Category Archives: Random Thoughts, Observations and Weird Stuff

When Madagascar played host to NASA

If you drive down the highway about 32 km southwest of Antananarivo, you may be surprised to see a giant white satellite dish next to some abandoned buildings not far from the road.  This is a relic of the American … Continue reading

Posted in Aerial photography/videography, Madagascar, Random Thoughts, Observations and Weird Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Wonder What Mrs. Mangelly Would Say Now

Way back in 1977 – I was about 10 at the time – I wanted to learn the piano. But we had to be concerned with something called a “weight allowance” – the maximum weight the US government will agree … Continue reading

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Hark!! The Breadman Cometh

Every afternoon until well into the evening, at approximately half-hour intervals, you can hear an odd whistling sound loop in the village where we are staying, just outside of Weligama, at the southern tip of Sri Lanka. At first I … Continue reading

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Confessions of an EBay Junkie

This is what sixty bucks worth of junk looks like: OK, so I admit, I have a problem.  I like to go on eBay and type “vintage camera” into the search bar and see what comes up.  And I sort … Continue reading

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Thousands of bugs were bubbling up out of the ground…you’ll never guess what happened next!

On the grounds of a posh Himalayan resort – where the monkeys are normally kept at bay by G4S guards carrying long sticks – thousands of winged insects were bubbling up from the ground – seemingly from nowhere – and … Continue reading

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Backyard Aquaponics Project

A few years ago, my daughter wanted a fishtank for Christmas, which was cool for everyone because we all got to enjoy it in the living room.  We kept live plants with the fish, and I noticed at the time … Continue reading

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Drones, Kingfishers, and Joey Cook’s Ukulele

Goa, India’s diminutive state on the west coast, enjoys a certain reputation as a party destination, full of backpackers and bikinis, in search of yoga or outdoor sports.  But it also has its wildlife – especially birds. I wrote about … Continue reading

Posted in Music for Video, Random Thoughts, Observations and Weird Stuff, Wildlife and Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Hidden Power of Gummy Bears

I am a clumsy person, unsuited for any sport that involves any sort of stick, ball or other implement.  Running after a ball with a stick would pretty much be a guaranteed serious injury.  My peers in elementary school gym … Continue reading

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Project Underwood: Typewriter Restoration

One evening about a year ago, my (younger) daughter and I were checking out typewriters on eBay.  We share an interest in “retro” machines (this is how my camera craze started, and her last Christmas present was a record player), … Continue reading

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What do our TV ads say about us?

70 or 80 years from now, what will people think of us when they see the television commercials that we use to sell products to each other?  If attitudes shift as much as they have over the last 70 to … Continue reading

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Make Your Own 3-D Camera!

I was checking out the latest copy of Photo-Era Magazine (the latest I own, anyway) – dated April, 1929 – here’s the cover: It’s chock full of interesting articles on photography – and ads for the latest cameras, including this … Continue reading

Posted in Random Thoughts, Observations and Weird Stuff, Tips and Tricks, Vintage cameras | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating Five Years of TAZM Pictures

On the occasion of TAZM Pictures celebrating five years on the web, I thought you might be a bit more forgiving as I write a more self-indulgent post (wait, aren’t they all self-indulgent?). tazmpictures dot com….but why make a website? … Continue reading

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Hack Your Brain: Mrs. McKinley in 3D

I have an old Holmes stereoscope that dates from around 1900 or so.  What’s a stereoscope?  It’s a device that allowed you to look at two side-by-side photographs in such a way that the image appeared to be in 3 … Continue reading

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A Story Behind Every Picture

They say every picture is worth 1,000 words.   In the best case, a good picture tells a story.  Sometimes the picture itself is the story.  This is one of the cool things about photography. Take the photo below, for … Continue reading

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Two Towers, Two Cameras, Two Views on Photography

Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers make interesting photographic subjects – not because they are the tallest twin buildings in the world, but because of their shape and the textures and patterns on the outside of the building.  At night, they are lit … Continue reading

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Flashback: Vintage Kodak Commercials

If you’ve been wallowing in depression over the demise of Kodak, here are a few vintage films to cheer you up. First, there’s “America is Cameraland” – a 1960 infomercial (yes, they had those even then) that plays up the … Continue reading

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From the Township to the Championship: The Amazing Story Behind One Photo

This is Sofia Simon, a fifteen-year-old, in Giza, Egypt.  She’s on a layover in Cairo, on her way to compete in the World Biathle Championships in Cyprus.  Never heard of biathle?  Eighteen months ago, neither had Sofia.  Eighteen months ago, … Continue reading

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Crater Lake and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I just finished “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” – probably the only person to have never read this book.  The characters follow almost the exact same route through Oregon and northern California as we did on our very … Continue reading

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Is There Really Such a Thing as Too Many Cameras?

I was very excited to get a package this week containing twelve new old junk vintage cameras, bringing the size of my collection to around fifty.  Here are the new arrivals: And (changing subjects briefly, but I’ll come back to … Continue reading

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Reflecting on Afghanistan, 2006

Today, September 11, was a day of service to the local community.  A group of Americans and Indians did some cleanup, painting, and entertaining of children at a local school for the mentally handicapped.  The idea was to get out … Continue reading

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Afghanistan: The Power of Photography

Free and open media are at the heart of maintaining a free and democratic state.  This is especially applicable to photojournalism, due to the power of photographs to convey emotion and meaning often eluding other media forms.  This was a … Continue reading

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The Mars Reality Show Has Begun!

If you haven’t heard about the private-sector “Mars One” project to colonize Mars, you should check it out – I posted about it back in April.    The project envisions being largely financed by the proceeds of a reality show … Continue reading

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Southern SuburbIndia: Kolams and Cows

Every morning, all across southern India, millions of women wake up at sunrise to draw what’s known as a “kolam” at the entrance to their home.  Kolams are geometric designs hand “drawn” by sprinkling rice flour (or in some cases … Continue reading

Posted in Life in India, Random Thoughts, Observations and Weird Stuff | 4 Comments

Boys Beware: Views on Homosexuality in 1961

For a change from the standard fare offered on YouTube, it’s fun to stop by occasionally at the Prelinger Archives, a diverse collection of thousands of preserved films from the ages, all available for download in the public domain.  In … Continue reading

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Silly AFN Commercials

If you’ve had the pleasure of watching the Armed Forces Network which is produced for U.S. military and many other categories of government employees serving overseas, you’ll remember those irritating commercials.  After you’ve been without AFN for awhile, according to … Continue reading

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