Raw video : In a series of highly coordinated attacks stretching from Sydney and Sao Paulo, to Paris, London and New York, thousands of feather-headed individuals engaged in violent laughter across the globe Saturday.
In Raleigh, the telltale sound -- thwap, giggle, thwap, giggle -- filled the air as a "flash mob" of close to 200 people descended on Moore Square, where they smashed and bashed each other for an hour in celebration of World Pillow Fight Day.
"I've run with the bulls in Spain and done Oktoberfest in Germany, and this sounded like another way to have fun with random people," said Wade Horne, 27, who works for American Airlines, as he balanced a foam pillow on his head.
"Especially nowadays you need stress relief," said Haley deLuca, a 23-year-old N.C. State student. "I can't think of a better way than having a pillow fight."
Combining slumber party silliness with the Internet's power to create instant networks of strangers, World Pillow Fight Day reflects the rise of flash mob culture. Here's how it works: Someone or a group of people an event. These have included silent dance parties, where people meet at a designated spot to dance to the music on their iPods, and freeze parties, where people gather in a public space and become statues for 10 minutes.
Or pillow fights.
Word is spread over the Internet, through Facebook and other social networking sites. On the big day, mobs of like-minded strangers gather in a flash. "I told my friends on Facebook, who told their friends, who told their friends," said Eric Calhoun, a 31-year-old Durham resident. "So much entertainment in our culture is a commodity, something you have to buy. This is free, spontaneous, populist and fun."
At the stroke of 3 in Moore Square on Saturday, someone yelled "pillow fight," sparking a series of foamy attacks. Tish McDonald, 46, was particularly prepared. First she unleashed a handcrafted pillow - "It has a handle" - to slash her way through the throbbing circle. She had less success with her specially designed nunchuks. "They were very effective, but require a lot of training," she said. "I mostly hit myself in the head with them."
Twelve-year-old Andrew Kintzele was one of the few youngsters in the crowd dominated by 20-somethings. His size was a definite advantage, as he delivered devastating blows to the waists of countless adult. On the other hand, he also caught many blows to the face.
David Olivares, a 23-year-old member of the Army stationed at Fort Bragg said his military training did not come into play. "It's a pillow fight, so really you have to rely more on common sense than technique," he said. "I like the fact that no one put rocks in their pillows."
As the battle wore on, the casualties mounted, forcing winded hipsters to leave the circle to catch their breaths.
"That's the beauty of it," Calhoun said as he lay on his back in the warm sun, his head now resting on his weapon. "When you get tired,
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