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Watkins Glen

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There are now over one billion automobiles on the road worldwide. An explosion in the auto markets in China and India ensures that number will increase, with China supplanting the United States as the world's largest car market. It's fair to say humanity has a love affair with the car, but it's a love-hate relationship. Cars are at once convenience, art, and menace. People write songs about their vehicles, put them in museums, race them, and wrap their identities up in them. About 15% of carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels comes from cars. Traffic fatality estimates vary from half a million per year to more than double that. Gathered here are images of the automobile in many forms, and our relationship to and dependence on our cars. This is the second in an occasional Big Picture series on transportation, following Pedal power earlier this year. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
Antti Rahko stands next to his self-made "Finnjet" during preparations for the Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany on November 22, 2012. The car rolls on eight wheels, offers ten seats, weighs 3.4 tons and is worth about one million US dollars. (Marius Becker/AFP/Getty Images)

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SUNRISE PRACTICE SUNRISE PRACTICE: Members of the Hays High School football team in Hays, Kan., took to the field shortly before sunrise Monday for a workout, on their first day of practice for the fall season. (Steven Hausler/Associated Press)

SUPPORTING A SOLDIER SUPPORTING A SOLDIER: U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry posed Monday for a photo with a cut-out of Spc. James Benal, who is serving in Afghanistan. Gov. Perry was campaigning at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. (Jim Young/Reuters)

BACK IN COURT BACK IN COURT: Egyptian state TV showed ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak lying on a stretcher inside a cell at a courtroom in Cairo Monday as fallen leader’s trial on murder and corruption charges resumed. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

BOTTOMS UP BOTTOMS UP: Men wearing traditional Bavarian clothes sat Monday in a boat equipped with a beer barrel during the Fischerstechen boat-jousting competition at the Staffelsee Lake in southern Germany. The event, dating back to 1864, is held every year on the Catholic feast of the Assumption. (Christof Stache/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

RUBBERY CRASH RUBBERY CRASH: Denny Hamlin hit a tire barrier during the Nascar Sprint Cup Series auto race at in Watkins Glen, New York, Monday. (David Duprey/Associated Press)

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