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.
As has often been the case this year, the tires played a big part in the outcome of this Grand Prix. The Pirelli’s lasted well on some cars, but got ripped to shreds on others. The Mercedes cars, for example, know how to utilize the tires to maximum effect during qualifying, which resulted in them being on the front row of the grid. However, during the race the Mercs kept dropping back while the Ferraris, Lotus Renaults and Red Bulls came steaming by. In the end it was Fernando Alonso who got to raise his home flag for the win.
The border between the United States and Mexico stretches 3,169 kilometers (1,969 miles), crossing deserts, rivers, towns, and cities from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. Every year, an estimated 350 million people legally cross the border, with another 500,000 entering into the United States illegally. No single barrier stretches across the entire border, instead, it is lined with a patchwork of steel and concrete fences, infrared cameras, sensors, drones, and nearly 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents. As immigrants from Mexico and other Central and South American countries continue to try to find their way into the U.S., Congress is now considering an immigration reform bill called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The bill proposes solutions to current border enforcement problems and paths to citizenship for the estimated 11 million existing illegal immigrants in the U.S. Gathered here are images of the US-Mexico border from the past few years.
While neighboring North Korea makes worldwide headlines with threats and demands, South Koreans have adjusted slightly to possible dangers, but largely carry on with their everyday lives. The war that halted in 1953 reverberates strongly today, including the continued strong presence of U.S. military forces near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. South Koreans have rapidly become a country of digital natives, with city dwellers quickly adopting new technologies. The megacity of Seoul now has a population nearing 11 million -- more than 20 percent of the entire country, all living in one dense, sprawling city, home to highrise apartments, shamanistic shrines, and grand palaces. Collected here are recent images from South Korea.
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.
After two Chechen brothers were named in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings, Reuters photographer Maxim Shemetov took this collection of images titled "Inside Modern Chechnya" showing daily life in a country now in the forefront of the news in and around the capital of Grozny.
The National Geographic Traveler Magazine photo contest, now in its 25th year, has begun. There is still plenty of time to enter. The entry deadline is Sunday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. Entrants may submit their photographs in any or all of the four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. The magazine's photo editors showcase their favorite entries each week in galleries. You can also vote for your favorites. "The pictures increasingly reflect a more sophisticated way of seeing and interpreting the world, making the judging process more difficult," says Keith Bellows, magazine editor in chief. (The captions are written by the entrants, some slightly edited for readability.) As always, you can take a look at last years winners.
Simple and efficient, rail travel nonetheless inspires a sense of romance. By train, subway, and a seemingly endless variety of trams, trolleys, and coal shaft cars, we've moved on rails for hundreds of years. Industry too relies on the billions of tons of freight moved annually by rolling stock. Gathered here are images of rails in our lives, the third post in an occasional series on transport, following Automobiles and Pedal power.
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.