Arbeit Macht Frei - Work Will Set You Free - a sign you see as you enter Auschwitz.

From Virginia to Auschwitz

On July 24th, 1912, the first International Conference on Eugenics was held in London[1]. A veritable who’s who attended – from Winston Churchill to Alexander Graham Bell, to the famed author, H. G. Wells, who staunchly supported the “sterilization of failures” versus the selective breeding of the successes, to enable a fitter race. There were […]

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Climbing the steps up Kotor fort with a view of Kotor Bay sprawling below us, Montenegro.

A Case for Uber (or Lyft)

It was 4:00 pm in New York on a muggy August Friday afternoon in 2014. I had a flight to catch later that evening from JFK back to San Francisco after spending a week at our NYC offices. I was standing in front of Chelsea Market amidst a sea of yellow cabs in Brownian motion […]

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Swans, near the Kafka museum along the banks of the Vltava, with the Charles Bridge in the backdrop, Prague, Czech

An Ode to the Fuji X-T20

Well, this is not an ode exactly – my lyrical leanings aren’t anything to write about. But I felt like waxing poetic nonetheless about the newest acquisition in the Rowdy Planet camera gear arsenal. A few months ago, we purchased the sepctacular Fuji X-T20 – the younger sibling of the better known Fuji X-T2. In […]

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Boy and pigeons against the backdrop of Sebilj, Baščaršija, Sarajevo

Sarajevo Rose

It was 1993. Our dorm in India had just installed a 10 foot satellite dish to catch the US cable channels and it was welcome change from the 1.5 channels of State run Doordarshan and it’s melancholia. CNN had just become the most popular channel to turn on 24×7 because of it’s coverage of the Persian […]

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De Adriaan Windmill in the town of Haarlem in the Netherlands (Holland) at dusk.

Camera cost and Sensor performance (or, which camera should you buy)

So, how much should you pay for your camera? And the related question of, which camera should you get? Is this new camera worth the upgrade? Where does the “bang for the buck” equation stop making sense? These questions have plagued many a photographer for eons, and doesn’t leave anyone immune – novices and professionals have all […]

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Sunset across the old town and city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia

An Austro-Hungarian State of Mind

Our experience with Ottoman (Turkish) flags in Bosnia left us a little curious about the leanings of the people of Croatia and other Yugoslav states. Were people happier in modern day states? Did they prefer the erstwhile state of Yugoslavia? Or, like their Bosnian counterparts, did they prefer an entirely different era? We had a […]

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Sign of "Don't Forget", a carpet and souvenir vendor in Mostar

An Ottoman State of Mind

The tourist season had not begun yet in Mostar, and there were a sprinkling of mostly eastern European tourists getting a head start on their vacation. As we were wandering around the Kriva Cuprija, or the crooked bridge – that looks like a replica of Stari Most but did survive the bombings of the Yugoslav […]

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A triple arch in the medieval city of Trogir, Croatia

A Day in Trogir, Croatia

Trogir, about an hour north of Split in Croatia, is a quintessential medieval town sitting on a small island in the Adriatic Sea. Connected by short bridges from the mainland, it almost feels as if Trogir sits on the banks of a large river, and not as an island. Trogir can be visited leisurely in […]

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Diamond ring just when Totality ended. Time to put glasses pack on.

A diamond is for a Moment

A few years ago, we drove 4 hours to Chico, California, to witness our first (technically, second, but I was too young to remember the first one) solar eclipse. That was an annular – where the Moon does align completely with the Sun, but it is a little closer to the Earth, resulting in a […]

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Town of Perast along the Bay of Kotor, at dusk

Marketing in Paradise

What do you sell when you are already in Paradise? As we crossed over the dry high plateau that covered most of the Republic of Srpska into Montenegro, all we encountered was an hour long wait, with none of the smart talk that we had experienced while entering Bosnia, even though our own President had […]

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The Ottoman Old Bridge (or Star Most) across the Neretva River in Mostar

Welcome to Bosnia, Mr. Trump

We left the hip town of Split quite early in the morning, and hurriedly drove to the Croatia-Bosnia border. I wanted to cross the border, drive through the town of Pocitelj and reach Mostar well before sundown. It was as if I was planning to enter the battle-ridden town of Mosul instead of the gem […]

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