Saturday, February 28, 2009

A sprite spring

It is the last day of February and definitely Spring has come to Punta Boca del Salado in Mexico.

The days are becoming longer and warmer.
The sun is getting higher in the sky and shining more forcefully.

Near the old school building, the tree is showing its annual flowers.
Attracting many butterflies and bees.






In one of the trees erected next to the Fuso Szulc, a pair of woodpeckers have made their home.
For months they have been hacking a hole in this tree and making it hollow.
Now they are breeding their eggs.
One of the two always sits inside their nest.
However, a flock of sparrows, temporarily staying at the oasis of rancho Punta Boca del Salado, have found out that these woodpeckers have eggs in their home.
Every morning the sparrows come to attack the two woodpeckers to try to climb into the nest and eat the eggs.

But the woodpeckers have a friend in their neighbour.
Every time the sparrows come, they are chased away with handclapping and stones being thrown.

Somehow, the woodpeckers understand this.
They are not afraid of the threatening sounds the human is making and the stones he is throwing.
They stay where they are and when the sparrows are gone, continue their securing of their heritage.











The two dogs, Rocky and Guante, also experience Spring.
They are transforming from puppies into adult dogs.
Being male dogs this can be noticed by seeing their reproductive organs grow more prominently.
In other words, while they did not have any testicles or even a scrotum, now, proudly, freshly landed balls swing between their hind legs.



What has that to do with Spring, if we may ask?
Doesn’t this happen year-round?
Well, yes.
But not only do their testicles fit nicely in the scrotum, but in this posting as well.





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Friday, February 27, 2009

Kicking a dying man in the ass.

In communication with a Russian photographer who is now in Mexico as well.

She is in the very south near Oaxaca preparing to go into the mountains.
Where Indians live, the indigenous people of Mexico.
She wants to go to a particular tribe that is about to be extinct.
To document them with pictures before they have evaporated completely overtaken by progress.

The question now is whether it is a good idea to go to those poor Indians and photograph them.
In the end, a photographer is a representative of the world that has made their’s disappear.
Now that it is almost over for them, they are requested to accept the presence of a photographer who will document all the private moments of their lives for the world to see.
A world that has crushed them forever.

In the past, this particular Indian tribe has already been extensively photographed by a Swiss photographer.
So it is not that there are no images of them.

But of course, for a contemporary, idealistic, young and ambitious European photographer it is an exciting idea to go to an Indian tribe soon to be extinct high in the mountains of Mexico.
It will feel like being a missionary or preacher.
Like doing something good and positive.

But is it really?

The only person that can answer that question is the Indian himself/herself.
In a situation like this the decision to be documented may only come of those who are going to be photographed.

Of course, the photographer has plenty of reasons to want to do it.
The truth though is that those reasons are seriously flawed.
By the own interests of the photographer.
He or she has personally too much at stake to see and understand honestly, objectively and fully the point of view of those to be photographed.

The policy must be to honestly ask the Indians if they want to be documented at this for them delicate moment in time.
If they absolutely and honestly want it, without the photographer paying or bribing them, the photographer can go ahead.
Otherwise it is like kicking a dying man in his ass.

This procedure is absolutely vital.
Because it always has a good result.

Either the Indians refuse and they are not photographed.
This means that they are respected in their decisions.
A last gesture we can make before they are not there anymore.
Swallowed by a world that never recognised and rewarded them.
But eventually shows some kind of respect.

Or either the Indians accept the invitation.
And then it can result in excellent photography.
Because they decided themselves to participate.
The best opportunity to come close to them and see their hearts open.
Resulting in sincere and true pictures.
Provided the photographer spends considerable time with the Indians and merges and bonds with them.

Personally the opinion is: leave those Indians alone, please.
They have suffered already so much by us.
As much as being on the verge of being extinct.
If these last Indians in the mountains of Southern Mexico got the idea that it was necessary to be photographed now that they are still existing, they would have reached out to some photographer by themselves.
To ask to do the job.

For any ambitious and talented photographer there are plenty of other subjects to document.
Maybe less romantic, but as vital.

For example, not only are Indian tribes in Mexico and South America disappearing, but new tribes are being born also.
Like in Europe.
Due to migration, large numbers of people found a new country to live in.
Many Moroccans live now in Holland, many Turks in Germany, etc
They are there for several generations now and are creating a strong and interesting position in the for them new societies.
Hence, the Dutch and German societies are changing.
By the influence of the people originally from Morocco and Turkey.

For a photographer this is an enormous challenge.
To document this process.
Of birth and growing.
Instead of dying and death.





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Thursday, February 26, 2009

With love

It is a happy man that writes this morning.
Yesterday, J Kucera of Cabos A/V fixed the modem and now everything in the Fuso Szulc operates as it used to.
The world can be reached again.

The whole issue was that the modem had to be re-commissioned.
But doing this through the set-up of the Fuso Szulc was impossible.
However, re-commissioning through another satellite connection was no problem.
In 15 minutes in J Kucera’s shop in Cabo San Lucas, it was done.

Now that it is over, the initial response is to want to forget about it as quickly as possible.
Because it was close to a nightmare.

It is therefore the peace and tranquillity of Punta Boca del Salado again.
The work can be resumed.
The happy and healthy life has returned.

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time - It's easy.

All you need is love.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.

All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

All you need is love (all together now)

Lennon/McCartney.




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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Running for rescue

After 5 days of wrestling with the modem of the Datastorm Satellite System a dead end street is reached.
Even the manager of the helpdesk of Motosat, Mitch Collins, is giving up.

Michel,

At this point I have to turn you over to Ground Control, please continue troubleshooting with them as they are your ISP.
( if it was MotoSAT I would suggest RFing the modem and recommisioning it with the proper information)

Sorry I could not be of more assistance.

Thanks,

Mitch Collins

Meanwhile a contact is made with a man called J Kucera.
He has a shop in Los Cabos, about a two hours drive from the rancho.
From the neighbour and good friend, he got to know of the trouble and wrote:

Michel, regarding your problems with HughesNet, you say that you have a MotoSat so I am assuming you are using this in an RV. I am not familiar with the MotoSat but I am well versed in the HughesNet. It would be best if you bring my in the HughesNet modem and power supply; your account information, nothing else (but your account number, name on account, address and telephone number used, and most importantly, the SAN and PIN). If the system has been decommissioned, this is usually due to account problems, mainly payment issues, or if your account was used for another modem and recomissioned using that second modem, or if you were unable to obtain a adequate signal they shut off your account since you were causing issues to the satellite, or you had a bad virus on your computer and Hughes shut down your service in order to protect their other clients. If you can bring me in the needed items I can find out what is going on for you.

J Kucera_Los Cabos A/V S.A. de C.V._Carr. Transp. KM #4, Plaza Juan Diego, Local #4_Col. El Tezal_Cabo San Lucas, BCS 23410

Today with the borrowed Ford Expedition from Gumaro Gonzalez a trip will be made to the shop of J Kucera.
Together with the Hughes HN 7000S modem that has been taken out from its location in the Fuso Szulc.

A new step in the ongoing saga.



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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A storm in sunshine

These days the weather is extraordinary at Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico.
Warm and sunny days.
Not too much wind.
And nights cool enough to be able to sleep deeply.
Most fantastic the absence of insects.

But fervent and loyal blog readers have not come all the way to this blog to learn how nice the weather is in Mexico.

It is better and more interesting to present an update on the situation with the Datastorm Satellite System.

The good news is that after two days of trying, the modem is now commissioned.
The problem that was experienced for so long was that the step-by-step registration process guiding to the website where to commission the modem did not use the correct address.
The solution was to manually put in the website address.
That had to be found somewhere on the Internet.
An average customer of a Datastorm Satellite System will never be able to do this.
One must be a semi-expert and one must have a lot of time to solve these problems.

So, can the fervent and loyal blog readers enjoy themselves now in the knowledge that the Fuso Szulc’s Datastorm Satellite System is up and working again?
The modem is commissioned so the user must be back cruising in cyberspace, no?

The answer is no.

While going through the registration process, at one point the ZIP-code need to be introduced.
There is already a ZIP-code to be seen which is the one of the location where the Datastorm Satellite System originally was installed: in Riverside, California, USA.

It was believed this did not need to be changed.
To begin with, Punta Boca del Salado in Mexico has no American ZIP-code.
And why would it matter where one is?
The Datastorm Satellite System on a RV moves around all the time anyway.

Leaving the ZIP-code as it was, the modem got commissioned and had its ID back.
But when it started working, it was unable to establish a working connection with the satellite.
Modem informing:

"The transmitter is sending incorrect timing data because the wrong zip code or latitude/longitude information was entered during installation. "


OK, one would think that next it is just a matter of correcting the ZIP-code and to put in the latitude/longitude information of Punta Boca del Salado.
However, if the modem is not connected to the Datastorm Satellite System because of incorrect timing data due to a wrong ZIP-code, how can a customer reach the server and change the data?

This is like a Catch 22 situation.
The server thinks the Fuso Szulc is in Riverside, California while the expedition vehicle actually is in Punta Boca del Salado, Mexico.

It is supposed there is a solution for this problem.
But this cannot be found.
Until now.

Today again contact will be made with Mitch Collins, assistant support customer service manager of Motosat.
Using the satellite connection of the friendliest neighbours.
Also a message will be put on the forum of the website for users of Datastorm.
Most of the time, answers appear there rather rapidly.

It is all a matter now of staying relaxed.
To let the Datastorm blow over.






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Monday, February 23, 2009

Swinging a club

Antonio is 7 years old.
The son of Christina Gonzalez who was born and raised at the Rancho Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico.
Now she lives in the small town of La Ribera with her son Antonio, her daughter Lucretia and her husband Charro.

Charro is one of the local policemen in La Ribera.
A very nice guy.
Soft and friendly.
It would be nice to be arrested by him.

Yesterday he told he had been following a workshop.
The workshop “El Bastón”.
Policemen are trained in using their club to control or silence recalcitrant individuals.
It was supposed this was one day of training after which a policeman should know how to swing their club correctly.
But to great surprise Charro told that the workshop takes 20 days.
Often people have no idea how much time it takes to make a good picture.
But it seems an equivalent is found with the Mexican police.
Only to use a club, the Mexican policemen are trained during 20 days.
Imagine how long they are trained to fire their pistol!

Meanwhile Charro’s 7-year-old son Antonio was whining in the background.
He had a broken cycle-pump in his hand and was anxious to have it repaired so he could inflate the tires of his bike to take a ride.

Those are excellent moments to have special experiences for the child.
All conversations with the adults present were broken off and Antonio was asked what was the problem.
Asked, although it was very clear.
But it was considered important that he himself would describe what was the problem and what he wanted.
Of course an adult could take immediately the cycle-pump out of the hands of the 7 year old and fix the thing.
But that is treating a human being like a stupid child.
Who will have an uneducational experience.
And a wrong idea what adults can be like.

Hence, after Antonio described what was the problem the strategy was applied to have him fix the cycle-pump himself.
Of course, by advices and suggestions of the adult.
That were given though in such a way that Antonio believed he found the many solutions to the technical problems himself.

For example, a bolt had come off from the long metal rod.
An adult could show the child where and how to put back the bolt.
But another way is to ask the child where he thinks that bolt should go.
Of course he doesn’t know.
But when he is encouraged to look, check and discover, he will find it all by himself.
Eventually.
And that is an enlightening experience for the child.

In this way, Antonio managed to repair the cycle-pump.
And he was very much praised for his effort that he enjoyed deeply.
“Antonio, you are like an engineer!”
He was the most proud boy in Mexico.
Went to his father to show the fixed cycle-pump and to explain that he had managed to repair it.

Of course his father had been seeing and following what had been going on and went along with the important experience for his son.

“Antonio, you repaired the cycle-pump?
But that is wonderful, my son.”

This particular strategy of dealing with kids is not new.
Nor has an adult to be very intelligent to understand that it is very good for the child.

But the adult needs two things.
That are often hard to find these days.

One is time.
It takes time to deal with the child as was performed with Antonio.
Everything else on the agenda needs to be postponed and all attention must go to the kid.

Second is that there must be love and affection.
Of a strictly fatherly or motherly nature.
It is realized that the time and attention invested in Antonio now will have influence for the rest of his life.
And this is the most loving thing an adult can do for a child.
To give, to respect and to trust.

After Antonio was able to use his bike again, there was a return to the Fuso Szulc.
Passing the corrals of the rancho it was noticed that 13-year-old Edgar was in the section with the goats preparing them to go out into the mountains.
With him was his 11-year-old half sister Rocio.
Edgar had been doing something amazing.
He had tied up his sister completely.
To some poles with tight ropes around her body.
Even around her neck making it difficult for her to breath.
It obviously had started out as a joke.
As a playful thing between the two.
But Edgar being a difficult and often aggressive boy, had taken it too far.
The corral with the goats is relatively far from the kitchen where the adults are, so the family was not aware of what was going on.
They were not hearing the screams of pain and panic of Rocio.

There is a policy not to interfere with the life of the Gonzalez family.
They do the things in their way.
That is respected and rarely criticised.
But in this case action was taken.
Even to Mexican standards it was believed Edgar was going too far.
And if he was not corrected this time, what would happen between him and his cute young sister the next time, we may ask.

Hence, with authority and without hesitation Edgar was commandeered to release Rocio immediately.
Suggesting anger and displeasure for the way he was handling his sister.

And later that day, in the presence of Rocio and Edgar, their mother Norma was informed what had been going on.
Expressing disagreement with Edgar’s conduct.
Norma supported this opinion and rubbed her disagreement in.
Now Edgar knows he went too far.
And hopefully a barrier has been put up behind which Rocio finds protection from her unstable brother.




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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mayday in February

It should have been better if today a posting was published with an entertaining and light subject.
Like new adventures of the two dogs around the Fuso Szulc.
Or about the beauty of the spring in Mexico.

But these days are totally dominated by the fact that the modem of the Motosat Datastorm Satellite System has dropped its most important setting.
Isolating the ambitious photographer and cutting him off from the world.
Making him idle because work cannot be performed anymore.

Fortunately, less than a mile away American friends have their holiday houses and happen to be present.
They have also a Motosat Datastorm Satellite System although with a fixed disk.
So, once a day a visit is paid and e-mails are sent and received and the blog published.
Short visits, as the hospitality cannot be stretched too much.
Who knows how long this situation will continue.
Of course there is communication by e-mail with the Motosat Datastorm Satellite System help desk.
A guy called Mitch Collins.
But of course from Friday afternoon until Monday morning Motosat Datastorm Satellite System help desk in Salt Lake City closes their service and fixing the problem gets on hold.

Last message from Salt Lake City was:

Michel,

The modem has decommissioned itself for whatever reason. Try and go through the "commissioning" process that I sent you yesterday.

Thanks,

Mitch Collins


As of Friday many hours have been spent trying to commission the modem again.
For this the server of Motosat Datastorm has to be accessed where registration and commissioning takes place.
One would think that this could be a simple procedure.
It is not.

Read for example the explanation we find in the manual:

- If you get through the authenticating terminal and you get the option to proceed to the next screen you will first get asked if it is okay to be redirected to another ‘secure’ site. If when trying to load this site you get an error, it could be because of a few different things on the customer’s computer: Are they using something other than Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) or Firefox 2.0? If so they will need to download either of those programs to be able to get to the final pages. Hughes officially will only support those two browsers, if the customer has IE7 it will defiantly not work. Another problem could be some sort of firewall setting or Virus program like Norton or MacAfee, Disable these programs and run it again to see if you can get through. If not then check the customer’s settings for their browser, make sure their security and privacy settings are at least set to medium if not temporary set to low.
- If not one of the above issues, then make sure the customers computer is set to automatically detect DHCP. If the computer is hard coded, make sure they have an appropriate value put in for their Default Gateway. Without a Default gateway, the computer will not be able to access this site.
- Another problem could be the server itself, check NOC reports for possible Vision outages either on the whole server or just the satellite you are on.

Already this text makes a sane person tear the hair from the head.
But it has been tried anyway but it simply doesn’t work.
Each time eventually the message appears:




All possibilities have been tried.
Different browsers.
Apple and PC computers.
With and without encryptions.
With and without Firewalls.
To no avail.

This has resulted in having reached a level of the bad mood.
Of feeling pissed off.

This modem is less than two years old.
To start changing settings by itself.
And next Motosat makes it extremely difficult to put the settings back.
All this for $ 8.000 to buy and $ 80 monthly to use.

What is a simple customer of Motosat supposed to do?
Most installers of a Motosat Datastorm Satellite System are guys in a van who go from place to place to install.
It is a wild business with no fixed prices.
The installer getting a part of the costs of the system and part of the monthly subscription fee.

There is a website of Datastorm users.
Where they report their problems and sometimes the solutions they found are explained.
On this website more could be found about the situation the Fuso Szulc is in these days.
But not having Internet, the website cannot be visited and researched for possible answers.
Maybe there are loyal and fervent blog readers who are prepared to give a little help?
By visiting the Datastorm Users website and look for answers?

These are the two issues:

1/
The HN7000S modem changes its settings by itself.

2/
The HN7000S modem decommissioned itself.
The SatID needs to be registered at Motosat’s server again.

The website is:
http://www.datastormusers.com/

Without Internet, without communication and most importantly without the possibility to do the work, a dark depressing cloud has engulfed existence.
Of course one could see the new opportunities that make this unpleasant and depressing situation possible.
Like relaxing now.
To go sunbathing.
To read more.
Or to go count the grains of sand on the beach.
And the fish in the sea.
But life in this particular case is not lived for nonsense.
To entertain pleasantly the days of life away.
No decadency is tolerated because the passion for art dominates everything.

This is why a Mayday is send out.
Help to solve this desperate situation.
Send answers you find on www.datastormusers.com and become responsible for sunshine and happiness.






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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Even more

The verdict has been made by the expert of the help desk of Motosat.
The modem, by itself, has made disappear its registration.
The site ID.
Making it impossible to access the Internet.

This is the second trick the modem is playing in a few days.
First, by itself, it changed the longitude of the satellite sabotaging Internet connection.
When that was fixed, the modem decided to become more serious and eliminated its identification.

There is no explanation for this attitude of the modem.
Even the expert, Mitch Collins of Motosat, doesn’t know.

What must be realised is that these little games of the modem cause a lot of trouble.
Because it is difficult and complicated to fix the problems.
Each time the victim needs to go through a long learning process, as it is unexplored territory.
The hard part then becomes the fact that it is not by the own choice that one has to learn step by step how to make the system work again.
It is forced upon.
All other activities need to stop.
Other people need to get involved.
While there is no interest whatsoever to be actually involved in these problems.
And it is something not to expect when buying a communication system costing around $ 8.000 (€ 6.332).

During the process of solving the problem, frequently new challenges are met.
Like problems within the problem.
With the same characteristic: unexplainable why it occurs.

Like during the process of re-registration of the modem while connected to the administration-server of Motosat.
During that process, at one particular step, the modem disconnects from the link.
Until this is noticed one is puzzled why all the time the registration that is tried fails.
There is a solution, which needs to be discovered also.
To re-start the modem at the point where it disconnects and then to continue the step-by-step re-registration process.
Why is it disconnecting at that particular point in the process?
To make the life of the customer more miserable?
One of the many little games played with the person that has spend $ 8.000?

After that hurdle has been taken and the administrative server of Motosat has been reached, a large message appears eventually on the screen.



And how many times it is tried, each effort results in getting the same message.
Now it is suspected it has to do with the browser and the computer.
With an Apple computer and its Firefox and Safari browsers it might be impossible to access the Motosat server and re-register the modem.
Hence, today the help of neighbours is requested to come with their Windows PC laptop to try if this will work out.

It feels that the purpose of life has been shanghaied.
The activities that are planned and considered important to perform are forced to be put on hold.

This can happen.
And it has been experienced before.
For example, when a hurricane forces to leave a certain location where work is made.
Or when a military junta enforces a curfew.
Or when the flu makes the photographer to stay in bed.

But it is not acceptable when it concerns a modem.
That a stupid piece of electronics can manipulate the life of a well-intentioned person.
Because that stupid piece of electronics was made by human beings in an incompetent way.

Meanwhile a new problem with the Motosat system is waiting.
When the satellite disk on the roof of the Fuso Szulc returns to its fold up position, it is not going back to its original position anymore.


It is off sideways and wants to come down on the roof like that.
Not fitting in the holder anymore.
Manually the action of stowing the disk needs to be stopped to avoid damage.

There has been communication with Motosat about this sudden occurring new problem.
The solution they offer is surrealistic and absurd but unavoidable:
You take off the whole satellite disk and its mount from the roof of the Fuso Szulc.
Pack it somehow and send it to our factory in Salt Lake City.
We will fix the problem and send everything back to you.



This may sound rather unbelievable.
But it is true.
In another posting more about this fantastic new calamity with the Motosat Datastorm Satellite System.

Friday, February 20, 2009

From hell

To find out how deep love and hate can go, it is recommended to purchase a Datastorm Satellite System.

When it is working, one feels in heaven to be able to be in touch with anyone anywhere no matter where one is.
This is a great feeling: to speak for example to someone on the other side of the world and even see her image.
All solar powered and using Skype and the Datastorm Satellite System.
Elating!

But frequently Datastorm Satellite System manages to awaken feelings of hate rarely coming to the surface.
After working flawlessly for 3 months, suddenly the Datastorm modem starts sabotaging life and happiness.

Two days ago it turned out that it had by itself changed the longitude of the satellite in its settings.
When that was fixed, which took more than a day, it worked fine again.
But this morning again it had changed suddenly that longitude.
And worse, eliminated the Site ID.
Now the thing is without an identity and has made itself useless.

It is like being in Stanley Kubrick’s fascinating film “2001: Space Odyssey” where “Hal” (pronounced “hell”), the main computer of the spaceship, turns against the crew and kills them.

The scary part is that the excellent help desk collaborator of Datastorm, Mitch Collins, doesn’t know why this is happening.
How can an electronic device change settings by itself?
If even the expert doesn’t know, maybe we should go back to communicating with smoke signals.

So now the poor Datastorm user needs to trot to a most friendly neighbour who happens to have Internet to get in touch again with the help desk of Datastorm.
And publish this posting.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Whooping

The Fuso Szulc is now parked in the same location for almost 4 months.
In the dry river bed of Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico near the rancho of the Gonzalez family and the Sea of Cortez.

For all those days the disk on the roof of the Fuso Szulc has been pointing to the SatMex 5 satellite using Motosat as a company to have access to the Internet.

This has been going very well.
Of course there is the FAP to take into consideration.
FAP stands for Fair Access Policy.
There is a limit to the usage of downloading and uploading Megabytes and if this is not respected, one is put on an access speed of a turtle for 24 hours.

But yesterday morning suddenly the Datastorm Satellite System failed totally.
No more connection to cyberspace and therefore the world.

These problems with the Datastorm Satellite System are not occurring for the first time.
Actually, as long as this system has been used, regularly there are problems.

By itself this is not too bad, but what is very inconvenient is that it is often very complicated to find out what exactly is wrong.

When the Datastorm Satellite System doesn’t work, user gets to see what is the problem.
Yesterday it said:
“RXCode 4, receiver locked to the wrong network”.
That was puzzling.
How could it be that suddenly user was locked to the wrong network while 6 hours ago the Datastorm Satellite System was working “no problema”?
It was also explained that it could be an administrative problem with Motosat.
Or that the satellite had been falling out of the sky.

Being without Internet has consequences.
Unable to publish the daily blog.
Unable to run the business.
Unable to make phone calls.
Unable to receive and send e-mails.
Unable to know what is going on the world.

Yesterday, most of the time was spend trying to solve the Datastorm Satellite System problem.
A trip was made to a small restaurant about half an hour from the Rancho where they also have Internet through a satellite connection.
Mail was sent and received, the blog published and the Service Desk of Motosat called by VOIP to hear a possible solution.
But the connection was too slow.

Later that afternoon a visit was made to the neighbours who also have a satellite connection.
And again from there a phone call was made to Motosat.
A bad connection again but at least it was heard that it could be a matter of the settings.
Not of the Rxcode 4…

Hence, this morning a new effort was made to try to solve the problem.
It turned out that in the settings one little piece of information had to be changed.
And next: wwwwhhhhhooooooppppssss, back on the Internet and in life and business.

Now the question is, how come that this happened?
That one small piece of information got changed?
We will ask Motosat.








Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A cold wind from the banks

In most countries worldwide the recession is blowing its icy winds into emptying bank accounts.
More people getting unemployed.
More businesses closing down.
Everybody depressed and without hope.

This man was found on the beach last night.
He was trying to sleep there in a cold breeze with one thin blanket only.
About 2 miles from the rancho some building activity is going on and the man is temporarily working there.
He comes to the Gonzalez to buy himself an evening meal.
Having no car and being from the mainland far away from his home, he sleeps wherever he can.
Over here it is the beach where at night the temperature goes down to 13º C (55º F.)

Logical to invite the man to sleep on the folding camping bed next to the Fuso Szulc where is no wind.
He accepted immediately and this morning he went back to work at daybreak.

This experience triggered memories of the pictures made for the Farm Security by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange in the 30’s.
People having hardly anything anymore because of the economic circumstances.
Travelling to where was work.
They were desperate.
Without hope.
John Steinbeck wrote a fabulous book called “The grapes of wrath” where he describes how life was for the poor during the Big Recession.

It seems these days are returning.
Poverty is coming to people who used to make a decent living.
While we are only at the beginning of a degrading economic situation that might take over one year.

Suddenly Governments that have been practicing capitalism, leaving the markets free to do what they wanted without hardly any regulations, turn to a more socialistic approach.
Nationalizing companies or borrowing money in return for shares.
Making more strict regulations and increasing monitoring.
Controlling society more and more now while before they were just a service institute for business.

We see now that Governments are investing billions of Euros and Dollars in their societies.
The remarkable thing though is that those Governments do not have that money that they have start spending now.
They borrow it and it needs to be repaid in the years to come.
How?
By raising taxes.

The truth is that the next two generations will live on a lower level of wealth.
Because taxes will be higher than we were used to, as they have to repay what we are now borrowing and needing to get the economy going again.

This is the devastation that the Bush regime leaves the coming generations and us.
He created in the USA paradise for business putting the people in hell.
Sleeping in a cold wind on the beach.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Job opportunity: cheerleader


These are two super simple pictures.
One sees a beach, an arm and a stone.
Nothing else.

Each picture by itself is not having any sense.
But the two pictures put together tell a story.
Based on suggestion and steering the imagination of the viewer by the photographer.

The story is that the stone is laying peacefully on the beach.
But a fist is hanging in the air about to take action.
Seeing the second picture one understands that the fist has landed forcefully on the beach.
Obviously with so much power that the stone is rocketed into the sky.

While we see and understand this, at the same time somewhere in the mind we know this cannot be true.
We realize that we are manipulated.
That our visual understanding is guided through a landscape that does not exist in the reality of the scheme of things.

From 1970 to 1985 hundreds and hundreds of these pictures, called “sequences” have been made.

Basically simple ideas always performed on the beach in bright sunlight.

In March 1984 a selection of these “sequences” were published in a large book and the first copy was presented with an exhibition in the Laurence Miller Gallery in New York and a big one man show in the Art Institute in Chicago.



This book, titled “Sequences”, has been sold out for many years now.
Sometimes at book auctions or in specialised shops second hand copies can be found.

Meanwhile, frequently requests to purchase “Sequences” reach the serious photographer.
Monthly and weekly.

The latest development is that the designer of the book “Sequences”, Henrik Barents, who has a publishing company of his own now, wants to bring out the successful book again.
Designed in a new way and printed in a much better quality.

This is a fantastic continuation of the success of the sequences-work.
Images that still interest and fascinate people.
Even more than 25 years after they were made.

The process to come to a new publication has started now.
An interesting collaboration with Henrik Barents.
Having to handle a series of challenges.
For example, how to pre-finance the book in these days of dried up credit?

It is never easy to publish a photo-book.
Always there are conditions that make it difficult.
So it was in the past, is it nowadays and will it be in the future.
Whether eventually there will be a new “Sequences” photo book does not depend therefore of the current conditions.
But of the determination of the two guys that want it now.
If they want it hard enough, all challenges will be met and you will be able to enjoy a fantastic new photo book.
So, make yourself a cheerleader.

****************************************

More information about the publishing company of designer Henrik Barents, click on:
http://www.voetnoot-publishers.nl/





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Monday, February 16, 2009

"The-ok-ers”

Are we really only 6.000 years old?
Yes, we are.
According to the fundamental Christians and Muslims who believe in Creationism.
A belief based on what is written in a 2.000 year old book called Genesis.
There it is explained that God created life in 6 days of 24 hours.

True fundamental and orthodox Christians and Muslims believe in Genesis literally.
Because they say in it are the holy words of God.
That is why a fundamental and orthodox Christian feels that anything that indicates that Genesis is literally incorrect cannot be right.

This is a point of view with flaws.
Because if it is true that Genesis is literally true, something written there is rather unexplainable.
And this story is in the Koran as well!
It is this issue:
God created Adam and Eve who were lodged in Paradise.
Right?
That’s what it says in Genesis and the Koran.
Because of some complications, due to Eve’s foul actions, Adam and Eve were foreclosed and left Paradise.
So far so good, OK?
Next, they had two children.
Kaïn and Able.
That’s written in Genesis and the Koran too.
God interfered in that brotherly relationship resulting in Abel’s death.
Murdered out of jealousy by his own brother Kaïn.
We are still following Genesis and the Koran correctly, true?
Now, in Genesis and the Koran it says that after Able died, Kaïn married a woman by the name of Awan.

The question now is, where did that woman come from?
Because, according to Genesis and the Koran, by then there were only 3 people walking the Earth.
Adam, Eve and Kaïn.

The only explanation if one follows literally Genesis and the Koran is that this woman Awan must have been a daughter of Adam and Eve.
Hence, we see here a serious case of incest.

In the history of mankind never it has been allowed that a brother marries his sister to have children.
Because people knew very well it would result in deformed human beings.
This might have been the case with the son of Kaïn and Awan: they called the boy Eunuch.
And up to today a eunuch is a man who cannot produce children.

Another issue with Genesis and the Koran is that it is claimed that Adam reached the age of 930 years.(Genesis 5:5)
Sure.

These days we celebrate that Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago.
The man who developed the theory of evolution.
Saying we originate from the chimpanzees, to simplify his theory.

As of then, the world is in an endless discussion.
Fighting about the true history of our origin.
Creationists on one side taking Genesis and the Koran literally.
And on the other side the Evolutionists collecting more and more scientific evidence explaining what fairy tales Genesis and the Koran are dishing off.

This discussion will last for some time because even the Darwin fan club has no explanation for the very beginning of life.
They go back not 6.000 years but millions.
Not knowing yet what was at the start either.

Therefore, you do not need to be a believer in Creationism or Evolution, fervent and loyal blog readers.
You can also make yourself belong to the group of people who are called “The-ok-ers”.
These people put themselves above the discussion about the question of our origin.
“The-ok-ers” are pragmatists.
They realize that an adequate and final answer cannot be given right now.
So, they conclude: it is OK.
They accept the lack in knowledge and simply ignore the whole issue.
What does it matter anyway?





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Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to remain friends

Naturally there is a huge difference between the reality of life on a Mexican Rancho and the reality of life of a pioneering photographer.
Different cultures, different objectives and different traditions.

However, there is nevertheless a harmonious symbiosis working well due to mutual respect.
And by limiting the knowledge about the other party’s reality.
The Gonzalez do not know all the ins and outs of the practice of the photographer.
And the photographer doesn’t know too much what is going on in the family and on the rancho.

There are very few questions asked because the mode is to politely wait until the moment someone involved in the friendship feels it is appropriate and relevant to tell something.

This may sound like a superficial relationship.
While it is definitely not.
To the contrary.
Because most of the daily anecdotic stuff is not the subject of the communication, the sharing is of only essential words and feelings.

One thing the Gonzalez family did not have to inform about was their sudden passion for roosters.
Over the last two months cages were put near the house of the rancho.
In those cages roosters are housed.
By now there about thirty.


The Fuso Szulc is about 500 metres away from the rancho but every morning the roosters can be heard at daybreak.
A tremendous concert of thirty roosters trying to outperform one another by crowing as loud as possible.
And the Gonzalez do not seem to bother much about this rather overpowering way of the cocks waking up people.



There is a reason why they keep roosters these days.
They are used for cockfights, the new hobby of the young Ismaël Gonzalez and his oldest brother Juan-Manuel.
During the weekend they go with some of their roosters to villages and towns in the area where cock fights are organized.
If one of their roosters wins a fight, the brothers can earn as much as 30.000 Mexican Pesos ($ 2.060 or € 1.600).
A lot of money in a country where a construction worker makes daily 300 Mexican Pesos ($ 20 or € 16).

For the rooster it is a different thing.
The fights are about life and death.
If the roosters looses, it is because he died in the fight.
And the rooster that wins is probably so wounded it is also going into the soup pot.

In the USA and Europe cockfights are illegal.
Because it is considered a heinous blood sport due to the physical, always-mortal trauma the cocks inflict on each other.

Meanwhile, nearby the thirty roosters waiting for their life-ending fight lives the photographer that loves and respects animals.
Who is even a member of a political party in the Netherlands defending animal rights in Parliament.
Who is more concerned about the well being of animals than about the well being of the NATO-troops in Afghanistan.

The only way to live with this situation of 30 roosters at the rancho is not to have an opinion about these activities of the Gonzales boys.

Jiddu Krishnamurti explained that man has built in himself images as a sense of security—religious, political, personal.
These manifest as symbols, ideas and beliefs.
The burden of these dominates man's thinking, relationships and his daily life.
These are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man in every relationship.

So, the pioneering photographer observes the roosters without having a condemning opinion.
What Krishnamurti calls the “ choiceless awareness”.
And is therefore still friends with the Gonzalez.




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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Don't try to convert the Emperor



Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 1 billion Valentine cards are send worldwide.
Making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas.

Who was Saint Valentine, after who this day is named?


The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in the Nuremberg Chronicle in1493.
Alongside the woodcut portrait of Valentine the text states that he was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius II, known as Claudius Gothicus.
Saint Valentine was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome.
Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime.
Emperor Claudius took a liking to this prisoner.
Until Valentine tried to convert the Emperor.
Whereupon this priest was condemned to death.
He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't finish him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate.

It might be that because Saint Valentine was marrying couples that nowadays we connect him to hearts, doves, love notes and Cupid.
Because in the West, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery.
A tradition that was born in the 19th century.

While Saint Valentine was beaten with clubs, was stoned and beheaded, he probably was not imagining that some time later 1 billion Saint Valentine cards would be send around.

Were there any of those 1 billion Valentine cards received at the Fuso Szulc?
Like this one?



There is no mail service at Punta Boca del Salado.
Besides the fact that no woman known would be sending a Valentine card this way.
Life has become too extreme for anyone to associate with it.
It is the life long climbing of a mountain and nearer the top it is too far away from the others.
Out there is hardly anybody.

That’s why no Valentine Card was send.
Although there is a person who fits the criteria.
But she is climbing in another mountain range.
We can only see each other sometimes.
But will never touch.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

To reach you as intense as possible.

A fundamental foundation of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” is the surprise it has build-in.
When people read the title, their imagination already creates a picture of what they think they are about to see.
And in most cases people imagine and expect to see persons demonstrating and exhibiting physical beauty.
The next emotional experience they will have is one of surprise.
Seeing the images and reading the texts they find out that it is contrary to their imagination and expectation.
“The most beautiful people in the world” is not about physical beauty.
It is about what people feel in their heart.
It is about how life is lived from specific emotions.
Feelings and emotions that are positive and make the persons believe to be the most beautiful.

For the people seeing “The most beautiful people in the world” this is a nice surprise.
It is contrary to their imagination and expectation but on top of that, it is a message that makes them feel better.
A message that gives them hope and inspiration.

The designer of the photo book of “The most beautiful people in the world”, Teun van der Heijden, has used the same strategy.
To recognise expectations in readers and twist them in such a way that the experience for the readers become deeper and stronger.

The cover of the book immediately applies this method.
See for yourself:




Many readers will ask themselves what this is all about.
Think how unusual this cover is.
Realize that the cover makes several questions rise.

Why is this picture of the smiling African girl crossed?
Not in logic line with the position of the title?
How is reader supposed to hold the photo book?
Vertically to be able to read the title?
Or horizontally to be able to see properly the picture?

And what about this title: “The most beautiful person in the world”?
Does that mean that this smiling African girl is the most beautiful in the world?
That the whole book is about her?

These questions are initiated by the design of the cover.
And it is all on purpose and with deliberate planning and clear intentions.
It is a preparation for the experience the reader is going to have once the photo book is opened.
The reader, through the cover, is prepared to be flexible for what about to see.
Made clear that it will be different and unusual.

For example, after the first pages, the photo book needs to be turned 45 degrees.
To be able to see properly the images and quotes of the most beautiful people.
This changing of the position of the photo book is a vital moment in the relationship between the reader and the photo book.
If it can happen harmoniously and like a logic action to take, it will not disturb the entering of the message of the photo book.
The questions that have been coming up in the mind of the reader when seeing the cover, works now effectively in dealing harmoniously with experiencing and properly handling the photo book.

There is another huge advantage in having a cover of a photo book that is puzzling and unusual.
When it is exhibited in a bookshop, in a shop window or on the coffee table of a living room, it attracts attention.
For several reasons.
The most important one being this most attractive portrait of the African girl.
Her smile, her happiness and the colours are attracting, appealing and pleasing the eye.
Also, the title tickles the imagination: is that girl the most beautiful person in the world?
That is something many would like to find out.
Why she and how come?

When “The most beautiful people in the world” was in production in Paris with French book publisher Delpire long discussions were about the cover of the photo book.
The train of thoughts was that not one particular person could be on the cover.
Because the project was about many people in 10 different countries.
Unjustified to emphasize just one.
Eventually this solution was found.



With book designer Teun van der Heijden another route was taken.
To begin with, he got carte blanche.
He got all the freedom in the world to do whatever he liked to do.
Not an easy decision for the author of “The most beautiful people in the world”, but there was total trust in this designer that he would come up with solutions and inventions beyond the own abilities.

One of the interesting decisions Teun van der Heijden made was not to follow the Paris train of thoughts for the cover of the photo book.
To be almost recalcitrant by going against everything and choosing just one person to put on the cover.
And changing therefore the title of the project also.
Following the fundamental foundation of the photo project that what you are made to imagine and expect is contrary to what you eventually experience.
For one reason only.
To reach you as intense as possible.

************************************************


Comments on the book cover are most welcome.

The website of the book designer Teun van der Heijden, click on:
http://www.heijdenskarwei.com/


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A molested child suffers the rest of its life

In the Netherlands a wild public debate has started because of a lady who has composed a list of child molesters.
Their names, portrait pictures and information where exactly they live.
All this information she has put on a website for everybody to see.

It is the first time in the Netherlands this is happening.
Within two days the server of the website got overloaded with hits and can't be reached anymore.

The current public debate in the Netherlands is centered on the privacy aspect of making information about child offenders public.
Even a person who has molested a child has a right to privacy, many people argue.
And witch hunts should be avoided.

But others say that the concern for children is more important.
If parents know that around the corner a child molester is living, they can prepare themselves and their children if they are informed.

Immediately after the website was available, the first attacks on the houses where the child molesters live were reported.
Bricks thrown through their windows.
Faeces deposed in their mailboxes.
For sure the way the child molesters used to live will change because they are now publicly known.

The person behind this first website with information about child molesters is a woman.
A very concerned and alert lady.
She is claiming that the trouble the child molesters are getting because of publishing their identities and addresses openly is nothing compared to what a child experiences when molested.
A child that is misused will have to live a life with a deep scar that will always hurt.
Hence, why have pity for the culprit?

In the Netherlands it is not legal to open a website and publish private information of, for example, child molesters.
This is why the particular Dutch website is hosted in the USA in the name of an American.

In the USA it is normal to have websites where one can check if in the neighborhood a child offender is living.
However, it is unfortunate that this has become a commercial business.
One can go to the website with information about sex offenders and has to give the zip code where one is living.
As well as an e-mail address.


Within 5 seconds the message appears how many sex offenders are located in the immediate area.
In the test case today, a staggering 33 registered sex offenders turn out to live in the proposed zip code area.


But it doesn’t say who they are and where exactly they live.
If that information is desired, and who does not want to know more about this threatening news of 33 registered sex offenders in the neighbourhood, has to pay money.
It is not too much, only $ 10, but nevertheless.
If someone wants to know on a regularly basis about the situation with sex offenders in the area, one must pay $ 4,95 a month.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate.

Nothing is off-limits for money.

Nevertheless, this blogwriter is a warm proponent for making the names and addresses of child molesters public.
However, in a non-commercial way.

Child molesters must know and realize before to molest that their pleasure will be only for a few moments.
But that next all the rest of their life they will suffer of their deplorable act.
This might make them think twice before to molest.
And might make them decide to look for professional help.
Because that is the only way.

*********************************


A website to know in the USA if a sexual predator lives in your neighbourhood:
http://sexual-predator-report.com/pedophile-list.asp





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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A book is born

In a photo book is always a preface.
An introduction text telling this and that about the content.

Some time ago the decision was made not to have some big shot write a text to use as a preface for the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
To ask a world famous person to write a preface is usual a method to plant a well-known flag on a slow moving boat.
The book by itself will not get maximum attention so additional publicity and interest is tried to be obtained by involving a celebrity.
It is like jumping into the trunk of someone else’s car to get somewhere.

There is this unshakable belief that the message and the content of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” is strong and pure.
That it does not need someone else.
Besides the fact that giving another person the podium of the preface would distract the audience from the images, text and the message.

So, the idea now is that the photographer himself writes an introduction to the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
He gets 500 words to say his thing.

But what is he supposed to say?
Why he did this project?
How he performed the project?
Must it be a very personal text?
Or more business like?

For the moment there is no clue.
Helpless and slightly desperate, shy and insecure, intimidated and hesitant the waiting is for this brilliant idea what and how to write.

Another fascinating aspect in making the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” with the designer Teun van der Heijden is that he has the exclusive authority to select the persons that will be published in the book.
This is on purpose.
In a photo book only very strong pictures should be published.
All other reasons are no good reasons.
This implies that the one selecting must be 100 % objective.
Obviously the photographer who met all those most beautiful people is very subjective.
There are participants in the project who became friends.
There are participants who were found very attractive, charming and seducing.
But also persons who were not very sympathetic.

The designer Teun van der Heijden selected the 80 persons to be published in the book and his choice is perfect.
Totally acceptable and no problem to respect and appreciate.
But nevertheless..
A slight pain is felt because the karate champion of Poland, the extraordinarily beautiful, charming and wonderful Monika from Gdansk was not selected.


And what about Shipra from Mumbai?
This stunning, multitalented and exciting woman also left out?



But it is a good thing that these idiotic and too private considerations are neutralized by the designer having the only authority.

One of the next postings will present to all the fervent and loyal blog readers the cover of the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
It is a very unusual cover.
As is the whole project.

*********************************************

To see all results from the project "The most beautiful people in the world", click on:
http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org






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Monday, February 9, 2009

Dr Spock speaks

Many members of the family and friends had come to spend the weekend at the rancho Punta Boca del Salado, Baja California, Mexico.

Consequently, many children were there.
Who asked again for classes.
To get teaching by the pioneering photographer.



All personal activities were instantly postponed when the children had this request and for two days every morning and every evening we were coming together.
8 students.

Of course there were some changes in the teaching strategies.
To have it continue to be interesting for the students.
And for the teacher as well.

A lot of the educational strategies applied have to do with how the young person feels.
If a young person feels respected and appreciated, more likely he or she will make a strong effort to learn.
One way of showing them respect is to inform them that the class is not containing children.
When they are in the class, they are students.
This might be a silly difference but for a child it is not.
Of course the young person knows he or she is a child.
But he or she is made to realise that learning is not connected to age.
Everybody is a student, if all goes well, because life is an eternal process of learning.

So, when they are working hard on their challenges in the class and grandmother Ketcha passes by, teacher tells her how hard “the students” are working.
The children notice this of course and feel proud and important.
Putting therefore more energy and concentration in their work.

Another new aspect is the change in rewarding.
Until recently every good result, like the solving of a mathematical problem or an exact copying of a drawing, was rewarded with a “punta”.
A point.
The student, who had the most points at the end of the class, was declared the champion.
This created positive competition between the students and made them more ambitious.

But now the points have been abandoned.
Instead have come “estrellas” = stars.
And it is not the teacher anymore who decides if a star is awarded.
Once the mathematical problem is solved, it is checked and when ready, the student is asked how many stars he or she should get awarded.
Hence, it is the student who has the responsibility and the power to award.
They say themselves if they should get a star and how many.
This is rather unusual.

It is based on the believes that a child is not crazy.
And is very well able to be reasonable and smart.
And good in accepting responsibility.

The way it works is that when a student is talking to the teacher and it comes to the moment of awarding stars, the student is asked what in her or his opinion should be done.
At that moment, all the other students open one ear to follow the conversation.
And the student having to make a decision about how many stars to award knows this very well.
Therefore it happens if for example Manuela says that she should get 2 stars, the others might protest.
They start screaming that she should get just 1 star.
Teacher is not interfering in these discussions as only saying that they should talk about it to arrive at a consensus.
Hence, Manuela is asked why she believes she should get 2 stars and not 1.
She explained that not only was the result correct but that she had put all the numbers exactly in the right squares.
This convinced the others and everybody was happy.

It is fantastic to see young persons take responsibility.
To see them think in front of the others how many stars they should get.
And make no mistake: they are pretty serious about it.
Some of them sometimes say they should not get even 1 star.

Of course the students have been explained that no one can know how big the effort has been to do a certain challenge in the class.
What is easy for one, can be difficult for the other.
So, the best person in the world to decide how many stars they should get, are they themselves.

Another interesting event took place in the class.
Rocio, 9 years old, wanted to learn more English words.
So, she got a list of 4 words and 10 minutes.
When that was going well, the list was expanded.
This was getting a little difficult for her.
She failed to remember all the words and had to study more.
During the next examination it was noticed she was sometimes looking at the inside of her hand.
And finding instantly the word she was looking for in her memory.
Nothing was said about this treachery.
She finished knowing all the English words and all the students had applause for her.
Then she was asked to put her hands on the table.
All the students surprised not knowing why that was necessary.
Rocio put her hands on the table with the palms down.
She was asked to turn them around.
She turned around the left hand.
She was asked to turn around the other hand as well.
She blushed deeply and when she turned around her other hand, everybody saw the list of English words written on her palm.
A strong wave of indignation arose among the other students.
They yelled: “Traitor !!!”
One could see that Rocio preferred to die right on the spot.
The teacher took her book and everybody was expecting he would erase all the stars she had been winning until then.
Instead, she got 2 extra stars.
The students were totally puzzled.
And Rocio most of all.
The teacher explained that Rocio had been very inventive and creative and that this was rewarded with two stars.

This was stage one of the educational response to Rocio’s action.

The second stage happened later in the privacy of the kitchen.
Rocio was the only child in the kitchen and was asked to tell her grandmother what extraordinary thing had happened in the class.
She told vividly and without shame how she had written the words on the inside of her hand and had passed the test.
Grandmother laughed and as the good woman she is, lovingly told Rocio though that it was not the way to get stars.
That it was better to study a little more and know the right answers from the memory and not from the palm of the hand.
Of course Rocio understood.

The thing important to the teacher was not to have such an event turn out to be a traumatic experience for the student.
But instead a positive experience of learning.

Why should it be condemnable to make a mistake?




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Sunday, February 8, 2009

The road of a photo book

It just takes time.
To do a worldwide photo project and to see as a result a photo book.
It is a process that decides its own speed.
The road to the destination winds its own ways.

Originally, a French publisher was involved with the ambition to produce and market the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
It went even as far as a book design that was made and prototypes were produced.
And a Paris lady was in charge of finding sponsoring for the worldwide publication.

But last Summer this whole enterprise collapsed and the French publisher cancelled his involvement.

This had a devastating effect on the morale but a good friend from Amsterdam managed to get the project “The most beautiful people in the world” back on track.

He went together with another friend to see an international photo book publisher in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to present “The most beautiful people in the world”.
There has been a long conversation between the gentlemen who were discussing the different aspects of “The most beautiful people in the world”
It is not a common but rather an unusual photo project.
It has in many ways a lot of potential but for this to flourish it must be presented in the right manner.

How to do is, is unexplored territory.
There are no similar projects that can be of guidance.

A major issue is how the present the results of “The most beautiful people in the world” in a photo book.
The French publisher and designer decided to make it a coffee table book and publish the pictures on two pages in one line.
Like this:




The consequence is obviously that a lot of white space is surrounding the images that make them float in a kind of nothingness.
And the truth is, that it is rather uneventful.
Not very impressive.
The images are not coming strongly to the reader of the book.
A prototype of this design was send to China and presented to publishers to see if they would like to get involved for a Chinese edition.
And it was exactly for the way the book was designed that they were not interested in collaboration.
They said the design was too boring.
The Chinese were right.

After the French experience and learning from the meeting with the Amsterdam publisher, the decision to make was to find a designer who would be able to come up with a way of presenting the results of “The most beautiful people in the world” in an exciting and convincing way.

Again, the good friend from Amsterdam introduced the award winning photo book designer Teun van der Heijden to “The most beautiful people in the world”.
He saw the results of “The most beautiful people in the world” and felt challenged to get involved.
An agreement was made and for the last two months we have been working on a new book design for “The most beautiful people in the world”.

The result recently ready is amazing.
Teun van der Heijden came up with a brilliant idea.
To make a book with folding pages.

It works like this.
The book is put lengthwise.
It is opened and one sees an image of an interior on the top page.
The down page shows the text: the explanation of the person why he or she is the most beautiful and personal data.
Next, this down page can be folded open downwards.
To reveal all three pictures with the portrait in the centre.




Here are some other examples:


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As we can see, this way of presenting the work is very effective.
In an optimal way we are faced with the most beautiful people.

The cover of the book is ready also.
Preferred loyal and fervent blog readers get a copy of the spectacular cover of the photo book "The most beautiful people in the world" send by e-mail.

There is still a long way to go before this unique photo book will be on the market.
But every step of the way is exciting and interesting.
And that is what it is all about.






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Saturday, February 7, 2009

A whale called Louis Armstrong

Walking back to the Fuso Szulc from dinner with the Gonzales, a horrendous sound was heard.
All over the wide dry riverbed.
A sound never heard before.
Like a gigantic trumpet being played.
A boast of air into a musical instrument as big as a bus.
Filling the local cosmos.

It was dark.
The sound repeated and seemed to come from the sea.
No idea what it was.

But it was so loud.
And so strange.
Never heard anything like this before.
It repeated with various intervals and seemed to move along the beach.

With no light it made no sense to go out and check what the hell this was.
Besides being stopped by a certain fear.

In the morning the usual rising was long before the sun was starting to shine.
And once out of bed this strange loud and lugubrious sound was heard again.
Quickly the Fuso Szulc was left for the seashore and there it was discovered who was making this unusual sound.

A whale.

This time of year many whales come to cruise in front of the coast of Baja California, Mexico.
Like the California Gray Whale, the Blue Whale and the Fin Whale.
They come to escape the cold Alaskan waters, to mate, give birth and find food.



This is one of the spectacular aspects of living near the Sea of Cortez.
These months, often whales can be spotted from the beach.
The glistening wet backs and the 30 ft ( 9 m) high spray coming from the blowhole.
When they come to the surface to breath before to dive under again.

Sometimes they even more or less jump out of the water and that is like seeing a slow motion movie scene.
It is majestic and gives a huge splash.
No wonder: the mammals are up to 105 feet ( 32 meters) long and weigh up to 200 tons (181.437 kilos).



The puzzling and scaring sound came from one of the blue whales cruising in front of Punta Boca del Salado.
Somehow, his or her blowhole worked like a trumpet when blowing out the air after surfacing.
Maybe the mammal had bronchitis, was asthmatic or had an abscess at his blowhole narrowing it.

Clearly that morning, very close to the beach, the blue whale passed by, came to the surface, blew his air making this sound that reverberated all the space around.

In this way the trajectory of this particular blue whale could be followed.

One conclusion was that the mammal was feeding the area in front of the Fuso Szulc as of the night before.
And in the morning it was making huge circles.
Swimming along the coast from the south to the north, moving out onto the sea to the east, coming back to the beach and going north again.
Indicating the exact position by his trumpet sounds.

It was awesome.

At coffee time much later, Gumaro Gonzales was joined.
He immediately asked about the sound of the whale.
It was the hot topic of the Starbuck's moment.
Everybody of the Gonzales family talked about it.
Gumaro said:
“I live here all my life. That is 60 years and never have I heard this before”.


Hence, a unique phenomenon we share.






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