Gallery Gate

Sunday, March 20 was the vernal equinox -- the first day of spring -- when the northern hemisphere of our planet begins to tilt toward the sun, bringing warmer weather to billions. Now people, plants, and animals are beginning to emerge from their winter modes -- stepping outside, blooming, and otherwise welcoming the sunshine. These photos show glimpses of the season from around the world. Orchids open in the early morning sunshine at Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Wisley on April 12, 2011 in Wisley, England. There are 600 varieties of Orchid on display and The Glasshouse will host a meeting of the Orchid Society of Great Britain Show on April 30, 2011. A Canada goose nests in an urn as a deer keeps a watchful eye at Forest Lawn cemetery in Buffalo, New York April 8, 2011. For at least four days, the buck stood guard near the nest of the goose as she sat on her eggs inside a large urn at the cemetery, home to the remains of President Millard Fillmore and rock icon Rick James. A visitor enjoys an ice cream cone on the seafront on April 9, 2011 in Brighton, England.

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view Signs of Spring as presented by: The Atlantic


Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs died yesterday at the age of 56. Jobs was a man with extraordinary vision, drive, and success; and the technology he helped create has touched and enriched the lives of billions. He focused on creating things of simplicity and beauty matched by an underlying power and utility. When composing this entry, I was surprised to find myself so moved. Coming across the photo of a young Steve introducing the Apple II computer, I remembered learning to program on it. From Basic to Assembly Language, it was on Apple machines that I first developed the key skills I use in my work to this very day. All those years ago, as a high-school kid, my life was enriched by Jobs' efforts, and it continues to be today. Gathered here are images of Steve Jobs, along with a few remembrances from around the world. The first photo is especially striking, because you see in it not only Steve as a proud CEO walking the stage at the top of his game, but as a human being, a simple silhouette of the man who inspired so many. This 1977 file photo shows Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as he introduces the new Apple II in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote address at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. A Malaysian takes a photograph with an iPhone on a signboard to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO, at an Apple computer outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 6, 2011.

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view Steve Jobs, 1955-2011 as presented by: The Atlantic


The fighting between the two tribes in Mimika district, located in Indonesia's restive Papua province. One more tribesman was killed on June 20 raising casualty figure in the raging tribal war to four dead following the recent clash on June 18 where four police vehicles were torched in the violence. Papuan tribal warriors armed with bows and arrows and improvised shields, joined by minors (at L foreground) from Amole village, clash with tribes from Harapan village (background) during renewed fighting between the two tribes in Mimika district, located in Indonesia's restive Papua province

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view Papuan Tribal War in Kwamki Lama Village Indonesia as presented by: GigaPica



My wonderful wife Wendy works at Natural Habitat Adventures (they run incredible nature trips like this worldwide) and we were fortunate to be able to go on an African Safari in 1999. In 2010, we did an Africa Safari family trip with our two boys. Our trip to Africa started on May 28th, 2010 with this South African Airways A340-300 at JFK We were in seats 74/75HK ... wayyy in the back, but fortunate to have a window/aisle.

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view African Safari Family Trip as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


Several hundred participants from all over Europe re-enact 'Operation Amherst'. Operation Amherst was a special mission during World War II to liberate Drenthe (a province of the Netherlands). Authentic blank firing guns where used during the re-enactment.

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view WWII Re-enactment in Assen, the Netherlands as presented by: GigaPica


Hundreds of new fires broke out Sunday in Russian forests and fields that have been dried to a crisp by drought and record heat, but firefighters claimed success in bringing some of the wildfires raging around cities under control. The firefighters got much-needed help from residents desperate to save their homes, who shoveled sand onto the flames and carted water in large plastic bottles. The wildfires that began threatening much of western Russia last week have killed 28 people and destroyed or damaged 77 towns or villages, the Emergencies Ministry said. Thousands of people have been evacuated from areas in the path of flames, but no deaths have been recorded since late Wednesday. Troops and volunteers have joined tens of thousands of firefighters in combating the fires, which blazed just outside Moscow and in several provinces east and south of the capital. Residents search belongings from the ruins of their houses which were destroyed by a forest fire in the town of Voronezh some 500 km (294 miles) south of Moscow, Saturday, July 31, 2010. A Russian woman holding a baby cries near the remains of her burned out home in Voronezh on August 1, 2010. Firefighters fought an uphill battle against spreading forest fires that have already killed 30 people, destroyed thousands of homes and mobilized hundreds of thousands of emergency workers. The emergency ministry said that forest fires had engulfed more than 114,000 hectares across Russia. Flames travel along the floor of the forest as a parched forest burns near a suburb of the town of Voronezh some 500 km (294 miles) south of Moscow, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. Hundreds of new fires broke out Sunday in Russian forests and fields that have been dried to a crisp by drought and record heat.

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view Wildfires Rage in Russia as presented by: Sacramento Bee


On Thursday, the huge blaze known as the Wallow Fire was still burning completely out of control and had charred more than 386,000 acres with just 5 percent containment. After reportedly being sparked by a campfire, it has become the second-largest wildfire in state history and is still growing. Fire crews touring the area and assessing the damage said 22 homes in Greer were destroyed and five other homes were damaged. They also say 24 outbuildings in Greer were destroyed along with one vehicle. Authorities say there's no containment in sight and power lines that supply much of West Texas and southern New Mexico are also in jeopardy. Kay Dyson covers her face to protect from smoke from the Wallow Fire in Springerville, Ariz., Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Apache County Sheriff's Deputy Ruben Rodriguez makes Roger Soderberg sign a waiver because he has decided to stay despite the mandatory evacuation from the Wallow Fire in Eagar, Ariz, on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. A sign asks for residents to evacuate as the Wallow Fire approaches in Springerville, Ariz.

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view Wallow Fire Still Burning Completely Out Of Control as presented by: Sacramento Bee


The Silicium factory in Kazakhstan produces metallurgical silicon in a special way using special ore heat-treating furnaces. This is one of the biggest factories in the whole country and the only one specializing in this field. Silicon is the second most plentiful element of the Earthís crust after oxygen. It is commonly found in the combinations with silica and silicate. Pure silicon is used in various semiconductor devices and metallurgy. Two types of products are made here: metal silicon (used in aluminium and chemical fields) and silicon dust (used in production of extra-strong dry building mixtures). Silicon of technical purity (up to 99.9%) is made at a temperature of 1800 C inside the ore heat-treating furnaces (the main admixtures are carbon and metals). The fireproof furnace is a kind of a round steel outer cover with a bottom lined up with fire bricks. Power supply is maintained by an electrode which is made of graphite and connected with a furnace transformer, energized by the low-voltage circuit. Silicon is being constantly delivered through a special hole into the steel moulds. The process of the silicon reduction is taking place inside the furnace with the shunted arc. The temperature here is about 1670 C. The main types of reducers include coal and charcoal (birch and pine). After having been molten inside the furnace, silica goes to the scoop and then is slopped into the moulds. Today itís the only furnace which is in use at this factory but one more is going to start its work very soon. All the end products are exported to the European Union. By the way, the metallurgic silicon market value is Ä 2500 per ton.

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view Metallurgical Silicon Production as presented by: English Russia



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