BOJAN'S BLOG

Photographs, words and sounds
Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Mummers

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Mummers were here again. And was it ever cold. In fact, it found the limit of my Zeiss Ikon – the batteries lasted about 20 minutes in sub -20˚C. After that, I was back to my mechanical Yashica Mat 124G, which is not bothered by such trifles as batteries. This was also a chance to try some stand development in Rodinal. This is Arista Premium 400 in 135 format and Tri-X in 120 format, both developed for an hour in 1:100 Rodinal with agitation in the first minute. Not yet sure what I think about the results.

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1312-mummers031And yes, that is a Rob Ford mummer.

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A few from Fogo Island

A forgotten roll in the back of the fridge yielded these from last February…

Life is too busy

This blog here must be feeling abandoned and neglected these days. I am sorry about that. I am feeling that the time is coming to prioritize my life a bit better. I miss photography and I miss writing the kind of stuff peoples actually want to read.

On my computer, there is a folder called “Ideas” and I am realizing that those are actually projects that I care about. So, I will start paying attention to that folder a bit more and you will actually start seeing some more up to date posts.

For now, you will have to live with mummers from this winter’s Mummers Parade.

 

Mummers

A photo from a 2011 St. John’s Mummers Parade and a test post using Blogsy.

 

On Fogo Island

On Fogo Island for next few days with Laurie Brinklow, a fellow islander, publisher, writer, poet and a PhD student at the University of Tasmania. Check out her island adventures!

A post for news junkies

A post for news junkies today.

Check out the newspaper map (h/t Coolhunting) – fascinating stuff combining two things I love: maps and newspapers. Some links are a bit out of date, but still cool.

If you’ve ever felt there is not enough good stuff to read on-line, that’s because you never gave a try to two excellent sources of long form journalism. The first one is longform.org, which constantly updates its offerings with some of the best and, sometimes, weirdest stuff out there. The second one is a bit less dynamic, but not less rich in content: The Best Magazine Articles Ever is a wonderful compilation of some ground breaking magazine writing. Check it out.

And for all of you Canadians who happen to be political junkies as well, poliTwitter.ca brings you all of Canada’s political tweets in one place, constantly updated and helpfully colour coded. Pure political crack.

Tilting on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

Croatian word of the day: narkić junkie [nar ki ch]

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Department of crazy government decisions…

Imagine you are a minister in charge of safety of some 11,000 fishermen working in one of the most dangerous marine environments in the world. You are also in charge of safety of hundreds of people working in offshore oil and gas industry- again, located in one of the most inhospitable marine environments in the world. Let’s put it this way, there is a reason why Titanic hit that iceberg 500km from where I am writing this.

So, as a minister, you are told you need to save $56 million in your entire department of which Coast Guard is only a part. You look at the map and you think to yourself: “I have this dispatch centre in St. John’s. They have the highest number of responses to marine emergencies in the country and are in charge of 30,000 kilometers of shoreline and 900,000 square kilometers of ocean. They have been doing a superb job with, quite frankly, inadequate resources. These are financially difficult times, but these folks have enormous amount of very specific local knowledge. Maybe we could beef that centre up and give them a training role as well. If you need to learn how to respond to an emergency this is the best place in the world to learn that. We might even be able to actually make money here…”

Whoa! Not so fast my friend… This is not some airy-fairy fantasy land, but a world of hard choices and cruel realities. In that world, we need to save $56 million and if an important aspect of marine safety needs to be sacrificed  at the altar of financial responsibility, so be it. It’s just a glorified call centre anyway. Fishermen and offshore workers be damned…

The Globe story is here. Pure incompetence (and some would suggest vindictiveness).

The photograph was made last April as an icebreaker was making a path for Fogo Island ferry on its way to Farewell.

Croatian word of the day: obala coast

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MA classes officially finished

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It’s official. I am done with all of my MA classes and I have passed all of it, too. Miraculously, I even have a half decent average and I might end up with a few academic publications as well – those two things do keep doors opened if I suddenly go insane and decide to continue on to a PhD.

I still have a bit of research to finish and a thesis to write, but that is something I am actually looking forward to. I also have over a year to do that so it’s not exactly that I am feeling a huge pressure or anything.

Even though I am not finished yet, I feel like dispensing a piece of advice. If you are thinking of completing a graduate degree with a young family while working full time and without adequate funding – just don’t. It’s not worth the stress and in the current climate, I am not even sure it’s worth anything in terms of your employability afterwards. Having said that, it IS a fun thing to do and it will make you, almost certainly, better at whatever you do. For example, my MA in geography made me into a better photographer and a better writer. Keep in mind there were other, just as effective ways to do that. I am not regretting the experience, quite the opposite, but I would certainly preferred if the circumstances were a bit different.

As an aside, academic publishing is the biggest racket in publishing industry. No wonder there is a trillion journals out there. They get people who spend years developing particular expertise write unique content for free and than deliver that content and carefully targeted advertising to a perfectly segmented audience- you would need to be a total moron to run an operation like that into the ground.

Ice pans around Fogo Island. The photos was made in late March or early April this year.

Croatian word of the day: izdavaštvo publishing [iz da va sht vo]

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Islanders

Today on the menu are a couple of completely unrelated links about two things I care about: small islands and photography.

While doing some research for my thesis, I stumbled upon this story on Fogo Island and its changing fortunes in Investment Executive. The story is positive and talks about significant investment and some innovative development practices on the island, which are largely driven by Zita Cobb, a local multimillionaire and entrepreneur. However, the opening two paragraphs below hit on just about every stereotype that most none-islanders have about small islands – especially those without resident multimillionaires:

According to the laws of nature — or the uncompromising realities of business (because those are the same, right?)— Fogo Island should be an uninhabited, wind-swept footnote in Canadian history, an example of rurality retreating in an era of relentless urban centralization.

The island is, after all, reachable only by ferry (Umm… yeah — it’s an ISLAND)— a 50-minute voyage from the village of Farewell on the “mainland” of Newfoundland. The ferry ride is just the final stage in a lengthy journey to this isolated corner of Newfoundland’s northeast coast; only the truly dedicated would voluntarily travel the moose-infested highway (really, moose-infested, really?) to reach Fogo’s granite shores.

What bothers me about stories like this is that they play up those stereotypes of small island communities and islanders without actually seeing enormous potential that these relatively closed systems offer in terms of developing alternative approaches to food security, energy, education and training and cultural and heritage industries. They never acknowledge complex skill sets that islanders posses.

On a happier note, here is an interesting video featuring Matt Stuart (h/t to Peter Power), a contemporary British street photographer with a great visual sense of humour.

In the photograph are Newfoundland ponies on Change Islands.

Croatian word of the day: otočani islanders [oto cha ni]

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More mummers

More mummers. I am feeling better and I think blog posting will return back to normal soon.

Croatian word of the day: bolje better [bo ly e]

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Data visualization,

A bit of a warning to regular readers: this is going to be a post for geography geeks, but I think there is more than enough to keep everybody’s interest.

Yesterday, during research presentations grad students give to the faculty before they start their research in ernest, one of the students gave a really interesting presentation on data visualization. Data visualization is a fascinating field because it requires much more than just the ability to perform statistical analysis. It also requires understanding of human psychology and quite thorough understanding of design. So, here are some links that have been collecting digital dust in my “TO BLOG” folder.

First of all here is a presentation Dr. Hans Rosling gave at one of the TED conferences. I am not exactly a fan of TED, but this is really good even if I would argue with some of the interpretations.


You can also visit Dr. Rosling’s website Gapminder to play with the software yourself.

Cartographies of Time sounds like an amazing book. The book looks at the ways people tried to visualize passage of time. Beautiful illustrations.

The next link will take you to a collection of visual stories published throughout the history of Fortune Magazine. I know that the website looks awful, but do follow the links because you will find things like this map of Standard Oil tanker fleet, a diagram of U.S. Public Health Service, and this Margaret Bourke-White’s portfolio on copper production cycle.

Watch (h/t Antonia) a full length documentary (on NFB’s fabulous site) on Marilyn Waring whose work in New Zealand as a politician and social scientist is remarkable. Among other things, she has used a visual method to map the work of women that is often unpaid and unrecognized. If you are in the mood to watch an excellent documentary, make it this one.

And last, but not least, visit Visual Complexity, a site that holds many examples of data visualization.

The photo is of my Change Island hostess who makes the best fish cakes on the planet.

Croatian word of the day: vrijeme time

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Tearsheets

I just got a copy of Research Matters Arts Edition, a Memorial University of Newfoundland publication that profiles researchers in every field imaginable. This time around they used the mummers photo on the cover and it worked rather well. I think the designers played with  the colours a bit. You can see the original photo here.

Croatian word of the day: kultura culture [cool tura]

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Change Islands, Don McCullin, War Photographer

I was sitting at the dining table after breakfast at our hostess’s house on Change Islands and right there in front of me was this photo. I like it a lot because it for some reason says Newfoundland to me.

Two photography movie links today. A photographer I know recently posted a link to the entire War Photographer movie. If you haven’t seen it, it is an exceptional and disturbing film. It is essentially a documentary about photographer James Nachtwey, but there is much more to it than that.

The second link comes courtesy of Fred Lum, a Globe and Mail photographer, who recently posted it on a forum I occasionally check out. It’s a short documentary about photgrapher Don McCullin. He is truly a remarkable human being first and foremost. Just a word of caution: in today’s sterilized media, especially in North America, some of the images and footage are quite disturbing in both films.

Croatian word of the day: zavjesa curtain [za v ye sa]

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St. Patrick’s Day and lowercase letters

This is the store on the corner of Military and Bannerman in St. John’s. Today, it is a chain store, obviously, but, in the past, it seemed to be an important place for those who grew up in St. John’s. The store, which is located on a pretty interesting corner with the Colonial Building and the Government House (official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor) across the street, is better known as a Fountainspray Fountain Spray. I am not quite sure where the name comes from or whether is supposed to be spelled as one word or two words, but several people, when they learned about my corner stores project, asked if I photographed this particular store. So, yes, I did. And if you could share any details about it in the comments, that would be fabulous.

It is (still) St. Patrick’s Day and although I don’t have a single Irish (or religious) bone in my body I’d like to share two St. Patrick related links. The first one comes courtesy of Dave and it traces fascinating history of how we got lowercase letters (apparently, you can thank St. Patrick for that one). The second link will take you to Slate magazine and a collection of beautiful photos from Ireland by Magnum photographers.

[UPDATE] A bit more info on the Fountain Spray store has surfaced thanks to two facebook friends. Dave says it’s definitely “two words — Fountain Spray, so named for the fountain that used to sit in the square in front of Colonial Building. The base of the pool is still there, I think, but it’s covered in plants now. We call the story Rubber Neck’s, for the former owner who would gawk over the counter at young skeets who were likely planning to shoplift.” And Lynn claims that it was THE place to go to for treats, including candied apples.

Croatian word of the day: Irska Ireland [ee r ska]

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Gambo corner store and gas station

Once you leave larger urban centres, it’s common for the local store to serve as a gas station and, in the case of this one in Gambo, Newfoundland, as a liquor store as well. The complete corner store set so far is on flickr.

Croatian word of the day: bljuzga slush [bl you z ga]

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Root cellar, Change Islands, design links

A root cellar on Change Islands, Newfoundland. There is another one here.

A bunch of design links today.

Absolutely stunning covers of eight Penguin Classics developed in partnership with AIDS awareness fund (RED).

Three posters developed for a waxing salon. The funny thing is that when a friend originally posted these on her facebook page I did not clue in that there is more to that particular choice of animals…. My mind just does not work in dirty ways. Sorry.

An interesting blog about design from Australia.

Top ten in custom letters for 2009.

Work of Croatian designer Vladimir Končar.

And Thinking for a Living is a site/magazine about all sorts of things. Check out the different sections on top of the page. Navigation takes a bit of getting used to, but then it seems like the most natural thing in the world.

Croatian word of the day: slovo letter

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Change Islands

Change Islands, Newfoundland.

Croatian word of the day: ograda fence [og ra da]

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Change Islands

Kodak Tri-X in D76. Nothing else is quite like it…

Croatian word of the day: oblak cloud

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[Old Blog] First snow…

Not bad for the first snow of the year: 40 cm (about 16 inches) of white stuff. And this just the beginning… sigh…

This photo was made yesterday afternoon just as the storm started to really get going. I was not the only idiot out there 😉

Croatian word of the day: zima winter

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[Old Blog] More snow, CBC’s How to think about science

It’s snowing outside as I write this, so more snow photos. If I have to suffer through it, so will you 😉

GEOG-4010
Entry 21 – March 13, 2009
Thinking about science

If I got nothing else from this class but the link to CBC’s series of Ideas podcasts How To Think About Science, it would still be worth every second I spent in it.

The conversations with Simon Shaffer and Steven Shapin on origin of what we today consider scientific method were truly fascinating. The idea that science is based on an objective and verifiable evidence is so ingrained in our way of thinking that Shaffer’s and Shapin’s brief historical overview of how we got to the point where science is so dominant a force felt like a cold shower.

The story of Robert Boyle and his quest for the solution to major social, political and religious conflicts of 17th century is one of the greatest historic yarns I ever heard. The fact that he came up with what would any scientist today recognize as a scientific method seems to be almost an accident. His insistence that knowledge can be obtained only through witnessed and repeatable experimentation has dominated scientific world for half a millennia. Paradoxically, in his attempt to isolate the scientist from the society and nature and create a process of producing certain knowledge, he, more than anybody else, seems to have done exactly the opposite, ensuring that knowledge is socially constructed.

Croatian word of the day: znanost science

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[Old Blog] Sheila’s Brush, e-mail spam, connections and maps

Unfortunately, this photo is not from the archives. This is what today (March 21, 2009) looked like outside. In Newfoundland, a snowstorm that comes around St. Patrick’s Day is called Sheila’s Brush. Here is the story as told by a Newfoundlander on another blog:

Quite a time ago (long before he was a saint) Patrick was married to a firey redhead named Sheila. One night Paddy was out drinking with his buddies and left Sheila home alone. Of course, this put the redhead in quite a ‘snit’. When poor drunken Paddy returned home, Sheila took at him with the broom (brush) and stirred up quite a storm…

GEOG-4010
Entry 20 – March 6, 2009
E-mail spam
According to my inbox spammers I need a new job, bigger penis, more orgasms, new partner and don’t need to worry about how I am going to pay for it all because I apparently won a UK lottery and there is a guy in Ghana who got my e-mail through the Human Resources Department at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is about to transfer several millions of dollars to my bank account.

The e-mail spam generated in a place that physically resides on Africa’s west coast, but is in its nature transnational is probably the most annoying throwback of the increasing interconnectedness of individuals across the planet. That interconnectedness has certainly increased dramatically over the last few decades, but the trend started a lot earlier.

Here are three maps. The first one is from 1901 of the Easter Telegraph Co. system and its general connections (h/t to Gizmodo).

The other two are visualization of connection density and city-to-city connections created by Chris Harrison

The maps, all three of them, depict something more than just connections, but also a set of political and economic power relations with most of the world just emerging from the darkness of solitude.

Croatian word of the day:odnos relationship

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[Old Blog] GEOG-4010 Cyborg beetles

I am having trouble juggling my work, class requirements, sick and/or smart, engaging kids, lack of sleep and the things I actually enjoy doing. As always, things I actually enjoy doing, like updating my blog, fell by the wayside. Photography even more so than blogging. No more! There are corner stores to shoot, stories to pursue, projects to work on

Since it snowed briefly today, I am going to post a few more winter photos. May be if I purge my blog folder of winter photos…

GEOG-4010
Entry 18 – March 1, 2009

Cyborg beetles
I was recently making the rounds of my usual cyberspace haunts and stumbled upon the demonstration of a live, but radio controlled beetle [h/t Gizmodo]. Now, not only have machines invaded our bodies, but this idea that we can control another live body through available technology is truly scary. The military applications of this are obvious. I’d give anything to have been a fly on the wall when the ethics committee was looking at this research. The money quote is:

Setting aside the question of whether it is morally right or wrong to use a living creature for such a purpose, we must think about the ‘production efficiency’ to create ‘cyborgs’ that are beneficial to mankind.

Nice. I am glad they asked the beetles how they feel about it.

Maybe the solution to the conflict between machine and human space is to simply merge the two. The question is who is going to be pushing the buttons and for what purpose.
Croatian word of the day:buba bug

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[Old Blog] Gower Street, links glaore

Gower Street.

It’s cold, but not nearly as cold as in the rest of Atlantic Canada. I am too tired to write something meaningful so you get a bunch of links that have accumulated over the last couple of weeks.

Given the amount of snow and freezing temperatures, I think Calvin & Hobbes collection of snowman panels is very appropriate. They never fail to bring a grin to my face.

Feel the need to educate your children about the importance of airport security? Playmobile has the answer. Read the comments, they are priceless.

This ad featuring a confused spermatozoid is… well, decide for yourselves (h/t to Kottke, one of my favourite daily web stops).

To the idiot who objects to high school students reading Handmaid’s Tale: go @#$%^#& yourself and get your grubby paws of my public education.

A sobering post on Galloping Beaver on Obama’s actual record.

And if you, like me, are somewhat challenged when it comes to understanding how certain aspects of financial markets work this post by Ivan Krstić is for you. This is the best explanation of short selling I’ve ever read. This piece by Michael Lewis in Portfolio explains the rest of it.This also happens to be journalism the way it should be. I can’t believe the stuff these two guys are writing about is actually legal. No wonder the so called markets tanked.

Good night, sleep tight. The world will probably still be here when you wake up…
Croatian word of the day: lopovi thieves

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[Old Blog] Morning snow, Get Back

I woke up this morning at about 4:30 to Mačak’s insistent meowing. I was half way down the stairs, with the cat anxiously urging me forward, when it struck me how cold it is in the living room. The problem was in the kitchen. When we took garbage out last night, we obviously did not close patio doors properly and they were wide open with a pile of fresh snow blowing half way into the kitchen. The floor was brutally cold and Mačak was quite upset that he had to walk on it to get to his food. By 5:15, I cleaned up the kitchen and decided to make crêpes for the girls for breakfast and listen to an Ideas podcast. It was a good morning.

Something happens when it snows like this, over night. As I walked out the door, people were cheerfully shoveling snow, greeting each other and had in general great time. The morning was warm and there was hardly any wind. The town looked magical and I had hard time getting myself to work. I just wanted to stay out and photograph and feel this snow induced kinship with my neighbours.

On the bus, the driver was playing The Beatles Get Back and I swear half the people on the bus were ready to start dancing.

I have my first class today and am really looking forward to it. It’s a fourth year seminar course in cultural geography and it looks like it’s going to be fun.

Croatian word of the day:predavanje lecture [prea da va nie]

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