Mexican bloggers under threat from drug cartels. American web users campaigning for the Muppets to present the 2012 Oscars. And some of the day to day challenges faced by the blind and visually impaired.
Mexican bloggers ask for protection from drug cartels
In this online manifesto, Mexican bloggers declare: "we will not allow our voices to be silenced." The document was released online the day after a web user was murdered by a drug cartel in the city of Nuevo Laredo. The decapitated body was found on Wednesday with a note warning Mexicans against commenting on drug cartel activity on the Internet.
The victim was a member of this online chat room that reports drug cartel crimes in this Mexico/US border region. This is the fourth time in two months that someone has been murdered in Nuevo Laredo for posting information online regarding organized crime. The Zetas, a notorious gang formed by Mexican army deserters, has claimed responsibility for all four murders.
The cartels have already silenced the media and are now targeting web users. Mexicans have been turning increasingly to social media to obtain information on cartel activity, by consulting blogs which are regularly updated by anonymous web users.
Hacker group Anonymous recently joined the social media users’ fight against drug trafficking. But according to private intelligence company Stratfor, cartels like the Zetas have recruited their own hackers to track down online informers. In view of the threats made against them, the social media users are now asking the Mexican government to ensure their safety and protect their freedom of expression.
Online campaign for Muppets to host 2012 Oscars
A rather out of the ordinary campaign is gaining ground on the net : Over the past few weeks, American web users have been taking to social media platforms to voice their support for the famous puppet characters, The Muppets, to host the 2012 Oscars ceremony on the 26th of February in the US. The mobilization has stepped up a notch in recent days ever since the actor Eddy Murphy announced he was stepping down as host.
Close to 38 000 Facebookers have joined this group urging the organizers of the Oscars to bring in the Muppets to host the ceremony. They believe Kermit and co are more than capable of presenting the Academy Awards. And have dreamt up some wacky posters, like these ones, to promote the event which brings together the biggest names in cinema.
And the movement is also gaining momentum on Twitter where micro bloggers have been using #muppetoscars to back the campaign. Many are saying they will only watch the awards ceremony if it is hosted by the Muppets, and that they would make the best Oscar hosts ever!
And finally, this Muppets website says presenting the 2012 Oscars will be no problem for the Muppets as some of them have already taken part in previous ceremonies, particularly in the 1980s. Various extracts of previous Oscar appearances from Miss Piggy or Kermit the frog have been circulating on sharing sites, and as far as the fans are concerned, this is proof enough they will make fantastic hosts for the famous awards ceremony.
Tommy Edison, the blind film critic
Crossing the street with just your hearing to guide you, withdrawing money from an ATM machine and trying to work out which notes are which … In this series of YouTube videos Tommy Edison gives a comical twist to the challenges faced by the blind and visually impaired on a daily basis. Tommy, who is a presenter for a Connecticut radio and has been blind since birth, made these films with his friend Ben Churchill. He is also a film enthusiast and publishes film reviews that focus on the characters, the dialogue and the sound track.
Artist hand-draws profile pictures of Twitter followers
British artist Greg Burney’s latest project is pretty unusual because he has promised he will draw individual sketches of everybody who follows him on Twitter based on their profile picture. You can see the sketches, a blend of art and new technology, on his Twitter page and on the site Twitpic.
Video of the day
This is Garett McNamara riding a 27 meter high wave off the coast of Praia do Norte in Portugal. The Hawaiian surfer travels all over the world in search of the highest waves, and with this particular wave, he’s broken the world record.