Monthly Archives: October 2013

Suicide Bombers in Iraq

Suicide bombers are detonating at an increased rate after a high- casualty crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest in Hawijah, Iraq last April. (cq)

Thiry-six people were killed and 45 were injured (cq) when a suicide bomber smashed his car into a busy café on Sunday. (cq)

The AFP News Agency (cq) counted 450 (cq) deaths in Iraq this month alone. AFP also reported that 5,150 people have died in attacks this year in Iraq. (cq)

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Bomb in Russia… Olympics still on

A bomb on a city bus blew up in Volgograd, Russia (cq) filled with 40 people. (cq) The bomb killed five people and left 17 injured (cq) according to the spokeswoman for the Emergency Situations Ministry, Irina Gogolyeva. (cq)

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee (cq) said, the explosion was caused by “an unspecified explosive device.” (cq) Many believe that the device was transported by a female suicide bomber. (cq)

Security and safety in Russia will be closely monitored because next year (cq) the Winter Olympic Games are in Sochi, Russia. (cq)

China Shutdown

Smog forced all but one (cq) of the largest northeastern Chinese (cq) cities to shut down today. (cq)

When it comes to air pollution, professionals use PM2.5 index meters, which read “particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers,” (cq) to gauge air pollution. A reading over 20 is considered cautionary according to the World Health Organization (cq) while a reading over 300 is considered hazardous. (cq)

The capital of the northeastern Heilongjiang province, Harbin, (cq) showed readings of 1,000 in some places.

The smog is expected to last another 24 hours. (cq)

The public transportation bus systems are mostly down, (cq) schools are shut down, (cq) airports are closed, (cq) and visibility has been reduced to 10 meters. (cq)

A news station blamed the heating being turned on during the winter. (cq)

Journalism class: Season of Giving

Story Slug: Season of Giving

Budget item: A Clark College student won the Mega Millions (cq) lottery last week and promptly donated all but $1 million (cq) of the prize to the Youth Center of Southwest Washington.  (cq) Professors and classmates say they aren’t surprised that 20-year-old (cq) Adam Kindman (cq) wrote a check for $24 million (cq) to the non-profit organization.  Kindman told them the club helped him turn his life around after he was caught shoplifting when he was 15. (cq) 

 

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Article:

Vancouver, WA– A Clark College student donated $24 million in lottery winnings last week to the Youth Center of Southwest Washington. (cq)

Adam Kindman, 20, (cq) won $25 million (cq) from the Mega Millions (cq) lottery ticket that he purchased from Smiley’s Chevron gas station (cq) located at 1234 W. First St. Vancouver, WA. (cq)

The director of the Youth Center of Southwest Washington, Carol Comstock, (cq) said the money will be invested in programs to help young people at risk of falling into criminal activity. (cq)

On Halloween in 2008, (cq) Kindman was arrested for shoplifting at the age of 15. (cq) “He was a really good boy, but I think he really missed not having a father figure. It was just the two of us,” Kindman’s mother, Ida Davenport, (cq) told reporters. (cq)

“Money’s always been tight for us,” (cq) she added. Davenport worked two jobs while Kindman was young. (cq)

Judge Fred Friendly, (cq) of the Juvenile Courts, (cq) ordered Kindman to 200 hours (cq) of volunteer work at the Youth Center of Southwest Washington.

Clark County Courthouse records show that Kindman was sentenced on December 23rd, 2008. (cq) Friendly explained that the holidays and season of giving were associated with his ruling of community service as opposed to a jail sentence for Kindman.

“I’m happy that Adam chose to be so generous with his winnings. I’d like to think that I had something to do with influencing his decision,” Friendly told reporters. (cq)

According to the judge, Clark County Juvenile Services handle about 150 teen (cq) shoplifting cases every year.

Comstock later wrote, “Mr. Kindman’s gift will make a world of difference to thousands of young people in this community,” (cq) in a press release regarding the donation.

The Youth Center of Southwest Washington serves more than 10,000 youth (cq) by providing positive and character- building programs.

She remembered Kindman as volunteering three afternoons a week for two years. (cq)

According to Kindman’s professor at Clark College, Joe Goodguy, (cq) “Adam has learned a great deal about himself and other people from his studies but also from his own personal experiences.” (cq) Goodguy added that Kindman told him he learned a lesson when the judge sentenced him after the shoplifting incident.

Kindman was unavailable to comment; however, he Tweeted, “Of course, $1 million is plenty for Mom and me. Other kids need the rest. The Youth Center of Southwest Washington turned around my life.” (cq)

“I think Adam figured he could finally repay the favor that he felt the judge had paid him by sentencing him to community service,” Goodguy told reporters. (cq)

Kindman’s act of giving back to the community has helped thousands of people during this season of giving.

Digital Photography: Nan Goldin

This is Nan Goldin after her boyfriend beat her. There’s a raw quality to all of Goldin’s work, an exposure that is leaked through the eyes of her subjects. In this case, she was her own subject. Notice the pain in her eyes and the red lipstick that emphasizes the blood in her eye. 

Goldin was born in September of 1953 in Washington DC by the name of Nancy Goldin.

In order to fully understand the state of mind of Goldin and her subjects, you have to understand the era that she photographed. Goldin did much of her work during the 1970s through the 1990s, much of when the AIDS epidemic was in full swing. Drugs were rampant and she herself was institutionalized for drug abuse. She began using heroin in her teens after she ran away from her well-to-do Jewish family. Goldin used her camera to capture the essence of the times. Her work is often described as a “familiar staple of the romantic mythology of urban bohemia” (Mia Fineman, ArtNet).

 

This is Goldin in drug rehab. You can see her attitude as she grabs the pillow with the clinic’s logo. 

 

This piece is called Brian’s Face and it was taken in Berlin in 1984. Brian was Goldin’s boyfriend who beat her in the first photograph that I shared.

 

One fact about Goldin that really stands out to me is that she seems to photograph other people who have a similar life to her’s. She captures the essence of not just the times, but of her life. It’s like she’s pleading with viewers to understand and accept her. I feel a sense of pity for Goldin.

 

This is a very famous piece. Nan is shown in bed while Brian smokes a cigarette. The orange light seems to emphasize a dimming relationship between the lovers.

More pieces from her famous Ballad of Sexual Dependency Collection:

 

 

Goldin did much of her work in New York of her “dysfunctional New York family” (Drusilla Beyfrus, The Telegraph). She’s also snapped shots in Italy, Greece and all over the world.

Goldin claims that her mentor Larry Clark, the acclaimed American documentary artist, helped set her in motion. She attributes much to him and his assistance. Also evident in her work is her raw emotion and loss. Her sister, Barbara, committed suicide and Goldin was deeply affected.

When it comes to Goldin’s style, she has a flair for those emotional moments of her friends in bed or at clubs. She likes little lighting and uses the darkness to show her world, a sort of underworld if you will. Her shots are not constructed, but in my opinion, that’s what really makes the photographs so raw. 

Her passion began when she attended a wild school in England with little rules. She said that students would run around naked and have sex all the time. She met a student named David who looked like a woman and she began to photograph their escapades. After high school, they moved in together in Boston with a group of drag queens. Goldin became the resident photographer for her drag queen friends at the local mafia ran bar every night.

She didn’t have a dark room so she would get her photographs developed at the local drugstore. Her images returned to her as snapshots on a single sheet which sparked her passion for the snapshot style.

Goldin affirms that her images show real life. I believe her images are important because they share insight to a world that so many are lost to. Her images breathe through the essence of the lost.

“Snapshots are the only form of photography completely inspired by love.” -Nan Goldin 

Links:

http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/fineman/fineman12-12-96.asp

http://whitney.org/Collection/NanGoldin

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/photography/5648658/Nan-Goldin-unafraid-of-the-dark.html

http://www.dazeddigital.com/photography/article/10788/1/nan-goldins-fire-leap

http://www.topphotographyfilms.com/famous-photographers/nan-goldin/

Digital Photography: Alec Soth: Broken Manual Collection

http://alecsoth.com/photography/?page_id=213

I chose this photograph because I like the personality of the cave. I recently discovered a similar looking cave with my friend over the weekend so this picture speaks to me. I wonder where this photo was taken. Alec Soth is from Minnesota, so I’m assuming that’s where this cave is, though I’m not sure.

Alec Soth has a funny sense of humor and it really shines on his webpage: “Alex Soth, rhymes with ‘both.'” It must be a Minnesota thing. 

I think Soth used a low light setting and turned the photo black and white with editing software. I don’t think the rocks were really that gray in real life. I would imagine that he used a landscape setting to capture the vastness of the cave. You can tell that Soth used a deep depth of field because you can see the different levels of the cave’s depths. The focus is sharp throughout the entire photograph, even though the darkness seems to blanket the top and middle of the scene. 

I think that the black and white editing, as well as the dark= black editing, enhances the photograph because it makes the otherwise boring cave look otherworldly. 

I think Soth used the vantage point that he did because it shows  the entrance leading to the big cavity in the cave and the cave’s depths.

The message that I grasp from Soth’s cave photograph is that there is more to everything than just what meets the eye. I get a sense of exploration from this picture. It’s not just about the beauty of the cave; it’s about the sense of adventure and discovery that really sets this cave apart.  

 

Guantanamo Prisoner Freed

Ibrahim Idris (cq) was picked up with Al- Qaeda (cq) fighters in 2001 (cq) by Pakistani (cq) forces during an attempt to jump the Afghanistan- Pakistan (cq) border. He arrived in Guantanamo (cq) in 2002 (cq) and was diagnosed as having schizophrenia (cq). Idris was never formally charged; he was considered and enemy combatant. The mid-50s year old Sudan native (cq) was released on Friday by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth (cq).

Shuttin down the CDC and FDA

At last count, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was working to understand and cure over 30 different mutant strains of the flu; (cq) when the government shutdown started on October 1st, (cq) the CDC had to shut down its disease- monitoring systems. That means that no one is monitoring the nation’s disease outbreaks. Even when the shutdown is over, there are many outbreaks that will never be identified that can cause immense destruction.

Also, the Food and Drug Administration closed on October 1st (cq) which means that our nation’s food supply is not being inspected. Fruits, vegetables, and seafood are entering our country from foreign lands for our consumption without scrutiny. 

Republicans vs. Democrats in the Showdown, Er, I mean Shutdown

Republicans are seeking compromise with the Obamacare laws. They will not fund legislation until demands are met. Democrats refuse to negotiate until the $16.7 trillion (cq) debt limit is raised and the government is reopened. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, (cq) has made multiple efforts to pass bills that will reopen parts of the government, however, Democrat Harry Reid (cq) and other Democrats have placed their efforts in squashing the bills that will reopen parts of the government. Instead, their focus is on offering back pay to furloughed federal workers.

Hard Knox Life

Amanda Knox (cq) is an American who, in 2007, (cq) was studying in Italy when her roommate was murdered in their shared apartment. Knox was convicted as assisting in the murder of Meredith Kercher (cq). Four years later, Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, (cq) were acquitted. This morning, the Italian courts reopened the case because, as the Court of Cassation (cq) stated in 2011, (cq) the acquittal was full of “deficiencies, contradictions and illogical” conclusions (cq). Even though Knox was not present at her trial today because she attends classes at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA, (cq) she was not held in contempt of court because Italy does not have such laws. Due to this fact, and the fact that murder has no statute of limitations, it’s said that this trial will last forever.