October 2009

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China had been the People’s Republic of China for 60 years now since the Communist Party came to power, and they celebrated October 1 with massive parades and displays.

The parades and events are amazing, and this video is stunningly shot, a great example of multimedia event coverage: Timelapse of in Tiananmen Square. This video of a re-enactment is from the same photographer – Re-enacting the making of Mao’s China – and here is background information on the techniques used – Here.

Photo links: Slideshow from Life
Links to coverage at The Gaurdian, ABC News, and Reuters:

The Gaurdian 60th Anniversary parade Reuters Aerial

Coverage from China Post (self-described as Taiwan’s leading English-language newspaper in daily readership and editorial content): China’s 60th anniversary stirs pride, also unease

BBC Coverage:
Communist China marks 60th year
North Korea’s Kim Jong-il and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao watch the parades: Celebrations Mark China Visit
Art & Politics in China: Audio Slideshow
Great facts and statistics on Chinese demography including categories on population, wealth, military, and food: China: 60 years in facts and figures
Looking forward: a great survey page of individual Chinese and their thoughts on the future – Where will China be in 60 years?

For an introduction to the changes going on in China’s economy, I recommend Ted Koppel’s Discovery documentary (behind-the-scenes slideshow here and LA Times coverage of the series here).

Communist China Map Folio (1967)

Communist China Map Folio (1967)

Mongol Dominions, 1300-1405

Mongol Dominions, 1300-1405

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I realized almost the moment I started this post that I could get in over my head pretty quickly. There is so much going on and so much needing coverage. So I’m going to keep this post pretty narrow, but I can assure you there will be future posts on issues in this region. If I leave stuff out, if you have questions about anything I’m not explaining well or leaving out, please, please talk to me know in the comments section – I’ll look up what I don’t know and go from there. OK. Diving in.

The Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, is a rebel movement known for using brutal tactics and child soldiers during a long running conflict in Uganda. – Behind the LRA’s terror tactics

Children in Uganda are especially vulnerable, and often become “night commuters” to seek safety. – & Gulu Walk & Invisible Children

But as the conflict in Uganda ebbs and flows, the LRA often crosses the border into neighboring countries including DR Congo and Central African Republic, and bring their brutality with them. This month, disturbing new reports of LRA violence in CAR. – Rebel terror spreads to CAR

Violence in DR Congo has also been severe, as cited in these BBC reports from last year (which coincided with General Laurent Nkunda’s offensive near Goma, further south).
Congo terror after LRA rebel raids
BBC Slideshow on Congolese refugees

My awareness of the situation really deepened thanks to a classmate whose blog, Jackfruity, I just got added to my blog roll.

Ways to help kids in Uganda: The Invisible Children Campaign

And for kids in the United States: INVISIBLE CHILDREN: Kids at Risk Action (KARA) – Children’s Rights Advocacy Network

Next post: barring breaking news, will be a bit lighter after natural disasters and regional conflicts. But thanks for sticking with me so far. I like to think it’ll be worth it. Below, Uganda is in red, just to the east of DR Congo.

Central African Republic (CAR)

Central African Republic (CAR)

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More action via my correspondent in NZ…:

“Sent at 4:02 PM (GMT-12:00). Current time there: 11:59 AM
Subject: Another big earthquake in South Pacific
near Vanuatu
Waiting to hear about tsunami threat….quoting from news on radio…..stay off beaches in NZ
The quake was 7.9, 3 minutes after 11 NZ time, dept 33 km, all of NZ under tsunami warning. All of South Pacific under tsunami warning.
We of course are not under any threat in the center of the island”

Your news:
Powerful 7.8 quake off Vanuatu, tsunami alert
Tsunami warning after 7.8 quake off Vanuatu
Latest updates: Vanuatu quake, tsunami warning
Pacific quake sparks tsunami alert

Your instructions:
What to do in a Tsunami

Your fast facts:
Vanuatu – CIA World Factbook
Vanuatu – National Geographic

And your map:



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An interesting lesson today about finding good English language news sources for Mexico… Anyway, here is what I scrambled…



Alternatives to drug war championed at conference (Sept 28)
$22 million loan will help with Tijuana water and sewage (Sept 29)
Immigrant deaths near US-Mexico border in 2009 expected to surpass previous year’s total (Oct 2)
Immigrant deaths near the US-Mexico border at a glance (Oct 2)
Mexican Consulate marks Binational Health Week (Oct 2)
City, Baja California officials working on tourist-friendly police force (Oct 6)

This site requires registration for a free 1 day pass, so I’m including a teaser…
History via cell phone (Oct 2) President Felipe Calderon last weekend announced the start of the project “Mexico is my museum,” designed to bring the history of the Revolution and Independence in touching distance of the 76 million Mexicans that own cellphones.

The Disturnell map of 1847

The Disturnell map of 1847

For more background (& more maps):
Perry-Castañeda Library
Map Collection – Atlas of Mexico

Why all the Mexico posts? ‘Cause I’m headed their for my first visit one week from today… Yes, I plan to post pictures…

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This is the first “Tomorrow’s News Today,” which is basically me staying up too late reading the New Zealand Herald (or, if I’m REALLY up too late, the BBC website) and wanting to share…

Background on this one… way back in summer of 2005, I found myself on the doorstep of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) where, among other things, I bought a nifty t-shirt and got caught up on issues of nuclear proliferation. This was kind of early in round one between IAEA and Mr. Ahmadinejad, and there was a lot to figure out, and our truly awesome IAEA hosts gave us continues to serve me well.

Iran sets date for inspection

Also, history class says democracy started here, and what’s not up for argument is beautiful landscapes and my eternal personal gratitude for introducing the world to gyros, so a little recognition never goes astray.

Heads of opposing dynasties trade places

Both potential fodder for future discussion, but for now, I’ve got an alarm set and want to get some sleep beforehand, so I’d better stop before I get started. Staying up too late is a long-term issue for me, so look for much more TNT coming up.


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Seems everyone’s taking a hit these days, if to slightly different degrees… This caught my eye, as I’d already been planning some posts on Dubai, which will be coming later (those of you reading this one now are ahead of the game).

Anyway, I’m not sure who’s the primary source on this article, so I’m listing both and you can choose which one to read.

Downsized Dubai?
Dubai’s ruler downsizes ambitions amid crisis

What’s to downsize? Dubai has used oil money for all kinds of architectural and engineering projects. See below for a few, though just a warning, the first one requires a head for heights…

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I was on Skype with my parents yesterday, and my mom asked me how much coverage last week’s events in the South Pacific were getting here. I had to stop a minute and think. I’d been getting a steady, if thin, stream of information via my mom’s emails and the BBC World feed on Twitter, I realized, but nothing from US news. Maybe I should have started posting Monday after all, I thought, considering I’m supposed to be including news from around the world, especially places I’m covering.

Proximity really does impact what many people, including myself, pay attention to. There’s where we are, and there’s where people we know are, and then there’s places we’re interested in… and everything else… It seems so strange to think that at the beginning of July I knew so little about border issues like immigration (not that I know anything close to everything now, it’s just already so much more than I knew not long ago). I think it’s important to remember for two reasons – to be aware of how we handle news, and to know that others may have the same blind spots. We can’t assume that everyone else knows what we’re up to, but we can be prepared to help fill in the gaps and maybe let them do the same.

Well, I can’t rewind time, but I can post the links I’ve been following and try to bring myself back up to speed…

Coastal warnings remain after quake tsunami – This came to my phone in the middle of class, and I even thought about throwing it up here, but by the time class was over (it’s several hours long, and I do not have the most focused memory, as anyone who’s seen me scrawling to-do lists on scratch paper can attest to) it had slipped away. Anyway, you’ll see the requests for reader submissions of information, photos, and video as well as a link to New Zealand Herald’s Twitter feed (nzherald – excellent source for anyone wanting to keep up with kiwi news, and, indeed, happenings in the general South Pacific). For more on the use of social networks during natural disasters, see Netizens help victims via social network sites about flooding in the Philippines.

Deadly Tsunami Sweeps Through South Pacific – Not long after came the background information, and sites like NPR had media up including the map I borrowed for this entry. As a poster in the comments section notes, places under the initial Tsunami Watch included Hawaii, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Johnston Atoll, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Papua New Guinea, Pohnpeo, Wake Island, Pitcairn Island and Midway (and New Zealand).

During the week, the stories started.

Eye witness accounts:
Mata’afa Keni Lesa
Fa’aliga-Fauena Yi (by Vaimoana Tapaleao)
Salamasina Taufua Part 1 Part 2 (by Vaimoana Tapaleao)

And then stories about the aftermath:
Tsunami: Six minutes to save their lives The Martins
“Sad job means families can get loved ones back”

There are these photo galleries: Search Results for photo gallery + Samoa at New Zealand Herald – I know it’s kind of a strange way to link to them, but the best I could work out (linking directly seems to send the unsuspecting viewer deep into the media player for current news reports, not towards the intended target).

Lastly, some information from AP and NPR on the earthquakes in Indonesia:
Powerful Earthquake Rocks Western Indonesia
Indonesia Quake Toll Crosses 1,000
Second Quake Slams Indonesia; Hundreds Dead
Rising Toll Feared From Quake In Indonesia

Heavy rains hold up search for bodies in Indonesia

Please note that by no means am I claiming this as comprehensive, it’s what I could find quickly to get myself more oriented about what happened and what’s happening now.

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When taking pictures like these, I’m rarely asked what I’m doing but frequently asked why. The thing about travel is that even the most ordinary things, like making lunch, can be so different.

(Jill took the last two of this set – she caught on to this concept before I did! In fact, looking at her pictures from the trip, sometimes from the same events, helped me realize what I was missing.)

2008-01-17 (189)-mini
2008-01-17-Jill (1)-mini
2008-01-17-Jill (4)-mini

The outcome is the same – good food with friends and family, a priceless currency any time and any where.

2008-01-17 (222)-mini 2008-01-17 (223)-mini

But remembering the process, being able to show it rather than just describe it, makes memory that much sweeter.

The last set of pictures for today are from a clothing shop where pieces, from piece cutting to decorative stitching, are made on site.

2008-02-01 (4)-mini
2008-01-22-Jill (87)-mini
2008-02-01 (5)-edit-mini

I learned so much from this trip, and “process pictures” were a tiny but important part. They help me remember what I experienced, and tell the stories to others.

Oh, and before I forget – a process video, my first :)

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I think of process pictures as pictures that show how something is done or made, often everyday things, like Science Channel’s “How It’s Made.” They show the how, but also sometime the why, of everything from daily activities to events. They’re useful to people who just want to know how things are done, but also to people who want to learn a new skill (in my case, painting and building a patio!) or a new technique (for me, grilling kabob style).

The examples in this post are at the exceptionally NOT exotic location of my old house, but the practice became important. Documenting what we were working on there, I realized the importance of documenting these same kinds of things while traveling, which I’ll go into with the next post.

It can be as simple as before and after pictures, like these…

2009-02-27-#02-mini 2009-03-08-#03-mini
2009-04-18-#06-mini 2009-04-18-#22-mini

Or if you’re lucky enough to have the luxury of time, it can be a set of pictures built up over months. Here are the before pictures…

1987ish334 1987ish346 1991-09-#04

The during pictures…

2009-03-23-#03-mini 2009-05-20-#01-mini 2009-05-20-#03-mini
2009-05-20-#07-mini 2009-05-20-#08-mini 2009-06-09-#01-mini

And the after pictures…

2009-06-29-#10-mini 2009-06-29-#11-mini

Coming up in the next post: process pictures from trips.

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