Weblog Archives




  Saturday   May 5   2007

give us this day our daily photograph

Brush on granite table in Langley

gordy's image archive index

I was actually getting some things done and was going to get many links up when, as I was about to put the bread in to bake, Zoe started yelling. She had cut her foot. Up to the Emergency Room in Coupeville we went. They cleaned it out and put a gauze pad on it and sent us home. That's why all you get tonight is the post on food and this crummy picture.

 11:48 PM - link


David Horsey


E. coli conservatives

I remember the day last September. The supermarket had a new kind of salad dressing, one that looked like it would taste good with spinach. I went to the produce section to buy a bag. But they all had been recalled. Three people had died from E. coli contamination from eating spinach. I decided I could live without the spinach.


E. coli conservatives (2): The China connection

Some recent developments: new brands getting recalled all the time (it's up over 5,000 now); corporate flacks spinning at fast enough velocity to escape earth orbit; Senate hearings reminding us of that the central scandal of America's food-safety system under conservative government, that the FDA has now power to order recalls (something I'll be writing much more about in the future).


E. coli conservatives (3)

Stunning new news in the Bush FDA's pet food scandal. The list of poisoned ingredients keeps expanding. South Africa--whose food safety system is apparently superior to ours--has found contaminated corn gluten.


E. coli conservatives (4): LIVE AND IN CONCERT!!!

Last year I attended a major conference of conservative intellectuals and activists at Princeton University as the token liberal. There I heard Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention say that the Democratic Party ostracizes all pro-life Democrats. Reflecting on the pro-life Democrat who happened to hold the obscure position of Senate minority leader, I finally realized I'd met, socialized with, interviewed, and debated enough conservative Republicans to come to a firm conclusion: They could be divided into two groups--those who had lied or stonewalled to my face, and those who hadn't...yet.


E. coli conservatives (5): hearings

A witness, Terri Marshall, tells the story of her mother-in-law, who went to the hospital after presenting symptoms of salmonella. At the hospital, she was able to enjoy a favorite snack--Peter Pan peanut butter. An ineffectual U.S. Department of Agriculture and FDA had not been able to identify it as the very product that had made her sick, in a nationwide outbreak.


The E.coli series is from a great new blog: The Big Con. It's a must read.

You Are What You Grow
by Michael Polan

A few years ago, an obesity researcher at the University of Washington named Adam Drewnowski ventured into the supermarket to solve a mystery. He wanted to figure out why it is that the most reliable predictor of obesity in America today is a person’s wealth. For most of history, after all, the poor have typically suffered from a shortage of calories, not a surfeit. So how is it that today the people with the least amount of money to spend on food are the ones most likely to be overweight?

Drewnowski gave himself a hypothetical dollar to spend, using it to purchase as many calories as he possibly could. He discovered that he could buy the most calories per dollar in the middle aisles of the supermarket, among the towering canyons of processed food and soft drink. (In the typical American supermarket, the fresh foods — dairy, meat, fish and produce — line the perimeter walls, while the imperishable packaged goods dominate the center.) Drewnowski found that a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of cookies or potato chips but only 250 calories of carrots. Looking for something to wash down those chips, he discovered that his dollar bought 875 calories of soda but only 170 calories of orange juice.

As a rule, processed foods are more “energy dense” than fresh foods: they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening. These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them “junk.” Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly — and get fat.


Mad Cow: Don't Ask, Don't Find

However, the USDA's testing program is not random. The program is voluntary and beef processors are paid to bring in test samples. Since a diseased sample would result in serious ramifications for the slaughterhouse, there is an incentive to pick samples from healthier-looking cattle.


 11:42 PM - link

camera building

I recently posted on considering building a whole plate (6 1/2" x 8 1/2") camera. Then I find this. It's a sign!

Rayment Kirby Cameras

Welcome to the all new Workshop section of the site where Rayment Kirby gives practical advice on designing and building your very own large format camera. All aspects of the construction are covered, from the initial design through to the completion of the project, and the advice given caters for builders of all skill levels.


  thanks to photostream

Lots of good ideas.

 05:46 PM - link

  Friday   May 4   2007

more links tomorrow

 11:45 PM - link

give us this day our daily photograph

Elliot in front of the Dog House in Langley

gordy's image archive index

 11:44 PM - link


Justice Department Ran Massive Campaign to Suppress Vote

Today the McClatchy Newspapers publish a major study which unequivocally establishes a large-scale voter suppression program operated by the Department of Justice over the last six years, under both Attorneys General Ashcroft and Gonzales. The project was very carefully focused on battleground states and became successively more intensive as President Bush and the GOP fell from popularity and voter suppression was therefore more urgently needed to retain Republican seats in Congress. Karl Rove’s immediate involvement with the program emerges from several speeches he delivered to Republican Party organizations.

According to Joseph Rich, a former chief of the DOJ’s Voting Rights Section, “As more information becomes available about the administration's priority on combating alleged, but not well substantiated, voter fraud, the more apparent it is that its actions concerning voter ID laws are part of a partisan strategy to suppress the votes of poor and minority citizens.” The McClatchy account cites the following specific actions as parts of an overall, integrated campaign:


Today's Must Read

If there's one good thing that's come out of the U.S. attorneys scandal, it's that it's shining a bright light on the Justice Department. And as a result, it's become clear that the most grossly politicized section of the department is the Civil Rights Division.

The reason is plain. As we've seen, many Republicans, and Karl Rove in particular, are obsessed with "voter fraud" -- the idea that minorities in Democratic strongholds are taking advantage of lax record systems to stuff the ballot. There's evidence that at least two of the fired U.S. attorneys were let go because they did not pursue such prosecutions. But the obsession is nothing new; it's one of the defining preoccupations of the Bush administration. The hysterical claims have led Republicans to push voter I.D. laws in several swing states -- efforts that have been backed by the White House.


 11:30 PM - link

book recommendation

A couple of books of Kodachrome photographs. If it wasn't Kodachrome, we wouldn't have these images.

Bound for Glory:
America in Color 1939-43

by Paul Hendrickson

The miracle of Kodachrome in 1939. These pictures are incredible. Life in America from 1939 to 1943. From Amazon:

Thanks to famous documentary photographs of Americans during the Great Depression, we tend to visualize everything that happened in the 1930s in black-and-white. In fact, Kodachrome first became available in the U.S. in 1935, and several photographers for the Farm Security Administration experimented with the new color film as they traveled across the country. Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43 presents an oddly startling world of small towns and country roads ablaze in the vivid hues of real life. A sunburned family in Pie Town, New Mexico, eat a dinner of homemade biscuits, grits, and gravy. Sisters wearing print dresses all made from the same rose and blue fabric seem dazed at the wonders of a state fair in Vermont. Work horses graze on bright green grass under a moody Kansas sky. Chosen from an archive of about 1,600 vintage color slides, the 175 photos in the book are the work of several documentary photographers, including Marion Post Wolcott and Jack Delano. Partway through this panorama of Americana, the tone and subject matter shift. Suddenly, the U.S. is at war, and the casual, unposed quality of the earlier images shifts into self-conscious glorification of the American war effort by the Office of War Information, with shots of steel mills and train yards, and of women newly hired by factories to assemble bomber parts. It's clear from Paul Hendrickson's engaging introduction that the pre-war images are the ones he finds most captivating. This slender volume--which aptly borrows the title of Dustbowl troubadour Woody Guthrie's autobiography--offers a window on a distant era in which grinding poverty and racial segregation coexist with the simple pleasures of rural and small-town life.

These pictures were taken by government employees and are public domain and the Library of Congress had them all online.

Bound for Glory

The above link has all the pictures in the book but they are a little light and some of the color is off. The book is better but all of the color shot for the FSA-OWI is available as high resolution scans:

America from the Great Depression to World War II

Young woman at the community laundry on Saturday afternoon, FSA ... camp, Robstown, Tex. 1942


Americans in Kodachrome 1945-1965
by Guy Stricherz

These pictures are truly amazing on all levels.

Americans in Kodachrome

Introduced in 1935 as the first modern color film, Kodachrome was used extensively after World War II by amateur photographers equipped with the new high-quality and low cost 35mm cameras. Americans in Kodachrome 1945--1965 is an unprecedented portrayal of the daily life of the people during these formative years of modern American culture. It is comprised of ninety-five exceptional color photographs made by over ninety unknown American photographers. These photographs were chosen from many thousands of slides in hundreds of collections. Like folk art in other mediums, this work is characterized by its frankness, honesty, and vigor. Made as memoirs of family and friends, the photographs reveal a free-spirited, intuitive approach, and possess a clarity and unpretentiousness characteristic of this unheralded photographic folk art. Conceived as a book and nation-wide exhibition, Americans in Kodachrome: 1945--1965 is an evocative and haunting portrait of an historic generation of Americans.
- Guy Stricherz


Guy Stricherz

Girl Drinking Milk, Allentown, Pennsylvania. H. Donald Bortz, photographer, 1951


 11:23 PM - link


FEMA wants its relief money back

Nothing scares conservatives more than the idea of the government helping Americans. It undermines their core political appeal. Perhaps that's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending Katrina vicims letters demanding they send back their relief money. What better way to make Americans hate Washington?


FEMA wants its relief money back (2)

Writes my friend: "The upshot is that FEMA offered Gulf Coast residence this aid money when they were evacuated with no strings, and now they come back with these mysterious requirements and start selectively trying to get the money back from random people by demanding proof that they meet requirements for aid that they didn't know were in place when they called the 1-800 number."


 09:49 PM - link


I received a request for a camera strap and the requester had an interesting link in his email sig:

The Kodachrome Project

In 1935, Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky Jr. invented Kodachrome 16mm motion picture film. By 1936, Eastman Kodak Company (PDF) introduced the vivid film in 35mm for still images to the masses. The craft of photography and the way the world would look at the printed image changed forever.
Kodachrome is the oldest successfully mass marketed color film in history, it will be 75 in 2010. Kodachrome is renown for it’s incredible archival properties, natural color and ultra-fine rendering of details. In my opinion, Kodachrome is the single most influential color film of all time. It brought to life the otherwise black and white scenes that would fill the pages of Life, Time and National Geographic. As a child in the late seventies, I was fascinated by how the images seamed to float off the pages of these magazines when shot in Kodachrome.


Daniel Bayer is on a mission from God. He plans to expose 200 kids to Kodachrome by having them expose 200 rolls of 24 exposure Kodachrome. Check it out. Check out the rest of the site. I've been thinking of shooting some slide film. Daniel got me excited enough to check out Kodchrome links and one of my regular reads, Christian Patterson at Speak, See, Remember, had a bunch:

Kodachrome Part 1
Kodachrome Part 2
Kodachrome Part 3
Kodachrome Part 4
Kodachrome Part 5

Check out all his links. Wonderful stuff. What is amazing is how long it lasts. I've been scanning some Kodachrome take by my grandfather in 1949 and by me in 1958. Here is some other old Kodachrome:

My Father's Kodachrome and B&W Contributions:


I received some Kodachrome today. It will be loaded into my Leica IIIc, which is appropriate since that is pretty much all my grandfather used in it. Kodachrome's days are obviously numbered. There is only one emulsion left (64) and only one processor left (Dwayne's Photo) but I think it's worth getting to know an old friend again.

Actually two old friends. I'm going to be loading some Tri-X in the Zorki Standard. I've been shooting the Pentax digital SLR a lot the past few weeks. Time to switch gears a little bit. Kodachrome and Tri-X. Forward, into the past! And what other film has a song about it?

Words & music by paul simon

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
Its a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of edu---cation
Hasnt hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama dont take my kodachrome away


Yes indeed, mama dont take my Kodachrome away!

 09:28 PM - link

family stuff and general busyness

I'm afraid that my links are inversely proportional to how busy I am and the last week has been overly full. First there was Zoe's birthday on the 27th. Not only was it her birthday but our grandson Mike had a play he was in at school.

Then it was home with Mike for some cake.

And then dinner at Mike's Place.

More pictures of Zoe's birthday.

I spent the weekend adding to my camera strap site. New colors, new sizes, and a strength test on my string strap.

Tuesday we went to Tacoma to visit Zoe's mom who has Alzheimer's and is at Western State Hospital. We took food down and had dinner with her. She was doing a little better in some ways but Zoe noticed her speach has detiorated. It hit her pretty hard. It's always a long and hard day visiting Gerry.

All if that and I seem to be getting behinder in work. I did get my wireless flash trigger.

Trying to use a PC flash synch cord turned out to be a minor disaster. I won't go into that. The little starship on top of the camera is a radio transmitter and the little blocky thing is the reciever that plugs into the off camera flash. Seems to work just fine. I fire the camera and the flash goes off driven only be radio waves. They are available on eBay for $25. I got mine at Gadget Infinity. Get the version 2. Now I have to figure out using strobes. Shouldn't take more than a year or two.

I'm off to run some errands but links should be starting to appear again soon.

 12:26 PM - link