March 2, 2009

Sri Lankan cricket team attacked in Pakistan

Per Al Jazeera, "At least five Pakistan policemen have been killed and up to eight Sri Lankan cricket players wounded by armed men in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, sources tell Al Jazeera."

The first Pakistani tweets about the incident used strong language.

@omairzahid (Lahore, Pakistan): Whatever integrity that Pakistan had remaining (however small) has vanished in another display of mindless violence

@taalz (Lahore, Pakistan): Its the end of Cricket in Pakistan

@plusones (Lahore, Pakistan): SO IT BEGINS. Also: Poor Pakistani Cricket team. being shot at is never fun. :C

@asimzeeshan provided additional context based on what he was hearing in the city.

@asimzeeshan (Lahore, Pakistan): At least 6 siri lankan cricket team players have been injured in intense firing from unknown young gangsters in mumbai-style backpacks

One twitterer had a theory on who was behind the attack.

@madil (Lahore, Pakistan): i believe this attack on srilankan team will have some links with india

Some in India were also quick to react to the news.

@vevck (Bangalore, India): Its time 4 international community to control Pakistan, before these maniacs go out of control. Hope nothing serious wit the Lankans

@b50 (Bombay, India): Man, I pity the ordinary Pakistani citizens out there, to see their country implode and their leaders completely weak and useless

@rustedshri (Chennai, India): I wonder what that douche bag of Pakistani Foreign Minister will now say. Who the hell will they blame this attack on? #pakistan #srilanka


New asteroid dropped by to say "Good Morning"

Per National Geographic, Asteroid 2009 DD45, discovered only days ago, buzzed between earth and the moon this morning at 8:44 a.m. Eastern Time. The asteroid was only 41,010 miles above earth, but only sky-watchers from Asia, Australia and the Pacific were able to see it.

Timothy Sphar, the director of International Astronomical Union, said in an email to National Geographic that asteroids like this pass close to earth all the time and this is a normal occurrence.

The Twitterverse was alight with comments:

jcsimonds: (Reno, Nevada) @slipdown " issued alert (about asteroid near miss)." I can just hear it now: "Today there will b a near apocalypse"

yokamo: (Pacific) An asteroid the size of a 10-story building flew past Earth today about twice the distance as the highest Earth-orbiting satellites,,,wow

isko: (Hellsinki, Finland) WOW!!! this kinda puts things into perspective: "Surprise Asteroid Makes Near-Miss of Earth"

garyobrien: (Charlotte, North Carolina) Crikey! Did we almost get hit by an asteroid?

syael1339: I'm blaming the asteroid for the snow .... and for Rush Limbaugh.

NicoleLewis: Anyone know what time the asteroid will be passing us? Armageddon here we come


EU rejects rescue plan for Eastern Europe

Per Irish Times, the European Union rejected a plan to financially bail out Eastern Europe which is experiencing an economic crisis of vast proportions. EU leader, Germany's Angela Merkel, rejected Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurscany's plea to loan 190 billion Euros for aid to the Eastern European Countries, according to the article.

The Twitterverse reacted in a variety of ways.

@eurobird (Fla./Budapest): The break-up of the EU is as of today after meeting of the heads of member states realize: you're on your own, when there is a crisis!

@sotiriskoukios (Alexandroupolis, Greece): after yesterday's EU failure to face the crisis, stocks slumming down...rock n roll guys

@ramobile of Vilnius, Lietuva, Lithuania, retweeted the @sotiriskoukios remark.

A twitterer in the Netherlands tweeted her opinion that there are more important bailouts needed.

@juliettelucie (Utrecht, Netherlands): wonders if after bailing out banks, carmakers, Iceland and Eastern Europe, someone could consider bailing out the climate.

Some twitterers turned to vulgarity, as frustrations continue to mount.

@PaulMac (Britain): Jg: politicians, brainiacs, haven't appreciated problems of resource shortage. Also eastern europe to go to [expletive]

@EverettStuckey: @GregorMacdonald we're so FUBAR we make Japan look like uh... uh... [expletive], there aren't any non-[expletived] countries left

The topic also fueled a discussion among American twitterers of who has it the worst?

@cmcfadden (Minneapolis, Minn.): the economist says that we may be screwed, but eastern europe is extra screwed. What could possibly go wrong?

@ToddSullivan (Westborough, Mass.): @EverettStuckey UK and Eastern Europe are arguably in worse shape


Booze nation: Scotland's drinking crack-down

Per The Scotsman, the Scottish Government has unveiled a new range of proposals to cut down on the problems of alcohol binge drinking in Scotland. The BBC Scotland website reports that measures include minimum prices for alcohol, stopping special offers such as "two for one" on booze, and also raising the minimum age for buying alcohol in liquor stores to 21.

Twitter users have been pouring a drink and sitting down in front of the computer to express their thoughts on the subject:

@bidderb0y (United Kingdom) im wondering, if scotland are goig to set a minimum price per unit alcohol will we see scots booze cruising to england?

@neilcochrane (Glasgow, Scotland) raising the alcohol age to 21 is Scotland? the world's busiest Tesco, coming soon to Carlisle

@savescottishpub (Scotland) There may be progress in stamping down on cheap supermarket alcohol deals -

@kbuk (England) Return to find the Government now wishes to control the price of a drink in Scotland and up the age of consent. Prohibition anyone?

@kbuk Sadly, our liberties continue to be curtailed, even where the government is the cause of the Scots hiding in drink.

@fabulosity1 (London, England) Is impressed that they are taking minimum pricing of alcohol seriously in Scotland! Finally..

@Robie2002 (London, England) what was it we said about freedom & rights at the introduction of the smoking ban

@finlays (Edinburgh, Scotland) It really is time I left the People's Republic of Scotland.

@MatthewEley (London) If minimum pricing goes ahead in Scotland does that mean it is inevitable in the rest of the country?

Fitness magazine Men's Health UK tweets about a Scottish Government plan to use a puppet to teach eight and nine-year-olds about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

@MensHealthUK Rory the puppet is going to save Scotland's kids from the evils of booze. I'll drink to that.

Scottish Psychiatrist David Christmas also notes some other recent statistics on Scotland's drink culture:

@dchristmas (Dundee, Scotland) Cost of alcohol misuse (£2.25 billion per year) is more than 25% of all money spent on the NHS in Scotland.

@dchristmas More alcohol woes in Scotland - alcohol-related hospital discharges up 20% in five years.

And just to paint a more cheerful picture of life in Scotland, here's a great photograph by new Twitter user @ejbluefolds (Glenlivet, Scotland)


Featured TwitPic: Capturing the sunrise in London

Sunrise in London, U.K. - the view from Tower Bridge (Posted by @SummerUK, London, England, March 2, 2009)


Skittles attracts global attention through Twitter

Per Advertising Age, the Web site of popular candy Skittles changed to an overlay of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Wikipedia at least two days ago, but the Twitterverse has just now exploded about it.

The hashtag #Skittles skipped up to No. 1 in trending topics on Twitter as the home page is a Twitter search page displaying "Skittles" results.

The move garnered international attention as it spread virally across Twitter. Here are 12 Skittles tweets from 12 different countries in the last several hours; all of which made an appearance at

@ivodeleeuw (Vianen, Netherlands): Was ik al niet om, dan zorgt dit er zeker voor! zie: - #skittles (Was I not, then this is for sure! see: - # Skittles)

@PeterRosdahl (Sweden): Undrar vilket svenskt företag som blir först med "att göra en Skittles"? Någon som gjort som redan kanske? (Wondering which Swedish company that is first "to make a Skittles"? Someone made that already perhaps?)

@_alext_ (München, Germany): skittles schafft die corporate-website ab. irgendwie schon groß. (Skittles, the corporate website from. somehow been great.

@jameswilson (Sydney, Australia): Oooooo! all of 's homepage is the Twitter Search page!

@kieranreid (Dublin/Roscommon, Ireland): Twitter continues it's march to world domination by using #skittles for one welcome our new Twitter overlords

@derome (Paris, France): Vous avez vu skittles ? marketing 100% social sans filet :) (You saw skittles ? 100% marketing without a net :))

@sidrahhaque (Lahore, Pakistan): 1.5 kg of skittles. you have met your nemesis. we shall see who outlasts the other.

@sylvainkalache (Tianjin, China): OMFG a flying pink Skittles in the sky! :O

@dhsteinberg (Toronto, Canada): Nobody loves Skittles more than me. @iSlutsky, @cliffpeskin and @jerzuk - please confirm.

@crayg (Johannesburg, South Africa): Ate an entire large pizza and a bag of skittles. Feelin' a leetle tender in the stomach-al area.

@newssky (Moscow, Russia): Skittles has changed its entire homepage to a Twitter search - brave! #skittles

@killyourfm (Fresno, Calif., USA): Whoever is behind Skittles' new marketing campaign is genius. Twitter users gain exposure, Skittles gains mindshare.