Off-topic: US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda

Posted in Xyz on October 31st, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

This story highlights the strategic importance of Mali’s stability.  The country has vast areas of remote desert that could be used in efforts to radicalize and train muslims for jihad. With this monetary aid and ongoing training, hopefully these areas can be patrolled, and al-Qaeda efforts disrupted:

US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda

Some 37 Land Cruisers were handed over to the Malians

The US is preparing to give Mali’s army millions of dollars worth of military hardware to help them fight al-Qaeda’s North African branch.

Trucks, powerful communication devices and clothing are among $5m (£3m) of equipment being handed over.

Mali is already being helped to fight the Islamists by Algeria and Libya.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb emerged in 2007 from an Algerian Islamist group and has since claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks in the region.

The US ambassador to Mali told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme there was growing concern over the actions of the group.

“We applaud the fact that the government of Mali has taken a firm stance and wants to be as effective as possible in combating that problem,” Gillian Milovanovic said.

The military equipment is intended to ensure that the country can protect its own borders, she said.

Read more via BBC NEWS | Africa | US arms Mali to battle al-Qaeda.


Thanks Dad!

Posted in Xyz on June 21st, 2009 by Edward Bussa – 1 Comment


Thank you Dad.

Still, the kindest, gentlest man I’ve ever known.

Thanks Pa, for everything.

Shoot High

Posted in Xyz on May 31st, 2009 by Edward Bussa – 2 Comments

The job? Capture a portrait for the back credits area of a new music CD. The hope? Get a shot that could be used for the cover. How? Solve problems.

I was able to talk with DF Michael beforehand to plan a few shots that would work for the back credit area. During our conversation, I learned how important it was for Michael to prominently feature his guitar, a treasured gift hand crafted by his brother in Italy. The problem would be getting the guitar close to Michael’s face while still looking natural.

So first we worked on getting these planned shots:

Then I asked Michael if we could try an idea I’d been thinking about. read more »

Does Coaching beat Managing and Supervising?

Posted in Xyz on May 19th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment
Coaching is better

Coaching is better

A friend of mine, Alan Adyniec, introduced me to the idea of using the coaching model to organize people and their efforts instead of other more traditional styles of management.  I have to admit, it sounds like more fun than your garden variety “beatings will continue until morale improves” type of management – maybe more like going for a walk with a friend?

If you’re in a position or know someone in a position where this type of model could help produce better business results, Alan is holding a half-day seminar where he’s teaching the essentials for Coaching Employee Performance.  The seminar is on Wednesday, June 4th. Click the link to register.

If you take the plunge, be sure to mention that you found him here. Alan is offering a free one-on-one follow up session to readers of this post to help you develop a coaching process within your work area. Oh, and be sure to register soon. The early-bird special expires this Friday.

How is this related to photography you might ask? The photos are a result of my portrait session with Alan!

Alan Adyniec,

Alan Adyniec,

Enjoy! Ed.

Sonorous Sahara

Posted in Xyz on April 5th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

With its clear air and warm nights, Mali has always had a rich musical heritage. This heritage comes, in part, from the cultural melding that occurred during the Mandingue Empire where entertainers of the day, the griot, would bring musical styles from across West Africa to be played for the king. More recently, Mali has seen a string of musicians gain success on the international stage.  The father of  the popular “desert blues” style,  Ali Farka Toure, died in 2006 but his success paved the way for many artists including Salif Keita, Mangala, Bassekou Kouyate and Amadou & Mariam. If you are looking to expand your musical horizons, any of these artists are worth a listen.

Welcome to Mali

Welcome to Mali

To get you started, Chicago Public Radio’s Sound Opinions recently reviewed the March 24th release by Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali.  You can listen to the show’s entire podcast, or simply fast forward to the review of Welcome to Mali starting at the 45:58 mark. The show’s music review segment features a Siskel & Ebert format where two reviewers compare notes.  They give this release a double thumbs up – way up.  To explore further, this release is currently featured as an online exclusive at the music service where you can play up to 25 free tracks per month.  Also, they’ll be touring the U.S. on their own this spring and then with Coldplay this summer.

Enjoy! Ed.