Friday Photo #28 from Addis Ababa


Here is my favorite photo from an eye-opening day in the Mercado in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They call the Mercado the world’s greatest open air market and I am sure they are right. Click the photo to enlarge it. There are a few more photos from that day in the Ethiopia Gallery at Post production on this photo in Photoshop used High Dynamic Range and other techniques, and you can see a few hundred more HDR photos in the EarthPhotos HDR Gallery. And see all the Friday Photos.

Just a note: Next Friday we begin a week around Saimaa Lake in Finland – nearest town, Varkaus. Photos are sure to follow.

Friday Photo #27 from South Africa


Here’s a cute little impala in the Mkuze Falls private game reserve, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa (where, a couple of years ago, your fourth wife flew free). There is no time better than right now, this year, to go and experience the spectacle of African wildlife, and I am excited to say we’re just a couple of months away from the privilege of witnessing the great wildebeest migration in person.

In case you can’t make it to Africa this year here are some photos taken in South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia from And a story from Common Sense and Whiskey, the book, about a trip by steamer across Lake Malawi.

And see all the other Friday photos here. Happy Friday!

Cuba. Closer and Closer?


A couple of years ago I wrote from Cuba, “Over rice with pork cutlets and Bucanero beer, the man at the next table explains how cell phones are so expensive that when his rings, he gets the number from caller ID and goes to a pay phone to call back. In Cuba there are still pay phones. And he says, the internet just doesn’t exist.”

Today in Cuba Offers Its Citizens Better Access to Internet, the New York Times writes that Cuba “is poised to expand access to the Internet by introducing about three dozen Wi-Fi hot spots around the island and reducing the steep fees that Cubans pay to spend time online.”

Three dozen hot spots on an island of 11 million people = 305555 people per hot spot. Maybe that’s better than “the internet just doesn’t exist,” but let’s just say there is a lot more to do.

See Havana on

Polemicists Don’t Always Write Real Good

Formerly prominent publisher, peer and controversial businessman Conrad Black writes difficult prose. He enters every op-ed battlefield with his adjective bazooka blazing.

You can tell when he writes a sentence he thinks is brilliant. Like this one, which constitutes a one sentence paragraph:

“We will all pad somnolently through the 19 months to next inauguration day, when any of the prominent Republicans or Hillary Clinton will take the presidential oath with a more purposeful and presumably more precise definition of America’s place in the world than the whimsical, capricious, and feckless dilettantism that has afflicted American foreign policy and accelerated the dilution of the foreign policy of its nominal allies in the last 15 years.”

Here is a sentence from the same article whose syntactic sense escapes me. Can you help iron this out?

“The Russians and Chinese, who, although they have sometimes facilitated Iranian nuclear ambitions, presumably from an addiction to anti-Western mischief-making, should have some concerns, as countries with Muslim minorities, about the principal Muslim rabble-rousing country in the world adding nuclear weapons to its arsenal.”


Impromptu Eclipse Tour in the Sky

Here is the path of an EasyJet flight from Belfast to Keflavik on 20 March, 2015, the day of a total solar eclipse across the Arctic. At the right moment, the pilot turned circles in the sky so that passengers on both sides of the plane could witness totality. Then they all headed on their way. Dee-lightful.



Here are some photos (1, 2, 3) and a short video of that day as we lived it in Svalbard. And here is a photo of how the eclipse itself looked from the tundra. Click to enlarge: