From the New York Times:

Winn didn’t take that advice — at first. There was nothing cute or campy about Nagin’s remarks, and the hurricane was a deadly tragedy, not a pop-culture moment. Winn had friends who had lost everything. He understood Nagin’s tone. “That’s kind of how I felt,” he says. Gradually, however, his thinking changed. Da Mayor in Your Pocket (“da” instead of “the” to reflect a local accent) became commercially available several months ago, emitting sound bites from that Nagin interview like “This is a national disaster,” “You gotta be kiddin’ me” and several that can’t be printed here. Thousands have been sold. Nagin himself held one up in a speech during the New Orleans mayoral election (which he eventually won, last month).

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From the Eddie Adams Workshop:

Congratulations to the following 100 students and professionals who will attend Barnstorm XIX this year. Click a name to see images from their portfolios.

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From ninemillion.org:

There are 20.8 million refugees and other people in need of protection. More than nine million of them are children.

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From Time, via aphotoaday:

Photographer James Nachtwey shows how the health crises created by the war in Congo can kill long after the shooting stops.

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From the Moscow Times:

The question of who will succeed Sadulayev is less political than technical. The question of whether or not Shamil Basayev will assume control of the separatist movement is also of secondary importance. Nor can it be assumed that the movement would become more radical under Basayev’s leadership. No one is stopping Basayev from adopting even more brutal tactics right now. Maskhadov and Sadulayev couldn’t stand in his way, and the heir apparent, warlord Doku Umarov, will fare no better. But the Russian authorities should be worried not so much about Basayev as the social conditions that make people like Basayev popular, for it is the unfavorable political and social situation in the North Caucasus that produces Basayev’s terrorist foot soldiers.

Last but not least, Sadulayev’s death has been presented as a victory for Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, rather than for the Russian leadership and the security services. Kadyrov is now the sole master of the republic. His actions often violate Russian law and the logic of the so-called power vertical. No other regional leader is allowed such latitude. His inner circle includes many former fighters who ultimately realized that becoming a part of the Russian power structure was a whole lot better than taking part in guerrilla attacks.

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From Wired:

First of all, documentaries are incredibly important records of our history and culture. They’re visual histories, and they’re increasingly based on copyrighted culture. Our book describes several instances in which the telling of that history has been thwarted by permissions issues. An example is Jon Else having to pay $10,000 for a four-and-a-half-second clip of The Simpsons playing in the background of his film (Sing Faster: The Stagehands’ Ring Cycle). The makers of Mad Hot Ballroom had to pay that same amount to EMI because a cell phone rings in the background of one of the scenes, and the ringtone is the theme from Rocky. These examples really resonate with people. They understand that these are instances where copyright is not working the way it’s supposed to.

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From CJR Daily:

What seemed to matter more than dead soldiers was the speculation about how the death toll would influence the president or his party’s political fortunes. Here’s how the AP story began: “The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that 2,500 U.S. troops have died in the Iraq war since it began more than three years ago, marking a grim milestone even as President Bush hopes a recent spate of good news will reverse the war’s widespread unpopularity at home. The latest death was announced as Congress was launching into a symbolic election-year debate over the war, with Republicans rallying against calls by some Democrats to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.”

As Tony Snow blithely told reporters yesterday, ”It’s a number.”

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From the Moscow Times:

Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said (chechen rebel leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev) was shot dead Saturday in his hometown of Argun during a raid prompted by a tip from someone in his inner circle.

Kadyrov, posing and grinning for television cameras next to a battered, half-naked body that resembled Sadulayev, said the informant had tipped off police for drug money.

“One person sold us Sadulayev — their dearest friend whom they consider their own — for 1,500 rubles,” or about $50, Kadyrov said. “He needed to buy a gram of heroin. He sold out his leader for heroin.”

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From the Tall J blog:

This is an older photo but I wanted to put this up here. I love this one. I shot it on tri-x with an old FM2 that I bought from Ravell Call at the Deseret Morning News. That camera was beat up pretty bad. The rewind knob was broken off of it so it took a lot longer than normal to change rolls of film.

I broke the camera a few minutes after I shot this frame. The shutter completely blew out on it.

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From WFMU’s Beware of the Blog:

Every week or so I can expect an email in my inbox from my friend Jussi in Finland, asking me if I know some totally-off-the-wall obscuro 1980’s metal band whom he worships. Recently he sent me a link to a documentary trailer for Shock Tilt, a film recounting the story of a Finnish group who went to Germany to seek fame and fortune only to have their lead singer butchered by their creepy manager, which became a big national news event.

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From Wooster Collective:

Mark Jenkins is taking it to another level with his new “Embeds”. The sculptures are made of tape and then clothes are added. The photo above are of first installation that went up yesterday in DC.

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From the Daily Sun, Nigeria’s King of the Tabloids:

As you enter through the back gate of the new Area 1 shopping complex under construction, he sits proudly, apparently oblivion of his physical state, on his wheel chair.

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Gueorgui Pinkhassov photo essay, From Magnum Photos:
Le Bon Marché, Galerie Entretemps, Paris From 6 June to 7 July 2006
This exhibition gathers together colourful views taken in the streets of Tokyo. Stolen moments of the everyday life of the city seem to be frozen into beauty: a car park in a shopping mall, a coffeeshop, the fish market, the traditional sitting pose of a man at the fish market, Ueno park etc. Stamped with the unique eye of Gueorgui Pinkhassov, they are characterized by his mastery of framing and light.The photographer always seem to look where other people don’t and to focus on what other people discard, which gives birth to outstanding compositions with blurred foregrounds, plays on reflections and shadows… All that apparently only depending on where his sightwalk takes him.

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From the Daily Sun, Nigeria’s King of the Tabloids:

The joint opens as early in the morning. The 45-year-old widow may not be seen around but some of her five children are always In a day, about give long snake are consumed. Mrs. Iyabo’s dilemma in giving the place a name is based on the fact that the joint also sell snail, cow tail, fried meat, and of course, drinks.

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From CJR:

Who was Musab al-Zarqawi? Evil mastermind or bumbling fool? Intelligent or doltish? Enterprising terrorist or al Queda puppet? As the bloated, bloody face of America’s enemy number one in Iraq dominated the front pages of newspapers today, reporters on the scene could not even agree on the answer to a simple question: Who the hell was this guy?
That he killed many, or at least set off forces that inspired the killing of many, is not in question. But almost everything else is. Here’s the second paragraph of Jeffrey Gettleman’s profile today in the New York Times: “His life story was riddled with contradictions: he was close to Saddam Hussein, he was fighting Mr. Hussein; he had two legs, he had one; he was Palestinian, he was Jordanian; he was right-handed, he was left-handed; he was a cunning leader, he was an illiterate brute.”
Indeed, Gettleman goes so far as to state that “several people who knew Mr. Zarqawi well, including former cellmates, voiced doubts about his ability to be an insurgent leader, or the leader of anything.” (Emphasis ours.)

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From the New York Times:

“Whadda you kidding? It’s a zoo out there. Two deli stickups at 12 on the dot; one of the perps getting plugged. I got the picture. Roulette joint bust on East 68th. Society types. You shoulda seen the penguins run. Three a.m.: Brooklyn. Car crash. Kids. Bad.”

“Four a.m., bars close. Guys asleep in Bowery doorways. But just before dawn is the worst: despair city. The jumpers start, out the windows, off the roof. I can’t even look. So that’s the night, New York. Ain’t it grand? What a life.”

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The first issue of the new online magazine NoTxt is now online. Great stuff. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
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YES!

From McDonald’s Interactive Division:

McDonald’s Interactive was formed four years ago to help the company adapt to new market conditions.

“We began developing a simulation of the fast-food industry, for use by managers in developing market strategies.” said Division CTO Sam Grossman. “When we added a climate simulation module, it showed those strategies helping lead to global calamity.”

“Management doesn’t seem to care, and we can’t sit back and fiddle while Rome burns, so our team has decided to break away from McDonald’s and do something about it,” said Grossman.

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The Yes Men strike again!

From Gamasutra, via boing-boing:

According to online reports, the UK-based International Serious Games Event, which deals with games for educational, corporate training, and other uses, this week hosted its conference in Birmingham, England, complete with a session by Andrew Shimery-Wolf, Strategic Comm. Mgr at fast food giant McDonald’s, on “McChange: Serious Games from Training to Corporate Social Responsibility.”

Shimery-Wolf claims to be part of an organization named McDonald’s Interactive, which has apparently announced that it “is striking out on its own from parent company McDonald’s.” “We can no longer stand by while McDonald’s corporate policies help lead the planet to ruin,” said Andrew Shimery-Wolf, co-director of the former Interactive Division.

However, as is clear by the apparent text of Shimery-Wolf’s speech at the legitimate International Serious Games Event, someone has been hoaxed – the speech claims that McDonald’s has run an elaborate ‘serious game’ to help work out the future of its business.

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From The Salt Lake Tribune:

The photographs in this gallery were taken by the children of polygamist Winston Blackmore, who were fascinated with Tribune photographer Trent Nelson’s cameras. Their play on a summer day at their home in Lister, British Columbia is easily comparable to a school recess that starts in the morning and doesn’t end until it’s time for bed. Dozens of brothers and sisters join for water fights, jumping on trampolines and riding bikes through the green grass and tall trees of the family’s farm.

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