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The World This Week - 29 August 2014

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Latest update : 2012-08-23

Syrian protesters poke fun at the regime

Syrian protesters turn to satire, poking fun at the regime. An NGO using comedy in the fight against malaria. And learning Mandarin, the sexy way…

Syrian protesters poke fun at the regime

This sketch that’s being aired online pokes fun at Syrian general Manaf Tlass’s defection at the beginning of July. An actor wearing a mask announces his decision to join the opposition, whilst another actor dressed up as Bashar al-Assad is pulling the puppet strings. The activists behind this video want to show they are wary of the well-known and high ranked officer who has close ties to the Syrian president.

Despite the violence and bloodshed across the country, opponents of the Damascus regime have managed to hold on to their sense of humour. The banners and signs brandished day after day by protesters in Kafranbel being a good example, and they have made this north-western Syrian town famous.

This poster has been widely circulated on social networks; it depicts Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad as the main characters in the film Titanic, it’s a way of denouncing Russia’s support of the Syrian government.

This Facebook page entitled "We are all germs" has over 20 000 members, and is a sarcastic swipe at a speech given by the president in which he referred to protesters as “germs” to be eliminated. Bashar al-Assad is portrayed as Doctor Dettol, a disinfectant widely used in Syria.

Other comedians have even created shows that are aired regularly online. “Chronicles of the Pressure Cooker”, produced by a Syrian man living abroad, features audio accounts with a satirical take on Syrian politics in times of revolution.


NGO uses humor to boost malaria awareness

NGO "Malaria no more" has teamed with popular satire site “College Humour” to raise awareness in the United States about this devastating disease transmitted by mosquitos that claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world every year. They have produced a series of short and somewhat wacky videos to encourage web users to make donations to finance research that aims to put a stop to this parasitic infection once and for all.

In order to access the 24 videos made for this collaboration, web users must make a minimum contribution of one dollar; all donations will be handed over to the NGO “No More Malaria”. These absolutely offbeat clips feature thirty or so stars from American comedy, with a view to eradicating the disease by 2015.

And the mobilization appears to be paying off. The campaign was launched on Monday and has already raised enough money to pay for treatment for over 2 400 people suffering from this parasitic infection.

But the NGO is not intending to stop here, and continues its mission to raise awareness via its website, which is jam packed with information. We learn for example that although important progress in the fight against malaria has been made over the past few years and the number of victims is dropping; there is still some way to go before it is completely wiped out, as over 200 million cases are reported every year.

 

Sexy Mandarin

Scantily clad models teaching web users Mandarin … this is the website “Sexy Mandarin”, launched last winter in a bid to make the language of Confucius more appealing. The “what time is it?” lesson is given by two women in their underwear, lying on a bed. These unconventional tutorials have incurred the wrath of feminist groups across China.



Now trending on social networks

Over the month of August, the Twilight saga’s Twitter page has exceeded the one million followers’ mark, making it the first account devoted to a film to reach such high numbers. A symbolic milestone which has been well received by Twilight fans on social networks. And the production team is showing its gratitude in this video, thanking fans for their loyalty and for helping make Twilight so incredibly popular on the web.

 

Video of the day

Fascinating for some, downright creepy for others, one thing’s for sure; the latest human robot developed by a laboratory at Japan’s Osaka University is amazingly realistic. As we can see in this video, the robot, named “Affetto” is able to recreate, extremely effectively, facial expressions and body movements similar to those of a two year old child. A creation that takes bridging the gap between humans and machines another step further…

By Electron Libre

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