Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc sets himself ablaze in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government, 1963.
Malcolm W. Browne/AP
“Because of what I knew of the Buddhist tradition in Vietnam, I realized that it had to be taken seriously. So while other correspondents got tired of the endless Buddhist street demonstrations that were going on all that summer, I stuck with them, because I had the sense that sooner or later something would happen. I became a familiar presence at the main pagoda in Saigon. The monks knew that I appreciated their cuisine. We were friendly. One of them was a Yale graduate, as a matter of fact. And I was sincerely interested in what they were doing, quite aside from the news value of it.
One monk in particular would telephone me in advance the night before something was planned. One night he advised me to come to the pagoda at seven the next morning because something very special and important was going to happen. He sent the same message to half a dozen other American correspondents, but they all ignored it. I did not. That was all.
That morning a Buddhist monk went out and sat down in a main intersection in downtown Saigon. Two of his fellow monks poured gasoline over him, and he set himself on fire and died. I was there, the only western correspondent present and taking pictures. I suppose I took six or eight rolls of 35-millimeter film.
It was clearly theater staged by the Buddhists to achieve a certain political end. At the same time, there was a human element to it that was just horrifying, because the sequence of pictures showed the initial shock of the flames touching his face, and so forth. He never cried out or screamed, but you could see from his expression that he was exposed to intense agony, and that he was dying on the spot — and then, in the end, when the body was rigidly burned, they couldn’t stuff him into a casket because he was splayed out in all directions. As shock photography goes, it was hard to beat. It’s not something that I’m particularly proud of. If one wants to be gruesome about it, it was a very easy sequence of pictures to take. Work is a great panacea for the horrors of that sort of situation, or of a battle, for that matter. I think combat photographers are very conscious of the idea that the real fear comes later, after they get home and develop their film and have a look at what they were through. Then they are aware that they nearly died.
It was a picture that meant many things to many different people and interests. The Chinese and the North Vietnamese regarded it as a wonderful propaganda picture, and of course they labeled it “A Buddhist priest dies to oppose U.S. imperialism and its influence in Vietnam.” In the United States, it was regarded as a picture of a martyr who had died for a worthy cause, and therefore other Americans should support the overthrow of an autocratic Catholic government that had been supported by President Kennedy.
I’ve been asked a couple times whether I could have prevented the suicide. I could not. There was a phalanx of perhaps two hundred monks and nuns who were ready to block me if I tried to move. A couple of them chucked themselves under the wheels of a fire truck that arrived. But in the years since, I’ve had this searing feeling of perhaps having in some way contributed to the death of a kind old man who probably would not have done what he did — nor would the monks in general have done what they did — if they had not been assured of the presence of a newsman who could convey the images and experience to the outer world. Because that was the whole point — to produce theater of the horrible so striking that the reasons for the demonstrations would become apparent to everyone. And, of course, they did. The following day, President Kennedy had the photograph on his desk, and he called in Henry Cabot Lodge, who was about to leave for Saigon as U.S. ambassador, and told him, in effect, “This sort of thing has got to stop.” And that was the beginning of the end of American support for the Ngo Dinh Diem regime.”
- Nintendo releases the Wii U with hardly any first party games
- They take their time to develop them
- Microsoft and Playstation showing off consoles with no games
- Nintendo waiting for both companies to flop at E3
- Nintendo suddenly drops a megaton amount of first party games for the Wii U
- Everybody flocks to it because the other consoles have a higher price point and less games to offer
- Iwata’s face when everything worked out according to plan
this will never stop being relevant
rebagelling again for the gif
Scientists working 2.4 kilometres below Earth’s surface in a Canadian mine have tapped a source of water that has remained isolated for at least a billion years. The researchers say they do not yet know whether anything has been living in it all this time, but the water contains high levels of methane and hydrogen — the right stuff to support life.
Micrometre-scale pockets in minerals billions of years old can hold water that was trapped during the minerals’ formation. But no source of free-flowing water passing through interconnected cracks or pores in Earth’s crust has previously been shown to have stayed isolated for more than tens of millions of years.
“We were expecting these fluids to be possibly tens, perhaps even hundreds of millions of years of age,” says Chris Ballentine, a geochemist at the University of Manchester, UK. He and his team carefully captured water flowing through fractures in the 2.7-billion-year-old sulphide deposits in a copper and zinc mine near Timmins, Ontario, ensuring that the water did not come into contact with mine air.
To date the water, the team used three lines of evidence, all based on the relative abundances of various isotopes of noble gases present in the water. The authors determined that the fluid could not have contacted Earth’s atmosphere — and so been at the planet’s surface — for at least 1 billion years, and possibly for as long as 2.64 billion years, not long after the rocks it flows through formed. The study appears today in Nature.
“The isotopic compositions that they see in these samples are extremely strange, and the preferred explanation in the article seems to me the most likely one,” says Pete Burnard, a geochemist at the Centre of Petrographic and Geochemical Research in Vandœuvre-les-Nancy, France. “For the moment, I think we have to conclude that there are 1.5-billion-year-old fluids trapped in the crust.”
The findings are “doubly interesting”, Ballentine says, because the fluid carries the ingredients necessary to support life. The isolated water supply, he says, provides “secluded biomes, ecosystems, in which life, you can speculate, might have even originated”. His colleagues are now working to establish whether the water does harbour life.
The findings may also have implications for life on Mars, Ballentine says, though he acknowledges that the idea is speculative. The surface of Mars once held water and its rocks are chemically no different from those on Earth, he says. “There is no reason to think the same interconnected fluids systems do not exist there.”
Whistleblowing Wednesday: Children As Young As Six Harvest 25 Percent of U.S. Crops
Knowing the farmer who grows your food has become an important tenet of the modern food movement, but precious little attention is paid to the people who actually pick the crops or “process” the chickens or fillet the fish. U Roberto Romano’s poignant film, The Harvest/La Cosecha (2011), being screened across the country for Farmworker Awareness Week (March 24-29), informs us that nearly 500,000 children as young as six harvest up to 25 percent of all crops in the United States.
What’s illegal in most countries is permitted here. Child migrant labor has been documented in the 48 contiguous states. Seasonal work originates in the southernmost states in late winter where it is warm and migrates north as the weather changes. Every few weeks as families move, children leave school and friends behind. If you’ve had onions (Texas), cucumbers (Ohio or Michigan), peppers (Tennessee), grapes (California), mushrooms (Pennsylvania), beets (Minnesota), or cherries (Washington), you’ve probably eaten food harvested by children.
This isn’t a slavery issue, or an immigration issue per se. What’s remarkable is that most of the migrant child farmworkers are American citizens trying to help their families. This is a poverty issue and it gets to the heart of what we, as consumers, see as the “right price” to pay for food.
Children earn about $1,000 per year for working an average of 30 hours a week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. When you consider that the average annual pay for a migrant family of four is $12,500-$14,500, it’s apparent why some families feel they have no choice but to bring their children into the fields with them. Half of these kids will not graduate from high school because they’re always moving around, perpetuating the cycle of poverty that caused them to be day laborers in the first place.
Ghanaian sculptural artist Constance Swankier grew up in many different countries: in Ghana, the Gambia, Bostwana and Zimbabwe. She received her Bachelor of Arts however, at KNUST College of Art in Kumasi. She is the founder of ‘Accents & Art Gallery Ltd’, and her work has been recognized in reputable awards such as “Outstanding Industrial Metal Furniture Firm” in Ghana by wAi Africa.
this retailer sells a halal nail polish. this allows for oxygen and water to go through the nail, which makes it acceptable to wear during prayer. spread the word.
“Being a relatively modern creation, nail polish remains obviously unaddressed by early Islamic sources. But the general consensus in the Islamic community is that praying with nail polish is impermissible because of the waterproof barrier it creates on nails, which prevents the wudu ritual from being completed five times a day.” (source)
telling all my islamic buds
Someone captured a photo of Darren Criss letting me know his body is ready.
So yeah pretty good day at the office
(only reblogging because I know someone on tumblr right now who would love this)