17 May 2011

The news this morning...

A 20-year old Australian man fell from a 7-storied building in Brisbane while trying out a social media fad called "planking".

For those physically aged over 30 (and mentally, over 3), "planking" involves lying face down with arms to the sides, in a straight line - preferrably in an unusual public place; photographing it; and posting it on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.

Apparently, it's to do with the pressures of today's online "reputation economy" on young people - or at least, that's the local Deputy Police Commissioner's take on the situation.

Anyway, the Brisbane Planking Association (I'm not kidding) vows that they will "absolutely not" stop. The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, weighed in by urging plankers to learn the difference between "a harmless bit of fun ... and taking a risk with your life". And this morning, the incident was front-page news on the Reuters website.


In other tragi-comic news from around the world... The United States has hit its debt limit. Congress will now have to decide whether (rather, when) it will raise the national debt ceiling (or the debt burden carried by citizens and taxpayers) from $14.3 trillion. This is only the 11th time they will be doing so since 2001.

Meanwhile the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has decided that the Libyian leader and his son must be punished for authorising the killing of civilians. Hours later, NATO jets continued to pound the capital city - presumably, causing no harm to civilians - er, I mean collateral damage.

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