Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
Found in my letterbox today; false hope?
NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS | ENERGY
Illustrations through Google Images, (Graphic from
The number of nuclear power plants on this globe is growing, like in China 13 are in production but 37 plants are being built. This will bring China close to France, which has 58; Japan has 54, including the Fukushima nuclear powerplant.
The United States have the largest number of nuclear plants: 104.
But if one considers the density of nuclear power plants and ignores country borders (radioactive clouds will do too), West-Europe has the highest density: 130. Not counting Russia.
Worldwide there are 442.
[Vrij Nederland (NL) 19Mar2011, quotes www.iaea.org as source.]
TRUTH IN MEDIA | BOOKS
It is particularly striking that, during the 1950s, as both the PR industry and the cold-war apparatus of propaganda took off in the United States, there was a loud chorus of concern. This is when Vance Packard published The Hidden Persuaders, warning that 'Americans have become the most manipulated people outside the Iron Curtain'.
EYECURIOUS | REMARKABLE WEBSITE
An interesting website I stumbled upon.
'EYEcurious' is a blog written by Marc Feustel about photography and all things related.
SAFETY OF NUCLEAR POWER
Future discussion about use and safety of nuclear power will be greatly influenced by these events.
LANDSCAPES WITHOUT MEMORY - JOAN FONTCUBERTA | ART
In the FOAM photography gallery in Amsterdam the exhibition 'Landscapes without Memory' was on display 26Nov10 - 27Feb11.
In 'Landscapes without Memory', Fontcuberta has co-opted a piece of computer software originally designed for military or scientific use in rendering 3-dimensional images of landscapes.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 - KURT VONNEGUT | BOOKS
Kurt Vonnegut was captured and survived the firestorm in which 135,000 German civilians perished, more than the number of deaths in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined
EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI BRING DISASTER TO JAPAN | NEWS
The earthquake caused considerable damage, the tsunami too with a huge deathtoll. Forces of such magnitude boggles the mind. At this time we await on the consequences to disrupted and damaged nuclear reactors.
The world holds it breath and prays for relief; our sympathy is with the hard-hit Japanese people.
Photo: BBC News
THE FRY CHRONICLES - an autobiography| BOOKS
What I knew of Mr Stephen Fry was limited to the roles he played in the Blackadder series (Lord Melchett, later as General Melchett), the Kingdom series, playing country lawyer Peter Kingdom and episodes of A Bit of Fry & Laurie, with Hugh Laurie. More recent his role as quizmaster in QI and Stephen Fry in America where he drives in a London cab through all 50 states of the United States.
This is actually the second autobiography, an earlier episode of his life was detailed in 'Moab is my Washpot'; I haven't read that one yet.
This autobiography covers the decade or so after he'd done his shameful late-teen jail stint for credit-card theft, and made it, despite his appetites, his addiction, his self-admitted 'slyness', to Cambridge University.
Note with its 'Contents': all chapters start with a 'C' and there are a lot of them. Just a funny detail in these Chronicles!
BECK | CRIME DRAMA
Martin Beck is a fictional Swedish police detective who is the main character in a series of ten novels by Sjöwall and Wahlöö, collectively titled The Story of a Crime. The stories are often seen largely from his perspective and are frequently referred to as the Martin Beck stories.
Throughout the novels, he goes from being an unhappily married man and father to two young teenagers, to a divorced man in an unmarried relationship. Beck also gets several promotions, seemingly much to the chagrin of everyone involved, including himself. In the novels he is a tall man who smokes. In The Abominable Man he is shot and severely wounded.
All of the novels have been produced as movies, although some appeared with different titles and three have been filmed outside Sweden. In the movies, the first actor to play Martin Beck was Keve Hjelm in 1967. Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt also portrayed Beck in 1976. In 1993 and 1994, Gösta Ekman played the character in six movies based on the novels, as of 1997 Martin Beck is played by Peter Haber.
The most notable actor (to American audiences) to play Martin Beck abroad was Walter Matthau, who in 1973 played him in the movie called The Laughing Policeman, though his character was called 'Jake Martin'.
Martin Beck has also been played by Jan Decleir and Derek Jacobi. Roseanna is the only novel that has been filmed twice.
Peter Alexander Haber (born December 12, 1952 in Stockholm) is a ´Swedish actor. He grew up in Södertälje and in Remscheid, Germany. In 1987 he was hired by the Stockholm City Theatre where he was active until 1994.
The most famous roles that Haber has played are the father Rudolf in the series Sune, Carl Hamilton in "Fiendens fiende" (Enemy's Enemy) and Martin Beck from 1997–2010. Haber has been married since 1990 to the actor Lena T. Hansson.
CANON EOS 7D | PHOTOGRAPHY
A few months ago I was considering replacing my EOS 50D with the 60D; things turned out differently: I bought the EOS 7D.
The photos of the Tony Joe White gig were made with the EOS 7D, shot with ISO 3200. And some of the videos shown on YouTube of this gig were filmed with the 7D. I found the camera, with the batterypack attached, quite heavy to hold steady, but the quality was satisfactorily; I then fell back on my Canon SX20 IS for more relaxed filming (another advantage was the unfolding viewing screen).
Anyway, I am pleased with the EOS 7D, so here is some info on it.
European Advanced SLR Camera 2010-2011: Canon EOS 7D
During extensive development, Canon went back to the drawing board, listening to photographers worldwide in order to design the EOS 7D to meet their specific needs. Incorporating a 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, the EOS 7D also features Dual DIGIC 4 processors to offer fast, high-quality performance in all light conditions, an ISO range expandable to 12,800 and continuous shooting at 8 frames per second – without the need for additional accessories.
Commenting on the Canon EOS 7D the EISA judging panel said: “Thanks to its new 19 cross-type AF points, its extremely high ISO settings and a burst mode that allows up to eight frames to be captured in one second, the Canon EOS 7D is the natural choice when it comes to photographing action and sport. The camera uses Canon’s powerful DIGIC 4 processor and an 18-million-pixel APS-C CMOS sensor, which combine to deliver high-quality still pictures and Full HD 1080p movie capture. Though moderately priced, the EOS 7D has a rugged magnesium alloy body shell, is environmentally sealed, and offers a bright, 1x magnification, 100% viewfinder.”
TONY JOE WHITE | MUSIC
Tony Joe White in 'De Boerderij', Zoetermeer (NL) 16Feb2011
Tony Joe White (b. July 23, 1943, Oak Grove, Louisiana) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his 1969 hit 'Polk Salad Annie'; 'Rainy Night in Georgia', which he wrote but was firstly made popular by Brook Benton in 1970; and 'Steamy Windows', a hit for Tina Turner in 1989. 'Polk Salad Annie' was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.
Tony Joe White was born one of seven children and raised on a cotton farm near the small town of Oak Grove, Louisiana. When Tony Joe was 16, Charles, the oldest of the White children, brought home a Lightnin' Hopkins album and started teaching blues guitar to his younger brother.
In 1967, White signed with Monument Records, which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including rock and roll, country and Western, and rhythm and blues. Billy Swan was his producer.
Over the next three years, White released four singles with no commercial success stateside, although 'Soul Francisco' was a hit in France. 'Polk Salad Annie' had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed into the Top Ten by early August, eventually reaching No. 8, becoming White's biggest hit.
Between 1976 and 1983, White released three more albums, each on a different label. Trying to combine his own swamp-rock sound with the popular disco music at the time, the results were not met with success, and White gave up his career as a singer and concentrated on writing songs.
In 1989, White produced Tina Turner's 'Foreign Affair' album. Playing a
variety of instruments on the album, he also wrote four songs, including
the title song and the hit single 'Steamy Windows'. As a result of this he
became managed by Roger Davies, who was Turner's manager at the time, and
he obtained a new contract with Polydor.
In 2000, Hip-O Records released 'One Hot July' in the U.S., giving White his first new major-label domestic release in 17 years. The critically acclaimed 'The Beginning' appeared on Swamp Records in 2001, followed by 'Heroines', featuring several duets with female vocalists including Jessi Colter, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Michelle White.
White's album entitled 'Uncovered' was released in September 2006 and
featured collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Eric Clapton,
and J. J. Cale.
Source of the above mostly found on:
WINNERS GALLERY 2011 | World Press Photo of the Year 2010
IRENE HUSS ¦ CRIME DRAMA
Like many contemporary Swedish crime writers, such as Henning Mankell, Helene Tursten concocts police procedurals that address social issues. Naturally, there's a murder mystery and plenty of careful, routine police work, but that's just the simple path; all around, the landscape is rustling with societal tensions.
Irene Huss, Tursten's eponymous protagonist, is a 40-something wife,
mother, cop, detective and judo expert. She doesn't shy away from the harsh
realities of her job, but neither does she exactly embrace them. She is an
ordinary person with loved ones, her job isn't something she does because
she's tough or obsessed. She's a cop, not a crusader, and she just wants to
improve her world a little bit at a time.
I also quite like how Huss and her associates in the Violent Crimes
division of the Göteborg Police Department convene for work meetings in
rather unglamorous, cramped quarters of their head office.
Helene Tursten (b.1954, in Gothenburg) is a Swedish writer of crime fiction. The main character in her stories is Detective Inspector Irene Huss. Before becoming an author, Tursten worked as a nurse and then a dentist, but was forced to leave due to illness. During her illness she worked as a translator of medical articles.
W. EUGENE SMITH ¦ PHOTOGRAPHY
Today I had the pleasure of visiting the FOAM Gallry in Amsterdam; the main exhibition of the three they had on display was -in my view- the one by W. Eugene Smith, 'More Real Than Reality'.
The gallery provided a booklet and I quote some of the writing by Enrica Viganò:
Smith' photography in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's permeates involvement. His social documentary for Life magazine, his photography with Magnum Photos, all bring out emotions.
THE FACE OF TOMORROW ¦ REMARKABLE WEBSITE
Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Vondel Park 2004.07.18
What is the face of London, New York, Paris? What does a Londoner, a New Yorker, a Parisian look like?
The Face of Tomorrow is a concept for a series of photographs that addresses the effects of globalization on identity.
The Face of Tomorrow attempts to find this face by taking photographs of the current inhabitants and compositing their faces to create a typical face. What we get is a new person - a mix of all the people in that city. A face that doesn't exist right now, but a face, it seems, of someone quite real the Face of Tomorrow...
FLESHMARKET CLOSE by IAN RANKIN ¦ BOOKS
This was the first book I read by Ian Rankin. I'd seen the tv-series Rebus and liked the stories, fine acting by John Hannah and Ken Stott. In a secondhand bookshop on Vancouver Island I bought a number of fairly recent Ian Rankin crime stories, this one was the first I read.
Fleshmarket Close is a 2004 crime novel by Ian Rankin, and is named after a real close off Cockburn Street, Edinburgh. It is the fifteenth of the Inspector Rebus novels.
AELTJE VAN UYLENBURGH by REMBRANDT ¦ PAINTINGS
Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh, aged 62 (1632).
This portrait was on display as part of the exhibition 'Made in Holland', highlights of a collection of Eijk and Rose-Marie de Mol van Otterloo; 44 Old Dutch masterpieces. A wonderful collection.
EDDY VAN WESSEL ¦ PHOTOGRAPHY
'WAR, my personal story', is a photo exhibition (11Dec2010-06Mar2011) of Eddy van Wessel's work in Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan - showing the horror in the aftermath of wars of recent years. Death, destruction and despair preserved for history by Eddy's fine photography and courage to get to the scene of 'crime'.
The photos were on display in the catacombs of Woerden's Castle (near Utrecht), which has been converted to a cultural centre and includes a fine dining restaurant.
US DIRTY DEALINGS ¦ OPINION
CUTS AND BRUISES IN DUTCH POLITICS ¦ OPINION
Like in many countries the government in the Netherlands is applying cuts in spending. While a military re-entry in Afghanistan is being considered (having withdrawn only a few months ago), the government budget cuts seem to focus mainly on education, culture and care in its widest shape and form.
The (minority) government in power consist of 2 parties, one of which was severely beaten at the last elections, punished for its previous spell in power. The Prime Minister Mark Rutte is hell-bend on getting his targets but also on a tight lease by the PVV party, a special construction to keep the VVD and CDA parties governing.
The PVV head honcho is Geert Wilders, who has surrounded himself by people who appear regularly in the media with character flaws or have kept stum about convictions in their pasts. The party has made a name for themselves using one-liners befitting ill-informed citizens or punching their 'primary emotions' button.
I have the distinct impression the Dutch government also condones more violence towards anyone upholding the law or their political course (career?).
Below article describes (in Dutch, but the photo speaks a universal laguage) how the riot police took action on a demonstration protesting against cuts in th education budget; newspaper articles later described how most who were arrested needed to be released and only 7 remained appeared for the magistrate for having thrown stones and THROWING FENCES DOWN... Phewww!
An aspiring, and inspired, journalist/reporter went to the frontline and recorded on JAN. 21st:
Rop Gonggrijp also knows about dealings with the law. Coincidentally he wrote the following a few days ago:
"There’s this article in the dutch press today which covers a provincial candidate for the PVV (the party of Geert Wilders). He’s a cop (or maybe ex-cop, the article doesn’t say) who in 2003 got a fine for beating a suspect that was already in handcuffs. But it’s not that fact that bothers me enough to blog about it. It’s the explanation by the PVV member of national parliament, himself a long-time ex-cop, charged with helping to select the candidates:
MP André Elissen, who helped select the candidates, calls it 'a small incident'. “In the current day and age, this would be handled with a stern talking to. In that time, a police officer wasn’t allowed to do anything.“
Never mind these people’s opinions. They might be fine upstanding citizens (although I’m guessing we probably disagree on some pretty fundamental issues). I just mostly wonder if it’s true what’s said here. Are we really at the point where dutch cops can beat suspects in handcuffs and risk nothing but maybe a stern talking to? So it’s like what? Getting donuts for yourself only? Coming to work late? Not properly filling out some form? Leaving the headlights on again?
Sign o' the Times? God help us.
DUTCH WORDS THAT LEFT THEIR MARK ON AMERICAN ENGLISH | HISTORY
Waffle- a crisp cake made of pancake batter baked in a waffle iron, eaten hot with butter or molasses.
From Dutch WAFEL meaning a light, flat pastry with a diamond-shaped pattern, adopted in the 17th or 18th century. The Dutch pastry name WAFEL is derived from WEVEN ('to weave') and related to German Wabe ('honeycomb').
Sea Bass, any of the fishes of the family Serranidae, esspecially the black sea bass, found along the Atlantic Coast. Probably from the Dutch ZEEBAARS, adopted in the 17th or 18th century.
Span, a pair of horses, mules, or other animals usually matched in looks and action, and driven together. From Dutch SPAN, meaning ' two or more yoked draft animals', adopted in 17th or 18th century and still in use.
Burgomaster, the chief magistrate of a town. From Dutch BURGEMEESTER, meaning ' chief magistrate of a town'; borrowed in 17th century and now a historical term.
Bush, woods. From Dutch BOS (or older BOSCH), meaning woods, forest. Borrowed in the 17th century. Bushwick was originally named Boswijck, until it was transferred to the English in 1664. Flatbush was Vlak-bosch in Dutch (meaning level forest).
Canal, from Dutch KANAAL, meaning 'channel, artificial watercourse, irrigation ditch'.
Stoop, a porch, platform, entrance stairway, or a small varanda at a house door. From Dutch STOEP, previously 'stone steps at the entrance of a house', adopted in the 17th century and still in use.
Bakery, a place where baked products are made and sold, a bake-house or baker's shop. Probably from Dutch BAKKERIJ, meaning Baker's Shop. The British English counterpart is Baker's Shop.
Dollar, from Dutch DALER, adopted in 17th century. The Dutch coin DAALDER
(formerly Daler) is derived from Low German name daler, which in turn is
derived from High German Thaler, a shortened form of Joachimst(h)aler - a
coin minted from silver from the mine in Joachimsthal (present-day Jachymov
in north Bohemia in the Czech Republic).
In 2011, while visiting Scotland, I came across a Daaler coin, check HERE..
NEWS REPORTING EFFECTED BY CORPORATE TAKEOVERS
News is now a product, a business where commercial rules apply: maxium output, fast turnover, against minimal costs.
This resulted in cuts in staff, less time to find stories, less time to check facts, collapse of old supply lines, the rise of PR and wire agencies as an inherently inadequate substitute, truth-telling collapsing into high-speed processing...
The American media critic Ben Bagdikian has traced the corporate takeover in the United States.
In 1997, he wrote about the corporations producing America's newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books and films: 'With each passing year... the number of controlling firms in all these media has shrunk: from 50 corporations in 1984 to 26 in 1987, followed by 23 in 1990, and then as the borders between the different media began to blur, to less than 20 in 1993. In 1996 the number of media corporations with dominant power in society is closer to 10.'
By 2004 he found, the US media were dominated by just 5 companies: Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany and Viacom.
These coporations have imposed their grocers' logic on the profession. According to the Newspaper Association of America, the number of people employed in the industry there fell by 18% between 1990 and 2004.
Source: FLAT EARTH NEWS -by Nick Davies
The Netherlands these days, see a greater division between the 'HAVES' &'HAVE-NOTS'
FUNDAMENTEN VAN DE STAD (Dutch) ¦ BOOK
The book is a compilation of columns written by Ad Tissink for the newspaper Het Parool (published in The Netherlands, largely focusses on Amsterdam).
This book is all about building on very soggy soil. Amsterdam is built on a material as solid as pea soup, really.
I never realized so many piles were driven into the gound while building and expanding Amsterdam over the centuries. And in such variety. Truly a science and some may even say: a scientific form of art!
Consider this: the Royal Palace on the Dam alone has been built on 13.658 piles!
The old piles were made of wood and that's still good material (if they remain under water), but these days they are also made to order of various materials suited to the task. Concrete can be poured or injected, for all sorts of tasks. Viruses and bacteria play a role. The piles can be hammered in but besides big bangs there are also ways to hammer them 'quietly', or press them down, or rotate them...
And the specialised jobs that go with this work is amazing too.
Truly an interesting book, though it may only be available in Dutch.
RECOMMENDED WEBSITE ¦ PHOTOGRAPHY
STREETS OF THE WORLD ¦ TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
Streets of the World by Jeroen Swolfs:
"For the first time in history it is possible to visit all countries in the world in a free, transparent and fast way. It's possible; therefor I want to see and do it. I want to find out what the world looks like in our time. How far have we come, how much are we alike and how different are we. I want to meet the people from my time. To capture a small part, but a part indeed of their lives.
Today mankind as a species is more connected than ever. The very serious problems we face today are global. Climate change, worldwide poverty and terrorism are not regional problems, but the shared problems of a divided world.
Modern information networks such as television and the internet make the problems of someone on the other side of the world our own, whether we like it or not.
This is why I think it is time for a project that shows the world as one world. By taking photos and making films in the streets of the world, in all the capitals of the world, I hope to be able to make a comparison between those streets.
The combination of these streets will create a portrait of what our world looks like today. A positive look on what humanity looks like at the beginning of the 21st century. All countries. Thus making visible what humanity is."
Jeroen Swolfs: www.streetsoftheworld.com/about_me
WAR ON DRUGS ¦ OPINION
Heroin is not a poison.
Contrary to popular belief, pure heroin, properly handled , is a benign drug.
In the words of a 1965 New York study by Dr Richard Brotman: 'Medical knowledge has long since laid to rest the myth that opiates observably harm the body.' Contrary to popular belief, it is rather difficult to kill yourself with heroin: the gap between a therapeutic and a fatal dose is far wider than it is, for example, with paracetamol. It is addictive - and that is a good reason not to use it - but its most notable side effect on the physical, mental and moral condition of its users is constipation. The truth is that all of its illness and misery and death which are associated with heroin are, in fact, the effects not of the drug itself but of the black market on which it is sold. as a result of this war against drugs.
Black-market heroin becomes poisonous and dangerous because unsrcupulous dealers cut it with all kinds of pollutants to increase their profit. Black-market addicts contract diseases, because they use dirty injecting equipment. Black-market users overdose accidentally, because they have no idea of the purity of the batch they are using. Black-market addicts are thin, not because the drug makes them thin, but because they have to give all their money to dealers. Black-market addicts commit crime, not because the drug makes them immoral, but because they have no other way to fund their habit.
For decades, pharmaceutical heroin was prescribed by doctors to patients who had become addicted after operations, particularly soldiers who had undergone battlefield surgery. They spent years on a legal supply: it did them no damage, and they led healthy, fruitful lives. Enid Bagnold, for example, who wrote National Velvet, was prescribed it after a hip operation and then spent twelve years injecting up to 350mg a day. Enid - as far as history records - never mugged a single person or sold her body in the streets, but died quietly in bed at the age of ninety-one.
Until the American prohibitionists closed him down in the 1920s, Dr Willis Butler ran a famous clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana, for some of these 'therapeuric addicts'. Among his patients, he included four doctors, two church ministers, two retired judges, an attorney, an architect, a newspaper editor, a musician from the symphony orchestra, a printer, two glass blowers and the mother of the commissioner of police. None of them showed any ill effect from the years which they spent on Dr Butler's prescriptions. And, as Dr Butler later recalled: 'I never found one we could give an overdose to, even if we had wanted to. I saw one man take twelve grains intravenously at one time. He stood up and said, "There, that's just fine," and went on about his business.'
The truth about the prohibition of heroin is that it creates the very problems which it pretends to solve: causing the sickness and death which it claims to be preventing; provoking the crime and disorder which it wants to stop.
Flat Earth News / Nick Davies; a fascinating book on news being widely accepted as the truth, until someone actually checks & verifies it.
>>Prohibition is business<< -Al Capone
NOT WITHOUT COMFORT ¦ PERSONAL
It is like the sun never existed.
RECOMMENDED WEBSITE ¦ PHOTOGRAPHY
Came across this remarkable website, with excellent social documentary by Daniel Rosenthal; his photography shows huge commitment and involvement.
Daniel was born in 1973, in Wiesbaden (Germany).
I am a huge fan of Wikipedia, in spite of the cynical reactions one may hear when quoting from Wikipedia.
Every year Wikipedia has to pass the hat for fund-raising, to continue its existence. It offers a huge amount of information, all the work is done by volunteers. Still, funding is required of course.
RICH HALL | COMEDY
Saw the rudely funny Rich Hall on the BBC a few nights ago: Rich Hall with Special Guests Otis Lee Crenshaw (his alter ego, see above!) and the Honky Tonk A**holes in “Hell No I Ain’t Happy”: absolutely HILARIOUS!!!
Rich Hall (b. 10Jun54) is an American stand-up comedian, writer, playwright and occasional musician, notably known as a regular guest on British panel shows. He currently lives in London with his wife Karen and their daughter, Dixie Rae.
Outside his homeland, Hall has also achieved popularity in the United Kingdom, where he has lived on-and-off for twenty-three years. He spends part of his time during the off-seasons writing plays in the United States where he has a small ranch just outside Livingston, Montana. The rest of the time is spent in London, where he owns a flat. Hall is a guest on popular BBC panel quiz shows, most notably as a regular guest on QI.
BILLY COLLINS | BOOKS
It´s only a cold, cloud-hooded weekday
And I am inside my own head
And to think that just hours ago
And to think further that I have no idea
Was it when the dog
Ignorance - Nine Horses