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Major Mike
Semper Fidelis
Semper Fidelis
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It’s Art Deco Weekend in Miami Beach

We’re getting Don Johnson vibes from this image of Miami Beach’s iconic Ocean Drive. It’s a landmark that’s appeared in many TV shows and movies over the years while also being home to celebrities like Gianni Versace. This weekend the city is celebrating the neighborhood’s distinctive architecture. Art Deco Weekend is a long-running, free community festival that shines a light on the unique architecture here on Ocean Drive and throughout the Miami Beach Architectural District, better known as the Miami Art Deco District. Art deco architecture, which reached its peak in the 1920s in the United States, is known for streamlined designs and symmetrical geometric figures, a look that pairs nicely with Miami Beach’s ocean views.

#DailyPic #Miami #OceanDrive #Versace
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An opulent backdrop for a historic event

We’re at the Palace of Versailles for the 100th anniversary of the Paris Peace Conference, which convened here in January 1919, marking the end of World War I. Diplomats from 32 countries and nationalities attended to negotiate terms of peace. They ultimately signed five treaties, including the Treaty of Versailles, which ordered Germany to take responsibility for losses and damages in the war and to pay reparations. The conference also established the League of Nations, the first intergovernmental organization dedicated to preserving world peace. The organization was later succeeded by the United Nations.

#DailyPic #Versailles #Paris #Peace #WWI #Germany
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A-wassailing we go

Somewhere under that dense fog, the people of Somerset county in southwest England may be marching from house to house, singing songs and dancing, and asking for a drink or snack in return. If that sounds like Christmas caroling, you’re right. But it’s the English tradition of wassailing—a practice that usually takes place on Twelfth Night, which marks the coming of the Epiphany and takes place on January 5 or 6. So why do the people living in this farmland moor wassail on January 17? Because in Somerset, the locals observe the pre-Gregorian calendar Twelfth Night, which falls on January 17. They may even stage an ‘apple wassail’ with a trip to a local cider orchard, to sing and make noise for a good harvest in the new year.

#DailyPic #Somerset #England #Wassailing #TwelfthNight #Epiphany
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Up on the glacier

The Athabasca is the most-visited glacier in North America. Located in Canada’s Jasper National Park, it’s one of the six ‘toes’ of the Columbia Icefield, a natural feature of the Canadian Rockies. The Athabasca has receded by nearly a mile in the past 125 years, losing about 16 feet of ice each year. And that's not all that's moving in the Columbia Icefield—there's also an icefall that travels downslope (the way a waterfall would) between 50 and 400 feet per year.

Most who visit hike up to the edge of the glacier. Some, with the right gear and permits, hike on the Athabasca itself. And in the case of our photo today, a select few climb some of the Athabasca’s ice walls. That’s the aurora borealis in the background. But you don’t need to climb a glacier to appreciate that.

#DailyPic #Athabasca #Canada #JasperNationalPark #ColumbiaIcefield #Rockies
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A personal collection becomes an institution

That blue expanse on the left of today's homepage image is the roof of the British Museum's Great Court and Reading Room in London. The oculus at the top of the dome is made of glass, and the ceilings within are papier-mâché. The Great Court opened in 2000, a new addition to a storied institution. Irish physician Sir Hans Sloane sold his personal collection of antiquities and books to Great Britain in the mid-18th century. Sloane’s items included many books, rare manuscripts, and artifacts from around the globe, and he wanted them preserved and exhibited in public. This led to the creation of the British Museum, the world’s first national public museum, which opened this day in 1759. The collection has grown and changed significantly since then, but one detail remains: Admission to this London attraction is still free.

#DailyPic #BritishMuseum #London #PapierMache #HansSloane
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An island oasis in the Indian Ocean

Ah, what it must be like to feel the sand under your feet on the beaches of La Digue, one of the islands of the Republic of Seychelles. The islands that make up the Seychelles lay far out in the western waters of the Indian Ocean—the closest mainland is the east coast of Africa, more than 900 miles to the west, and the island nation of Madagascar lies nearly as far to the south. But why go anywhere else when you can wander the beach and romp in the surf in the Seychelles—and perhaps even see an Aldabra giant tortoise in its natural habitat. You know what? We’re going to start packing right now…

#DailyPic #LaDigue #Seychelles #IndianOcean
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On the hunt

Historians believe that falconry may have begun in Mesopotamia as long as 4,000 years ago, but this particular style of hunting with eagles on horseback dates back roughly 1,000 years. Various nomadic tribes from the Middle East and Western Asia trained golden eagles, falcons, and hawks to ride out to the mountains with them, and when the bird spotted a hare or fox, it flew out, caught the animal, and brought it back to the rider on the horse. Many people in Mongolia continue to hunt in this traditional fashion today. Our photo of an eagle hunter was taken in the Altai Mountains of western Mongolia, where many ethnic Kazakh eagle hunters fled during the communist era of Kazakhstan.

#DailyPic #Falconry #Mesopotamia #Hunting #Eagles #Falcons #Hawks #Mongolia #AltiMountains #Kazakh #Kazakhstan
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Sailing across the ice

These snowkiters are competing at a tournament in Novosibirsk, Russia. Like kiteboarding on liquid water, the sport of snowkiting uses a parachute-like foil kite, which catches the wind and pulls the boarder along a frozen, snowy landscape. The sport wasn’t invented here in Siberia, but when January sends the mercury plunging, the freezing temperatures create ideal conditions for the sport.

#DailyPic #Snowkiting #Novosibirsk #Russia #Kiteboarding #Kite
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Life in a North African town

The nearly hidden valley town called Tafraout (sometimes spelled Tafraoute) and smaller settlement, Aguerd Oudad, are surrounded by the red hills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, far from the larger cities in Morocco. The area is frequently visited by climbers who come to scale the nearby peaks, like this one, called Napoleon’s Hat (it’s thought to resemble the bicorne hat that Napoleon Bonaparte memorably wore sideways). The town is remote enough that tourists must make an effort to get there, but as many travel writers note, it’s well worth it. The villagers here lead a quieter, slower-paced life than those in Morocco’s bustling urban centers such as Marrakesh.

#DailyPic #Tafraout #Tafraoute #AguerdOudad #AntiAtlasMountains #Morocco
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'You should see the one that got away!'

Don’t be fooled by the modest size of these ice-fishing shanties near the village of L'Anse-Saint-Jean, Quebec. Modern-day ice huts are often tricked out with big-screen TVs, underwater cameras, sonar fish-finders, and even bathrooms with hot showers. Some fishermen and women spend entire weekends out on the lake, warm and dry. Here in the Saguenay region of Quebec, they may be fishing for walleye, redfish, cod, or black turbot, which they reel in after drilling a hole in the ice and casting a line in the frigid waters. Brrrr!

#DailyPic #IceFishing #Quebec #Saguenay
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