QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded


I'm almost done with my tags plugin, but I can't focus any more today. I'm up to the tedious build template parts to display stuff part of it. I've had to patch blosxom again to get it to work how I feel like it should; this time just moving code around to ensure &$interpolate is defined earlier. Then I have to start tagging posts. So not today.

Today let's talk about Reuters. In Simon Winchester's Krakatoa, he makes the point that Reuters was (if not the first), the first successful wire service. They paid informants in towns near telegraph stations to "wire" in interesting stories, and then Reuters could make money off having the stories first. This was happening in the mid-to-late 1800s, when long distance telegraph was really novel.

I read the news at a number of sites regularly, and Reuters is one of my usual choices. Even today, Reuters seems to have reporters and stringers in many more places than other outfits. They had two of theirs arrested in 2017 in Myanmar over Rohinga reporting. Nobody else seemed to have regular reporters there.

Stringers (reporters and photojournalists paid by the piece but not staff) all over the world helps them regularly have great selections of photos, some newsy, some just interesting. Here's a selection of some from the past few weeks.

Houses in La Rinconada, Peru

Meet the Women who Scavenge for Gold at the Top of the World. Men in this town practice "artisanal" (small scale, usually mercury purified) mining. Women glean through the tailings looking for what was missed. If you look closely, you can see this is a color photo.

International Women's Day
march in Karachi

With photos from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Istanbul, Turkey; Karachi, Pakistan (pictured); Madrid, Spain; Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; and elsewhere, you really get a feel for the International part of International Women's Day. Women commandos carring guns, but not showing their faces is such an odd sight.

Window at an Omsk recycling

How to Survive a Siberian Winter with No Home. For keeping warm at night, people camp near industrial heating pipes. For money they scavenge for paid recyclable materials. I have a small number of homeless I chat with regularly. Street life in San Francisco is bad. In Omsk, it's terrible. The framing of this woman's face really grabs me.