Een groot fotograaf gaat heen - In Memoriam Rony Heirman

zonder twijfel zullen we nog veel stilstaan bij het grote sterven.
er komt een moment in je leven, dat je beseft dat het vanaf nu zal beginnen.

Mensen om je heen, die een gezegende leeftijd naderen, leggen plots het hoofd; rustig en sereen.

Zo ook kwam vorige week de tijd voor Rony Heirman, wellicht Vlaanderens beroemdste portretfotograaf van de laatste halve eeuw.
Vaarwel Rony, het ga je goed op je laatste tocht! Wij koesteren in elk geval prachtherinneringen aan je gulle lach en je zachte hand.


Wishlist: water drones

Ocean-going robotic drones are the next "it" thing,

copyright (url: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3018085/what-these-surfboard-sized-ocean-robots-can-tell-us-about-climate-change?partner=rss#1
Given the vast amounts of unexplored "water" space and the huge needs of solid data, we dare to predict an increase in automated unmanned ocean-going and ocean-diving data-collection and monitoring vessels!
By coincidence, Wired's September  Issue dedicates a full article to giant octopuses - dubbed, intriguingly, the aliens on planet earth....
If we manage to understand how they become "cognoscient", we will be a step closer to the singularity! (for an older article: check this out http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/11/strange-mind-stranger-brain-of-the-octopus/)


On Syria, Swiss TaxiDrivers and 12 years of blogging

Little story from this Morning

On my way from Geneva airport in a cab, a “deminage” (minesweeping truck) convoy from the Swiss army tranquilly swings by. 
  • I tell the driver: “that was to be expected, as John Kerry is here today….”. 
  • Driver stares back at me: “who’s Kerry?”. 
  • I tell him who John Kerry is and why he is supposed to be here, secretly hoping from some enlightened view on world affairs (advise that taxi drivers the world over are always to eager to fork over whether you want it or not. ) 
  • The guy couldn’t care less and stays with his mouth shut.

We pass the Russian embassy, where obviously, there is NO increased security…. (but did I spot truckloads of empty vodka bottles being shipped out after this week’s unfolding events and the re-entry of Grand Old Russia on world stage?).

When we pull up to the UN Pregny security gate; I ask my driver if I can pay with Visa: “of course not” is the answer. - What else did I expect?

Reading: "Playing Chess with Putin" and excellent editorial from the NYT's Bill Keller (source: NYT: http://keller.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/playing-chess-with-putin/?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)

At this stage, though, here’s what Putin seems to have accomplished:
a) He has stalled and possibly ended the threat that his client thug, President Bashar al-Assad, will be struck by American missiles for gassing his own people. As long as the international community is debating the endless complications of finding, verifying and locking down Assad’s chemical arsenal, Congress and the allies have ample excuse to do nothing.
b) He has diminished the already small prospect that the United States will attempt to shift the balance in Syria’s war. That sound you hear is John McCain’s head exploding.
c) He has further demoralized the Syrian resistance, and strengthened the jihadi radicals among them, by demonstrating that American red lines mean little.
d) He has recast Russia – whose military helped the Assad dynasty create its chemical weapons program in the first place – as the global peacemaker.
e) He has, incidentally, assured continued Syrian demand for Russian-made “conventional” ordnance, so that the extermination of Syrian civilians can proceed by marginally less inhumane means.
f) While seeming to help President Obama out of a political fix, he has made the American president seem even more the captive of events. A president who once seemed sure-footed, combining prudent diplomacy with the occasional bold stroke (killing Osama bin Laden) now stands accused of being, as his Texan predecessor might have put it, all hat and no cattle. He vowed to bring the Benghazi killers to justice, to stand against the return of military rule in Egypt, to arm the rebels in Syria, to enforce a red line against weapons of mass destruction. So far, he has accomplished none of the above.
The other day the neoconservative uber-hawk Norman Podhoretz offered abizarre theory: that Obama, the “left-wing radical,” has actually embarked on a sly campaign to sabotage American influence in the world, “camouflaging his retreats” as incompetence. The screed sounded like the work of satirists at The Onion. But at least it credited the president with having a plan.

*** This blog came into existence almost 12 years ago to date. It has been quite a ride to write over this period of time, which coincides with my professional life. I intend to keep up this work if time and workload allow for it. Thank you for reading this. I look forward to the next 12 years!***

Viewing: White House Down and Olympus has Fallen.... - Hollywood focuses on architecture these days!
Listening to: Parov Stelar & Regina Spektor
Thinking: Stercus Accidit; Quiescodefecareinexposito!
Travelling: Stockholm, Geneva, Paris
Last picture: a quote from Fernand Huts: 
Onvervalste wijsheden! #fernandhuts!