The Vietnam Moratorium March, 45 Years Later

Rice fields in Vietnam's Tu Le Valley

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the nationwide Moratorium march on Washington. It’s always a good idea to remember one of the largest anti-war protests in US history.

Upwards of 500,000 people gathered in Washington DC in opposition to the ongoing war in Vietnam. Nationwide, the BBC reported, “The Peace Moratorium is believed to have been the largest demonstration in US history with an estimated two million people involved.”

That figure was almost certainly quite higher. But not up for debate was the event’s significance in the anti-war movement as middle class and middle-aged voters turned out in large numbers for the first time.

About 45,000 US soldiers would die by in Vietnam by the end of 1969. Vietnam would suffer more than 1.1 million war-related deaths between 1965 and 1975, the period in which the US was directly involved.

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The Patience of a Fisherman, Essaouira, Morocco


Here’s a brief sneak peek from a 21-image series that I’ll be posting next week taken at the port of Essaouira, Morocco, in September. That’s a lot of netting to deal with, but the fisherman managed to plug the major holes. An achievement worthy of mention for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 305th straight, was snapped on 19 September 2014.



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Armeos Beach, Syros – a Six Photo Tour

Armeos Beach on the Greek island of Syros, November 2008

This is Armeos Beach on the Greek island of Syros as it looked exactly six years ago today. Lying serenely in the shadow of Ayia Pakou, the Church of the Holy Submission, Armeos is by far the finest beach on this 82 square kilometer hunk of rock.

I posted from and about the island (post 1, post 2 and post 3) during my visit there in November of 2008, my first trip to the Cyclades, so there’s no need to repeat most of that here. Only this, to give you a general idea about this part of the 22km long island:

The village of Gallisas, on the opposite side of the island from (the main port town and capital) Ermoupoli, is among the have-to stops. The south edge of the picturesque Gallisas Bay is divided by a hill; on one side is the attractive tranquil eponymous inlet and on the other is Armeos Beach, set aside for nudists. Perched atop the hill and looking down over both sides is Ayia Pakou, The Church of the Holy Submission. Remains of on old Akropolis have been found here. You can reach Armeos –by far the nicest beach on the island, and I did investigate virtually all of them– by walking up the hill and descending near the church, or you can walk around the hill along a marginally marked path. It’s not a difficult walk, but some careful climbing is involved. A hike up the hill to the south of Armeos, with a bountiful carpet of wildflowers even in early November, is worth the effort as well.

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Venice’s Grand Canal in Infrared and Links to 700+ Free Lightroom Presets

Sunset on the Grand Canal in Venice, in infrared

If you were wondering what late afternoon light on the Grand Canal in Venice looks like processed with a black and white infrared Lightroom preset, you’re welcome. :)

The internets are hardly lacking for snapshots of the Grand Canal. I decided that adding one in monochrome infrared, even if fake, wouldn’t add too much to the noise. I hope you all agree.

More so, my decision to play with this was driven primarily out of curiosity. Until very recently —and outside of a few mobile phone projects— I haven’t been a big proponent of using digital filters and presets with my photography. I’m very much a purist in that sense, but I’m not philosophically opposed to the use of popular manipulation apps, either. Like the art and practice of photography itself, aesthetics are ever changing and evolving. So are fads and novel ideas. There are a lot of different looks that I enjoy, infrared among them.

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Mannequin Monday #24

Mannequin in Piran, Slovenia

This week, proof that mannequins secured with leather tie-downs aren’t exclusive to markets and shops in South America and northern Africa. This one was found in Piran, Slovenia’s 1,000+ year-old Adriatic seaside town which has lent this blog its name.

If you’re new to this weekly series, an attempt to create the largest repository of blighted mannequins on the planet, you can and should catch up here. Enjoy and do spread the word.

By the way, this image also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 301st straight. When you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can catch up with some of those here.

Berlin, an Angel’s Eye View

A view of Berlin towards the Brandenburg Gate from the Victory Column, June 2008

For today’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a shot taken from the observation deck of the Berlin Victory Column towards the Brandenburg Gate. To the right is Potsdamer Platz, a major square that sat desolate for the 28 years that the wall stood.

Built in 1873 and moved to its present site in 1939, the tower measures 67m high from its base to the top of the bronze sculpture of Victoria. A fairly steep ascent up a spiral staircase, covering 285 steps, affords spectacular views of the city in all directions. It’s no wonder that it was a favorite hangout for the angels from Wim Wenders’ 1987 film, Wings of Desire. A trailer from one of the most beautiful films of the 1980s (and 90s) is below.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 300th (!!) straight, was snapped on 02-Jun-2008.


A Boon, Pipe Dream or Scam? The Nicaragua Canal, a Brief Introduction

Boat on the Panama Canal at Miraflores, near Panama City

These are the Panama Canal’s Miraflores locks just outside of Panama City. The 101-year-old Atlantic-Pacific link may have competition before the end of the decade courtesy of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua, an unlikely but long-sought project on which ground is scheduled to be broken next month.

The plan?

To connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with a 278 kilometer long canal via Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s biggest lake and largest source of fresh water. It’s to be between 27.6 and 30 meters deep, and 230 and 520 meters across at its narrowest and widest.

The price tag?

Including the construction of two ports, a free trade zone with residential housing for 140,000 people, an international airport, a series of tourism complexes, several highways and a power plant, cost estimates range from $40 billion and $50 billion USD, more than four times Nicaragua’s gross domestic product.

And who’s in charge?

Thanks to a generous deal granted by the Nicaraguan government, Chinese tycoon Wang Jing, a somewhat enigmatic businessman whose net worth is listed at $6.4 billion, a pile of cash that lands him just outside of China’s top 10 richest people, according to Forbes.

His company, the HKND Group, was granted a 50-year concession by the Nicaraguan government last year, a tax-free deal with an option to extend to a century. It remains a mystery how a company with no track record in large civil engineering projects, let alone one that will be the largest and most expensive in Central American history, could have been given the concession in a process that included no other bidders.

That’s just one question of many that have been raised since the announcement of the deal was made in June 2013. On most, neither Wang nor Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega –who has paved the way for the canal’s rubber stamp approval at every level of Nicaraguan government– have been particularly forthcoming. Indeed, the biggest criticism of the deal from the start has been of its glaring lack of transparency.


From Ometepe Island, February 1994


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