Online accounts of the damage caused by the US oil Spill. The Philippines declares war on « jejemon » a SMS language used by young people on the Internet and a Belgian film maker takes a poetic look at football in Africa.
BP OIL SPILL
BP has accepted to set aside 20 billion dollars. This is the deal won by President Barack Obama on Wednesday at the White House, following negotiations with company bosses. The money will be used to compensate victims of the oil spill that continues to spread off US coasts. Tools on which web users can evaluate the extent of the catastrophe are multiplying online.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the NOAA, has set up a new interactive map covering the development of interventions in the Gulf of Mexico. The map is very detailed and invites users to select data from the wide choice available including satellite or aerial images of the oil spill, sea currents and weather forecasts.
And there have also been independent initiatives. A group of Americans set up the site GrassrootsMapping.org. Their project consists of documenting the oil spill using cameras attached to kites and balloons. All the images will be available to view online, free of charge. The team behind the project are asking for donations on their web site and have already raised 5 000 dollars.
Others are putting the spotlight on the consequences of the oil spill, on local wildlife in particular. The site Dailydeadbirds lists all the animals in the Gulf of Mexico that have been affected by the oil and counts the number of birds, turtles and dolphins that have become victims of this disaster.
Several videos posted on YouTube show ways in which the animals are saved. Here, oil covered pelicans are being cleaned up by members of a national wildlife conservation organization.
PHILIPPINES : THE “JEJEMON” FEVER
The government of the Philippines has declared war on « jejemon », a type of SMS dialect derived from English and Filipino that has been adopted by many young people in the country. To begin with the concern was that spelling and syntax would suffer when shortening text messages on mobile phones.
Then things got worse, certain letters were being replaced by numbers, thus creating a very trendy dialect in the world of social networks. Some even see “jejemon” as a secret code used by young people to exclude adults from their conversations.
Several online translation tools have been made available to those who would like to learn this unusual language.
And as this site demonstrates, the « jejemon » phenomenon is not just limited to the language, it’s also a counterculture all of its own with notably a dress code that includes fanciful baseball caps
Web users are trying to resist however and have launched the « jejebusters » movement. Their objective is to track down “jejemon” enthusiasts on social networks and remind them of grammar rules.
And the government is also taking the subject very seriously. The Minister for education believes that this phenomenon will in the long term be detrimental to Filipinos command of the English language that has up until now helped attract foreign investors.
FREEDOM FROM PORN
American activists in San Francisco have started a crusade against the puritanism of Steve Jobs who wants to free people from porn. Members of the collective Freedom from Porn have been claiming their right to porn on the ipad. They have gone around town altering the ads to add a little porn to them and then posted the images on a site created especially for the occasion.
CITY OF MEMORY
Do you have a story or a memory about New York that you would like to share? The site City of memory is inviting web users to do just this. The anecdotes will be added to a map, in the chosen place. Dozens of stories have already been posted online.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
The web documentary « Football Made in Africa » includes 30 short films, made by Belgian Pascal
Colson, that have already been broadcast on the Belgian channel RTBF. They will be posted online on Dailymotion. This is the latest episode: Nigerian football fans patiently waiting for the tide to go out so they can use the space as a football pitch.