April 28, 2009

Death penalty and the economy

Filed under: Politics,Publications — grahamophone @ 2:20 pm

The death penalty is back in focus. New Mexico ended capital punishment, Colorado may soon do the same and Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens last week announced his opposition to state executions. Stevens made a social and legal argument against the “anachronistic” death penalty. Others make moral arguments about executions, but the new death penalty battle involves more accountants than lawyers or priests.



April 26, 2009

Paranoid or prudent?

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 2:17 pm

Stop watching TV news. It’s making you paranoid and not really helping you protect your family. Your neighborhood is not as dangerous as you think. Random violent crimes against strangers are rare.

I write about digital photography for Bright Hub. In no expert on cyber-crime, but my wife suggested I write a story about the real statistics and some practical advice regarding photos of children online. I pulled some of the advice out of this handy list, provided by the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

Overall, the evidence suggests you should be more worried about relatives and friends than strangers, and you should teach kids to be smart, not scared.


April 23, 2009

What are the 5 most “photogenic” cities

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 11:53 am

I have lived in three of the five U.S. cities I consider the most “photogenic,” as listed here. Coincidence? The funny thing is I don’t have many photos of these three cities, but I found some great public domain photos of the cities. I posted a few iconic images with the list. For more good photos, keep reading.


April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 9:35 am

Here’s a roundup of some of my recent environmental stories in an effort to encourage big and small Earth Day actions:

• Reducing the amount of stuff you bring into your life will obviously mean reducing the amount of stuff you later add to the waste stream. Here are some simple steps to cut your consumption. Everyone’s talking about recycling today, but even recycling uses valuable energy. Better to not get the stuff in the first place. (more…)

April 21, 2009

Take your own glamour portraits

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 6:48 am

You probably know why the glamour-style senior photos and celebrity portraits look different from your other family photos (I mean besides the goofy backgrounds). It’s the soft-focus filter, which you probably aren’t taking on family vacations. But you can take your own portraits with a cheap homemade soft focus filter. Learn how here.

April 20, 2009

Armenian genocide: Passion and indifference

Filed under: Politics,Publications — grahamophone @ 12:31 pm

The Armenian genocide largely provokes either indifference or deep passions. The indifference is largely due to lack of knowledge of the historic event. Passion comes from both Turks and Armenians. I was reminded of the extent of the anger in reading a series of heated comments in response to my story on upcoming Colorado events to commemorate the Armenian genocide. The comments are sometimes upsetting and sometimes confounding, and some are certainly not G-rated. In the interest of free speech, I won’t remove even the profane or rambling comments.


Columbine anniversary: no explanations, answers

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 10:50 am

A decade after Columbine, we still search for reasons, an explanation for the murder of 12 students and a teacher.

Two new books debunk many myths of Columbine but can’t find conclusive answers. The only partial explanation was the killers’ mental state, according to psychological reports. But the unsatisfying conclusion leaves few solutions or prevention strategies.

I don’t pretend to have devoted nearly as much time and energy to reporting on Columbine as authors Jeff Kass and Dave Cullen, but I covered the aftermath of Columbine for community newspapers in Jefferson County.


April 19, 2009

Yes, photographers can take your pictures

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 8:08 am

Journalists have an approval rating just below sea slugs, but even sea slugs have rights. Photojournalists (and other photographers) have pretty much blanket legal rights to take your photo in public places. While this is certainly not legal advice, I have a quick guide to photographers’ rights here.

April 18, 2009

It’s the herbs and spices

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 2:06 pm

It’s hard to write about anything after that last post — even my love of cooking, but I learned some interesting interesting tips about spices writing another BrightHub food story. Mostly keep your oily seeds (sesame, poppy, what have you) in the freezer, and paprika, chile and other “bright” spices in the fridge.

April 17, 2009

Sin of omission on Armenian genocide

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 5:51 pm

At the time, I grudgingly accepted President Obama’s half-step this month regarding the Armenian genocide.

In Turkey, Obama obliquely referred to the 1915 massacre of the Armenian people by Ottoman Turks. He referred to the Armenian genocide in a speech to the Turkish parliament and a press conference, but did not use the word genocide. In the press conference, he explained the deliberate omission by stating he did not want to jeopardize ongoing negotiations between Turkey and the United States.

Arguably, he was trying to help the struggling, isolated citizens of modern Armenia, albeit at the expense of the historical record. However, the argument now rings hollow. Today, the Armenian foreign minister told Radio Free Europe he does not expect to reach an agreement during an ongoing summit with Turkey.


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