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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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The joke is on H1N1

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-05-04

In this edition: the influenza A (H1N1) epidemic inspires online comedians; the execution of an Iranian woman for a crime committed when still a minor is stirring the blogosphere.

Influenz A (H1N1)

The influenza A epidemic continues to cause online panic. Some Net users prefer to avoid succumbing to the current wave of paranoia and handle the issue lightly.

The H1N1 virus has inspired the creation of a video game. The aim is to annihilate a virus that is spreading quickly and becoming uncontrollable:
http://www.swinefighter.com/

Dozens of Net users have decided to sing about the issue. Many music videos, like this one, are available online:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUvVEfspXn4


Others dispense far-fetched advice on how to avoid contracting the virus. For example, one video recommends washing hands for 30 minutes in boiling water and wearing a full body protection suit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWIcf7EFwZU


Finally, in this comedy video, an American man explains how Miss Piggy from the Muppet Show has contaminated him, and he recommends avoiding all contact with her:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OflToCrjyik



Iran: Delara Darabi executed


The Web is up in arms following the execution in Iran of Delara Darabi. The young woman was condemned to death for a murder that she is said to have committed at the age of 17.

Net users that had campaigned to save Delara from hanging are now expressing their feelings on a Myspace page that shows canvases the young woman painted while in prison:
http://www.myspace.com/helpdelara


Others express their indignation. One blogger recalls that the execution of prisoners for crimes committed before their coming of age is a violation of international law:
http://politicoholic.com/2009/05/02/the-mainstream-media-ignored-delara-darabi-new-media-didnt/


The Stop Child Executions organisation asks Net users to sign an online petition calling on Iran to stop executing minors:
http://www.stopchildexecutions.com/


The organisation is also broadcasting a film on the Web in homage to Delara, a video in which her family and friends talk about the young woman and her short life: 
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=533103998986446192



Grandma's Graphics


The Grandma’s Graphics site aims to display children’s illustrations that have come into the public domain and are now usable by all. Hundreds of drawings have been posted online. It is a source of inspiration for graphic artists and illustrators all around the world and a site that will help you rediscover childhood:
http://www.grandmasgraphics.com/



Scenic or Not?


The Scenic or Not site asks Net users to grade photos taken all around the UK and judge whether they are picturesque or not. Dozens of snaps of unusual and idyllic UK scenery have been posted online:
http://scenic.mysociety.org/

Date created : 2009-05-04

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