Web Happenings: 9th August 2012

As you know, there is a lot on the net.  Every week, I’ll bring you a round up of the interesting things I have come across on this insane, invaluable web.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.”

Fred Rogers

  • Coke does great marketing… and asks you to see the world a little differently?


  • It frightens me sometimes how much we depend on media conglomerates for our knowledge of the world. This article on Foreign Policy caught my eye, claiming the two big arab news stations, Al Jazeera and Al Arabia’s bias towards the Syrian rebels was damaging their credibility. Now I am not inclined to believe it completely as FP seems to be a more conservative leaning institution with perhaps, something to gain from discrediting alternative views. It does raise the age old question though, of who do you trust with news…and how, in situations like Syria, do you make sure your information is accurate and correct when journalists aren’t able to access all the information on the ground? Do the usual journo rules apply?


Or take affirmations, those cheery slogans intended to lift the user’s mood by repeating them: “I am a lovable person!” “My life is filled with joy!” Psychologists at the University of Waterloo concluded that such statements make people with low self-esteem feel worse — not least because telling yourself you’re lovable is liable to provoke the grouchy internal counterargument that, really, you’re not.


The woman has won eight Olympic medals. Eight. She’s a champion of epic proportions and has just qualified for her fourth Games. And yet everyone is sitting around saying she doesn’t ‘look’ like a champion swimmer? Surely the point should be that she swims like a champion swimmer. 


“The Chinese team came to the Olympics like a professional gambler arriving for a casual weekend of mah-jong, then trying to go home with everyone’s money.”

Four years after China whipped itself into a lather to host the most boffo Olympics imaginable, China seems, these days, a bit startled to discover that anyone is bothering to try hosting the Games again. Even so, the opening ceremony won its share of Chinese fans who, unsurprisingly, watched the affair with one eye on themselves.


  • Long read: Living with Voices…an intriguing read that reminds us how little we know about the amazing organ we depend on so much: the brain.

Hans used to be overwhelmed by the voices. He heard them for hours, yelling at him, cursing him, telling him he should be dragged off into the forest and tortured and left to die. The most difficult things to grasp about the voices people with psychotic illness hear are how loud and insistent they are, and how hard it is to function in a world where no one else can hear them. It’s not like wearing an iPod. It’s like being surrounded by a gang of bullies. You feel horrible, crazy, because the voices are real to no one else, yet also strangely special, and they wrap you like a cocoon. Hans found it impossible to concentrate on everyday things. He sat in his room and hid. But then the voices went away for good.


  • Easily one of my favourite videos. Humbling…the view from the International Space Station at night.  Puts our insignificance into perspective…




  • This is Now project is a visual composition which uses real-time updates from the ever popular Instagram application based on users geo-tag locations. The tool streams photos instantly as soon as they are uploaded on Instagram and captures a cities movement, in a fluid story.