Today on the net: online reactions to Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East; residents of Tecoma in Australia protest plans to open a fast food restaurant in their town; and Google is now offering virtual visits of the world’s highest mountains.Web reacts to Obama’s Mideast trip
As Barack Obama embarks on a trip to the Middle East, the Israeli embassy in Washington has uploaded this animated video, which looks like it has been made for children, to celebrate the alliance between the two countries. The US president and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a somewhat strained relationship, yet in this video they are depicted as having a great bond, as being the ultimate allies.
Tel-Aviv has indeed described the Israel-US relationship as “unbreakable”, and asked web users to vote for the logo they think best symbolizes the alliance between the two countries.
And the US Embassy in Tel-Aviv is sending out a similar message in this YouTube video featuring Israelis of all ages wishing Barack Obama a very warm welcome.
The American consulate in Jerusalem carried out a similar initiative, producing and releasing a video of a rap song on YouTube, composed and performed by youths from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, saying what they hope the US President’s visit will achieve.
These Palestinian musicians however are critical of Barack Obama’s trip. They have released this song online: sarcastic lyrics, slamming White House opposition to the creation of a Palestinian State.
Australia: McDonald’s not wanted in Melbourne suburbs
It doesn’t look like residents of the small town of Tecoma, in Australia are over keen on hamburgers … the entire community has been campaigning for several months now to stop a new McDonald’s restaurant being built in the Melbourne hills suburb. They have been linking direct action with online activism, notably via the site “Burger Off” which presents their arguments via a series of testimonials, messages of support and videos.
Activists have brought a lot of fun to the movement, last month for example, hundreds of garden gnomes were laid out on the steps of McDonald’s Melbourne headquarters, saying as the fast-food chain’s management refuses to listen to humans they’ve sent in the gnomes instead.
Twitter users have also been busy campaigning and voicing their opposition to the McDonald’s project under the hashtag #burgeroff: they can also check out the “Save Tecoma” thread for all the latest information.
Back in October, the local council rejected pleas to take the battle to the Supreme Court, but this has not deterred opponents of the project, who continue to campaign to stop the fast food chain openings it doors in Tecoma, as construction work is scheduled to start in May.
Google Street View goes to the top of the world
You can now explore Mount Everest without having to brave the cold or the heights, and it’s all thanks to Google Street View. The American giant has taken its cameras to some of the hugest mountains in the world, and added the images to its mapping service. So it’s now possible to go on a risk free virtual visit of Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro, Argentina’s Aconcagua and also Russia’s Mount Elbrus from the comfort of your own.
Now trending on social networks
It’s not always easy telling your parents you are gay. Not everyone has a dad like Nate, who when he overheard his son on the phone to his boyfriend, expressing concerns about coming out to his family, decided to assuage his sons fears by writing him a preemptive note of acceptance, saying “I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve loved you since you were born”. The letter was posted to Facebook last Friday and has since been widely shared online.
Video of the day
Building a 400 long and 59 meter wide container vessel is no mean feat. And you can see why in this video documenting all the stages involved, from the very first hammer blows, to the ship being launched. The time lapse video was produced using photos taken by the Danish company Maersk Line, over a three month period…