Today on the net, survivors of the Asiana Airlines crash share their stories online. Children in Brazil learning English by correcting celebrities’ tweets. And Google is hiring hikers to improve its Street View mapping service.
San Francisco plane crash survivors tell their stories
"Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal". This message was posted online by David Eun after being evacuated from the Boeing 777 operated by South Korean airline Asiana which crashed upon landing at San Francisco airport on Saturday. The passenger who is an executive at electronics giant Samsung then published a series of additional messages, reassuring his friends and family.
And other passengers on board the flight from Shanghai via Seoul were also quick to share accounts of the crash on social networks. Xu Da, a Chinese national who was sitting at the back of the aircraft thinks it’s a miracle he’s alive. The senior manager for online retail site Taobao has posted on the Sina Weibo platform saying the plane seemed to be flying far too low as it came in to land. He goes on to describe feeling a strong impact and hearing a deafening noise, before realizing that there was a gaping hole behind him, where the kitchen used to be.
There were 141 Chinese passengers on board, including a group of 30 or so High School students and their teacher about to embark on a language exchange trip in the US. According to reports from local media, two school girls from this group were killed in the accident: many Chinese web users have since paid their respect on the victims’ social network pages.
Brazilian kids correct mistakes in celebrities’ tweets
It’s not uncommon to see celebrities make some pretty big spelling or grammatical errors in messages they post on social networks. It’s definitely something Red Balloon, a leading English school for children in Brazil, has picked up on. It recently launched a somewhat original educational program which consists of getting kids to correct the mistakes made by their favourite celebrities.
As the project coordinator explains in this promotional video, despite having a major influence over children the world over, countless English speaking stars don’t pay enough attention to their spelling when publishing messages online: pretty poor, obvious, mistakes that young fans, particularly those who are just starting to learn English, go on to copy unaware of any error.
And so to combat this phenomenon, Brazilian school children are scrutinizing social networks looking for errors made by the rich and famous. And the online spelling police have certainly got their work cut out; the school has already sent dozens of messages via its Twitter account, alerting the celebrities, including the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga to their mistakes. The corrections usually come with a picture if the little boy or girl who spotted the slip-up.
Texas death row inmates’ last words archived online
Since 1982, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, in the US, has been archiving its death row inmates’ last words, and making them available online, for all to see… the initiative has been met with widespread condemnation from opponents of the death penalty, but as the New York Times explains is proving somewhat successful as at least 3 million web users visited the page last year alone.
Google recruits Street View mapping volunteers
Google is looking for hikers and adventurous people to help extend its Street View service, and help map the world’s not so easily accessible areas. The program is called “Trekker” and is asking tourism boards, NGOs and also individuals to pitch locations for future journeys. Those selected will be given a backpack complete with a camera device that can take 360° panoramic views; the same technology which was in fact used to capture the landscapes and map America’s Grand Canyon.
Video of the day
What’s in and what out in 2013? This graphic animation, made by French agency 2factory, sets out to answer that very question. The tongue in cheek video tells us for example it’s more fashionable to eat horsemeat than beef, that bicycles are currently trendier than scooters and that if you want to be really with it, then best opt op for slow food as opposed to fast food.