Reunification Day

Big, festive holiday in this country today, marking the fall of the Saigon government.

AP Photo

North Vietnamese tanks rolled through the gates of the Presidential Palace on this date in 1975. Here is a calendar page from that day, as displayed in the museum of the Presidential Palace, now the Reunification Palace, here in Ho Chi Minh City.

These (mostly) daily photos from a slow trip around the world are collecting on See the archive page Around the World, Slowly.

Future Ethics Dilemma

I mentioned last week that I’ll be filing CS&W reports from Vietnam (445 photos here) later this spring, when my wife and I will spend the better part of a month in Saigon. It will be our sixth visit. First-timers are generally awed by the crush of traffic, but I’ve found that you can get used to just about everything. Even Saigon traffic.

However, and speaking of traffic, just in case you were looking for something new to worry about, an article in the New Yorker makes the point that at some not-too-distant future time, driverless cars will

“drive as well as or better than humans, smoothly adapting to rapid changes in their environments, like swerving cars or stray pedestrians.

At that point,

“This would require the vehicles to make value judgments….

For example,

“if a car detects a sudden obstacle—say, a jackknifed truck—should it hit the truck and kill its own driver, or should it swerve onto a crowded sidewalk and kill pedestrians? A human driver might react randomly (if she has time to react at all), but the response of an autonomous vehicle would have to be programmed ahead of time.

Insoluble moral dilemmas will need to be pre-programmed.

“What should we tell the car to do?”

Chew on that, and do let me know what you come up with.


Friday Photo #30 from Vietnam


Here is an HDR photo of a trader in cabbage, from the famous floating market near Can Tho, south of Saigon in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Click to enlarge it, and see 443 other photos from one of the most photogenic countries in the world in the Vietnam Gallery at Please also enjoy 579 HDR photos in the HDR Gallery, and all the Friday Photos.

Have a good weekend!

Playing in Traffic. Friday Photo #25, Saigon


Photography is not for the faint of heart. Don’t try this at home. Or at least without a bellyful of good Vietnamese beer. Saigon. At night. In the holiday season. On a crosswalk.

Click photo to enlarge. Vietnam is a completely enchanting, engrossing and picturesque land. Have a look at 442 other photos from all over the country in the Vietnam Gallery at And see all the Friday Photos.

Gangtok, India

Gangtok, the capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim, lies between Bhutan and Nepal near the Indian border with Tibet. From a visit in December, 2013. Click the photos to enlarge. All the photos from that trip, to Gangtok and Saigon, Vietnam, are here. See also the India and Vietnam galleries at