Category / People
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of the just-completed Expedition 35 aboard the International Space Station, landed safely yesterday in Kazakhstan along with crew members Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko after five months in orbit. In his time aboard the ISS, Commander Hadfield not only took hundreds of photographs and conducted conferences with students on Earth, he took his stories to social media, catching the attention of the world. Hadfield, with the help of his sons Evan and Kyle, took the web by storm, creating popular presences on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and more. His videos answered questions about everyday existence in zero-gravity with a dose of science mixed with humor. To top things off, Hadfield, also a musician, finished his command mission by releasing his own version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity", with Bowie's blessing. Gathered here are some photos of and by Commander Hadfield during his remarkable mission.
Last weekend, Reuters photographer Carlos Barria traveled to Zheijiang Province, China, to photograph some of the 1,000 Harley Davidson enthusiasts who attended China's 5th annual Harley Davidson National Rally, part of the company's 110-year anniversary. Harley Davidson only began official sales in China in 2005, and its bikes are considered to be luxury items by Chinese tax authorities, so they are taxed at extremely high rates -- a 2013 motorcycle might sell for 200,000 yuan ($32,500), approximately four times the average annual salary in Beijing. Transportation authorities have also placed Harleys in the same category as electric bikes, horses and bicycles, so they cannot be ridden on highways and major avenues.
Although modern techniques often bring sugar and salt to our tables, these two simple treats for the palate are still harvested and processed in traditional, if not ancient methods the world over. Over 160 million tons of sugar is produced annually in well over 100 countries, most of it processed from cane in tropical countries. The world uses 240 million tons of salt every year in everything from food to industrial applications. Gathered here are images of the toils that result in two of our favorite flavors.
Before 1995, the small Caribbean island of Montserrat was a relatively quiet tourist destination -- a British Overseas Territory with a population of 11,000. Then, the Soufriere Hills volcano came to life after remaining quiet since the 17th century. Thousands lived in the direct path of ensuing mudflows and pyroclastic flows -- cascades of hot gas and rock. The capital city of Plymouth and 20 other settlements were completely destroyed. Dozens lost their lives initially, and thousands were evacuated as eruptions continued off and on for years afterward. More than 7,000 residents moved away, and tourist dollars vanished. While the volcano is still active, it has been relatively quiet since early 2010, and nearly half of the island remains a designated exclusion zone.
Damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy's landfall last October can still be seen along the US East Coast, especially the hard hit beachfront areas in New Jersey, as many communities work to move forward. Dubbed "The Hurricane" and reaching 1,000 miles wide at times, Sandy caused some $50 billion in damage and killed 159 people.
Images of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents patrolling along the international border between Mexico and the U.S.
As part of an ongoing experiment, I solicited reader requests for news photos, asking people on Twitter, Facebook and email, "Would you like to see a good photo of a particular subject? A high-res version of a photo you've already seen somewhere else? A photo from a particular photographer or event? If I have access and can find it, I'll try to post it." The response was even better than the last time we did this, the subject matter was varied, and the task of finding the images and composing the entry was great fun. Requests this time ranged from Vladimir Putin in the snow to the beaches of Zanzibar, to the skyline of Chicago. If you like this experiment, let me know in the comments. I've decided to make it a more regular feature now. To all those who made requests, thanks so much.
Salt, an essential element for all animal life, is abundant here on Earth, but it still requires extraction from stone deposits or salty waters. The process of mining that salt can produce beautiful landscapes, including deep, stable caverns, multicolored pools of water, and geometric carvings. Some of these locations have even become tourist destinations, serving as concert halls, museums, and health spas touting the benefits of halotherapy. Collected here are images of salt mines across the world, above and below ground.
Bangkok, home to over 9 million people, is both one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and the capital of a country with one of Asia’s widest rich-poor disparities. The chaotic and vibrant city is a mishmash of dizzying skyscrapers and colossal shopping malls jammed up against residential apartment buildings and homes. Crowded streets bustle with sidewalk vendors and motorbikes, and 7.5 million registered cars overwhelm roads designed for just 1.4 million.
Another refugee camp opened today in Mrajeeb al-Fhood, Jordan, to accommodate the reported 1,500 to 2,000 Syrians fleeing to Jordan daily. Just over a year ago the Big Picture posted an entry of the growing number of people displaced due to the conflict that now has lasted over two years. The United Nations recently said a total of around 7,000 to 8,000 Syrians are leaving their country daily; there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more have been displaced inside Syria since the start of the conflict. Posted here is another glimpse of daily life for those displaced since the beginning of this year.