Central Afghanistan

So I found myself smack in the middle of Afghanistan. It was cold, remote, and desolate. A couple of buildings served as a resting place for truck drivers hauling their goods across the country. It was a welcome relief after spending so much time on the road (dirt tracks mostly), a chance to stretch the legs and seek shelter from the dust. And onward, our goal to reach the fabled Minaret of Jam.

Novice Buddhist monk

I took this photo in January 2014 of a novice Buddhist monk during the Ananda Pagoda Festival in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma). It was early in the morning, a slight chill in the air, with many hundreds of monks and novice monks; the largest gathering of monks I’d witnessed. And there, a boy, with that look.
Novice Buddhist monk

Long neck Padaung

When I took this shot I thought that the photo would be a failure due to the extreme dynamic range involved. It was hand-held, shooting into the sun with the main subject being the Padaung woman in the shade. I revisited that photo this weekend and found, to my surprise, that it had a lot of information, and that it was close to my vision. So here it is in all its glory.

Padaung woman

Spitzkoppe

The dry, barren, and rocky landscape of Spitzkoppe in Namibia. Weathering has sculpted interesting shapes into the rocks and, juxtaposed against the night sky, provided an excuse to camp here and photograph the area in August 2015.

Spitzkoppe landscape

A starry night

Between the sand dunes of the south and the dry savannah of the north, a vast and varied landscape meet you head-on as we travelled through Namibia in our African overland truck. Near Spitzkoppe, we were surrounded by a dry, dusty and rocky environment. Hot during the day, and chilly at night, but away from the city lights, this area provided some of the clearest dark skies in the world and, with it, a wonderful opportunity to take photos of the night sky. And, indeed, the views were breath-taking, and I’ve captured some of these moments in my photos on my website.

Later that night, although we had brought our tents, it seemed a good idea at the time that we would sleep under the stars, with nothing but a sleeping bag between us and the heavens. Having bedded down for the night, I lay there on a rocky outcrop exposed to the elements, and reflected on the doings of the day. As I looked up at the stars, the immensity of the Milky Way and its galactic core bearing down on me, I marvelled at the grandeur of the universe. With my trusty camera next to me, I snapped this view; it was the last thing I saw before I fell asleep. It was a night to remember.

Milky Way

Think to break free

A great crime committed against individuals and society is to be told what to think and not how to think, and where the tools of critical thinking allowing us to reason and make rational sense of the world are rejected. In particular, there are a multitude of institutions and people who follow and apply dogma, who discourage thinking and who discourage enquiry. This video by TheraminTrees describes how he was treated and how he managed to break free.

Himba girl

The Himba, a semi-nomadic people, are located in northern Namibia and in southern Angola. Last year, I spent a couple or so days in the most northernmost area of Namibia mingling with the Himba in their small village, and this young girl was out-and-about in the village.

Himba girl

A short interview with Sarah Haider

A short interview with Sarah Haider in which she speaks about Islam, her apostasy, and her work with the Ex-Muslims of North America.

I have also previously linked to another talk by Sarah at http://www.metalvortex.com/blog/2015/11/23/1778.html regarding the hostility of the left.