Bulgaria is in the grip of a political crisis. Visual effects professionals in the US are campaigning to protect their jobs. And a new platform shows celebrities...without their eyebrows!
Political crisis in Bulgaria
As we can see from this amateur footage that has been doing the rounds online, thousands of Bulgarians staged fresh protests on Sunday as the country celebrated its national holiday. Bulgaria has been gripped by a wave of protests against poverty, a first since the fall of the communist regime at the beginning of the 90s.
Public anger was initially sparked by escalating fuel costs over the winter. But the mass protests against the deterioration of living conditions soon took a more political turn, with demonstrators denouncing, in particular, Bulgaria’s endemic corruption.
Three men have set themselves on fire in recent weeks by way of protest. One of them Plamen Goranov has since become a symbol of the fight against the political system, after carrying out his desperate act in front of the City Hall of Varna in north eastern Bulgaria. He remains in hospital, and has a lot of support, with many Bulgarians replacing their online profile picture with that of a flame.
On the 20th February the government finally tendered its resignation ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for May, but this has failed to quell anger in Bulgaria. The protests continue with demonstrators demanding electoral reform but more than anything the nationalization of Bulgaria’s highly monopolized electricity and gas distribution market.
USA: Visual effects workers protest online to protect their jobs
Visual effects professionals in the US have been protesting online, launching ‘the Green Spring’ movement in reference to the famous green screen used to produce special effects for movies. The aim is to denounce the precarious employment conditions within the industry and more generally speak out against the scant financial benefits they receive despite the crucial role they play in the Hollywood machine.
And it would seem the movement is gaining momentum. Many web users have been showing their support on social networks by replacing their profile picture with the movement’s logo, a small green square, or they have joined this Facebook group, which has over 66 000 members. And Twitter users have been posting under the hashtag #VFX solidarity, sharing their concerns over the future of the special effects industry.
Visual effects workers have been posting photomontages online showing what films would look like without their input, to illustrate the importance of their work and special effects within the film industry…
And although the majority of campaigning has been online, industry professionals have also taken to the streets to make their voices heard, with demonstrations across the US; a rally was staged in Los Angeles on the 24th February, during the Academy Awards. And also in Texas as we can see here, with campaigners voicing support for a movement that’s showing no signs of waning.
Wikipedia to deliver articles via text messages
It will soon be possible to receive Wikipedia articles via text message. Yes, the online collaborative encyclopedia is currently developing a project which will allow you to request specific articles and have them delivered to your mobile phone. You do not need Internet to access this service which is primarily geared towards users in developing markets. This new project joins another effort called Wikipedia Zero, a text only version of the full website, also aimed at bridging the digital divide.
Celebrities without eyebrows
Photomontages of well-known faces, living or dead, without their eyebrows: with the aptly-named and somewhat offbeat “Celebs without eyebrows” blog, you are in for a few surprises and a lot of laughs…
Video of the day
Ravi, the man in this video, can solve the Rubik’s cube, whilst juggling! An impressive and original exploit that you can check out from start to finish on all good video sharing platforms.