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As ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano continued to keep European airspace shut down over the weekend, affecting millions of travelers around the world, some government agencies and airlines clashed over the flight bans. Some restricted airspace is now beginning to open up and some limited flights are being allowed now as airlines are pushing for the ability to judge safety conditions for themselves. The volcano continues to rumble and hurl ash skyward, if at a slightly diminished rate now, as the dispersing ash plume has dropped closer to the ground, and the World Health Organization has issued a health warning to Europeans with respiratory conditions. Collected here are some images from Iceland over the past few days. Ingi Sveinbjoernsso leads his horses on a road covered volcanic ash back to his barn in Yzta-baeli, Iceland on April 18, 2010. They come galloping out of the volcanic storm, hooves muffled in the ash, manes flying. 24 hours earlier he had lost the shaggy Icelandic horses in an ash cloud that turned day into night, blanketing the landscape in sticky gray mud. Wearing a mask and goggles to protect against the smoke, dairy farmer Berglind Hilmarsdottir from Nupur, Iceland, looks for cattle lost in ash clouds.

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view More from Eyjafjallajokull as presented by: Boston Big Picture


In a nocturnal rendezvous, two green tree frogs meet face-to-face atop a leaf in Louisiana's Atchafalaya River Delta. Green may be the most common color found in nature—it's everywhere from leaves, grass, and moss to snakes, butterflies, and even the northern lights. Green represents life, vitality, nature, and, of course, environmentalism. A pool of water at the mouth of Rio Frio Cave reflects the greenery of Belize’s Chiquibul Forest and frames a visitor in silhouette. The easily accessible river cave is a popular attraction. Two boys share a nighttime bicycle ride down the darkened streets of Hoi An, Vietnam. The city's old town is a World Heritage site filled with historic buildings from the 15th to 19th centuries.

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view Life in Color: Green as presented by: National Geographic


One year ago, record-breaking floods submerged one fifth of Pakistan's total land area for months, affecting some 20 million residents and causing some $10 billion in damage. Eleven million Pakistanis were left homeless, and the aid organization Oxfam estimates that more than 800,000 remain without permanent shelter to this day. Many of them, frustrated by limited government assistance, are struggling to rebuild their own homes. Reuters photographer Adrees Latif was in Pakistan one year ago to record the disaster and has just returned to recreate some of his most iconic images. His then-and-now photos reveal what has changed (and what has not) over the course of a year. Collected below are photos from Latif and others that show how Pakistanis continue to cope with last year's disaster. A Pakistani family crosses the River Swat by bridge at the hill station of Madyan, on July 20, 2011. A year after floods swept away homes and livelihoods, Pakistani survivors of a Taliban uprising are courting fresh disaster in the picturesque Swat valley by refusing to leave for higher ground. In this image taken a year ago, on August 7, 2010, marooned flood victims, including Mohammed Farhan, aged about 12, and Allah Dita, aged about 64, look to escape by grabbing onto the side bars of a hovering army helicopter which arrived to the village of Daya Chokha Gharbi to distribute cooked chick peas and rice to flood victims in Kot Adu. Now, on July 29, 2011, Mohammed Farhan, (left) and Allah Dita, pose for a portrait with residents from the village of Daya Chokha Gharbi while standing a top the same cemetery they tried to escape flood waters by hanging onto an army helicopter last year. "All I was thinking was to save my life. To get out," said Dita, when asked what he was thinking while holding onto the side bars one year earlier. Dita, who had stayed behind to look after his house and livestock, managed to be pulled up into the helicopter and was reunited with his five children who had left the flooded village a few days earlier.

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view Pakistan Floods, One Year Later as presented by: The Atlantic



For years now, governments around the world have been sinking large pieces of outdated or damaged equipment into the ocean, turning them into artificial reefs. Subway cars, naval ships, tanks and more rest on the sea floor, making homes for sea life and attracting divers. Artists have been busy as well, erecting underwater sculptures and memorials. Collected here are images from the past few years of some of these man-made reefs, both big and small. 25 retired tanks from the Thai military are loaded on a ship at Bangkok port, Thailand, on Friday, July 30, 2010. The tanks will be dumped into the Gulf of Thailand to serve as artificial reefs and as habitat for marine animals. The Spiegel Grove begins to roll, June 10, 2002, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo. The ship sunk upside-down prematurely May 17 and salvage crews worked for three weeks to get ready for June 10 rollover. The decommissioned aircraft carrier Oriskany is sunk off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Wednesday, May 17, 2006, to form an artificial reef. The 888-foot ship took about 37 minutes to sink below the surface.

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view Artificial Reefs Around the World as presented by: The Atlantic


For thirty years we raised our family in the middle house in this photo, in what was a streetcar suburb built after the St. Clair line opened at the edge of Toronto in 1913. Although it is on a smallish 30 foot by 90 foot lot, it was a big house, with three stories, six bedrooms and one bathroom. Because it was on a hill, the previous owners were able to drill a garage into the basement in the 70s, something that was made illegal shortly thereafter because it was so seriously ugly. Now this house was really cold and drafty. There really was no place on the living where you could sit except in front of the gas fireplace; when our contractor, Greening Homes, did a blower test they found air coming in everywhere. They never could do the test properly to figure out the air changes at 50 pascals; the house was too leaky. But besides being interested in green living, I am also a past president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and I like old buildings, I love the character of the wood and the windows and there was no way I was going to gut the place and lose all that.

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view On decluttering, downsizing and surviving a green renovation as presented by: Treehugger


Chilean officials ordered most residents already evacuated from homes near an erupting volcano to stay in shelters and with family and friends Sunday due to the threat of deadly landslides. The ash spread across the Pacific, prompting authorities to suspend flights in Australia and New Zealand. The Cordon Caulle volcano's activity had diminished, but there was still a threat of deadly landslides containing mud and water as well as rocks and ash thrown from the volcano, Chile's National Geology and Mines Service said in a statement. About 4,000 Chileans have been evacuated since the volcano began erupting June 4. Employees of a car rental company wash cars covered by volcanic ash and sand at the airport in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, Friday, June 10, 2011. A soldier helps Maria Monica Quintana, right, and her daughter Milagros Nazar Anchorena carry water to their home in La Angostura, southern Argentina, after the area was affected due to the eruption of the Chilean Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Dead fish float at the Nilahue river after the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Rininahue, southern Chile, Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

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view Chileans Living Near Volcano Urged To Stay Away as presented by: Sacramento Bee


On May 26, 2011, notorious war fugitive Ratko Mladic was arrested in a village in northern Serbia. The former Bosnian Serb general is accused of overseeing the worst massacre in Europe since the end of World War II. He was indicted 16 years ago for his role in the 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebenica and for war crimes in the four-year siege of Sarajevo that killed 10,000, including 1,500 children. He will face genocide charges in The Hague. The arrest is a reminder of the atrocities that occurred during the Balkan conflict. International forensic experts examine dozens of bodies in a mass grave in the Serb entity of Pilicer, Bosnia, in a Sept. 18, 1996, file photo. They are believed to be some of the 8,000 missing persons who fled Srebrenica in July 1995. Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic was arrested in Serbia on May 26, 2011, after being found in a farmhouse owned by a cousin, a police official said. wo pictures show Ratko Mladic: Left, in uniform as Bosnian Serb Army chief on Feb. 15, 1994, and, right, during a court appearance in Belgrade on May 27, 2011, hours after his arrest ended a 16-year manhunt for the general accused of masterminding the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

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view Bosnian Serb War Fugitive Ratko Mladic Captured as presented by: Boston Big Picture


The Silicium factory in Kazakhstan produces metallurgical silicon in a special way using special ore heat-treating furnaces. This is one of the biggest factories in the whole country and the only one specializing in this field. Silicon is the second most plentiful element of the Earth’s crust after oxygen. It is commonly found in the combinations with silica and silicate. Pure silicon is used in various semiconductor devices and metallurgy. Two types of products are made here: metal silicon (used in aluminium and chemical fields) and silicon dust (used in production of extra-strong dry building mixtures). Silicon of technical purity (up to 99.9%) is made at a temperature of 1800 C inside the ore heat-treating furnaces (the main admixtures are carbon and metals). The fireproof furnace is a kind of a round steel outer cover with a bottom lined up with fire bricks. Power supply is maintained by an electrode which is made of graphite and connected with a furnace transformer, energized by the low-voltage circuit. Silicon is being constantly delivered through a special hole into the steel moulds. The process of the silicon reduction is taking place inside the furnace with the shunted arc. The temperature here is about 1670 C. The main types of reducers include coal and charcoal (birch and pine). After having been molten inside the furnace, silica goes to the scoop and then is slopped into the moulds. Today it’s the only furnace which is in use at this factory but one more is going to start its work very soon. All the end products are exported to the European Union. By the way, the metallurgic silicon market value is € 2500 per ton.

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view Metallurgical Silicon Production as presented by: English Russia



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