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The Weird Wide Web: the week in online oddities

The internet’s best offerings in social media, tech, science and weird news.

WELCOME TO THE Weird Wide Web – where we take a look at some of the internet’s best offerings in social media, tech, science and weird news.

Felix Baumgarter’s freefall

The Austrian skydiver jumped from a helium balloon in the stratosphere, launching himself into free fall from the record height of 39,045 metres. And became the first human being to break the sound barrier.

Check it out.


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The Onion does TED

Oh-so-well.


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Facebook dating

We all know that Facebook has created loads of new ways to make your life difficult but it really takes the cake when it comes to ruining your love life. New research has shown that exposure to social networking sites increases the potential to complicate romantic relationships, magnifying emotions like jealousy and leading to greater “surveillance behaviours” (more affectionately known as ‘Facebook stalking’).

Nowadays, you can’t casually get into a relationship – or get out of one – without everyone and their cat knowing about it. And, just to twist the knife a little more, continued contact with ex-lovers on social media means you don’t move on as easily, hang onto past hurts, and basically boil over with rage every time you see a particular person’s face popping up on your newsfeed. Buzzfeed has the low-down.

Image by birgerking/Flickr

But it’s not just dating…

… as we noted, above, Facebook has a habit of making all areas of your life problematic.

Check the About Me section of your profile – is it completely filled out? If not, you might start to notice a ‘profile completion metre’ popping up, chastising you into completing it. Mashable points out that this is one way of potentially improve ad-targeting, which is true but quite apart from the obvious point: it’s a complete pain in the *** to do.

Twit Lit

Twitter will host an online fiction festival from 28 November to 2 December.

Twitter’s blog stated:

Twitter is a place to tell stories. Often those stories are about news, or politics, or perhaps sports or music, but it turns out Twitter is a great place for telling fictional stories, too.

So, the five-day Twitter Fiction Festival (#twitterfiction) will take place at the end of November to feature creative experiments in storytelling from authors around the world “pushing the bounds of what’s possible with Twitter content”.

So start thinking! If you’d like to take part in the Twitter Fiction Festival, submit your idea to Twitter.

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