Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fun with maps

By Christopher B. Daly 

Here are two maps that don’t just sit there. Both are interactive, so have a great time with them.

Here’s a gorgeous medieval map from “Future Tense,” via Slate. It shows the North Atlantic as envisioned by Scandinavian navigators who had to venture out there in small wooden boats. No wonder they saw monsters.

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Here’s one from the Smithsonian that lets you superimpose a map of New York City from 1836 over one from today (or vice-versa).

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 6.30.40 PM

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The Surveillance State, cont.

 

By Christopher B. Daly

imgres3Although most of the stories about the NSA and the rise of the Surveillance State are individually demoralizing, I guess it is a good thing that there are so many of them. Many thanks to the NYTimes, the Guardian, WaPo, ProPublica, and everyone else who is helping to move the ball down the field.

Some recent coverage and comments:

–The Guardian calls on private engineers to “take back the Internet.” Can that even be done?

ProPublica and the Times drop the latest bomb from Edward Snowden.

–A physicist serving in the House (how often do you get to type a phrase like that?) proposes a bill to ban the practice.

–Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper turns media critic, telling us that all these revelations are “not news.” (Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.)

Plus, more:

 

 

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New AP book of Vietnam War photos

By Christopher B. Daly

Thanks to The Associated Press, there’s a new book of news photographs from the American war in Vietnam that will remind us of all the chaos, confusion, heroism, beauty, and tragedy of those years — as seen through the eyes of AP photographers and correspondents.

From today’s preview in the NYTimes:

Now, amid a flurry of anniversary commemorations of that tumultuous era and a surge of interest in war photography, The A.P. has, for the first time, culled its estimated 25,000 Vietnam photographs and reprinted some 250 in a book, “Vietnam: The Real War,” with an introduction by Pete Hamill, to be published by Abrams on Oct. 1.

Chuck Zoeller, the agency’s manager of special projects, said the dozens of rarely seen photographs in this collection include color plates of United States prisoners of war in a Hanoi prison in 1972 and historical images from the French colonial period. There is a photo of President John F. Kennedy in Florida, reviewing a commando unit back from action as early as 1962. And there are troubling scenes: Vietcong prisoners being kicked and subjected to water torture by South Vietnamese troops. A Vietnamese family of four, dead on a blanket, killed in a stampede as panicked refugees fled the advancing North Vietnamese in 1975.

Several of the most powerful photos from the era appear in my 2012 book, Covering America, because they not only documented the news but in several cases they also made news. They were that powerful. I am thinking of Mal Browne’s photo of a Buddhist monk burning himself to death in 1963 or the photo of the “napalm girl” in 1972 by Nick Ut. 

Here’s another heart-breaking photo from the new compilation, taken by the AP’s photo editor in Vietnam, Horst Faas (who died last year, as did Browne):

A Vietnamese farmer holds the body of his dead child while a group of South Vietnamese soldiers looks on.  Photo: Horst Faas.

A Vietnamese farmer holds the body of his dead child while a group of South Vietnamese soldiers looks on.
Photo: Horst Faas.

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Bezos to Post: “Don’t be boring!”

By Christopher B. Daly 

This seems like good news: Jeff Bezos, the new owner of The Washington Post, went into the lions’ den to greet the news staff and came out a hero. By the Post’s own account, Bezos made a hit during his day of meetings.

Among his thoughts:

–“Don’t be boring.” (Good advice for a newspaper, but too often honored in the breach.)

–“What has been happening over the last several years can’t continue to happen,” he said. “If every year we cut the newsroom a little more and a little more and a little more, we know where that ends.”

— “All businesses need to be forever young.. . ”

The Bezos visit caused an explosion on Twitter, including many posts by Posties. See #bezospalooza

Is this man ready for the Style section?  Post photo

Is this man ready for the Style section?
Post photo

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