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For hundreds of years, a spinal injury meant never walking again. Now researchers know the spine can learn. The paralyzed have hope. Exhausting new therapies teach the spine to have a mind of its own. The Denver Post’s in-depth project “Stepping Toward Hope” chronicles the efforts of remarkable patients suffering spinal-cord injuries taking advantage of new science and locomotor therapy that may allow them to walk again. Intense struggles, aching despair and remarkable effort are all part of their grueling stories explored by Denver Post photographers Craig Walker, AAron Ontiveroz and R.J. Sangosti. Karen Gorden said her daughter, Mackenzie, loved the pool workouts because of the freedom, and the chance to more closely approximate walking at Craig Hospital. "Gravity is not working against her," Karen said. Mackenzie Gorden’s teenage life somersaulted last year when she swerved to avoid a deer near her Iowa hometown and rolled her pickup truck into a ditch. The cheerleader had her neck rebuilt at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, but Mackenzie has now come to Colorado twice for extensive, intensive therapy sessions aimed at teaching her spine and legs to walk again despite an injured connection to her brain. For James Nall a crawling exercise is his toughest task at Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO. "You gotta crawl before you can walk. I gotta retrain everything. I'm like a giant kid -- a big baby." Nall’s fast-moving life as a restaurant manager, runner and fun-loving friend came to a sharp halt on a routine trip to his basement laundry room a few years ago. Despite the grimacing and pain, James was pleasantly surprised at his first October attempt to walk after a summer break from intensive physical therapy at Craig Hospital. With the aid of therapists and electrical stimulation on his right knee, he took three laps around the gym. "Psychologically and emotionally, that's a huge lift," he said. "It's awesome. It made my freakin' week."

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view Stepping Towards Hope, Photos of Perseverance in Colorado as presented by: Denver Post


Color is everywhere, and when it's everywhere at once, it can be as ephemeral as a rainbow, as sudden as colored powder raining down at a festival, or as necessary as a natural defense. No matter where you look, life is in color. Here, a woman prays at the 18th-century Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, Iran. Islam is the official religion of Iran, practiced by about 98 percent of the population. Green lights illuminate multicolored shipping containers at the Port of Singapore Authority. Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, the port is one of the busiest container hubs in the world. Colorful lights flash on a popular amusement park ride.

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


ellow evokes the shine of the sun and is found throughout nature and the man-made world as a color that commands attention. This highly visible hue is found on everything from bumblebees to school buses, traffic signs to highlighters. Misbehaving soccer players are shown yellow as a warning, and Tour de France racers know the man in yellow is the rider to beat. The upper floors of Shanghai’s 88-story Jin Mao Tower provide a dizzying view of hotel rooms and offices below. Standing nearly 1,380 feet, the tower is one of the tallest buildings in China. The yellow hues of a small home in Lanai City, Hawaii, are matched by its owner's vintage Plymouth. Many residents of this village live in such pastel-pain ted cottages, first built for pineapple plantation workers. Eyelash vipers are indigenous to Central and South America and come in a variety of colors, including shocking yellow.

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


The sweeping color of sea and sky, blue is a common thread in nature, seen in the cerulean of a whale shark (pictured here), the indigo of a stormy night, and the cobalt of a peacock's feathers. Over the centuries, the hue has come to represent calm, cold, mysticism, and sadness. The Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, is pictured at twilight. Dating to the first century A.D., the well-preserved structure is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A dog jumps into Lake Banyoles in northern Spain. The lake is the country’s second largest.

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


Purple is a versatile color. Combining the fire of red with the serenity of blue, it has the ability to soothe as well as excite passion. Purple is prevalent in nature in everything from eggplants to amethysts, and humans have adopted it as a symbol of royalty. Here, snow-covered fir trees appear lilac during sunrise in Germany's Black Forest. The forest is located in southwest Germany, where it is known as Schwarzwald. Streetlights create a play of color on an empty street corner in Arles, a historic city in Provence, France, and the setting of many well-known works by Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. A close-up shows purple crocuses flecked with bright yellow pollen in Washington, D.C.

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


Several wildfires are burning across Colorado amid record heat and high winds. The Big Meadows fire is burning on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Royal Gorge fire is burning in Royal Gorge Park while the Black Forest fire is burning in El Paso County. Aerial photo of the Black Forest Fire outside Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 12, 2013. A structure off of Herring Road burns out of control in the midst of the Black Forest Fire in Colorado Springs, CO on June 11, 2013. Many homes have already been lost to the raging fire that continues to burn out of control. A DC-10 slurry bomber fights the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs, CO.

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view Photos: Colorado Wildfires 2013 as presented by: Denver Post


The first gay couple granted a civil union in Colorado said their vows before hundreds of people early Wednesday morning at a downtown Denver municipal building, where eager couples and members of the public gathered to celebrate the first legal unions. The new law legalizing civil unions took effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and both Denver and Boulder began issuing licenses immediately. Fran and Anna Simon were the first to receive a civil union certificate. Wearing the white wedding dresses they wore at their commitment ceremony seven years ago and joined by their five-year-old son Jeremy, Fran and Anna received their license from a clerk at 12:02 a.m., following an expectant countdown to midnight led by other couples. Minutes later they were joined in a ceremony officiated by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

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view Midnight Unions For Gay Couples As Colorado Law Takes Effect as presented by: Photoblog on NBC News


Fall’s season colors the world with every imaginable autumn color from God’s masterstroke of palette and brush. During fall, the beauty of nature is like a dreamworld, a fantasy. We encourage you to get out there and enjoy it while it lasts. You only live once and there is something about being out in nature that can balance a person and put their problems into perspective. We hope you enjoy these fantastic photos of autumn, sprinkled with inspirational quotes and words of wisdom. We love these pics!

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view Fall Fantasy: Every imaginable color from God’s masterstroke of palette and brush as presented by: Love These Pics


Horseshoe Bend is a picturesque horseshoe-shaped turn in the Colorado River, just South of the town of Page, Arizona. Visitors can reach Horseshoe Bend by taking a short 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometers) hike off US Route 89 to an overlook 1,000 feet (405 meters) above the river. Horseshoe Bend is part of Glen Canyon, which was carved by the Colorado River over a period of 5 million years. Glen Canyon is also home to the beautiful Lake Powell. Horseshoe Bend is popular with photographers and tourists who seek the beautiful canyon scenery.

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view Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River, Arizona, USA as presented by: Beautiful Places To Visit


Red, the color of human blood, symbolizes passion, fire, love, and anger. In Eastern cultures, it also connotes luck and prosperity. Red occurs throughout nature, from dying stars to dying leaves, and humans have evoked its powers for everything from politics to sports. Rich red draperies and glowing paper lanterns transform a rocky cave into a magical wedding hall in China's Hubei Province. Red is the traditional color of Chinese wedding celebrations. Kenya's Lake Magadi blushes under a bacteria bloom following a rainstorm. The extremely salty, alkali lake holds little life, but its waters are a favorite spot for wading birds. Nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of Taipei schoolchildren gathered for a celebration of Double Ten, Taiwan's national day. Double Ten remembers the October 10, 1911, revolution that ended China’s last dynasty.

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


In 1942, soon after the United States entered World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order creating the Office of War Information (OWI). The new agency was tasked with releasing war news, promoting patriotic activities, and providing news outlets with audio, film, and photos of the government's war efforts. Between 1939 and 1944, the OWI and the Farm Security Administration made thousands of photographs, approximately 1,600 of them in color. OWI photographers Alfred Palmer and Howard Hollem produced some exceptional Kodachrome transparencies in the early war years depicting military preparedness, factory operations, and women in the work force. While most of the scenes were posed, the subjects were the real thing -- soldiers and workers preparing for a long fight. Gathered here are some of these color images from Palmer and Hollem, complete with original captions from 1942. Also, be sure to see archival movies in our new Video Channel. All of the FSA/OWI photos are available from the Library of Congress. This girl in a glass house is putting finishing touches on the bombardier nose section of a B-17F navy bomber in Long Beach, California, She's one of many capable women workers in the Douglas Aircraft Company plant. Better known as the "Flying Fortress," the B-17F is a later model of the B-17 which distinguished itself in action in the South Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions. Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American Aviation's Inglewood, California, plant, in October of 1942. B-25 bomber planes at the North American Aviation, Inc., being hauled along an outdoor assembly line with an "International" tractor, in Kansas City, Kansas, in October, 1942.

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view World War II: The American Home Front in Color as presented by: The Atlantic


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


Around the world, Hindus celebrated Holi last weekend. Called the Festival of Colors, Holi is a popular springtime festival observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, celebrating the arrival of Spring, commemorating Krishna's pranks, and allowing everyone a momentary freedom -- a chance to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance. Gathered here are images from this year's Holi celebrations across India and several other countries. A man covered with colored powder poses for a photograph during Holi celebrations at the Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, India. A man smeared with colored powdered called abeer makes a face during Phagwa, or Holi, celebrations at the Savannah in Arranguez. A girl with her face covered in colored powder smiles as more powder is thrown at a temple in Kuala Lumpur on March 20, 2011.

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view Holi: The Festival of Colors, 2011 as presented by: The Atlantic


Every year, Hindus greet the turn of winter into spring with a splash of color -- in some areas, a geyser of color. They call their celebration the festival of Holi, and Hindus across India and throughout the world share prayer, camaraderie, special food, and a general sense of mischief as they douse each other in dyes and colored water. The large festival has roots to many Hindu legends associated with the triumph of good over evil. One of the best-known stories tells the tale of the demoness Holika, who tried to kill Prahlad, the son of the demon king Hiranyakashyap, for refusing to worship his father. Instead, Holika is consumed in flames, which is replayed each year with bonfires and effigies, before the celebrants break out the hues and cries of the festival. Pakistani Hindus throw buckets of reds and yellows over each other during their celebration of Holi in Lahore on March 20. Revelers celebrate on the deck of the ship Peking at South Street Seaport in Manhattan on March 19. The celebration also included Indian food and music. An Indian vendor arranges the arsenal for celebrants of Holi -- colored powder -- at his shop in Hyderabad, India.

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view Holi: Festival of Colors as presented by: Boston Big Picture


With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time - when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. Collected here are a few of the hundreds of color images made available by the Library of Congress, which purchased the original glass plates back in 1948. An Armenian woman in national costume poses for Prokudin-Gorskii on a hillside near Artvin (in present day Turkey), circa 1910. Isfandiyar Jurji Bahadur, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (Khiva, now a part of modern Uzbekistan), full-length portrait, seated outdoors, ca. 1910. Prokudin-Gorskii rides along on a handcar outside Petrozavodsk on the Murmansk railway along Lake Onega near Petrozavodsk.

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view Russia In Color, A Century Ago as presented by: Boston Big Picture


These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color. Headlines posted in street-corner window of newspaper office (Brockton Enterprise). Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Shasta dam under construction. California, June 1942. Hay stack and automobile of peach pickers. Delta County, Colorado, 1940.

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view Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 as presented by: Denver Post



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