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Archive for General News

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Google to quit China?

photo from NYTimes.com

From NYTimes:

Google’s declaration that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country ricocheted around the world Wednesday. But in China itself, the news was heavily censored

Some big Chinese news portals initially carried a short dispatch on Google’s announcement, but that account soon tumbled from the headlines, and later reports omitted Google’s references to “free speech” and “surveillance.”

Google linked its decision to sophisticated cyberattacks on its computer systems that it suspected originated in China and that were aimed, at least in part, at the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

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Robotic arm controlled by thoughts and has feeling

From Fastcompany.com

What if you could wire up your nervous system to a robotic hand so well that it actually felt like your own? Would you be a real-life cyborg or Six Million Dollar Man? Yup. It’s not only the future of prosthetic limbs. It’s the present. It was done last year.

See the video to the right in the Fetched Videos.

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Damon Albarn to possibly direct the London Olympic Ceremony!


My favorite musician could possibly direct the London Olympic Ceremony?! The Olympics is always a highlight of the year for me, but this just kicks it up another notch!

From Pitchfork.com:

The Independent reports that Blur frontman and Gorillaz co-mastermind Damon Albarn is “a leading contender” to become the artistic director of the 2012 Olympics, which is nuts. (Via the Quietus) Reportedly, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has begun preliminary discussions with Albarn.

Albarn has some experience with this sort of thing. Along with fellow Gorillaz guy Jamie Hewlett, Albarn did the music and animation for the BBC’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics last summer. But can you imagine what Damon Albarn could do if he had access to vast quantities of fireworks and the entire world’s attention?

1907 Color Photography by Russian Photographer


Self-portrait of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

From Library of Congregess website / www.loc.gov:
(Featured on Newsweek website >>>)

Born in Murom, Vladimir Province, Russia (originally believed to be St. Petersburg) in 1863 and educated as a chemist, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii devoted his career to the advancement of photography. He studied with renowned scientists in St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Paris. His own original research yielded patents for producing color film slides and for projecting color motion pictures. Around 1907 Prokudin-Gorskii envisioned and formulated a plan to use the emerging technological advancements that had been made in color photography to systematically document the Russian Empire. Through such an ambitious project, his ultimate goal was to educate the schoolchildren of Russia with his “optical color projections” of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the empire. Outfitted with a specially equipped railroad car darkroom provided by Tsar Nicholas II, and in possession of two permits that granted him access to restricted areas and cooperation from the empire’s bureaucracy, Prokudin-Gorskii documented the Russian Empire around 1907 through 1915. He conducted many illustrated lectures of his work. Prokudin-Gorskii left Russia in 1918, after the Russian Revolution, and eventually settled in Paris, where he died in 1944.

Afghan Youths escape to Europe


photograph from nytimes.com

NY Times posted a story this morning about Afghan youth escaping their country to run away to Europe in hopes of getting an education and achieving their personal dreams.

From NY Times:

On the edges of a Salvation Army soup line in Paris, a soft-spoken Afghan boy told the story recently of how he ended up in Europe, alone.

The boy, who said he was 15 but looked younger, recounted how his family left Afghanistan after his mother lost her leg in an explosion in 2004. They spent three years in Iran, where he went to school for the first time, learning English and discovering the Internet. After his father suffered a back injury that made working difficult, the boy, who declined to give his name, headed west.

He spent two months working 11-hour days in a clothing sweatshop in Istanbul, he said. He was then smuggled into Greece, where he was forced to work on a potato and onion farm near Agros for nine months, finally escaping in the back of a truck. He reached Paris by train after nearly a year on the road.

“I want to go to school,” he said in English. “I would like it if I could be — it sounds like a lot to ask — an engineer of computing.”

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A homeless undocumented Afghan immigrant, photographed near the place where he sleeps on a pedestrian tunnel in central Athens, Greece. (photograph from nytimes.com)

A homeless undocumented Afghan immigrant, photographed near the place where he sleeps on a pedestrian tunnel in central Athens, Greece. (photograph from nytimes.com)

“Tank Man” – A 20th Anniversary Surprise

This famous photograph, along with three others has been circulating for twenty years. Now suddenly a fifth version has surfaced at the New York Times.


From NYTimes.com:
For 20 years the negatives rested in Mr. (Terril) Jones’ belongings, following him across the world throughout his career as a journalist. He contacted The New York Times after reading the accounts of the other four photographers in Wednesday’s Lens blog.

Mr. Jones’ angle on the historic encounter is vastly different from four other versions shot that day, taken at eye level moments before the tanks stopped at the feet of the lone protester. Wildly chaotic, a man ducks in the foreground, reacting from gunfire coming from the tanks. Another flashes a near-smile. Another pedals his bike, seemingly passive as the tanks rumble towards confrontation.

Here is the new photograph:

Read full blog post at NYTimes.com >>>