Google’s China Filter Defeated by Typos

Many of us on the web are aware of Google’s censorship deal with the Chinese Communist Party. The computerized censorship is defeated, however by poor spelling. A misspelled query for “Tienamen Square” will bring up some pictures of tanks, and a search for “Falan Gong” will bring up many stories about the human rights abuses suffered by practitioners of Falun Gong in China.

Will the holes in Google’s filters remain unplugged?

Theater for Change

Young actors are telling their stories of life on the street through a theater program called Cobblestone, a performance troupe out of Mixed Company Theater in Toronto. The program, 12 years running, regularly auditions street youth for the opportunity to work with an award winning playwright, Rex Devrell. Together they develop narritives based on real life stories and explore important issues that face street youth.

Deverell is providing the young actors with a place to be heard and the chance to explain the circumstances that brought them to the streets in the first place. In letting the kids know that they are not ignored and are worthwhile the program builds self esteem and has helped street youth get back on their feet. Many kids have gone on to find new jobs and a safe place to live after their experiences with the company.

Cobblestone is acting as a venue for social change while also setting the stage for community awareness. Combine that with the entertaining and interactive nature of their latest production entitled “Voices” and you’ve got one amazing accomplishment in the Toronto theater community.

Voices will have 2 public performances in Toronto on February 9th and 10th @ 8pm at the Alchemy Theater (133 Tecumseth St, 416 515 8080)

Matter Contained by Light

You read the headline right, light has been used to hold matter in one place. UK scientists demonstrated that this is possible using nanometer sized beads and lasers, but the matter can only be formed in 2D. The big step in this experiment is that no electro-magnetic forces were used to accompany the lasers.

The lead scientist said, “For most physicists, the idea of materials held together by light is still foreign.” Next he wants to assemble matter in 3D using light.

Nettwerk says NO to RIAA

Nettwerk Music Group has decided to defend a 15-year-old girl from the Recording Industry Association of America. The teen has been sued by the RIAA for downloading a variety of songs, including one aptly titled “Download this song.”

In a press release from Nettwerk, the CEO said “Suing music fans is not the solution, it’s the problem.”

Good for Nettwerk, a company based in Vancouver, for defending our ability to listen to songs that they want us to listen to.

Camp Sizanani

Camp Sizanani

Camp Sizanani is a special place. Located near Johannesburg, South Africa, Sizanani provides children affected with HIV/AIDS a place to escape, to grow, and most importantly, to be kids. Sizanani offers campers the opportunity to swim, dance, test their creativity in Arts & Crafts, and play a variety of sports. The camp also hosts a unique program that teaches campers a variety of life skills, such as nutrition, hygiene, healthy sexuality, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

Sizanani is a Zulu word meaning “help each other.” The camp is part of a non-profit corporation called World Camps, which aims to “provide a camp experience for children affected by HIV/AIDS in developing countries and to change prevailing attitudes and behaviors towards AIDS.” Sizanani is one of several initiatives planned by World Camps.

Boys and girls attend Camp Sizanani for separate ten day sessions. There are six sessions held each year. Typically, the camp can accomodate 110 children (ranging in age from 10-15 years old). It draws many of its campers from Soweto, and is staffed both by local folks and international volunteers.

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