As a combat medic with a U.S. Army IED-clearance platoon who served in Iraq in 2007-08, his job wasn’t to avoid roadside bombs but to find them.
“We drove around at about 5 miles per hour, most of the time in a hot zone where we knew there’d be bombs,” he says. “I got blown up tons of times. Suddenly there’s just dust all around and you’re like, What just happened?”
Although many of you are not in the Boston area, I wanted to update you to what’s been happening with my photography. It’s been a very busy summer. There are several shows that I am participating in and a website.
First of all, there is a newly revised – and almost completed – website at BillDavisonImages.com. Please browse at your convenience. It will now be updated regularly as portfolios and series are added or expanded. (Some detailed information will be added but I didn’t want to wait any longer.)
Tom and His Painting (above)
Who I Am…
I have a solo show currently at the Bedford Public Library that runs through 12 November. It includes (17) portraits from the “Who I Am…” series that I have been working on for the past 3-4 years with Advocates, a social services agency headquartered in Framingham, MA. All of the images are relatively large format including (4) 20×24 inch images, (3) of which are sepia-toned gelatin silver prints. The rest are 16×20 pigment prints.
If you are in the area, please join me at the reception on Sunday, 21 September, from 5-6PM at the Bedford Public Library. I’d love to show you the results so far.
Semblance and Affinity
In addition, I have (6) images from a new and on-going portfolio, “Semblance and Affinity”, at the Griffin Museum of Photography in the 20th Atelier Show. (One of my images has been added into the Griffin homepage banner on the homepage.) The show runs through October 5th.
In a war with many villains, these are the good guys. Seven days inside the life-and-death world of Syria’s first responders — the last hope for civilians caught in the chaos.
By Matthieu Aikins Photographs and video by Sebastiano Tomada
Aleppo City, June 18, 2014.
The dawn found them sprawled like corpses around the cramped station room, atop a collection of soiled floor mats and a metal bunk that listed heavily to one side. They lay close together, some still wearing their uniforms from the night before. On a typical day in Aleppo, they would soon be woken by the sound of helicopters and jets roaring in to drop the first bombs on the rebel-held side of the city, which the regime has sought to pound to dust. But it was quiet this morning, and so they slept.
Standing outside his office next door, Khaled Hajjo, leader of the Hanano Civil Defense team, dragged on the first of many Gitanes and surveyed his small domain. The one-story, cinderblock station house was set in the corner of a large concrete lot the size of a soccer pitch, its perimeter hemmed by a 12-foot stone wall. At the far end of the lot was a mass of stacked old tires and a broken-down lifting crane. It had once been a car impound, but like so many buildings in Aleppo it had been repurposed for the war.
The following is an excerpt from a short story about a young man from Atlanta. His first job after graduation from high school was with the Greater Atlantic Life Insurance Company. It was 1940 and jobs were scarce the pay poor; he would get to keep one-dollar for every policy he sold. His territory…the Appalachian Mountains. He did not know that the daughter of a potential buyer would be the wildest thing he would ever encounter in his life. It is a work of fiction based on real people and circumstances.
Andrew Pritchett walked two miles to reach the run-down shacks in the Tennessee foothills that edged the Georgia state line; he sold burial insurance. He knocked hard on the rough pine boards of the door, scrapped his knuckles, wiped the blood on his pants leg, stepped back and looked at the rotting porch, barrels for sitting, a can for tobacco spitting and a mangy dog swarmed by tiny black flies. Suddenly a gigantic body filled the opening of the doorway. Moody Cahill wiped his mouth; relocated tobacco scum to the front of his patched overalls and returned his hand to the barrel of a shotgun.
“Mr. Cahill,” Andrew stuck out a trembling hand as he choked back the smell and disgust at the sight of the man he desperately wanted to sell something.
“Yourneighbor down the hill, a Mr. Ragsdale said that you might be interested in some burial insurance.”
Apple Watch/iPhone 6/Apple Pay – Is The Thrill Gone?
So AppleAAPL+0.41% probably wasn’t figuring that the week of its biggest product launch in four years would coincide with the United States effectively re-engaging in combat in the Middle East and the National Football League (in the Ray Rice debacle) suffering perhaps its greatest self-inflicted wound since it failed to cancel games after President Kennedy’s assassination. It reminds me a bit of when Sarah Palin exploded on the national political scene and Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama went on The Tonight Show to exclaim “You know, Jay, I used to be famous!”
We don’t need to feel sorry for Apple. Their stock price has climbed nearly 50% in the last year, when it’s hard to point to anything that got people particularly excited about the company. Tons of New Yorkers and beyond lined up absurdly early to buy the iPhone6. I suspect that that the new product launches this week will generate the requisite movement of millions of units and billions of dollars. And yet….what is the feeling I’m left with…ennui? Here are a few hopefully not entirely random thoughts on this week’s big announcement:
Is the smart phone itself simply not capable of generating that much innovation and/or excitement anymore?
So I’m watching the new Sarah Palin Channel and all I can think of is The Twilight Zone.
No, I’m not referring to “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” the episode with the anti-McCarthyism overtones (neighbors pointing fingers, turning on each other with their intolerance for differences). I’m talking about “Eye of the Beholder,” in which (spoiler alert) the beautiful Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett to most of my generation) is seen as hideously ugly by the rest of a pig-faced society. Shall I explain?
For those of you who may not be among Governor Palin’s 4.3 million Facebook likes or 1.1 million TwitterTWTR+3.21% followers and thus may have missed it, the Sarah Palin Channel launched as an online-only subscription venture over a month ago. For $9.95/month (yes, I am now a paid subscriber!) you get access to all Sarah (really all Palin family) all the time. The Channel is one of the first offerings from TAPP, a Discovery CommunicationsDISCA-2.01%-funded MCN (multi-channel network in the new lingo) co-founded by former broadcasting and cable heavyweights Jeff Gaspin and Jon Klein. This is clearly no shoestring vanity project, but after a flurry of attention at launch (as with most things Palin), it’s fair to ask a month in – what exactly is it, and what does it mean?
According to recent reports there is a bacteria inside the digestive tract of felines (house cats) that loves to eat cancer cells.
T. gondiiis a single-celled parasite that is most often found in a cat’s intestines, but it can live in any warm-blooded animal.
“We know biologically this parasite has figured out how to stimulate the immune responses you want to fight cancer,” said David J. Bzik, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
The way it works is cancer can shut down the body’s defensive mechanisms, but introducing T. gondii into a tumor environment can kick-start the immune system.
Bzik and senior research associate of microbiology and immunology Barbara Fox, created “cps,” an immunotherapeutic vaccine, as a safer alternative to injecting a cancer patient with the much more dangerous live replicating strains of T. gondii,.
Summer is on it’s way out, and along with it some of my favourite fruits which I will not see for another year. Two fruits which I love and have been readily available these last few months are raspberries and peaches – two reasons to love Summer! Needless to say our refrigerator has been stuffed with these fruits, as well as other seasonal goodies, which I’ve put into puddings, fruit salad, or eaten them just as they are.
Image from creative-culinary.com
As both raspberries and peaches are the chief ingredients of a peach Melba, it wasn’t long before thoughts turned to this retro pud. As a child I was very familiar with peach Melbas because they were EVERYWHERE! Not only was my mum a huge peach fanatic, but it was also served up in restaurants and at dinner parties; featured in the recipe section of magazines, and…
Illustrations by Kurt McRobert
Photo-illustrations by Rich Petrucci
You’re the kind of person who likes his boardwalks above water. You don’t have allergies. You like winter. You want your champagne to come from the Champagne region of France—not some unromantic corner of England hundreds of miles to the north. You like cherry pie. You like oysters. You eat fish. You don’t eat jellyfish. You’re the kind of person, then, who needs the Matter handbook to a burning planet, a compendium of real scientific findings that look at how the globe may change over the next fifty years and beyond. Think of it as your guide to the good life before climate change melts it away.
Was it a bad idea to name a national park after a tree that can’t handle the heat? In retrospect, yes. The Joshua trees of Joshua Tree National Park need periods of cold temperatures before they can flower. Young trees are now rare in the park. Older trees are beginning to sag. Suggested rebranding for 2065: “Death Valley Annex.”
Um, this is awkward to talk about, but the coming decades promise a stunning expansion of America’s “kidney stone belt,” a band of southerly states where the prevalence of dehydration—and thus kidney stones—is markedly higher. (Yes, the belt exists. Yes, they call it that. Yes, that’s also awkward.) Today the belt covers roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population. Research suggests the number will be 56 percent by 2050, 70 percent by 2095. With more pollen in the air due to climate change, everyone is worried about allergies. But focus your attention where it really counts. Common sense suggests the best time to lock up a world-class urologist is now.
It’s a little known piece of history – a side story on how a young nation halfway around the world saved thousands of lives deemed lost during the dark days of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
It is for this reason that it is a story worth telling, a story that also deserves a film like Schindler’s List, said Barbara Sasser, a descendant of the Frieder brothers who were key players in the rescue of around 1,200 Jews.
The film was eventually produced and screened at Malacanang Palace on August 7.
Titled “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust,” the one-hour documentary tells the story of how a family of tobacco-makers, former President Manuel Quezon, US high commissioner to the Philippines Paul McNutt and then Army Colonel Dwight Eisenhower put their neck on the line to bring Jewish refugees to the Philippines.
While many countries closed their doors on Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis, the Philippines became one of the few places they were able to escape to.
There is nothing I love more than a good story. I’ve been a voracious reader since the second grade, when I cut my teeth on just about every Hardy Boys book ever written. As I grew older and left Frank and Joe behind, my taste evolved to more complex fare. Growing up also meant a career, which for me happened to cultivate an expertise in firearms and tactics.
Put those two things together and you have an avid reader who recognizes weapon errors in fiction. If it were just firearms instructors who notice these mistakes, I wouldn’t worry too much about them. However, with between 270 to 310 million firearms in the United States* it’s a good bet that simple errors could distract many of your readers. Here are ten of the most common firearms mistakes that I’ve encountered, and some advice/tips on how to avoid them.
1. Clips and magazines (The most common mistake in fiction!)
While the term “clip” may seem interchangeable with the term “magazine,” they are completely different items.
Analogy: belt and suspenders… What’s the difference, they both hold up pants, right? Not necessarily.
A “clip” is a small metal device that bullets slide into. The clip is used to load a magazine that is internal to the weapon. The clip is discarded after the bullets have been loaded into the magazine. The M1 Garand is a WWII rifle that uses this loading system. Handguns mainly use a detachable, or an ejecting, box “magazine.”
All modern pistols use this system. In fact, the only pistol reloaded by a clip, that I’m aware of, is the Mauser C96. The C96 is one of the classic handguns German officers brandish in WWII movies—not exactly a common handgun on today’s streets. So, use “magazine” or the slang/lingo “mag,” when referring to loading and reloading handguns.
Already more than half-way through 2014 and it has to be said, this year is proving to be a game-changer!
The changes happening around us are palpable in every way and becoming more so with each passing day! These shifts and changes are all about bringing in the new way of BEing.
Rewiring and rebooting are words used a lot within ascension circles as an expression of how we are being affected by the current energies/changes, but at this present time, I feel these two words could not be more appropriate.
We have seen some random days of intense energy bursts, which may have lifted you up or brought you crashing down.
These shifts in energy have brought in many changes. Emotionally, the themes I am seeing/feeling mostly in others (and on some days in myself), is anger, frustration and depression.
This video (which I very timely just came across)…
Of all the horrid, hideous notes of woe,
Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast,
Is that portentous phrase, “I told you so,”
Utter’d by friends, those prophets of the past,
who, ‘stead of saying what you now should do,
Own they foresaw that you would fall at last…
Seven of Italy’s top scientists were convicted of manslaughter following a catastrophic quake. Has the country criminalized science?
By David Wolman Animation by Rebecca Mock
Giulio Selvaggi was asleep when the shaking started. It was the night of April 5, 2009, and the head of Italy’s National Earthquake Center had worked late into the night in Rome before going home to crash.
From the motion of his bed, Selvaggi could tell the quake was big — but not close. When you’re near the epicenter of a major quake, it’s like being a kernel of corn inside a popcorn maker. When you’re farther away, the movement is slower and steadier, back and forth, as the shock waves hit you.
Selvaggi hopped from the bed and checked his phone, but there were no messages. He hurried into the living room, dialing the office on the way.
“Where is it?” he asked.
“L’Aquila, 5.8,” came the answer.
(It would later be classified as a 6.2.)
Selvaggi’s first thought: At least it’s not a 7. A magnitude 7 quake centered in L’Aquila, a medieval town high in the mountains, would have killed 10,000 people.
The following spring, the seven men — five commission members and two experts, including Selvaggi — were charged with manslaughter. The claim: In the March 31 meeting and statements afterward, they had knowingly neglected their responsibility to inform the population about the risk at hand.
The announcement of formal charges triggered a flood of condemnation around the globe. “Risk of litigation will discourage scientists and officials from advising their government or even working in the field of seismology and seismic risk assessment,” declared an editorial in the American Geophysical Union journal, Eos. The CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science wrote to Italy’s president, reminding him that a veritable mountain of research, much of it conducted by Italians, shows that earthquakes are unpredictable.
But Fabio Picuti, Abruzzo’s 45-year-old public prosecutor, was either immune to the scorn or emboldened by it. Outsiders don’t know what happened here, he argues. They don’t know about Bertolaso’s order for a “media operation.” They can’t comprehend the full impact of De Bernardinis’ comment about “energy discharge.” They’re unfamiliar with our customs, our humility when it comes to Mother Nature’s destructive force.
As he put it: “The easiest media line is to say that this was ‘science on trial.’”
A month had passed Westin by who returned to his road of destruction with alcohol, and visiting the wild party scene with Sandra his girlfriend. Since his little brother was furious with him and refused to speak to him because of the way he treated and misunderstood the spirit girl; Westin felt alone and miserable without Celeste and his little brother. So in order for him to wipe the girl out of his heart he ventured back into his wild mode. The love struck little boy who had never met the cowgirl fell in love with the magical woman the minute he spotted her at a Rodeo riding a wild mustang. He came to her defense with both barrels loaded when Westin poured his heart out to his brother asking for advice. He didn’t have to tell Peter what happened because the little boy already knew the hurt he caused the earth girl. Which…
” The stories of past courage can define that ingredient-they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul. ”
Since I live in Hawaii, I go to the beach a lot. So what do I bring with me? Obviously, I don’t bring a lot of unnecessary things… Just the basics will do. Here’s what I can’t live without at the beach:
A large towel, or in my case a tapestry. I honestly can’t remember where I purchased this, but I know it was someplace online and it was $10!
Water, water, water. At the beach, you’re going to be in the sun, sweating and you’re bound to get dehydrated. So bring a lot of water with you, your body will thank you.
Sunscreen/Tanning oil. I’ll admit, I don’t wear sunscreen as often as I should (I normally don’t wear any at all! I know this isn’t good for the skin, but I’ve slowly started using more!) Since I have oily and sensitive skin, I use Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer in…
OK, FIRST A BIT OF NOIR FICTION— THIS IS FROM MY NOVEL, COURIER—SET IN LATE 1972That afternoon, TV News Courier Rick Putnam had one of those days that happened from time to time when it seemed as... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
10 09.14 BIKE OF THE MONTH By Wes Fleming | Photos by Chase HindersteinThe R 50/2: a brief history BMW manufactured the R 50 model, and its successor, the R 50/2,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Yes, that tall skinny dude in the mustache and cigar is The Author As A Young Man. Young and Stupid. The cameraman, who might have been Tony Hirashiki, kept telling me that... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, July 15, 2014 By Roxy Kade (South Africa) Murder, mystery and mayhem abound in this exciting thriller. An intricately woven, intelligently... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
40 years of television journalism, online startups/failures, content creation, and technical chicanery and now trying to scam the literary world. First novel (A thriller about Watergate) to be published on real paper in May 2014. Other novels, screenplays, and ghostwritings are pouring out as fast as I can type. Hoping to keep the family in Senior Kibble for as long as possible.