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Matt Cardy

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They keep things out or enclose them within. They're symbols of power, and a means of control. They're canvases for art, backdrops for street theater, and placards for political messages. They're just waiting for when nobody's looking to receive graffiti. Walls of all kinds demarcate our lives. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total).
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Workers clean the curtain wall of the 40-story National Bank of Economic Social Development in Rio de Janeiro on December 12, 2012. (Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)     

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Yesterday was the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of the year when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. People around the world are welcoming the start of the new season by enjoying (or avoiding) the hot weather. In southern England, where yesterday brought heavy rains, pagans gathered at Stonehenge and reveled in spite of the downpour. Collected here are a handful of images of the beginning of Summer, 2012. [31 photos]

A Bengal tiger, sprayed with water by a zookeeper on a hot summer day at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park in Ranchi, India, on May 30, 2012. Zoo authorities are helping the animals cope with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104F) by providing coolers, special roofs and regular hose-downs. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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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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Coal occupies a central position in modern human endeavors. Last year over 7000 megatons were mined worldwide. Powerful, yet dirty and dangerous, use of coal is expanding every year, with 2010 witnessing a production increase of 6.8%. Around 70 countries have recoverable reserves, which some estimates claim will last for over a hundred years at current production levels. Mining for coal is one of the world's most dangerous jobs. While deadliest in China, where thousands of miners die annually, the profession is still hazardous in the West and other regions as well. Our mining and use of coal accounts for a variety of environmental hazards, including the production of more CO2 than any other source. Other concerns include acid rain, groundwater contamination, respiratory issues, and the waste products which contain heavy metals. But our lives as lived today rely heavily on the combustible sedimentary rock. Over 40% of the world's electricity is generated by burning coal, more than from any other source. Chances are that a significant percentage of the electricity you're using to read this blog was generated by burning coal. Gathered here are images of coal extraction, transportation, and the impact on environment and society. The first eight photographs are by Getty photographer Daniel Berehulak, who documented the lives of miners in Jaintia Hills, India. -- Lane Turner (48 photos total)
22-year-old Shyam Rai from Nepal makes his way through tunnels inside of a coal mine 300 ft beneath the surface on April 13, 2011 near the village of Latyrke, in the district of Jaintia Hills, India. In the Jaintia hills, located in India's far northeast state of Meghalaya, miners descend to great depths on slippery, rickety wooden ladders. Children and adults squeeze into rat hole like tunnels in thousands of privately owned and unregulated mines, extracting coal with their hands or primitive tools and no safety equipment. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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A man rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. On the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day, hundreds ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the “Luminarias,” a [...]

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Most of us don't get enough sleep. "As the world is getting faster and crazier, I've noticed sleepers around the streets, just everywhere," writes photographer Romain Philippon. "Of course, I also see some poetry and dreamings in all of that, but the contrast is so interesting to me, people trying to escape to their condition…" Philippon is self-publishing a book on the topic called "Inconscience". The first eight photographs in this entry are from that book. Collected here as well are more photographs of people everywhere lucky enough to find a few winks. -- Lane Turner (32 photos total)
Delivery man, in front of a shop, Kolkata, India © Romain Philippon

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Facing unending rioting that has spread to other cities, London deployed 16,000 police in the largest show of force in the city's history. British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a holiday in Italy to return home to deal with the widening crisis. Army units are standing by to help restore order. To date, 563 people have been arrested, and over 100 police officers injured. Collected here are images of the rioting and efforts to clean up the destruction. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)
A youth kicks the window of a jewelry store near the Bullring shopping center in Birmingham, England, as violence spreads outside London Monday evening, Aug. 8, 2011. (David Jones/PA/AP)

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Glastonbury, a festival held at Worthy Farm in England, has become Europe's largest such gathering for music fans. Its five-day run ended Sunday, after entertaining nearly 175,000 fans. Heavy rain and mud greeted the attendees, who paid 195 pounds (about $310) for a basic ticket compared to the 1 pound when the show began in 1970. The next festival will take place in 2013. - Lloyd Young (35 photos total)
Festival-goers dance to Jarvis Cocker and his band Pulp as the sunsets during the third day of the Glastonbury Festival June 25, 2011. This year's festival featured headline acts U2, Coldplay and Beyonce. Now in its fifth decade, the event has grown from a humble gathering of 1,500 people on Michael Eavis's Worthy dairy farm in 1970, each paying 1 pound and receiving free milk, to a giant five-day celebration of music costing 195 pounds for a basic ticket. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images))

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HIGH WATER
HIGH WATER: Floodwater filled farmland near Yazoo City, Miss., Thursday. A man died in Vicksburg after being pulled from the floodwater overflowing from the Mississippi River, becoming what is believed to be the first flood casualty since the river started spilling into Mississippi and Louisiana. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

POLICY OUTLINE
POLICY OUTLINE: From left, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Tom Donlion, Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listened to President Barack Obama deliver a speech on Middle East policy at the State Department Thursday in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

GLOBAL AUDIENCE
GLOBAL AUDIENCE: The Berkat family watch a live TV broadcast of Mr. Obama’s speech at their home in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday. President Barack Obama called for Israelis and Palestinians to seek a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. (Nathalie Bardou/Associated Pres)

TRIPLE BOMBING
TRIPLE BOMBING: Iraqi security forces inspected the scene of a triple bombing outside a police station in Kirkuk, some 180 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, which killed 27 people and wounded scores. (Emad Matti/Associated Press)

RIGHT ANGLES
RIGHT ANGLES: Laborers worked at the construction site for a commercial complex in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar Thursday. (Reuters)

OLD GLORY
OLD GLORY: Children peeped through a torn U.S flag hanging from their makeshift shelter in a slum on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday. (Athar Hussain/Reuters)

GETTING TRAINING
GETTING TRAINING: Afghanistan National Army soldiers underwent training from a U.S. contractor at Camp Leatherneck on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images)

BABY GOT BAAA
BABY GOT BAAA: Sheep lined up to be judged in the ring at the Devon County Show Thursday in Exeter, England. One of the region’s biggest county shows, it is often seen as a curtain raiser for the whole showing season and a barometer for the health of the whole agricultural industry in general. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

NOT LIKE THE OTHERS
NOT LIKE THE OTHERS: A police officer showed a M-26 hand grenade found in a box of tomatoes, during a presentation to the press at the police station in Medellin, Colombia, Thursday. The Colombian Police seized thirty M-26 hand grenades hidden in three boxes of tomatoes that allegedly belonged to criminal gangs. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

TUSSLE
TUSSLE: Nepalese police clashed with Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal supporters during a protest outside Nepal’s Constituent Assembly building in Kathmandu Thursday. The demonstrators demanded the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly a week ahead of the end of its term. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images)

INAUGURATION TIME
INAUGURATION TIME: People bought T-shirts bearing the portrait of President Alassane Ouattara in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Thursday. Mr. Ouattara will be inaugurated on Saturday before a number of international leaders. (Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images)

TAKING A DIP
TAKING A DIP: A boy cooled off on a hot summer day in the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir Thursday. Many parts of northern India are facing severe hot weather conditions with temperatures hitting 111 degrees Fahrenheit in many places, the media reported. (Fayaz Kabli/Reuters)

PASSING THROUGH
PASSING THROUGH: A farmer led her cows on a rice paddy field in Boi Khe village outside Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday. (Kham/Reuters)

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With one month of the season left before the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, take a look at the cold, snowy days of the last couple months.

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