Photo of Old Days


Boston has a rich history of markets. In 1634 the town voted to establish a market at the site of the Old State House. According to Governor John Winthrop’s journal, the market was located there because it was the center of all that was important — the church, the meeting house, the public pillory, and the whipping post. — Thea Breite and Lisa Tuite

July 20 1933 / fromthearchive / Boston Globe Archive photo / Buyers with their horse teams and trucks waited for the whistle indicating the big terminal market was open. The big terminal market by the train tracks in South Boston opened at 6 a.m. . A blackboard chart told buyers just what was available, how many cars of cucumbers, how many of beans, were on hand.<br /><br />

July 20, 1933: Buyers with their horse teams and trucks waited for the whistle indicating that the big terminal market was open. The big terminal market by the train tracks in South Boston opened at 6 a.m. A blackboard chart told buyers just what was available, how many cars of cucumbers, how many of beans, were on hand.

October 5 1933 / fromthearchive / Globe Archive photo / Commerce at the farmer's market scene at the foot of State street. Farmers could sell their produce in the public market place from midnight until 11 a.m. under a law passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1859.<br /><br />

Oct. 5, 1933: Commerce at the farmer’s market scene at the foot of State Street. Farmers could sell their produce in the public marketplace from midnight until 11 a.m. under a law passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1859.

1936 / fromthearchive / Globe Archive photo / North End pushcart vendors could sell you ten different varieties of bologna, as well as a wide selection of cheeses and vegetables.<br /><br />

1936: North End pushcart vendors could sell you 10 different varieties of bologna, as well as a wide selection of cheeses and vegetables.

1953 / fromthearchive / Globe Staff photo by Harry Holbrook / A crowded market district. While most of the advertising was for businesses long gone from the Boston scene, a Union Oyster House truck be seen in the middle left. Opened in 1826, it is Boston's oldest restaurant still in business today.<br /><br />

1953: A crowded market district. While most of the advertising was for businesses long gone from the Boston scene, a Union Oyster House truck can be seen in the middle left. Opened in 1826, the Union Oyster House is Boston’s oldest restaurant still in business today.

May 21 1963 / fromthearchive / Globe Staff photo by Paul J. Connell / Men whiled away the time playing cards between customers at a North End market on Salem street.<br /><br />

May 21, 1963: Men whiled away the time playing cards between customers at a North End market on Salem Street.

November 10 1967 / fromthearchive / Globe Staff photo by Joyce Dopkeen / Lots of choices at the Haymarket Square meat market for Mrs. Olive DeClements of Roxbury with her daughter, Kim Marie, 15 months old.<br /><br />

Nov. 10, 1967: Lots of choices at the Haymarket Square meat market for Olive DeClements of Roxbury with her daughter, Kim Marie, 15 months old.

May 23 1967 / fromthearchive / Globe Staff photo by Ted Dully / A long view of the activity at Quincy Market. The wholesalers who had set up shop around Faneuil Hall for generations, were closing up and moving into new wholesale and distributing facilities in Chelsea and Everett. Meat and poultry businesses were relocated to South Bay.<br /><br />

May 23, 1967: A long view of the activity at Quincy Market. The wholesalers who had set up shop around Faneuil Hall for generations were closing and moving into new wholesale and distributing facilities in Chelsea and Everett. Meat and poultry businesses were relocated to South Bay.

May 18 1973 / fromthearchive / Globe Staff photo by Charles Dixon / While one of his customers put an oyster to the taste test, vendor Joe Judge (wearing beret) sold some boiled crabs to another on a busy afternoon in Boston's Faneuil Hall market district.<br /><br />

May 18, 1973: While one of his customers put an oyster to the taste test, vendor Joe Judge (wearing beret) sold some boiled crabs to another on a busy afternoon in Boston’s Faneuil Hall market district.

 August 7 1973 / fromthearchive / Globe Staff photo by Ted Dully / It was a hot day - the kind of day one would expect to sell lots of watermelon - but vendor Cosmos Neridella and his young assistant, Randy Ulness, 9, both of Somerville, managed to sneak in a little shuteye at their watermelon stand at the Faneuil Hall market.<br /><br />

Aug. 7, 1973: It was a hot day — the kind of day one would expect to sell lots of watermelon — but vendor Cosmos Neridella and his young assistant, Randy Ulness, 9, both of Somerville, managed to sneak in a little shuteye at their watermelon stand at the Faneuil Hall market.

 

* BOSTON GLOBE ARCHIVE, July 2014

The first permanent British settlers in North America turned to cannibalism to survive harsh conditions, finds an analysis of human remains with sharp cuts and chopping blows.

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Excavated last year from a dump at James Fort in Jamestown, Va., the fragmented remains belonged to a 14-year-old girl and date back to the “starving time” winter of 1609-1610, when three-quarters of the colonists died.

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Found with several butchered horse and dog bones, the skeletal remains — a tibia (shin bone) and a skull — featured a series of marks that provide grisly evidence of the dead girl becoming food for the starving colonists.

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The researchers were first struck by four shallow chops to the forehead which indicate a hesitant, failed attempt to open the skull.

“The bone fragments have unusually patterned cuts and chops that reflect tentativeness, trial and complete lack of experience in butchering animal remains,” Doug Owsley, a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., said in a statement.

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“Nevertheless, the clear intent was to dismember the body, removing the brain and flesh from the face for consumption,” he added.

Arrival of wives for the settlers at colonial Jamestown Virginia

At last the attempt succeed. A series of deep, forceful chops from a small hatchet or cleaver to the back of the head split the skull open. Flesh was removed from the face and throat using a knife, as sharp cuts and punctures marking the sides and bottom of the mandible, reveal.

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The highly fragmented skeleton did not allow the researchers to establish the cause of death of the girl, although a combination of digital and medical technologies made it possible to reconstruct her likeness.

The research team has named her “Jane.”

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Based on the anthropological evidence of her diet and the archaeological layer where her remains were found, Owsley and colleagues believe “Jane” arrived in Jamestown in August 1609, just months before the deadly “starving time” had begun.

According to Jim Horn, Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president of research and historical interpretation and an expert on Jamestown history, the “starving time” was brought about by a series of disasters that struck the community two years after it was established in 1607. These included disease, a serious shortage of provisions, and the siege of the native tribes Powhatan.

“Survival cannibalism was a last resort; a desperate means of prolonging life at a time when the settlement teetered on the brink of extinction,” Horn said.

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Of about 300 English settlers living at James Fort in the winter of 1609, only about 60 survived to the spring.

The researchers believe it’s likely that Jane wasn’t a lone case and several other dead bodies were cannibalized.

Indeed, numerous account describing cannibalism surfaced among the survivors soon afterward Lord De La Warr saved Jamestown by sailing into the settlement with food and new colonists.

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The facial reconstruction of Jane will be on display on May 3 at the exhibition “Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake” in the National Museum of Natural History.

 

*  Text BY ROSSELLA LORENZI, MAY 1, 2013

Sergey Brin, a Google founder, takes issue with people who say Google has failed to gain a foothold in social networking. Google has had successes, he often says, especially with Orkut, the dominant service in Brazil and India.

Mr. Brin may soon have to revise his answer.

Facebook, the social network service that started in a Harvard dorm room just six years ago, is growing at a dizzying rate around the globe, surging to nearly 500 million users, from 200 million users just 15 months ago.


It is pulling even with Orkut in India, where only a year ago, Orkut was more than twice as large as Facebook. In the last year, Facebook has grown eightfold, to eight million users, in Brazil, where Orkut has 28 million.


In country after country, Facebook is cementing itself as the leader and often displacing other social networks, much as it outflanked MySpace in the United States. In Britain, for example, Facebook made the formerly popular Bebo all but irrelevant, forcing AOL to sell the site at a huge loss two years after it bought it for $850 million. In Germany, Facebook surpassed StudiVZ, which until February was the dominant social network there.

With his typical self-confidence, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 26-year-old chief executive, recently said it was “almost guaranteed” that the company would reach a billion users.


Though he did not say when it would reach that mark, the prediction was not greeted with the skepticism that had met his previous boasts of fast growth.
“They have been more innovative than any other social network, and they are going to continue to grow,” said Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst with the Altimeter Group. “Facebook wants to be ubiquitous, and they are being successful for now.”


The rapid ascent of Facebook has no company more worried than Google, which sees the social networking giant as a threat on multiple fronts. Much of the activity on Facebook is invisible to Google’s search engine, which makes it less useful over time. What’s more, the billions of links posted by users on Facebook have turned the social network into an important driver of users to sites across the Web. That has been Google’s role.


Google has tried time and again to break into social networking not only with Orkut, but also with user profiles, with an industrywide initiative called OpenSocial, and, most recently, with Buzz, a social network that mixes elements of Facebook and Twitter with Gmail. But none of those initiatives have made a dent in Facebook.


Google is said to be trying again with a secret project for a service called Google Me, according to several reports. Google declined to comment for this article.
Google makes its money from advertising, and even here, Facebook poses a challenge.


“There is nothing more threatening to Google than a company that has 500 million subscribers and knows a lot about them and places targeted advertisements in front of them,” said Todd Dagres, a partner at Spark Capital, a venture firm that has invested in Twitter and other social networking companies. “For every second that people are on Facebook and for every ad that Facebook puts in front of their face, it is one less second they are on Google and one less ad that Google puts in front of their face.”


With nearly two-thirds of all Internet users in the United States signed up on Facebook, the company has focused on international expansion.
Just over two years ago, Facebook was available only in English. Still, nearly half of its users were outside the United States, and its presence was particularly strong in Britain, Australia and other English-speaking countries.


The task of expanding the site overseas fell on Javier Olivan, a 33-year-old Spaniard who joined Facebook three years ago, when the site had 30 million users. Mr. Olivan led an innovative effort by Facebook to have its users translate the site into more than 80 languages. Other Web sites and technology companies, notably Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, had used volunteers to translate their sites or programs.


But with 300,000 words on Facebook’s site — not counting material posted by users — the task was immense. Facebook not only encouraged users to translate parts of the site, but also let other users fine-tune those translations or pick among multiple translations. Nearly 300,000 users participated.

“Nobody had done it at the scale that we were doing it,” Mr. Olivan said.
The effort paid off. Now about 70 percent of Facebook’s users are outside the United States. And while the number of users in the United States doubled in the last year, to 123 million, according to comScore, the number more than tripled in Mexico, to 11 million, and it more than quadrupled in Germany, to 19 million.


With every new translation, Facebook pushed into a new country or region, and its spread often mirrored the ties between nations or the movement of people across borders. After becoming popular in Italy, for example, Facebook spread to the Italian-speaking portions of Switzerland. But in German-speaking areas of Switzerland, adoption of Facebook lagged. When Facebook began to gain momentum in Brazil, the activity was most intense in southern parts of the country that border on neighboring Argentina, where Facebook was already popular.
“It’s a mapping of the real world,” Mr. Olivan said.


Facebook is not popular everywhere. The Web site is largely blocked in China. And with fewer than a million users each in Japan, South Korea and Russia, it lags far behind home-grown social networks in those major markets.


Mr. Olivan, who leads a team of just 12 people, hopes to change that. Facebook recently sent some of its best engineers to a new office in Tokyo, where they are working to fine-tune searches so they work with all three Japanese scripts. In South Korea, as well as in Japan, where users post to their social networks on mobile phones more than on PCs, the company is working with network operators to ensure distribution of its service.


Industry insiders say that, most of all, Facebook is benefiting from a cycle where success breeds more success. In particular, its growing revenue, estimated at $1 billion annually, allows the company to invest in improving its product and keep competitors at bay.


“I think that Facebook is winning for two reasons,” said Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a board member of Zynga, the maker of popular Facebook games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Mr. Gordon said that Facebook had hired some of the best engineers in Silicon Valley, and he said that the company’s strategy to create a platform for other software developers had played a critical role.
“They have opened up a platform, and they have the best apps on that platform,” Mr. Gordon said.


With Facebook’s social networking lead growing, it is not clear whether Google, or any other company, will succeed in derailing its march forward.
Says Danny Sullivan, the editor of Search Engine Land, an industry blog, “Google can’t even get to the first base of social networks, which is people interacting with each other, much less to second or third base, which is people interacting with each other through games and applications.”


By MIGUEL HELFT (NYT. July 7, 2010)

In May 1974, three months after his dramatic expulsion from the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn entered on a search for a place to live in North America. The search ended in Cavendish, Vt., but the first stop was at our summer place on a lake here in Quebec where Solzhenitsyn wanted to continue the long talks he had begun earlier in Zurich with my father, the Rev. Alexander Schmemann, a Russian Orthodox theologian and historian.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning author who chronicled the horrors of the Soviet gulag system, died on Sunday. He was 89. Left, in 2007, Mr. Solzhenitsyn received the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin at his home outside Moscow. Photo: Ria Novosti/Reuters

I was thrilled to be there. Solzhenitsyn was a giant among the heroic dissidents in the Soviet Union, and his saga was a defining episode in the decline of the Communist tyranny. The appearance of “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” in the journal Novy Mir on Nov. 20, 1962, opened the window into the Stalinist camps and demonstrated that the great moral tradition of Russian literature had survived decades of brutal efforts to extirpate it.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn in the 1950s at the Kazakh prison camp that inspired “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.”

Then came “The First Circle,” “The Cancer Ward,” the 1970 Nobel Prize and the monumental “Gulag Archipelago,” revealing the full evil of Stalinism. Finally, there was the furious Soviet assault and the brusque expulsion.

Now here he was in the flesh.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn at a news conference in Zurich, shortly after he was deported in 1974. In exile, he kept writing and thinking a great deal about Russia. Many in the West didn’t know what to make of the man. He was perceived as an undeniably great writer and hero who had been willing to stand up to the leadership of a totalitarian state. Yet he seemed willing to stand up and lash out at everyone else as well — democrats, secularists, capitalists, liberals and consumers. Photo: Bernard Frye/Associated Press

My function was modest; I came to cook and drive. All Solzhenitsyn wanted were potatoes roasted with onions for his meals and a small, inconspicuous car for transport. But the conversations were electrifying: it was as if what Solzhenitsyn wanted from my father was an instant transfer of all the Russian history and ideas that had been denied him in the Soviet state.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn in Germany in 1974, a few days after being deported and stripped of his citizenship. Since the publication of “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s fame had spread throughout the world as he drew upon his experiences of totalitarian duress to write evocative novels like “The First Circle” and “The Cancer Ward” and historical works like “The Gulag Archipelago,” his masterpiece which led to his expulsion from his native land. Photo: Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The talks were interrupted only for BBC Russian-language news, which Solzhenitsyn would rush outdoors to tune in to on a portable shortwave radio. He had lists of questions and took copious notes in a tiny hand — perhaps another legacy of a lifetime of hiding writings and thoughts from “them” — and the conversations continued even on long treks through the countryside. There was still ice on the lake and, as in Russia, only the first hint of green in the woods. Solzhenitsyn said our fields and forests lacked the songbirds of the Russian countryside. This was not Russia.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm four years late in 1974. Photo: UPI

That was always the reference point: Russia. Everything — the conversation, the setting, the food, the writing, the shortwave broadcasts, even the safari-style jacket and the patriarchal beard he wore — was about Russia.

It was his Russia; one in which speaking truth was dangerous and heroic; a great and holy Russia that had to be rescued from an evil and godless power. Joseph Brodsky, another great literary exile, once told me that writing poetry in Russian became difficult for him in America after the language ceased to surround him.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn waved as he got on a train in 1994 in Vladivostok bound for Khabarovsk. Mr. Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia from two decades in exile in 1994, after the fall of the Soviet Union.Photo: Michael Estafiev/European Pressphoto Agency

Solzhenitsyn seemed to fear a similar fate — that any interest or involvement in his new surroundings would dilute his self-imposed, sacred mission of rescuing Russia. He seemed determined to sustain the spirit of moral resistance. In all his years in Vermont, he rarely ventured into the world, and then it was to inveigh against Western immorality, consumerism and decadence in terms that showed little firsthand knowledge.

The next time I saw Solzhenitsyn was 20 years later, when I covered his return to Russia in Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East. He continued to issue moral thunderbolts, now also against the chaotic, new post-Soviet Russia. Perhaps he was right, but his incessant criticism and the naïveté of his exhortations, usually centered on patriotism as the key to Russia’s future, seemed irrelevant to Russians caught up in the post-Communist tumult. The work that he had regarded as the most important of his life, “Red Wheel,” attracted little attention.

At a news conference in Vladivostok in 1994. Upon his return to Russia, Mr. Solzhenitsyn began to voice his pessimism, deploring the crime, corruption, collapsing services, faltering democracy and what he felt to be the spiritual decline of Russia. During his 20 years exile, he never doubted he would be able to return to his homeland. Photo: Michael Estafiev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

It was a sad ending, but also typically Russian. As Solzhenitsyn himself noted in “The First Circle,” the writer is like a second government in a dictatorship. The paradox is that the moral authority gained through prophetic and powerful writing undermines the creativity at its source. Like many great Russian writers, Solzhenitsyn achieved immortality before he became conscious of his power, which then turned into pedantry.

None of that detracts from the paean to the human spirit of “Ivan Denisovich,” the great conflicts of his major novels, or the majestic anger of “Gulag.” To his credit, Solzhenitsyn struggled to the end to maintain the power and purity of these great works.

* By SERGE SCHMEMANN (Editorial NYT; August 5, 2008)

Dith Pran, a photojournalist for The New York Times whose gruesome ordeal in the killing fields of Cambodia was re-created in a 1984 movie that gave him an eminence he tenaciously used to press for his people’s rights, died on Sunday at a hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 65 and lived in Woodbridge, N.J.
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The cause was pancreatic cancer, which had spread, said his friend Sydney H. Schanberg.
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Mr. Dith saw his country descend into a living hell as he scraped and scrambled to survive the barbarous revolutionary regime of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, when as many as two million Cambodians — a third of the population — were killed, experts estimate. Mr. Dith survived through nimbleness, guile and sheer desperation. His credo: Make no move unless there was a 50-50 chance of not being killed.

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He had been a journalistic partner of Mr. Schanberg, a Times correspondent assigned to Southeast Asia. He translated, took notes and pictures, and helped Mr. Schanberg maneuver in a fast-changing milieu. With the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975, Mr. Schanberg was forced from the country, and Mr. Dith became a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian Communists.

Mr. Schanberg wrote about Mr. Dith in newspaper articles and in The New York Times Magazine, in a 1980 cover article titled “The Death and Life of Dith Pran.” (A book by the same title appeared in 1985.) The story became the basis of the movie “The Killing Fields.”

The film, directed by Roland Joffé, showed Mr. Schanberg, played by Sam Waterston, arranging for Mr. Dith’s wife and children to be evacuated from Phnom Penh as danger mounted. Mr. Dith, portrayed by Dr. Haing S. Ngor (who won an Academy Award as best supporting actor), insisted on staying in Cambodia with Mr. Schanberg to keep reporting the news. He believed that his country could be saved only if other countries grasped the gathering tragedy and responded.

A dramatic moment, both in reality and cinematically, came when Mr. Dith saved Mr. Schanberg and other Western journalists from certain execution by talking fast and persuasively to the trigger-happy soldiers who had captured them.

But despite his frantic effort, Mr. Schanberg could not keep Mr. Dith from being sent to the countryside to join millions working as virtual slaves.

Mr. Schanberg returned to the United States and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from Cambodia. He accepted it on behalf of Mr. Dith as well.

For years there was no news of Mr. Dith, except for a false rumor that he had been fed to alligators. His brother had been. After more than four years of beatings, backbreaking labor and a diet of a tablespoon of rice a day, Mr. Dith escaped over the Thai border on Oct. 3, 1979. An overjoyed Mr. Schanberg flew to greet him.

“To all of us who have worked as foreign reporters in frightening places,” Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, said on Sunday, “Pran reminds us of a special category of journalistic heroism — the local partner, the stringer, the interpreter, the driver, the fixer, who knows the ropes, who makes your work possible, who often becomes your friend, who may save your life, who shares little of the glory, and who risks so much more than you do.”

Mr. Dith moved to New York and in 1980 became a photographer for The Times, where he was noted for his imaginative pictures of city scenes and news events. In one, he turned the camera on mourners rather than the coffin to snatch an evocative moment at the funeral of Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger, who was murdered in 1990.

In an e-mail message on Sunday, Mr. Schanberg recalled Mr. Dith’s theory of photojournalism: “You have to be a pineapple. You have to have a hundred eyes.”

“I’m a very lucky man to have had Pran as my reporting partner and even luckier that we came to call each other brother,” Mr. Schanberg said. “His mission with me in Cambodia was to tell the world what suffering his people were going through in a war that was never necessary. It became my mission too. My reporting could not have been done without him.”

Outside The Times, Mr. Dith spoke out about the Cambodian genocide, appearing before student groups and other organizations. “I’m a one-person crusade,” he said.

Dith Pran was born on Sept. 23, 1942, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a provincial town near the ancient temples at Angkor Wat. His father was a public-works official.

Having learned French at school and taught himself English, Mr. Dith was hired as a translator for the United States Military Assistance Command. When Cambodia severed ties with the United States in 1965, he worked with a British film crew, then as a hotel receptionist.

In the early 1970s, as unrest in neighboring Vietnam spread and Cambodia slipped into civil war, the Khmer Rouge grew more formidable. Tourism ended. Mr. Dith interpreted for foreign journalists. When working for Mr. Schanberg, he taught himself to take pictures.

When the Khmer Rouge won control in 1975, Mr. Dith became part of a monstrous social experiment: the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people from the cities and the suppression of the educated classes with the goal of re-creating Cambodia as an agricultural nation.

To avoid summary execution, Mr. Dith hid that he was educated or that he knew Americans. He passed himself off as a taxi driver. He even threw away his money and dressed as a peasant.

Over the next 4 ½ years, he worked in the fields and at menial jobs. For sustenance, people ate insects and rats and even the exhumed corpses of the recently executed, he said.

In November 1978, Vietnam, by then a unified Communist nation after the end of the Vietnam War, invaded Cambodia and overthrew the Khmer Rouge. Mr. Dith went home to Siem Reap, where he learned that 50 members of his family had been killed; wells were filled with skulls and bones.

The Vietnamese made him village chief. But he fled when he feared that they had learned of his American ties. His 60-mile trek to the Thai border was fraught with danger. Two companions were killed by a land mine.

He had an emotional reunion with his wife, Ser Moeun Dith, and four children in San Francisco. Though he and his wife later divorced, she was by his bedside in his last weeks, bringing him rice noodles.

Mr. Dith was divorced from his second wife, Kim DePaul.

Mr. Dith is survived by his companion, Bette Parslow; his daughter, Hemkarey; his sons, Titony, Titonath and Titonel; a sister, Samproeuth; six grandchildren; and two stepgrandchildren.

Ms. DePaul now runs the Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project, which spreads word about the Cambodian genocide. At his death, Mr. Dith was working to establish another, still-unnamed organization to help Cambodia. In 1997, he published a book of essays by Cambodians who had witnessed the years of terror as children.

Dr. Ngor, the physician turned actor who had himself survived the killing fields, had joined with Mr. Dith in their fight for justice. He was shot to death in 1996 in Los Angeles by a teenage gang member.

“It seems like I lost one hand,” Mr. Dith said of Dr. Ngor’s death.

Mr. Dith nonetheless pushed ahead in his campaign against genocide everywhere.

“One time is too many,” he said in an interview in his last weeks, expressing hope that others would continue his work. “If they can do that for me,” he said, “my spirit will be happy.”

* By DOUGLAS MARTIN (NYT; March 31, 2008)

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Dith Pran, a photojournalist for The New York Times whose struggle to survive the murderous regime of Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia was depicted in a 1984 movie, died on Sunday. Left, Mr. Dith in April 1975, the month that the Khmer Rouge gained control of the country.

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Photo: The New York Times

Mr. Dith, right, interviewed a government soldier in August 1973 about the American bombing of Cambodia as The Times correspondent Sydney H. Schanberg took notes. With the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975, Mr. Schanberg was forced from the country, and Mr. Dith became a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian Communists. Mr. Schanberg returned to the United States and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from Cambodia, which he accepted on behalf of Mr. Dith as well. Mr. Dith, despite Mr. Schanberg’s frantic efforts, was sent to the countryside to join millions working as virtual slaves.
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Photo: From “The Death and Life of Dith Pran” by Sydney H. Schanberg

A 1974 photo by Mr. Dith of the wife and mother of a government soldier as they learned of the soldier’s death in combat southwest of Phnom Penh.
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Photo: Dith Pran/The New York Times

A 1974 photo by Mr. Dith of shells being fired at a village northwest of Phnom Penh.
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Photo: Dith Pran/The New York Times

In 1979, Mr. Dith escaped over the Thai border. He returned to Cambodia in the summer of 1989, at the invitation of Prime Minister Hun Sen. At left, Mr. Dith visited an old army outpost in Siem Riep where skulls of Khmer Rouge victims were kept.
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Photo: Steve McCurry/Magnum

Mr. Dith and his wife, Meoun Ser Dith, and their children, clockwise from far right, Hemkarey, 12; Titony, 15; Titonath, 10, and Titonel, 7, in a photograph taken shortly after Mr. Dith escaped from Cambodia and came to America.
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Photo: Gordon Clark

In 1986, Mr. Dith was sworn in as a United States citizen. Standing by Mr. Dith’s side was his wife, Meoun Ser Dith.
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Photo: William E. Sauro/The New York Times

Mr. Dith joined The Times in 1980 as a staff photographer. He photographed people rallying in Newark in support of the rights of immigrants on Sept. 4, 2006.
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Photo: Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Mr. Dith photographed Rie and Tomohiro Yoshikubo as they took a holiday picture of their 10-month-old son, Ren, against the New York skyline in December 2005.
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Photo: Dith Pran/The New York Times

Mr. Dith’s greatest hope was to see leaders of the Khmer Rouge tried for war crimes against his native country; preparations for these trials are finally under way.
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Photo: The New York Times

Check the last word at this Multimedia (below)…: 

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/multimedia/20080320_DITH_PRAN_LAST_WORD_FEATURE/index.html

Nobody has ever systematically looked at the sky on 100-year time scales, said Josh Grindlay, the Harvard astronomer in charge of the project. There is this whole dimension that hasn’t been explored.

The Harvard Observatory holds more than a century of astronomical records. Below (picture 1), we can see cabinets filled with photographic plates in 1891.

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The great Refractor (below), which in 1850 captured the first picture of a star; images from the archives, including the Large Magellanic Cloud (1900), the constellation Sagittarius (1943) and the Rho Ophiuchus nebula (1948)

In 1889 when this was still an analog world, a young astronomer named Solon I. Bailey carefully packed two crates of glass photographic plates taken at his outpost in the Peruvian Andes for shipment to Harvard College Observatory. Carried down the mountain on mule back and across a suspension bridge to the village of Chosica, the fraile load was put on a train bound for Lima and the long voyage to Boston Harbor.

For nearly 18 months the data stream continued -more than 2,500 plates from what Mr. Bailey had quaintly named Mount Harvard- followed in the coming years by tens of thousands more from a second Peruvian station in Arequipa.

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The “computer” room at the Harvard Observatory in 1891, below, where women examined glass photographic plates containing images of the sky. One of their most important tasks was looking for stars that changed periodically in brightness. (Picture 3)

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The reliance on photographic plates continued until the mid-1980s when electronic imaging came of age. The eyes of the astronomers were replaced by charge-coupled devices, or C.C.D., allowing for faster, more voluminous observations with all the advantages of a searchable database.

Today, Picture 4 below, Alison Doane, curator of the glass database, compares a chart with a glass plate in her office.

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Below, an observatory camera from 1891 (picture 5), and the custom-built scanner now used to digitalize the old plates, shown in binders at picture 6, is the handwritten logbooks, which researchers are working to transcribe.

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* Summarized and adapted from New York Times, July 10, 2007

James BUCHANAN EADS was a great engineer. Born in Indiana in 1820.
He wanted to build a gargantuan railway that would transport whole ships across 134 miles of land between the oceans at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest part of Mexico where the total distance between the east and west coast would be 2,000 miles shorter than a trip across Panama.

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His idea was to raise the ships onto 350-foot-long flatcars. At either end of the isthmus a 450-foot-long submerged-pontoon dry dock would be loaded with a flatcar; the car would carry an adjustable cradle with hydraulic rams to make it conform to the shape of a ship’s hull.

Once the car and its cradle were on the pontoon, a ship would sail into position above them.

Then water would be pumped out of the dry dock to lift it up to the level of the tracks, where upon three outsized locomotives would hitch up and pull the car forward.

In the winter of 1887 he was vacationing in the Bahamas when he received word that the senate had finally approved the plan. But on march 8 that year he died, unaware that opponents in the house had just blocked it.

His grand scheme passed away with him, an audacious plan that just might have succeeded. In 1889 the French company building the canal went bankrupt, plagued by soaring costs, financial scandals, and ruinous disease at the work site.

The United States finished the canal in 1914, 33 year after lesseps (French diplomat who had overseen the construction of the Suez canal, proposed a Panama canal) had started it, at a cost of $352,000,000

* Summarized of “Invention & Technology”, 2003

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A scuba divers in 1933 at Seattle Washington’s Alki beach

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The Human Liberty Bell, Chicago 1918

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This 1949 photograph of eight Fords up on hydraulic racks and ready for inspection, in Cleveland Ohio.

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Alfred C. Gilbert (1884-1961) started his company in 1909 and invented his Erector set in 1913. His inspiration reportedly was the steel construction girders used on a nearby railroad.

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The Army of the Unemployed, 1930
There were too many jobless people to ignore and it became acceptable for them to demonstrate with dignity, as these men did.

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Light at the End of the Tunnel, 1936
After becoming President in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt began a series of ambitious programs to deal with the Depression, including Social Security, public works and wage-and-hour laws.

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Bernie was a toddler in about 1922 (California) The ’22 photo shows us, in the suit, with his grandfather, his grandmother and his father. Next photo –look at the suit- was made in 2006

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