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NASA's space shuttle Endeavour completed its final mission this morning, touching down safely in Florida. Endeavour spent a total of 299 days in space, traveling more than 122.8 million miles during its 25 flights. Its first launch took place on May 7, 1992 -- its final launch on May 16, 2011. "We want to thank all the tens of thousands of employees who have put their hands on this incredible ship," shuttle commander Mark Kelly said moments before liftoff. Endeavour and its six-member crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2, the Express Logistics Carrier-3, and additional spare parts for the Dextre robotic helper to the International Space Station. Collected here are images from Endeavour's final trip as NASA prepares for to launch its final shuttle, scheduled for July 8th. athed in xenon lights, space shuttle Endeavour, attached to its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters, on a nighttime journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 3.4-mile trek, known as "rollout," began at 7:56 p.m. EST, March 10, 2011, and took about seven hours to complete. Its final space mission complete, space shuttle Endeavour is towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Endeavour now begins a long decommissioning process, preparing to be delivered as a display for the California Science Center in Los Angeles. After more than five months of serving as a flight engineer on back-to-back International Space Station Expedition crews, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman was only 48 hours away from returning to Earth in this photo. She and two Expedition 27 crewmates lessened the population of twelve on the joint Endeavour/ISS complex to nine when they undocked on May 23 in a Soyuz spacecraft and returned safely to Earth.

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view Endeavour's Final Mission as presented by: The Atlantic


The title says it all. Streakers and attention seekers. Obviously some of the images will contain naked body parts belonging to human beings so if you are at work and your boss is an alien and gets easily offended by a naked human body part do not proceed and wait till you get home. British streaker Mark Roberts promotes a website as he runs onto the field of play during men's curling bronze medal match between the U.S. and Great Britain at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Pinerolo, Italy February 24, 2006. Roberts was taken away by security. Streaker uses his mobile phone as he is tackled by policeman during rugby tour match between British and Irish Lions and Manawatu in Palmerston North. A streaker uses his mobile phone as he is tackled by a policeman during the rugby tour match between the British and Irish Lions and Manawatu in Palmerston North June 28, 2005. The Lions defeated Manawatu 109-6. A woman is taken off the field by a security guard near the end of an international rugby union match between the All Blacks and Ireland in Hamilton, June 10, 2006.

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view Streakers And Attention Seekers as presented by: Totally Cool Pix


In early September, Matthew Lloyd photographed the Yorkshire Gliding Club in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, England. The Club, founded in 1934, operates a fleet of fiberglass gliders and pilots can take advantage of the favorable soaring conditions of North Yorkshire. Towed into the sky to a height of 2000ft by an aircraft called a tug, the gliders are then released and can ride the thermals for a considerable amount of time, the club record being 13 continuous hours. A high performance glider mid air over the Yorkshire Gliding Club which lies on a plateau in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park on September 1, 2011 in Thirsk, England. Pilot Les Merritt pushes his aircraft into position before a flight at the Yorkshire Gliding Club, which lies on a plateau in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Gliders and their trailers line the airfield of the Yorkshire Gliding Club which lies on a plateau in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park

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view Glider Flight as presented by: Denver Post



Miguel Medina, a photographer for Agence-France Presse, visited Latakia, a northern province of Syria in April, 2013. He had the opportunity to spend several nights with members of the al-Ezz bin Abdul Salam brigade, and was permitted to make formal portraits of the fighters at a training session during their downtime . The portraits show the faces of men who are local citizens of the area, and who joined the brigade to defend their homes and neighborhoods. Al-Ezz bin Abdul Salam is a part of the Free Syrian Army, a coalition of rebel groups that are fighting government forces with the help of more experienced foreign fighters. Abu Fares a decorator and member of the al-Ezz bin Abdul Salam brigade poses for a picture on April 25, 2013. Abu Baker, a 19-year-old handyman and member of the al-Ezz bin Abdul Salam brigade, poses for a picture on April 24, 2013. Abu Musaab, 37, electrician and member of the al-Ezz bin Abdul Salam brigade poses for a picture on April 24, 2013.

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view The Faces of a Rebel Force as presented by: ABC News


Taliban insurgents have stepped up suicide attacks and bombings this month in what they are calling a "Spring Offensive", striking targets all over Afghanistan. Insider attacks on NATO and Afghan National Army forces have declined, possibly due to new "guardian angel" tactics, where soldiers are designated to provide security during training and oversight missions. I'd also like to take a moment to direct your attention to Ben Anderson's Afghanistan documentary on VICE.com, What Winning Looks Like. If you're at all interested in what the situation is like in Afghanistan right now, this documentary is well worth the time, showing the good, bad, and ugly sides of the war as we approach the 2014 withdrawal deadline. The photos below are show scenes from this conflict over the past month, part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan. A U.S. soldier arrives on the scene where a suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul, on May 16, 2013. A Muslim militant group, Hizb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility for the early morning attack, killing many in the explosion and wounding tens, police and hospital officials said. Afghan air force 2nd Lt. Niloofar Rhmani walks the flight line at Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, prior to her graduation from undergraduate pilot training, on May 13, 2013. Rhmani made history on May 14, when she became the first female to successfully complete undergraduate pilot training and earn the status of pilot in more than 30 years. She will continue her service as she joins the Kabul Air Wing as a Cessna 208 pilot. Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach, of Madison, Wisconsin, gets a kiss from Casey, a four-year-old yellow labrador that he worked with while deployed in Afghanistan, as the two are reunited during a surprise ceremony, on May 17, 2013, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. Gundlach thought he was traveling to the Iowa Capitol to tell state officials why he should take ownership of the dog, which has been working for the state fire marshal's office. Gundlach didn't realize officials already had made arrangements to get another dog for explosives detection.

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view Afghanistan: May 2013 as presented by: The Atlantic


Munich in the German hop harvest began well known throughout the world as Oktoberfest. Exactly at noon the mayor Christian Ude, formally opened the first barrel of beer, and the first pint, according to tradition was prime minister of Bavaria Horst Seehofer. Although the measure of the Oktoberfest beer costs more than 9 euros, from early morning to Munich Theresienwiese meadows pulled crowds of people in traditional Bavarian costumes. Oktoberfest will take 17 days. Waitresses riding on the cart greet the participants have fun. The girl dressed in a dirndl is resting on the meadow near the Theresienwiese. Participants of the Oktoberfest on the background of the carousel.

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view A Little Rain Oktoberfest as presented by: 990 PX


This afternoon, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will publish his decision on whether to uphold or overturn the California voter-approved ban known as Proposition 8 (or the California Marriage Protection Act) that would insert language into the state constitution saying that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." [Update: Proposition 8 was just overturned.] Walker's ruling is one of a number of recent decisions made by voters and governments around the world affecting the ability of same-sex couples to marry legally. Around the U.S., several states are challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage act, both Washington DC and Mexico City legalized same-sex weddings last March, and on July 15th, Argentina became the first Latin American country to recognize same-sex marriage. Collected here are a handful of recent photos of couples in several countries, all in the process of getting married. Wedding cake and champagne is served by activists Friday, Jan. 8 2010, outside the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon, after lawmakers passed a bill allowing gay marriage. Alexandra Khalaf (right) and Amy Sokal, shortly after after they exchanged vows during a group wedding March 20, 2010 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. Rocky Galloway is embraced by his new husband, Reginald Stanley, right, after being married on the first day of legal gay marriage in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. One of the couples' twin daughters is held by Cherrie McCoy, left.

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view Same-sex Marriage as presented by: Boston Big Picture


From Indonesia come two flavors. Jeden z nich doceniany i serwowany jest glównie w lokalnych restauracjach. One of them appreciated and is mainly served in local restaurants. Drugi, to rozpoznawany i niezwykle ceniony na calym swiecie produkt. Second, it is recognized and highly valued throughout the world product. Burgery z miesa kobry nie sa daniem szczególnie wykwintnym, ale znajduja swoich amatorów wsród turystów i ludnosci lokalnej. Burgers from the meat dish cobras are not particularly refined, but their fans are among the tourists and the local population. Zbierane dziko zyjace kobry sa przenoszone do rzezni, gdzie zabija sie je przez odciecie glowy. Gathered wild cobras are transferred to the slaughterhouse, where they kill them by decapitation. Nastepnie z ciala weza zdejmowana jest skóra a otrzymane mieso jest czyszczone i ciete na drobniejsze paski. Then the body of the snake skin is removed and the resulting meat is cleaned and cut into smaller strips. Ze zmielonego i doprawionego miesa formuje sie burgery, które w wygladzie przypominaja te znane na calym swiecie. And seasoned with ground meat formed into burgers, which look similar to those known throughout the world. Drugi z przysmaków przeznaczony jest dla konsumentów o bardziej wyrafinowanym guscie kulinarnym i znacznie zasobniejszym portfelu. The second of delicacies is designed for consumers with more sophisticated culinary tastes, and much zasobniejszym wallet. Kopi luwak, bo o niej mowa, to najdrozsza kawa na swiecie. Kopi luwak, because of her question, the most expensive coffee in the world. Jej kilogram kosztuje okolo tysiaca euro. Her kilogram costs a thousand euros. Wynika to z faktu, ze swiatowe zbiory/produkcja tego gatunku kawy wynosza zaledwie 300-400 kg rocznie. This follows from the fact that the world harvest / production of this species of coffee are only 300-400 kg per year. Jak powstaje kopi luwak? How to make a copy of luwak? Owocami kawowca karmione sa cywety ( Paradoxurus hermaphroditus ), w których zoladkach trawiony jest miazsz owoców, ale nie samo ziarno. Cherry fruits are fed civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), in which the stomach is digested pulp of fruit, but not the same grain. Po nadtrawieniu przez enzymy trawienne i lekkim sfermentowaniu przez bakterie produkujace kwas mlekowy, ziarno kawy przechodzi przez przewód pokarmowy cywety i jest wydalane. After nadtrawieniu by digestive enzymes and a slight fermented by bacteria producing lactic acid, coffee bean passes through the digestive tract and is excreted civet. Wydobyte z odchodów ziarna kawy, dzieki takiej obróbce, nabywaja niepowtarzalnego aromatu. Extracted from the faeces of coffee beans, with such treatment, they acquire a unique flavor. Z uwagi na swoje zdolnosci, cywety czesto padaja lupem klusowników, którzy wykorzystuja je do „produkcji” kopi luwak. Due to their capacity, civet often fell prey to poachers, who use them for the "production" copy luwak.

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