• Woodford Goes to Scotland Yard: In a Reuters video, ousted Olympus CEO Michael Woodford says that after turning over more information to the Serious Fraud Office in London, he has been advised to go to the British police to seek help protecting his personal safety. He says in the video that there is the "potential" that organized crime in Japan might be involved.
Meanwhile, I've had some conversations with an expert in the field of what you might call forensic accounting, someone whose job it is to analyze the accounts and paper trails from companies accused of crimes. He can't speak on the record, as he is not authorized to speak for his firm, so his impressions are merely his personal opinion.
He told me that the missing money paid to the shadowy Cayman Islands company that can no longer be located or identified does indeed suggest theft, but that his gut feeling is that the Olympus case is probably one of misstating financial statements. Some companies will move money offshore or off the books using questionable practices in order to move it back on to the books again when and where it's needed—to mask undesirable losses or provide desired (but fake) "profits." He notes that the rest of the Board of Directors would be likely be a good deal more upset if all that money was actually gone.
(He also mentioned that he's known of cases where officers of companies stole money from their own companies to "pay" themselves for their shady accounting! I guess nothing should surprise us.)
He think Michael Woodford probably did what he had to do. He thinks that Woodford probably found out things that put himself and his personal fortune at risk.
A fascinating case, and one we'll be following with interest. Meanwhile, Olympus stock has been in freefall, so the scandal no doubt has the full attention of the Directors and the investors—although it does seem to me like it's one of those sensations that will have a pretty short half-life in the news cycle.
Canon EOS 1DX: A friend thinks that my flippant rehearsing of the announcement of the new Canon flagship the other day missed the mark. He notes the coming camera has all-new AE and AF systems and really has been extensively reworked—always assuming, of course, that the camera when it gets here will deliver on its promises. Rather than just a refresh, he thinks the 1DX is more like the jump in core capability that Nikon made from the D2x to the D3—like the new generations of long-running car models that arrive every four or five years rather than the annual trim freshening.
Small but significant change: Note the Pentax ad at the upper left-hand corner of this page. Notice what's changed?
Hopeless fan of...conifers: Re my post about disputations over exposure being a long-running thing, a reader signing himself struan (I think I know who he is—there can't be all that many Struans out there—but here on TOP we refer to commenters by their self-chosen "handles") points out that "Google books has a fun (but frustratingly incomplete) collection of early photographic journals. The correspondence pages are worse than Wikipedia for losing time in. Thomas Sutton can always be counted upon to raise controversy. He would have been right at home in today's online forums. Although, it has to be said, both he and his targets usually expressed themselves with an elegance which is rarely encountered online." Here's his example:
If you click on the image to make it bigger it will be easier to read. Baynham Jones does sound like a forumer of today: "Mr. Sutton calls me a Tom Noddy. This is, I conclude, something very dreadful; but although I have consulted Johnson [he means Johnson's dictionary —Ed.], and racked my brain for a derivation of the word, I am unable to arrive at its meaning." He goes on to define what he meant by "distortion," obviously defending himself against Mr. Sutton's witherings.
Kind of reminds me of an old post.
I thought the next letter was almost as funny—it's from a fellow who's plugging a "Photographic Exhibition of portraits of conifers," who effuses, "The practice of taking and collecting photographs of trees in general, and Conifers in particular, is now becoming common; and it is very desirable that it should be encouraged...."
That's right, a Conifer fanboi.
And all that from way back in 1864. Here's the link. Thanks to struan.
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Hugh Crawford: "Well here is Mr. Noddy's camera."
Featured Comment by Edie Howe: "I can has "conifer fanboi," pweez? —Edie, Conifotographer Extraordinare. (Ancients on the Edge of Forever: the Beauty of the Bristlecones will be completed in 2012)."
Featured Comment by Dave: "I hear ya, Edie. I too pine for more conifer photos."
Featured Comment by struan: "Struan is my real name. It's a loan word from Norse into Scots Gaelic, and means stream. I should perhaps have included my surname as there is—amazingly, given the rarity of the name—a successful Canadian fashion photographer also called Struan. He bagged struanphoto.com before I could.
"There are a wealth of tongue-in-cheek references in Baynham-Jones' letter. Warrior and Tom-Noddy have been pegged already—I can confirm from personal experience that HMS Warrior is both worth a visit and photographer-friendly.
"I suspect the conifer thing is deeper than it looks. From calotype times onwards there was a thriving sub-industry in tree portraits (the British Library site has plenty), and the 1860s and '70s was a high age for introducing specimen trees from around the world, including many conifers from the Americas. Magnus Jackson photographed many of the first New World conifers in Scotland, and they are still rather proud of him in Perth. Hop to the last page of this gallery: the captioning on the site is haphazard, and misses much of the significance of some of the photos. For example, middle row, left hand image, is the first Douglas Fir planted in the UK.
"By the time Baynham-Jones was writing his letter I suspect conifers were a bit like today's wet-leaf-on-rock autumn shots. Or art projects about mobile telephony masts disguised as trees."