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Time once more for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include Iranian dog owners under pressure, a bloom of mayflies, Kim Jong-un visiting Breeding Station No. 621, animals fleeing recent fires and floods, and a dachshund receiving acupuncture therapy. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [38 photos]

James Hyslop, a Scientific Specialist at Christie's auction house holds a complete sub-fossilised elephant bird egg on March 27, 2013 in London, England. The massive egg, from the now-extinct elephant bird sold for $101,813 at Christie's "Travel, Science and Natural History" sale, on April 24, 2013 in London. Elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago. The egg, laid on the island of Madagascar, is believed to date back before the 17th century. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)     

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Patrick Traylor

It’s hard to pin down where John Francis Peters might be at any given time. Upstate New York, China, Mexico… and that was just last year. “Travel has been a big part of my life since childhood and engrained in my experience as a photographer,” recalls Peters. “Part of my focus on photography as a [...]

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Kodachrome-list2

“Kodachrome! They give us those nice bright colors, they give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day” sang Paul Simon in 1973. These incredible Kodachrome transparencies shot for the Office of War Information date from a few decades earlier. Taken on the home front in the thick of the Second World War, they’ve been adjusted by the Shorpy webmaster from originals held in the Library of Congress to give us those nice bright colours Paul Simon loved.

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trent ces essay

Trent Wolbe will be publishing daily photo essays from CES. This is the latest in the series.



It was 2:57PM which meant Danny DeVito was 27 minutes late for his scheduled appearance at the Panasonic stage. That would have been OK if there hadn’t been two executives there in his place, talking alternately in sweepingly generic terms about the future of entertainment and confusingly specific details about year-over-year advancements in display manufacturing technology. The horde of photographers armed with heavy zoom lenses were getting visibly pissed off, and everyone else was playing Angry Birds. At 2:59 a comically horrid wave of probably-chili-induced flatulence entered my smell zone; a split second before I ran away forever the...

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After cutting a destructive path through the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage along the East Coast this week. Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey and brought with it major flooding, travel disruption, structural damage, and power outages. New York City was especially hard hit. The storm system was so large ­-- nearly 1,000 miles wide at times -- it brought blizzard conditions to West Virginia and 20 foot waves to Lake Michigan. It is projected Sandy will have caused about $30 billion in damages in the United States. To date, the storm claimed more than 100 lives. -- Lloyd Young ( 57 photos total)
Flooded homes in Tuckerton, N.J., on Oct. 30 after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the southern New Jersey coastline on Oct. 29. (US Coast Guard via AFP/Getty Images)

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You can’t help but root for Arthur Hitchcock in the new short documentary Hitchcock Walks. The film follows the then-19-year-old’s trek by foot across the United States and takes you into the heart and mind of a young man reeling from the death of his mom.

“The minute that she passed something in my brain told me that this would be a way to honor the memory of both my parents,” says Hitchcock, who lost his dad when he was two. “And I felt like it would be a good escape. I felt like running away.”

Hitchcock originally had the idea to walk across the country as a way to build his budding photography portfolio. But after he lost his mom to breast cancer on Oct. 6, 2010, he suddenly had a new reason to set out.

Shot principally by Hitchcock (with the help of a tripod) as he walked, the film was edited by Adam Sjöberg and was just released a little more than a week ago. Since being posted on the Vimeo Staff Pick website, it’s been viewed by more than 44,000 people.

For 16 closely edited minutes, viewers get a glimpse of someone who has reason to check out from the world but instead takes it head on, walking his sadness and frustration away through the mountains of California, the deserts of Utah and the chilled nights of the Northeast.

What could have been a syrupy flop turns into an earnest exploration of Hitchcock’s life and insight into how people deal with loss. This is partly due to Sjöberg’s skills as an editor, partly due to Hitchcock and his story.

“I don’t think [the viewers] are connecting with anything I’ve done,” Sjöberg says. “I really think it’s Arthur, who he is as a person.”

In a matter of weeks after his mom passed, Hitchcock had sold most of his possession from his home in Long Beach, California, bought a Ford pickup, and convinced his best friend Anthony Felix to follow him in the truck as support.

“I was just sitting with Anthony one day and I was like, ‘You know what, how would you feel about coming with me?’” Hitchcock says. “We have been best friends since elementary school and like I expected, Anthony was completely supportive.”

Hitchcock, who ran cross-country in high school, started training by leaving his car at home and doing all his errands on foot while carrying a heavy pack. Before he left he was regularly walking 15 to 20 miles a day.

To finance the trip he wrote letters and e-mails asking for sponsorships. He wanted to raise awareness of breast cancer so he contacted The Breast Cancer Society, which agreed to give him information packets to pass out and $100 each week for food and supplies. America’s Tire Company gave him a new set of tires. Brooks gave him $700 worth of running gear and Osprey gave him two backpacks.

On May 11, 2011 he and Felix started their trip.

Hitchcock had spent weeks researching and mapping a route, but his plan went out the window as soon as he figured out how difficult it was to try and follow a complicated set of directions on America’s back roads.

“I just started thinking in highways and freeways,” he says.

Meanwhile, Felix either waited for Hitchcock at their starting point or ending point each day, carrying supplies in the truck. At night they would set up camp in a tent, sleep in the truck or crash with people they found on couchsurfing.org.

Initially, Hitchcock followed Highway 1 to San Francisco and then turned east on I-80. The highway patrol was not too happy with his decision to walk along the freeway. One day the police stopped him four times. Twice it was the same cop.

“He was livid,” Hitchcock says.

In addition to police threats, other perils of highway travel included a number of sexual propositions from truckers, violent thunderstorms and scorching heat. In Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, Hitchcock ran out of water and was stranded in 100-degree weather, unable to reach Felix via cell. Felix would often misplace his phone in the camper shell or forget to charge it.

“It happened so many times and I was like, really?!” Hitchcock says, laughing. “Go A Team.” Luckily on this occasion, a driver stopped to give Arthur a five-gallon jug of water, which got him through.

“That was just one of many good stories that helped me restore my faith in humanity,” he says. “I couldn’t have done this trip without the kindness of strangers.”

The contents of Hitchcock's backpack.

Normally, Hitchcock walked about 25 to 40 miles a day. He challenged himself to add a little more distance over time and one day ended up covering 62 miles along I-80 in Wyoming. To do it he had to get up at 3:30 a.m. and walk for more than 21 hours.

“I wanted to walk until I couldn’t walk anymore,” Hitchcock says. “I wanted to find my limit, and I found it.”

During the 14 hours or so that Hitchcock spent walking each day (he did take days off), he said that he meditated on his own life and tried to overcome the anger and sadness he had when he set out.

“It’s hard to articulate the perspective it gave me, but it completely changed my life,” he says. “I do a better job of putting myself in other people’s shoes, I’m more compassionate, I’m a better listener…. There is no way that I was not transformed.”

Hitchcock originally started filming the trip with a Canon 5D Mark II. He had no idea how he was going to put the footage together but wanted to have it nonetheless.

He met Sjöberg during a stop in New York. Sjöberg, who was a friend of a friend, wanted to edit the footage into a documentary and film Hitchcock when he arrived at his final stop in Augusta, Maine.

“I connected with the story immediately when I met him,” Sjöberg says. “There was a lot of stuff that gave him a reason to feel alone and angry or that some injustice had been done to him, but he still has a grace and a love for people.”

With Sjöberg in tow, Hitchcock’s final day came on Nov. 2, 2011 — 175 days, nearly six months, after Hitchcock and Felix left Long Beach.

Partly out of excitement and partly because he miscalculated the number of miles he had to go that day, Hitchcock ended up running 32 miles to his final landing spot at the Maine State House.

“First off, I was dead tired and I was so happy that I got to stop running,” Hitchcock says about the journey’s final moments. “There was a huge sense of accomplishment and my parents were the first people I thought of.”

After celebrating, it took only five days for Hitchcock and Felix to drive back to California.

Today Hitchcock is living in Oregon with his fiancée, who he proposed to almost immediately after getting back from his trip — an idea he came up with during the journey. They plan on getting married in July.

He’s trying to build his photography business and purposefully enjoying the more mundane life of staying at home.

“It’s been a nice change of pace,” he says.

Photos and video courtesy of Arthur Hitchcock and Adam Sjöberg.

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