Archive for August, 2009

Burma VJ; I recommend.

August 12, 2009

Burma VJ is a documentary by Anders Østergaard about the 2007 popular uprising in Myanmar.  Although the Myanmar government strictly prohibits journalism, a group called the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) covertly captured and smuggled video to international news outlets including BBC and NBC.  This film uses DVB’s media to tell the story of the September 2007 revolt, in which 10,000+ monks protested in the streets.  This film makes it abundantly clear that international awareness of Myanmar’s situation relies on the brave actions of a few dozen (or less) reporters.

The film stitches together high-def video, low-def cellphone imagery, and audio recorded on any number of devices.  On several occasions, the footage comes from cameras hidden inside gym bags and purses: the scene opens with blurry images inside a purse, we hear a zipper, a flap opens, and then we see thousands of monks marching and chanting through the streets of Rangoon.

After watching this film, it’s not surprising to read today’s headline that Noble Peace Prize winner Aang Suu Kyi will be kept under house arrest.  It’s also not difficult to draw parallels between Myanmar’s 2007 uprising and Iran’s recent protests; in both cases, the military won.


notes on South Sister circumnavigation

August 9, 2009

This weekend, I circumnavigated the South Sister with L.L. and E.F.  You can view my Flickr media (click here).

Our route combined a mix of trails and cross-country travel, and roughly followed the path shown on the Traditional Mountaineering website.  In summary, we started at the Devil’s Lake trailhead and hiked across the Wikiup Plain to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  We traveled north on the PCT until Separation Creek; from here, we trekked cross-country upstream to the ridge connecting South Sister and Middle Sister.  We traversed over the moraines surrounding Chambers Lakes, and descended on a rough climbers trail to Camp Lake.  We bivvy-camped on a ridge above Camp Lake.  In the morning, we traversed cross-country along the east shoulders of South Sister and joined the trail north of Green Lakes.  After a short break at Green Lakes, we followed the trail to the Green Lakes trailhead and then walked along the road to return to our car  at the Devil’s Lake trailead.

Overall, the route was straightforward.  The cross-country section south of Camp Lake provided some (fun) navigational challenges, but I don’t think it was particularly dangerous.  Here is a map (linked from the Traditional Mountaineering website):

2009 Whiteaker Block Party ’twas awesome

August 1, 2009

I just returned from the third annual Whiteaker Block Party; I’m glowing from the happiness of the crowd, and my legs are sore from dancing nonstop for hours.  You can check-out my Flickr media by clicking here.