An underground network of doctors is exposing the repression in Syria. The American debt problem. New technologies help bring the world’s oldest record back to life.
Syria: the Damascus doctors
They call themselves the « Damascus Doctors »: They are an underground illegal network of medics who provide care to protesters who have suffered at the hands of the Syrian security forces. They set up makeshift clinics, with limited equipment, in neighbourhoods where demonstrations are taking place, because protesters refuse to go to hospitals, where they risk arrest.
Not only do they want to save lives, they also want to expose the regime’s brutal crackdown on protests, and have set up a Facebook page to share accounts of what they have witnessed.
In this video which was reportedly filmed on the 1st of July, a doctor describes the injuries sustained by a man he found lying unconscious in the street in the outskirts of Damascus. The doctor says the man is a protester who had been arrested and held for questioning, and that there were obvious signs of torture all over his body.
By treating opponents of the Bashar al-Assad regime, these doctors are taking an enormous risk. A number of them have reportedly been arrested for helping demonstrators in various parts of the country. This is apparently the case for Dr Rifai, who was arrested in Homs after he allegedly refused to hand over to the authorities, the names of the protesters he had cared for.
And this video claims to show health professionals taking part in a rally in the city of Deir al-Zor last week. They were protesting against the pressure exerted on the medical profession.
US debt debated online
Time is running out to solve the US debt crisis: the debt ceiling needs to be raised before the 2nd of August to avoid the US federal government going bankrupt.
A number of online initiatives have been launched, aimed at helping the people of America understand the problem.
The site “Defeat the debt” is asking Americans to send in suggestions to social networks on how tax revenues could be increased or federal deficit reduced. Web users can then vote for their preferred solution. Amongst the most popular are a freeze on the hiring of federal employees and also the abandonment of the social security system.
« Concord Coalition » is an organization dedicated to educating the public about federal public deficits, and has uploaded this interactive questionnaire for web users to complete. It asks them about their political orientations, and the debt grows according to their replies. Some of the main themes being dealt with are health, education and also homeland security.
The site Bankrupting America is documenting, monitoring and analyzing federal economic policies. The aim is to shed light on sensitive issues and reflect the state of mind of tax paying Americans, with the help of infographics and videos like this one which features a poll stating that the majority of Americans believe the government has to cut spending to revive the economy. 2
The world's oldest commercial record
Scientists in California have brought the world’s oldest commercial record back to life. It was developed by Thomas Edison and his laboratory workers for a talking doll. The recording dates back to 1888, but it had been impossible to listen to it. Until a three dimensional optical scanning technique was able to salvage the recording etched into the cylinder: A recording of a woman reciting Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The color of the New York City sky
A photograph is a great indication of what the weather is like … in New York City for instance. So with this in mind, every five minutes, this site is updated with a picture of the Big Apple’s sky. It’s nice to look at, an original idea and turns weather reports into works of art.
Video of the day
Josh is about to ask his girlfriend Brooke to marry him, on the roof of a four story building. He asks one of his friends to throw him the engagement ring, but falls whilst trying to catch it … this is of course a very well planned joke.