Eye witness accounts from survivors of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster. China’s real life superheroes. And a website devoted to New York subway rats.
Costa Concordia disaster: passengers recount their stories
"My name is Rose, it’s Friday 13th and I am one of the last survivors still on board the sinking cruise liner off the coast of Italy. Pray for us to be rescued". This was the message posted on Facebook by 24 year old Rose Metcalf, from London who has been working as a dancer on board the Costa Concordia.
This photo was taken by German passenger Peter Honvehlmann during the evacuation via the ship’s life boats.
And this video was apparently filmed actually on one of these rafts by Yuri Selvaggio and uploaded on to the site Youreporter.it. We see scenes of panic, with passengers arguing over lifejackets; survivors are even saying that some people jumped into the sea to swim to land.
This other document shows passengers arriving on dry land. Visibly shocked by their ordeal, most of the survivors have the same reflex; they turn back to look at the shipwrecked cruise liner and take in their lucky escape.
There were over 4 000 people on board the Costa Concordia when she ran aground. Web users have turned to discussion forums and social networks for news on loved ones, looking for information on passengers and crew members, some of whom are still reported missing.
China’s real life superheroes
In the United States it’s not uncommon, both during the day and at night, to come across a real life super hero. Men and women, in costumes, who go by the name of Urban Avenger, Mister Xtreme or Citizen Prime… they fight crime and help those in need. It’s a puzzling trend and has now reached China and over the past few months all sorts of online reports on the exploits of a number of caped crusaders have been doing the rounds on the web.
The mysterious "Chinese Redbud woman" named after the small bushy shrub which symbolizes prosperity, was first seen in Hong Kong in May last year. She was wearing a blue mask and a black cat suit, and as this video would suggest, she was giving out food and money to passersby and the homeless.
And then over Christmas, she was seen again, but this time in Beijing. As we can see in these shots available on the site Chinahush.com, in this latest display of generosity, she was wearing the same costume, and was giving out blankets and presents to the needy.
Perhaps her good deeds inspired the « Incredible Shining knight » as he likes to be known. Another superhero who has been spotted on the streets of Beijing, helping those in need ; changing a flat tire or buying train tickets on the new web site set up the authorities. A Good Samaritan, who like “Chinese Redbud woman” has decided to keep his identity a secret and has aroused the curiosity of the media and Chinese web users. According to “Baidu beat” a specialist blog that follows trends on China’s most popular search engine, “the incredible shining knight” was among the top ten searches in the country last week.
New York subway rats
New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority has declared war on the rats that are taking over the Big Apple’s subway system. And has set up an online competition to try and get commuters involved in ridding the city of this scourge by taking photos or filming any rodents they spot in or around the subway and posting them on the dedicated website. The person who’s shot or film obtains the most votes will win a year’s free travel on public transport.
Yummypets, a social network for pets
Yummypets was set up by a team of French designers and is a social network exclusively for pets. If you own a dog, cat, horse of even a reptile you can set up a profile for your pet, and post photos of them, or even find them a playmate. It seems to be proving pretty popular because since the site was launched two months ago, over 4 000 pets have signed up.
Video of the day
American film maker Walt Thompson likes to do things differently and this was definitely the case when he asked his girlfriend to marry him. He created a stop motion video telling their love story, using Lego. He needed 2 600 photos to complete the video, but his hard work was not in vain because the lady in question accepted his proposal.