Compiled and written by Lenny Giteck
Air France Sexy Pool Scene
Symbolizes La Vie en Rose
The backstory: He is in seat 8A on an Air France flight winging its way across the Atlantic; she's in 8B. They are both good-looking and fit - definitely in their prime. Even though they never met before boarding the aircraft, once in the air their eyes lock in lingering, longing glances. The scene: The two find themselves in a luxurious, dreamy poolscape. She dives in and swims toward him, exiting the pool to sit on the lounge chair next to his. The voiceover: In smooth, sultry tones, a female flight attendant announces their imminent landing (presumably at Charles de Gaulle airport). The Air France logo appears.
To Ripples, what's significant about this très sexy Air France TV commercial is one of the subtle messages it delivers: a swimming pool is part of the good life - or as they say in France, la vie en rose. Does Air France guarantee this scenario will take place if you fly with the airline? Not exactly. Still, it's nice to imagine that it might...non?
Video: To watch the Air France commercial, click on http://tinyurl.com/4fehmv9.
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Black Tomato Picks Yield
Tasty Watershaping Pix
Air France is not the only arbiter of the good life to focus on swimming pools.
Take, for example, the Black Tomato blog ("Cutting-edge travel experts") on HuffingtonPost.com, which declared in its January 16 offering, "When it comes to picking a hideaway in foreign lands for that much-needed spring getaway, the hotel's swimming pool usually plays a crucial role in deciding where to stay. Rating the world's best swimming pools according to view, design and sheer wow factor, we grabbed our swimsuits and took it upon ourselves to try out the very best. It was a tough call, but someone's got to do it..."
Swimsuits or not, Ripples isn't sure what qualifies Black Tomato to judge which are - as the title of the article promises - the world's greatest swimming pools. (For one thing, we're only talking hotel pools here.) Still, the Tomato photos do offer some luscious watershaping eye candy. (We're pleased to note that the first aquatic bonbon shown - the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore - happens to be the same amazing installation we featured in the premier edition of this column.)
Photos: To see "The World's Greatest Swimming Pools," go to http://tinyurl.com/4heptf8.
Documented: Real Men Do
So, you're a guy who wants to prove to the world just how secure you are in your masculinity but you hate quiche. Why not take up synchronized swimming?
True, doing so might garner you a fair amount of smirking, punctuated by the occasional bout of snickering or guffaws. One is reminded of the classic "Saturday Night Live" sendup in which Harry Shearer and Martin Short portrayed a ludicrously awful synchronized swimming duo. (To watch part of the sketch, see the link below.)
Still, as the old saying goes, "He who laughs last, laughs best." In this case, the last laugh just might go to the Swedish men and one American male who formed the group Stockholm Art Swim Gents and become avid and accomplished practitioners of aquatic ballet.
Although one might assume that synchronized swimming is solely the domain of graceful women, it turns out that more than a few dudes perform the watery art form. Indeed, there are international competitions for all-male teams from countries such as Holland, Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, and Italy - including the prestigious World Cup event in which the Stockholm gentlemen eventually competed.
The sole American member of the group, expat filmmaker Dylan Williams, chronicled its tribulations and successes on video, which he then turned into a noteworthy documentary called "Men Who Swim." It recently premiered on PBS's "Independent Lens" series.
An article on the Web site Technorati.com characterized the documentary this way: "Entertaining and inspiring, 'Men Who Swim' is also humorous, campy and fascinating. It is the story of friendship, love, family, competition and coming to terms with one's life - if that's even possible."
Video: To view the "Saturday Night Live" sketch, click on http://tinyurl.com/np9qj9.
Video: To watch the trailer for "Men Who Swim," go to http://tinyurl.com/4z6cxg8
Scottish Pool Perv
Free to Peep Again
Paul Stewart, a 38-year-old man in Scotland with a history of spying on women at swimming pools while they change their clothes, has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service and placed on a sex-offender list for three years.
Scottish Web site STV.tv reported that during Stewart's latest escapade, "a 54-year-old woman was getting changed when she looked down between her legs and saw Stewart's face peering back up at her." Stewart had ducked under a partition to ogle the woman while she was naked.
Stewart earlier had been banned from all swimming pools in Scotland. Inexplicably, no provision for extending the ban was made in the court decision - so now he is free to frequent Scotland's swimming pools once again.
Scottish ladies and lassies beware!
Google Pays $1 to Settle
Boring Photo Lawsuit
You may recall Ripples' coverage of the backyard Batman-themed pool that became an overnight Internet sensation. Unbeknownst to the Illinois homeowners, the satellite photograph of the pool had been taken for Google Maps.
Now comes word of a case in which Google took a photo of a private home and its backyard pool for its Street View service - to the great consternation of Pennsylvania homeowners Aaron and Christie Boring.
According to RedOrbit.com, the Borings "charged Google with violating their privacy by photographing their Pittsburgh home and swimming pool without permission. They said the home is on a street that is clearly marked as a 'Private Road.'"
A statement from the couple following the resolution of the case contended that "Google could have just sent us an apology letter in the very beginning, but chose to try to prove they had a legal right to be on our land. We are glad they finally gave up."
Not surprisingly, the Internet behemoth had a somewhat different take on the outcome of Boring v Google Inc.: "We are pleased that this lawsuit has finally ended with plaintiffs' acknowledgment that they are entitled to only $1."
Until next time,
happy watershaping to you!
- Ripples is compiled and written by Lenny Giteck