Windows on the World, it was called. And I remember that the view from the 107th floor of the North Tower, one of the Twin Towers in New York City, seemed to be exactly that to me. So high up the horizon wasn’t its usual flat, but became a slightly bended line, revealing the roundness of the Earth. It invoked feelings of being small and insignificant; a humbling experience.
Govt data Surveillance and privacy had never been the most popular subject well talked about and thought about among the people of both advanced and developing countries. But thanks to Snowden episode which opened new debate on how much surveillance can democracy withstand, and how we can lose the last shred of control over our institutions if whistleblowers don’t dare reveal such lies, the people might lose the last shred of control over their institutions.
If you’ve visited the White House in the last few weeks, it’s likely you’ve bumped into one of the Capital’s more colourful characters. His name is Chance Camelslayer Addison (the Camelslayer part is trademarked, by the way), and every day he stands, not so silently, and flips the President the bird.
After visiting the Native-American National Pipestone Monument in Tracy, Minnesota, I was given an “Indian” nickname by my colleagues: Sleepy Giant. The ‘sleepy’ aspect comes from being somewhat exhausted at certain times, and not afraid to say so. The giant part is nothing new: I’m 6,5 and quite massive. When I’m confronted with others telling me I’m gigantic, I usually try to turn that into an opportunity to share a fun fact: in my home country, the Netherlands, the tallest people in the world roam the grounds.
The first spot that the visitors of the Newseum in Washington will find nowadays is a picture and a brief text that aims to honor James Foley’s memory, a freelance American journalist that ISIS claimed to behead this week. Probably they have already added another one for Steven Sotloff, who hasn’t been executed when the WPI 2014 fellows visited the museum.
When I was a child I used to stay in my room, usually when I needed to seclude myself. This was my fortress, a safe and secure place where I believed that no one would ever have the chance to disturb me. I suppose as adults we all still have the same need to some extent. Even more, you desperately desire to preserve your own space. But despite this growing need for space and privacy, one question always pops up - is that even possible nowadays? Isn't it naive to consider privacy as an important value in a world that spins around global tele and news communications?
Computer terminals filled with markets data, agricultural news, and weather forecasts, GPS-led unmanned tractors - high technologies that have been adopted by American farmers to do their business and enhance their operations.
The translucent green of the double-volume Journalists Memorial Gallery at the Newseum, lends it a serene air that belies its darker nature. It is, when one stops to think about it, a sombre sight to behold: the names of thousands of journalists who’ve died in the field over the last 177 years, etched into panel after panel of sandblasted glass to form a wall that stretches two stories high.