Thursday, January 7, 2010
The Spynergy Cycling Studio in Wellesley and Hallmark Sotheby’s International
Realty of Hopkinton are hosting a fundraiser to help raise much needed funds
for her. Please join us for this special spin class and 100% of your fee will go
directly to the Animal Rescue League for Turtle’s care.
For just $20.00 you’ll hear great music, get a terrific workout,
and bring hope to this wonderful dog.
Please visit www.arlboston.org/spynergy to sign up for the class, taking place from 11am-12pm, on Saturday, January 16, 2010
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Richard EmblincloseAuthor: Richard Emblin See Author's Posts (2)
Recent PostsRichard Emblin became a Black Star photographer in 1993 while based in Bogota, Colombia, and has shot many assignments for international publications through the agency. In 2000, he became the photo editor of Colombia's leading daily, El Tiempo, where he managed a photo department of more than 30 photojournalists. After leaving El Tiempo in 2006, he consulted with South American newspapers to revamp their photo departments for the Digital Age. Last April, he launched The City Paper, Colombia's first free English-language newspaper, with a circulation of 10,000. in Photojournalism on September 23rd, 2009
Manuel H. Rodriguéz, 89, died last week after a long illness. Manuel H. was the Colombian Capa: a man who for more than half a century captured the history and “moments” of his country with his emblematic Rollei. And like Capa, his career in photojournalism was born out of chaos and violence.
Call it circumstance, or destiny — but life has an uncanny way of sweeping certain people into the “moment.” For Robert Capa, undoubtedly the greatest war photographer of our time, that moment came when he photographed the Spanish Republican militiaman falling after being shot in his hills of Andalusia on September 5, 1936.
Assassination and Uprising
For Manuel H. Rodriguez, his moment erupted on the morning of April 9, 1948. “It was a Friday, and the day was clear,” recalled Manuel when I spoke with him last year. “I had just left the Café Colombia where I was talking with my brothers about bullfighting. It was around one o’clock when I heard on Radio Santafé that [Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer] Gaitán had been shot,” he recalled with painful detail. “Gaitán was a leader of my medio (class).”
Bogotá in 1948, according to Manuel, was a “divided city” where political tensions ran deep. And so too, the anger of the working classes at their lack of representation in government. Liberals and Conservatives were seen to defend the interests of an elite; those well-to-do families who imported their goods from the finest shops in Paris and lived behind the stonewalls of La Candelaria. The Conservatives were the party in power under President Mariano Ospina Perez. The Liberals were the opposition and supported their man, Carlos Lleras Restrepo.
Gaitán was also a Liberal — except that like Manuel H., he was born on the wrong side of the tracks. So when this man from the Las Cruces neighborhood was shot, while stepping out of his office for lunch, on the corner of the Carrera 7 and Jimenez Avenue, the reaction was immediate and violent.
There are no records of exactly how many people were killed in the aftermath of the assassination of Gaitán, but the carnage and the destruction of the city was absolute. The street cars of Bogotá, operated by the Ferrocarril Central del Norte, where Manuel H.’s father worked, were set ablaze by an angry mob. Shops were looted. Fires blazed out of control. Angry men stormed the Ferreteria Berrio to steal machetes and marched towards the city center looking for revenge.
Manuel H., just seven years younger than his European contemporary Capa, didn’t need to photograph a civil uprising in a faraway country. He had one blazing outside his doorstep. “I saw these men with machetes and they started posing for my camera. I took two pictures,” he remembered. “Then they started following me to take my camera,” he said with the clarity of a cinematographer. “They damaged my camera strap.”
When the civil uprising, known as the “El Bogotazo,” erupted, Manuel was 28. He had already been working for more than a decade as a typographer in a local printing press in the center of town, in order to help his family make ends meet. Photography, until that moment, had only been a pleasant pastime, which offered him the possibility of taking family portraits and snaps of daily life in different parts of the city where he was born. “I wasn’t a photographer. I was just an ordinary person who took pictures.”
Armed with a Rolleiflex, which he had purchased with his savings, Manuel started taking pictures of everything he witnessed on the streets of Bogotá that fateful day. He went to The Ritz to witness the destruction of the grand hotel; he convinced a family friend, a nurse on duty at the Clinica Nueva, to get him inside the hospital where Gaitan’s bullet-ridden body was rumored to be. “There were snipers on the rooftops,” he recalled.
Life as a Photojournalist
For Manuel H., life as a professional photographer began the following day. “I went to the Cementerio Central, which was very familiar to me. I was walking among the bodies when all of a sudden I saw the body of a naked man. The only person there among the corpses who was naked.” Then in another twist of fate, which Manuel H. refers to as “coincidence,” he realized that he had stumbled across the bruised and blood-soaked body of Gaitan’s assassin, Eduardo Roa Sierra.
“It was the identity of a person. Good or bad,” he said about what he felt when he saw the face of the man who in an instant had silenced the dreams of so many. And with a couple of clicks of the Rollei, Manuel H. the photojournalist was born. “I was no longer a typographer!” he exclaimed with a sigh of relief.
Sixty years later, Manuel H. was still taking pictures in his studio on Carrera 7, next to a theater that bears the name of Gaitán. His studio was a shrine to photography, with nearly every inch of wall space covered with his black-and-white portraits. There are thousands of other pictures — some 700,000 to be precise — all catalogued and filed in cardboard boxes.
In his final years, Manuel H.’s health was failing and money tight. Despite having photographed for every publication in his country, especially the leading dailies, for more than half a century, he received few royalties from his work. He lived in a rented apartment, just blocks away from the streets and places that made him a legend.
But for Manuel, photojournalism was never about making money. “Money ends, but the picture remains,” he told me. “Without photography there is no history.”
[This post is adapted from an article that originally appeared in The City Paper, a free Colombian newspaper launched by the author. The story and accompanying artwork are republished with his permission.]
A 14-year-old girl named McKenzie Church has gone missing, and Twitter is being used to spread the word of her disappearance and hopefully find someone who knows where she is.
If you've been on Twitter Tuesday, you've probably seen a tweet similar to "retweet: @genochurch's 14 yr old daughter is missing" followed by a link to Genochurch's blog post asking for help in finding his missing daughter. At first glance, it seems like a simple "retweet" seen almost daily on Twitter. But after some digging, you'll quickly find that it's spreading across the service at an extremely rapid rate.
In fact, "please retweet" and "Twitter Amber Alert" are two of the most popular search terms on Twitter. A quick search of "genochurch" on the service's search page yields thousands of results, which are being updated constantly. In a 30-second stint, the site updated the results pages with tweets containing the username a whopping 40 times.
According to Rob Church, his daughter McKenzie was last seen Saturday around Greenville, S.C. He's unsure where his daughter went, but he believes she may be with her 17-year-old boyfriend, Ryan Schichtel, in his 1997 Honda Accord.
McKenzie Church is not listed on the government's Amber Alert page, but a news report by a local TV station in the Greenville area mentions that the girl has gone missing. It does point out, though, that authorities believe she is in no danger.
"Greenville County deputies told us the missing girl is being treated as a runaway," Greenville's WSPA CBS channel reported. "Her friend is not considered a runaway because of his age. Deputies do not feel the pair is in danger."
Although a number of Twitter "campaigns" have developed over the past year, most were confined to a small group on the service. But this unprecedented response on the part of the Twitter community to help Church find his missing daughter is attracting Twitter users from across the globe and has quickly swept across the service.
There's no telling if the help Church is receiving from Twitter will bring his daughter back home, but it certainly highlights an important point: Twitter cannot only connect people in a community, it can harness the power of that community for something far more important than telling others what you had for dinner last night.
Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has written about everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Don is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and posts at The Digital Home. He is not an employee of CNET.
September 19, 2009, 3:34PM
Waiting to hear back from the Guinness World Records people is the hardest part about submitting her 26-year-old mixed terrier as the world's oldest dog, Janelle Derouen says.
AP Photo/The Advocate, Bryan TuckThe New Iberia woman does confess to some anxiety about whether Max — who, if you go for the old multiply-by-seven calculation, is about the equivalent of a 182-year-old human — will survive until the confirmation papers arrive.
Derouen said she is awaiting word from Guinness, after faxing papers that included a veterinarian's record of Max's birth and puppy shots in August 1983.
He's already five years older than Chanel, a dachshund that held the title until her death this past summer at the age of 21.
But there's a lot of competition for top old dog. "We've gotten a lot of claims since Chanel died. I would say hundreds," Jamie Panas, a spokeswoman for Guinness World Records in New York, said Thursday. "And right now we don't have that confirmed."
When all topics are counted, she said, a thousand claims a week come in.
Max, who weighs about 16 pounds, shares home and attention with Murphy, a 4-year-old mixed-Pomeranian.
These days Max is quieter than he was in his puppy years, but he is in relatively good health and likes to recline on a special leopard-print couch.
"Trust me," Derouen said. "He doesn't let anyone touch it, even his 'brother.'"
Max is even older than some of Derouen's five children, who range in age from 21 to 30.
He has a touch of arthritis, one missing tooth, a bit of gray fur, and cataracts. He wears aviator-style goggles when he goes outside to protect his eyes.
He has been featured in the London Daily Telegraph and on a Lafayette television station.
"He did a big yawn on TV," Derouen recalled. "He's not letting it go to his head."
Max still expects to be in the car every time it leaves the driveway, enjoying the wind on his face. He also gets a little animated when he sees the neighbor's black cat. Other than that, it's back to the couch.
Derouen threw a big party on Aug. 9, when Max turned 26. Friends came with their dogs decked out to the nines — Max wore his New Orleans Saints jersey and collar — and chowed down on a big peanut butter and cream cheese cake.
"Boy, he enjoyed it," Derouen said of the cake. "It's the first time he'd had a really big treat."
Aside from that party, Max has eaten kibble all his life, Derouen said.
Veterinarian Andy Reaux of New Iberia has been Max's vet for the last six months.
"It's very unusual for a dog to be that old," Reaux said. "The average age is like 13 or 14."
"I just don't know what I'm going to do when that day comes," Derouen said. "I know I'm going to have a funeral."
She has planned it: a eulogy, singing, and a headstone. And an obituary published in the local paper.
"I already have the picture and all," she said.
Max just dozes away on his couch, waiting for another ride.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Blogs are often criticized for helping to kill print media. Last week, though, the prominent political blogger Andrew Sullivan used his forum on TheAtlantic.com to tell readers to subscribe to the print edition of the magazine.
It worked. Within two days after last Monday’s post, Mr. Sullivan’s appeal pulled in 75 percent of the subscriptions that the Web site draws in a typical month, the magazine’s publisher, Jay Lauf, said. The Atlantic expects this month’s subscription orders to be double an average month’s.
Mr. Sullivan said he was happy that his “open letter to George W. Bush on torture” had made the magazine’s cover, although such a cover has limited commercial appeal, and that led to the spontaneous post about subscriptions.
“With old media in crisis, a decision like that is understandably making some general interest magazines an endangered species,” Mr. Sullivan said in his post.
The Atlantic is having trouble, at least on the advertising side. Ad pages fell 25 percent in the first six months of this year from the same period last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau. However, there is demand on the reader side: circulation rose 6.8 percent in the same time frame, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Mr. Lauf said he was delighted with Mr. Sullivan’s note, but it was not anything he was going to instruct other writers to do.
Mr. Sullivan said he had written the post without any input from executives.“Whenever I feel grateful for some reason that The Atlantic still exists, I give it a shot,” he said. “Many readers care enough to want to support media that say the hard things and do the uncommercial things. It’s actually wonderful, I think, that new media can support old media in this way.”
Information is not journalism, he explained further. You get a lot of things, when you open up Twitter in the morning, but not journalism. Journalism needs discipline, analysis, explanation and context, he pointed out, and therefore for him it is still a profession. The value that gets added with journalism is judgment, analysis and explanation - and that makes the difference. So journalism will stay - he was optimistic about that. However, journalists must understand one rule: if you believe you are in competition with the internet, find your way out. Collaboration, openness and link culture are rules, you can't deny at the moment, he said.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Four Days of Action for Dogs
by Scotlund Haisley
In the past four days our Animal Rescue Team has rescued dogs from puppy mills in four states—ushering more than 500 dogs from a life of confinement and misery into a world of compassion and safety.
This unprecedented rally of action is part of The Humane Society of the United States’ ongoing mission to wipe out the cruel puppy mill industry.
The past few days have been both mentally and physically exhausting, but our team has buckled down for the sake of the animals. It's our devotion to eradicating animal suffering that allows us to continue day after day.
Where it Began
On this property we found approximately 50 small-to-medium-breed dogs living in cramped, filthy conditions. This second rescue was smaller but no less pivotal in the lives of the dogs we freed that day.
But just as we were about to pull into the hotel, I received a call for help. An animal control officer in Tupelo, Miss., had gained access to an 81-dog puppy mill but had no resources to remove or shelter the dogs.
No Rest, Yet
I turned to my exhausted team and asked them if it was possible for us to press on and complete another rescue that very night. No one so much as batted an eye before agreeing. We arrived at the Miss. puppy mill at midnight.
After an entire day of grueling work in the field and a six-hour drive, our energy was waning. But the sight of the truly hellish conditions at this canine factory farm immediately recharged our batteries. Maybe it was the late night hour, or the skulls of dead animals that littered the property. Whatever it was, this mill was truly disturbing.
The approximately 80 dogs were kept in small wire cages caked in feces that looked like it had built up for months.
Many of the dogs suffered from infected cuts on their legs and paws where their feet slipped through the rusted wire crates.
We made our way through the dark rows of cages, turning the rusty locks and taking these dogs out of their nightmare world once and for all.
I made a promise to each of them there in the middle of the night that daybreak would usher in a whole new life.
Forced breeding and constant confinement would be replaced by human compassion and comfort.
Our team completed this rescue operation just hours before we were scheduled to fly out to our fourth puppy mill raid. Bleary-eyed and stooped, we made our way to the airport. I barely had time to absorb the enormity of the past 48 hours before falling into a coma-like slumber on the plane.
More than 170 dogs, mainly German shorthair pointers and Weimaraners, were being housed in dilapidated barns throughout the property.
Despite the morning sun, we had to use flashlights inside the dark, dank structures just to locate all of the dogs. I was shocked when we heard whimpering coming from the closed door of a grain silo. We found 35 puppies entombed in the pitch-black silo, with no food or water. The food and water we did see on the property was covered in mud, mold and flies.
After several hours of combing the property, we had collected all of the evidence from the scene and removed every dog. It was only after they were safely transported to the emergency shelter that our collective team could step back and think about the massive amount of suffering we had witnessed—and thankfully ended—over the past few days.
Sigh of Relief
The media coverage that these deployments generate is yet another opportunity to strike at the root of the puppy mill problem. The average person simply does not know that the dogs they see in pet stores or for sale on websites most likely came from the sort of abusive puppy mills that we have helped to shutter this week. Each raid is an opportunity to educate thousands of area residents that if they buy a dog from a pet store or online broker, they are part of the puppy mill problem.
It is truly a gift to be part of an organization with such an incredible impact on animal welfare.
The cover story in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine is a 13,000-word investigation of the New Orleans hospital where patients were euthanized in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It’s a remarkable and tragic story that may also represent the most expensive single piece of print journalism in years.
This is the new economics of news production: The reporter, Sheri Fink, began working on the project in 2007 as a fellow at the Kaiser Foundation and stayed on the story nearly full-time after joining ProPublica, the non-profit, investigative-journalism outfit, in 2008. Later that year, Fink and her editors began collaborating with the Times Magazine, which did not pay for the piece. It’s also available on ProPublica’s site, and anyone is free to republish the article in full beginning on September 29.Gerald Marzorati, editor of the Times Magazine, caused a minor stir this week when he estimated that the article cost $400,000 to produce. That turns out to be an exaggeration, but the order of magnitude is correct.
By 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, the Globe's home page, Boston.com, had shifted to an all-Kennedy package, which grew over the next couple of hours to include stories, photos, videos and a guest book for people to share their memories of the senator.
The story of how the Globe pulled all that together in several hours, before most people had even heard the news, is really a story of what the staff did in the two months before: reporting and writing stories off deadline, producing video retrospectives, preparing a special home page layout.