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Tornadoes can form anytime of year, but occur most frequently in April, May, and June, due to favorable weather conditions. Earlier this week a massive 200-mile-per-hour EF5 tornado hit Moore, Okla., killing some two dozen people, damaging thousands of structures, and causing an estimated $2 billion in damage. This year, twisters have already touched down in Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama. ( 46 photos total)
A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on May 20. A tornado as much as half a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)     

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Ever noticed anything a little different about the drop-down menus on Amazon's website? Ben Kamens has, and he's published an illuminating explanation on his website. According to Kamens, lead developer at Khan Academy, the distinguishing factor is Amazon's speed — moving your cursor along the site's main drop-down brings up submenus almost instantly. That kind of responsiveness is rather unique in web design, and, as Kamens explains, it's something Amazon achieved thanks to a subtle, yet clever algorithm.

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At the suggestion of her 8-year-old daughter, who was watching a weather show on TV, Camille Seaman took to the Great Plains, photographing supercell storms - the type that begets tornadoes.

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Thobias Fäldt & Klara Källström

July 20 – September 7, 2012
Opening Reception Friday July 20, 2012 6 – 10pm

The Popular Workshop
1173 Sutter Street / San Francisco / CA 94109

http://www.thepopularworkshop.com/

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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
International pressure mounted on the Assad regime in Syria following a massacre of 108 people, nearly half of them children, in the Houla region. Olympic hopefuls trained for the London Games in far flung locations and Joplin, Missouri, marked one year since tornadoes ripped through the area.

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Talk about a whirlwind day. Yesterday started out like any other for Dallas native Parrish Ruiz de Velasco. The 21-year-old freelance graphic designer and photographer was headed to work on a carpentry job in Ovilla, Texas, when he decided to ignore his GPS.

“As soon as I saw the swirling clouds, I knew it was going to be something cool. I went ahead and took the left turn instead of the right turn, just to chase it down and see if it turned into anything,” he says. “It ended up being a pretty big tornado that unfortunately messed up a lot of peoples’ homes.”

Ruiz de Velasco followed the storm for what he estimates to be about 15 miles, up I-35 toward Route 20, getting in front of the storm, before he did a u-turn. As always, he had his camera with him. He took a photo.

He didn’t end up making it to work. After submitting his picture to the Dallas Morning News via the paper’s website, the young photographer was called into the office, where he would spend the rest of the evening dealing with requests for the image. By the next day, the picture would have appeared on the front pages of 17 newspapers from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post to papers in Montreal and Buenos Aires—and it will appear this coming week in TIME.

“They were pretty mad at me,” he says of his carpentry employers, to whom he had to make excuses on the day of the storm, “until this morning when they saw the newspaper.”

Ruiz de Velasco had never experienced a tornado before—and his home and family made it through yesterday unscathed—but he says he wasn’t scared, just excited, an excitement that persists even now that the weather in Texas is sunny and clear.

“It was pretty stupid. I had a lot of adrenaline going on,” he says. “It’s the crazy power of nature. I really wanted to capture that.”

Parrish Ruiz de Velasco is a Dallas-based photographer and designer. Check out his Facebook page here.

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Over the course of five days last week, more than 150 tornadoes were reported across a dozen states. Belonging to two separate weather systems, they left enormous trails of wreckage strewn across the southern United States and Ohio River Valley and took the lives of 39 people. At least two of the tornadoes were given the severe rating of EF4, with sustained winds of between 267 and 322 kph (166 - 200 mph). Many residents have now returned to their damaged farms and neighborhoods to search for items that may have survived the storms, assess the damage, and plan their next steps. The images gathered here show the ferocity of these forces of nature and the fragility of even the strongest man-made structures. [39 photos]

Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in the East Limestone, Alabama, on Friday, March 2, 2012. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

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