February 9, 2009

Obama promotes stimulus in first presser

Per CNN, President Barack Obama used his first prime-time address Monday "to make the case for his economic stimulus plan, saying this is not your 'run-of-the-mill recession.'"

Twitter was overloaded with 1,217 tweets containing the word "Obama" within the last hour, as #obama trended straight to No. 1 as a result of the address. That's an average of one tweet every three seconds.

Reaction was mixed, though the vast majority of tweets seemed to praise his performance. Here's a compilation of Twitter reaction just moments after his address concluded:

@funkeyflashback (Virginia Beach, Va.): Obama did his thing on the News conference

@jayoaks (Wheaton, Ill.): Press Conference final thoughts: Congress needs to pass the damn thing, and Obama's against steroids. Who knew?

@thekiwanian (Tucson, Az.): I enjoyed the presser, but personally I'm still optimistic... I'd like to see how this all ends up in late 2010 or so. #Obama

@camaguire (Washington, D.C.): I adore seeing DC locations on 24. Even though I heart Obama, I will miss the Bushisms.

@Galedawg (Madison, Wisc.): I am SO relieved to have Obama as President

@LisaGemini (Near Tampa, Fla.): Wow, I can't believe some reporter asked a question about A-Rod during the Obama conference. Who the hell cares? Ppl are out of work!

Some were critical of the address.

@MacGuges (Rochester, N.Y.): How depressing: http://tinyurl.com/bu6tjl Honestly, I didn't think Obama would disappoint me so quickly.

@kyleslattery (Bethlehem): Wasn't Obama's whole thing "hope instead of fear"? Then why's he trying to scare people into passing the stimulus bill?

@peterkay made this observation.

@peterkay (Honolulu, Hawaii) First time I used twitter search with (pound)Obama to watch what was going on. very cool. twitter: immediacy vs. Goog: archival


Paris bracing for severe storm

Per BBC News, Paris is making preparations for a severe winter storm with winds expected up to 75mph / 120kmph. Both of the city's airports have been closed as a precaution. The Guardian website also has this story.

Are you affected by the storm? Did your flight get canceled? Are you stranded at Charles de Gaul or Orly airports? Let us know! @breakingtweets

@FRANCE24 FRANCE: Storm shuts Paris airports: Paris airports have issued a storm warning .. tinyurl.com/aq6g3n The France24 English-language website has more information and a video report.

@marklin90210 (Paris, France) Storm in Paris, bike on its hook as thursday!

@MaJiKer Il faut du vent a Paris ce soir... in fact, BLUSTERY is the word. (It's windy in Paris this evening...)

@regebro (Paris, France) Storming in Paris tonight.

@Sir_William (Paris, France) so there should be a storm over Paris tonight. it's already quite windy.

@ervan (Paris, France):je pense que je vais mettre le scoot au garage ce soir ^^ ca serait bête qu'il tombe avec le vent (I think I'll put the scooter in the garage tonight ^ ^ It would be stupid to fall with the wind)

@lamar70 (Paris, France):getting ready to face nature's wrath: winds up to 130 km / h in Paris!


Dalai Lama account fake

His Holiness is not on Twitter after all. Just two hours ago, Twitter employee @caroline offered the following statement: "everyone who's wondering why @ohhdl was suspended. the official ohhdl in dharamsala, india informed us that @ohhdl is an impersonator. sorry"

The Dalai Lama account had amassed thousands of followers and plenty of buzz prior to its takedown, including a number of articles internationally about it such as this one by AFP.

The suspension of the account generated a significant response today.

@mikedunn (Bristol, U.K.): Can't even begin to imagine the terrible karma that'll befall whoever was impersonating the Dalai Lama.

@heartbreakingal (Pune, India): @RaviKapoor That's hardly surprising. The Dalai Lama is a monk; probably never used a computer let alone Twitter!

@sarahlane (San Francisco, Calif.): That Dalai Lama (@OHHDL) Twitter account was fake? Come on people, you do not impersonate His Holiness! Ever! What's wrong w you?

@shres (Mumbai, India): The Dalai Lama appears on Twitter, gets 15000+ followers in a day and vanishes the next day. @ohhdl seems to be an impersonator account.


Australia fires: Media sources

The death toll from devastating wildfires in Australia has risen to at least 135. Here is a roundup of where to find the latest information online from Australian news sources:

@SkyNewsAust is tweeting the latest fire risks town by town. The Sky News website also has video on demand available.

@abcnews is tweeting bush fire news headlines.
The ABC website is covering this story in full, with an interactive map; photographs and dramatic video clips sent by viewers. The ABC website rounds out its coverage with a list of the most threatening fires and details of where lives were lost.

The Australian newspaper has comprehensive coverage of this ongoing story, including a personal account of escaping the fires; an extensive pop-up audio gallery; and correspondent Caroline Overington is twittering her work @overingtonc. You can also follow her blog here.

@theage is tweeting the fires story too. The Age website has all the latest stories including a comprehensive picture gallery with photographs submitted by readers.

@melheraldsun is new to twitter and haven't posted many updates. But The Melbourne Herald Sun online presence is more comprehensive, with a news video gallery; and messages of support sent in by website readers.

The Sydney Morning Herald doesn't seem to have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon yet, but has an interesting story about using new technology to find victims of the fires.

@vicfires (Victoria, Australia) is keeping on top of numerous twitter feeds including news, donations and comments.

And here's a sample of what Australian twitterers are saying about the fires, tweeting information about how to donate and help out, and showing concern for friends and family who might be caught in the bushfires.

@cfavolunteer: Is at Churchill fire flare up with South Australian crews. And Churchill fire. Thomsons road. twitpic.com/1egss

@suzypow (Leichhardt, New South Wales): Pretty devastated about the loss of life in Victoria

@coomernis (Sydney, Australia): VICTORIA. Over 7000 people lost their houses but are the happiest in the world as kept their lives

@hintswen (Keilor): RT @MelbTwestival Getting excited for #Twestival this Thursday http://melbourne.twestival.... Money going to Red Cross #Bushfire Appeal

@troyschirmer (Australia) RT @RebeccaLange :Save grocery shopping till Friday. Coles 2 donate ALL profit 13 Feb to Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund. Tell Friends

@kluublog (Melbourne, Australia) Some crazy idiot, threw a cig butt out of his window and could've caused a fire that took 2 lives. What an idiot!!

@sassycupcakes (Melbourne, Australia): I'll be up at Whittlesea CFA taking calls and helping out tomorrow, so all you lucky followers will be free of my insane twittering. : )


Female bomber kills 28 in Sri Lanka

Per London Times, A female suicide bomber has killed at least 28 people and wounded 90 more in Sri Lanka. It happened in a town recently captured from the Tamil Tigers by the Sri Lankan army. The woman had apparently mixed with a group of people fleeing the fighting and was being frisked for weapons when she blew herself up.

Al Jazeera English has a video report on the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka, and has breaking news tweets @AJEnglish

@thej (Bangalore, India): I was here L:9.158756,79.438491; day before yesterday..

@prsn (Hyderabad, India): @thej Never knew that it was just less than 12kms to Sri Lanka from there. Amazing!

Not many tweets with personal experiences of the incident, probably because few people have access to the internet or a computer, and in a conflict zone they've got better things to do than get online and blog. But the story is getting extensive coverage in traditional media, using Twitter to tell the story.

@AJEnglishBomber 'kills Sri Lanka civilians': A female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber has killed sev.. tinyurl.com/cm9ewr

@dw_world Over 20 killed in Sri Lanka suicide attack tinyurl.com/b954qt

@cbcworldnews 28 die in Sri Lanka suicide bombing: military tinyurl.com/djetqf

@noticias24 Al menos 28 muertos deja atentado suicida en Sri lanka tinyurl.com/d7hewy (At least 28 dead after a suicide attack in Sri Lanka)

The BBC website has a story to add context and background to today's bombing. The article includes a list of recent atrocities in Sri Lanka and a map of the conflict zone.


Bomb explodes In Madrid

Per BBC News, A van packed with explosive has detonated near a conference center in eastern Madrid. It happened early Monday morning after the Basque separatist group ETA phoned in a warning to the Spanish Red Cross. No casualties have been reported.

@el_pais Spanish newspaper El Pais is on twitter and tweeting breaking news from the bombing. The El Pais website also has photos and video of the aftermath.

@joduba (Geneva, Switzerland): Social Media is more effective than traditional one, just learned via Twiiter of a boom blast in Madrid! What a crazy world!!!!

@loogic (Spain): mal día para venir a Madrid tinyurl.com/crvw68 (Bad day to come to Madrid)

@gabriellaopaz (Terrassa, Spain): Van exploded at 9am in Madrid in the same area where FITUR was held. http://bit.ly/3jxQNK

@mistercaceres (Caseres, Spain): Ferrovial, objetivo de ETA: Ferrovial, empresa frente a cuya sede en Madrid la banda terrorista ETA ha hecho est... tinyurl.com/daxsvc (Ferrovial [Spanish national railways], ETA's target: Ferrovial's Madrid headquarters has been...)

@rrey (Salamanca, Spain): Menudo susto me ha pegado esta mañana un amigo que trabaja por la zona del atentado... ¡nunca despertéis a nadie con un sms de bomba! (A friend of mine works in the area where the bomb struck this morning. Never wake anyone up with an SMS bomb!)

@ionantolin (Madrid, Spain): Viendo las fotos del coche-bomba en Flickr. (Looking at the pictures of the car bomb on Flickr)

@vitoptah: Mi sobrino "el periodista" me ha llamado a mi móvi,l después de su clase, para contarme el atentado del coche bomba en Madrid (My nephew, the journalist, called me after class to tell me about the car bomb in Madrid)


A Day in Cairo

Ever wonder what life is like in another city? Here's a collection of interesting tweets from Cairo, Egypt, on Sun., Feb. 8, 2009:

@alaa: can hear the jazz band playing at the downstairs restaurant. in the morning I could hear the church choir. sundays are very musical here.

@embee: heading out to battle cairo traffic

@andrewheiss: Reading about Nasser, Khomeini, and Saddam--standard stuff, nothing too new or exciting

@diptychal: New AUC campus is amazing at night. There's fresh air!

@anmarmansur: Google employees are so noisy it's become impossible to work in an office on the same floor as theirs.

@bobilicious: Is back in mighty Cairo. 27 degrees at 10pm. Crazy traffic. Welcomed noisiness. Just feels like home. Scary thoughts.