Mixed reactions online to the Pope’s visit to the UK. A Chinese professor rebels against the one child policy. And a site listing animals killed on American roads.
POPE’S UK VISIT
Pope Benedict XVI is in the United Kingdom on a papal state visit until Sunday. There are mixed reactions on the web. Whilst loyal Catholics are over the moon, his visit to a majority Anglican country has not been welcomed by everyone.
Certain anti-establishment activists seem determined to upset the smooth running of proceedings and several campaigning groups are using the web to organize their demonstrations and protest Benedict XVI’s visit. They are denouncing the Vatican’s positions on homosexuality and abortion.
This activist group has a more original idea and is calling upon the country’s Protestants to use the papal visit as an opportunity to approach Catholics and try to convert them.
The Vatican has taken great care in organizing the Pope’s visit. A web site has been especially created for the occasion, and provides information on what he is doing and where he is going. There is also a webcam installed so net users can follow ceremonies involving the Pope live on camera.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the visit in a message broadcast online. He emphasizes the historic nature of this papal state visit, the first since the Anglican Church was founded in 1534.
And for the occasion, many followers have decided to demonstrate their loyalty to the Catholic Church. A parade through the streets of London on Tuesday was organized by worshippers to celebrate his arrival. And this clip, broadcast on sharing sites, is promoting the papal visit as if he was a rock star going on tour.
CHINA: A PROFESSOR AGAINST THE ONE CHILD POLICY
Yang Zhizhu was an assistant law professor at Beijing University, and was laid off in March for having fathered a second child: A subversive act in a country that has controlled its birthrate for the past 30 years, and where drastic measures have been put into place to enforce the one child policy. But Yang has won support from Chinese web users.
For the past week, as a symbol of solidarity, a photo has been passed from blog to blog, and circulated on social networks. This photo was taken in Beijing on the 3rd September. Professor Yang Zhizhu is holding a placard. He wants to sell himself as a slave in order to pay the penalty tax for violating the one child policy.
According to the official document, a copy of which is also circulating online, the fine is 240 000 Yuan and was calculated by multiplying his annual income by 9. So Yang has decided to take the Haidian district family planning committee to court.
In this video, he explains he took the photo to protest this unreasonable amount.
« Obviously I don’t actually intend to become a slave; I simply want to draw attention to this debate because the time has come to revise this policy”
In an interview that he has transcribed on to his blog, Yang denounces the problems that stem from this policy. He says the separation of sex and reproduction has resulted in an increase in abortions among young people. In addition, the tax has prevented some parents from investing in their children’s education.
WILD LIFE CROSSING
Around one million animals are killed every day on American roads and highways. This site hopes to raise public awareness on the subject. Created by researchers at California University, the site wildlifecrossing is endeavouring to map this roadkill. Hundreds of volunteers are driving all over the roads of America, collecting information on exactly where they found the dead animal, and what sort of animal it was. Each dead animal found is represented by a dot on the map. It’s a way of denouncing the impact of traffic on our environment.
JUSTIN BIEBER’S TWITTER ACCOUNT
Justin Bieber the young Canadian singer worshipped by teenage girls, and the butt of online jokes, allegedly takes up one thirtieth of Twitter’s servers. American blogger Dustin Curtis divulged this information, claiming it came from a Twitter employee. With his 4 909 Tweets, and over 5 million followers, the singer does indeed take up a substantial amount of the micro blogging site.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
It’s goodbye to suitcases that are too heavy or too big! This web user has filmed his technique for travelling light. He manages to fit a lot of items into a small back pack. It is some feat.