Influencer Flight Attendant With 3.5 Million Followers is Briefly Banned From TikTok After Colleagues Bombard Platform With Complaints
A flight attendant and social media influencer with more than 3.5 million followers had her account briefly closed down by TikTok after hundreds of flight attendants bombarded the platform with complaints about the content she was posting.
Cierra Huffman, who goes by the name Cierra Mistt on social media, was last known to be working for Republic Airways, a regional carrier that operates services on behalf of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
In recent weeks, Cierra has had her content featured across the tabloid press where she shared supposed but highly dubious ‘travel hacks‘ like booking a flight on Tuesday to get the cheapest deal and choosing a seat at the very back of the aircraft in the hope of getting upgraded to First Class.
The seemingly harmless content, however, has attracted the ire of a growing number of flight attendants across the industry who have accused Cierra of “spreading false information” and giving the flight attendant profession a bad name.
Controversially, Cierra has posted videos with tips on how passengers can join the ‘mile high club‘ without flight attendants noticing and one post went viral when she said that she would hang out with passengers after a flight if they were “hot”.
“Yes, flight attendants and pilots during our layovers we don’t only hang out with each other, we actually hang out a lot of times with our passengers,” Cierra said in the video.
“Whether it be a really hot guy or girl, or just a fun group of people, if you invite us to go hang out with you guys chances are we’re totally down.”
Cierra added: “In fact, I have a tonne of spicy stories that I could tell you about the passenger interactions I’ve personally had… but, I can’t do it on here.”
It has also been reported that Cierra has insinuated that flight attendants and pilots have sex mid-flight but what may have got her banned from TikTok was an allegation that she was using content from other influencers without their permission.
She has even stoked controversy over why some flight attendants won’t help passengers stow their baggage and raised questions about the safety of drinking tea and coffee onboard an airplane.
Cierra started her flight attendant career with Republic Airways in September 2021 and quickly started posting flight attendant content. In a recent response video, Cierra implored her detractors to “get a life”.
“The only thing that these comments are showing me is how bored you are, how jealous you are, how insecure you are. Get a life. I will continue to say whatever I want”.
However, Cierra no longer works for Republic, although she insists she is still working in the industry and say she respects her new employer’s social media policy.
“While it wasn’t ever a secret that I don’t work for my first airline anymore, I’m still very much, 100000% an active flight attendant,” Cierra said earlier this month.
“long story short: I’m still a flight attendant which is why I still post flight attendant content… I’m just not dumb enough to post in my company’s uniform/be affiliated specifically so that I can still post about my life and other jobs w/o having to worry about corporate approval or repercussions,” she continued.
Although some flight attendants have taken a serious disliking to Cierra’s content, many others have defended her right to post content of her choosing and have asked their colleagues to back down.
Source: Paddle Your Own Kanoo
Carnival Strippers Revisited | Susan Meiselas’ Photo Essay From 1976
Carnival Strippers, originally a photo essay following the women who performed in travelling ‘girl shows’ in the United States from 1972 to 1975, is often held as a pioneering example of a photographic project that shares authorship with the subjects of its images.
Interrogating gender politics and self-representation, the project is defined as much by the testimonies of the women involved as the photographs Meiselas took of them. The project sought to make a feminist argument which resounds particularly today as the project celebrates 50 years since its making.
A third edition publication of the project, published as ‘Carnival Strippers Revisited’ now unfolds the central themes of the work through the additional of new material. Published on Steidl, it includes unseen color photographs, contact sheets, handwritten field notes, and interview transcriptions. Carnival Strippers Revisited explores how representation of ourselves and others is a process that refracts through many layers. In these layers, the creation of our stories is a collective activity mediated by multiple and far-reaching points of view.
In this new video, we share audio material from Meiselas’ interviews with the strippers and other carnival workers. Through testimonies not traditionally represented within the women’s liberation movement, the showgirls’ answers lucidly deconstruct the workings of patriarchy. At the same time, their managers’ disparaging comments provide a poignant and ironic counterpoint.
Meiselas, who sought to document a phenomenon already in decline, was interested in the ways we capture history from early on during her career. With this new expansion on Carnival Strippers, we see the project as a forerunner to her later explorations of archives in her works in Nicaragua and Kurdistan. Read curator Abigail Soloman-Godeau’s essay contextualising the photographer’s practice here.
Susan Meiselas is an American photographer who was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1948. Her first major project, which we’ll look at here focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. Meiselas photographed at the fairs for three consecutive summers while also teaching photography in New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was published in 1976.
Speaking of the project, Meiselas said, “From 1972 to 1975, I spent my summers photographing and interviewing women who performed striptease for small town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. As I followed the girl shows from town to town, I photographed the dancers’ public performances as well as their private lives. I also taped interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.”
“The women I met ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-five. Most had left small towns, seeking mobility, money and something different from what was prescribed or proscribed by their lives that the carnival allowed them to leave. They were runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional. They worked out of a traveling box, a truck that unfolded to form two stages, one opening to the public carnival grounds, another concealed under a tent for a private audience. A dressing room stands between them. Again and again, throughout the day and night, the woman performers moved from the front stage, with its bally call—the talker’s spiel that entices the crowd—to the stage, where they each perform for the duration of a 45 pop record.”
“The all-male audience typically included farmers, bankers, fathers, and sons, but “no ladies and no babies.” The degree of suggestion on the front stage and participation on the back stage under the tent varied greatly from town to town, depending on legislation and local leniency. The show stayed at each spot for three to five days each year; then the carnival was torn down, the truck packed up, and the women followed.”
In her introduction to Carnival Strippers, Meiselas said, “The girl show is a business and carnival stripping is competitive and seasonal. Those women who make it a career find winter employment on a series of related circuits—go-go bars, strip clubs, stag parties, and occasional prostitution. For most women the carnival is an interlude on the way to jobs as waitresses, secretaries and housewives.”
Amsterdam’s Sex Workers Face Financial Stress As The Pandemic Continues
At first glance, a Saturday night in October may have looked like a pre-pandemic evening in Amsterdam’s famous red-light district.
Couples, tourists, and bachelor and bachelorette parties from all over the world browsed the bright posters of near-naked sex workers. Tall colonial-style brothel windows, laced with red-and-pink neon lights, illuminated the neighborhood. The rainy and windy weather had little impact on the massive crowd.
Behind each window, sex workers in lingerie used different techniques to grab potential clients’ attention. Some tapped the glass, others winked and blew kisses, and a few sat on barstools and scrolled through their phones.
“In Amsterdam, prostitution is number one,” Amanda, a sex worker who declined to use her real name, told ABC News at the time.
In early fall, the Netherlands had some of the country’s least strict COVID-19 restrictions since the pandemic began. Life resembled what it was like before the coronavirus, but, for Amanda and other sex workers, it was clear that even with relaxed pandemic measures, business was slow. In fact, workers in the sex industry said they have been overlooked financially since the start of the pandemic.
Inside Amanda’s place of work, the ceiling was covered with red neon lights. A speaker blasted electronic music, making the space feel like a nightclub. At the right of the entrance was a small staircase leading upstairs, where Amanda met with clients. The second floor was furnished with only a twin-sized bed, a pillow and a dark sheet. Despite the vibrant ambience, she had only seen one client by 11 p.m.
“Yes, now COVID is a big problem in the work. Now it’s very down,” she said. Amanda shared that prior to 2020, she could make up to $1,400 per shift. She now made a fraction of that.
Although business was slow in October compared to years past, some sex workers at the time seemed optimistic about the end of the pandemic. That was before a spike in COVID cases in November and the Omicron variant caused the Netherlands to enter a new lockdown right before the holidays.
In response to the resulting economic stress, the Dutch government offered financial support to businesses and the self-employed until the end of March. While COVID restrictions were lifted last week for restaurants, bars and cafes, full relief for sex workers remains to be seen.
A late-2020 study conducted by the Prostitute Information Center, a nonprofit organization in the red-light district, and SekswerkExpertise, a resource network, found that many self-employed sex workers who applied for financial aid were rejected because they did not qualify under the government’s requirements for self-employers. Additionally, people in the business have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic because curfews essentially criminalize sex work, making it difficult to earn income in a nightlife industry.
Zina Berlin, a Dutch sex-worker-rights advocate who works with the Prostitute Information Center, told ABC News that advocates have been calling on government leaders to provide curfew exemptions and additional financial support for sex workers. What they’re fighting for is beyond money – they’re fighting for their livelihood, she said.
“When we write letters to the government, we try to really stress this,” Berlin said “It’s not just numbers; it’s not just money. If you lose your income, you lose your home; you can’t support your loved ones anymore. It breaks lives. It’s really individuals [who] suffer so much.”
A spokesperson for Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema told ABC News that the “city-funded care partner has put in a lot of effort in helping sex workers with COVID financial relief applications.” The city has “processed those applications as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.
However, Iris, coordinator of the PIC, who identifies under a professional pseudonym, said they are currently continuing their 2020 research and are already finding similar numbers for 2021.
“Yes, there is aid for people registered at the [Netherlands] Chamber of Commerce. But only under strict conditions, that sex workers can’t adhere to,” Iris said. “Research has shown most sex workers don’t apply, as they don’t qualify and of those who try, many get rejected. Not only in Amsterdam, but in the entirety of the Netherlands. Sex workers who are forced by the government to work under the Opting-in system, don’t get any type of financial aid.”
Under the opt-in system, people can work for brothels or escort agencies without being considered an employee, allowing sex workers complete autonomy. Still, in this scheme, they are not considered self-employed, which prevents them from claiming self-employed benefits like coronavirus aid, forcing them to find help through other avenues.
In addition, Berlin said many workers are dealing with mental health challenges. She told ABC News three people she knew in the industry have died by suicide due to pandemic challenges, but she also emphasized that this is a resilient community.
“We also have an emergency fund that was created by sex workers themselves, so we can give some money and food to other sex workers, so we really try to be there,” she said. “There was an emergency helpline that was set up, so if people struggled, they could call and we would refer them to other organizations that could provide help. So, we really do our best as a community, and I think we have shown over these years how resilient we are.”
Still, other challenges are on the horizon. Sex workers are speaking out to keep the red-light district in the city after government officials proposed moving it due to tourists’ rowdy behavior.
Moreover, the Prostitute Information Center recognizes that sex work is often stigmatized, and they are combating stigmas by providing educational tours of the red-light district and lectures on sex worker experiences. The nonprofit hopes that sharing knowledge will create an easier path for better rights and protections.
While the start to the new year isn’t what many anticipated, the hope is that summer will bring better financial opportunities for people in the red-light district.
“Sex work is work. Even if you don’t agree with it, we still deserve the same rights and respect as other professions, and you don’t have to be a sex worker,” Berlin said. “You can let us be the sex workers.”
Source: ABC News
The One Food You Should Never Order On A Flight, According To Experts
Feeling peckish on a flight? Go ahead, order a snack. Just make sure it’s not pasta.
Airline food catches a lot of flack for being a bit bland. However, it’s important to note that it’s more about the human body’s reaction to being 30,000 feet in the air than the actual food itself. A study conducted by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics found the combination of dryness and low pressure on planes reduces the sensitivity of human taste buds for both sweet and salty by 30%.
Furthermore, as Fritz Gross, director of culinary excellence at LSG Sky Chefs Asia Pacific, told CNN in 2012, airlines aren’t as interested in taste as they are focused on food safety.
“Our top concern is actually food safety,” Gross said. “Because we do such a large volume, we cannot afford to have things in there that are not right. You can imagine how easily an airline can get sued.”
Why then is pasta off the menu? Because beyond food safety, Gross noted, some foods simply cannot handle the cooking process at altitude. Pasta, like all dishes in the air, is typically reheated before serving, meaning it’ll likely be well overcooked by the time it gets to you. If you’re expecting it al dente, you won’t be happy. Furthermore, if the ratio of sauce to pasta is off, it will likely lead to a sloppy mess that will be far from tasty.
Additionally, as Travel + Leisure previously explained, Dr. Charles Platkin, executive director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center, reviewed and rated the foods available on 11 U.S. and Canadian airlines and noted that pasta or other carb-heavy meals may not be the best bet on flights for those either looking to find something healthy, or those hoping to arrive at their destination feeling alert.
“Eating lots of heavy carbs such as pasta with thick, dense sauces, breads, muffins or cakes will leave you feeling lethargic, cranky, and not full or satisfied,” he said. “Your blood sugar levels will spike and then fall, which will negatively impact how you feel.”
What then can a flier eat instead? The best bet may be to forgo airline food altogether and pack your own. Packing snacks like popcorn, protein bars, and whole fruits is easy, and even foods that are considered “liquid” like peanut butter and hummus come in TSA-friendly sizes, making it easier than ever to pack a few things, eat healthy, and avoid airline prices along the way.
Source: Travel + Leisure
Swedish Company Creates Under-The-Skin Microchip To Carry COVID-19 Passports In User’s Arms
Dystopian nightmare or a simple convenience? A Swedish company implanting microchips under the skin has is promoting its devices for use as a COVID-19 health pass in a country with thousands of early adopters.
“I think it’s very much part of my own integrity to have myself chipped and keep my personal data there with me, I actually feel that it’s even more controlled on my end,” Amanda Back, a Stockholm resident who has implanted the subcutaneous chip developed by DSruptive Subdermals, told AFP.
Though still rare, several thousand Swedes have opted to have an electronic implant inserted under the skin in recent years, eliminating the need to remember key fobs, business cards, public transport cards, and recently: vaccine passes.
The country that created the show “Real Humans” and its English language adaptation “Humans,” is also a stronghold of so-called biohackers who are convinced that humans will become evermore entangled with technology in the future.
“I have a chip implant in my arm and I have programmed the chip so that I have my COVID-19 passport on the chip and the reason is that I always want to have it accessible and when I read my chip, I just swipe my phone on the chip and then I unlock and it opens up,” said Hannes Sjoblad, managing director of DSruptive Subdermals, as a PDF with his vaccine certificate appeared on his phone.
“A chip implant costs a hundred euros if you want to buy the more advanced versions, and you can compare this with for example a health wearable that will cost perhaps twice that but at the same time a chip implant you can use for twenty, thirty, forty years. Whereas a wearable you can only use for three, four years,” he added.
For Sjoblad, the Covid pass is just one example of a possible application, which will be a “thing for the winter of 2021-2022”.
The Swedish entrepreneur added he has a “strong interest in privacy.”
While he acknowledged that many “people see chip implants as a scary technology, as a surveillance technology”, Sjoblad said that instead they should be viewed as a simple ID tag.
“They don’t have a battery, they cannot transmit the signal by themselves, so they’re basically asleep, they can never tell your location, they are only activated when you touch them with your smartphone,” he said.
All implants are voluntary, and if someone were to make them compulsory for prisoners or elderly people in retirement homes, “you will find me on the barricades,” Sjoblad said.
“Nobody can force anyone to get a chip implant.”
France Secretly Changed Its Flag’s Blue A Year Ago And Practically No One Noticed
It’s literally been waving at people but they didn’t pay heed. The blue in the French flag is now navy, reverting to the shade used before 1976 to remember the Revolution.
The exterior of the Elysée Palace, along with other presidential buildings, has been sporting the look for a year unannounced. The refresh was only made public with the publication of the book Elysée Confidentiel by journalists Eliot Blondet and Paul Larrouturou in mid-September, which recounts how the color had been so abruptly swapped, euronews reports.
Arnaud Jolens, the Elysée’s director of operations, had walked into President Emmanuel Macron’s office on the eve of the country’s National Day in 2020 bringing two variations of the flag—the post-1976 version and this one—and then declared: “By the way, I’m changing the flags on all the buildings of the presidency tomorrow.” Macron smiled.
Navy blue honors “the imagination of the Volunteers of Year II, the Poilus of 1914 and the Compagnons de la Libération of Free France,” the French Presidency details. The Volunteers of Year II were France’s first citizen army who, in 1791, volunteered to protect French territory from a threatened Prussian/Austrian invasion post-Revolution (hence the term “Year II.”)
This was the shade of the tri-colored flag up to 45 years before, and the same one flown under the Arc de Triomphe every year on Armistice Day on November 11.
The blue was later brightened to match the one in the European Union flag, a decision made by former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
Decades after, the French presidency has readopted the classic navy. The switch of flags across presidential landmarks cost €5,000.
Macron was evidently pleased by the decision. “The flag that all the presidents have been dragging around since  was not the real French flag,” the book explains, describing the details of the conversation between Macron and Jolens.
Mexico’s Secret Chinese Underworld 🇲🇽 Mexicali, Mexico
Mexicali, Mexico – This is the capital of Baja California, Mexicali, and it has such a unique history to the fabric of Mexico, Gareth Leonard had to add this place as the last stop on his first Northern Baja road trip. Between the mid-1800s and the 1940s, Mexicali, became Mexico’s largest Chinatown.
By 1920, Mexicali’s Chinese population outnumbered the Mexican population 10,000 to 700, and yet, many people still didn’t even realize how many were here.
We meet up with our local guide Diego, to get the full story.
Now here’s the most interesting part for Gareth about La Chinesca.
Just beneath the surface of central old town, in the neighborhood of La Chinesca, there’s a labyrinth of basements and tunnels that once were home to an entire population of Chinese immigrants. During Prohibition in the United States, La Chinesca in Mexicali housed just about all of the city’s casinos and bars, and established a tunnel system to connect bordellos and opium dens to neighboring Calexico on the U.S. side.
Along with being a passageway for bootleggers into the United States, this underground world was also where Chinese people would live here in Mexicali.
The Railroad Journey And The Industrial Revolution
In which John Green teaches you about railroads, and some of the ways they changed the world, and how they were a sort of microcosm for the Industrial Revolution as a whole. Prior to the invention of steam powered railroads, pretty much all locomotion had been muscle-powered. You either walked where you wanted to go, or rode on an animal to get where you were going. The railroad changed human perception of time and space, making long distance travel much faster and easier. Railroads also changed habits, including increasing reading. People needed some sort of distraction to ensure they didn’t have to talk to other people on the train. Like any new technology, railroads also scared people. All kinds of fears surrounded rail travel, but over time, people got over them. And the quality of boiler manufacturing improved, so the trains exploded less often, which also made people feel safer.
The Real Story Of The Green Book – The Guidebook That Helped Black Americans Travel During Segregation
Until the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, the Green Book was critical for black Americans wanting to travel across the country.
Road tripping in the 20th century became an iconic American obsession, and the rising middle class was eager to travel the country on the new interstate highway system. The Green Book was a unique travel guide during this time, when segregation was practiced all over the country.
The book, which grew to cover locations in all 50 states, listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, beauty salons, and other services that would reliably serve African Americans. The listings grew from user correspondence and a network of African American postal workers under the guidance of Victor Hugo Green, the book’s publisher.
The American road trip would go on to be an anchor in the civil rights discussion, as it highlighted the injustices and prejudice that African Americans suffered under Jim Crow. Before the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in public accommodations, Victor Green’s booklet helped black Americans navigate their country.