January 23, 2019

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has cloned five ancient redwood stumps to create 75 saplings. After 2 years of propagation, the saplings were planted in the Presidio in SF in the hopes of creating a supergrove. I'm intrigued by the science behind this project. The short film Moving the Giants tells the story of Archangel scientist David Milarch an arborist on a quest to archive the genetics of the world’s largest trees before they’re gone.

June 14, 2011

One Week's Headlines in Mexico's Drug War

Monday, June 13
Monterrey: Man hung from a busy overpass and burned
Guadalupe: Butchered man in taxi left at Police Headquarters
Guerrero: 4 gunmen killed in firefight with army
Tabasco: Police confuse famers with gunman, two dead
Chihuahua: Pregnant woman killed by gunman
Acapulco: Man tortured and beheaded
Nayarit: Pregnant woman found badly tortured
Morelia: Executed man discovered
Sunday, June 12
Generan Teran: 3 skinned heads discovered in bags on busy street
Monterrey: beheaded man found in park
Sinaloa: Man tortured and executed in Sinaloa
Canatlan: Father and 2 sons executed
Montemorelos: Armed men open fire in front of Police Station
Excobedo: Violent gun battle, 3 dead
Campesina: 3 men executed at a rehab center
Saturday, June 11
Guerreo: Men killed and skinned, left on highway
Tijuana: Human head discovered
Monterrey: Two men hung from overpass
Monterrey: Man tortured, beheaded
Sinola: Man executed
Nuevo Leon: Butchered man dumped by school
Chihuahua: 3 men gunned down
Guerrero: Warning to Police. Two men skinned. One videotaped before death
Friday, June 10
Sinaloa: Man gunned down in restaurant
Hualahuises: Heads of 3 policeman found
Monterrey: Grenade thrown at State Investigation Agency
Acapulco: Six unmarked graves discovered
Acapulco: Young woman executed
Michoacan: 21 executed
Monterrey: Handcuffed man chased and killed
Vera Cruz: Tortured body of navy man discovered
Thursday, June 9
Guanajuato: Scores of trash bags found with human body parts
Cadereyta: Dismembered woman found
Monterrey: Prison break after grenades are thrown
Monterrey: Police kill two gunman
Chihuahua: Gunman kill three men
Sinaloa: Two young men executed in stolen car
Coahuila: Arsenal discovered
Durango: Police ambushed and executed
Monterrey: Rotting corpse discovered under a bridge
Guerrero: Young Man tortured and burned
Michoacan: 21 bodies found
Santiago: Army attacked by assassins, several dead
Monterrey: Young man executed on busy street
Wednesday, June 8
Monterrey: Woman's Head left at popular restaurant
Victoria: Remains of 30 people found in fuel drums
Chihuahua: Hitmen attack police
Monterrey: Two men hung in broad daylight
Guerrero: Armed group ambush police
Monterrey: Gunbattle in Monterrey
Sinaloa: Armed group attacks and kills three
Guerrero: Two people chased and gunned down
Coahuila: Homemade tank discovered buried in a cave
Tuesday, June 7
Torreon: 11 dead by gunfire.
Guerrero: Body of brutally tortured man found
Tamaulipas: Grenade thrown
Mochicahui: Bullet riddled body of man found
Cadereyta: Bodies of dead men found being eaten by animals
Guadalupe: Two men executed
Monterrey: Beheaded man foudn on street.
Chihuahua: Bodies of two beheaded women discovered
Monterrey: Young man executed in his bedroom
Sinaloa: Policeman and son killed.
Nuevo Leon: Three headless bodies found on the highway
Nuevo Leon: Three heads discovered
Michoacan: Man quartered fond on side of road
Morelos: Running run battle. At least two killed.
Juarez: At least 7 found dead in shallow grave
Monterrey: Officer surrounded and attacked

It's estimated that since 2006 when this drug war ramped up between 30,000 and 40,000 people have died in narco related violence. This is roughly double the total number of estimated deaths (civilian and military) in Afghanistan since 2001.

These headlines were taken from a single blog that covers narco violence. If I were to include accounts from major newspapers and other blogs this list would have been many times longer.

Update: Two days after this was posted between 33-39 people were killed in drug violence in Monterrey. This went largely unreported in American media. To give this context on an average day in New York City which is more than double the size on Monterrey, 1.4 people are murdered.

If you want more background on the drug war in Monterrey, Nik Steinberg's piece The Monster and Monterrey in the Nation is excellent.

May 2, 2011

On Abbottabad

If you are interested in how news starts to follow a narrative especially when facts and boots on the ground are sparse, study the details of the reports on Abbottabad. I happen to have been through Abbottabad as it's on the tail end (or beginning, depending on your direction) of the Karakoram Highway and have a sense of the place. The media has repeatedly defined the city as a suburb of Islamabad (the Pakistani capital) and as a military garrison. Also, interesting, is the description of the house as a mansion/luxury compound and a fortress.

Abbottabad was founded as a British Hill Station, a place where English military officers and officials would escape the heat of cities like Peshawar, Rawalpindi, or Lahore (Islamabad, the Pakistani equivalent of Brazillia, didn't exist yet). The city is a popular tourist destination, weekend getaway, and honeymoon spot for middle and upperclass Pakistanis. THE honeymoon spot is another town called Murree which is higher in the mountains, Abbottabad is sort of a second tier spot.

The city is about 100 km from Islamabad over a road that takes roughly two hours to drive if the traffic isn't terrible which it often is. Many news organizations are reporting the distance between Islamabad and Abbottabad by drawing a straight line on a map without looking at topography. The straight line from Islamabad to Abbottabad crosses very high mountains. The road that actual people travel takes a more circuitous route.

A big prestigious military academy sits on the north side of the town and lots of military folks build retirement and vacation homes there. This is mainly because the Pakistani brass have the the type of money/sway to build houses in popular vacation spots. If you show up in the town center you wouldn't think of the town as being any more or less of military town than any other town in the region (the military has a heavy presence throughout the area). All the cities here have a large number of tribal people and the central government needs the military to reign them in.

Much has been made of the fact that the military owns lots of land in the town, and that the compound couldn't have been built without the military's knowledge, but just as almost everywhere in Pakistan, a little baksheesh greases the wheels and helps avoid questions.

Many if not most of the large homes in the middle and upper middle class areas are surrounded by high walls (often topped by barbed wire or broken glass). Many many multi-family compounds are scattered throughout the city. As far as mansions go, I've seen much nicer looking homes in Pakistan. I presume the primary reason this house stuck out for the intelligence guys was that the size of the house didn't fit the profile of the people who were supposedly living inside it. The lack of phone and internet would also be unusual, but probably not unheard of (many people in Pakistan only use cell phones, and many people, even wealthy ones, are unwired).

A few other impressions: Abbottabad is also something of a college town with dozens of small colleges. Many students would be considered Westernized liberals in Pakistan. One legacy of the British occupation is a sizable Christian population. I distinctly remember hearing church bells in the town. There are still several prominent churches scattered about.

Here are some media characterizations of the city:

"garrison suburb of Abbottabad, about 30 miles from the center of Islamabad" - National Review

"Abbottabad is essentially a military cantonment city in Pakistan, in the hills to the north of the capital of Islamabad, in an area where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers." - New Yorker

"U.S. forces for months had watched the luxury compound in Abbottabad, a city 65 miles from the capital that is home to two Pakistani army regiments" - Washington Post

'"Mansion? Next to a military base? 18 miles from the capital? Staying there for three years?" he said.' - USA Today

" Mr. bin Laden was killed Sunday in a targeted assault in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, roughly 40 miles outside the capital city of Islamabad." - Wall Street Journal

A more accurate representation:

In August 2010, the intelligence agencies found the exact compound where this courier was living, in Abbottabad. That home was in an affluent suburb of a nondescript garrison town, perhaps selected for its very anonymity and, of course, its good communications and ease of access to the tribal zones. - The Guardian

It will be interesting to see how the picture of the town morphs over time.

Photoset of images from Abbottabd

Flickr photos from Abbottabad, More pictures from a Pakistani journalist

May 2, 2011

Live Tweeting The Bin Laden Raid


Without realizing it, Sohaib Athar, a Pakistani IT Professional from Lahore on a retreat in the vacation town of Abbottabad, live tweeted the 1am arrival of helicopters in the raid that killed Bin Laden.


Other interesting tweets from the area: Another live-ish tweet, It was a known militant hideout, Supposed Post Mortem Picture of Osama circulating in Pakistan (Tin Eye confirms it's a fake- circulating since last year), Some thought helicopter crash was a bomb, lots of choppers, Another local report

Pakistan's English Language Newspaper

Update: Video from a Neighbor

February 9, 2011

Bob Dinan collects radio jingles

He hosts a radio jingle podcast and is part of a subculture of radio jingle enthusiasts.

This a set of jingles Bob has cataloged from the Desert Shield radio network:

"Keep your head down and the volume up! -Desert Shield Network"

May 27, 2010

Darpa Robot Video

Just watch it:

February 13, 2010

Sponsor Sara's Marathon Run and Receive one of my Prints

My friend and 20x200 colleague Sara Distin will be running her first marathon in support of First Descents, a charity providing guidance and support young adults with cancer. The date of the race coincides with the anniversary of her dad's death. Of the charity she writes:

Had First Descents been around in 1984 when my dad was diagnosed at the age of 37, I imagine he would have been quick to sign himself up. A lifelong outdoorsman, he kept on hiking, windsurfing and skiing as long as he was able. When doctors forbade it and common sense probably should have stopped him, he slipped out of the house in the middle of the night to windsurf and wander. He lived with cancer for 11+ years. Along the way, he imparted his love for life, the outdoors and adventure to me and my sweet sister, Katie.

(Read more from Sara about the race and the charity.)

My incentive to you to make a donation is this: everyone who donates more that $500 towards Sara's goal will be in the running to receive a 20x24 print of mine titled "Father and Son" (#2 of 7, signed). Of my own images, this is one of my favorites.


I will award the 20x24 print to a person selected at random from the pool of contributors after the race in April. Additionally, every person who makes a $500+ donation via this web post will get a signed 8.5x11 print of my choosing.

To be entered in the pool:

1) Make your donation.

2) Let me know about the donation by emailing me: RAUL *A-T* MEXICANPICTURES.COM. Then let me know whether you'd like your name publicized and send me your shipping address.

3) I'll compare notes with Sara at race time and we'll select the winner of the 20x24 print from the pool of entrants. The small prints will also be sent out at this time.

By entering you help young people with cancer, sponsor a lovely human being running her first marathon, get a tax deduction, and receive a free print - possibly a 20x24. This methinks is not bad deal.

June 13, 2009

I still enjoy reading a real newspaper...

I prefer my newspapers to be real things I can hold in my hands. Why?.. partially, so I can happen upon stories I would never read on the web (on the web I tend to self select stories I already know will hold my interest; in a real paper I read almost everything. Why? Because it's comprehensible. There is an end.)...

Anyway, I digress... Here are a few choice snippets from an article titled "An Independence Claim in Nicaragua" which I found the other day while reading the newspaper on the couch so you can read it here on the web...

Commercial sales of turtle meat, which has long been a delicacy here, is restricted in Nicaragua because of declining populations of endangered green sea turtles — one of many cultural clashes that the people in this remote corner of Nicaragua, who have eaten turtle for generations, say have propelled them to create their own country, which they have dubbed the Communitarian Nation of Mosquitia.


Fed up, the separatists seized the region’s ruling party headquarters on April 19 and appointed Héctor Williams as their wihta tara, or great judge. Mr. Williams, a local religious leader whose thin black mustache stretches out toward his deep dimples, said the region suffered from a variety of woes — devastating hurricanes and rat plagues to a mysterious disease known as grisi siknis, which is marked by collective bouts of hysteria.


The only weapons visible during a recent visit — before the weekend eviction — were slingshots, although the separatists said they were seeking financing to train and equip an army of 1,500.

“We’ll defend our natural resources,” vowed Guillermo Espinoza, the movement’s defense minister, who was known as Comandante Black Cat during the contra war. If no guns can be found, he said, the separatists will make weapons themselves.

September 18, 2008

Time Machine

More about this...

Related: Time Photography, Noah K

July 3, 2008

Christoph Niemann

I love this piece titled The Boys And The Subway by artist/illustrator Christoph Niemannon on the New York Times website. If you have kids who ride the subway you will too. (via Jen Bekman on IM across the office)

Aside: I wish the Times would give us an option for bigger pictures in art pieces like this one and in photo essays. The Boston Globe has a clunky but simple and functional space for photo essays with larger pictures called (appropriately, The Big Picture). How great would the above NYTimes essay be if the images were of decent size?

Also make sure to check out Nemann's book 100% Evil.

June 15, 2008

Faulkner's Voice

I love that Faulkner sounds exactly like what you think Faulkner would sound like (Faulkner on college English and Faulkner accepting his Nobel). Hemingway on the other hand sounds nothing like what I expected. (Hemingway accepting the Nobel). I assumed Hemingway would sound something like Orson Wells.

Related: Teddy Roosevelt's voice

March 20, 2008

Alpacas for you

they make me happy.

February 8, 2008

Werner Herzog on the Obscenity of the Jungle

Almost 2 years ago I linked to an audio clip of Werner Herzog ruminating on the jungle. I went looking for my post today and found a longer video clip on youtube instead.

Note whenever I'm bored with myself I mentally switch my inner dialog over to Herzog voice and suddenly I bore myself a bit less. I recommend this.

January 13, 2008

100 Drums

Makes me happy.

December 17, 2007

The Serpent 1937


I swear I've had dreams that look exactly like this picture. More here.

(via MonsterBrains)

September 17, 2007

Berkley's Japanese Historical Map Collection

I was doing research on a Meiji Era World Map I'm about to sell when I came across the Japanese Historical Map Collection at Berkley.

The collection is full of graphic delights and is highly recommended. Safari 3 users note the site uses some custom code that works much better in Firefox. This collection is but a small part of the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection which seems to be a garden of delight so vast I have yet to jump in for fear of getting lost for hours.

As a side note during my web wanderings I also came across a few sites with Meiji era photography. The best I found were this small gallery of vintage Japan photos (by Western photographers) collected by curator Richard Gadd and this larger database of photographs taken by Japanese photographers from the University of Nagasaki.

August 14, 2007

The Perseids

Few things in this world better than a good meteor shower. Sadly it was hazy here last night... here's a better veiw:

July 27, 2007

At the beach...

...until Monday with a truly terrible internet connection so why not check out some of the links in the sidebar...

or if your in a non-verbal mood why not browse around some of the fun stuff on flickr...


July 20, 2007

Bride of Fourth Street

I normally don't post this sort of thing.... but...
(via david gallagher's linklog)

July 19, 2007

Go Panthers

I've written little snippets here and there about my high school in East Texas... it's hard for my friends here in New York to wrap their minds around East Texas so I thought I'd provide a bit of illustration. The myspace profile photos above are all of guys who attended my high school while I was there. Can you match their photos to their profile blurbs?

"I am a 41 yr. old man that likes to hunt and fish. I am married to a beautiful wife for nine years. I have always wanted to be with two women....and I guess that it help to have a wife that is bi." also "I would love to be able to meet Linda Carter..."

"................... I like boating , fishing , the beach, camping , i am a member of the Moose and the Moose Legion , i like bikes and to ride , i like loseing money in the slots. I have two chihuhuas (akc) Bandit & Gidget... I am a painter (sucks) I live with the love of my life going on 10 years now, Vickie... I have two kids that i dont get to see, there mother is hideing them from me, but they dont the truth, leslie 16 and greg 15 , i really miss them and love them more than they will ever know..."

"Enjoy hunting,fishing,bowfishing,riding my waverunner,and pretty much all outdoors type activities. I am 39, single for several years and enjoying the simple life for a while. I also like watching nascar, hanging out with friends, and going to church as much as possible."

"Who I'd like to meet:
Jesus,Robert Plant, Ozzy, George W Bush, Some gal that'll be good to me, and I guess, sadly, I'm still looking."

"ll .. i'm mostly a hermit .. sorta anti social .. has alot to do with my youth.. long story .. ask if you really want to. most of the contact i have with people are on line from games ..i'm a home body .. don't go out much. I stay home .. watch tv , a movie , or play a game on the come, or mess with my wife . I'm not a drinker .. but once in a great while will drink one beer or a glass of boones farms wine .. snow berry creek, fuzzy navel, or the melon one. never smoked... fairly easy going .. even though I sometimes have problems with males .. funny i know, knowing i'm a male .. I just hate some of the things they do, or ways they act. i'll normally talk to anyone on line .. exspecially about games or computers or pets. i'm an irish desent born under aries. I like the colors black , red , green. anything else .. ask ..."

July 3, 2007

Flight of the Conchords

Evolution of a comedy routine from my new favorite show: an early version, and a version from Sunday's show.

Related: Official Site, What the Folk (fan site),Conchords (another fan site)

May 15, 2007

Banksy in the New Yorker

This week's New Yorker Banksy article is online.

May 7, 2007

The Stuff of Dreams

The guy next to me on the plane studied Sky Mall for almost the entire 6 hour flight back to New York... some excerpts:

"Walk with the stride of a champion. Walk taller and with more confidence than ever!"

"Our BBQ grill light shines so brightly it's like cooking in daylight!"

"The remote controlled robotic hammerhead shark is fun for the entire family!"

"Without a doubt the best pet staircase on the market."

"The children's atm bank will provide hours of fun for you and your kids."

"My Dad was speechless and got teary eyed... he won't stop talking about his BEST GIFT EVER! The photograph really looks like an original painting on authentic canvas."

"Purchase two globes and have a nuclear faceoff so you can eliminate your opponents."

"Our socks with toes are a hygienic alternative to bare feet."

"You will feel like you can keep up with the best of the World Famous Secret Agents when you are wearing the Gravity Defying Shoe."

"Finally, a decorative cat litter box."

"If God is indeed 'in the details', this incredible eagle sculpture speaks to the American spirit!"

"Forget about digging or tlling, toss in our seed ball in the yard to plant an entire garden."

"In 5 minutes you too can take pictures like Ansel Adams"

April 20, 2007

Olivier's Kabul Video Log

My friend Olivier Laude just posted a video from his 2003 trip to Kabul. Much of the footage is shot through car windows, it's largely wordless, and nothing in particular happens, but through it you really get a sense of the place, or at least a travelers sense of the place. I recommend it.

Olivier is a photographer and web pioneer. He was one of the guys behind atlas magazine which was updated from 1995 to 1998. Atlas was one of the first great design/photography showcases online showing us how cool the web could be—sort of a proto-boing boing. It's taken the web 10 years to catch up...

March 18, 2007

Chen Jiaojiao and Peng Yangjun

Ever since Colors Magazine changed it's editorial regime in 2004 it's been uneven... but issue 70: Beijing: stories from a city is a return to form. The entire issue, both text and photography, is the work of two Chinese artists, Chen Jiaojiao and Peng Yangjun, and their monograph does a good job at evoking the range of change and contradiction found in modern Beijing.

Better versions of some of the images and more information on the photographers can be found in the press kit.

March 6, 2007

Tibet 1942

In 1942 two U.S. Army officers, Lt. Col. Ilya Tolstoy and Capt. Brooke Dolan were sent to Tibet from India to explore the possibility of getting military supplies to Chiang Kai-shek's Republican Chinese government, via Tibet. Rob Linrothe, Assistant Professor of Art History at Skidmore is doing research on the expedition and has posted a cache of photographs from the Tibet expedition... While many of the images depict a world long destroyed (the pictures of Llahsa and Gyantse are particularly heartbreaking if you know the modern versions of the cities made over by the Chinese into package tour destinations), the images of the nomads are timeless. I've posted two expedition images along with my own modern analogues...

Continue reading Tibet 1942 »

February 9, 2007

American Wasteland 10:47PM


Channel 2:
"Are you saying the blood was used in ritual sacrifice?"

Channel 21:

Channel 39:
"Lo voy a matar!"
"No, No puedes matar un niño!"

Channel 41:
"Vivo en un casa de sangre."

Channel 66
"When they come to that conclusion that babies go to heaven, they are even more in revolt against the word of God."

Channel 203
"He was found in a bathroom without his clothes on with his head severed."

Channel 208
"Look at this big tall guy. He takes it as it comes which makes for a nice bullride. Oww! Look at that guy holding on with those big long legs.-

Channel 227
"Are you serious? You can't be serious? $68 for display case with the bear claw? You can't be serious Shelia, are you going to start sending out cash with these babies? Every knife in this set—the swamp lizard, the bear claw, the avenger, the american hero, the dragon claw, and the green beret—is a hand crafted fighting machine. Can you say fast, these are fast knives. They DO NOT want to mess with you when you are packing one of these. So get off the porch and pick up the case."

Channel 244

Channel 254
"I'm scared. I'm scared. No. No. LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!"

Channel 261
"Hanna refused to give in to the unthinkable, especially in the case of Lady her favorite."

Channel 276
"A hardened witness to battle the hyena will eat it's own in times of drought and famine."

December 26, 2006

The Alphabet: A Critical Assessment

Pentagram Design, as usual, sent out a memorable holiday card. This year it came in the form of a booklet, "The Alphabet: A Critical Assessment", a printed copy of a Marion Bantjes blog post.

on the upper and lowercase Z: "And last, but certainly not least, the Z, with a final flourish, a sword slash (I know!), a signature of completion. The Z has exhuberance and balance ... alas, with the lower case z, the alphabet goes out with a bang and a whimper."

November 20, 2006

The Megacity

George Packer's The Megacity: Decoding the chaos of Lagos' in the In the November 13th New Yorker is as fascinating as it is depressing (and not incidentally a searing indictment of architectural intellectuals like Rem Koolhaas who are so lost in theory that they seem unable to comprehend the palpable misery they are witnessing). The article is not online, but seek it out, it deserves to be read.

The story is illustrated with 2 powerful images from Samantha Appleton, an incredible photographer (and former assistant to James Nachtwey), who works in most difficult corners of the world.

update: if you have a library card, you can read the full article on this library site.

related: lagos on google maps, memories of post colonial africa

November 10, 2006

Cultural Revolution Images

I've always had a morbid fascination with China's Cultural Revolution but I've only seen pictures of that period from within China proper. This Chinese language blog by Zhao Wang has a few Cultural Revolution images taken within Tibet showing the destruction of the Jokhang monastary. Can anyone do a translation summary of the text? And it should be noted the Jokhang monastery is located in Lhasa and has been restored.

The only named Chinese photographer I know from that period is Li Zhensheng... I'm always looking for new links to others.

Related: cultural revolution propaganda posters, more photographs, clip art,

October 16, 2006

This American Life Podcast

My favorite radio show finally has a proper podcast. Here is the iTunes link and the regular xml link.

September 9, 2006

Mexican Monographias

I'm not sure how I landed on their distribution list but in today's mail I received a slim booklet on Mexican Monographias from Pentagram Design, and it's one of the best things I've received by mail in years. Monographias are posters made up of comic book-like panels that teach lessons. The lessons cover just about anything you can think of from astronomy, to famous wrestlers, to world dictators, to social evils. There have been popular in Mexico since I was a kid and are very similar to Indian educational posters which serve the same purpose [they are so similar that you wonder whether there was some cross pollination or whether there was a third source that both are imitating...or perhaps it just has to do with the types of presses used and the respective levels of development/social education needs.].

I used to collect these posters as a boy when visiting Mexico and was always looking for obscure subjects published by small time vendors. My favorite was a collection of martyrs who died by crucifixion. I was also partial to the "Animales Peligrosos" which featured a little boy being devoured by a lion. The booklet I received today was published by the design firm Pentagram as part of their Pentagram Papers series, a set if personal design projects put together by Pentagram's partners. The booklet features a thoughtful intro by partner Armin Vit titled "The World on a page at Five Pesos a Piece." I hope they put the whole thing online so all of you can enjoy it. In the meantime you can find a few reproductions of Monographias showing social evils on this site, a book on the Indian versions is available on Amazon (review, postersfor sale).

Armin Vit's essay ends with this, "Today in our information-heavy environment, I long for those simpler days when research, information and, ultimately, education on any given topic involed only a single, double-sided page."

. . .
as an addendum: another example of a Pentagram partner doing inspiring work.

July 14, 2006


Except for the animated banner ads, I really dig David Byrne's blog. Check out today's post on Marfa/Donald Judd/Money etc.

I miss Marfa... the light there is delicious.

July 10, 2006


Some recent favorite Wikipedia entries:

The Fallen Astronaut

The Heavy Metal Umlaut

The Space Character

Señorita Cometa

My flickr favorites.

June 17, 2006

"Large" Animal Collection

The Staten Island Zoo website is a wee bit defensive about the zoo's animal collection.

"How big is our invertebrate collection? There are 10 zoos with larger collections, 2 zoos with same size collections, and 139 zoos with smaller collections. Thus, only 7% of zoos have larger invertebrate collections than us. Our invertebrate collection is larger than the following big zoos combined: Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Philadelphia. Because they all have none!"

May 11, 2006

A few free links

These small art books are super cool. The remind me of grownup little big books. The company also produces cool flip books.

Jonathan Gitelson's portfolio site is a delight. I especially like his wave project.

Similar to the site above, Stephen Gill's site is great fun.

It took me a couple of times through to understand Colleen Plumb's image selection. Her site is full of small photo jokes.

If you can get past the super annoying navigation, Michael Northrup has a couple of nice Southern trailerpark gothic images.

April 21, 2006

Daily Show Correspondents and Contributors on the web

John Hodgeman: his blog, his book site, drawings of his 700 Hobos here and here, hislittle grey book lectures, songs on his ipod, on the mirror project, on This American Life, in McSweeney's.

Demetri Martin: his website, on myspace, series of Slate diary entries, Gothamist interview, jokes on Wikipedia, on Letterman, Believer interview.

Ed Helms: his surprisingly dickish official site, clips from the Daily Show, CNN interview, the comical interview.

Rob Corddry: blacktable interview, suicide girls interview, his official site is screwed up, AV club interview.

Samantha Bee: Gothamist interview, on wikipedia.

Dan Bakkedahl, Nate Corddry, and Jason Jones don't have much of web presence, most of the links are for video clips from the show...

April 20, 2006

Friday Linkarama

Hard to resist Meg Whitmark's yeti art. (via Lena Corwin)

Simon Norfolk's images of Afghanistan manage to be beautiful and terrible at the same time. The Liberia set also has the same breathtaking/heartbreaking quality. (via Conscientious) Note to the graphic designer: Never take over my screen. In a gallery of photographs always provide a back button. Flash is obnoxious & pop out windows are obnoxious.

Mac users can geek out over this tour of Microsoft Mac Business Unit Lab.

The a new version of Vimeo just launched. Looking very slick. My pages here.

Nice post about marriage and other stuff by Kristen.

My wife has been loving the fabrics at reprodepot and has been busy using them to make neat stuff like a cowboy wrist rest for my computer.

Jenn is also a big fan of Saelee Oh. Her show 'I walk and rivers run' opens April 27 @ Giant Robot. I hope GR's New York store develops to be as cool as their LA homebase.

Sabrina Ward Harrison's journals are spectacular. (via Swissmiss Tina shouldn't you be busy giving birth instead of blogging!) I'm a big fan of journal art. Check the journal's and letters flickr group I created.

If you've ever hung out with Israeli girls in their 20's you've probably noticed how their army tours of duty have made them ferociously tough. Rachel Papo documents the army experience of these women. (via Kottke)

My friend Olivier Laude just relaunched his website showcasing the portraits he has been taking for the past few years. The navigation is still a bit wonky but I'm sure things will get sorted out when he's back from Panama. I hope he includes lots of his editorial work which is totally different than these portraits or his commercial work.

This video makes me want to speak to Jenn in French.

The most common Chinese characters in order of usage.

Since my Werner Herzog post may of you have emailed mentioning a big article on him in the New Yorker this week. After seeing the various documentaries about him I now hear all his interviews in that great soft German accent of his.

Enjoy the weekend. Looks to be almost summery.

April 4, 2006

Clown Ministry

From the always insanely great WFMU blog comes this terrifying video of clown ministry.

April 4, 2006

I wish I were a tetrachromat

I mistyped something in my browser and came across tetrachromat.com. Sort of a long way around the block for a little joke, but I approve. 'What's a tetrachromat?' you ask. I first read about this phenomenon here: Looking for Madame Tetrachromat. This wikipedia entry provides some more info.

My question, 'Why do jumping spiders need to have super color vision? What advantage does it give them out there?' Perhaps knowing the subtle difference between similarly colored leaves gave them some evolutionary advantage over another type of less visually acute spider now long extinct... When I was a kid I prided myself in being able to name all the various colors in the big box of crayons. Without looking at the labels I could tell the difference between violet blue and blue violet, brick red from maroon, spring green from sea green. I remember thinking there were never enough reds but quite enough blues. How many more blues could a jumping spider perceive? I feel jealous.

March 18, 2006

Raw Vision

I recently followed a link from the always interesting Proceedings of the Athanathius Kirshner Society to RAW Vision Magazine. Raw Vision is new to me but it seems it shouldn't be as each issue seems to hold something of interest... Whether it's Nigerian Cement Sculpture, Loy Allen Bowlin, Afgan War Rugs, Prison Tattoos, or Mediumistic Art, they've got my number.

As an aside, my wife on magazine subscriptions: "Somebody has to rethink the whole renewal process. I could do without the threats."

February 25, 2006

Photobooth yearbook

My web friend Angelica is the curator of Swapatorium a website full of compelling found images. Check out her recent find of 1970 Rice University yearbook. The student portraits are photobooth strips. Man o man is that groovy.

February 5, 2006


Photo find of the day: Polar Inertia: a journal of nomadic and popular culture. This site reminds me of Colors Magazine before it's change of editorial regime. Happily an archive of the old great Colors Magazine is now online (including my favorite issue #58.

February 1, 2006

Congrats Mike and Rion

Photobooth Fun

I've always wanted to do a photobooth project with my wife in which we go from frame to frame across two strips. But sometimes Jenn has no patience for me and my photobooth projects so it has never happened. All was not lost though because today I got a chance to realize the idea and art directed this set of shots for my friends Mike and Rion on their wedding day. If I do say so myself, it looks great.

Congrats guys. Exciting times.

January 25, 2006

Shiny Mud Ball

I want to start one.

January 16, 2006

We all want to be Hikikomori sometimes

Everyone I know seems to be talking about this weekend's New York Times article about Japan's Hikikomori. This phenomenon has been widely covered on the Web. Watashi in Tokyo provides some context and links to a good BBC article as well as Hikikomori blog (love the Hikikomori ascii art).
Few articles show juse how demonized the hikikomori have become in Japan. They are portrayed in Japanese popular culture as evil hackers and violent misfits.

Anyway it's an interesting phenomenon... even aljazeera.net is writing articles about it. Some other links: A quicktime documentary, a Japan Times article, a pdf research paper, and a site studying the phenomena. That's probably enough hikikomori for now... What's missing from all these are good photographs of hikikomori in their rooms... Project perhaps?

January 12, 2006

Teddy Roosevelt Recording

I was looking for this song about Teddy Roosevelt, when I happened upon a recording of the man's voice. I would have thought he had a big booming voice instead he sounds like this... (From the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.) Taft's voice is oddly modern sounding.

Other recordings of early presidents:

Franlkin Delano Roosevelt
Herbert Hoover
Calvin Coolidge and also here
Warren Harding
Woodrow Wilson
William McKinley
More Teddy Roosevelt
More Taft
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison

and that's about as far back as it goes, nothing for Chester Arthur, "Elegant Arthur", one of the great etceteras of the American Presidency. Hard to believe a man with such fine mutton-chops would be completely forgotten today.

Update: My friend Hal had sent a link to an early Lenin recording.... (there are many early recordings on this site via Free Information Society)

January 5, 2006


A few months ago I posted this image on flickr:

Then today I received this email:

hi. recently, i came across your Flickr photo sets while searching for pictures of boomboxes. i'm a boombox collector, and a member of a community of avid collectors/enthusiasts. i was wondering if perhaps you had any other pictures of the man with the boomboxes powered by the battery? the red boombox is very strange, and i don't think any of us have seen one like it before. it has piqued everyone's interest. :)

Boombox enthusiasts? A trip to inquisitor and I found Pocket Calculator, an online boombox museum. This led to a gutterslide, a site about a PC modded out to look like a boombox and stereo2go a boombox message board with discussions such as "Boombox sightings in TV/Film/Print". Inevitably there is a Japanese store that sells nothing but vintage boomboxes. How is it that the Japanese manage to have such great design sense? I mean what other country has such beautiful manhole covers? But I digress...

UPDATE: After writing this post I was reminded of another picture from this summer. I had wandered up to a nomad tent and all the kids wanted their picture taken. But just as I was about to take the picture, the oldest girl stopped me. She ran into the tent and pulled out her boombox. This was the final image:

December 29, 2005

Future Perfect

My flickr friend yellowhammer turned me on to Future Perfect, a thoughtful and visually rich blog by Jan ChipChase (real name?), who travels the world analyzing culture, design, and human behavior for Nokia. The most recent posts happen to be on photostudios, one of my favorite travel subjects. This has blog has instantly moved up to the top of my RSS reader.

December 29, 2005

Everyone has their tipping point

I am not anti gun, nor am I anti hunting. But I draw the line at shooting squirrels.

Henry Guns Mini Bolt .22 (with a review by Varmint Hunter Magazine).

December 18, 2005

The City That Ate The World

The BBC recently did a 4 part documentary on the building of modern Beijing. Some of the stats thrown out are incredible. Right now the city is consuming half the world's production of steel and a third of its concrete. Take a listen here: The City Ate The World..

October 15, 2005

Back From the Dead

The third act of last week's This American Life (Real Audio) brought tears to my eyes. The accents of the people interviewed might sound foreign to some of you, but they are the accents of everyone I grew up with. As usual This American Life's reporters got right to the heart of the story.

October 13, 2005


One of my favorite photoblogs, Myopic.us has been full of compelling images lately... If you're not already a fan, click over there.

October 11, 2005

Flickr favorites

My flickr favorites. Good stuff in there.

September 28, 2005

I have no words:

K & K Mime

September 19, 2005

Good stuff out there

Rion points out this strange and compelling photoblog from Poland. Rion's recent photos from Belize are pretty darn strong in their own right.

I've been a fan of Jose Luis's work for a long time. His recent portraits have been superb.

And the great Alec Soth gives a nice talk on Minessota Public Radio on the The art of taking someone's picture.

September 18, 2005

After the Flood

When I lived in LA I would often drive aimlessly around the neighborhood just to hear the end of a This American Life broadcast. Now of course, it's on the web, always available. Listen to After the Flood, last week's show on New Orleans, and you'll know why I never miss an episode. (real audio required)

September 14, 2005

Euro Disco

Even if you've seen this disco video before, it deserves to be seen again. (Via WFMU)

August 27, 2005

American Memory Project

The Smithsonian American Memory Project got a nice facelift recently. Search is now much better. I'm a fan of the Panoramic Image Gallery. A few hilights from tonight's browse (note the images are large... 5megs average). Brooklyn Bridge, 1913, Brooklyn Heights, 1911, Prospect Park 1907, Columbus Circle, 1913, Venice Beach, 1926, Theater Company San Francisco, 1911.

July 13, 2005

Newspaper Junkie?

Then newseum will be pure honey. A map view is also available. (via Design Observer)

July 7, 2005

Time Photography


Knowing my fascination with time and aging photography projects, Noah of Noah K Everyday (and it's parent site NoahKalina.com) has pointed me to the excellent Olivia Project. Sadly the project seems to have ended in 2004.

A full page of excellent time and "obsessive" art projects can be found at c71123.com. Lots of good stuff like "One Year Performance" by Tehching Hsieh. Beware, this list of links could eat your afternoon.

I used to maintain a sequential series, but I let it fall out of date but somewhere in storage there is a box with 5 years of polaroids of my head. I have a few other time related juxtapositions herehere, here, and here. Luckily now I have a kid to experiment on.

June 24, 2005

Propaganda Poster Art Center, Shanghai

Unfortunately I won't be visiting Shanghai on my upcoming China trip, but at least someone has posted a blog entry about the museum complete with a gallery of posters. I had never seen this one before. Super cool.
. . . . .
In browsing around the web, I discovered this decent Beijing city guide website. Too bad I will miss an event called Punk World.

May 24, 2005

Found Recordings

Sweet thunder has been putting out an excellent weekly page full of found audiocassette recordings. I haven't gone through them all yet but my favs so far can be found inweek 5.

March 4, 2005

NY Public Library Digital Archive

If you are a New Yorker (or just someone who loves New York) with any sense of history, check out the NY Public Library Digital Image Archive. It's a treasure trove of amazing images.


Here's a shot of the original breathtaking Penn station before it was destroyed to make way for the colossally ugly Madison Square Garden:

I suggest you start searching by plugging in the name of the street you live on. :)

February 5, 2005

Raul Gutierrez on Google

Have you ever done a google search on yourself? For many years I was the only Raul Gutierrez that came up on searches, but that was when the internet was young. My first page went up in 1996 and my first real site in 1998. I just recently took those off line. Back then, pre-google, I was the only raul gutierrez in town. These days there are almost 200,000 results for Raul Gutierrez. The name is common throughout the latin world so it's surprising there aren't more. In Los Angeles alone the phone book has a whole page of us. In Mexico most big cities have multiple pages. There is a famous Raul Gutierrez soccer player, a Raul Gutierrez Philipino rapper, and Raul Gutierrez wanted by the DEA (I know this last one from bad experiences at customs. They always ask me "Have you ever been to Guadalajara?")

So to the results:

1. This site... The google index is always a bit out of date, but it points here. Glad to see of the many thousands of us in the world I'm number one, at least for now.

2. The home page of Raul Gutierrez Fu Shi Kempo Knife Fighting Master. With his slick hair and steely glare this Raul Gutierrez saves the world time and time again in his direct-to-video movies. I have tracked down a few videos and will give a full review when they arrive. I have yet to determine whether this guy is Spanish or Portugese, but I would kill to be in his Galleria de Honor along with Elvis (apparently a karate fan), Hanshi the great, and Jose Bana Sanchez. No I don't recognize the last two either... but you know...Respect.

3. Raul Gutierrez Fu Shi Kempo Knife Fighting Master also commands the number 3 spot. This time on a Japanese site with Great Grandmaster Thomas Mitose. There is a lovely image of Raul with some of his many trophies. How do you think he got all those trophy's back home to Spain (or Portugal or wherever)?

From the site: " Practitioners of Kosho-Ryu Kenpo believe that if one gives respect to another than this respect would be returned. Alternatively, individuals who do not show respect for others will receive no respect."

4. The information page for Raul Gutierrez Sanchez, Spanish astronomer. Not much of a homepage, just some basic information, but it seems he studies brown dwarfs. What is a Brown Dwarf you ask? Happily the page gives an answer: "A Brown Dwarf is a quasi-stellar object unable to fuse hydrogen in a stable manner." I'm glad to see that some of us are smart (this is not to say that Raul Gutierrez Fu Shi Kempo Knife Fighting Master is not smart. Stay cool man. Stay cool.)

5. Ok. This one is my favorite. Masseur Raul Gutierrez of Walnut Creek California specializes in "Energetic Massage." He learned his vocation from the founder of the "Body Electric School of Massage" and his special vocation is to "touch men on erotic-spiritual paths." All this for only eighty bucks. Dude, you better hope Raul Gutierrez Fu Shi Kempo Knife Fighting Master doesn't find out about this. He might be very angry at you for sullying our good name... then again he might find your "polarity energy balancing techniques" relaxing and exhilarating.

6. This is a page for a Raul Gutierrez who died in Vietnam. No date of death, rank, or anything else. I might have to do a bit of research on this one.

7. Me again. A link to my photosets on flickr.

8. A painting by cheesy bird painter Raul Gutierrez. This man torments me. He's been on google for years and for a brief period googled higher than me. His banal paintings of ducks and swamps rarely fail to bore and yet he still commands around $8,500 per painting.

9. Me again. It's a link to a program I wrote several years ago. But I took those pages down and the link is dead now, just more internet detritus.

10. Raul Gutierrez, the Panamanian environmentalist. A bit of research dug up this picture.

So not too bad all in all. A diverse mix. My fellow Rauls I wish you well.

January 26, 2005

Thought Project

Are you someone who looks at people on the street and wonders what they were thinking? If so Simon Høgsberg's Thought Project is for you. He stopped people on the street in Denmark, took their photo, asked what they were thinking, and recorded the results.

And while you are thinking... you might as well check out Swapatorium, an excellent blog of found photographs and objects. Angelica has the most amazing eye... Her flickr pages are also worthy of exploration.

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