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Tomorrow, March 22, is World Water Day, an event established by the United Nations in 1993 to highlight the challenges associated with this precious resource. Each year has a theme, and this year's is "Water and Food Security." The UN estimates that more than one in six people worldwide lack access to 20-50 liters (5-13 gallons) of safe freshwater a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. And as the world's population grows beyond 7 billion, clean water is growing scarcer in densely populated areas as well as in remote villages. Collected here are recent images showing water in our lives -- how we use it, abuse it, and depend on it. [36 photos]

A journalist takes a sample of polluted red water from the Jianhe River in Luoyang, Henan province, China, on December 13, 2011. According to local media, the sources of the pollution were two illegal chemical plants discharging their production wastewater into the rain sewer pipes. (Reuters/China Daily)

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A last blast before the observance of Lent, Carnival has evolved in many parts of the world with Christian traditions to be the biggest party of the year. Traditions vary from country to country, and even from region to region, but most places celebrate with a parade filled with masks, music, and ecstatic revelers. The world's biggest party happens in Rio de Janeiro, where millions fill the streets as the parade enters the Sambadrome. Collected here are pictures of Carnival in many forms as celebrated in various parts of Europe, Latin America, and North America. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)
A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20, 2012. Millions watched the sequin-clad samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

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Kayaker Alan Brady is surprised by two breaching humpback whales while kayaking off the coast of Seabright State Beach in Santa Cruz, Calif. Photographer Paul Schraub was shooting pictures from a boat while on assignment for the Santa Cruz Conference and Visitors Council when he captured the moment. Newborn Pakistani babies, receive phototherapy treatment against [...]

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Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source).

IGN: Exploring The Binding of Isaac
"Edmund McMillen is best known as one half of Team Meat, the duo behind cult hit Super Meat Boy. He describes The Binding of Isaac as a side project for which partner Tommy Refenes sat out. IGN visited McMillen in his Santa Cruz home to enjoy the world exclusive first play of his new game."

Eurogamer: Joe Danger: The Movie Preview
"One of the nicest things that happened last year was that Joe Danger was really successful. Built by four guys in a room in Guildford after they quit their studio jobs to make something they would want to play, it was a cartoon stunt bike game inspired by Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Sonic the Hedgehog."

TruePCGaming: Blocks That Matter Interview
"Fresh off their Grand Prize finish in the 2011 Dream.Build.Play competition, Swing Swing Submarine, the creative force behind Blocks That Matter, spent some time with TGP talking about the PC gaming industry. William David gives his take on the origins of his love for PC gaming, piracy, DRM as well as the successes and failures of Blocks That Matter."

Kotaku: Chasing Aurora Can be Your Origami Bird-Racing Game
"The development studio behind this Chasing Aurora, Broken Rules, has one terrific indie game, And Yet It Moves, under its belt already. Their new game is slated for release in the first three months of 2012 as a downloadable game for Windows, Mac, Linux."

The Smartphone App Review: Alistair Aitcheson talks Greedy Bankers 2
"Alistair Aitcheson is an independent developer making games for iPhone and iPad. He released Greedy Bankers on iPad this year and is about to release Greedy Bankers vs The World, a sequel on iPad. We thought we would get the lowdown on the new game from Alistair himself."

digital Transfer: Indie Game Developer Andrew Brophy
"Andrew Brophy is an independent game developer from Melbourne. He's been making games since he was 12 and has a sweet catalogue up on his site. In August, his collaborative game Cowboykilla was playable at Freeplay. In this Q&A he talks about what keeps him interested, the processes involved, the indie game scene, and what's next."

Destructoid: Go Home Dinosaurs! Preview
"Fire Hose Games is following up its puzzle/brawler hybrid Slam Bolt Scrappers with Go Home Dinosaurs! As small mammals, you must defend your BBQ from dastardly dinosaurs who may or may not be made of bacon."

Joystiq: Vessel preview
"Even in the short PAX demo, the variety of puzzles in Vessel was rather impressive. It doesn't hurt that the stylish steampunk-esque looks and custom liquid physics make the puzzler pretty easy on the eyes."

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The spectacle of gaudy colors, outlandish floats, airborne beads, and extravagant costumes was not limited to the French Quarter of New Orleans Tuesday. Weeks of pre-Lent celebrations culminated into explosions of exhilarating events for "Fat Tuesday" and Carnival around the globe. Historians say the Mardi Gras tradition dates back to Roman times, when the newly converted Christians retained vestiges of their pagan festival "Lupercalia" as a period of celebration before the penance of Lent. That spirit ricochets today from the revelers of Carnival in Brazil to the flour-tossing sprites of Greece to the ebullient trombones of Bourbon Street. -- Lloyd Young (43 photos total)
A Grande Rio samba school dancer performs while parading through the Sambadrome during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 8. (Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press)

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