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Latest update : 2011-03-14

Japan faces nuclear threat

Japanese web users react to the nuclear threat facing the country. Online reports of the earthquake and initiatives to help the many victims. And a devastating tornado is filmed by surveillance cameras as it sweeps though Alabama.

Japan faces nuclear threat

Japanese web users fear a Chernobyl like disaster following the huge explosion in the building housing reactor number 1 at the Fukushima nuclear power station.

Their anxiety is being conveyed on social networks and Twitter in particular where the keyword « Save Fukushima » is being employed by many web users wanting to express their concerns and post information updates.

Some, like Saltfish are wondering if it was wise to develop nuclear energy in a country where there is a high risk of earthquakes and which has already suffered the consequences of two atomic bomb explosions.

Mokko is pointing the finger at high energy consumption cities like Tokyo which are supplied by these stations and is calling upon the authorities to review the country’s energy policy and fight waste.

Takuya Kawai, is encouraging web users to postpone this debate for the time being to support employees of the Fukushima power station who have been exposed to the radiation, in the hope of avoiding the worst.

The authorities are trying to be reassuring, but many, like Takeshi Funyu, are skeptical about information being provided by Tepco, the company which operates the Fukushima plant. In 2002, the company was found guilty of falsifying safety data on its nuclear centers.

And in the meantime, all sorts of wild rumours are flying round the web. The fire at Ichihara oil refinery, near to Tokyo, has also sparked fears of toxic rain in the region. Cosmos Oil, the company that runs the complex has denied these rumours.

 

Online coverage of Japan earthquake

Entire towns have been literally engulfed by water; neighbourhoods have been wiped out, cars have been tossed about as if they were toys, as we see here at Sendai airport in North East Japan… dozens of pieces of amateur footage, each more spectacular than the next, are currently circulating on the web and give an idea as to the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake and Tsunami that devastated Japan on Friday.

Many videos like this one, which were filmed as the earthquake was happening, continue to be uploaded online. The images bear witness to the magnitude of the earthquake and the violence of the tremors.

Various online initiatives have been set up to help the thousands of victims, some of whom have lost everything. Google has set up a tool for those who are looking for loved ones or who have information about someone. And one Japanese web user has created this interactive map indicating the temporary shelters that have been erected for victims.

A group of Californian artists are asking web users to contribute works of art, some of which are already being exhibited on Facebook. The artworks will be sold and the money raised will go towards the Red Cross and their disaster relief efforts in Japan.

And finally, and also via the Internet, it is possible to follow the still very intense seismic activity around Japan using this Google Maps application which catalogues all the aftershocks in the region, in real time.

 

Shoes 2.0

Customized sports shoes using the logos of the key players in the World Wide Web: This is what designer Daniel Reese is proposing on his web site BrassMonki. Google, Firefox or Twitter trainers … and that’s not all … the artist is also selling shoes inspired by various films or artists like Bob Marley and also Michael Jackson. It should be noted that a pair of these original trainers will set you back 300 euros on average.

 

Play Rock-Paper-Scissors against a computer

The New York Times is giving web users the opportunity to test their strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence. The human player chooses a difficulty level and this will determine the speed at which the “computer” player learns. As the match progresses, the artificial intelligence learns increasingly from its mistakes and will take the human player’s previous decisions into account to try to guess their next moves.


Video of the day

Last week, clients and staff in these shops in Alabama, America, had a very frightening experience. As we can see in these surveillance camera videos, numerous shops were completely devastated by a tornado. This type of climatic phenomenon is relatively common in this southern US State.

 

By Electron Libre

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