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January 15, 2010

Fire and Ice

For today's entry, an exercise in contrasts: Fire and Ice. Fire can be a life-sustaining, constructive element, or, at worst, a powerfully destructive force - something we humans continue to use, play with, and struggle to control. Ice is closer to the natural state of the universe, cold, still and lifeless. Earth's orbit lies in a "Goldilocks zone" where we may seasonally experience icy environments, but never freeze completely. Collected here are several recent alternating photographs from around the world of both Fire and Ice. (40 photos total)

Members of the public enjoy a late afternoon walk on the frozen Lake of Menteith, on January 4, 2010 in Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Tungurahua volcano spews ashes and lava on January 11, 2010, in Cotalo, Ecuador, 135km south of Quito. (CECILIA PUEBLA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A orange is encrusted in ice Monday, January 11, 2010 in Winter Garden, Florida, as citrus growers continued spraying water on their citrus trees to protect the fruit from sub-freezing temperatures. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Red Huber) #

Two men sit on a bridge to watch an annular solar eclipse in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China on January 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Donald Chan) #

Ice and snow cover Madrid's famous landmark Cibeles fountain in downtown Madrid January 11, 2010. Snow and icy weather blanketed large parts of Spain and Europe, disrupting air, road and train travel. (REUTERS/Susana Vera) #

A ball of fire erupts within a thick cloud of smoke on December 19, 2009 in Somalia's capital Mogadishu after a petrol station caught fire in the K5 area. AU peacekeepers and Somalia government forces rallied to secure the area and, assisted by locals, attempted to extinguish the blaze whose cause was reportedly linked to insurgents. (ABDURASHID ABDULLE/AFP/Getty Images) #

British Conservative MP Edward Leigh reacts as he enters the freezing waters of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, central London January 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Toby Melville) #

Performers dressed in Santa Claus costumes spit fire during a break in a Sichuan opera show in Suining, Sichuan province, China on December 19, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

People play on a frozen lake at Shichahai, a former imperial garden in central Beijing on January 12, 2010 as a child seated in a traditional contraption of chairs fitted for the frozen surface gets a running push. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Fire rages through a forest in Valparaiso city, 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, Chile on December 26, 2009. More than 1,200 acres of land were burned due to multiple fires near Valparaiso city but with no reported cases of deaths or injuries, local authorities said. (REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez) #

A tugboat makes its way through ice, as seen from the 65 foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter Wire during an ice-breaking mission on the Hudson River near Kingston, New York January 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Mike Segar) #

An employee works as molten metal flows for the first time at the new Hyundai Steel mill in Dangjin, about 123 km (76 miles) southwest of Seoul, South Korea on January 6, 2010. Hyundai Steel's first-ever integrated blast furnace has an annual production capacity of 4 million tons of steel products, Yonhap News Agency reported according to the company.(REUTERS/Hyundai Steel) #

Sled hockey player Nikko Landeros, of Berthoud, Colorado (right), takes part in a scrimmage with Tyler Carron in the Boulder Valley YMCA in Lafayette Colorado on January 2nd, 2010. Three years ago, high school wrestlers Landeros and Carron lost their legs when they were hit by a car while changing a flat tire. It didn't take long for Landeros to pick up sled hockey, and he'll be competing in Vancouver in the Paralympics. Carron is on the junior national team. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) #

In this photo taken Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, lava erupts from a rift and flows down the slope of Nyamulagira volcano, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Goma, North Kivu, Congo. (AP Photo/Peterne Inga) #

Buses are encrusted in ice and snow at the back lot of a bowling alley in the Omaha, Nebraska suburb of Elkhorn, where a fire was being put out, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) #

Small fires burn on the hillsides above the in the southern German town of Pottenstein on January 6, 2010, part of an annual festival traditionally held to ward off evil spirts from the past year. (TIMM SCHAMBERGER/AFP/Getty Images) #

People walk on the frozen Lake Reschen reservoir beside the former church tower of the Village of Graun in South Tyrol in Northern Italy January 8, 2010. The village was destroyed and the valley flooded in 1950, due to damming up the Etsch river to produce electricity. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann) #

A house on Richhill Street in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, is engulfed in flames early Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. A coroner has confirmed that two children died in the house fire, though a woman escaped as did two other children who jumped off a roof into the arms of a police officer. (AP Photo/Observer-Reporter,Bob Niedbala) #

A hoar frost clings to trees as the sun sets over fields on January 7, 2010 in Knutsfod, United Kingdom. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

Firefighters put out a fire which erupted after Thursday's explosion at a petrochemical plant in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China on January 8, 2010. Five people were confirmed dead and one still missing since Thursday in the explosion at the plant belonging to China's top state-owned oil firm CNPC, Xinhua news agency reported. (REUTERS/China Daily) #

Thousands of anglers cast lines through holes created in the surface of a frozen river during a contest to catch trout in Hwacheon, 120 kilometers northeast of Seoul, South Korea on January 10, 2010. The contest is part of an annual ice festival which draws over 1,000,000 visitors every year. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images) #

Hundreds of people holding lit flares aloft gather to submit a petition outside the residence of Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in Reykjavik January 2, 2010. Iceland's president said on Thursday December 31, 2009 that he would delay signing an amended bill to repay more than $5 billion lost by savers in Britain and the Netherlands when the island's banks collapsed. (REUTERS/Ragnar Axelsson) #

Icicles cling to strawberries Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, in Lakeland, Florida. Farmers were spraying their crops to help protect them against the unusually cold temperatures. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) #

A young man takes shelter (lower right) as a huge fire engulfs a residential area in Makati City, suburban Manila on December 23, 2009. The fire gutted around 700 houses, affecting some 3,000 families. (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images) #

People skate on frozen canals in Kinderdijk's Mill Area near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Friday Jan. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski) #

Torchbearer and Hall of Fame hockey great Gordie Howe carries the Olympic flame in LaSalle, Ontario, on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009, during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics torch relay. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Dave Chidley) #

An ice climber makes his way up the walls of a stone quarry near the central German city of Fuerth on January 14, 2010. (THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/Getty Images) #

Crowds gathered at the 7th Annual Christmas Tree Bonfire watch as the trees are engulfed in flames January 6, 2010 on Dead Horse Beach at Salem Willows Park in Salem, Massachusetts. An estimated 2,500 trees were collected by the Salem Department of Public Services for the fire. (Erik Jacobs/Boston Globe) #

Firefighters and their engine are covered with ice as they battle a fire at a bowling alley in the Omaha, Nebraska, suburb of Elkhorn, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) #

Germany's Hannes Schwarz performs a show with fire effects in the finale TV show "The Super Talent" in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz) #

Ice structures created by Swiss ice-artist Karl Neuhaus, are illuminated during the 23rd exhibition of magical ice palaces in a small forest near the Schwarzsee lake close to Fribourg, western Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre) #

A car burns after angry protesters set fire to it in Karachi, Pakistan on December 27, 2009, to protest against an earlier bomb blast in their city. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A field at Dewar Nurseries in Apopka, Florida is covered in ice Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010 as a deep freeze continues throughout Central Florida. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Red Huber) #

Albert, one of the owners of the Manhattan bar Apotheke, lights absinthe shots on Saturday, September 27, 2008. (Yana Paskova for The New York Times) #

A man walks on the frozen Lake of Menteith in Stirlingshire, Scotland January 12, 2010 The Bonspiel Grand Match curling tournament, due to have taken part on the frozen lake was canceled because emergency services said they could not guarantee the safety of competitors. (REUTERS/David Moir) #

Fort Wayne firefighters battle a building fire at Pyromaniac Fireworks in Indiana on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. The building was a complete loss. (AP Photo, Clint Keller/The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette) #

A member of the fire brigade removes icicles from a building to prevent them from falling on people in the eastern German city of Leipzig on January 13, 2010. (SEBASTIAN WILLNOW/AFP/Getty Images) #

College girls dance around a fire to celebrate the Lohri festival, at a college for women in Amritsar, India, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. Lohri marks the beginning of the harvest season and the end of winter. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

A man takes a photograph of a submerged car in the frozen Union canal near Winchburgh in central Scotland January 12, 2010. Two men have been charged with reckless conduct after the car which was being driven on the frozen canal plunged through the ice. (REUTERS/David Moir) #

Pakistani children living in a slum, gather around a fire outside a makeshift tent to warm themselves in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #