In this edition : The web commemorates the one year anniversary of the war in Gaza; online mobilisation for the Hmong deported to Laos by the Thai Army; and a net user films his cat in slow motion.
GAZA WAR ANNIVERSARY
On the 27th December 2008, “Operation Cast Lead” was launched by the Israeli army in the Gaza strip. It was in response to rocket attacks from Hamas and the conflict claimed over 1400 Palestinian lives. The web commemorates the first anniversary of this war.
Palestinian activists have put this photo montage online to pay tribute to the victims of the conflict and to appeal to the people of Gaza to get back on their feet. The message: Life must go on.
But Gaza remains in a state of devastation. In this documentary broadcasted online in honour of this poignant anniversary, a Gazan student talks about the reconstruction which is barely advancing.
The Israeli imposed blockades prevent rebuilding in Gaza. In this clip, an Israeli NGO appeals for an end to the blockades. The organization feels the blockade enables Hamas to make themselves rich by taxing merchandise which travels through the tunnels which have been dug under the Egyptian border.
THAI ARMY DEPORTS HMONG
In Thailand, several thousands of Hmong from a north eastern refugee camp country have been deported to Laos. The international community has criticized this initiative and has mobilised online to demonstrate it’s support for this South-east Asian ethnic minority.
This French web user feels the deported Hmong have been given a death sentence. He says they fought with the Americans in the Vietnam war and the communists, who are still in power in Laos, have always considered them as traitors to be exterminated.
This blogger agrees and states that nobody knows what will happen to the Hmong once they arrive in Laos. She notes that according to several testimonials, many refugees had been attacked upon arrival in the country.
The Thai authorities do not seem to be bothered by the situation. This report, filmed in the refugee camp of Huai Nam Khao and put online by the NGO “Doctors without Borders”, illustrates how the army had for several months been putting pressure on the refuges to leave the country.
“ The Thai militaries in the camp are increasing pressure on the refugees. Part of this includes preventing access to medical treatment”
In the meantime, many web users want to pay tribute to the Hmong people and to their struggle to stay in Thailand. Several videos and photo montages like these ones, dedicated to the Hmong cause, are circulating on share sites.
Are the new Hewlett Packard webcams racist? This is the question on the lips of many web users since this video was put online a few weeks ago. Made for fun by two colleagues from an Electronics Store, this video shows that the face tracking software developed by the company does not recognize black people. And whilst the controversy is raging online, the company has reacted promptly, notably by thanking the makers of the video for having identified this technical problem. .
“The worst thing is, I’ve bought one for Christmas”
THE KNOWN UNIVERSE
For ten years, the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium have been mapping space, taking care to list all the planets, all the stars and all the galaxies that we know of, onto a digital atlas, available for free download. This video is based on this work and takes the web users from the summit of the Himalayas to the ends of the universe…
VIDEO DU JOUR
Maru sticking his tongue out, Maru mowling Maru running, Maru jumping. A web user has edited videos of his cat, “Maru”s movements and gestures and put them online. An amazing clip, filmed in slow motion.