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The 25th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is under way, and entries will be accepted for another six weeks, until June 30, 2013. First prize winner will receive a 10-day Galapagos expedition for two. National Geographic was once more kind enough to allow me to share some of the early entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Photos and captions by the photographers. [42 photos]

A fennec fox walks against the wind in Morocco. The fennec, or desert fox, is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara Desert in North Africa. (© Francisco Mingorance/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)    

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Original author: 
Alec Meer

I say ‘vs’, but the reality of this meeting between the 20th and 21st century masters of X-COM is that they repeatedly seem on the verge of embracing each other, rather than trading blows in a bitter row about time units and action cameras. Rev3Games arranged for original X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop to meet Jake Solomon, the lead dev on Firaxis’ XCOM remake, the result being this rather delightful recording of their seventeen-minute exchange.
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Original author: 
Richard Lacayo

There’s a line from Henry David Thoreau that’s an old favorite of environmentalists: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Not many people have taken that idea so much to heart as the great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, who spent much of the past nine years trekking to the last wild places on earth to take the pictures collected in his new photography book, Genesis (Taschen; 520 pages), a window into the primordial corners of creation.

The Genesis project grew out of two dilemmas in Salgado’s personal life. In the late 1990s, his father gave him and his wife Lélia the Brazilian cattle ranch where Salgado, now 69, spent his childhood. He remembers the place in those days as “a complete paradise, more than 50% of it covered with rain forest,” he told Time on the phone from his home in Paris. “We had incredible birds, jaguars, crocodiles.” But after decades of deforestation, the property had become an ecological disaster: “Not only my farm, the entire region. Erosion, no water—it was a dead land.”

By 1999, Salgado was also completing Migrations, a six-year photographic chronicle of the human flood tides set loose around the world by wars, famines or just people searching for work. The project took him to refugee camps and war zones and left him wrung out physically and emotionally. “I had seen so much brutality. I didn’t trust anymore in anything,” he says. “I didn’t trust in the survival of our species.”

So as a kind of dual restoration project—for himself and his Brazilian paradise lost—Salgado and his wife began reforesting his family property. There are now more than 2 million new trees there. Birds and other wildlife have returned in such numbers that the land has become a designated nature reserve. As his personal world regenerated, Salgado got an idea: For his next project, why not travel to unspoiled locales—places that double as environmental memory banks, holding recollections of earth’s primordial glories? His purpose, Salgado decided, “would not be to photograph what is destroyed but what is still pristine, to show what we must hold and protect.” He likes to quote a hopeful statistic: “45% of our planet is still what it was at the beginning.”

As part of the Genesis project, Salgado has made 32 trips since 2004, visiting the Kalahari Desert, the jungles of Indonesia and biodiversity hot spots such as the Galápagos Islands and Madagascar. He hovered in balloons over herds of water buffalo in Africa (“If you come in planes or helicopters you scatter them”). He traveled across Siberia with the nomadic Nenets, people who move their reindeer hundreds of miles each year to seasonal pasture. “I learned from them the concept of the essential,” he says. “If you give them something they can’t carry, they won’t accept it.”

Traveling to the Antarctic and nearby regions, Salgado found vast flocks of giant albatrosses off the Falkland Islands and “the paradise of the penguins” on the South Sandwich Islands. “Islands at the end of the world,” Salgado calls them. “Or as we say in Brazil, ‘where the wind goes to come back.’” And where Salgado went too and came back with glimpses of paradise in peril—but not lost, not yet.

Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian documentary photographer living in Paris. He has produced several books, and his work has been exhibited extensively around the world. His latest work, Genesis, premieres at The Natural History Museum in London on April 11, on view through Sept. 8, 2013. The exhibition will have its North American premier at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from May 1 through Sept 2.

Richard Lacayo is an art critic and editor-at-large at TIME.

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CASTING SHADOWS AND BALLOTS
CASTING SHADOWS AND BALLOTS: A man cast a shadow against a pillar as he entered a polling station in Wickenburg, Ariz., Tuesday. Voters cast ballots for Republican candidates in primaries in Arizona and Michigan. (Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

OUT OF TUNE
OUT OF TUNE: Workers hauled away an old piano from an Occupy London site in front of St Paul’s Cathedral Tuesday. Police said 20 people were arrested as officers removed tents and equipment from outside the 300-year-old church, where demonstrators had camped since mid-October. (Matt Cetti-Roberts/London News Pictures/Zuma Press)

DIY PLANE
DIY PLANE: Farmer Li Jingchun, top, watched as his relatives checked out his self-made aircraft in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, Tuesday. The plane, made mostly made of recycled iron, cost the aircraft enthusiast about $6,000 to make, according to local media. (Sheng Li/Reuters)

MOTHER VOTES
MOTHER VOTES: A woman held her baby as she showed her voter identification card in Noida, India, Tuesday. Voting is taking place over seven days in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. (Parivartan Sharma/Reuters)

SON MOURNS
SON MOURNS: Police officer Vinicius Figueiredo cried as he walked past the coffin of Roberto Lopes dos Santos in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday. Mr. Figueiredo’s father, Carlos Alberto Vieira Figueiredo, and Mr. Lopes dos Santos died in a fire at a Brazilian research station in the Antarctic. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

SYRIA’S DEAD
SYRIA’S DEAD: Bodies of two people who were killed in heavy shelling by government forces were covered by a mat near Idlib, Syria, Tuesday. Oppositions members and the activist group Avaaz said they helped smuggle a wounded British photographer out of the country into Lebanon. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

GOING THE DISTANCE
GOING THE DISTANCE: Louisiana State University cornerback Morris Claiborne ran a drill at an NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis Tuesday. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

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There's still time! The deadline for entries for this year's National Geographic Photo Contest is November 30. Photographers of all skill levels (last year more than 16,000 images submitted by photographers from 130 countries) enter photographs in three categories: Nature, People and Places. The photographs are judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts. There is one first place winner in each category and a grand prize winner as well. The following is a selection of 54 entries from each of the 3 categories. The caption information is provided and written by the individual photographer. -- Paula Nelson (54 photos total)
LONE TREE YELLOWSTONE: A solitary tree surviving another harsh winter in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Photo and caption by Anita Erdmann/Nature/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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ILULISSAT, Greenland (AP) — Greenland’s Inuit people have countless terms to describe ice in all its varieties. This gallery of photographs by Brennan Linsley of The Associated Press is something of a visual vocabulary for the striking forms ice takes on the giant Arctic island.

Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers are melting more and more as the world warms, sending gushing water and towering icebergs into the sea, threatening to raise ocean levels worldwide in the years and decades to come. Researchers are hard at work trying to gauge how much will melt and when.

Some of the most spectacular icebergs are calved from the 4-mile-wide Jakobshavn Glacier near the town of Ilulissat on Greenland’s west central coast. These icebergs push out into the 30-mile-long Ilulissat Ice Fjord, and then into Disko Bay and eventually the North Atlantic ocean.

The ice, much of it tens of thousands of years old, originates in the 660,000-square-mile ice sheet covering 80 percent of Greenland.

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Attached by rope to a waiting helicopter, researcher Carl Gladish walks back after deploying a GPS seismometer, or GeoPebble, to track glacial movement on Jakobshavn Glacier, near Ilulissat, Greenland. Chief researcher David Holland, hopes to eventually deploy scores of the devices to measure ice loss in Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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In this July 26, 2011 photo, a melting iceberg floats along a fjord leading away from the edge of the Greenland ice sheet near Nuuk, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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In this July 18, 2011 photo, icebergs shed from the Greenland ice sheet float near Ilulissat, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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In this July 15, 2011 photo, during leisure hours, researchers gather atop nearly two miles of ice, at Summit Station, a remote research site operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation, (NSF), situated 10,500 feet above sea level, on top of the Greenland ice sheet. Across Greenland's vast white landscape, teams of researchers from around the world are searching for clues to the potential effects of global warming on Greenland's ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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A vein of highly-compacted blue ice runs along the surface of an iceberg shed from the Greenland ice sheet, near Ilulissat, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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Two icebergs press up against each other after being shed from the Greenland ice sheet, near Ilulissat, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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A melting iceberg floats along a fjord leading away from the edge of the Greenland ice sheet near Nuuk, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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A Greenlandic Inuit hunter and fisherman steers his boat past a melting iceberg, along a fjord leading away from the edge of the Greenland ice sheet, near Nuuk, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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A pool of melted ice forms atop Jakobshavn Glacier, at the fringe of the Greenland ice sheet. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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Attached by rope to a waiting helicopter, Arctic researcher Carl Gladish of New York University hammers a steel stake into ice, securing a newly deployed GPS seismometer, or Geopebble, designed to track glacial movement near the edge of the Greenland ice sheet, atop Jakobshavn Glacier, outside Ilulissat, Greenland. The chief researcher, NYU's David Holland, hopes to eventually deploy scores of the devices to help measure ice loss in Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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A fishing boat weaves through icebergs shed from the Greenland ice sheet, near Ilulissat, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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Researcher Brandon Strellis of Georgia Tech exits a small work pod at Summit Station, a remote research site operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation, (NSF), situated 10,500 feet above sea level, on top of the Greenland ice sheet. Across Greenland's vast white landscape, teams of researchers from around the world are searching for clues to the potential effects of global warming on Greenland's ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

 Greenland Ice

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An iceberg floats in the sea near Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island, Greenland. Greenland is the focus of many researchers trying to determine how much its melting ice may raise sea levels. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

 Greenland Ice

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Liquified glacial ice forms into light-absorbing, turquoise hued melt-pools atop Jakobshavn Glacier, at the fringe of the Greenland ice sheet, July 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

 Greenland Ice

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In this July 15, 2011 photo, in a trench dug into the 2-mile-thick Greenland ice sheet, researcher Brandon Strellis of Georgia Tech chemically preserves ice samples at Summit Station, a small research center situated at the heart of the vast ice sheet. Across Greenland's white landscape, small teams of researchers from around the world are searching for clues to the potential effects of global warming on Greenland's ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

 Greenland Ice

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In this July 15, 2011 photo, atop roughly two miles of ice, a small laboratory structure bristles with sensors at Summit Station, a remote research center operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and situated 10,500 feet above sea level, on top of the Greenland ice sheet. Across Greenland's white landscape, small teams of researchers from around the world are searching for clues to the potential effects of global warming on Greenland's ice. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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This Friday, July 15, 2011 picture shows Liz Morris, 64, of Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute, at Summit Station, a small research facility situated 10,500 feet above sea level, on top of the Greenland ice sheet, days before a month-long, 500-mile research trip via snowmobile. Morris' research trip is funded by Britain's National Environmental Research Council and mounted with the U.S. National Science Foundation's cooperation. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth honored the intrepid Morris with a Polar Medal, given in recognition of distinguished service in Arctic and Antarctic exploration. Three years earlier the monarch inducted her into the Order of the British Empire. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

 Greenland Ice

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A melting iceberg floats along a fjord leading away from the edge of the Greenland ice sheet, near Nuuk, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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In this July 18, 2011 photo, floating ice, left over from broken-up icebergs shed from the Greenland ice sheet, nearly cover the seafront in Ilulissat, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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A boat steers slowly through floating ice, left over from broken-up icebergs shed from the Greenland ice sheet, outside Ilulissat, Greenland. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

 Greenland Ice

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Drops of water fall from a melting iceberg near Nuuk, Greenland. Greenland is the focus of many researchers trying to determine how much its melting ice may raise sea levels. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

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