Today on the net, government critics in Thailand are calling for a "Thai Spring"; an American website has accused the mayor of Toronto, Canada, of smoking crack; and a video journey across Peru and Bolivia.
Government critics call for a "Thai Spring"
The speech has rekindled political tensions in Thailand: when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra spoke at a democracy forum in Mongolia last month, she defended her brother Thaksin’s time in office, saying the military coup that overthrew him back in 2006 was a step backwards for democracy in Thailand.
There have been lively reactions online from her political opponents. A petition has been started on the site Change.org condemning her remarks, pointing out that Thaksin Shinawatra was forced from power amid strong suspicions of corruption. The document also claims he still runs the country, from where he is living in exile; and calls for a “Thai spring” and popular uprising to challenge the legitimacy of the current government.
This appeal was launched on Friday by two conservatives with close ties to the Thai royalist “yellow shirts” movement and has already been signed by over 20 000 web users: activists that are also urging supporters to take to social networks to voice their frustrations.
According to this blogger from the site Asian Correspondent, a new political battle may well be on the cards, as the political split is as strong as ever and thousands of “red shirt” protesters gathered in Bangkok on Friday. The demonstration was organized to mark the third anniversary of the army’s bloody crackdown on mass anti-government protests staged by supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra who at that time represented the opposition.
Toronto mayor accused of smoking crack
Does Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, Canada, smoke crack? Well, the editor at American website Gawker says there may well be video proof. The footage was apparently filmed with a hidden camera by one of Ford’s dealers, and has been seen by two other journalists who have confirmed what appears to be the mayor inhaling from what appears to be a crack pipe.
And so the site Gawker is now on a quest for truth and has launched an appeal for online donations. The aim is to raise 200,000 dollars to buy the film from the owners of the footage before releasing it on sharing sites. And fundraising is going well, 73,000 dollars has been raised in just a few days.
And although the man himself has strongly and quickly denied the allegations, saying they are quite simply ridiculous, a lot of web users think it could explain Rob Ford’s odd behaviour. Taiwanese animation studio NMA for example has produced this satirical video which reminds viewers the mayor of Toronto is known for his sudden mood swings and his incoherent ramblings during public appearances, so it may come as no surprise if he is indeed a drug user.
Now trending on social networks
News that Yahoo is buying Tumblr for over 1 billion dollars has not gone down well with users of the blogging platform who fear it will soon become inundated with ads and lose its audience, as was the case with photo sharing site Flickr, which was purchased by Yahoo in 2005 and has been ailing ever since. Tumblr users have been posting all sorts of messages to social networks voicing their opposition to this new acquisition.
Ventus Project: mapping the world’s thermal power plants
Global warming researchers at Arizona State University have turned their attention to thermal power plants across the world. But as many countries offer little official information on the subject, they have launched a crowdsourcing initiative asking web users to share any information they have on power plants including location, fuel type and CO2 emissions. It is presented as game to make it more fun but it will be used as part of a serious scientific study on climate change.
Video of the day
This stop-motion video by Piotr Wancerz, documents a three week trip across Peru and Bolivia. A magnificent clip was produced from the 12,000 or so photos taken along the way, showcasing the beautiful landscapes and riches on offer in these two South American countries.