RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
 
ARCHIVES
CATEGORIES
the Big Picture

Archive for December 2010

December 31, 2010 Permalink

A New Year rolls in

The world has already begun to welcome 2011, as the New Year has been entered by people living on some Pacific islands, Australia and Asia. As the Earth revolves today, bringing the rest of us into the year 2011, I'll be updating this entry, to show people all over as they ready themselves, celebrate and welcome the New Year. 2011 will be observed as the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, a year with attributes of gentleness, persistence and luck. Happy New Year everyone! (56 photos total)

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year January 1, 2011. Local authorities planned for over 1.5 million people to crowd the Sydney Harbour foreshore and welcome in the new year under the massive fireworks display. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)
more photos
December 29, 2010 Permalink

Afghanistan, December, 2010

2010 has been the deadliest year yet for coalition troops in Afghanistan, with 709 troops killed, 497 of those from the U.S. American officials have spoken of a fragile progress, with a possible small drawdown of troops starting next summer, keeping 2014 as the goal date for Afghans to take control. The United Nations released a report saying that more than 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed and more than 3,800 injured in the first 10 months of 2010, with 76% of these casualties being caused by "anti-government elements". The report also shows deaths and injuries caused by "pro-government forces" (U.S. and NATO troops, Afghan army and police) accounted for 12% of civilian casualties, an 18% drop from the same time period last year. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)

Sergeant Sheena Adams, 25, US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II works late into the night on her laptop on her reports on November 12, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan. There are 48 women presently working along the volatile front lines of the war in Afghanistan deployed as the second Female Engagement team participating in a more active role, gaining access where men can't. The women, many who volunteer for the 6.5 month deployment take a 10 week course at Camp Pendleton in California where they are trained for any possible situation, including learning Afghan customs and basic Pashtun language. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
more photos
December 27, 2010 Permalink

Christmas across the globe

Last Saturday was Christmas Day, the day set aside by Christian faithful to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. Christianity remains the largest religion in the world, with over 2 billion adherents across the globe. Christmas is celebrated in many ways by those followers, and even more ways by those who enjoy the larger, more secular traditions surrounding the modern holiday. Collected here are some glimpses of this year's Christmas observations and celebrations around the world. [Editor's note: Reminder to submit your own Christmas 2010 photos for an upcoming entry in January] (35 photos total)

An Iraqi Christian girl attends a Christmas mass at Chaldean Catholic church in Amman, Jordan on December 22, 2010. Thousands of Iraqi Christians fled to neighbouring Jordan following a spate of bombings that targeted churches in Iraqi cities in the past few years. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)
more photos
December 22, 2010 Permalink

A chilly solstice (and lunar eclipse)

Yesterday, December 21st, was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the start of winter. Also, for the first time since 1638, a total lunar eclipse took place on the same day as the solstice, observable by people across the Americas and parts of Asia. During a lunar eclipse, the Moon travels briefly through the shadow of the Earth, and appears to dim and become a dark reddish color. The coloration is due to sunlight filtering through the Earth's atmosphere - the same conditions that create red sunsets - so an observer standing on the Moon during a lunar eclipse would look up and see the dark Earth surrounded by a red ring, a sunset around the globe. Collected here are images of the eclipse, the solstice, and some of the icy weather as winter officially begins. [Editor's note: An invitation is now open for you to submit your own Christmas 2010 photos for an upcoming entry in January. Next regular posting on 12/27.] (25 photos total)

Three snowshoe hikers watch the almost full moon rising behind the Weissfluhjoch mountain in Arosa, Switzerland, on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Keystone, Alessandro Della Bella)
more photos
December 16, 2010 Permalink

2010 in photos (part 3 of 3)

As the year 2010 approaches its last few days, it's time to look back on the previous 12 months. In the last third of 2010, Wikileaks released hundreds of classified diplomatic cables, 33 men were rescued from a mine after being trapped for 10 weeks, protesters took to the streets all over the world, and so much more. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2010. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days. Please see part 1 and part 2 from earlier. [Editor's note: The next regular entry will be posted on 12/22] (40 photos total)

Julian Assange, founder and public face of WikiLeaks, which has made public thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables and files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, holds a news conference at the Geneva Press Club in Geneva, Switzerland on November 4th, 2010. (REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud)
more photos
December 15, 2010 Permalink

2010 in photos (part 2 of 3)

As the year 2010 approaches its last few days, it's time to look back on the previous 12 months. In the second third of 2010, a nearly unpronounceable Icelandic volcano wreaked havoc on European travel, South Africa hosted the World Cup, and while Russia endured disastrous fires, Pakistan struggled with its own terrible flooding, and so much more. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2010. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days. Please see part 1 from yesterday and watch for part 3 tomorrow. (40 photos total)

Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from an Icelandic volcano in Eyjafjallajokul April 17, 2010. The volcano spewed ash into the air for weeks, wreaking havoc on flights across Europe. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
more photos
December 14, 2010 Permalink

2010 in photos (part 1 of 3)

As the year 2010 approaches its last few days, it's time to look back on the previous 12 months. In the first third of 2010, Millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, several massive earthquakes wreaked havoc worldwide, Vancouver hosted a successful Winter Olympics, and so much more. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2010. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days. Please watch for part 2 and part 3 tomorrow and the next day. (40 photos total)

A bird is mired in oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast on Thursday, June 3, 2010. Crude oil flowed from a hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico for three months after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank on April 20th, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
more photos
December 13, 2010 Permalink

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

In many places around the world, it is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Santas are making appearances from Beijing to Beirut, and the traditions of the season can be seen all over - the trees, the lights, the shoppers, the devout and more. Collected here are a handful of recent photographs of people enjoying and celebrating this year's Christmas Season as it hits full swing. [Editor's note: This year, I'll be inviting you to submit your own Christmas 2010 photos, starting December 26th. Details coming soon, here and on Twitter (@big_picture)] (37 photos total)

A man dressed as Santa Claus holds a flare as he wakeboards on a small lake in Hamburg, Germany on December 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Christian Charisius)
more photos
December 10, 2010 Permalink

London tuition fee protest

Yesterday, in central London, thousands of students and others gathered to protest as Britain's Parliament met to vote on a proposal to raise university tuition fees significantly - nearly tripling them - as part of a continuing set of austerity programs. During the protest, several clashes took place between police and protesters, resulting in numerous injuries and 43 arrests. Late in the demonstration, a group of protesters attacked the car of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as the couple were inside, being driven to the London Palladium. The car was slightly damaged, the royal couple unharmed, though a bit shaken by the incident. Parliament did end up narrowly approving the measure, and the fee increases are set to take effect in 2012. Collected here are images from London last night. (39 photos total)

A student protester stands on a barrier in Parliament Square on December 9, 2010 in London, England. Parliament was voting on whether to implement the coalition Government's proposals to increase university tuition fees in England from 3,290 GBP to 9,000 GBP. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
more photos
December 8, 2010 Permalink

Kawah Ijen by night

Photographer Olivier Grunewald has recently made several trips into the sulfur mine in the crater of the Kawah Ijen volcano in East Java, Indonesia, bringing with him equipment to capture surreal images lit by moonlight, torches, and the blue flames of burning molten sulfur. Covered last year in the Big Picture (in daylight), the miners of the 2,600 meter tall (8,660ft) Kawah Ijen volcano trek up to the crater, then down to the shore of a 200-meter-deep crater lake of sulfuric acid, where they retrieve heavy chunks of pure sulfur to carry back to a weighing station. Mr. Grunewald has been kind enough to share with us the following other-worldly photos of these men as they do their hazardous work under the light of the moon. (30 photos total)

A sulfur miner stands inside the crater of the Kawah Ijen volcano at night, holding a torch, looking towards a flow of liquid sulfur which has caught fire and burns with an eerie blue flame. (© Olivier Grunewald)
more photos
December 7, 2010 Permalink

Pearl Harbor, 69 years ago today

Sixty-nine years ago, on December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 350 Japanese aircraft attacked in two waves, strafing, dropping bombs and torpedoes. Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, four other battleships were damaged, and eight other ships were either sank or damaged. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan, officially entering World War II. This year's 69th anniversary coincides with the dedication of a new $56 million Pearl Harbor visitors center. Collected here are photos from that infamous day. (34 photos total)

Aerial view of Battleship Row in the opening moments of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. (U.S. Navy)
more photos
December 6, 2010 Permalink

Wildfire in Israel

Late yesterday, December 5th, Israeli authorities said that they had finally gained control of a raging four-day wildfire in the Carmel Forest near the city of Haifa, Israel. The fire was the worst in Israel's history, consuming about 10,000 acres of forest and about four million trees. Israeli responders were helped by an international fleet of more than 30 firefighting aircraft and ground personnel from more than 16 countries. At least 42 people were killed and more than 17,000 residents evacuated. Two suspects have now been arrested and stand accused of negligently setting the blaze. Collected here are images from the recent wildfires around Haifa, and those caught up in the disaster. (35 photos total)

Ultra orthodox Jewish men watch as smoke from a wildfire rises into the sky on December 2, 2010 in Haifa, Israel. A large forest fire in northern Israel has reportedly killed at least 42 people. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
more photos
December 3, 2010 Permalink

Let it snow! Great snow photos

Winter is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing chilly winds and heavy snowfall to many regions. In late November, Seattle and Vancouver experienced an early snowstorm, parts of New York State are still digging out of a recent storm, and many parts of Europe are now enduring a deadly cold snap, with temperatures in Poland falling as low as -33C (-27F). People all over are donning their heavy coats and gloves and heading outside to either battle the elements, or find ways to play. Collected here are recent photos from northern areas where winter weather has made an impact, and some of the ways the people and animals are dealing with the changing seasons. (37 photos total)

Harrison Harper, 10, makes good use of the overnight snowfall and a hill behind his house in Boise, Idaho on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)
more photos
December 1, 2010 Permalink

Afghanistan, November, 2010

Saturday, November 27th marked a milestone in Afghanistan - after that day passed, the United States and its allies have now been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union had been when it withdrew in 1989. Recent announcements by the U.S. appear to show that it plans to remain at least another four years. In the south, U.S. forces are increasingly encountering abandoned buildings that are heavily booby-trapped as they pursue the Taliban, leading them to systematically destroy the structures. Arghandab district governor Shah Muhammed Ahmadi said "In some villages where only a few houses were contaminated by bombs, we called the owners and got their agreement to destroy them, In some villages like Khosrow that were completely empty and full of IED's, we destroyed them without agreement because it was hard to find the people - and not just Khosrow, but many villages. We had to destroy them to make them safe." Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)

One of twenty surrendering Taliban militants is presented to the media while being held for safety in a mosque belonging the NDS (National Department of Security) on November 4, 2010 in Herat, Afghanistan. Following an amnesty launched by President Hamid Karzai in November 2004, hundreds of anti-government Taliban militants have since surrendered to the government. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)
more photos
December 1, 2010 Permalink

2010 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar

As we find ourselves in December once more, I'd like to present the third annual Hubble Space Telescope imagery Advent Calendar for 2010. Keep checking this page - every day, for the next 25 days, a new photo will be revealed here from the Hubble Space Telescope, some old and some new. This year there is also a temporary RSS feed for the calendar. I continue to feel very fortunate to have been able to share photographs and stories with you all this year, and I wish for a Happy Holiday season to all those who will celebrate, and for Peace on Earth to everyone. - Alan (25 photos total - eventually) [previously: 2008, 2009]

This remarkable picture from the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows one of the most perfect geometrical forms created in space. It captures the formation of an unusual pre-planetary nebula, known as IRAS 23166+1655, around the star LL Pegasi in the constellation of Pegasus. The image shows what appears to be a thin spiral pattern of astonishingly regularity winding around the star, which is itself hidden behind thick dust. The spiral pattern suggests a regular periodic origin for the nebula's shape. The material forming the spiral is moving outwards a speed of about 50 000 km/hour and, by combining this speed with the distance between layers, astronomers calculate that the shells are each separated by about 800 years. The spiral is thought to arise because LL Pegasi is a binary system, with the star that is losing material and a companion star orbiting each other. (ESA/NASA & R. Sahai) More
more photos