In this edition: the death toll for the Syrian conflict now thought to top 136,000; music videos without music go viral; and new footage of Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall.
SYRIA DEATH TOLL TOPS 136 000
In a statement posted to its website this weekend, UK based NGO the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that 136,227 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since the beginning of the unrest in March 2011.
Three years of violence and bloodshed that has reportedly claimed 53,000 lives from forces loyal to the Bashar al-Assad regime, whereas the number of rebels and jihadists that joined the ranks of the opposition stands at around 32,000.
The number of civilians killed since the start of the Syrian Civil war is estimated at around 48,000. Innocent victims, including says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 7,372 children and 4,920 women.
Indeed as Human Rights Watch explains, civilians have often found themselves on the frontline and are victims of apparent collective punishments ordered by the Syrian regime. The NGO has released this statement on its website, stating that between July 2012 and July 2013, government troops wiped at least seven residential neighborhoods in Hama and the Damascus suburbs off the map to punish residents for supporting the rebellion. The NGO also reports that the demolitions were carried out with no prior warning and thousands of people lost their homes and have been forced to leave.
A ROUNDUP OF THE CRAZIEST THINGS TSA FOUND IN 2013
1813 firearms, 81 % of which were loaded, knives, replica or actual grenades and a vest worn for bomb disposal training that strangely resembles the type of vest worn by a suicide bomber … these are just some of the items confiscated by agents from the US Transportation Security Administration in 2013. The TSA has documented all these astonishing finds collected in 205 airports across the country on its blog.
MUSIC VIDEOS WITHOUT MUSIC GO VIRAL
There's a new somewhat wacky trend on YouTube... it involves removing the musical backing tracks from well-known music videos and replacing it with odd noises. Here's the latest creation; it's the Jamiroquai hit "Virtual Insanity" edited by Austrian sound engineer Mario Wienerroither.
The craze began back in September 2012 with this parody of the global mega hit "Gangnam Style" by Korean artist Psy… the take-off was produced by Mikolaj Gakowski, a Brit who goes under the online pseudonym "moto2h" and proved massively popular: the video has racked up over 21 million views on YouTube.
And it would seem the concept has inspired countless other web users… YouTuber "No music video" for example has put together a rather zany version of Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines” to make fun of the singer whose video has been widely criticized for being sexist, and the object of countless parodies.
And when you take away the soundtrack from the Ylvis hit “What does the Fox say ?”, well the results are pretty disturbing… check out it out on the “Dmarch2” YouTube channel.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
American pop star Katy Perry made Twitter history on Tuesday when she became the first person ever with more than 50 million followers. The 29 year old singer has dethroned Justin Bieber as the most popular celebrity on the microblogging site, he has a little over 49 million followers and is just ahead of the US president Barack Obama who has some 41 million Twitter followers.
HOW MUCH TIME HAVE YOU WASTED ON FACEBOOK?
To mark Facebook's 10th birthday on the 4th of February, "Time Magazine" has created a tool to calculate just how much of your life you have wasted on the social network. You just have to log into your account via the tool, type in how long you spend on Facebook every day and the application will then look at your feed and work out how many days of your life you have devoted to the social network.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
On October 14 2012, skydiver Felix Baumgartner became the person to break the sound barrier without mechanical help. His jump from space received massive media coverage with footage widely circulated online. A new video of his extraordinary feat has just been released on the web, showing what Baumgartner saw on his record breaking descent. The video is available to view on the YouTube channel of camera makers GoPro, official sponsor’s of the Austrian daredevil.