Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best fails of 2011

happy new year!

The 2011 Year in 132 Pictures. Take a deeeep breath

Any "best of" list must surely be subjective. This one is no different. Choosing the best photographs of the year is an enormously difficult task, with many terrific photographs slipping through the cracks. But with major news events as a guide, and with single images I fell in love with throughout the year forcing their way into the edit, I look at my favorite pictures from the first four months of the year. Two main stories dominated headlines in the first part of the year: the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the rising of the Arab Spring. The protests in the Middle East would spread to Greece, Spain, and eventually inspire the Occupy movement in Western nations. Other stories included a historic wave of tornados in the U.S., a Royal wedding in London, and the creation of the world's newest nation in South Sudan. Images from the rest of the year will follow in posts later this week.

A wave caused by a tsunami flows into the city of Miyako from the Heigawa estuary in Iwate Prefecture after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan March 11, 2011. (Mainichi Shimbun /Reuters)

A pleasure boat sits on top of a building amid a sea of debris in Otsuchi town in Iwate prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images)

Sixty-six-year-old Yoshikatsu Hiratsuka cries in front of his collapsed house with a family member still missing, possibly buried in the rubble, at Onagawa town in Miyagi prefecture on March 17, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images)

Vehicle headlamps illuminated a disaster area in Yamada town in Iwate prefecture on March 16, 2011. (Str/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents bathe amongst tsunami devastation in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture on April 14, 2011. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

A protester holds a soldier's leg for safety as shots are fired in front of the headquarters of the Constitutional Democratic Rally party of ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali during a demonstration in downtown Tunis on January 20, 2011. (Zohra Bensemra /Reuters)

Family members grieve during the funeral procession of anti-government protester Abdul Ridha Mohammed on February 22, 2011 in Malkiya, Bahrain. He had been shot in the head when security forces attacked anti-government demonstrators. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Anti-government protesters celebrate inside Tahrir Square after the announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned on February 11, 2011. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

An opposition supporter takes shelter while providing water during riots with pro-Mubarak demonstrators near Tahrir Square in Cairo on February 3, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

Anti-government activists clash with riot police in Cairo on January 28, 2011. (Ben Curtis/AP)

A warplane of government forces crashes after being shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi in eastern Libya. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)

A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of government troops on April 14, 2011 west of Ajdabiyah, Libya. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint who they accuse of being a government loyalist, between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf in Libya on March 3, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic /Reuters)

A motorcycle policeman burns as his colleague tries to help him after protesters threw a petrol bomb in Athens on February 23, 2011. Scores of youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs at riot police after clashes broke out during a general strike. (Dimitri Messinis/AP)

Two men celebrate after being pulled out from a destroyed building in Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22, 2011, 24 hours after a massive earthquake struck. (John Kirk-Anderson/Christchurch Press/Reuters)

Tsiuri Kakabadze, 80, performs during the "Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather" contest in Tbilisi on January 5, 2011. Twenty-four participants aged over 70 from all over Georgia competed. (David Mdzinarishvili /Reuters)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, kiss as Bridesmaids Grace Van Cutsem and Margarita Armstrong-Jones look on from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London after the Royal wedding April 29, 2011. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

After a tornado struck, Faye Hyde sits on a mattress in what was her yard as she comforts her granddaughter Sierra Goldsmith, 2, in Conord Ala. (Jeff Roberts/The Birmingham News/AP)

A southern Sudanese woman shows her inked finger after voting at a polling center in Khartoum on January 10, 2011. The historic vote created the world's newest nation as South Sudan gained independence. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo raise their hands in a show of support at a rally in the Yopougon district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast on January 9, 2011. Gbagbo refused to recognize the results of a long-delayed election that he lost, and a long period of conflict ensued before he was removed from office. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Visitors wearing rabbit ear headbands watch a night parade held to celebrate Chinese New Year -- the year of the rabbit -- in Hong Kong on February 3, 2011. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Cambodian displaced people receive government aid at their shelter in a Buddhist pagoda after fleeing their villages near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia on February 9, 2011. Thailand and Cambodia waged an armed standoff surrounding the 900-year-old temple, causing villagers to flee. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Hundreds of cars were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago after a winter blizzard of historic proportions wobbled an otherwise snow-tough Chicago, stranding drivers for up to 12 hours overnight on February 2, 2011. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)

A skier jumps before the Sapporo skyline during an official training session of the World Cup ski jumping competition at Okurayama Hill on January 14, 2011. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder was given unprecedented access to North Korea, and gave many people their first look at the reclusive country, including a Pyongyang skyline view on April 12, 2011. (David Guttenfelder/AP)

A float from the Beija Flor samba school parades through the Sambadrome during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro on March 8, 2011. (Felipe Dana/AP)

A vendor jumps from the top of one overcrowded train to another on January 23, 2011 as thousands of Muslims return home after attending the three-day Islamic Congregation on the banks of the River Turag in Tongi, Bangladesh. The congregation, held each year since 1966, is among the world's largest religious gatherings. (Pavel Rahman/AP)

As the Cricket World Cup played out in host countries India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, children enjoy the game on railway tracks March 10, 2011 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

A man rides his horse through flames during the "Luminarias" religious celebration on the eve of Saint Anthony's Day in the village of San Bartolome de los Pinares, Spain on January 16, 2011. According to tradition people from the area ride their horses through the fire to purify the animals. (Andrea Comas /Reuters)

Homeless people warm themselves by a fire in the old quarters of Delhi on January 13, 2011. According to local media reports there are over 67,000 homeless in Delhi, of whom 15 percent are women and 10 percent children. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky above the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 9, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/The Anchorage Daily News/AP)

The Nyiragongo Crater in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world's largest lava lake, one of the wonders of the African continent. The crater bubbles 1,300 feet deep. (Olivier Grunewald)

A fisherman arranges a net as his wife paddles their boat in the waters of the Periyar river on the outskirts of Kochi, India on January 5, 2011. (Sivaram V/Reuters)

Twenty five years ago on April 26 the number four reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power facility exploded. The town of Pripyat, less than two miles from the plant, now sits abandoned, slowly consumed by returning forest. (Sergey Ponomarev/AP)

Men stand next to an auto rickshaw near farmers' fields on January 20, 2011 in Afghanistan. (Kevin Frayer/AP)

A woman uses a stick to rinse her laundry in an ice hole at Siverskoye Lake in the town of Kirillov, Russia on January 17, 2011. (Mikhail Voskresensky/Reuters)#

Nature at its full force with floods, drought, wild fires, tornadoes and spectacular images of volcanic eruptions. The death of Osama bin Laden, the attack on an island in Norway by a lone gunman, continued fighting in Libya, and protests around the globe were a few of the news events dominating the headlines.

A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5. Puyehue volcano erupted for the first time in half a century on June 4, 2011, prompting evacuations for 3,500 people as it sent a cloud of ash that reached Argentina. The National Service of Geology and Mining said the explosion that sparked the eruption also produced a column of gas 10 kilometers (six miles) high, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area. (Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images) )

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lunar eclipse of December 10, 2011

The longest lunar eclipse in over ten years animated the night sky on December 10. The red hue resulted from the sun's light passing through the earth's atmosphere. Viewers in Asia had the best view of the total eclipse, while those watching in Europe saw part of it at moonrise, and North Americans caught part of it as the moon set. It was not visible in South America or Antarctica. The next total eclipse will occur in 2014.

01. The moon casts a reddish hue over Lake Pend Oreille during a lunar eclipse as it begins to set behind the Selkirk Mountain Range near Sandpoint, Idaho on December 10, 2011. (Matt Mills McKnight/Reuters)

02. A composite of 12 pictures shows a full lunar eclipse over the skies in Hefei, China on December 10, 2011. The moon turns red as the shadow falls on it during the eclipse. (Stringer/Reuters)

03. Astronomy enthusiasts gather to watch the lunar eclipse in Wuhan, China on December 10, 2011. (Str/AFP/Getty Images)

04. A man watches the lunar eclipse using his tablet computer during a total lunar eclipse in Kuala Lumpur on December 10, 2011. (Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)

05. A lunar eclipse is seen in the sky beside a statue of Buddha in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka on December 10, 2011. (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

06. A partial lunar eclipse is seen from the Roman pillars of the Temple of Hercules in Amman December 2011. (Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

07. The earth's shadow falls on the moon as it undergoes a total lunar eclipse viewed through the arch supports of the Sydney Harbor Bridge December 11, 2011. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)

08. The earth's shadow falls on the moon as it emerges from a total lunar eclipse above the entrance to a theme park in Sydney on December 11, 2011. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)

09. A partial lunar eclipse rises above the Tokyo Tower on December 10, 2011. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

10. The Earth casts its shadow across the moon during the lunar eclipse in New Delhi on December 10, 2011. (Saurabh Das/AP)

11. A full moon lunar eclipse passes over Karachi on December 10, 2011. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)

12. Photographers take pictures of the moon during a lunar eclipse over the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge on December 10, 2011 in San Francisco. (Ben Margot/AP)

13. A woman uses a telescope at the Sydney Observatory to watch the moon over the Sydney Harbor Bridge during a total lunar eclipse in Sydney on December 11, 2011. (Rob Griffith/AP)

14. Israelis look at the full lunar eclipse appearing above the Judean desert from Mount Scopus in Jerusalem on December 10, 2011. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

15. People view the lunar eclipse as it shines above the Hollywood sign at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles December 10, 2011. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

16. A shooting star darts across the sky during a lunar eclipse over the entrance to Hawkeye Ranch near Geyserville, Calif. on December 10, 2011. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat/AP)

17. The earth's shadow falls on the moon above the Bank of China tower in Hong Kong's business district on December 10, 2011. (Soo Hoo Zheyang/Reuters)

18. A boy looks through a telescope as he and others observe a lunar eclipse at the Planetarium in Beijing on December 10, 2011. (Andy Wong/AP)

19. Stargazers observe a lunar eclipse at the Griffith Observatory in in Los Angeles on December 10, 2011. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

20. The moon sets above the Golden Gate Bridge during an eclipse on December 10, 2011, in San Francisco. (Frederic Larson/San Francisco Chronicle/AP)

21. A total lunar eclipse on December 10, 2011 shines above a tree known as the miracle solitary pine tree in Japan, which survived the March 11 tsunami in Rikuzentakata. (Kyodo/Reuters)

22. The partially eclipsed moon rises above Cologne on December 10, 2011. Only the end of the eclipse could be seen in Germany due to the late rise of the moon. (Kaiser Henning/AFP/Getty Images)

23. A lunar eclipse shines in the sky over the Swayambhunath stupa, a world heritage site, in Katmandu, Nepal on December 10, 2011. (Binod Joshi/AP)

24. A total lunar eclipse shines above a Christmas tree in Seoul on December 10, 2011. (Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters)

25. As dawn breaks over the tall ships at the San Diego, Calif. Maritime Museum, the setting moon begins to emerge from Earth's shadow following a total eclipse on December 10, 2011. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/AP)

26. A lunar eclipse shines above Turret Arch at Arches National Park on December 10, 2011 near Moab, Utah. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

27. An astronomy enthusiast records the lunar eclipse on his computer as he sets his telescope in Wuhan, China on December 10, 2011. (Str/AFP/Getty Images)