The 2011 Formula One season sounds like a broken record. Vettel takes pole, Vettel wins the race. It’s happened more often than not this season and the first ever Indian Grand Prix was no different. World Champion Sebastian Vettel took his 13th pole of the season and is also close to equalling the record for most wins in a season (13). The man is simply unstoppable at the moment. The only other real talking point from the Indian GP was the fact that Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa collided yet again. It was the sixth indcident between the McLaren and Ferrari racers during the 2011 season.
The worst flooding Thailand has seen in 50 years appears to be coming down from its high-water mark, largely sparing central Bangkok while continuing to inundate surrounding suburbs and farms. Heavy monsoon rains have submerged nearly a third of the country's provinces since July, killing more than 370 people. Over the weekend, high tides and heavy flooding threatened central Bangkok, but defenses appear to have held. However, some residents in surrounding areas have expressed anger at being placed on the outside of these protective barriers and having floodwater diverted toward them. Areas west of Bangkok are still expected to be hard hit in the coming days as the last of the flooding makes its way to the sea. Gathered here are images from Thailand as the waters start to recede and the task of recovery begins.
At the end of World War II, huge swaths of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins, borders were being redrawn, homecomings, expulsions, and burials were under way, and the massive efforts to rebuild had just begun. When the war began in the late 1930s, the world's population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers and the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths -- killing off about 4 percent of the whole world. Allied forces became occupiers, taking control of Germany, Japan, and much of the territory they had formerly ruled. Efforts were made to permanently dismantle their war-making abilities, as factories were destroyed and former leadership was removed or prosecuted. War Crimes trials took place in Europe and Asia, leading to many executions and prison sentences. Millions of Germans and Japanese were forcibly expelled from territory they formerly called home. Allied occupation and United Nations decisions led to many long-lasting problems in the future, including tensions that led to the creation of East and West Germany, divergent plans on the Korean Peninsula which led to the creation of North and South Korea -- and the Korean War in 1950, and the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine which paved the way for Israel to declare its independence in 1948 and begin the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. The growing tensions between Western powers and the Soviet Eastern Bloc developed into the Cold War, and development and proliferation of nuclear weapons raised the very real specter of an unimaginable World War III if common ground could not be found. World War II was the biggest story of the 20th Century, and its aftermath continues to affect the world profoundly more than 65 years later. (This entry is Part 20 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II)
Since October 14, more than 6,000 athletes have been participating in the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The athletes, who hail from 42 nations in North and South America, are competing in traditional categories such as diving, fencing, and wrestling, but there are also newer sports on the program, including roller skating, BMX biking, and waterskiing. Collected here is a small set of images from the past two weeks in Guadalajara. The closing ceremony will take place on Sunday.
Heavy monsoon rains have been drenching Southeast Asia since mid-July, causing mudslides and widespread flooding. The deluge has now reached Bangkok, with rising water and associated problems affecting most of the city's 10 million residents. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that parts of the capital could be inundated by up to 1.5 meters of water and remain flooded for up to a month. Around Bangkok, the second-largest airport has closed, food prices are soaring, clean water is becoming scarce, and the country is declaring a holiday from Thursday until Monday to allow people to evacuate. The Chao Phraya river is predicted to overflow its banks in the city sometime today, and authorities say that if the protective dikes fail to hold the water, all parts of Bangkok will be vulnerable to the floodwater.
Last Sunday, October 23, a shallow but powerful earthquake struck Eastern Turkey in the early afternoon, destroying more than 2,000 buildings and shaking the ground for hundreds of miles. The magnitude 7.2 quake was centered near the city of Van, close to the border with Iran, with the greatest destruction occurring in the nearby town of Ercis. To date, at least 432 people are confirmed to have been killed and another 1,350 injured. Rescue workers have already saved dozens from the rubble, including a two-week-old baby, her mother, and her grandmother earlier today. Collected here are images from eastern Turkey as rescue work continues and tens of thousands of survivors now find themselves homeless.
Do not adjust your monitor. You're looking at 3D photographs by Jason Hawkes of sites around the UK. You'll need some 3D glasses, and fortunately, they're easy to make yourself. Jason shares some tips for shooting from a helicopter, as well as making images in 3D: "I normally fly in a Eurocopter AS355 which is a five seater machine. I sit in the back wearing a harness and we usually take off the doors before flight. I shoot on Nikon D3X and D3S using lenses from 14mm up to 300mm. (3D) Rigs on helicopters are a nightmare, especially as I might use three different types of helicopters in a week. In the end I found with a little trial and error its just as easy to shoot with a single camera as long as you get the timings spot on. Once you have the images you just use some standard Anaglyph software to integrate the shots and you end up with these stereoscopic images. When viewed with chromatically opposite lenses you perceive the images as having three dimensions." -- Lane Turner
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that in one week, on October 31, 2011, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Just 200 years ago, there were only 1 billion people on the planet, and over the next 150 years, that number grew to 3 billion. But in the past 50 years, the global population has more than doubled, and the UN projects that it could possibly grow to 15 billion by the year 2100. As the international organization points out, this increasing rate of change brings with it enormous challenges. Meeting the basic needs of so many will mean growing, shipping, and distributing more food while providing more clean water, health care, and shelter -- all without inflicting too much further damage on our environment.
After Germany surrendered in May of 1945, Allied attention focused on Japan. The island-hopping strategy adopted by the U.S. Navy successfully brought long range B-29 bombers within range of Japan's Home Islands, and massive bombing attacks took place involving high explosives, incendiary bombs, and finally the two most powerful weapons ever used in war, the newly-invented atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After more than 80 days of fighting, Allied forces had captured the Japanese island of Okinawa by June, but at a horrible cost, with more than 150,000 casualties on both sides, and tens of thousands of civilians dead as well (many by their own hand). Okinawa was seen as a painful preview of a planned full invasion of Japan, and Allied generals predicted massive casualties if it took place. At the same time as the atomic bombings, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, invading occupied Manchuria with a force of more than one million soldiers, quickly defeating Japan's Kwantung Army. Six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, and after much internal struggle, Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945. World War II was over. Next week, in the final entry in this series, we'll take a look at what came next in a new post-war era. (This entry is Part 19 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II)
Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles, is a Biblical holiday celebrated in late September to late October. The holiday lasts seven days. The Sukkah is a walled structure covered with plant material - built for the celebration - and is intended to be a reminiscence of the type of dwelling in which the Israelites stayed during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the Sukkah and many sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday, members of the household recite a blessing over the lulav and etrog (four species). The four species include the lulav (a ripe green, closed frond from a date palm tree), the hadass (boughs with leaves from the myrtle tree), the aravah (branches with leaves from the willow tree) and the etrog (the fruit of a citron tree.)