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Archive for October 2010

October 29, 2010 Permalink

Argentina bids farewell to a president

Nestor Kirchner, president of Argentina from 2003 to 2007, and husband to current president Cristina Fernandez, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, October 27th, at the age of 60. Kirchner was widely expected to run for a second term in a presidential election next October. Today, thousands of Argentinians filed past a flag-draped coffin to pay their respects to the former President, then lined the capital's rain-slicked streets for a glimpse of his hearse as it passed by. Kirchner's remains will be flown to the southern region of Patagonia, where he was born, for burial. Collected here are recent images from Argentina as it bids farewell. (22 photos total)

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (center) sits next to the coffin of her husband, former Argentine President (2003-2007) Nestor Kirchner, during his wake at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 28, 2010. Thousands of Argentinians, joined by Latin American leaders, paid homage Thursday to ex-president Nestor Kirchner, the powerful husband the current president Cristina Fernandez, who died suddenly of a heart attack on October 27. (AFP/Getty Images)
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October 29, 2010 Permalink

Herd in Iceland

Today we take a trip to northern Iceland, where photographers Lindsay Blatt and Paul Taggart traveled in September and October of 2010. They were in Iceland working on a short film and photographic project, documenting the historic herding of the prized Icelandic horse. Each year traditional herdsman take to the back country to round up thousands of horses, which have spent the summer grazing in the highlands. Throughout the three weeks of production, Lindsay and Paul shot on land and air, foot and hoof across the vast Icelandic landscape. Lindsay and Paul were kind enough to share some of their photos below - more photos and video can be found on their project's website. (17 photos total)

A silhouette of a horse near Blönduós in northern Iceland. (© Lindsay Blatt / Herd in Iceland)
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October 27, 2010 Permalink

Dual disasters in Indonesia

Indonesia was rocked by two separate disasters earlier this week - a 7.7-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami on Monday that swept onto the Mentawai Island chain in western Indonesia, and less than 24 hours later and a few hundred miles away, Mount Merapi erupted multiple times, unleashing searing pyroclastic flows that destroyed villages and blanketed the countryside in ash. Rescue personnel are only now reaching some of the more remote areas, but as of this writing, it is estimated that nearly 300 people were killed by the tsunami, and at least 30 died near Mount Merapi. Collected here are early photos from the dual disasters, and the rescue and recovery efforts just underway. (37 photos total)

A man wears a face mask as ash from the erupting Mount Merapi volcano blankets a street, at Kaliurang village in Sleman, on October 26, 2010 near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Thousands have been ordered to evacuate as Mount Merapi, which last erupted in 2006, began to emit plumes of smoke and clouds of ash. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
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October 26, 2010 Permalink

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), when public service groups, medical professionals, government agencies and others work to promote awareness of the disease. Promoting awareness involves education about prevention and treatments, fundraising efforts to help find cures, and support for survivors and those dealing directly with the disease. Breast cancer is the fifth deadliest form of cancer worldwide, and on this 25th anniversary of NBCAM, the organization that started it wants to remind women everywhere to practice regular breast self-exams and to schedule regular visits and annual mammograms with their health care provider. (22 photos total)

Chinese women distribute questionnaires to pedestrians for a campaign on breast cancer awareness, in downtown Zhengzhou, north China's Henan province on October 12, 2010. An increasing taste for Western-style junk food and unhealthy lifestyles have caused the rate of breast cancer among urban Chinese women to jump sharply over the past decade, a state-run newspaper said. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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October 25, 2010 Permalink

Scenes from Thailand

The last time we focused on Thailand, the government crackdown on Red Shirt protesters was taking place in Bangkok. Since then, much of the damaged part of downtown Bangkok has been repaired, and the Red Shirts continue their protests both in the streets and online. Thailand has also been hit with severe flooding, struggled with terrorist attacks, and celebrated Queen Sirikit's 78th birthday. Collected here a a handful of recent photographs from around Thailand. (31 photos total)

Thai students tour Marble temple in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, July 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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October 22, 2010 Permalink

France on strike

Weeks of strikes, protests and demonstrations have brought much of France to a standstill as workers, students and others voice their strong opposition to a government proposal to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62. A quarter of the nation's gas stations were out of fuel, hundreds of flights were canceled, long lines formed at gas stations and train services in many regions were cut in half. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting youths attacked police in Lyon. The unpopular bill is edging closer to becoming law as the French Senate is preparing to vote on it today. Collected here are recent images of the unrest around France. Update: Pension reform bill just now passed by French senate. (40 photos total)

A man holds a placard which reads "Listen to the public's rage" during a demonstration in front of the French Senate in Paris October 20, 2010. French trade unions kept up their resistance on Wednesday to an unpopular pension reform due for a final vote in the Senate this week. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
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October 20, 2010 Permalink

Small Worlds

The Nikon International Small World Photomicrography Competition recently announced its list of winners for 2010. The competition began in 1974 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Peering into the small worlds of animal, plants and minerals using many techniques and different instruments, this year's entries brought us images of crystalline formations, fluorescent body parts, cellular structures and more, valuable for both their beauty and insight. The lovely folks at Nikon were kind enough to share some of their images here with us, be sure to click the link above to see all the winners. (29 photos total)

Magnified 30 times, this is an image of a Hydropsyche angustipennis (caddisfly) larva head made by Fabrice Parais, of DREAL de Basse-Normandie in Caen, France. (Courtesy of Nikon Small World)
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October 18, 2010 Permalink


With marijuana on the ballot in four U.S. states this November, most prominently California's Proposition 19, which would fully legalize the substance, the legalization of marijuana has become a hot topic of discussion in North America. If pot were to become legal in California, it is unclear how that would affect the ongoing drug wars in neighboring Mexico - whether it would increase, decrease, or have little effect on the widespread violence. What is clear is that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that the federal Justice Department will continue to prosecute those who use or distribute recreational marijuana, regardless of any change to state law. Collected here are photos from the past year of marijuana in the news, for both medicinal and recreational purposes, and some of the legal entanglements involved. (32 photos total)

Tim Blakeley, manager of Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary, shows marijuana plant buds on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The dispensary was one 25 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles that fought to stay open after city prosecutors notified 439 medical marijuana dispensaries that they had to shut down by June 7, 2010. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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October 15, 2010 Permalink

The XIX Commonwealth Games

After much worry and criticism before the start, the nineteenth Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India have now reached a successful conclusion without any of the disastrous events that had been predicted. Of the 71 participating countries, Australia topped the medal chart, taking home 177 medals, 74 of them gold. Host nation India also fared well, coming in second overall with 101 medals. The games were held from October 3rd through the 14th, ending with a closing ceremony in New Delhi yesterday. Collected here are photographs of the XIX Commonwealth Games from around India over the past couple of weeks. (51 photos total)

An athlete runs in the Men's Marathon at Vijay Chowk during day eleven of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games on October 14, 2010 in Delhi, India. (Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
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October 13, 2010 Permalink

Rescued from a Chilean mine

Over two months have passed since the August 5th collapse of the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, when 33 miners were trapped 700 meters (2,300 ft) below ground. The men were kept alive over that time by supplies delivered through narrow holes drilled down to them, and kept hope through video conferences with family - until last night, when the first of the 33 miners was successfully lifted to the surface in a specially-designed rescue capsule. Friends and relatives, many of whom had camped nearby for months, slowly let their cautious optimism become joy as they were reunited with their loved ones. As of this writing, at 9:30 pm, Eastern time, all of the 33 men have now made it safely to the surface. (49 photos total)

Chilean miner Osman Araya (right) is welcomed by his wife Angelica as he comes out of the Fenix capsule after been brought to the surface on October 13, 2010 following a 10-week ordeal in the collapsed San Jose mine, near Copiapo, 800 km north of Santiago, Chile. Araya was the sixth from the 33 trapped miners to be lifted from underground. (HUGO INFANTE/AFP/Getty Images)
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October 11, 2010 Permalink

A North Korean anniversary and debut

North Korea is in the midst of a series of large-scale events designed to both commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party, and to introduce heir apparent Kim Jong Un to the North Korean people and the world. Current leader Kim Jong Il is now 69 years old and ailing, and has now positioned his twenty-something son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor through recent military and party promotions, and through media coverage of him by his father's side. Many western reporters were invited to these performances, though their freedom to cover events was still limited by minders. Collected here are images from the recent highly-orchestrated events in Pyongyang, and the "young general" Kim Jong Un. (33 photos total)

North Korea leader Kim Jong Il's son Kim Jong Un is photographed as he attends a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the communist nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. Kim Jong Un's recent public prominence and promotion have signaled him as the heir apparent to his ailing father's ruling position in North Korea. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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October 8, 2010 Permalink

The National Ignition Facility

"Creating a miniature star on Earth" is the goal of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), home to the world's largest and highest-energy laser in Livermore, California. On September 29th, 2010, the NIF completed its first integrated ignition experiment, where it focused its 192 lasers on a small cylinder housing a tiny frozen capsule containing hydrogen fuel, briefly bombarding it with 1 megajoule of laser energy. The experiment was the latest in a series of tests leading to a hoped-for "ignition", where the nuclei of the atoms of the fuel inside the target capsule are made to fuse together releasing tremendous energy - potentially more energy than was put in to start the initial reaction, becoming a valuable power source. The NIF has cost over $3.5 billion since 1997 and is a part of the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Scientists at NIF say they hope to achieve fusion by 2012. (27 photos total)

Inside the National Ignition Facility, a service system lift gives technicians access to the target chamber interior for inspection and maintenance. The chamber is a sphere 10 meters in diameter, assembled from ten-centimeter-thick aluminum panels which were preformed and then welded in place. It is covered with .3 meters of concrete which was injected with boron to absorb neutrons from the fusion reaction. The holes in the chamber permit the 192 laser beams to enter the chamber and to provide viewing ports for diagnostic tools. (NIF/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
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October 6, 2010 Permalink

A flood of toxic sludge

On Monday, October 4th, a large reservoir filled with toxic red sludge in western Hungary ruptured, releasing approximately 700,000 cubic meters (185 million gallons) of stinking caustic mud, which killed many animals, at least four people, and injured over 120 - many with chemical burns. The 12-foot-high flood of sludge inundated several towns, sweeping cars off the road as it flowed into the nearby Marcal River. Emergency workers rushed to pour 1,000 tons of plaster into the Marcal River in an attempt to bind the sludge and keep it from flowing on to the Danube some 45 miles away. The red sludge in the reservoir is a byproduct of refining bauxite into alumina, which took place at an alumina plant run by the Hungarian Alumina Production and Trading Company. A criminal probe has just been opened by Hungarian authorities. (30 photos total)

A Hungarian soldier wearing chemical protection gear walks through a street flooded by toxic sludge in the town of Devecser, Hungary on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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October 4, 2010 Permalink


Yesterday in Huntington Beach, California, the third annual multi-faith Blessing of the Waves event was held to honor the ocean and protest coastal pollution. Several thousand reportedly attended the event, in part to recognize a spiritual aspect of man's relationship to water, the coastline, and the surf. Whether it's massive rolling ocean waves, or standing waves in rivers, or wind-driven lakewater, people around the world find a way to get out and ride on belly boards, kiteboards, longboards, wakeboards and more. As summer rolls to a close, find here a collection of recent photographs of these waveriders around the world over the past several months. (41 photos total)

Former three-time Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Champion Andy Irons from Kauai, Hawaii rides the tube of a wave Friday Sept. 3, 2010. Irons captured his first ASP World Tour victory in three years defeating CJ Hobgood in the final. (AP Photo/ASP, Kirstin Scholtz)
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October 1, 2010 Permalink

India prepares for the Commonwealth Games

In two days, on Sunday October 3rd, the nineteenth Commonwealth Games will officially open in New Delhi, India. 72 nations will be sending more than 6,000 athletes to New Delhi to compete in 17 sports in 26 different venues from October 3rd through the 14th. Much criticism has been leveled at the host city for its preparation efforts, as security concerns are high and several incidents occurred recently, including construction accidents, an outbreak of dengue fever, and reports of filthy conditions at the Athlete's Village. Armies of laborers appear to have caught up with many of the demands, and the opening ceremonies will take place as scheduled on Sunday. Collected here are recent photographs from New Delhi, India as workers and athletes prepare for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. (43 photos total)

A member of the Bhiwani Boxing Club practices inside a stadium in Bhiwani in the northern Indian state of Haryana September 9, 2010. The club consists of more than 150 members, out of which three have been selected to compete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games that will be held in New Delhi, club officials said on Thursday. Picture taken September 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)
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