"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AS DAZZLING AS YOUR SUBJECTS"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

AFTER THE GAMES ARE OVER: ONE WEEK TILL THE 2014 OLYMPICS

AFTER THE 
CIRCUS 
HAS LEFT TOWN 


"WELCOME TO BEJING OLYMPIC PARK" 
THE SIGN SAYS; 
"SECURITY CHECK" 

The Summer Olympics were held in China in August 2008; the photograph was taken after another major multi-day event, the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China, in October 2012. 

What will become of the Olympic venues for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, due begin this February 7? Vladimir Putin has scheduled the G8 summit for Sochi this June. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

THE CHURCH AT NIGHT

FIGURES IN 
THE SPIRE 


NIGHTTIME LIGHTS 
ON THE 
JAKARTA CATHEDRAL 
JAVA, INDONESIA 

Some diagrammatic representations 
of the Jakarta Cathedral, here 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PUTIN TELLS THE EUROPEAN UNION: HANDS OFF UKRAINE (WOULD BE GOOD)

THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT 
WOULD LIKE TO 
DECLARE UKRAINE 
A NO-GO ZONE 
FOR THE EU 


PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN 

The Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was offering concessions to the Opposition today as Vladimir Putin was having a truncated summit with the European Union (the EU's way of showing its displeasure was to cancel a formal dinner). 

The EU was apparently going to keep going to Ukraine anyway. And Russia may or may not give the $15 billion aid package it promised Yanukovych even if the opposition takes power. It was said that both sides seemed to want to play up the positives. 

Accounts of the Russia-EU summit and the new developments in Ukraine can be found here and here and here and here

Monday, January 27, 2014

NINETY YEARS SINCE LENIN'S BODY WAS FIRST PUT ON DISPLAY

LENIN'S FIRST 
MAUSOLEUM 
ERECTED 
January 27, 1924 


SPECTATORS AT 
VLADIMIR LENIN'S TOMB 
Red Square, Moscow, 1984 

Six days after Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin died on January 21, 1924, his body was placed in a wooden mausoleum on Red Square.  The permanent monument was installed in 1930. Sixty years and some months after Lenin's death, I made my first visit to the USSR, and joined the procession going past the embalmed body; the photograph above was made then, in the summer of 1984. 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, there have been periodic calls to find another burying place for the iconic Soviet leader (Stalin's body, which joined Lenin's after his death in 1953, having been removed long ago now). 

But, instead, in 2012 the mausoleum was closed for a re-do, re-opened the following spring.  And six days ago, pilgrims came to mark the ninetieth anniversary of Lenin's death. 

A vivid diagrammatic sketch of the mausoleum is here; a glimpse of the body and a quick look at the inside of the tomb can be found in a short video, here, with additional information here

A photograph of the former changing of the guards ceremony is here; another view of the mausoleum, here

Sunday, January 26, 2014

JEREMY RIFKIN IS SIXTY-NINE

JEREMY RIFKIN 
b. January 26, 1945 


Published in BUSINESS WEEK 
September 8, 1980, p. 12 

in a review of ENTROPY 
by Jeremy Rifkin with Ted Howard 
Review by Michael G. Sheldrick 
("Watching the world run out of resources") 

Author and activist and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, Rifkin has alternatively been called a "futurist" and a "failed futurist." His website is here, and a list his books, here. A review of his most recent book, The Empathetic Civilization, is here

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

BIG EARS & METADATA

BECAUSE WE CAN? 
II 


MICROWAVE TOWER 
U.S.A. 


BOY OBAMA STATUE 
with butterfly and surveillance camera 
Jakarta, Indonesia 

So it is not legal, and it does not work particularly well (see here and here), but we are continuing it anyway (here): "metadata collection."  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

BORIS BEREZOVSKY WOULD HAVE BEEN SIXTY-EIGHT TODAY

BORIS BEREZOVSKY 
January 23, 1946-March 23, 2013 


pictured at the height of 
his powers in Russia; 
died in exile in the U.K., 
an apparent suicide 

Why did he do it? 

Some contemporaneous reporting on the investigation into his death, including video of his house, here; three long appreciations, here, here, and here

Gone, but still in the courts. A week ago, and almost ten months after his death, the British High Court of Justice granted Aeroflot the right to appeal a case against Berezovsky (here). 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JAMES CARROLL IS SEVENTY AND ONE

JAMES CARROLL 
b. January 22, 1943 


AIR FORCE BRAT 
1960 Graduate 
General H. H. Arnold High School 
Wiesbaden, West Germany 

also 

WRITER 
Fiction and Non-Fiction 

and 
former PRIEST 


James Carroll was in the news recently with a New Yorker profile of Pope Francis ("Who Am I to Judge?"). He also has a column in the Boston Globe ("Sounding the Alarm, Then and Now") on the recently disclosed story of eight anti-war protestors who revealed some of the excesses of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, by means of the burglary of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, back in March 1971. Edward Snowden is the obvious "Now" to the Media burglary eight's "Then." Carroll is alarmed: "While government overreach is partly to blame for privacy-destroying intrusions into the communications of average citizens, so are unbridled new technologies to which citizens have willingly made themselves hostage." 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DEMONSTRATIONS IN KIEV THEN AND NOW

KIEV (KYIV) 
AT A TURNING POINT? 


"DEMONSTRATION" 
KIEV, USSR 
September 1, 1984 

A mass rally for Peace and Knowledge Day (September 1) in Soviet Ukraine:  all the participants were vetted; the leaders and speakers (on the stairs) keep their distance.  The journalists are working in the no-man's land (a kind of dry moat) between the chosen citizens and their leaders. 

An independent Ukraine emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. 

Nine years ago the Orange Revolution toppled the government. 

Two months ago demonstrators took to the street in Kiev again, after President Viktor Yanukovych chose to partner with Russia rather than the European Union. This week there have been violent clashes between protestors and the police.  Legislation severely limiting demonstrations is due to come into force tomorrow. Today the foreign minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, weighed in, protesting against the protesters. 

Reporting and analysis (and photographs and video) can be found here and here and here and here and here and here

Update February 18, 2014: Violence and fire and a meeting of President and Opposition, but no meeting of minds, here

Monday, January 20, 2014

MOON OVER PRAMBANAN

PRAMBANAN 
MOONRISE 


THE MAIN SHIVA TEMPLE 
PRAMBANAN TEMPLE COMPLEX 
ON THE INDONESIAN 
ISLAND OF JAVA 

A World Heritage Site 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

MANY JANIS JOPLINS, ALL THE ORIGINAL

JANIS JOPLIN 
January 19, 1943-October 4, 1970 



JANIS JOPLIN & THE FULL TILT BOOGIE 
 at her last concert, Harvard Stadium, 
Boston, August 12, 1970 

For larger versions of these photographs, and more about Janis, 
see here and here 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PIZARRO FOUNDS LIMA 479 YEARS AGO

FRANCISCO PIZARRO 
FOUNDS THE 
CITY OF THE KINGS 
(now Lima, Peru) 
January 18, 1535 



PIZARRO'S TOMB IN 
THE CATHEDRAL OF 
LIMA, PERU 

The Inscription 



The celebrations have commenced! 

But see also here and especially here

Friday, January 17, 2014

THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF CANADA WANTS A KEYSTONE DECISION, AND HE WANTS IT NOW

JOHN BAIRD 
LAYS IT ON THE LINE 



CANADA WANTS 
TO KNOW  

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, on a trip to Washington, tried to force an answer from the U.S. as to whether it will sign off on a 1,200-mile pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf Coast.  Even when he said a No would be better than No Answer, he could not get the U.S. administration to tip its hand. 

Some reporting and analysis can be found here and here and here

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

MANY EYES ON THE PRIZE: A BEAUTY CONTEST ON JAVA, INDONESIA

BEAUTY & THE MALL 


HOW MANY LENSES? 

Ambarrukmo Mall 
Yogyakarta, Indonesia 


More photographs here 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PETER O'TOOLE GONE ONE MONTH

PETER O'TOOLE 
August 2, 1932-December 14, 2013 


AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB 
Washington, D.C. 
Two decades after Lawrence of Arabia 

Some of the more interesting obituaries and remembrances can be seen here and here and here; a rather different British interview from 1972, with some anecdotes about his beginnings, here; and a Joseph Wambaugh tale from his police days here

Two films of O'Toole's (just to start with) that certainly made politics visual and memorable: Lawrence of Arabia, of course, but Becket very much so also. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

YOU THINK U.S. POLITICS ARE HIGHLY POLARIZED? IN THAILAND THEY ARE TAKING TO THE STREETS AND TALKING OF A COUP

DEMOCRACY 
IN THAILAND 


THAI PRIME MINISTER 
YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA 
ON THE WORLD STAGE 
THE APEC SUMMIT 
Bali, Indonesia 
October 2013 

Is an un-elected people's council more democratic than a democratically elected government? The opposition to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra thinks so, and is trying to force her to resign by filling the streets of Bangkok and attempting to shut the capital down. Today was the first official day of the shutdown action; the story continues. Some reportage and analysis can be found here and here and here

Update January 21, 2014:  A State of Emergency declared; details here


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

THE DECLINE OF THE CITY OF ANGELS?? SOME IN LOS ANGELES APPARENTLY THINK SO

THE SPREAD OF LOS ANGELES 


LOS ANGELES FROM THE AIR, 
WITH MOUNTAINS 

A preliminary report is out, with much more scheduled to come,  from the Los Angeles 2020 Commission. "A Time for Truth" does the handwringing; the hard work of reconciling business and labor and civic leaders' interests -- and the public's? -- is due to be completed in ninety days. Only ninety days. 

See here for some of the specifics of the "grim complaints"; some pushback here and especially here

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ONE HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS SINCE RICHARD NIXON WAS BORN

RICHARD M. NIXON 
January 9, 1913- April 22, 1994 


Speaker of the House of Representatives 
CARL ALBERT (left) and 
President RICHARD NIXON (right
in the White House 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

BEHIND THE CURVE, BUT INTERESTING: VLADIMIR PUTIN PITCHES IN ENGLISH

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN 
MAKES A PITCH FOR 
YEKATERINBURG 



VLADIMIR PUTIN 
 Moscow, March 2000 

Last year Russia made a bid for the 2020 World Expo to be held in Yekaterinburg. To help promote Russia's chances, President Putin made a video appeal in English, which can be seen here (with an HD option).  It is dated June 2013; the photograph above was taken      the day of Putin's first election. 

The website for the Yekaterinburg bid is here

Vladimir Putin said that surely it was time for Russia to host the World Expo, but in November it was announced that Dubai had won instead. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ONE MONTH TO GO TILL THE SOCHI OLYMPICS

LOCATION, LOCATION, 
LOCATION, AND 
SECURITY, SECURITY, 
SECURITY 


INTERIOR OF THE MOTHER RUSSIA 
MEMORIAL TO THE 
BATTLE OF STALINGRAD 
VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA 

The world has had a few years to get used to the fact that Russia's first Winter Olympics was to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, better known for its beaches than its ice skating. It had also not gone unnoticed that Sochi was uncomfortably close to the restive North Caucasus region. 

Just over a week ago, on December 29 and 30, suicide bombers struck not at Sochi but several hundred miles away at the presumably easier target of Volgograd, devastated in the pivotal World War II Battle of Stalingrad. Terror struck first a train station and then a bus, in the run-up and on the road to the Olympics. 

Read more here and here 

Monday, January 6, 2014

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL REVEALS A SKIING ACCIDENT

NOW IT 
HAS BEEN TOLD 


ANGELA MERKEL 
STRIDING 
IN BETTER TIMES 

On the other hand, it is not too bad a time now, given her recently haven been chosen Chancellor of Germany for the third time. But over the Christmas holiday, Chancellor Merkel fell skiing in Switzerland, and apparently thought she was only bruised. Turned out she had fractured her pelvis, a fact revealed finally today.  There are reports here and here and in Der Spiegel in English, here. The German version of Der Spiegel has a much fuller account, here ("Chancellor On Ice"), complete with an anatomical diagram and a map showing the location in Switzerland (here). Some background on "The Making of Angela Merkel" is to be found here

Sunday, January 5, 2014

TIP O'NEILL GONE TWENTY YEARS TODAY

THOMAS P. ("TIP") 
O'NEILL, JR. 
December 9, 1912- 
January 5, 1994 


TIP O'NEILL 
AT HIS CAPE COD HOME 
HARWICH PORT, MASSACHUSETTS 

More on the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, here 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

MANMOHAN SINGH WILL NOT SEEK ANOTHER TERM AS INDIA'S PRIME MINISTER

AFTER TEN YEARS, 
INDIA WILL HAVE A 
NEW PRIME MINISTER 


INDIAN PRIME MINISTER 
2004-2014 (planned) 
MANMOHAN SINGH 
(second from left)  
ON THE WORLD STAGE 

at the Expanded G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 2006, with then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on his right, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on his left, and then Chinese President Hu Jintao to Nazarbayev's left 

A selection of postmortems and appraisals 
here and here and here 

For a time it was "Singh Is King," and then... 

Singh the Placeholder, the loyal former Finance Minister 

Now to make way for Rahul Gandhi -- 

Except the polls do not make this look an auspicious time for the Congress Party Rahul Gandhi is meant to inherit the leadership of  

Friday, January 3, 2014

WHO'S WALKING HERE?

I'M WALKING 
HERE 


NAVIGATING 
THE STREETS OF 
INDONESIA 
JAKARTA 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

XI JINPING'S NEW YEAR WISHES

THE PRESIDENT 
OF CHINA WISHES 
HAPPY NEW YEAR 
TO CHINESE 
AND FRIENDS 
ALL OVER THE WORLD 


XI JINPING 
AT THE APEC SUMMIT 
Bali, October 2013 

The video is here (with the Chinese text) 

The text of the speech is in English here 

An audio only version is here, with English voiceover 

A report on the speech is here 

More Xi Jinping here 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014

WISHING YOU 
AND YOURS 

A MOST 
HAPPY & 
PROSPEROUS 
NEW YEAR