Maxim Dondyuk
By Mikko Takkunen
January 27, 2014

Features and Essays

World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan today declared a state of public health emergency of international concern surrounding the transmission of wild polio virus. Ten countries currently report evidence that the virus, which can cause paralysis, is circulating among people. Chan convened a committee to evaluate international efforts to eradicate the disease that began 25 years ago, and the 14-member panel found disturbing evidence that interruptions in vaccination programs have allowed the virus to break through in some parts of the world. Especially concerning was the fact that three countries -- Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Cameroon -- showed higher rates of transmission of wild polio virus to other nations even during the disease's more dormant, or low season. That raises the possibility that when the virus becomes more active, from April into the summer, transmission rates will peak even more, affecting more people. "If the situation as of today and April 2014 is unchecked, it could result in the failure to eradicate globally one of the world's most serious vaccine preventable diseases," Dr. Bruce Ayleward, assistant director general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration for the WHO said in a teleconference. The emergency measures require that residents in the three countries actively exporting polio virus receive a dose of either of the two polio vaccines four weeks to 12 months before traveling, and that they be provided with proof of their immunization. The remaining seven affected countries are encouraged, but not required to do the same. The WHO recommends that these measures remain in place until countries show no new transmission of polio for six months and evidence of eradication efforts including immunization programs. While not legally binding, the cooperation of affected countries is expected, says Ayleward, since additional measures, such as requiring that residents receive the full dose of polio vaccine, rather than a single dose before traveling, and more restrictions on travel outside of endemic areas could also be considered. Chan asked the committee to reconvene in three months to see if the recommendations were effective in controlling the spread of the disease.
Maxim Dondyuk

Maxim Dondyuk: Kiev (Paris Match L’Instant) Photos of the protests and clashes in Ukraine’s capital

Wil Sands: Kiev Boils Over (Esquire) From the protester’s side of the riots

Elena Chernyshova: Norilsk (PROOF) Russians adapt to a freezing, dark, and polluted place

Hossein Fatemi: Youth in Iran (NYT Lens) Exploring the contrast between how young Iranians present themselves in public and in private, when they are beyond the watchful eye of the Islamic republic’s authorities

Tommaso Protti: Kurds in Turkey (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth) Southeastern Turkey is home to nearly half the world’s Kurds

Francesco Anselmi: Refugee Camps in Bulgaria (Contrasto) Syrian refugees in Bulgaria

In Latvia, Tensions Mount Under Russia's Gaze [WSJ] "Ukraine's Interior Minister said on Monday he had drafted a new special forces unit into the southern port city of Odessa after the 'outrageous' failure of police to tackle pro-Russian separatists in a weekend of violence that killed dozens." [Reuters] "Climate change has moved from distant threat to present-day danger and no American will be left unscathed, according to a landmark report due to be unveiled on Tuesday." [Guardian] For Obama, a New Focus on Climate [WashPost] The Conservative Case for Fighting Climate Change, According to an Evangelical Christian Climate Scientist [Slate] The Benghazi-Industrial Complex [Politico] "Control of five state Senates would swing to the GOP with a gain of no more than three seats, and the party is targeting four additional state legislative chambers, believing the political environment favors Republicans this year. The party already has full legislative control in 26 of the 50 states and holds 29 governorships heading into 2014 elections." [WSJ] Liberal Donors Eye New Long-Term Investments in States and New Voters to Boost Democrats [WashPost] At Derby Day With Murdoch, Rand Paul Goes Through His Paces [NYT] Mary Jo White Doesn't Scare Anybody [New Republic] Cinco De Mayo: Whose Holiday Is it, Anyway? [NPR]
James Nachtwey for TIME

James Nachtwey: Syrian Refugees (LightBox) Nachtwey explores the refugee crisis sparked by the war in Syria

Andrea Bruce: Unspoken War (NOOR) Afghanistan has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world

Ulet Ifansasti: Mount Sinabung eruption (Guardian) Indonesia

Gembong Nusantara: Mining sulphur in Indonesia (Al Jazeera) Miners brave dangerous conditions to extract minerals from one of the largest sulphuric lakes on earth

Kemal Jufri: Risky Work in Indonesia’s Gold Fields (NYT) Small-scale gold mining pollutes Indonesian lands

Gilles Sabrie: China’s Stranded Children (Wall Street Journal) Left-behind children of China’s migrant workers bear grown-up burdens

John Vink: Cambodia’s Garment Factory Workers Strike (Businessweek)

It was bracing a few years back, at least for those of us of a certain age, to see Molly Ringwald cast as a grandmother on TV's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Wasn't it been just yesterday that she was the archetypal American teenager herself in Sixteen Candles? How can it have been 30 years since that iconic film opened in May 1984? It would be impossible to overstate how large Sixteen Candles looms in the imaginations of three decades' worth of moviegoers. Not only did the film make stars of Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and others, not only did it mark the directing debut of John Hughes, but it also became one of the signature movies of the 1980s and the template for most high school comedies of the last 30 years. Hughes' genius was to see teens as they saw themselves, to appreciate that their seemingly trivial moments of high drama really were high drama, and to let them know that, no matter how freakish they felt, they were not alone. It's tempting, then, to see the kids of Sixteen Candles as icons frozen in time. But they've moved on, as we all do, some to greener pastures, some not so green. If Ringwald and her schoolmates held a 30th class reunion, these are the stories they might tell of their lives. [caption id="attachment_87741" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Molly Ringwald Universal Pictures; Kevin Winter—Getty Images[/caption] Molly Ringwald (Samantha Baker) At 15, Ringwald became Hughes' muse on the strength of her headshot alone; he wrote the lead role in Sixteen Candles with the Tempest actress in mind. She famously followed the film up with starring roles in Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. She graduated to more mature roles in The Pick-Up Artist, Fresh Horses, and Betsy's Wedding, but her movie career never returned to its Hughes-era heights. She fared better on TV, in projects from the Stephen King mini-series The Stand to her mom/grandma role on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Now 45, Ringwald has yet to announce any new projects since the five-year run of Secret Life ended in 2013. Michael Schoeffling (Jake Ryan) Playing nice-guy dreamboat Jake Ryan was Michael Schoffling's big break at age 23; he won the part over fellow unknown Viggo Mortensen. Still, after playing similarly soft-spoken hunks in Vision Quest, Slaves of New York, Longtime Companion, Mermaids, and finally 1991's Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, he quit showbiz. He moved to Newfoundland, Pa., married, raised a family, and worked as a carpenter building custom furniture. Now 53, he's been absent from the screen for 23 years, so we never had to watch Jake Ryan get old. [caption id="attachment_87749" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Anthony Michael Hall Universal Pictures; Gilbert Carrasquillo—Getty Images[/caption] Anthony Michael Hall (Farmer Ted) Hall, 15, had so impressed Hughes when he played Rusty Griswold in the Hughes-scripted National Lampoon's Vacation that Hughes wrote for him the part of Farmer Ted, simply known as The Geek, in Sixteen Candles. After his immortal performance in that film, followed by his similar roles in Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, Hall was typecast forever more in geeky parts. Even a late-teen growth spurt that had him playing jocks in Johnny Be Good and Edward Scissorhands couldn't erase his geek cred. He played Bill Gates in the 1999 TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, the Christopher Walken role on USA's The Dead Zone for five seasons, and villain Walter Sykes on SyFy series Warehouse 13 (2011-12). The 45-year-old will be back on the big screen in November, alongside Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Steve Carell, in the indie drama Foxcatcher. Haviland Morris (Caroline Mulford) Morris was 24 when she made her film debut in 1984's Reckless, the same year she played Jake's beautiful, bored girlfriend in Sixteen Candles. Her later films included Who's That Girl?, Gremlins 2: The New Batch (alongside Gedde Watanabe), Home Alone 3, and The Baxter. On TV, she did numerous guest spots on Law & Order and its spinoffs, as well as One Tree Hill and (most recently, in 2012) The Good Wife. Now 54, Morris has a day job as a Manhattan realtor, but she continues to act; her next film, naval drama Burning Blue, is due in theaters next month. [caption id="attachment_87750" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Blanche Baker Universal Pictures; Steve Mack—Getty Images[/caption] Blanche Baker (Ginny Baker) The daughter of Oscar-nominated Baby Doll star Carroll Baker, Blanche Baker was already an Emmy-winning TV actress (Holocaust) when she landed at 27 the Sixteen Candles role of Ginny, Samantha's soon-to-be-married sister. She went on to appear in the movies Raw Deal and The Handmaid's Tale and on TV in Law & Order and the 2009 HBO movie Taking Chance. Now 57, she stars as a vengeful housewife in the thriller Jersey Justice, debuting on DVD this month. Paul Dooley (Jim Baker) Dooley has made a career of playing put-upon dads, from Robert Altman's A Wedding and Breaking Away to Sixteen Candles, in which he co-starred at age 55. He's continued to play such roles on film and TV, including Dream On, Waiting for Guffman, The Practice, ER, Desperate Housewives, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cars (and Cars 2), and Super Fun Night. Now 85, Dooley made his most recent appearance earlier this year on an episode of Parenthood. Carlin Glynn (Brenda Baker) Glynn was 39 when she made her Tony-winning Broadway debut in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a musical co-written by her husband, playwright/director Peter Masterson. Five years later, the 44-year-old played Ringwald's mother in Sixteen Candles. The following year, she co-starred in The Trip to Bountiful, directed by her husband. Her other films included Gardens of Stone, Judy Berlin, and Whiskey School (her final feature, from 2005). She retired from acting in 2006. Glynn (now 74) and Masterson are the parents of Mary Stuart Masterson, who starred in Hughes' Some Kind of Wonderful. Justin Henry (Mike Baker) For his first performance, as Dustin Hoffman's son in Kramer vs. Kramer, seven-year-old Henry became the youngest actor ever nominated for an Oscar. He was 12 when he played Ringwald's bratty brother in Sixteen Candles. He continued to act sporadically during the 1980s in such films as Martin's Day and Sweet Heart's Dance. After college, he seldom acted but remained in showbiz, as the founder of the short-life Slamdunk film festival (1998-2003) and as an executive at streaming video site Veoh. Now 42, he appears on screen in the sci-fi/horror feature Reaper, due in theaters later this year. Edward Andrews (Howard Baker) By the time 69-year-old Andrews appeared as Samantha's paternal grandfather, Howard, in Sixteen Candles, he'd had a long and distinguished career as a film and TV character actor, with roles in such films as Tea and Sympathy, Elmer Gantry, The Absent-Minded Professor, Send Me No Flowers, and Tora! Tora! Tora! After Candles, he appeared in one more film, Gremlins, before his death in 1985 at age 70. Billie Bird (Dorothy Baker) Bird had a long career in vaudeville and theater before enjoying her film breakthrough as a comic actress in her sixties in The Odd Couple. She was 75 when she played Samantha's paternal grandmother, Dorothy, in Sixteen Candles. Afterwards, she was a series regular on Benson, appeared in two Police Academy sequels, and acted in the Hughes-scripted comedies Home Alone and Dennis the Menace. Her last film was Pauly Shore's Jury Duty in 1995. She died in 2002 at age 94. [caption id="attachment_87751" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Gedde Watanabe Universal Pictures; David Livingston—Getty Images[/caption] Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong) Born Gary Watanabe, the 28-year-old actor was so convincing in his audition (and later, on screen) in the role of hard-partying Chinese exchange student Long Duk Dong that few observers realized he was born and raised in Utah. Watanabe went on to play memorable comic roles in Volunteers, Gung Ho, and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. He showed off a more dramatic side during his six-year stint as a nurse on ER. Now 58, he's continued to make an impression in such recent films as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Parental Guidance, and his most recent work, last year's 47 Ronin. Carole Cook (Grandma Helen) A protégée of Lucille Ball's, comic actress Cook had appeared in such films as The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Gauntlet, and American Gigolo when, at 59, she got to co-star in Sixteen Candles as the grandma who feels up pubescent granddaughter Samantha. Her movie roles since have included Grandview U.S.A., Lost & Found, and Home on the Range. The 90-year-old's last acting appearance was a 2006 guest spot on Grey's Anatomy. Max Showalter (Grandpa Fred) Before his turn at 66 as Samantha's wisecracking maternal grandfather in Sixteen Candles, Showalter had been a movie character actor for four decades in such films as Niagara and Bus Stop (both with Marilyn Monroe) and Elmer Gantry (with future fellow Sixteen Candles grandpa Edward Andrews). In fact, Sixteen Candles was his last appearance. His retirement lasted 16 years until his death at 83 in 2000. Debbie Pollack (Marlene Lumberjack) Pollack made her screen debut in Sixteen Candles as Marlene Lumberjack, an Amazon who takes an instant liking to Long Duk Dong. She went on to a recurring role on the soap Santa Barbara and other TV guest roles on such shows as St. Elsewhere, Newhart, and ER. She took a 14-year absence to raise a family and get a stockbroker's license, but she returned to TV in recent years with guest spots on Criminal Minds (2011) and American Horror Story (also 2011). Her most recent appearance was as a mystery woman during the 2012 series finale of Desperate Housewives. Liane Curtis (Randy) Having made her film debut in John Sayles' Baby, It's You (1983), Curtis was 18 when she played Ringwald's pal in Sixteen Candles. It remains her highest profile to date, though she also appeared in such films as Critters 2: The Main Course, Girlfriend From Hell, Queens Logic, and Benny & Joon, as well as TV guest spots on such shows as ER and Sons of Anarchy. Now a music producer, the 48-year-old Curtis will be seen on screen in Body High, a comedy due for release this spring. John Kapelos (Rudy) The Sixteen Candles role of bridegroom Rudy was one of 27-year-old Kapelos' first film roles. He reunited with Hughes (and Anthony Michael Hall) in Weird Science and The Breakfast Club (where he played all-knowing janitor Carl, perhaps his best-known role). Since then, he's appeared in countless TV shows and movies, including Roxanne, Internal Affairs, Forever Knight, Seinfeld, The West Wing, Legally Blonde, The Dead Zone (which reteamed him with Hall), Queer as Folk, Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, and Justified. Watch for the 57-year-old in August's action film Underdogs. [caption id="attachment_87752" align="aligncenter" width="560"] John Cusack Universal Pictures; Luca Teuchmann—Getty Images[/caption] John Cusack (Bryce) His Sixteen Candles role as geek sidekick Bryce was only 17-year-old Cusack's second film role, but by the following year, he'd graduated to lead in such films as The Sure Thing and Better Off Dead. By the end of the decade, with Say Anything, he became one of his generation's favorite leading men. He followed that up with such indelible films as The Grifters, Bullets Over Broadway, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, and 2012. He spoofed his own '80s teen stardom in 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine. Watch for the 47-year-old in several 2014 films, including thriller The Bag Man, David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, and Beach Boy Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy. Joan Cusack (Geek Girl #1) Sixteen Candles wasn't the first film that 21-year-old Joan Cusack appeared in alongside her brother John (that would be 1983's Class), and it was far from the last. As an unnamed geek, Cusack enjoyed a memorable sight gag involving a drinking fountain. She went on to star on the ill-fated 1985-86 season of Saturday Night Live (along with Anthony Michael Hall) before moving on to acclaimed comic roles in such films as Broadcast News, Working Girl (which earned her an Oscar nomination), Addams Family Values, Grosse Pointe Blank (a collaboration with John), In & Out (another Oscar-nominated role), Runaway Bride, Toy Story 2 (and 3), School of Rock, and Chicken Little. The 51-year-old is due later this year in the comedy-drama Welcome to Me. Jami Gertz (Robin) Like Ringwald, Gertz was an alumna of the prep-school sitcom The Facts of Life when she landed a role in Sixteen Candles; at 18, she got to play Caroline's scissor-wielding friend Robin. Gertz went on to star in such iconic '80s movies as The Lost Boys and Less Than Zero. Despite such prominent films as Twister, Gertz has focused in recent years on TV roles, including long sitcom stints on Still Standing and Entourage. Now 48, she's a star of the current ABC comedy The Neighbors.
Alex Webb—National Geographic

Alex Webb: Kumbh Mela (National Geographic) Millions flocked to the Hindu gathering in 2013 | From the February issue of National Geographic magazine

Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist: Manipur under the shadow of guns (Al Jazeera) Extra-judicial killings are in focus as India’s small north-eastern state pays price for unresolved conflicts

Ugo Borga: Life on a ‘Death River’ in Bangladesh (LightBox) The Buriganga River gave life to Dhaka, and Dhaka killed it. Photographer Ugo Borga documents the human and environmental catastrophe unfolding in Bangladesh

About 200,000 bullied high school students bring weapons to school, according to new data. High schoolers who are bullied, be it with physical assault, taunting or damage to their personal belongings, are up to 31 times more likely to bring weapons — like a gun or knife — to school than kids who are not bullied. Researchers looked at data culled by the CDC, which surveyed thousands of New York City high school students. The students were asked if they had ever been bullied at school and how many days within the last month they had brought a weapon at school. The researchers looked at a series of risk factors that could increase the likelihood that students would bring weapons to school, which consisted of skipping school due to feeling unsafe, having belongings and property stolen or damaged, being threatened or injured with weapons, and being in a physical fight. In total, 20% of high schoolers reported being bullying victims. High schoolers who were bullied tended to be female, white, and performed worse in school — 8.6% were likely to bring weapons to school compared to 4.6% who were not. But the most dramatic increases were seen among students who experienced more than one kind of intimidation. Up to 28% of students experiencing one kind of bullying brought a weapon to school, and 62% of kids experiencing three risk factors brought a weapon to campus. The researchers hope that their findings will help educators better identify students who are at a higher risk for violence, and prevent further campus violence and cheating.
Ami Vitale

Ami Vitale: Poaching Wars (Life Force Magazine) Kenya

Michael Zumstein: Crisis in Central African Republic (Agence Vu)

Brent Stirton: Child Marriage in South Sudan (Human Rights Watch)

Nichole Sobecki: South Sudan slides from exuberance to catastrophe (AFP Correspondent)

Phil Moore: Displaced in South Sudan (Al Jazeera) People fleeing ongoing fighting suffer from poor water quality and a lack of food

Geoff Pugh: Refugees in South Sudan (The Telegraph)

Aubrey Wade: Sierra Leone: law and order meets traditional justice (Guardian) , Exploring the ways people access justice in a country with few lawyers

Last week, ZeniMax accused Oculus VR Chief Technology Officer (and former id Software Doom mastermind) John Carmack of taking "proprietary technology and know-how" with him when he departed the Rockville, Maryland-based Elder Scrolls and Dishonored publisher for a job with Oculus. Oculus' response at the time was terse and absolute: "It’s unfortunate, but when there’s this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims," an Oculus VR representative told the Wall Street Journal. "We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent." Here's a bit more of that defense, breaking this morning, with Oculus writing in an email to the media that it's "disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions" and promising to "prove that all of its claims are false." The following list of points was also provided by Oculus in the email: There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products. John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from Zenimax. Zenimax has misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non-disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed. A key reason that John permanently left Zenimax in August of 2013 was that Zenimax prevented John from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company. Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus. Zenimax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, Zenimax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only after the Facebook deal was announced has Zenimax now made these claims through its lawyers. Despite the fact that the full source code for the Oculus SDK is available online (developer.oculusvr.com), Zenimax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.
Erika Larsen—National Geographic

Erika Larsen: There’s No Place Like Home (National Geographic) Garrison Keillor’s memory map | From the February issue of National Geographic magazine

Christopher Payne: Fruits of the Loom (New York Times Magazine) Project on the American textile industry

Mikolaj Nowacki: My New York (CNN Photo) Nowacki is in love with New York City, and he wants to share it with the world

Damon Winter: A Fight Over Horses (NYT) Carriage horses in New York City

World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan today declared a state of public health emergency of international concern surrounding the transmission of wild polio virus. Ten countries currently report evidence that the virus, which can cause paralysis, is circulating among people. Chan convened a committee to evaluate international efforts to eradicate the disease that began 25 years ago, and the 14-member panel found disturbing evidence that interruptions in vaccination programs have allowed the virus to break through in some parts of the world. Especially concerning was the fact that three countries -- Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Cameroon -- showed higher rates of transmission of wild polio virus to other nations even during the disease's more dormant, or low season. That raises the possibility that when the virus becomes more active, from April into the summer, transmission rates will peak even more, affecting more people. "If the situation as of today and April 2014 is unchecked, it could result in the failure to eradicate globally one of the world's most serious vaccine preventable diseases," Dr. Bruce Ayleward, assistant director general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration for the WHO said in a teleconference. The emergency measures require that residents in the three countries actively exporting polio virus receive a dose of either of the two polio vaccines four weeks to 12 months before traveling, and that they be provided with proof of their immunization. The remaining seven affected countries are encouraged, but not required to do the same. The WHO recommends that these measures remain in place until countries show no new transmission of polio for six months and evidence of eradication efforts including immunization programs. While not legally binding, the cooperation of affected countries is expected, says Ayleward, since additional measures, such as requiring that residents receive the full dose of polio vaccine, rather than a single dose before traveling, and more restrictions on travel outside of endemic areas could also be considered. Health officials have been getting closer to making polio the second disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated by vaccinating children in countries where the wild virus continues to circulate. But social unrest and political conflict have interrupted immunization programs -- some health workers have become targets of violence in Pakistan, for example, while growing populations of displaced residents such as refugees who are without access to health care services also provide fertile conditions for the virus to spread. Seven of the 10 countries now reporting wild polio virus have been successful at eliminating the disease in the past, but have been reinfected in recent years. Chan asked the committee to reconvene in three months to see if the recommendations were effective in controlling the spread of the disease.
Mae Ryan

Mae Ryan: Realigned (Audiovision) Scenes from California’s new prison system

Jim Lo Scalzo: Watchington (NYT Lens) Since the N.S.A. detained Jim Lo Scalzo for trying to photograph its headquarters, he has been noticing all types of surveillance devices all over his hometown, Washington

Philippe Brault: Fort McMurray (Agence Vu) A disproportionate city, a boomtown, a polluted city: Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada, is the largest energetic project on earth

Ciril Jazbec: Greeland (NYT Lens) Where the ice, and the population, is thinning

A couple weeks ago I had a fascinating video call with a gentleman named Dror Sharon, the CEO of a company called Consumer Physics. He showed me a product called Scio that just went up on Kickstarter last Tuesday: a hand scanner that can scan physical objects and tell you about their chemical make up. “Smartphones give us instant answers to questions like where to have dinner, what movie to see, and how to get from point A to point B, but when it comes to learning about what we interact with on a daily basis, we’re left in the dark,” Mr. Dror told me via Skype. “We designed Scio to empower explorers everywhere with new knowledge and to encourage them to join our mission of mapping the physical world.” Consumer Physics launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $200,000 for Scio (which is Latin for “to know”) on April 28th, 2014. They reached that goal in 20 hours and raised a total of $400,00 in 48 hours. At first Scio will come with apps for analyzing food, medication and plants. You could, for instance, use it to refine the ingredients of your home-brewed beer or figure out if an Internet site’s cheap Viagra is fake. Later, the company will add the ability to check cosmetics, clothes, flora, soil, jewels, precious stones, leather, rubber, oils, plastics and even human tissue or bodily fluids. [caption id="attachment_87653" align="alignnone" width="560"] Early prototypes of the Scio physical object scanner Consumer Physics[/caption] Mr. Sharon told me, "The spectrometer figures out what the object is based on an infrared light that reflects back to the scanner. Most objects have different absorption rates as they vibrate at different levels on the molecular scale. The app takes the data and compares it to a cloud-based database of objects in a distant data center. When it gets a match, it sends the results to the user’s smartphone." According to Mr. Sharon, “The food app tells you calories, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, based on your own estimate of the weight of the food you’re about to eat. (With many food packages, you can get the weight from the label). The app could tell dieters exactly how many calories they’re about to consume, while fitness apps can tell them how many calories they’re burning. That helps people figure out exactly how much exercise they need to do in order to burn off the food they’re eating." As I understand it, the food app can also gauge produce quality, ripeness, and spoilage for foods like cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sauces, salad dressings, cooking oils and more. It also analyzes moisture levels in plants and tells users when to water them. Mr. Sharon suggested that you could even be able to analyze your blood alcohol level one day, but Scio is not currently approved as a medical device. What I find most interesting is that as users conduct more tests, the app gets better and better at correctly identifying objects. The more people use it, the richer the database of information will be, which will add to the precision levels of the Scio over time and, more importantly, expand what it can understand. In the demo I saw on an Android smartphone, a ring fills up with circles on your smartphone screen to deliver the proper info, and it takes a matter of seconds to recognize something. Scio has to be about 20 millimeters from an object before it can be used for scanning, and the scanner uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) to connect with a smartphone, which in turn needs to be running either iOS 5 or Android 4.3 or higher. He also showed me its ability to scan what looked like a unmarked white pill. Scio correctly identified the chemical makeup of the pill as aspirin and even showed that it was made by Bayer. These are the first types of categories of physical products Scio will target, but eventually it could identify the chemical makeup of just about any object. That is why he likened it to being “Google for physical objects." If you are a fan of police procedural TV shows like CSI or NCIS, you already know about things like mass spectrometers and other professional machines that analyze the chemical makeup of objects. These machines can be very large. Although there are some handheld versions available today, they're all pretty expensive. Scio aims to do similar tasks with a device that can fit into your pocket. And when it ships, it will cost considerably less than professional solutions -- as low as $149. Now, I am not suggesting that Scio is as powerful as professional mass spectrometers. However, from what I saw in the demo, it can do similar types of chemical analysis and do it pretty quickly, with the readout showing up on your smartphone. While I find the idea of a pocket spectrometer interesting, where this could have real impact is if it could be built straight into a smartphone. According to Mr. Sharon, this is ultimately where he sees his technology going. His initial focus is on food, medication and plants, although over time, it could be expanded to cover just about any physical object. Imagine being able to point the scanner in a smartphone at an apple and know exactly how many calories were in it based on its weight. Or if you had a stray pill lying around and you wanted to know what it was before you dare ingested it. I see this particular device as a game-changer of sorts. Today, all of our searches are being done via text, numbers and through structural databases of some type. But with a consumer-based spectrometer initially designed as a pocketable device that could eventually be built into smartphones, gaining a better understanding of the make up of the physical objects we come into contact with each day would vastly expand a person’s knowledge base. I could imagine it as being part of a set of teaching tools to perhaps get more kids interested in science. Or it could be used in a science-related game as an important tool used to solve a puzzle. At the other extreme, its impact on health-based problems and solutions could be enormous. This is a technology to watch. As Scio gets smarter as more people use it -- and perhaps someday finds its way directly into smartphones -- it would add a new dimension to our understanding of the world around us. It could become an important means for connecting us to our physical world in ways we just can’t do today. Bajarin is the president of Creative Strategies Inc., a technology industry analysis and market-intelligence firm in Silicon Valley. He contributes to Big Picture, an opinion column that appears every week on TIME Tech.
Jerome Sessini—Magnum

Jerome Sessini: Cartels and Vigilantes Clash in Mexico (LightBox) Sessini spent the past month documenting the strife in Mexico | More on Magnum website here

João Pina: Exposing the Legacy of Operation Condor (NYT Lens) In 1975, six South American military dictatorships conspired to concoct a secret plan to eliminate their left-wing opponents

Troi Anderson: Summoning spirits in Venezuela (CNN Photo)

Articles

Narciso Contreras—AP

AP severs ties with photographer who altered work (AP Big Story)

Why Associated Press was right to sever ties with Narciso Contreras (Guardian) The Guardian’s head of photography explains why the photojournalist’s seemingly small mistake in manipulating a single image from Syria could have big repercussions

Truth and Consequences for a War Photographer (NYT Lens)

Early prototypes of the Scio physical object scanner
Mohammed Abdel Moneim—AFP/Getty Images

Friends of late Al-Badil Photojournalist submit his photos to international contest (Ahram Online) Mohamed Abdel Moneim (Al-Noubi), photojournalist of Al-Badil who took iconic photo of Rabaa clashes, dies on Sunday after a tragic car accident and several weeks in a coma

David Campbell: How photojournalism contributes to change: Marcus Bleasdale’s work on conflict minerals (David Campbell’s website)

Fred Ritchin: New realities: Smartphones and 9/11 (FLTR) What impact would smartphone cameras have had on our response to the 9/11 attacks if they had been as ubiquitous then as they are today? Photography specialist and author Fred Ritchin searches for the answers

Getty Images: The Year in Focus 2013 (Getty Images)

Thomas Dworzak: Mining for Memes on Instagram (PROOF)

The biggest risk to children when it comes to drunk drivers are the adults driving them, not strangers, according to a new study. The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, found that child traffic deaths caused by drunk driving sharply declined in recent years, the Associated Press reports. But of the 2,344 children under 15 killed in such incidents between 2000 and 2010, about two-thirds were riding in a car with a drunk driver themselves, according to the study. Most of the adult drivers survived these crashes, suggesting not enough children were wearing seat belts, researchers say. The study, led by Dr. Kyran Quinlan of Northwestern University and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analyzed government data on traffic deaths. [AP]
Robert Capa—International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

Robert Capa’s Unpublished Color Photographs Debut at ICP (LightBox) A new show at the International Center of Photography sheds light on some of Robert Capa’s rare color photographs

The Photographer and His Printer, Partners in Art and Love (NYT Lens) While Leonard Freed made historic images of the civil rights era, they would not have been seen if not for his loyal master printer — his wife, Brigitte Freed

Danny Lyon Criticizes Media; Says How He Would Edit National Geographic Magazine (PDN Pulse)

Danny Lyon, Agitating for Justice and Freedom With a Camera ( NYT Lens)

Burroughs, Lynch and Warhol: the secret photographers (Guardian) Three simultaneous shows at London’s Photographers’ Gallery explore the images of three artists famous for other forms

David Lynch’s factory photo archive (FT Magazine) ‘The real factories that I love, they’re black-and-white experiences. Colour putrefies them’

Jason Larkin: Tales From the City of Gold – Book review (Emaho Magazine)

Unless you're the Dread Pirate Robert, if you want to rock climb up the Cliffs of Insanity — or similar vertical incline — you're going to need some gear. That is, if you're not a bear. An eagle-eyed kayaker was paddling down Santa Elena Canyon when she spotted two bears shimmying up a rock wall without harnesses, helmets or ropes, proving that for the ursine set, it is possible to hit the mountain without stopping at REI first. The YouTube poster identified the climbers as "endangered Mexican Black Bears (momma and cub)". The mother bear managed the vertical climb with ease, but the cub had to make some impressive and daring spread eagle moves to scale the steep rock face. Give him a few years, though, and he will undoubtedly be able to make the climb with a picnic basket in one hand. MORE: See One Man Perfectly Imitate 30 Different Animals MORE: Giving Names to Cute Baby Animals Can Save a Species: Jane Goodall Explains
Jonathan Browning

Featured photographer: Jonathan Browning (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Sebastian Meyer (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Erin Brethauer (Verve Photo)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s best photo: A wedding in Nagorno-Karabakh (Guardian)

Inside the Photographer’s Studio: Malick Sidibe (LightBox)

Behind the Scenes With the President (New Yorker) On Pari Dukovic’s recent photo shoot with President Obama

Interviews and Talks

It was bracing a couple years back, at least for those of us of a certain age, to see Molly Ringwald cast as a grandmother on TV's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Hadn't it been just yesterday that she was the archetypal American Teenager herself in "Sixteen Candles"? How can it have been 30 years since that iconic film opened (on May 4, 1984).   It's hard to overestimate how large "Sixteen Candles" looms in the imaginations of three decades' worth of moviegoers. Not only did the film make stars of Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and others, not only did it mark the directing debut of John Hughes, but it also became one of the signature movies of the 1980s and the template for most high school comedies of the last 30 years. Hughes' genius was to see teens as they saw themselves, to appreciate that their seemingly trivial moments of high drama really were high drama, and to let them know that, no matter how freakish they felt, they were not alone.   It's tempting, then, to see the kids of "Sixteen Candles" as icons frozen in time. But they've moved on, as we all do, some to greener pastures, some not so green. If Ringwald and her schoolmates held a 30th class reunion, these are the stories they might tell of their lives.   Molly Ringwald ("Samantha Baker") At 15, Ringwald became Hughes' muse on the strength of her headshot alone; he wrote the lead role in "Sixteen Candles" with the "Tempest" actress in mind. She famously followed the film up with starring roles in Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink." She graduated to more mature roles in "The Pick-Up Artist," "Fresh Horses," and "Betsy's Wedding," but her movie career never returned to its Hughes-era heights. She fared better on TV, in projects from the Stephen King mini-series "The Stand" to her mom/grandma role on ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Now 45, Ringwald has yet to announce any new projects since the five-year run of "Secret Life" ended in 2013.   Michael Schoeffling ("Jake Ryan") Playing nice-guy dreamboat Jake Ryan was Michael Schoffling's big break at age 23; he won the part over fellow unknown Viggo Mortensen. Still, after playing similarly soft-spoken hunks in "Vision Quest," "Slaves of New York," "Longtime Companion," "Mermaids," and finally 1991's "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken," he quit showbiz. He moved to Newfoundland, Pa., married, raised a family, and worked as a carpenter building custom furniture. Now 53, he's been absent from the screen for 23 years, so we never had to watch Jake Ryan get old.   Anthony Michael Hall ("Farmer Ted") Hall, 15, had so impressed Hughes when he played Rusty Griswold in the Hughes-scripted "National Lampoon's Vacation" that Hughes wrote for him the part of Farmer Ted, simply known as "The Geek," in "Sixteen Candles." After his immortal performance in that film, followed by his similar roles in Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" and "Weird Science," Hall was typecast forever more in geeky parts. Even a late-teen growth spurt that had him playing jocks in "Johnny Be Good" and "Edward Scissorhands" couldn't erase his geek cred. He played Bill Gates in the 1999 TV movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley," the Christopher Walken role on USA's "The Dead Zone" for five seasons, and villain Walter Sykes on SyFy series "Warehouse 13" (2011-12). The 45-year-old will be back on the big screen in November, alongside Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Steve Carell, in the indie drama "Foxcatcher."   Gedde Watanabe ("Long Duk Dong") Born Gary Watanabe, the 28-year-old actor was so convincing in his audition (and later, on screen) in the role of hard-partying Chinese exchange student Long Duk Dong that few observers realized he was born and raised in Utah. Watanabe went on to play memorable comic roles in "Volunteers," Gung Ho," and "Gremlins 2: The New Batch." He showed off a more dramatic side during his six-year stint as a nurse on "ER." Now 58, he's continued to make an impression in such recent films as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Parental Guidance," and his most recent work, last year's "47 Ronin."   Haviland Morris ("Caroline Mulford") Morris was 24 when she made her film debut in 1984's "Reckless," the same year she played Jake's beautiful, bored girlfriend in "Sixteen Candles." Her later films included "Who's That Girl?", "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (alongside Gedde Watanabe), "Home Alone 3," and "The Baxter." On TV, she did numerous guest spots on "Law & Order" and its spinoffs, as well as "One Tree Hill" and (most recently, in 2012), "The Good Wife." Now 54, Morris has a day job as a Manhattan realtor, but she continues to act; her next film, naval drama "Burning Blue," is due in theaters next month.   Blanche Baker ("Ginny Baker") The daughter of Oscar-nominated "Baby Doll" star Carroll Baker, Blanche Baker was already an Emmy-winning TV actress ("Holocaust") when she landed at 27 the "Sixteen Candles" role of Ginny, Samantha's soon-to-be-married sister. She went on to appear in the movies "Raw Deal" and "The Handmaid's Tale" and on TV in "Law & Order" and the 2009 HBO movie "Taking Chance." Now 57, she stars as a vengeful housewife in the thriller "Jersey Justice," debuting on DVD this month.   Paul Dooley ("Jim Baker") Dooley has made a career of playing put-upon dads, from Robert Altman's "A Wedding" and "Breaking Away" to "Sixteen Candles," in which he co-starred at age 55. He's continued to play such roles on film and TV, including "Dream On," "Waiting for Guffman," "The Practice," "ER," "Desperate Housewives," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Cars" (and "Cars 2"), and "Super Fun Night." Now 85, Dooley made his most recent appearance earlier this year on an episode of "Parenthood."   Carlin Glynn ("Brenda Baker") Glynn was 39 when she made her Tony-winning Broadway debut in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," a musical co-written by her husband, playwright/director Peter Masterson. Five years later, the 44-year-old played Ringwald's mother in "Sixteen Candles." The following year, she co-starred in "The Trip to Bountiful," directed by her husband. Her other films included "Gardens of Stone," "judy Berlin," and "Whiskey School" (her final feature, from 2005). She retired from acting in 2006. Glynn (now 74) and Masterson are the parents of Mary Stuart Masterson, who starred in Hughes' "Some Kind of Wonderful." Justin Henry ("Mike Baker") For his first performance, as Dustin Hoffman's son in "Kramer vs. Kramer," seven-year-old Henry became the youngest actor ever nominated for an Oscar. He was 12 when he played Ringwald's bratty brother in "Sixteen Candles." He continued to act sporadically during the 1980s in such films as "Martin's Day" and "Sweet Heart's Dance." After college, he seldom acted but remained in showbiz, as the founder of the short-life Slamdunk film festival (1998-2003) and as an executive at streaming video site Veoh. Now 42, he appears on screen in the sci-fi/horror feature "Reaper," due in theaters later this year.   Edward Andrews ("Howard Baker") By the time 69-year-old Andrews appeared as Samantha's paternal grandfather, Howard, in "Sixteen Candles," he'd had a long and distinguished career as a film and TV character actor, with roles in such films as "Tea and Sympathy," "Elmer Gantry," "The Absent-Minded Professor," "Send Me No Flowers," and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" After "Candles," he appeared in one more film, "Gremlins," before his death in 1985 at age 70.   Billie Bird ("Dorothy Baker") Bird had a long career in vaudeville and theater before enjoying her film breakthrough as a comic actress in her sixties in "The Odd Couple." She was 75 when she played Samantha's paternal grandmother, Dorothy, in "Sixteen Candles." Afterwards, she was a series regular on "Benson," appeared in two "Police Academy" sequels, and acted in the Hughes-scripted comedies "Home Alone" and "Dennis the Menace." Her last film was Pauly Shore's "Jury Duty" in 1995. She died in 2002 at age 94.   Carole Cook ("Grandma Helen") A protégée of Lucille Ball's, comic actress Cook had appeared in such films as "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," "The Gauntlet," and "American Gigolo" when, at 59, she got to co-star in "Sixteen Candles" as the grandma who feels up pubescent granddaughter Samantha. Her movie roles since have included "Grandview U.S.A., "Lost & Found," and "Home on the Range." The 90-year-old's last acting appearance was a 2006 guest spot on "Grey's Anatomy."   Max Showalter ("Grandpa Fred") Before his turn at 66 as Samantha's wisecracking maternal grandfather in "Sixteen Candles," Showalter had been a movie character actor for four decades in such films as "Niagara" and "Bus Stop" (both with Marilyn Monroe) and "Elmer Gantry" (with future fellow "Sixteen Candles" grandpa Edward Andrews). In fact, "Sixteen Candles" was his last appearance. His retirement lasted 16 years until his death at 83 in 2000.   Debbie Pollack ("Marlene Lumberjack") Pollack made her screen debut in "Sixteen Candles" as Marlene Lumberjack, an Amazon who takes an instant liking to Long Duk Dong. She went on to a recurring role on the soap "Santa Barbara" and other TV guest roles on such shows as "St. Elsewhere," "Newhart," and "ER." She took a 14-year absence to raise a family and get a stockbroker's license, but she returned to TV in recent years with guest spots on "Criminal Minds" (2011) and "American Horror Story" (also 2011). Her most recent appearance was as a mystery woman during the 2012 series finale of "Desperate Housewives."   Liane Curtis ("Randy") Having made her film debut in John Sayles' "Baby, It's You" (1983), Curtis was 18 when she played Ringwald's pal in "Sixteen Candles." It remains her highest profile to date, though she also appeared in such films as "Critters 2: The Main Course," "Girlfriend From Hell," "Queens Logic," and "Benny & Joon," as well as TV guest spots on such shows as "ER" and "Sons of Anarchy." Now a music producer, the 48-year-old Curtis will be seen on screen in "Body High," a comedy due for release this spring.   John Kapelos ("Rudy") The "Sixteen Candles" role of bridegroom Rudy was one of 27-year-old Kapelos' first film roles. He reunited with Hughes (and Anthony Michael Hall) in "Weird Science" and "The Breakfast Club" (where he played all-knowing janitor Carl, perhaps his best-known role). Since then, he's appeared in countless TV shows and movies, including "Roxanne," "Internal Affairs," "Forever Knight," "Seinfeld," "The West Wing," "Legally Blonde," "The Dead Zone" (which reteamed him with Hall), "Queer as Folk," "Desperate Housewives," "Modern Family," and "Justified." Watch for the 57-year-old in August's action film "Underdogs."   John Cusack ("Bryce") His "Sixteen Candles" role as geek sidekick Bryce was only 17-year-old Cusack's second film role, but by the following year, he'd graduated to lead in such films as "The Sure Thing" and "Better Off Dead." By the end of the decade, with "Say Anything," he became one of his generation's favorite leading men. He followed that up with such indelible films as "The Grifters," "Bullets Over Broadway," "Grosse Pointe Blank," "Being John Malkovich," "High Fidelity," and "2012." He spoofed his own '80s teen stardom in 2010's "Hot Tub Time Machine." Watch for the 47-year-old in several 2014 films, including thriller "The Bag Man," David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars," and Beach Boy Brian Wilson biopic "Love & Mercy."   Joan Cusack ("Geek Girl #1") "Sixteen Candles" wasn't the first film that 21-year-old Joan Cusack appeared in alongside her brother John (that would be 1983's "Class"), and it was far from the last. As an unnamed geek, Cusack enjoyed a memorable sight gag involving a drinking fountain. She went on to star on the ill-fated 1985-86 season of "Saturday Night Live" (along with Anthony Michael Hall) before moving on to acclaimed comic roles in such films as "Broadcast News," "Working Girl" (which earned her an Oscar nomination), "Addams Family Values," "Grosse Pointe Blank" (a collaboration with John), "In & Out" (another Oscar-nominated role), "Runaway Bride," "Toy Story 2" (and "3), "School of Rock," and "Chicken Little." The 51-year-old is due later this year in the comedy-drama "Welcome to Me."   Jami Gertz ("Robin") Like Ringwald, Gertz was an alumna of the prep-school sitcom "The Facts of Life" when she landed a role in "Sixteen Candles"; at 18, she got to play Caroline's scissor-wielding friend Robin. Gertz went on to star in such iconic '80s movies as "The Lost Boys" and "Less Than Zero." Despite such prominent films as 'Twister," Gertz has focused in recent years on TV roles, including long sitcom stints on "Still Standing" and "Entourage." Now 48, she's a star of the current ABC comedy "The Neighbors."   Zelda Rubinstein ("Organist") Late-bloomer Rubinstein had quit her career as a medical technician to take up acting at age 45, but by 50, she'd found fame as the exorcist in "Poltergeist." Two years later, she played the outspoken church organist in "Sixteen Candles." She went on to star in largely horror-themed fare, including "Teen Witch," "Little Witches," and TV's "The Scariest Places on Earth," a series she narrated. She died at 76 in 2010.  
Carolyn Drake

Carolyn Drake’s Artifacts (PROOF) Artifacts is a series about physical items that have meaning to photographers in the field

2013 Joop Swart Lecture: Gary Knight (World Press Photo) ‘Selling your blood, but not your soul: The moral and material hurdles of a career in photography’

Photographing the Civil Rights Movement: Danny Lyon and Julian Bond (PROOF)

William Albert Allard on the Passion From Within (PROOF)

Stephen Mayes on the Changing Future of Photography (Image Source) Mayes explores the work of Tim Hetherington, the wider impact of stock imagery and the rapidly changing future of photography

Emma Stone stars in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Timothy Fadek

Timothy Fadek (Dada magazine) Fadek reflects on his career

Lynsey Addario (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Elliott Erwitt (Mr Porter)

Carol Guzy (Global Journalist)

Marco Grob (NPPA)

James Estrin (Photo Brigade)

Donald Weber (The Tyee) ‘Forget the medium. First, master the art of engagement’

Curran Hatleberg (Vice)


Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


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