Gallery Gate

The spring equinox was March 20 this year, determined by the changing sunlight and how the earth is tilted and orbits the sun. But we don't need to look to the skies to know the seasons are turning. All we have to do is glance more earthbound to find flashes of color and bursts of life. Flowers are appearing in all kinds of places since the equinox. A Libyan mourner places a flower at the funeral of the people who were killed after air strikes by coalition forces at the martyrs' cemetery in Tripoli March 24. A oil beetle feeds on a flower close to the coastal path during the first ever nationwide survey to map the location of the threatened and creatures on March 24 near Plymouth, England. Often found on the coast, and particularly in the south west of England, the number of oil beetle species found in the UK has halved in the last 100 years and the survey will help establish the whereabouts of the remaining four species and boost efforts to secure their future. The survey is being launched today by Buglife: The Invertebrate Trust and the National Trust in partnership with Natural England and Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Bouquets and wreaths of flowers are displayed on the steps of the Monaco cathedral, before the funeral of Princess Antoinette, late Prince Rainier's sister of Monaco March 24. Princess Antoinette March 18 in Monaco.

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view Flower Power as presented by: Boston Big Picture


More than 1,000 Muslims who fled Myanmar's latest bout of sectarian violence huddled Thursday in a Buddhist monastery guarded by army soldiers as calm returned to this northeastern city, though burned out buildings leveled by Buddhist rioters still smoldered. The army transported terrified Muslim families by the truckload out of a neighborhood in Lashio where overturned cars and motorcycles that had been charred a day earlier left black scars on the red earth. "We heard things could get worse, so we waved down soldiers and asked them for help," said 59-year-old Khin Than, who arrived at the monastery Thursday morning with her four children and sacks of luggage along with several hundred other Muslims. "We left because we're afraid of being attacked." The violence in Lashio this week highlights how anti-Muslim unrest has slowly spread across Myanmar since starting last year in western Rakhine state and hitting the central city of Meikhtila in March. President Thein Sein's government, which inherited power from the military two years ago, has been heavily criticized for failing to contain the violence.

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view Fearful Myanmar Muslims Shelter in Monastery as presented by: Sacramento Bee


A week after a 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami leveled large swaths of northeastern Japan, effects of the disaster are still rippling across the country and the world. Misery of the victims continues unabated, as shelter, food, water, and fuel have become dear. A nuclear facility crisis has both troops and workers scrambling to keep the situation from getting worse, while foreign governments are urging their citizens to evacuate. A man checks lists of evacuees at an evacuation center in Rikuzentakata March 18. A man collects water from a canal in the tsunami-devastated town of Otsuchi on March 18. People cook outside their home in the tsunami-damaged town of Otsuchi.

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view Japan: One Week Later as presented by: Boston Big Picture



Nathan Myhrvold earned a Ph.D. in theoretical and mathematical physics at 23, helped Stephen Hawking research the quantum theory of gravitation as a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University, served as Microsoft's chief technology officer, became a billionaire, and founded an invention-generating company that now holds more than 30,000 patents, including one for an invisibility cloak and another for a laser beam that annihilates malaria-ridden mosquitoes. But that's not all he's done with his science knowledge. In March he published a six-volume, 2,400-page, 40-pound cookbook called Modernist Cuisine that attempts to catalog every science principle known (and, until now, unknown) to cooking. To research the tome, he and a team of 50 chefs, writers, and photographers spent five years conducting detailed tests, many of them involving liquid nitrogen, rotary evaporators, centrifuges, and other industrial paraphernalia. We asked Myhrvold and Wayt Gibbs, the editor-in-chief of Modernist Cuisine, to share a few favorites among the 3,200 photos in the book, along with some of the counterintuitive insights they gained along the way. Prepare to unleash your inner Frankenchef. Essential oils like those of lemon and orange, and concentrated aromatic compounds like vanilla, are to flavor what Klaxon sirens are to sound. Thanks largely to the perfume industry, a huge variety of essences are available, from allspice to wormwood. Some chefs have begun using laboratory-style distillation equipment to derive their own concentrates as well. Smoking is usually associated with sausages, ribs, and salmon, but there's no reason you can't smoke plant foods as well. With vegetables, the goal of smoking is to flavor rather than preserve, though some preservation inevitably results from the dehydration that occurs. Traditional examples of smoked vegetables include the charred, mashed eggplant in baba ghanoush and the smoked Mexican chili peppers known as chipotles. The trick is getting flavors in the smoke to condense in a film on the vegetables without heating them so much that their texture is significantly altered. New cold-smokers allow vegetables like this onion to remain at refrigerator-like temperature while smoke is piped in from a fire.A good pork roast is as sublime as it is uncommon: Its flesh is tender and juicy, its skin delicate and crisp. But how do you get that superb crackly exterior without overcooking the meat? One solution is to cook the skin and meat separately. Vacuum seal the pork in plastic and slow-cook in a water bath until the meat reaches the same temperature throughout. Meanwhile, gelatinize and fry the detached skin and sprinkle it on the loin. Here we garnish it with edible "coals" made out of stewed prunes and caramel foam.

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view Beautiful, Edible Science: Cold Smoke, Flaming Oranges and Gelatinized Skin as presented by: Discover Magazine


From an Indian baker preparing vermicelli, to weddings in China, here is a look at daily life in other nations as seen through the eyes of photographers who work for the Associated Press. An elderly Nepalese man smokes as he sits in front of a closed shop which has writings made during the recently concluded Dashain festival at Bhaktapur, outskirts of Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, Oct.10, 2011. People believe making these writings in front of their shops and homes brings good luck. People enjoy thermal water in the ruins of the ancient baths at Tiermas while covering their bodies with mud in Yesa, northern Spain, Saturday Oct.1, 2011. A man carries ducks he bought at a roadside market in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011.

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view Moments of Daily Life Around the World as presented by: Sacramento Bee


Al-Qaeda founder and leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan, President Obama has said. The al-Qaeda leader was killed in a ground operation outside Islamabad based on US intelligence, the first lead for which emerged last August. 01 May 2011. US President Barack Obama stands after addressing the nation on TV from the East Room of the White House to make a televised statement in Washington, DC, USA, 01 May 2011. Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on May 2, 2011. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that Osama Bin Laden had "paid for his actions" after he was killed in an operation by US special forces near the capital of neighbouring Pakistan.

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view OSAMA is DEAD as presented by: GigaPica


More than 100 people rappelled from the 32nd floor of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel during the second annual Over the Edge fundraiser for Los Angeles-area Scouting programs. Each descent took about 15 minutes. The participants raised nearly $200,000. A Boy Scout leader watches a tiny speck of a person rappel down the glass face of the left tower of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. For the thrilling chance to learn and perform the stunt, each of about 100 participants raised at least $1,500 in support of Scouting programs. Pamela Hirneisen smiles as she inches her way down from the 32d floor of the Westin Bonaventure. She said she did it to help raise money for the Boy Scouts and "to face my fears [of heights]. I'm not afraid anymore!" Pamela Hirneisen, 37, catches her breath as she begins to rappel from the 32nd floor of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She admits to being afraid of heights and nearly chickened out because "having the faith to lean backward was really, really hard to overcome." She and other participants in the second annual Over the Edge event were raising money for L.A.-area Scouting programs.

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view Over the Edge fundraisers rappel down Westin Bonaventure Hotel as presented by: Los Angeles Times


The Marble Caves of Patagonia, Chile, are beautiful vibrant blue caverns, partially submerged in the equally stunning turquoise waters of Carrera Lake. The lake itself is on the border of Argentina and Chile, with the caves located on the Chilean side. The caves are comprised of three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). Visitors to the caves can explore them in a small boat or kayak, but only when Carrera Lake’s waters are calm and gentle. A rare and invaluable natural wonder, the existence of these caves is currently threatened by plans to build five large dams in the area. If you visit these caves, please treat them with the utmost respect and care.

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view Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile as presented by: Beautiful Places To Visit



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