September 29, 2011 2:00 PM EDT

I know of few photographers knowledgeable of the work of Josef Koudelka who do not look upon his life as an artist with a certain level of romanticism. It holds true to a young photographer’s dream to have little by way of possessions beyond cameras, some film and the freedom to obsessively focus on the immediacy of the world through the lens. Koudelka’s life after leaving then-Czechoslovakia a couple years following the 1968 Soviet invasion seemed to be just that—an exile who traveled and photographed constantly during the warmer months and then spirited himself away into the darkrooms of the Magnum Photo Agency during the winters to process his labor.

It is fitting that his longest project before becoming stateless was that of photographing Europe’s Roma communities in Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, France and Spain. Koudelka’s pictures of these roaming people would serve as the basis of his 1975 book, Gypsies, an updated version of which is being released this month by Aperture.

In Kentucky, 30.2% of residents smoke cigarettes, narrowly beating out nearby West Virginia’s smoking rate of 29.9%. The state with the nations lowest smoking rate, 12.2%, is Utah, where six in ten residents identify as Mormon, a religion with a strict prohibition against smoking. In all, 19.7% of Americans smoke cigarettes according to Gallup, down from 21.1% in 2008. The state where the smoking rate has fallen most since 2008 (the first year Gallup gathered sufficient data on the question) is Alaska, where 18.7% of the population smokes. That’s 6.5% fewer smokers today than in 2008. And while smoking rates decreased in nearly every state of the Union between 2008 and today, they ticked up ever so slightly in one: Hawaii, where 19.4% of the population smokes. Maybe Gallup just happened to call while President Obama was vacationing back home…. [Gallup] Kentucky Wins For Most Smokers, Utah Comes in Last A larger segment of Kentuckians smoke cigarettes than residents of any other state, according to Gallup poll data released Thursday. In Kentucky, 30.2% of residents smoke cigarettes, narrowly beating out nearby West Virginia’s smoking rate of 29.9%. The state with the nations lowest smoking rate, 12.2%, is Utah, where six in ten residents identify as Mormon, a religion with a strict prohibition against smoking and other vices. In all, 19.7% of Americans smoke cigarettes according to Gallup, down from 21.1% in 2008. The state where the smoking rate has fallen most since 2008 (the first year Gallup gathered sufficient data on the question) is Alaska, where 18.7% of the population smokes. That’s 6.5% fewer smokers today than in 2008. And while smoking rates decreased in nearly every state of the Union between 2008 and today, they ticked up ever so slightly in one: Hawaii, where 19.4% of the population smokes. Maybe Gallup just happened to call while President Obama was vacationing back home…. [Gallup]
A larger segment of Kentuckians smokes cigarettes than residents of any other state, according to Gallup poll data released Thursday.

Since its original publication in 1975 by the French publisher Robert Delpire, Koudelka’s book Gypsies has become one of the seminal photo books of the last century. With Delpire acting as editor, Gitans—La Fin du Voyage (the original French title) boiled down hundreds of images shot over six years into a tightly edited sequence of sixty photographs. Starting with the opening image of three boys flexing their arms and drawing in their stomachs in a show of strength—perhaps as a threat to outsiders (belied by the look of uncertainty read on the face of one of the boys), Delpire’s edit moves us quickly into the visual energy of the community mixing frenetic action with direct portraits where the postures of the subjects signal their acceptance of Koudelka’s presence and camera. What is remarkable for me about the original edition’s edit is even though a page prior to the first image states that the photographs were “mostly taken in separated Gypsy settlements in East Slovakia,” there is the strong sense that the photographs describe a singular settlement, as if we had wandered into the encampment of a single extended family and been invited to stay.

I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to tell you that I've been playing Flappy Bird over the last few days and enjoying it. The suddenly, bizarrely popular smartphone game may be both crude and near-impossible to play, but it's also fun. At least as a brief diversion. So when word came down that Flappy creator Dong Nguyen -- in an act of defiance with no parallel that I can remember -- was snuffing out his golden goose by removing it from the Apple App Store and Google Play, I did check my iPhone to make sure that my copy still worked. It did. I played a few games, then got back to my weekend. .GEARS Studios But what if you're a tad behind on your Internet fads and never got around to installing Flappy Bird when you could? Are you doomed to go through the rest of your existence wondering what what you missed? Nope. Over at the hotbed of offbeat entrepreneurialism known as eBay, lots of merchants have put up iPhones and Android phones with Flappy Bird pre-installed. The market is so new that nobody seems to agree on how much to charge, but the listing shown above is for a Flappy-ready used 16GB space gray Verizon iPhone 5s that's $1499 as a Buy It Now. A comparable second-hand iPhone without Flappy Bird can be easily be had on eBay for $500 to $600, so in this instance, the game -- which was an ad-supported freebie -- commands a premium of $900 or more. Or doesn't. Doing an eBay search for items which have actually sold, I can't find any evidence that anybody has bought any of these Flappy-Bird phones. Maybe it's a category without a customer. But I wonder if sales would heat up if the sellers charged, say, $50 over the cost of a phone sans Flappy? Naw, let's make that $25. In any event, I don't see myself playing the game for all that much longer. I've resolved to call it quits as soon as I score a 5. But just in case, I'm going to leave Flappy Bird on my iPhone 5. There may be McCrackens yet unborn who'll want to play it someday. MORE: The History of Video Game Consoles - Full [time-brightcove videoid=3023400818001]

My first introduction to Koudelka on the Roma was by way of a photograph that surprisingly did not make the edit of the original book but had made its way instead into Naomi Rosenblum’s A World History of Photography – required reading during my photo education at art school. The image—reproduced at a very small size—described a man, mid-action, kneeling in front of a white horse who, by the gesture of bowing its head, seems to be rapt in conversation. The picture took on qualities of magical realism even at its diminutive size. Compelled by that single image, I sought to see more of his photographs, but at the time, Gypsies was his only published work and had been declared long out of print, commanding prices more dear than what an art student could usually afford. I would have to wait a couple years before I stumbled upon a $15 copy sunning on a flea market table.

A Senate panel overwhelmingly advanced a bill Wednesday that would provide $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine while tying that package to International Monetary Fund changes not included in the Republican-controlled House's aid bill. The Senate bill would move billions of dollars from an IMF crisis fund to its general account. That comes after a request by the White House, which says such a move would raise America’s influence over the lender and secure the resources needed to support Ukrainian economic reforms. It would also issue sanctions against Russians involved in President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Crimea. However, House Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, support a separate bill the House passed last week which includes a similar aid package without IMF reforms. Some conservatives believe the IMF provision would put the money at risk, while Boehner and Cantor publicly maintain that the IMF provision is superfluous and drags out debate while a bill is on the table. The Senate will likely leave for recess this week before its version of an aid bill can be brought to the floor. Spokespersons for Democratic Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Charles Schumer didn't respond when asked by TIME if they would support an aid package stripped of the IMF provisions. The IMF reforms would allow Ukraine to borrow approximately 60 percent more (from $1 billion to $1.6 billion) from the IMF’s emergency fund, according to the New Republic, but still below the $15 billion Ukrainian leaders seek from the lender. Simon Johnson, a former IMF chief economist, writes in the New York Times that Ukraine’s total financing needs this year approach $20 billion, well below what the U.S. will offer—a good thing, he writes with co-author and economist Peter Boone, due to the country’s “pervasive corruption.” The European Union, meanwhile, has said it would provide $15 billion to Ukraine in loans and grants over several years if it signs a reform deal with the IMF.
Congress is hung up on including International Monetary Fund reforms in a Ukraine aid package while Russia announced Thursday new military operations massing forces on several spots along the Ukrainian border.

Robert Delpire’s role as editor can now be put into context in the new version of Koudelka’s masterwork, titled Koudelka: Gypsies. This revised and enlarged edition includes 109 images and uses the photographer’s original book maquette Cikani (Czech for Gypsies) as its foundation. It was prepared by Koudelka and the graphic designer Milan Kopriva in 1968 with the intention of publishing it in Prague, but Koudelka’s self-imposed exile intervened. With nearly twice the amount of images, Koudelka: Gypsies reveals dozens of remarkable images that have mostly remained unseen but interestingly, all were available to Delpire while crafting the original edition. The design of the 1975 edition, also attributed to Delpire, was very traditional in photo-book terms, with one image per spread, always appearing on the right hand page where as Koudelka’s maquette employs a completely different sequence with images appearing on facing pages, double-page spreads and several gatefolds that open like additional doors through which we can take in the intimate textures of his subjects within this secretive world.

Rarely has a body of photographic work been so deserving of two completely different treatments with each one successful in its own ways—leaving one to ponder which version they prefer: that of the editor or that of the artist.

The new extended version of Gypsies is published by Aperture. It consists of 109 photographs taken in what was, at the time, Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia), Romania, Hungary, France, and Spain between 1962 and 1971.

Jeffrey Ladd is a photographer, writer, editor and founder of Errata Editions. Visit his blog here.

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