Wedding Photos

My husband was a groomsman for a friend this weekend. There was a professional photographer covering the ceremony and reception, but I took some photos of my own. It turns out I have some odd ideas of what constitutes wedding photography.

Edge of house, showing interlocked logs.

This is one of the houses on the property where the wedding was held. We were told it dates back about a century and a half. Yes, that’s chinked log construction. [Read more…]

Where Is It Going

Orbital performed at the Paralympics this week, with Stephen Hawking performing his normally sampled words live and a bunch of punks doing Ian Drury.

Maybe we should do more of these things in London.

It Isn’t Enough to Feel Righteous

You also have to be right, particularly when it comes to legal doctrines like Fair Use.

If you haven’t yet, check out Jason’s post on the harassment campaign Surly Amy (Amy Davis Roth) is facing because she decided to keep her commitments to TAM then didn’t keep quiet about the shit she dealt with there. The most recent chapter of this involves a blog post by Justin Vacula. It’s one of his typically vacuous, ignore-the-point-and-complain-around-it arguments trying to suggest that creating and wearing items at a conference that are designed to hurt another conference-goer should be just fine with the conference, because…because…well, as far as I can tell, just because Vacula thinks so.

In posting this, Vacula used one of Amy’s images–a photograph she took of one of her own pendants. He then received notice that a DMCA complaint had been lodged, presumably by Amy, covering that image. The post was reverted to draft until he could remove the image, but his vague complaining was untouched. The notice covered the image only.

Vacula complained some more, as is his right. Then he decided to take things further. Without, as far as I can tell, consulting an attorney, he filed a DMCA counter-notification. His legal reasoning appears to be nothing more than, “If I really didn’t have a right to use the image, why didn’t Amy just send me an email?” I kid you not.

There’s a little problem with this. [Read more…]

Not a Pretty Picture

Photojournalists can have an immense effect on our understanding of the world, particularly our understanding of injustice. Photos from Nazi concentration camps still have immense power decades later. The photo of naked Kim Phuc fleeing a napalm attack is burned into our collective memory. Images are not easy to escape.

This has the effect of being able to take events and practices from around the globe and make them immediate even to those of us who will never be directly effected by them. Stephanie Sinclair previously used this power to bring us the Warren Jeffs family in pictures and to put us in burn wards with Afghan women who set themselves on fire to escape untenable domestic situations (warning: graphic photos).

She has also been documenting child marriages around the world.

Before their wedding ceremony begins in rural Afghanistan, a 40-year-old man sits to be photographed with his 11-year-old bride. The girl tells the photographer that she is sad to be engaged because she had hoped to become a teacher. Her favorite class was Dari, the local language, before she had to leave her studies to get married. [Read more…]

For the Edge the Best Ones Live On

Lack of a rational health care system in the U.S. leads to fewer people willing to take on jobs without predictable income leads to more people competing for a limited number of established jobs. But that’s another post. This post is about the risks artists take to provide us with what we need from them.

I met Scott Lynch at CONvergence by interrupting one of his meals in the hotel lounge. He was having dinner with friends of mine and…well, they were almost done. Seriously, though, he was quite gracious, both then and at a room party later. So it surprises me not at all that he’s putting his dignity on the line for his friends.

You see, Minnesota authors Emma Bull and Steve Brust are ill. Emma has probable thyroid cancer, and Steve appears to share his family history of heart problems. Both need surgery.

Minnesota isn’t an awful state in which to have a major illness like this if you make little enough money, but as my mother discovered with bad knees and diabetes, that coverage only goes so far. There will be bills not covered. There will be time spent doing anything but writing to keep us entertained.

So Scott is proposing to entertain us for money in the meantime. He wants to help his friends. He knows many of us want to help the writers who entertained and inspired us (and if you’re local to Minnesota or on the con circuit, made us dance). He will make it easier to get his work, he will educate us, and he will act silly for us. All we have to do is give a little.

I would be donating without any incentives. I’ve known Steve and Emma for…er, decades, though not terribly well. Beyond that, they’ve made me laugh and cry and dance and think. They’ve served me well for a long time.

I know we have other fans around here too, which is why I’m posting something on the blog. But if you’ve never heard of Emma and Steve, (first, fix that, then) click through to Scott’s blog. Let the pretty man entertain you and make it very pleasant to do some good.

The Freedom of the Artist

What do Karl Rove, the terraforming of Mars, missionaries singing English hymns in Japan, and learning German in your sleep have in common? This commencement speech from Laurie Anderson.

This may be the strangest commencement speech ever given, but there’s probably more to learn from it for all that. The speech itself starts just past 2:30.

But It’s Satire!

Or, The Stephen Colbert Defense

Yesterday, I covered Dell’s gross miscalculation on entertainment for one of their big company meetings. A reminder:

He continued the streak that day. Vejlo live-tweeted the event and Christensen’s comments as they unfolded: for example, his opening line, roughly translated as, “There are almost no girls in this room, and I am happy. Why are you here at all?” “Gender quotas are still fairly healthy in your industry,” he went on.

On innovation, the emcee who directly followed Michael Dell on-stage commented that “All the great inventions are from men; we can thank women for the rolling pin.” And he ended his comments by saying IT was the last bastion for men, and that they should let the mantra “shut up, b–ch” hiss out from between their teeth.

I’m happy to say it didn’t happen here, but in the comments on BoingBoing, on Dell’s apology on Google+, and on Reddit (interestingly, in the technology subreddit but not the business subreddit, if that tells you anything) people have shown up desperate for us to understand that this is an act. It’s satire, as we should all be able to tell. Really, we’d know this if we didn’t react to every little thing, like being told to get out of the room because it belongs to the boys.

Since this claim that something is satire and, thus, not objectionable keeps coming up, let’s take a good look at it, shall we? Yes. Yes, we shall. [Read more…]