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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: Afghanistan
Compiled by: Gerald Boerner ( @glbphoto )


Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb[2]Welcome to a new feature of my blog universe. For quite a while now, I have been posting a set of “Photographer’s Tips of the Day” on my Prof. Boerner’s Exploration page on Facebook. I wanted to try to share these tips with the followers of my blog and this is the first cut. I would appreciate any feedback that you might want to forward to me via the Comments section; if you are a Facebook user, you may use your Facebook credentials to smooth the process of accessing the comment area of this blog.

Each day I scan a number of photo related pages on Facebook as well as Twitter (my Twitter ID is @glbphoto). I hope that these tips and the “Photographer’s Quote of the Day” will help you in your pursuit of improving your photographic eye and skills. I also try to include one reference to a Museum Blog or Exhibit to help you develop your photographer’s eye. GLB

Copyright©2012 • Gerald L. Boerner • Commercial Rights Reserved

[ 1293 Words ]

Photographer’s Quote of the Day…

Photographer: Sebastião Salgado

“Most of the information we now get is through television and is mutilated. Photography offers the opportunity to spend much more time on a topic. It’s relatively cheaper medium, and can allow a photographer really to live in another place, show another reality, get closer to the truth.”

Short Bio Statement: Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist…

For more information, see:

Photographer’s Backgrounder:

Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist. It’s not just that this celebrated Brazilian photojournalist has been sniffling since he arrived in the city, explaining: “I was born in a tropical ecosystem. I’m not used to these plants.” It’s also that he peppers his description of the city with words like strange and crazy, noting that he was mesmerized by the sight of the endless stream of automobile traffic as his plane made its descent.

After a somewhat itinerant childhood, Salgado initially trained as an economist, earning a master’s degree in economics from the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He began work as an economist for the International Coffee Organization, often traveling to Africa on missions for the World Bank, when he first started seriously taking photographs. He travelled often to Africa on missions affiliated with the World Bank. It was then that he first began taking his first photographs. On his return to London these images began to preoccupy him, and he abandoned his career as an economist. At the beginning of 1973 he and his wife returned to Paris so that he could begin his life as a photographer.

Salgado initially worked with the Paris based agency Gamma, but in 1979 he joined the international cooperative of photographers Magnum Photos. He left Magnum in 1994 and formed his own agency, Amazonas Images, in Paris to represent his work. He is particularly noted for his social documentary photography of workers in less developed nations. Longtime gallery director Hal Gould considers Salgado to be the most important photographer of the early century, and gave him his first show in the United States.

Salgado works on long term, self-assigned projects many of which have been published as books: The Other Americas, Sahel, Workers, and Migrations. The latter two are mammoth collections with hundreds of images each from all around the world. His most famous pictures are of a gold mine in Brazil called Serra Pelada. He is presently working on a project called Genesis, photographing the landscape, flora and fauna of places on earth that have not been taken over by man.

In September and October 2007, Salgado displayed his photographs of coffee workers from India, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Brazil at the Brazilian Embassy in London. The aim of the project was to raise public awareness of the origins of the popular drink. (Wikipedia)

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Edited by Gerald Boerner


Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day, February 26th, saw many important events through recent history. In 1846, the frontiersman, buffalo hunter, and showman, William Cody, was born in Iowa. We earned is famous nickname, “Buffalo Bill,” by providing buffalo meat to the railroads. In later years, he would create his wild west show that took the adventure of the western frontier to arenas across the United States; these shows provided the easterners with an experience in roping, shooting (Annie Oakley), and cowboys and Indians in a safe environment.

Also on this day in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson learned of an encrypted telegram sent from Germany to the German Ambassador in Washington to be forwarded to the German ambassador in Mexico City. This telegram, the Zimmermann Telegram, sought Mexico’s help in breaking the Allied blockade of Germany in Europe by military action in North America. The British codebreakers in London broke the cypher and provided Wilson with the true contents of the telegram. This evidence in conjunction with the sinking of the Lusitania, lead to the entry of the United States into World War I.


In 1919, the Congress included the Grand Canyon into the National Parks system under the signature of President Woodrow Wilson. The Grand Canyon’s amazing natural wonders had already been protected by an executive order by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 as a National Monument. It became the 15th park included in the National Parks System and included the Grand Canyon, the Colorado gorge and the wild country around it. If it were not for these actions, we may not have this as one of Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

We also witnessed the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 by a terrorist car bomb in the parking garage. Radical Islamist were convicted of planning this bombing in 1994; all the men associated with this attack are serving life sentences in prison.


Also on this day in 1952 the Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the British has successfully tested an atomic bomb. It became the third world power to acquire atomic weapons. This day also witnessed, in 1815, the escape of Napoleon from the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea; he returned to France where he led the French forces into the Battle of Waterloo, which he lost. 100 days after his escape, he was exiled to the island of Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Well, this day, February 26th, has had quite a history. It is now time to proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1182 Words ]


Quotations Related to Theodore Roosevelt:

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“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“No great intellectual thing was ever done by great effort.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoDuring the Cold War years, 1947 through 1990, the Olympic games held every four years was not just an athletic competition but another skirmish in the Cold War. But instead of firing guns, these battles pitted the athletic squads against one another. Countries tended to think more in terms of the politics than of the athletes involved, athletes that have spent years preparing for this single opportunity to compete against other world-class athletes.

This all came to a head for the 1980 Olympic Games to be held in Moscow. The previous year the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan in order to prevent a Islamic fundamentalist government from taking over the country. President Jimmy Carter, an advocate for Human Rights, objected to this violation of Afghanistan independence. Rather than confronting the Soviets directly on the battlefield, the U.S. and its Western Allies opted to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.

HQ of the Soviet 40th Army in Afghanistan until January 1989
the site where former Afghan leader Hafizullah Amin was eliminated in December 1979.

While this was not fair to our athletes who had trained for their “shot at the Ring”, it was deemed as an appropriate response by the Carter administration. Of course, behind the scene we were supporting the Afghan mujahideen militants. This was just another of the “proxy wars” that were so typical of this period of time. In his State of the Union address in 1980, President Carter delineated the U.S. intent to counter military activities of any country, e.g. the Soviet Union, who threatened the flow of oil via the Persian Gulf.

In retaliation of the Soviets for our boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics and arming the insurgents in Afghanistan led to the boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union and most of the Warsaw block of Europe to boycott these Olympics. Turn about is fair play, I suppose. Ironically, we apparently didn’t learn any lesson from the disaster experienced by the Soviets in Afghanistan; we still went “blindly” into Iraq and Afghanistan where we still don’t have a face-saving exit strategy in these conflicts.

But it’s time to start our exploration into this whole scenario of Carter, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the west’s boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3669 Words ]


Quotations Related to OLYMPICS:


“For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth.”
— Mary Lou Retton

“I did pretty well at the Sydney Olympics, but those were my first Games.”
— Marion Jones

“If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard.”
— Jesse Owens

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



Due to injury, this commentary will be added later. Please check back. Thank you.  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3054 Words ]


Quotations Related to VETERANS

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
— Dick Cheney

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
— Elmer Davis

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