how quickly it moves ahead, including the fate of the TV show.” Fox had not yet decided if they want to order a ninth season of the series, although it has been expected that this will be the final season. 24 has lost over 10% of the show’s total viewership from last year, down over 15% in adults 18-49.

It is hard to imagine that Fox would spend the millions and millions required for a big screen feature if they weren’t impressed with the ratings enough to renew the television series for a tenth season. Stranger things have happened (Arrested Development was canceled and will eventually become a big screen feature). Sutherland is said to be eager in getting the series to the big screen. It would be nice to see a big screen 24, with a big blockbuster budget. But without the real-time structure, won’t it just another action film, but with the characters we’ve gotten to know from television? I wonder how it could/would be different.

A big screen movie would probably guarantee that Bauer will survive his eighth crazy day. Since first discovering the series in 2001, I had hoped that Bauer would someday die on screen, in the possible biggest twist the series could possibly pull. I know a lot of fans would hate for that to happen, but I think it would be the ultimate way to conclude the series — with CTU and Jack’s friends having to save the day without him, in his honor. Sutherland and 24 producers have always said that Bauer’s death was an extreme possibility