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Chao Phraya River

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For well over a hundred years, people have hopped on bicycles for transportation, recreation, competition, and more. In many parts of the world, spinning pedals moves goods and generates electricity. While usually attached to two wheels, pedal power takes many forms, adapting to a wide range of needs. Globally, over 100 million bicycles are produced every year - over 60% of them in China - easily doubling world production of automobiles. Efficient, clean, and cheap, pedal power in all its forms can solve modern problems with basic technology, and offers a health benefit to those cranking away. And it's hard to beat the simple joy of riding a bike. Gathered here are images of people around the world as we pedal for a reason, or just because. -- Lane Turner (49 photos total)
A boy rides his bicycle near rice fields in Bago, Myanmar on February 20, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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2011 was a year of global tumult, marked by widespread social and political uprisings, economic crises, and a great deal more. We saw the fall of multiple dictators, welcomed a new country (South Sudan), witnessed our planet's population grow to 7 billion, and watched in horror as Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster. From the Arab Spring to Los Indignados to Occupy Wall Street, citizens around the world took to the streets in massive numbers, protesting against governments and financial institutions, risking arrest, injury, and in some cases their lives. Collected here is Part 3 of a three-part photo summary of the last year, covering 2011's last months. Be sure to also see Part 1, and Part 2, totaling 120 images in all. [40 photos]

Occupy Wall Street protesters march and hold signs in New York City on September 17, 2011. Frustrated protesters had been speaking out against corporate greed and social inequality on and near Wall Street for the previous two weeks, further sparking a protest movement that spread across the world. Original here. (CC BY SA Carwil Bjork-James)

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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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Flood waters inundating Thailand north of Bangkok since July have made the journey south and reached the capital. The disaster is responsible for 400 deaths in Thailand and neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam. Thailand is the world's biggest rice exporter, but the floods have wiped out over a quarter of the country's crop. The government has declared a five-day holiday for the capital to allow residents time to evacuate. Damages could top six billion dollars in Thailand's worst flooding in 50 years. Collected here are images of the water as it moves south to Bangkok, and how residents there are dealing with the disaster. -- Lane Turner (43 photos total)
A woman holds a toddler as she walks through floodwaters in an area near the Chao Praya river in Bangkok on October 29, 2011. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

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An Occupy Oakland protester spraypaints the side of a building during a march on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. Except for a couple incidents of graffiti and minor confrontations with police officers, the protesters, who numbered about 1000, remained lawful. Relatives of an earthquake victim are led away from ruins by a Policeman, [...]

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Heavy monsoon rains have been drenching Southeast Asia since mid-July, causing mudslides and widespread flooding. The deluge has now reached Bangkok, with rising water and associated problems affecting most of the city's 10 million residents. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that parts of the capital could be inundated by up to 1.5 meters of water and remain flooded for up to a month. Around Bangkok, the second-largest airport has closed, food prices are soaring, clean water is becoming scarce, and the country is declaring a holiday from Thursday until Monday to allow people to evacuate. The Chao Phraya river is predicted to overflow its banks in the city sometime today, and authorities say that if the protective dikes fail to hold the water, all parts of Bangkok will be vulnerable to the floodwater. [42 photos]

Residents evacuate from their flooded town, north of Bangkok, on October 25, 2011. Around 320 people have died in flood-related incidents since late July according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, as Thailand experiences the worst flooding in 50 years with damages running as high as $6 billion. (Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad)

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CHILD AND CHICKEN
CHILD AND CHICKEN: An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man carried a chicken in one hand and his daughter in the other during Kaparot, where chickens are slaughtered as a symbolic gesture of atonement, in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood Tuesday. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

CHECKING A COW
CHECKING A COW: A farmer examined a cow during a cattle fair in Appenzell, Switzerland, Tuesday. (Ennio Leanza/European Pressphoto Agency)

NO WAITING
NO WAITING: An employee sat in a restaurant as water from the Chao Phraya River flooded low-lying areas of downtown Bangkok Tuesday. Thailand’s worst monsoon flooding in decades has killed more than 200 people and affected three-quarters of the country. (Christophe Archambault/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

INCENSE OFFERING
INCENSE OFFERING: A person of Chinese descent lighted incense during the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday. (Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters)

DRINK AND BE MERRY
DRINK AND BE MERRY: Waitresses celebrated the end of Oktoberfest in Munich Monday. (Felix Hoerhager/European Pressphoto Agency)

CHILD AT WORK
CHILD AT WORK: A girl looked for recyclable items in a pile of rubbish on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday. (Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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