Police Brutality Vs Technology

TECHNOLOGY - For years social activists and people who had been on the receiving end of police brutality have been pushing for an end to unprovoked police attacks.

But these days civilians are increasingly being given the tools to put a stop to these attacks.

And they come in the form of video recorders on cellphones.

Lets take for example the Polish immigrant Robert Dziekański who was tasered to death by RCMP in an airport in Vancouver, Canada. The RCMP tasered him FIVE times (only once is necessary) while subduing him. Since then critics have said the police were "trigger-happy" and that they should be charged with manslaughter in the death of the immigrant, who though confused, was not resisting arrest.

And this is just one example of many. Increasingly cellphones are being used to not only catch police brutality in action, but convicting corrupt police officers of attacking harmless civilians.

Two others things:

Its not just cellphones either. Security cameras and even police video cameras are also catching police in the act.

Plus its not just police getting caught on video. Its regular scumbag criminals that are getting caught on video. A shooting on a subway? In a crowded bar? In the club district? Chances are likely somebody already has their cellphone video camera already running, or at the very least handy.

Lastly, and this is perhaps the biggest thing, we also have websites like YouTube that allow people to share these videos with the rest of the world.

In the 1990s people still had handheld video cameras, but they lacked the means to share those videos with the world. With YouTube and other video sharing sites now they can the video with everyone.

And the police? Maybe now they will practice what they preach.

Alex Grey paints Obama

ART HISTORY - American artist Alex Grey, who creates Visionary Art, has made a portrait of Barack Obama. Check out his other work below.

Michelle Obama's Fashion Frenzy

FASHION - Fashion designers from all over the world are clambering to establish themselves as Michelle-Obama-esque.

Michelle Obama doesn't attend fashion shows, but she is all over the runways in New York, Paris, London and Madrid. Some of the most established and renowned names in American fashion – Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren – are all out to woo Michelle.

The Obama influence is enormous. Unlike Hollywood celebrities, Michelle Obama cannot be bought. She selects, purchases and wears what she likes. Every garment she wears is scrutinized, carefully copied and sets off a new fashion trend.

And its not just the fashion designers. Runways are now booking Michelle Obama look-a-likes as models.

Despite being the designer of past White House administrations, Oscar de la Renta has so far not found favour with Mrs. Obama. In his Fall 2009 collection he hired more black models than usual and, with the soulful Marvin Gaye on the soundtrack, seems to be making a direct appeal to Michelle Obama and her fans.

Francisco Costa, a designer at Calvin Klein, is doing something similar. In his new Fall collection he focused on modernity and clarity, hallmarks of the new Washington gang. Likewise the soundtrack at Tommy Hilfiger's show was lyrics from the Soul II Soul song – Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now – summed up the designer's take on the American recession.

In the United States Ralph Lauren, the designer of quintessential Americana, stuck to his upper-crust look with patchwork tweeds, rich velvets, sumptuous Mongolian lamb coats, a hint of equestrian with soft jodhpur pants and lots of antique cream colours. Lauren evidently has ignored the recession and is sticking to the tried and true.

Fashion designers are survivors. They know that tough times will weed out the competition and the wise ones will be the ones left standing.

Even Tyra Banks has jumped on the Michelle Obama fashion bandwagon, seen right.

Obama invites Michaëlle Jean to USA

POLITICS - During his recent trip to Canada, Obama discussed Haiti with Canada's governor general Michaëlle Jean (who was born in Haiti) and even invited her to visit Washington DC in the United States.

American aides to the president who briefed the travelling White House reporters en route back to Washington Thursday said Obama and the Governor General exchanged "views about how we could be helpful to the government there in dealing with economic and social issues."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was NOT invited to visit Washington, perhaps suggesting Obama's trip to Canada did not go as well as he hoped.

Harper gave Obama a chilly response during the president's visit to Ottawa, refusing to agree to cut back on greenhouse gases but agreeing only to a dialogue on the subject. Years ago Stephen Harper claimed in a Conservative Party newsletter that global warming is a scam and that climate change is a hoax. Stephen Harper has since flip flopped repeatedly on the issue and refused to set caps on greenhouse gases because most of his political party's funding comes from the Alberta oil industry.

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