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2013: The Year in Photos, May - August

In part 2 of this year's review of the most memorable events and images of 2013: protesters rally in Turkey, Egypt, and elsewhere; a massive tornado flattens much of Moore, Oklahoma; and Malala Yousafzai celebrates her 16th birthday with a speech to the United Nations. The series will comprise 120 images in all. Warning, some of the photos may contain graphic or objectionable content. [40 photos]


2013: The Year in Photos, January - April

December is here, and it's time for a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2013. Among the events covered in this essay (the first of a three-part photo summary of the year), Americans inaugurated President Barack Obama for a second term, a 13,000 ton meteor burned up in the sky over Russia, two young men detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon, and Dennis Rodman and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un enjoyed a basketball game together in Pyongyang. The series will comprise 120 images in all. Warning, some of the photos may contain graphic or objectionable content. [40 photos]


Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the age of 95. The former anti-apartheid activist, imprisoned for decades, was freed in 1990 and rose to become South Africa's first black president just four years later. Once in office, he actively sought reconciliation and peace, inviting former adversaries to help him create a new "Rainbow Nation." After leaving the presidency, Mandela remained an inspirational activist until his failing health forced him to retire from public view in 2004. The day after his death, millions around the world are remembering his legacy. [38 photos]


A Sea of Clouds Fills the Grand Canyon

Weather conditions in Arizona's Grand Canyon last week gave rise to a rare phenomenon called total cloud inversion. Last Friday, and again on Sunday, the ground apparently released some of its heat rapidly enough at dawn to create a layer of cool, damp air inside the canyon, trapping it beneath the unusually warmer sky above the canyon walls and filling the space with a sea of fog. Park officials said the phenomenon is a once-in-a-decade occurrence and ran to capture these fantastic photos. [12 photos]


Krampus: Saint Nicholas' Dark Companion

While Saint Nicholas may bring gifts to good boys and girls, ancient folklore in Europe's Alpine region also tells of Krampus, a frightening beast-like creature who emerges during the Yule season, looking for naughty children to punish in horrible ways - or possibly to drag back to his lair in a sack. In keeping with pre-Germanic Pagan traditions, men dressed as these demons have been frightening children on Krampusnacht for centuries, chasing them and hitting them with sticks, on an (often alcohol-fueled) run through the dark streets. [20 photos]


Mass rallies in Ukraine

Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine took to the streets to demonstrate against President Viktor Yanukovich's decision to abandon an EU integration pact, as he works to strengthen economic ties to Russia, rather than Europe. Protesters blockaded government buildings and occupied Independence Square in Kiev today, seeking to force Yanukovich from office. After harsh crackdowns last night, demonstrations continued this morning, with leaders calling for a nationwide strike. [30 photos]


National Geographic Photo Contest 2013, Part II

Time is running out to enter this year's National Geographic photo contest, the deadline for submissions is Saturday, November 30. One first-place winner will be chosen from each of the three categories, and the winning photographs will be published in National Geographic magazine. The overall grand-prize winner will be announced in December of 2013. Gathered below are 36 more images, with captions written by the individual photographers. [36 photos]


The Galapagos of the Indian Ocean

Far off the coast of Yemen lies isolated Socotra island, where hundreds of plants and animals have developed into species unique to the island. The best-known of these might be the Dragon Blood trees, with their densely-packed crowns and blood-red sap. Socotra, sometimes referred to as "the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean," is slowly emerging from its long isolation -- in 1999, the first airport opened, and tourism began to pick up. In an effort to counter any negative impacts, UNESCO recognized the island as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2008, promoting conservation of the unique environment and some of its endangered species. [20 photos]


Filipino Fishermen Improvise Refrigerator Boats

After losing their boats and houses in Super Typhoon Haiyan, fishermen from a destroyed village in Tanauan started building two-seated boats out of abandoned refrigerators and wood. Fisherman Jimmy Obaldo got the idea for the first boat from his children, and soon others followed his lead. These improvised vessels appear to be successfully afloat, and the fishermen are making small catches, as documented by Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj. [15 photos]


The 20th-Century Architecture of Eero Saarinen

In America's postwar years, architects and builders were redefining modernism, taking advantage of new construction techniques and materials to create a visual language for the 20th century. Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen was amazingly prolific and successful throughout this era, designing projects large and small, from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the TWA Flight Center at New York's JFK Airport to community churches and individual homes. Photographer Balthazar Korab worked for Saarinen, skillfully capturing the nuances, shapes, and lines of his structures and documenting the creative process involved. In the process, he earned a reputation as a well-respected architectural photographer. Korab, who passed away earlier this year, graciously donated nearly 800 of these photographs to the Library of Congress in 2007. [44 photos]


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