The Padacia
Notes from a pad in Oslo


 Russian Posters | International Poster Gallery

Revolution by Design

Vintage Soviet posters from the Bolshevik Revolution to 80s' Perestroika.

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The Adjective -- So Ludic, So Minatory, So Twee
by Ben Yagoda, The Chronicle Review

As far as not getting respect goes, adjectives leave Rodney Dangerfield in the dust. They rank right up there with Osama bin Laden, Geraldo Rivera, and the customer-service policies of cable-TV companies. That it is good to avoid them is one of the few points on which the sages of writing agree. Thus Voltaire: "The adjective is the enemy of the noun, though it agrees with it in number and gender." Thus Twain: "When you catch an adjective, kill it." And thus William Zinsser: "Most adjectives are... unnecessary. Like adverbs, they are sprinkled into sentences by writers who don't stop to think that the concept is already in the noun."

As the French might put it, those quotes have reason. Writers frequently pull out the adjectives when they either haven't, or are afraid they haven't, provided sufficient data -- specific nouns and active verbs -- to get their ideas across. So if you point out that the jaw of every male in the room dropped when a woman walked in, it's neither necessary nor helpful to describe her as "beautiful." And establishing that someone kicked his opponent when down, stole $17 from a Salvation Army collection kettle, and lied to partners about having sexually transmitted diseases precludes the need to call him terrible, awful, horrible, deplorable, despicable, or vile. Beginning or inept writers are inclined to stack up adjectives in front of a noun (especially when attempting to do justice to nature). The words give you the feel of a bunch of football players piling on, long after the play has been whistled dead... [ the whole article ]

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 Photo by Jean-Marc Bouju

World Press Photo of the Year

The international jury of the 47th annual World Press Photo contest has selected as World Press Photo of the Year 2003 a colour image by the French photographer
Jean-Marc Bouju of The Associated Press. The picture shows a detained Iraqi man comforting his 4-year-old-son at a regroupment center for POWs near Najaf, Iraq.
The picture was taken on 31 March 2003.

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 Portrait of a New Zealand Man, 1769

British Library Images Online
is a growing collection of images on the web. It contains thousands of images from the library's existing collection of transparencies and also new material from manuscripts, maps, music, philately and the Asia, Pacific and Africa collections.

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Trapped in Someone Else's Dream
Statement and photos by Asim Rafiqui

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There is a brutal military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza and it is being used to systematically expropriate land from the Palestinians and lock them into ghettos. This is a lived reality for the millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. However, these facts are carefully avoided in the official language of peace. The latest 'road map' does not even mention the occupation, nor that Palestinians' lands are being taken from them at gunpoint. Instead, it shamelessly places all the responsibility for the violence on the shoulders of an essentially unarmed and outgunned people.

Rafah is perhaps one of the first Palestinian ghettos. A town of about 100,000 it is surrounded by steel walls, electric fences, checkpoints and gun towers. Pilotless drones patrol the skies at night and curfews control the movement of people. It is from such a hell that the Palestinians are expected to extend a 'hand towards peace', and to 'give up their violent ways'. Meanwhile, the occupation continues, and so does the theft of land.

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 Michael Kenna Photography

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