TIME movies

Universal Orders Cleaner to Stop Branding Business With Minions

minions
Universal Pictures

The woman says the name "Minions and Me" was actually inspired by Spy Kids

Universal Studios has asked a woman in Christchurch, New Zealand to stop branding her cleaning company with characters from the movie Minions.

Bridgit Veenings says she originally named her company “Minions and Me Cleaning Ltd” because her children enjoyed watching Spy Kids when they were young, and particularly liked the character Alexander Minion (played by Tony Shalhoub). She registered her company in October, 2013, two months before Universal trademarked Minions, according to New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz. (The minions characters earlier appeared in the 2010 film Despicable Me) Though she says the name did not come from that animated film, she did use images of the cartoon characters on her van, website and online listings.

Universal has asked Veenings to stop using the images as well as the name; Veenings says she will remove the cartoons, but wants to continue calling her company Minions and Me, noting that the word is “in the dictionary” and explaining, “To me, a minion is a hard-working person that does things that other people generally don’t do.”

A lawyer for Universal told Stuff.co.nz that she couldn’t comment until she had received word from the studio.

[Stuff.co.nz]

TIME New Zealand

Which of These Designs Should be New Zealand’s New Flag?

A government panel has whittled 10,292 proposals down to 40 designs

New Zealand is a step closer to getting a new flag, after an independent panel sifted through more than 10,000 submitted designs to emerge with 40 finalists.

The country is in the process of nominating a new design to replace their current flag, which is based partly on the United Kingdom’s Union Jack. The panel’s next step, according to the Guardian, is to further reduce those proposals down to four nominees that the public will vote on later this year. The winner of that vote will compete with the current standard in another national referendum.

All design descriptions in this gallery are from the New Zealand government’s official website.

  • Fern (Green, Black & White)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Clay Sinclair and Sandra Ellmers from Waikato

    The simplicity of the design and use of green, black and white moulded together in the form of our beloved fern stands for who we are as a nation. We now see ourselves as a young, proud, green, independent, multicultural nation. This design ties all of those important aspects of who we are and what we stand for together. The colour black represents reflection; not forgetting our past and choosing our future path wisely. The 16 white fronds represent the regions of Aotearoa and its green land, continuing to inspire and provide.

  • Embrace (Red & Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Denise Fung from Canterbury

    The colours of the Union Jack, white, blue and red, represent that New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth. The Southern Cross indicates our geographic location, and is retained from the 1902 New Zealand flag. The fern, with its Koru head, combines the two main icons of New Zealand. It represents the personality of New Zealand: growth through hard work, love for family, the culture of Māori, uniqueness, and pride.

  • Manawa (Blue & Green)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Otis Frizzell from Auckland

    This design incorporates the long white cloud/whitecaps. The green of the land and sea. The Southern Cross on the blue background pays homage to the 1902 New Zealand flag, but the Māori design element replaces the Union Jack.

  • Unity Fern (Red & Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Paul Jackways from Canterbury

    The fern represents New Zealand. The white above signifies New Zealand as the Land of the Long White Cloud, and the white on the bottom half of the fern is to symbolise the fern, a unique symbol of New Zealand. The red top half of the fern next to the white background takes inspiration from the national Māori flag, Tino Rangatiratanga. The blue underneath the fern is from the Union Jack and the 1902 New Zealand flag. Credit for the fern goes to The New Zealand Way Limited.

  • Koru and Stars

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Alan Tran from Auckland

    The koru is a New Zealand symbol that represents new life, growth, strength and peace and is an iconic symbol of New Zealand flora. This flag design replaces the Union Jack with a symbol that is unique to New Zealand and distinguishes itself without straying too far in appearance from the 1902 New Zealand flag.

  • Tukutuku

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Pax Zwanikken from Nelson

    Inspired by the geometric forms and colours found in Māori raranga and tukutuku. Weaving is an important part of our collective cultures, with strong roots in New Zealand and the Pacific, as well as the tartans, checks and tweeds of the British Isles. It also nods to the intricate thread work of Chinese tapestries, Indian silks and more. It speaks of our ancestors, has created fabric for warmth, sails for transport to our land, and tapestries to tell our stories.

  • Raranga

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Pax Zwanikken from Nelson

    Inspired by the geometric forms and colours found in Māori raranga and tukutuku. Weaving is an important part of our collective cultures, with strong roots in New Zealand and the Pacific, as well as the tartans, checks and tweeds of the British Isles. It also nods to the intricate thread work of Chinese tapestries, Indian silks and more. It speaks of our ancestors, has created fabric for warmth, sails for transport to our land, and tapestries to tell our stories

  • Silver Fern (Black & Silver)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Sven Baker from Wellington

    A contemporary silver fern which is widely representative of New Zealand and New Zealanders. A symbol each of us relate to, powerful and emotional inspiration at times when it matters. An iconic mark every New Zealander can relate to, standing out in the crowd, as a nation proud of our uniqueness and value. Credit for the fern goes to The New Zealand Way Limited.

  • Curly Koru

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Daniel Crayford and Leon Cayford from Auckland

    This unfurling pikopiko koru is about vibrancy and energy contained in a small space. By using the Māori spiral design and applying the colours of the 1902 New Zealand flag, it honours both the indigenous and colonial cultures.

  • The Seven Stars of Matariki

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Matthew Clare from Hawke’s Bay

    The seven stars of Matariki form a constellation important to New Zealand. This design retains the star element of the 1902 New Zealand flag, but makes it about being here now. The black field is a nod to the fields of our sports teams, proving that with determination and hard work every day, big things can happen.

  • Silver Fern (Black with Red Stars)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Kyle Lockwood from Auckland

    The silver fern: A New Zealand icon for over 160 years, worn proudly by many generations. The fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation. The multiple points of the fern leaf represent Aotearoa’s peaceful multicultural society, a single fern spreading upwards represents that we are all one people growing onward into the future. The Southern Cross represents our geographic location in the antipodes. It has been used as a navigational aid for centuries and it helped guide early settlers to our islands.

  • Silver Fern (Red,White & Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington

    The silver fern: A New Zealand icon for over 160 years, worn proudly by many generations. The fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation. The multiple points of the fern leaf represent Aotearoa’s peaceful multicultural society, a single fern spreading upwards represents that we are all one people growing onward into the future. The red represents our heritage and sacrifices made. Blue represents our clear atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean, over which all New Zealanders, or their ancestors, crossed to get here. The Southern Cross represents our geographic location in the antipodes. It has been used as a navigational aid for centuries and it helped guide early settlers to our islands.

  • Wā kāinga/Home

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by: Grant Alexander, Alice Murray, Thomas Lawlor, Jared McDowell from Auckland

    The white diagonal shape is representative of the Maihi (Māori meeting house). Symbolic of the coming together of all three influences Maori, Colonial past, multicultural future. The red triangle represents our Māori heritage. The use of red, black and white references Tino Rangatiratanga. The blue triangle represents our British heritage, bordering a white diagonal line symbolising the Union Jack. The black triangle is offering up strength and optimism in a national context as well as being symbolic of our mountainous landscape.

  • Black & White Fern

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Alofi Kanter from Auckland

    This design needs no introduction. It announces, emphatically, and unequivocally, Aotearoa New Zealand! It is simple. The fern with our national colours. Credit for the fern goes to The New Zealand Way Limited.

  • Silver Fern (Black,White & Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington

    The silver fern: A New Zealand icon for over 160 years, worn proudly by many generations. The fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation. The multiple points of the fern leaf represent Aotearoa’s peaceful multicultural society, a single fern spreading upwards represents that we are all one people growing onward into the future. The bright blue represents our clear atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean, over which all New Zealanders, or their ancestors, crossed to get here. The Southern Cross represents our geographic location in the antipodes. It has been used as a navigational aid for centuries and it helped guide early settlers to our islands.

     

  • Southern Cross Horizon

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Sven Baker from Wellington

    This design combines the iconic Southern Cross constellation with an abstract horizon line intended to represent Aotearoa – land of the long white cloud.

  • New Zealand Matariki

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by John Kelleher from Auckland

    In this flag design, the Matariki constellation symbolises our journey. The Long White Cloud and the green land formation can be interpreted in a literal or symbolic manner, anchoring us and representing growth.

  • Unity Koru (Red & Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Sven Baker from Wellington

    An abstract Koru forming a unity symbol for the New Zealand people, speaking to a shared spirit and ambition for the future of New Zealand. The contemporary circular Koru design is inspired by a new fern frond unfurling as it grows represents new life and harmony, the circle of life representing no beginning or end.

  • Moving Forward

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Dominic Carroll from Gisborne

    This design represents our clean, green and forward thinking country. The Koru pattern is symbolic of New Zealand. It represents the fern in its infancy and in growth, like our young country under the Southern Cross. It also symbolises a wave drawing things in – moving forward.

  • Southern Koru

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Sven Baker from Wellington

    This design represents peace, tranquillity, personal growth, positive change and awakening. The koru represents new life and harmony and forms a wave in the negative space that represents the oceans that surround our land and Kupe’s journey across them guided by the stars to arrive in Aotearoa.

  • Inclusive

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Dominic Carroll from Gisborne

    The Koru pattern is symbolic of New Zealand. It represents the fern in its infancy and in growth, like our young country under the Southern Cross. It also symbolises inclusion with a wave passing between us and drawing us in together.

  • NZ One

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Travis Cunningham from Northland

    This design symbolises clean, green New Zealand. The balanced design represents freedom of speech and equality for all races, genders and ages.

  • White & Black Fern

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Alofi Kanter from Auckland

    Just the silver fern. Black and white. On a flag, saying loud and clear: New Zealand. The design is simple and pure, using our national colours. Credit for the fern goes to The New Zealand Way Limited.

  • Koru (Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Andrew Fyfe from Wellington

    As our flag unfurls, so too does its koru. The koru represents the fern frond, but is also reminiscent of a wave, a cloud, and a ram’s horn. In Māori kowhaiwhai patterns the koru represent new life, growth, strength and peace, and for this reason has crossed cultures, taking a special place in Aotearoa’s visual language. It is the colour of the sea and the sky, both of which surround us.

  • Black Jack

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Mike Davison from Auckland

    Familiar, yet distinctly ours – this design reflects our people through an organic evolution rather than a revolution. It pays homage to our past, embraces our independence and reflects the pride we have in our shared achievements to date, and those yet to come.

  • Red Peak

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Aaron Dustin from Wellington

    Simplified geometric elements based on Taniko pattern representing land, sky, inspired by Rangi & Papa mythology, and a reference to heritage from the 1902 New Zealand flag.

  • Unity Koru

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Paul Densem from Wellington

    This koru nestles between the traditional colours of the 1902 New Zealand flag, suggesting unity and tolerance. The circular shape of the koru helps to convey the idea of perpetual movement.

  • Land Of The Long White Cloud (Traditional Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Mike Archer from International

    This design subtly references ‘The Land Of The Long White Cloud’, the Southern Cross and the Pacific Ring of Fire, with a nod to New Zealand’s silver fern and our geographic location within the world. The colour palette is iconic and incorporates elements from the 1902 New Zealand flag and the national Māori flag.

  • Pikopiko

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Grant Pascoe from Canterbury

    The fern is synonymous with New Zealand and symbolic of new beginnings, life, opportunity, strength and peace. It was a food source for Māori which is a great metaphor for the growth of a nation. It has been visually depicted as a traditional Koru in a contemporary composition, suggesting the unity and oneness between past and present cultures. The design has a positive upwards momentum that instils pride, beauty, progress and success. Inspired by Ron Davidson’s original design: Our new NZ flag.

  • Koru (Black)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Andrew Fyfe from Wellington

    As our flag unfurls, so too does its koru. The koru represents the fern frond, but is also reminiscent of a wave, a cloud, and a ram’s horn. In Māori kowhaiwhai patterns the the koru represent new life, growth, strength and peace, and for this reason has taken a special place in Aotearoa’s visual language.

  • Silver Fern (Green)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Roger Clarke from Waikato

    The silver fern represents our green country, our vast outdoors, national parks and farming. Equally it represents bravery and strength on the sports field. Inspired by the Kyle Lockwood fern.

  • Modern Hundertwasser

    new zealand flag proposals

    The koru, in the shape of an unfurling fern frond, symbolises growth, strength, new life and peace. The forest green alludes to the unique natural beauty of New Zealand, the outdoors, our sport and agriculture. The white represents the long white cloud of Aotearoa, our integrity, and peace. The two colours together can be seen as humanity in harmony with nature. The design is a simplified adaption of the 1983 flag design proposed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

  • Land Of The Long White Cloud (Ocean Blue)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Mike Archer from International

    This design subtly references ‘The Land Of The Long White Cloud’ and the Southern Cross, with a nod to New Zealand’s silver fern and our geographic location within the world. The colour palette is iconic and has been reduced to reflect New Zealand’s strong connection with the ocean and environment – past, present and future.

  • Manawa (Black & Green)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Otis Frizzell from Auckland

    This design is stripped back, simple and punchy. The night sky. The Southern Cross. The long white cloud/whitecaps. The green of the land and sea. All with a strong Māori design element tying it together.

  • Huihui/Together

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Sven Baker from Wellington

    This design represents the partnership forged between Māori and European settlers in the Treaty, through the interlocking Gordon Walters’ koru forms. These also symbolise Rangi and Papa – the sky and earth. A unity symbol that speaks to a shared spirit and collective ambition for the future.

  • Koru Fin

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Daniel Crayford and Leon Cayford from Aukland

    This is an evolution of the 1902 New Zealand flag. The unfurling white koru design, formed by the red and blue sides meeting together, represents a young land, full of potential. Next to it sits the guiding stars of the Southern Cross, or in Māori tradition, the Anchor or Arrow. No matter what object they represent, they help us find our way, and remind us of home.

  • Finding Unity in Community

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Dave Sauvage from Aukland

    This flag tells the story of a 21st century Pacific democracy facing its future with confidence, optimism, pride and respect for all. Community is evoked by the combination of symbols and colours from both Māori and British traditions, combined in an innovative Kiwi way. It introduces a new sense of dynamism, with the striking and unique koru symbol and the hint of a waka ploughing through the blue waters of the ocean. This nautical reference tells the history of all our early migrants and our journey together into the future. The koru cradles within its tightly coiled shape many small individual fronds representing our multicultural society and the vision of their future potential. The koru also represents the love and respect we have for our environment.

  • Silver Fern (Black & White)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington

    The silver fern: A New Zealand icon for over 160 years, worn proudly by many generations and symbolic of our pride and achievements. The fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation. The multiple points of the fern leaf represent Aotearoa’s peaceful multicultural society, a single fern spreading upwards represents that we are all one people growing onward into the future.

  • New Southern Cross

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Wayne William Doyle from Canterbury

    This design highlights our journey, using the iconic Southern Cross stars (and traditional element of the 1902 New Zealand flag) to symbolise our journey forward.

  • Silver Fern (Black,White & Red)

    new zealand flag proposals
    Designed by Kyle Lockwood from Wellington

    The silver fern: A New Zealand icon for over 160 years, worn proudly by many generations. The fern is an element of indigenous flora representing the growth of our nation. The multiple points of the fern leaf represent Aotearoa’s peaceful multicultural society, a single fern spreading upwards represents that we are all one people growing onward into the future. The colour red represents our heritage and sacrifices made. Black is a colour loved by Kiwis and symbolic of our pride and achievements. The Southern Cross represents our geographic location in the antipodes. It has been used as a navigational aid for centuries and it helped guide early settlers to our islands.

TIME New Zealand

New Zealand Shows Just How Hard It Is to Get Rid of an Old Flag

NZEALAND-BRITAIN-FLAG-VOTE
Marty Melville—AFP/Getty Images The New Zealand flag flutters outside Parliament buildings in Wellington in Wellington on October 29, 2014

New Zealand's four-decade debate over replacing its national flag looks likely to be resolved in a 2016 referendum

The power of a flag has been thrown on the world stage in the wake of the apparently race-related murder of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17. And as the debate over whether to finally banish the Confederate flag — an innocent symbol of Southern pride to some, an abhorrent remnant of slavery and racial subjugation to others — to the history books continues to rage, a lesser-known but no less heated discussion in New Zealand demonstrates the tribulations associated with attempting to replace such long-standing symbols of collective identity.

The New Zealand flag, which currently features a Union Flag (commonly known as the Union Jack) and the four stars of the southern cross, has long drawn criticism for including what some consider a symbol of colonial repression. Tens of thousands of indigenous Maoris died following the arrival of white settlers in the 18th century. The idea of an alternate flag, meant to more fully represent contemporary New Zealand, was first proposed in the early 1970s, and a two-part flag referendum to decide the issue has been introduced for 2015–16.

An open call for submissions, which runs until July 16, has resulted in designs ranging from simple and classic to crass and quirky. Many include the silver fern, which has long been an unofficial national symbol; others highlight traditional Maori designs or incorporate the Union Jack, a nod to the country’s legacy of European immigration. One submission shows a whale with a sheep and kiwi on its back. Another, suggested by a Twitter user in jest, simply says “Not Australia.”

A panel of New Zealanders from all walks of life, including intellectuals, athletes, politicians and business executives, will help choose four finalist designs for part one of the referendum in late 2015. The winner will go head to head with the original flag in the final vote, to take place in March 2016.

Click here to see more new flag designs

TIME rugby

Top New Zealand Rugby Player Jerry Collins Dead In Car Crash

Jerry Collins Press Conference
Marty Melville—Getty Images Jerry Collins of the Hurricanes and the New Zealand All Blacks addresses the media during a press conference at the New Zealand Rugby Union headquarters on May 26, 2008 in Wellington, New Zealand.

His wife was also killed but the couple's baby survived

Prominent New Zealand rugby player Jerry Collins has been killed in a car crash in the south of France along with his wife Alana, according to multiple media reports.

Collins, 34, had represented the All Blacks in almost 50 matches including three as captain.

The couple’s three-month-old baby daughter Ayla survived the crash, which is believed to have involved a bus, and has been airlifted to hospital in critical condition.

Collins was playing professional rugby in France at the time of his death. The New Zealand and global rugby communities are in shock.

TIME Television

The Guy on New Zealand’s The Bachelor Has Been Friend-Zoned 3 Times and It’s Only Week 5

Those New Zealand girls are hard to please

When you’re on a reality TV show whose sole objective is to find you true love, getting friend-zoned and having a girl walk out on you is the last thing you want happening. But that’s exactly what’s been happening to Auckland businessman Arthur Green on the New Zealand edition of The Bachelor. Three times.

Danielle B, a lawyer, left on Wednesday, Australian news website news.com.au reports, after saying there was “no spark” between her and Arthur.

Her walkout took place a week after Danielle L — who reportedly spent 18 months in jail for stealing from her employer — said it would be “disingenuous” to continue when she clearly didn’t have feelings for him.

Rosie, meanwhile, barely lasted a night on the show. “He is a nice guy, but when he said he did not want to come to the Middle East with me and be my bodyguard, that was the deal-breaker,” she said.

He’s also apparently not a very good kisser.

Add to that a bikini slip, a broken wrist and an on-camera fart, and it’s clear the New Zealand version of The Bachelor is miles ahead of the U.S. one in terms of entertainment value.

Y’all been watching the wrong edition. Learn more about New Zealand’s here.

[News.com.au]

 

TIME Australia

Aussie Supermarket Chain Tries to Brand War Memories, Upsets Everyone

Maybe leave death and suffering out of future marketing plans

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths pulled a controversial Anzac Day campaign Tuesday evening after it drew sharp criticism and ended up being hijacked by social-media satirists.

Woolworths created a website that allowed people to upload images of people affected by war and attach the phrase “Lest We Forget, Anzac 1915–2015.” This was accompanied by the slogan “Fresh in Our Memories” and the Woolworths logo.

The use of the word fresh was none-too-subtle branding. Woolworths brands itself the Fresh Food People, and its regular consumer magazine is called Fresh.

For Australians, the ham-fisted marketing was too much, and Woolworths became the target of public backlash, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offense, this was clearly never our intention. Like many heritage Australian companies, we were marking our respect for Anzac and our veterans,” a Woolworths spokesperson tells TIME.

The slogan was predictably hijacked by social media with the hashtag #FreshInOurMemories going viral and netizens contributing mocking posts.

Anzac Day is celebrated on April 25 in Australia and New Zealand and honors soldiers who died serving in the military. The remembrance day was created to recognize the sacrifices made during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, which began on April 25, 1915. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the infamous battle.

TIME Cricket

Indians to Outnumber Australians at the Cricket World Cup Semifinal in Sydney

CRICKET-WC-2015-IND-IRE
MICHAEL BRADLEY—AFP/Getty Images India fans wave their national flags during the Pool B Cricket World Cup match between India and Ireland at Sedden Park in Hamilton on March 10, 2015. 

Organizers estimate that about 70% of the seats at the Sydney Cricket Ground have been bought by Indian fans

Every sports team loves the slight advantage that playing at home provides. While it all comes down to the players’ performance on the day, thousands of fans screaming their lungs out for you definitely gives a psychological edge.

But the home ground advantage will very likely be rendered irrelevant when Australia take on India in the second semifinal of the 2015 Cricket World Cup on Thursday, even though they are playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground — one of their favorite and most iconic venues.

That’s because, according to organizers, Indian fans have bought about 70% of the 42,000 seats in the stadium, Agence France-Presse reports. Cricket is akin to a religion across South Asia and Indian cricket fans are among the most boisterous and dedicated, so it’s not surprising that Australian captain Michael Clarke is worried.

Clarke and batsman David Warner sent out identical tweets over the weekend, calling for a “gold-out” (the team’s colors are primarily yellow).

“It will be very loud, very intimidating” said Kartik Ayyalasomayajula, one of the founders of an Indian fan collective called the Swami Army. “It will feel like an away game for them.”

Australia have their work cut out against India, who are the defending champions after winning the 2011 World Cup on their home turf in Mumbai. Both teams have been in fine form thus far in the tournament, and Thursday’s encounter promises to be a tense and closely fought one. “People will be going nuts,” Kartik said.

Should Australia win, though, they will definitely have the home advantage at next week’s final in Melbourne against World Cup co-hosts New Zealand, who edged out South Africa Tuesday in the other nail-biting semifinal.

But Kiwis, as New Zealanders are colloquially known, are scrambling to fill those stands as well, with the New Zealand Herald reporting that a fresh round of tickets for the final released by the International Cricket Council sold out almost immediately on Wednesday.

TIME World

790 Aussies Just Held the World’s Biggest Skinny-Dip

“It was very nerve-racking in the lead-up, but then everyone started dropping their sarongs”

The world record for the largest simultaneous skinny-dip has apparently been set in Perth, Australia, by 790 participants.

The event appears to have surpassed the previous record of 744 set in Gisborne, New Zealand, in 2013, according to Perth Now. Guinness World Records still has to confirm the new feat, however.

“It was very nerve-racking in the lead-up, but then everyone started dropping their sarongs and strangely it felt so normal because if you weren’t naked you were the odd one out,” said Heidi Anderson, a Perth Now columnist who participated in the event.

Local media reported that the mass skinny-dip raised money and awareness for the Butterfly Foundation, a group that helps those affected by eating disorders.

“I had huge body image issues over the last few years and over the last three years I have been working on myself. This was the next step towards embracing who I am,” said Anderson.

TIME Parenting

Man Says He Was Forced to Choose Between Newborn Son with Down Syndrome and Wife

Samuel Forrest Samuel Forrest's son Leo

The baby was born in Armenia, where estimated 98% of all Down syndrome newborns are abandoned annually

When Samuel Forrest’s son Leo was born Jan. 21, doctors informed him that Leo had Down Syndrome, which made no difference to Forrest.

“I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful – he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him,” Forrest told ABC News.

But for Forrest, a native New Zealander living in Armenia, there was one thing he hadn’t counted on. Leo’s mother, Ruzan Badalyan, issued him an ultimatum there in the hospital room, he says: It was her or Leo.

As Forrest explains on his GoFundMe page, “scores of babies are abandoned [in Armenia] each year, for reasons ranging from physical or intellectual disabilities and minor ‘imperfections’ … health professionals estimate that 98 percent of all Down syndrome babies born in Armenia are abandoned, every year.”

Forrest said, “[Badalyan] told me if I kept [Leo] then we would get a divorce.” (Badalyan confirmed to ABC News that she had given birth to a child with Down syndrome and did leave the father and child, filing for divorce about a week after Leo was born. She declined further comment.)

Forrest hadn’t been aware of the practice beforehand. “What happens when a baby like this is born here, they will tell you that you don’t have to keep them,” he said. “My wife had already decided, so all of this was done behind my back.”

A freelance contractor, Forrest was unprepared to deal with the sudden costs of being essentially abandoned in a different country with a newborn son. He set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help him return to New Zealand with Leo.

Though his initial goal was set at $60,000, the page has raised nearly $300,000 at the time of this writing, some of which Forrest says will be used to “fund facilities and programs here in Armenia that will support future parents to keep their kids despite all disabilities.” Another portion will go to the one orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes Down syndrome babies.

“After what I’ve been through with Leo, I’m not going to sit back and watch babies be sent to orphanages,” Forrest said. “As a child with Down syndrome, that becomes somewhat of a label. If we can get around this label, we’ll see that they’re normal. They’re a little different from us, but they’re still normal.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME weird

New Zealand City Shocked By Unintentionally Priapic Sculpture

Artist says he didn't mean sculpture to resemble a large phallus

Residents of Auckland, NZ aren’t so sure this sculpture of clouds reminds them of the sky. Instead, it reminds of them of something else:

“What the hell is that? It’s certainly not a cloud. It looks like a penis,” Mt Roskill resident Joy Dale told the New Zealand Herald.

Gregor Kregar, the sculptor who created the piece with his wife Sara Hughes and architect Davor Popadich, said he doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. He thinks the sculpture is about clouds, vapors, and raindrops, with an emphasis on the modernity of the area, and is surprised by the public response.

“Art is out there to stir reaction,” Kregar told the Herald.

Kregar also says the sculpture will look different once the neon lighting is installed.

[NZH]

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