Archive for November, 2016

Bearing Witness To History

Time Inc. has put together the “100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All Time” website and book. None of use lived long enough to see all these pictures shortly after they made – the oldest one in this collection dates from 1826. But I’m pretty certain that anyone with an interest in photography (and an interest in what happens in the world) recognises a sizeable number of them!


There is no formula that makes a picture influential. Some images are on our list because they were the first of their kind, others because they shaped the way we think. And some made the cut because they directly changed the way we live. What all 100 share is that they are turning points in our human experience.

I do hope the website can last a long time – forever, ideally. And if it doesn’t, you’d better have the book lying on a nearby table. These pictures are memories, not just for a few individuals, but for a global community.

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The InterWikiLinksPlugin, my small addition to JSPWiki is part of the JSPWiki source tree (or at least it was somewhere in 2009). But Pikacode managed to lose the version I installed there, so I am storing it for posterity on this site as well ;-)

Click the image to download the PDF

Click the image to download the PDF

I had to package it as a PDF file here in WordPress.com, but just copying the text content of the file and saving it as a Java file in the JSPWiki Plugins source directory should suffice for a successful compilation.

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Here’s a bit of advice from someone who has experience in the subject matter (the author grew up in Poetin’s Russia, according to BoingBoing): “The New York Review Of Books – Autocracy: Rules for Survival“.

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization.


…in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.

Unfortunately, this advice seems to be needed in more and more countries these days, not just in Russia. It’s imperative for any real democrat to read this article – being a democrat does not mean giving in to just anyone in the seat of power.

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How can you not like a story that ends with these words?

… every life saved matters, even that of a troublemaker named Trump.

Yes, it’s about elephants and drones, and has nothing to do with politics. Unless you were thinking about wildlife protection politics, in Africa and elsewhere, of course.

And yes, I want my own drone anyway!

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A Black Beemer Beauty

No, I haven’t forgotten my own BMW R1100S, and I still enjoy looking at this model in all its forms and colors. Take for instance this black beauty (next to a somewhat hidden white beauty).

A beautiful black R1100S, courtesy of 'bimmerphan'

A beautiful black R1100S, courtesy of ‘bimmerphan‘ – click the image to see the full resolution photo.

Owner ‘bimmerphan‘ also has (had?) a BMW K75 in his garage – he’s lucky enough to have a big garage (mine can’t fit two motorcycles – yet).

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The Future Of Democracy In Turkey

Let me make it official: I will not be visiting Turkey anytime soon, now that the country is no longer a democracy. I know that its constitution says otherwise, but the facts are what they are: if you cannot accept opposition and dissent, then only absolutism remains. In the case of Turkey, there is an additional religious angle to the situation, and that reinforces the undemocratic forces at play.

Too bad, because the videos made by Helge Pedersen’s GlobeRiders on their Silk Road adventure taught me already years ago that Turkey and the surrounding countries are worth an extended visit. I wouldn’t mind traveling that Silk Road on a motorcycle, if only I had the funds! But I will not spend time in a country with an oppressive regime, just as my parents refused to go to Spain during the days of Franco.

More pictures from the 2011 Silk Road trip after clicking the picture...

More pictures from the 2011 Silk Road trip after clicking the picture…

Supplementary question for no extra credits: what are the chances I have to add the USA to my list of no-go countries after Tuesday?

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I strongly agree with the open letter sent to Gopro by user Jeffrey B.George – although “open” is a strong word for a text that apparently was only posted to Facebook. But anyway: back to the matter at hand.

I too was confronted with the need to create an account on the Gopro website and to login to that account in order to use the latest version of the Gopro software just to see my video’s on the iPad! That is quite an offensive move by Gopro, essentially blocking the use of their main product for any user out of reach of the Internet. I suppose I must consider myself lucky to having bought a relatively cheap Session and not a Hero5? That way, I won’t have wasted as many Euros? No, sorry, like Jeffrey says: “an action camera shouldn’t need an internet login“. Nor should the use of an app to control said camera.

If Gopro doesn’t change its stance on this matter , I won’t be able to recommend the brand to my friends. Is that what they want?

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