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The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition lets us see beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes. Almost 2000 entries from 70 countries vied for recognition in the 37th annual contest, which celebrates photography through a microscope. Images two through 21 showcase the contest's winners in order, and are followed by a selection of other outstanding works. Scientists and photographers turned their attention on a wide range of subjects, both living and man-made, from lacewing larva to charged couple devices, sometimes magnifying them over 2000 times their original size. A freshwater shrimp eye and head shot with image stacking photography by Jose R. Almodovar at the Microscopy Center, Biology Department, UPR Mayaguez Campus in Mayaquez, Puerto Rico. Dr. Igor Siwanowicz of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany shot "Portrait of a Chrysopa sp. (green lacewing) larva" at 20x magnification using the confocal method. Using laser-triggered high-speed macrophotography, Dr. John H. Brackenbury of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK captured a water droplet containing a pair of mosquito larvae.

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view Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition as presented by: Boston Big Picture


On Monday, October 4th, a large reservoir filled with toxic red sludge in western Hungary ruptured, releasing approximately 700,000 cubic meters (185 million gallons) of stinking caustic mud, which killed many animals, at least four people, and injured over 120 - many with chemical burns. The 12-foot-high flood of sludge inundated several towns, sweeping cars off the road as it flowed into the nearby Marcal River. Emergency workers rushed to pour 1,000 tons of plaster into the Marcal River in an attempt to bind the sludge and keep it from flowing on to the Danube some 45 miles away. The red sludge in the reservoir is a byproduct of refining bauxite into alumina, which took place at an alumina plant run by the Hungarian Alumina Production and Trading Company. A criminal probe has just been opened by Hungarian authorities. A Greenpeace activist takes a sample of the toxic sludge in a town near Ajkai. Hungarian Army soldier wearing a chemical protection outfit cleans a street of Devecser. Janos Kis (left) and Tunde Erdelyi look at their home flooded by toxic mud in the town of Devecser, Hungary.

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view A Flood Of Toxic Sludge as presented by: Boston Big Picture


The death toll has risen to 139 following the tornado that ripped into Joplin, Mo., destroying or damaging homes, a hospital and commercial buildings in its path. Oklahoma and Texas were also hammered by damaging twisters. Joplin, Mo. — Beverly Winans hugs her daughter Debbie Surlin while salvaging items from the Winans' devastated home. Winans and her husband rode out the EF-5 tornado by hiding under a bed in the home. The tornado tore through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 122 people. President Obama greets residents affected by the devastating tornado that hit the small Midwestern city a week ago. Obama travelled to Joplin also to participate in a memorial service for those killed, estimated at 139 people. The Rev. Bill Pape prepares for an outdoor church service after Peace Lutheran Church was destroyed in the massive tornado.

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view Tornadoes plague the Midwest as presented by: Los Angeles Times



Tattoo Artist Horitaka was born in Japan and raised in the United States. His parents taught him Japanese, which helped later in his study of Japanese tattoo culture and traditions. Enamored with tattoos, he started collecting in high school and eventually began tattooing in 1998 before landing his coveted apprenticeship. Now an iconic tattoo artist of his own right, Horitaka is a pioneer in the tattoo industry with eight published books and his own shop, State of Grace, in San Jose, CA. Horitaka embraces the mentality that tattooing is more than a mark on the body and he likes to think of the art as a philosophy. Bacardi Dragonberry brought Horitaka to the Netherlands on the 8th and 9th of september 2012. They opened a 48 hrs pop-store in their Bacardi-huis in Amsterdam where visitors could see Horitaka in action. For this event Horitaka designed a special Dragon Tattoo, based on the Bacardi Dragonberry Dragon.

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view Bacardi Dragonberry and Tattoo-master Horitaka as presented by: GigaPica


The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. This site started in 2001 as a community space and repository where people can upload their WWD event activities and reports. A boy in a shanty area bathes under a public tap in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar, Tuesday, March 22, 2011. World Water Day is being marked across the world Tuesday. A young girl joins her elders as they display empty plastic bottles with water drop-shaped placards during a rally commemorating World Water Day Tuesday, March 22, 2011, in Manila, Philippines. A homeless man washes his hands in a fountain in Medellin, Antioquia Department, Colombia on March 22, 2011, on World Water Day. The UN's food agency marked World Water Day, today by calling for new and innovative approaches to ensuring city dwellers in developing countries have access to safe and adequate water supplies.

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view World Water Day 2011 as presented by: Sacramento Bee


These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color. Headlines posted in street-corner window of newspaper office (Brockton Enterprise). Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Shasta dam under construction. California, June 1942. Hay stack and automobile of peach pickers. Delta County, Colorado, 1940.

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view Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 as presented by: Denver Post


So then we considered man-made haunted trails that people purposefully visit to be spooked for Halloween . . . but there are other times when a person is totally alone in some eerie forest that seems a bit enchanted. When the woods seem scary, it could be because you let your imagination run wild. It might be local folklore about a foggy forest, or a moody mist attached to legends and claims that the woods are haunted. How we interpret a setting may be our state of mind at the time, but artists of all kinds have taken to the forest for inspiration. J.R.R. Tolkien used Puzzlewood as his mystical, magical muse that inspired him to create the fabled forests of Middle-earth within The Lord of the Rings. In our Fall Fantasy post, we quoted Vincent Van Gogh as saying, ‘Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.’ Perhaps to truly enjoy these pictures, you may need to think of it like an art game….for each picture, imagine if you were all alone in these woods. We were curious what made the streak of fear strike the hearts of photographers who are out alone in the forest. All of these photos were tagged with words like spooky, dark, scary, foggy, or haunted; on any other day, and different state of mind, these might be interpreted as sweet alone time in nature. But tap into your inner artist and let your imagination run wild to “see” what the photographers saw when these “enchanted” woods seemed “haunted” or “spooky” or just flat-out Brothers Grimm scary.

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view When the Woods Are Scary: Enchanted Forests Like Brothers Grimm Broken Fairytales as presented by: Love These Pics


Grieving mudslide survivors carried the bodies of loved ones for hours down washed-out mountainsides on Friday as the death toll hit 514. They told of entire neighborhoods in a resort city destroyed and pleaded for food and water to reach those still isolated by Brazil's deadliest natural disaster in four decades. Officials said the death toll in four towns north of Rio de Janeiro was still rising and could jump further once rescuers can reach areas cut off by Wednesday's slides. They refused to even guess how many remain missing. Local reports put it in the hundreds. In this photo released by Rio de Janeiro's state government are seen homes affected by landslides in the Nova Friburgo municipality of Rio de Janeiro.

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view Devastating Landslides hit Brazil as presented by: Sacramento Bee



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