Friday, December 01, 2023

Queen's Spiral

Queen's Spiral

Not too far back this week. I visited Greenwich for the first time in twenty years when I was in London in July and this image is from the Queen's house. Visit if you get the chance. While the 'complex' was busy with many tourists - especially the Royal Observatory and the surrounding park - Queen's house was very quiet. There's almost too many pictures of boats for me but I really enjoyed some of the pictures from Cook's Pacific excursions.
There's no magic to this photo either: I sat on the ground and turned the camera upwards, but it came out quite well. I wanted to take one from the top but it was closed off.
I may be incorrect but I think the scene at the Circumlocution Office in Little Dorrit was filmed here (from last years PBS television production).
Originally posted August 19, 2011

Friday, November 24, 2023

High Up Parking Lot

Haleakala Crater Parking Lot 1991

This is a parking lot. Seen in the background is the sweeping vista of central Maui which spreads out over 10,000 feet below where this picture is taken. As the sun rises, you can just about see the shadow cast by the mountain in the middle left of the frame.

It is pretty barren at the top of Haleakala crater but on most mornings there's a lot of life and activity. On the outer edge of the parking lot you can see the tourist bikers who have come up to the crater in a van to watch the sunrise and then ride their rented bikes down the approximately 35miles of road back to town. If you look carefully you can see they have color coded each group based on the colors of their rain slickers.

They have gravity working with them.

From this vantage point we did an about face and hiked down into the magnificence of the crater. No sissy bike riding for us. It's a parking lot but I like it just the same.
Originally posted September 22, 2011

Friday, November 17, 2023

Frankfurt Mondrian

Sun rises on Deutschmark city

Less of an archive photo since I took this from my hotel bedroom this morning (2011).  Still, quite pretty.

Originally posted October 14, 2011

Friday, November 10, 2023

Novice Monks on a Boat, Bangkok

Novice Monks on a Boat - Chao Phaya, Bangkok 2001

It's all hustle and bustle on this river that flows through Bangkok and there are all manner of ferries and passenger boats chis-crossing the river in all directions. It's certainly not uncommon to be on one of these ferries standing next to one or a group of these young men wrapped in their golden robes while you both admire the intense activity all around you.

Most boys receive religious education in Thailand and when they turn 20 they are eligible for ordination. Temporary ordination is the norm among Thai Buddhists, and most young men traditionally ordain for the term of a single rainy season and then return to lay life and go on to marry and raise a family.

Originally posted December 9, 2011

Friday, November 03, 2023

Close Shaved Iranian Boy

Boy, Tehran September 1972





From September 1972, an Iranian boy wonders where his hair has gone.  I was traveling back home to New Zealand with my father and grandfather after having spent almost three months in the UK with my grandfather.  While this was a great vacation for me and I got to miss some school, I think it was a cunning plan by my parents that relieved my mother of having to deal with three boys all by herself while my father went to summer school at Cornell.     

Originally posted February 3, 2012

Friday, October 27, 2023

Milan Cathedral 1961

Milan Cathedral August 1961

The PND seniors went to Milan and Florence for their honeymoon and this is one of the images from that trip.  Unfortunately, when I visited Milan in 2004 I didn't know this image existed in our archive otherwise I would have my own more recent image.  However, if memory serves from that trip the building is now far cleaner and the area in front of the cathedral is less like a bus depot and more like a pedestrian precinct.

Originally posted December 16, 2011

Friday, October 20, 2023

Fish Story

One day in January 1974, my father went out ocean fishing for the first time and came back with this fish.  It was the first of the Marlin season and he got himself a nice silver plate.  Earlier in the day, I am not sure he even knew such an award was in the offing.  Almost right after this picture was taken, the whole fish fell off the back of the boat and started to float out to sea.  One of the fishermen (that is, someone somewhat more expert than my father - said fish excluded,of course) had to jump into the harbor, chase it down and lung it back to the boat.

Several years later a cleaner took Ajax powder to the awarded plate and it had to be re-plated.  So there you are our family fish story.

Originally published May 18, 2012

Friday, October 13, 2023

The Flamingo Las Vegas 1971

The Flamingo Las Vegas 1971
I was in Las Vegas last month and purposely went over several images from my fathers trip their around 1971.  There's another I've posted here which I named Caesar and the Pinto and was taken across the street from Caesars Palace.  My thought was that I could revisit these spots and take an updated new image.  Well, as anyone who has been to Vegas recently there's been a lot of building and the old locations were barely recognizable.  This neon sign is no-where to be found (unless it's in the Neon museum) probably subsumed under one of several new tower blocks that is the new Flamingo.

I wonder what that show would have been like; Sergio Franchi and Lonnie Shorr.  This image was from a batch that had no date stamp so initially I was guessing at the date but thanks to the interwebs I searched the show team and found some ads from 1971.

Originally posted July 27, 2012

Friday, October 06, 2023

Best & Co, Fifth Avenue 1968

Fifth Avenue and 51st - August 1968

Close watchers (and there are several) will know there have been several images from this roll taken while my parents were visiting in 1968.  My father took in some summer classes at Cornell - where he also met the guy that hired him for his next job - and then met my mother in NYC.  I am pretty sure this is a late morning/mid day shot and if you have visited NYC at anytime in the past 15 years you probably know this area is always swarming with tourists.  Here the sidewalks look quite manageable.

Originally posted August 3, 2012

Friday, September 29, 2023

Kabul Girl and a Dark Spectre 1973

Kabul girl and her mother 1973
This is a spooky image taken out of our car window as we drove by.  (That's the door edge on the right).  The girl is smiling for my father and perhaps catches a glimpse of one of the three boys in the car but it is the mother standing behind this girl that you wonder about.  Her face dark she looks like an evil apparition.  Is that her hand coming around the child's back to ward her away?  With all that happened in this country since then you can only wonder what happened to this young girl.

Originally posted September 21, 2012

Friday, September 22, 2023

Photo: Beirut The Corniche 1972

Beirut: The Corniche 1972
Yesterday I met someone who had grown up in Beirut but moved to the US just as the civil war started in the late 1970s.  The PND family only visited (for real) once in 1968 and I recalled to him how we had stayed at The Phoenician which is the larger oblong shaped building facing the water.  My friend told me that this hotel became sniper central and that there was intense fighting for control over the hotel because you could see in every direction.  A lot different from our visit in 1968 when we sat on the pool deck and I was fascinated by our host the hotel manager who was eating a green banana.   Rumor had it he was assassinated during the war.  Strange the things you remember.

Originally posted November 30, 2012

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

When A Standard is The Law is it Fair Use?

A recent ruling by the DC Circuit court of appeals may challenge the business model of many trade associations which sell business and technical standards specifying the technical requirement for everything from rubber mats to air conditioning. In a significant ruling for fair use, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that that non-commercial use of standards incorporated by reference into law is fair use and not copyright infringement. Many (if not the majority) of technical standards are created in collaboration with industry experts, associations and other subject matter experts and a primary objective is to have the standard adopted into common use; while the ultimate goal is to have the standard incorporated into legislative law.  

And therein lays a conundrum. If complying with a specific technical standard is de-facto a legal requirement of business, then the business needs to know what the standard is in order to comply. Historically, technical standards must be purchased to reference, understand and comply with the technical specifications in question.

In 2020 Public.Resource.Org, Inc (PRO). was challenged in court for making technical standards free to down load for non-commercial use and also annotated their standards lists with the logo of the organization which originally published the standard.  PRO is non-profit corporation dedicated to publishing and sharing public domain materials in the United States and internationally. It was founded by Carl Malamud a well-known public domain advocate.

In a partial win in 2020, the Georgia court agreed with PRO that because these (specific) standards had been incorporated into law then the concept of ‘government edicts’s applied and that they were also within their rights to associate logos with the standards incorporated into law. However, the court paired their ruling to exclude any of the standards (and associated logos) which were not currently incorporated into law.

Subsequently, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) appealed the Georgia ruling to the DC Circuit court which applied the four requirements of the fair use doctrine: what was the purpose of the use, the nature of the work, the amount used and the effect of the use. The DC court also compared the purposes of use of each of the two parties. In this latter regard, the court found that technical associations such as ASTM are primarily facilitating the advancement of science and industry by the creation and publication of specifications versus PRO which is focused on providing free access to the law. The court ruled that PRO may provide access to standards which the government has incorporated into to law. 

“If an agency has given legal effect to an entire standard, then its entire reproduction is reasonable in relation to the purpose of the copying, which is to provide the public with a free and comprehensive repository of the law.”

With respect to the fourth criteria the court dryly notes that despite PRO having provided access to these standards for many years, the plaintiff did not provide anything but generalities regarding the financial damage caused.

“Public Resource has been posting incorporated standards for fifteen years. Yet the plaintiffs have been unable to produce any economic analysis showing that Public Resource’s activity has harmed any relevant market for their standards. To the contrary, ASTM’s sales have increased over that time; NFPA’s sales have decreased in recent years but are cyclical with publications; and ASHRAE has not pointed to any evidence of its harm.”

While this is a significant win for the public interest and fair use it is not a harbinger of business model collapse for most of these standard’s organizations. For those organizations with comprehensive standards databases with full archives of historical standards information including revisions and technical specs, related and associated technical standards, functional experts and other community benefits will be insulated in the short term from any negative impact from this ruling. If your use case is a one off or you have an infrequent need for a standard, then you will be more likely to visit PRO than purchase or subscribe to a comprehensive service such as ANSI or ASTM. Regardless, there is speculation that the plaintiff may ask for a re-hearing in this case to the whole court.


Hat tip to Todd Carpenter.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Tin Roof: Auckland City and Harbor 1972

Auckland New Zealand 1972

This is taken from across the bay from Auckland city which is on the other side of the water towards the right.  There's no question this view is probably almost recognizable today but I wouldn't know since I haven't been back since 1976.  The large tower building in the center is the city hospital and just to the left of that is the One Tree Hill and Eden Park.  Sharp eyes will also recognize the museum just to the left of the green patch.

On the right edge of the photo there is another tower building which is the Intercontinental Auckland where we were housed for almost five years.

(And yes, there is a big thumb print on this image; part of the charm and no charge).

Originally posted October 5th, 2012

Friday, September 08, 2023

Waikiki, Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head 1975

Several years before we moved to Hawaii a photo from some arduous business trip taken by PND senior. In the early eighties, I ran around Diamond Head occasionally both for fun and in the Honolulu Marathon. The outbound leg goes off to the left and the return comes back on the sea side to the right. The finish is in the park about center frame. I ran the marathon again in 2005 and beat my previous 1980 time by 10mins. Not that I was satisfied with that of course.

Originally posted on November 16, 2012

Friday, September 01, 2023

Hong Kong Harbor September 1968

Car ferries cross from Kowloon to Hong Kong which was the way we first made the journal in 1968.  Since then several tunnel have been built to carry much more traffic.  If you look closely on the left side of the photo you can see a passenger jet lining up to landing at Kai Tak.  On approach it will skim over the rooftops and land on a runway to points right out into the ocean.  That airport is long closed now.

Originally posted April 4th, 2012

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Maui Memories: Will Anything Improve?

From the Washington Post: Readers recollect their experiences in Lahaina and Maui,

(Very) long term readers of PND may recall my family lived on Maui for about six years which for me was all of my high school years (and no, I was not on the Spicoli schedule).  In those years, Maui had fully half as many people as live there now and far less tourists. Maui had no direct link to 'the mainland' and all travel from Hawaii had to pass though Honolulu which in turn meant that the Maui airport wasn't much larger than a small warehouse. Even part of the roof was purposely open so that a decent sized tree could sit in the middle of the waiting area just next to the single baggage carousel.

We did not live near Lahaina. Our home was in Kihei on the south side of the island where a large tract of undeveloped land had been acquired by a development group to build a resort and condo complex similar in scope to Kaanapali which is north of Lahaina and had been built during the 1960s. Wailea was named after the longest beach on this part of the coast and the first hotel built in the development was managed by Intercontinental (IHC). This is the chain my father worked for and he was asked to run the hotel a little after it opened. We lived above the store so we had the run of the resort.

There was nothing else in Wailea at this time except one 18 hole golf course, but subsequently over the time we lived there an additional hotel was completed, three condo developments and another 18 holes were added. We were long gone - my parents moved to London where my father ran a division of IHC in Europe and I went to college - before development really expanded in Wailea. 

In contemplating the destruction of Lahaina, I know I, my family, and the travel industry generally have contributed fundamentally to the problems Maui and Hawaii face. Over-development, disenfranchisement and a severe housing crisis are all evident either in the causes or the consequences of the fires. And while the Lahaina fires have drawn attention to all these issues I don't believe real solutions will result unless reforms are made to land use and social programs. If you can even find a place to live the cost of living can be as high as Manhattan. Regrettably, tourist salaries don't provide the same amount of disposable income.

More than 70% of the Hawaiian economy is dependent on tourism which is why it is important for tourists to continue to visit Maui even while acknowledging that tourism drives up prices, contributes to high land costs, erodes water rights and supports a transactional economy which will never help Hawaii create a more balanced economy which can support the local community for the long term. Ironically, Maui has to encourage tourism to prop up the economy while understanding this continued reliance on this industry will not build a sustainable future.

Everything in these images from 1960-1985 is now gone.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Kyoto June 1972

Michael Cairns
Generations: Kyoto 1972

A weekly image from my archive.

When I saw this image from a early 1970s trip to Japan, I was immediately taken with the juxtaposition of the old and the new. Japanese business culture only allowed 'career girls' to enter the workforce fairly recently and this young woman must have been a fairly unusual sight on the streets of Kyoto in 1972. The old woman, small in stature and wearing traditional clothing seems to be confused by the obvious, casual disdain of the younger woman. Here is the brash future of Japan contrasting with the traditional, centuries old past.

Originally posted July 1, 2010

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Librarians in the Breech

Many recent stories about how some individuals on the right are criminalizing children's access to educational and health related books and other content. 

Librarians face significant new obstacles in building broad based reading programs that include books reflecting many of the core values which APA represents. This article in the the Washington Post describes many of the new challenges faced by librarians in the current highly politicized environment. As the article notes, Librarians normally have Masters degrees, teacher certification and many years of experience which eclipses the 'experience' of those tasked with reviewing their selections. The situation in many school and public libraries is fast becoming a crisis. 

For APA Publishing (where I work), this is a critical issue for our Magination Press titles. While we publish on many of these issues our titles will be banned and/or excluded from the audiences they are designed to help and support and that's the real crime.

From WAPO:

Students are upset, especially LGBTQ students, said a Keller employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retribution. “They want to see themselves in books, they want to see themselves reflected, and they’re not able to.”

The district wrote in a statement that the book selection “process we have in place … allows librarians to take the lead in curating our libraries, while inviting our community to provide input and to partner with staff to protect our students.” It continued: “Books are not removed simply because they feature LGBTQ characters, and there are still books available that include these characters.”

And this (WAPO)

In one Texas school district, school librarians have ordered 6,000 fewer books this year than the year before, because under a new rule parents must have 30 days to review the titles before the school board votes to approve them. In Pennsylvania, a school librarian who must now obtain her principal’s okay for acquisitions has bought just 100 books this school year, compared with her typical 600.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Where's all the data?

Fascinating discussion about how book data can inform cultural awareness and potentially improve publisher and the reporting on book publishing.

Where Is All the Book Data?

Perhaps most importantly, however, it is likely that books end up much more racially homogenous—that is, white—as a result of BookScan data, too. For example, in McGrath’s pioneering research on “comp” titles (the books that agents and editors claim are “comparable” to a pitched book), she found that 96 percent of the most frequently used comps were written by white authors. Because one of the most important features of a good comp title is a promising sales history, it is likely that comp titles and BookScan data work together to reinforce conservative white hegemony in the industry.


The many ways that SPL checkout data might be used to understand readers or literary trends are still relatively unexplored. In 2019, The Pudding constructed a silly “Hipster Summer Reading List” based on SPL data, highlighting books that hadn’t been checked from the SPL in over a decade (a perversely funny list but definitely a terrible poolside reading list).

This checkout data is also used internally for a variety of purposes, including to make acquisition decisions, as SPL selection services librarian Frank Brasile explained. But the factor that apparently influences library acquisitions the most is simply what the Big Five choose to publish. “We don’t create content,” Brasile reminded me in a somewhat resigned tone. “We buy content.” To a large extent, then, public libraries inherit the pervasive, problematic whiteness that is endemic in the publishing industry.

As head of Bowker many years ago, we collected book data for higher ed publishers and charged a lot of money for it. At the time we were very interested in expanding into trade books but were not able to pull off the deal to buy the UK firm which launched Nielsen Book Data in the US. Even then, it was clear there were many holes in the data - even with more corporate booksellers - and it only reflected a segment of the market. While this article focuses on trade data, I would speculate that college textbook authorship is singularly (if not more so) (mis)representative.




Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Personanondata - The Magazine: Interesting Media and Publishing News.



I've not added individual news items here for a while but I have been adding them to my flip board magazine.

Check out these interesting media & publishing stories from the past several months: