Sigh: Sydney’s first oxygen bar

It had to happen eventually – the oxygen bar fad has come to Australia. The full press release:

Australia’s first Oxygen Bar launches at Darling Harbour!
Please let us know if you are interested in:
o   Review dates/times – arrange with us
o   Press Release & Fact Sheet – attached and below
o   Interviews/shoots at the Oxygen Bars available – interview with Co-owner Rob Azar
o   Images at –

Oxygen Bar, a Breath of Fresh Air for Sydney
Sydneysiders can now smell the Lavender, Eucalyptus or Jasmine, not at one of the city’s many florists, but at Australia’s first ready-to-breathe oxygen bar, recently opened at Darling Harbour.
The O2 Bar Oxygen Station has over 15 exciting scents to be breathed for up to 15 minutes at a time for maximum effect. Coffee lovers can grab an airborne cappuccino, or follow their nose to the fresh scent of vanilla bean, coconut or lime via the Bar’s many aroma infusers.

The best part, 02 visitors receive a direct hit of 90 percent oxygen with each aromatic breath. Oxygen in our air typically offers just 21 percent, but at a higher concentration oxygen can create feelings of increased energy, refreshment, and stress relief.   Greater concentration, increased memory and athletic performance after oxygen sessions are also commonly reported.
Oxygen bars have been a huge success overseas, particularly the United States, Japan and in large cities, providing an escape from pollutants, allergens and impurities found in air. Oxygen is also revered for its anti-aging properties.

Not just for health lovers, oxygen is an effective detoxifier getting a reputation for offering a faster way out of dreaded hangovers. Say goodbye to late night booze munchies, or breakfast kebabs. Party lovers can get back on their feet in no time, by flooding the body with calorie free oxygen to overcome a hangover.

Frequent fliers will also appreciate a dose of 90 percent pure to restore their depleted levels of oxygen, the main cause of Jetlag. And stress heads will benefit from taking a deep breath of oxygen or ten, to repair the body’s impaired ability to properly take in and utilise oxygen when stressed.

90 percent oxygen requires no sugars, caffeine, shakes or crashing when the effects wear off.  Oxygen is a natural and harmless way to rebalance the body’s oxygen levels for faster recovery and increased vitality. 02 is also a relaxing way to stop and smell the roses, tangerines or watermelon.

Sydney’s first O2 Bar is open seven days a week from 10am until late. A hit of oxygen costs $1 per minute, with 15 minutes just the right amount of time to feel recharged and rejuvenated.

O2 Bar has eight oxygen stations attended by O2 tenders who provide disposable cannulas to each visitor to place around their nose.  Free i-pad access and water is offered to visitors who want more activity while they breathe.

Address – Shop FF08, Level 2, Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour

Email –
Website – <>
Facebook!/pages/O2bar-Oxygen Station/140937395991188

Trading hours:

Mon – Wed: 10:00 am-9:00 pm
Thurs: 10:00 am-10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am-12:00 am
Sun: 10:00 am-9:00

Of course, like any press release, there’s plenty of hyperbole. As far back as 2003, concerns have been expressed about Oxygen bars. Wikipedia has a fairly good overview of the phenomenon as well. My favourite phrase in the press release is “calorie-free oxygen”.

Over to you: will you be turning up to partake of a whiff or two?

HIV / AIDS and YouTube: a great mix

It’s difficult to write anything on the video you’re about to see. Just watch it and be touched / amazed / inspired / angry.

Hard to argue with anything in that isn’t there?

[via ScienceRoll]

Telepresence bots: making meetings interesting

I doubt there’s anyone who’ll claim that teleconferences or videoconferences are the most engaging way to communicate. Sure, you can pull faces on a teleconference or play games on your smartphone out of camera shot, but at the end of the day both methods are poor substitutes for a face-to-face meeting.

Attempting to bridge that gap are companies like Anybots, who are creating telepresence robots that allow a videoconference participant to have a little more control and interaction with a remote team. Check it out:

I’m not convinced on this being adopted widely – I think some other telepresence options and virtual world options offer something even more engaging. That said, the bot is cute and mobile, so it’s definitely an improvement on the status quo.
[via Big Think]

Japanese Tsunami: advertising fail

Advertising can be intrusive at the best of times (and yes we do run ads on this site but nothing too full-on). When advertising really fails is when it doesn’t recognise the context in which it’s being presented. One of our readers, Graham, sent a link through showing one example from yesterday’s terrible events in Japan. I’ve captured it, take a look for yourself:

It’s just one of those unfortunate things, but it again shows how far we have to go with contextual advertising. Or am I overreacting?


Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing: Canadian Ban Madness

Mark Knopfler and Elton John

Most people will have heard Dire Straits’ song Money For Nothing many times. Some people hate it, but most will enjoy humming or singing along. For Canadians, their singing habits will need to change as the song has been banned from being played on radio because the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has decided the lyrics are an issue. These lyrics in particular:

The little faggot with the earring and the make-up
Yeah, buddy, that’s his own hair
That little faggot’s got his own jet airplane
That little faggot, he’s a millionaire

The complaint (the first one known since the song’s 1984 release) was lodged by a CHOZ-FM listener:

A song was aired, “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits, and included the word “faggot” a total of three times. I am aware of other versions of the song, in which the word was replaced with another, and yet OZ FM chose to play and not censor this particular version that I am complaining about.

I find this extremely offensive as a member of the LGBT community and feel that there is absolutely no valid reason for such discriminatory marks to be played on-air.

The response from the station was pretty detailed and included an outright apology whilst maintaining the right to play the song:

We understand the concerns you have raised regarding this particular selection and do apologize for any undue stress caused to you as a listener by the lyrical content of this selection, but based on the above reasoning, we have operated with the understanding that in this specific case, no editing of the material is warranted.

The listener, unhappy with the radio station’s response, wrote to the CBSC (you can read it all here):

In the letter, [OZ FM’s Senior Vice President] lists a number of reasons in an attempt to justify his stations airing the uncensored version of the song. One of the reasons given was the awards and acclaim that the original version of the song has received. These include 1986 Grammy for Record of the Year and 1986 American Music Award for Record of the Year. This is comparable to the achievements of Kanye West’s 2005 song “Gold Digger” which received 9 Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year, and is certified triple platinum. This song contains another discriminatory slur, not directed towards sexual orientation, but towards race. When played on OZ FM, this slur is censored despite the song’s achievements. I fail to see a difference between the two situations.

The CBSC then undertook a formal process and decided the song can’t be played on air in its unedited form. There’s some fascinating reading in the decision on the origins and usage of the words fag and faggot, then a final adjudication:

Still, the Panel concludes that, like other racially driven words in the English language, “faggot” is one that, even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, is no longer so. The Panel finds that it has fallen into the category of unacceptable designations on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability. In addition to the terms already so categorized by previous CBSC Panels, there are undoubtedly other racial epithets (not yet the subject of CBSC Panel decisions) that would likely fall into the category of words that are inherently problematic. In any event, the Atlantic Regional Panel concludes that the use of the word “faggot” in the song “Money for Nothing” was unacceptable for broadcast and that, by broadcasting an unedited version of the song, CHOZ-FM breached Clause 2 of the CAB Code of Ethics, and Clauses 2, 7 and 9 of the Equitable Portrayal Code. The Panel notes parenthetically that the song would not otherwise fall afoul of any of the foregoing broadcast standards if suitably edited.

And that is that. I can understand the concern over the use of the word in a song produced in 2011. But in a song coming up to thirty years old that contains a lyric I believe Mark Knopfler at least partially overheard and that Elton John is happy to sing? There’s been a recent announcement of the publication of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn without the word nigger. Far be it for me to argue that Dire Straits were the Mark Twain of the rock world (although they were at least a Bronte sister in calibre to me), but the issue is similar: where do you draw the line?

I’d love your thoughts on this. Not just on whether you think the decision is right or wrong, but how do you see this working in the future? Is it possible to develop standards that protect older works whilst ensuring offence is minimised?

[via Digital Journal]

Facebook addiction: there is moderation

A little over a month ago, Ross Gardiner posted the video shown below, addressing his thoughts on Facebook. It’s well worth a watch if you’re a fairly heavy user of Facebook and wonder about whether it’s a good use of time. That said, the video does take the well-worn path of abstinence, which is overkill for the large majority who use Facebook a few times per week.

I’m endlessly amused at the black and white approach to anything like this: you’re either a heavy user or you don’t use at all. It’s a shame that approach misses out the huge majority that fall squarely in the middle. Anyway, if you worry about your level of Facebook time, have a watch of this:

Thanks to a Facebook friend, Anna, for the link.

The life of the modern father…

.. is summed up perfectly by this:

Dad Life from Blaine Rogers on Vimeo.

Absolute gold!

Cocaine: coming to a bank note near you

For those you thought the portrayal of the cocaine user snorting their stash through bank-notes was a stereotype, then think again. A paper published in the British Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal has revealed every single one of 45 bank notes randomly tested for cocaine came back with a positive result. That compares to a US study previously showing a 65 percent hit rate.

Where’s Miami Vice when you need them?

via [Cosmos]

Homeless under pressure: YouTube style

Homelessness is a worldwide issue that has arguably gotten worse in developed nations since the global financial crisis. There’s no shortage of stereotypes around homelessness, including the image of the beggar on the street with a sign asking for money. Like most stereotypes, they’re at least partially based on fact.

In the video below, a person claiming to be homeless is begging for money. He’s also providing some amazing entertainment to the words and music of Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie.

Have a look:

I’ve attempted to get more background on the video but am unable to find any. As someone’s said in the comments, it’d be great if you could donate money to support people in these situations. There’s an obvious non-profit business model there for the right entrepreneur: a crowdsourced capture of individual homeless people and the situations they face, with the ability to sponsor / donate. Kiva does it perfectly in developing nations and there are plenty of other micro-finance options around. This is different though – this is about that initial helping hand where a person has nothing but two Kermit puppets to make a living.

What do you think? Also – we’ll add a donation link if the background to the video is ever disclosed. This is one that deserves to go viral.

UPDATE: the person who created the video has now provided some info:

This is a performance meant to entertain and inspire.

If you want to help………

As I said this is a performance. I don’t want there to be any doubts about my situation. I am a performer. I have a roof over my head and I have yet to start my own family. But this video isn’t about me. This is for the men, women and children on our streets who don’t have bright green puppets on their hands. The people who aren’t always as easy to see. This is for you.

via [Bunny Knutson]

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