DEW appreciation speech

My appreciation speech, given on behalf of the late artist Dunstan E Williams on the occasion of his Media Excellence award from the TTPBA is posted here...

MATT statement on proposed Bagoo ban

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago posted this statement to their Facebook page. As a courtesy, I am reposting it here for general access.

It was with shock and dismay that the media association learned of the recommendations of the Privileges Committee of the House of Representatives with regard to Mr Andre Bagoo of the Newsday newspaper.

On finding Mr Bagoo guilty of an offence, the committee recommended not only that the newspaper publish an apology, but also that Mr Bagoo be banned from the media gallery of Parliament until the end of the session.

Matt considers this an unjustifiably harsh and highly unusual punishment.

Mr Bagoo had been accused by Information Minister Neil Parsanlal of committing a contempt of Parliament by publishing the proceedings of the Privileges Committee in another matter before those proceedings had been reported to the House.

The association admits that this publication by Newsday was indeed in breach of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

However, in previous cases involving breaches of privilege--including the case prematurely reported by Mr Bagoo, which involved Udecott--once the accused party apologises for the offence, he or she is almost invariably let off and no further action taken. It should be noted that the editor in chief of Newsday, Ms Therese Mills, appeared before the committee and apologised for breaching the Standing Orders.

In addition, in a minority report, three members of the committee disagreed with the recommendations and argued that banning a reporter contravened the constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press. They asked that members of the House reject either the entire report or that recommendation.

Matt endorses this call, and now awaits with apprehension the committee’s findings in the case of two other journalists also sent to the Privileges Committee.

In light of the recommendations in the case of Mr Bagoo, Matt notes with grave concern that a pattern may be emerging of attempted intimidation, by way of the Privileges Committee, of journalists whose reporting may have embarrassed or offended the Government.

Windows 7 launch

My exclusive story for the Business Guardian on the launch of Windows 7 is posted here...

Womanwise photographer notes

Photography technique notes have been posted to my photo blog on the first six subjects shot for the Sunday Guardian's Womanwise magazine. Go behind the scenes with photos of the women of HaHaHa Productions, Sonya Wells, Marjorie Boothman, Patricia Dardaine-Ragguet, Mariel Brown and Crystal Felix here.
Notes on the lightweight gear I use for these photo sessions are to be found here...

Great Fete 2009 gallery posted

The stock gallery for Great Fete 2009, from site preparation to Sunday morning is posted here...

WomanWise: Patricia Dardaine-Ragguet

The Guardian doesn't carry the cover of WomanWise anywhere on its website, apparently, so here's Patricia Dardaine-Ragguet in the photo from last Sunday's issue.

Gerard Gaskin in CRB

Pleasantly surprised to find myself mentioned in this story in the new Caribbean Review of Books about the photographer Gerard Gaskin. The author is Christopher Cozier, about whom I never tire of noting that I published his first piece of mass reproduced art, a cartoon, etched onto stencil paper, for the Trinity College (Maraval) newsletter, the Buzzer.

I'm equally surprised to have been one of the people chosen in the first pass of his portrait project on Trinidad and Tobago artists.
Gerard shot the photo here in my front yard, part of the style of the works, apparently, about three years ago. More recent versions of the work have been in grayscale. Photo by Gerard Gaskin, all copyrights honoured and reserved with this reproduction.

Marjorie Boothman for the Sunday Guardian

Photographed Marjorie Boothman for the Sunday Guardian last week. Some interesting challenges getting the shot on the location, which is a temporary living space while the family home is being renovated. Here's another outtake from the photography. There's another image on the home page. The painting behind Mrs Boothman is by her son Roger.

New WomanWise photos

Here's another outtake from the wonderfully engaging photography session I had with film producer Sonya Wells for the Sunday Guardian's WomanWise Magazine.
There's another unused image on the home page.

A love letter to mangoes

Editorial for August 04, an appreciation of the mango. Read More...

Sunday Guardian portraits

Looks like I might be doing some shooting for the Sunday Guardian's WomanWise Magazine.
Been missing doing stylish portraiture for print since I stopped working on the Business Guardian far too long ago.
The women of HaHaHa Productions this week, film producer Sonya Wells next week.
Click on the thumbnail to see an unused image from last week's shoot.

AMPOTT Awards Speech, 2009

Speech given on behalf of the judges at the awards event for the 2009 competition. View the winners here... Read More...

IABC talk

Kind of forgot this. Gave a talk to the local chapter of the IABC with Lennox Grant on July 15. Time was a little tight, squeezed in before AGM business, but it seems to have gone down well. My half of the presentation, on New Media initatives and outlets is available here in PDF format with notes.

One morning at Macueripe...

I prefer to do my laps in a pool, but those options have become severely diminished of late with the collapse of the Flying Fish facility.
So with the management at home on vacation, we sped off on Friday morning for a quick dip on the only partly complete, but mercifully open for access beach at Macueripe in Chaguaramas.

Swimming along my ocean "lane" a space roughly ten feet wide and running from the middle of the beach to the northern end, I noticed an empty bottle. Recalling a cut I got on my footpad a few days before on a previous visit, I dove to pick it up.

This proved to be a bit like buying a stylish car and then seeing it everywhere. Just along that fairly narrow swimming path, I kept seeing more and more of this debris (I swim with goggles).
So I began to pick it up and take it out of the water. This is the result of less than an hour's worth of work at the beach that morning.

Rubbish in the oceans is
becoming a critical matter. Glass bottles only break and leave deadly splinters for swimmers until they are eventually worn down into pretty bits of abraded glass. Tin cans don't disintegrate at all and crushed cans offer jagged edges quickly as they get knocked around on rocks.

Let's take this stuff out of the water when we find it and better yet, don't drop it in the water in the first place.


Twitter on CNews

Soyini Grey was a delight to work with on this clip for CNews' technology segment. Smart, funny and accommodating, she allowed me to ramble on for what seemed like way too long about Twitter, traditional media and the elections in Iran.

Some thoughts that didn't make it into the final edit include...
Twitter succeeded in Iran because it was diffuse and invisible. Traditional media was easy to find, target and neutralise. Licensed, official reporters are known to the authorities, dozens of people with cellphones and laptops are not.

The authorities in Iran tried to stop information from getting out, blocking access to the preferred social media network in Iran, Friendfeed, but young people simply switched to Twitter and went on sharing links and news updates. Multiple sources of information and multiple points of access for publishing make traditional methods of information supression more difficult, if not impossible to implement.

In embracing new media, traditional media sources need to cultivate the savvy to separate misinformation from fact, opinion from reporting. Life magazine, busy reinventing itself as a source for impactful photography on the web did exactly that by making contact with a photographer who posted some of the best imagery coming out of the protests and gathering that person's work into a striking gallery.

The photographer's identity remains unknown and has since been reported missing by their family. See those images on
Life's gallery here...

BitDepth 686:
How to use Twitter
BitDepth 685:
Twitter 100 Days later
BitDepth 672:
Tweet, tweet, twiddly tweet
BitDepth + Notes from the Twitterverse

How to be creative

How do you nurture creativity? This is what I've learned about the process over the years. Read More...

Future of Media presentations available

On Thursday, Georgia Popplewell and I gave presentations on the Future of Media at the Caribbean Media and Communication Conference in Grenada. The presentation slides in PDF format and an audio recording courtesy of George Grant can be downloaded here...

Microsoft, Blackberry launches

Posted reports of launches of the new Blackberry Storm and Windows RC1 in Trinidad and Tobago to Other Writing...

Microsoft at the Summit

An Interview with Angela Camacho about Microsoft's hope to work for development in the region is posted here...

Microsoft introduces IE8

Moved IE8 story to Other Writing

Ikea Food

Yes, there is Ikea food...

BSG's most important moments

• The appropriation of Richard Hatch and his anger about the remake into the show as Tom Zarek.
• The appearance of Battlestar Pegasus and the resulting powerplay.
• Starbuck’s capture of a Cylon raider and the discovery that the ship is organic.
• Season 3’s unflinching translation of the Iraq occupation to BSG’s universe as Cylons occupy New Caprica.
• Finding Earth. Nuff said.
• Anastasia “Dee” Dualla’s last day.
• Felix Gaeta’s rebellion and its ultimate consequences.
• Gaius Baltar, inspired villain. The lameness that is ultimate evil.

Who watched Watchmen?

In less than a week, Watchmen slunk off the screens of moviehouses in Trinidad and Tobago. Some thoughts about why a dark brooding superhero film failed to find an audience here and elsewhere. Read More...

Notes from the Twitterverse

More notes about Twitter related to BitDepth#672...

Carnival: Rationalising Government subsidies

The ramifications of Government subsidy of Carnival run deep. Read More...

Separated at birth: The Carnival Edition

Creative enterprises are funny like that.
Out of nowhere, there will suddenly be two movies about a meteor endangering Earth bearing down on the box office.
Carnival can be like that too, sometimes.

The week before Carnival, for instance, I was hugely entertained by Errol Fabien’s Heart Attack, the video for which I have been granted an opportunity to share, above. Rendered a little shakily by the performer, as befits an entry in a “company calypso competition,” (Gayelle The Channel’s annual Bois), I was struck by the kind of calypso that would have been commonplace in the tents of just a decade ago.

This witty bad skylark song that would have created buzz in the listening community and drawn crowds to the tent. Fabien won the competition with the song, despite an announcer’s mix-up that gave the crown to another performer during the live broadcast.

Imagine my surprise when Hollis Liverpool, The Mighty Chalkdust, arrived on the Dimanche Gras stage with an all-new composition that struck many of the gracenotes of Fabien’s song and also won his competition with “My Heart and I.” Just another of those happy coincidences that springs up in the competitive hotbed of Carnival.

There was another surprise for me on Dimanche Gras night, as Kadafi Romney crossed the stage as Manzandaba in Flight, a costume by Brian Mac Farlane that seemed more than a little familiar.
Whenever these kinds of things happen, I remember a very generous comment that Peter Minshall shared with me years ago when he was explaining his design process.
“It’s a very limited canvas,” he said.

Minshall noted that a designer was constrained both by the shape of the human body and by the limits that a designer had to work with in terms of what the committed masquerader could carry and the average masquerader would be willing to carry.

It’s as good a bit of reasoning as any when designs overlap and calypso themes mirror each other.
Or...they could be separated at birth.

On Watchmen

Rereading the book before the film is formally released, I am captured once again by the obsessive detail and care that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons invested in the Watchmen graphic novel. Read More...

Carnival: The pointless romance

Editorial on the romance of Carnival for the Trinidad Guardian for March 03 Read More...

Calypso Rising?

Editorial written for the Carnival Tuesday edition of the Trinidad Guardian about the future of calypso for February 17. Read More...

Viey La Cou series begins

The Viey La Cou series begins today with Dame Lorraine. I took extensive notes on these photographs in the late 1980's and have since lost them. If anyone recognises the players, please let me know so that I can put names to the faces.

In the 20 years since I shot these photos, most of these old players have since left the stage and younger players with more enthusiasm and far less history have taken their place. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to capture these images when so many of these characters were still being played by performers who had been doing the roles for decades.

I'll be posting the complete series after they appear on the front page of this website in the Virtual Gallery and putting a photographer's note in the Photo Blog.

Carnival: Two chips forward, three steps back

Trinidad Guardian editorial about the reconstructed Savannah stage

Birthday greetings from Facebook friends

Facebook friends redefine the birthday experience.

Notes on Hyper-V

More notes from a presentation on Microsoft's new Hyper-V server technology.
Read the BitDepth story on the event here...

Managing Mac clutter

Messy desktop? These tools can hide it, if not tidy it. Read More...

Handmade cooling

The rig I made to cool off a hot notebook... Read More...

Mac Backup

Software can make backup less of a chore.

Updating the modern Mac

Running system updates on Mac OS X can be tricky business. Read More...

FTP on the Mac

If you need an FTP client, you’ll find many useful choices available for the Mac. Choosing the right one is a matter of matching need to software. Read More...

Secrets of the word warrior

Every warrior has a secret weapon sheathed in a secret personal space on his person. SpellCatcher and Grammarian are the hidden shoe knives I unleash on my words before releasing them into the world. Read More...

Image editors for the Mac

Need to do more with photos than iPhoto's tools offer? Scared of Photoshop's price tag? There's a lot of good stuff in-between. Read More...

The skinny on the Air

The MacBook Air is slim and sexy, but is it enough laptop? Read More...

Scaling down, moving up

Why a smaller, cheaper laptop made sense...