Archive | February, 2011

35 years after the fall: The Vietnam War in picture

28 Feb
U.S. military action in Vietnam was a piece in the global Cold War struggle. After Vietnamese nationalists overthrew French colonialists in the 1950s, the country was divided between the Communist north and the anti-Communist south. In the ensuing conflict, Washington backed the south, fearing that a Communist takeover could cascade through Southeast Asia. The first U.S. forces engaged in the conflict in secret, by way of Cambodia. As the civil war intensified in the 1960s, the United States expanded its operations in the region, deploying some 3 million American troops over time, but U.S. forces struggled to gain ground as they fought in difficult and unfamiliar terrain against extremely capable in guerrilla fighters. As the war dragged on and casualties mounted, opposition to the war exploded. By the time American forces withdrew in 1975 and Saigon fell to Ho Chi Minh’s Communists, 58,000 Americans and between 1 million and 2 million Vietnamese had died. It was the longest war in U.S. history and the most unpopular American war of the 20th century. In this 1965 photo, paratroopers cross a river in the rain near Ben Cat, in the south.

The South Vietnamese regime backed by the United States in the early days of the conflict was notoriously corrupt and authoritarian. President Ngo Dinh Diem, who was part of the Catholic minority, populated his government and military with Catholics, fomenting widespread unrest among the country’s Buddhist majority. In this image taken June 11, 1963, Buddhist monk Quang Duc burns himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection to protest persecution of Buddhists. The picture came to represent the failure of the Diem regime and a growing public relations problem for the U.S. Several months later, Diem was overthrown, executed and buried in an unmarked grave.

Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in March 1965. The troops were moving to attack a Viet Cong camp northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border.

A Vietnamese man holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle near the Cambodian border on March 19, 1964.

An unidentified U.S. Army soldier sports the slogan “War Is Hell” on his helmet in Vietnam on June 18, 1965.

A South Vietnamese soldier beats a farmer with the blunt end of a knife for allegedly supplying inaccurate information about the movement of Viet Cong guerrillas in a village west of Saigon. Jan. 9, 1964.

U.S. Marines emerge from their muddy foxholes at sunrise after a third night of attacks by North Vietnamese troops on Sept. 21, 1966.

The body of an American paratrooper killed in action near the Cambodian border is raised to an evacuation helicopter in Vietnam in 1966. More than 58,000 Americans were killed and 350,000 wounded in the war.

Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire at Bao Trai, about 20 miles west of Saigon on Jan. 1, 1966.

Wounded Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie is led past stricken comrades after a fierce firefight for control of Hill 484 south of Vietnam’s demilitarized zone in 1966.

U.S. Army helicopters providing support for ground troops fly into a staging area 50 miles northeast of Saigon in South Vietnam in 1966.

U.S. Army medic James E. Callahan of Pittsfield, Mass., tends to a seriously wounded soldier north of Saigon in June 1967.

American infantrymen crowd into a mud-filled bomb crater and look up at tall jungle trees seeking out Viet Cong snipers firing at them during a battle in Phuoc Vinh, north-northeast of Saigon on June 15, 1967.

A soldier of the U.S. Seventh Marines carries a puppy in his pocket after rescuing it during an operation southwest of Da Nang in Vietnam on Jan. 22, 1968.

A South Vietnamese woman mourns over the body of her husband, found with 47 others in a mass grave near Hue in April 1969.

South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police, shoots suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem, also known as Bay Lop, on a Saigon street on Feb. 1, 1968.

In his first year in office, President Richard Nixon speaks with U.S. soldiers during a surprise visit to South Vietnam on July 30, 1969. After coming to office that January, Nixon escalated the war. But he later negotiated a ceasefire with North Vietnam that led to the American withdrawal.

Nine-year-old Kim Phuc, center, runs down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam, after an aerial napalm attack on June 8, 1972.

U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon on April 29, 1975.

A South Vietnamese mother and her three children on the deck of an amphibious command ship being after being airlifted out of Saigon by U.S. Marine helicopters on April 29, 1975.

A North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gate of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, marking the fall of South Vietnam to Communist forces on April 30, 1975. Saigon was rennamed Ho Chi Minh City, and the country was unified under Communist rule.


Discotheques Of The 1960s

28 Feb

The 1960s discotheques of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles (as well as the boutique inside of Cheetah Nightclub in NYC). The last photo shows an early Velvet Underground performance, complete with colored gels and projections of Andy Warhol films.

Racing with Harley Davidson

26 Feb

Unseen World War II Photos

26 Feb

World War II photos taken in the former USSR during World War II on the occupied territories. These are photos from family archives posted online by grandchildren of those who took part in the war: the authors of most of them remain unknown. Some of the photos belong to the Soviet journalists: Dmitri Baltermants and Vladimir Lupejko. The photographs are cruel and shocking, but they should teach us about life and how precious it is. We are all equals during our short life on this planet and all nations should embrace others and cease all conflicts. For the better future of our children, may the history never repeat itself.

Old Photos of the First Generation Of Computers

24 Feb

Computers, and technology in general, have come a long way in today’s world. The modern world is actually shaped and defined through the usage of computers, those neat little gadgets that do the hard work for you. Modern computers are also perfectly capable of entertaining, organizing, reminding, even surprising you. That wasn’t always the case. Here is glimpse of the history of computers and their humble beginnings. These computers may not have been as powerful as modern computers, but they’re old black and white photos are intriguing nevertheless. If for no other reason, then because those old computers were capable of filling a whole room with their robust circuitry. Enjoy these old photos of the first generation of computers.

AVIDAC, Argonne’s first digital computer, began operation in January 1953. It was built by the Physics Division for $250,000. Pictured is pioneer Argonne computer scientist Jean F. Hall.
A press conference for what is considered the first computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC), was held at the University of Pennsylvania on February 1, 1946. The machine (shown here with a technician) took up an entire room, weighed 30 tons and used more than 18,000 vacuum tubes to perform functions such as counting to 5,000 in one second. ENIAC, costing $450,000, was designed by the U.S. Army during World War II to make artillery calculations. The development of ENIAC paved the way for modern computer technology–but even today’s average calculator possesses more computing power than ENIAC did.

The first ever computer in Latvia was developed and made at the start-up Institute of Electronics and Computer Science in early sixties. No computers were made industrially in USSR at that time. Therefore successful completion of that project certainly represented a significant achievement. Built on a lot of vacuum tubes, the computer actually worked well and was used for supporting research activities for several years till the time when it became possible to replace it by a more powerful industrially made computer.
The CSIRAC was Australia’s first computer. The name stands for CSIR originally stood for “Council for Scientific and Industrial Research”. This name was in effect from 1926 to 1949.
A man and woman working at a Ferranti Pegasus computer. This computer was a classic 1950s/1960s mainframe installation, taking up the majority of space in a room.
The computer history at NTNU is much older than the computer departments. The very first computer at NTNU was called DIANA, or DIfferential ANAlysator. This was an analog electronic computer built by Jens Glad Balchen and the Division of Cybernetics in the years between 1952 and 1955.
Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA. A computer manufacturer founded in 1970 by Dr. Gene Amdahl, chief architect of the IBM System/360. In 1975, Amdahl installed its first IBM-compatible mainframe, the 470/V6. In 1979, Amdahl left the company he founded to form Trilogy, which tried without success to make the world’s largest chip based on wafer scale integration.
First ever apple computer running windows. This is an Apple II with a monochrome screen and PC emulator hardware installed. The board was called the 88 Card, “the only fully functional 8088 processor for the Apple II personcal computer.
First hard disk The rotating drum technology allowed ERA to deliver the world’s first production stored-program computer (ATLAS – ERA 1101) to a customer site in October 1950. The engineers making the installation delivery to the National Security Agency predecessor were Frank Mullaney and Jack Hill. As shown in the photo below, these drum products came in various sizes. They were first used in several classified processors, then in the early 1100 computer series and the UNIVAC SS-80 and SS-90 computers. Dr. Cohen and Sid Rubens are credited with patenting the rotating magnetic drum. The drum development engineers and management shown in this early 50’s photo, left to right are: William Keye, Arnold Hendrickson, Robert Perking, Frank Mullaney, Dr. Arnold Cohen, and John ‘Jack’ Hill.

IBM 701. IBM’s first computer. Introduced in 1952, the 701 was designed for scientific work and research, which later led to the development of the high-level FORTRAN language. Nineteen machines were built, a record volume for such a machine in that era. Its internal memory contained 2,048 36-bit words of electrostatic memory and 8,192 words of magnetic drum memory (see early memories). It used magnetic tapes for storage and was one of the first machines to use plastic-based tapes instead of metal tapes. See IBM 650 and IBM 1401. At General Electric’s Aircraft Jet Engine Plant in Evendale, Ohio, this 1954 photo shows GE manager Herbert Grosch explaining the 701 to Ronald Reagan. Reagan was a TV personality for GE at the time. (Image courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation. Unauthorized use not permitted.)

Ulica knez Mihailova (Prince Michael Street)

23 Feb

Prince Michael Street (Serbian: Улица кнез Михаилова; Ulica knez Mihailova) is the main walking street in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is a pedestrian zone and shopping center, protected by law as one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks of the city. It has a large number of impressive buildings and mansions built at the end of the 1870s.

Prince Michael Street was declared Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.

Romeo and Juliet

22 Feb