Category: transportation

45 Sizzling Snaps & Pictures of the Year: Smoking Hot Photo Contest in the Commons

April 17th, 2014 Permalink

A decade ago, there were not tons of terrific photos to choose from in the Commons, but photographers have really stepped up by licensing their photos so people can share them along with knowledge. While you may or may not agree with the 12 Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year winners, most everyone could agree the competition was smoking hot. Categories like animals, plants, people, panoramas, nature, space, architecture and even miscellaneous objects give us a chance to go globe hopping as we celebrate these 45 sizzling snaps. Congratulations winners and thank you to all photographers who make the Commons a fountain of beautiful knowledge! Why don’t you consider uploading your photos to the Commons and maybe we’ll see you listed as a winner next year? [45 Photos]

Wikimedia Picture of the Year 2013 winner, tungsten filament burning with a flame in the light bulb

1st place winner in the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2013 Contest. The photo description states, “The glass bulb of the lightbulb has been opened, causing the inert gas inside to escape. When turned on, the tungsten filament burns with a flame, due to oxygen entering the light bulb. The light bulb was screwed into a socket, which was replaced with the lamp base using image processing.” Photo #1 by Stefan Krause, Germany

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Tiny Lego-like Military Masterpieces: Tribute to Veterans [52 PICS]

November 7th, 2013 Permalink

How do you say thank you to a U.S. veteran? For starters, being thankful for our vets one day a year is not nearly enough. We wanted to honor veterans this Veterans Day with a Lego-like military tribute. It seemed to us that the creators and photographers of these tiny military masterpieces were showing their appreciation of our veterans through art. We mixed in some of the photographers’ description with some quotes to honor veterans, some words of wisdom from Combat for Dummies and some Murphy’s Laws of Combat. So if you are veteran, then kick back, relax and hopefully be entertained by this unique expression of our appreciation. If you know a vet who you’d like to thank, maybe share this with him or her? Happy Veterans Day! [52 Photos]

Under fire

We honor those Americans who have so bravely served this country. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave,” ~ quote by Elmer Davis. Photo #1 by leg0fenris

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Stunning Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center [51 PICS]

July 1st, 2013 Permalink

The new Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opened to the public on June 29, but we had the pleasure of a surprise early viewing—a soft opening—on June 20. I was so extremely excited that I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning about to receive a dream gift. Seeing Atlantis, payload bay doors open—a sight that only astronauts could previously witness—was such a moving and inspirational sight that it brought tears to my eyes. Of course it doesn’t hurt that we are big fans of NASA, all things space-related, and Atlantis. If you missed it, then you might be inclined to check out NASA Nostalgia: 42 Favorite Photos of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Over the course of its 26-year career, Atlantis traveled 125,935,769 miles, completed 33 missions and spend 307 days in space. This amazing craft and her crew helped repair the Hubble Telescope, so there is also a full-size Hubble replica in the building. If you are curious about life on the International Space Station, you can view replicas and learn much more about that as well. There’s more than 60 interactive experiences, with multimedia walls, simulators and augmented reality viewers. Here’s a look at the Space Shuttle Atlantis Attraction, the newest way to be truly dazzled at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, as well as some great shots of the space shuttle in action. [51 Photos]

Atlantis Aerial View

If you love NASA, then you’ll love this. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has a priceless view in store for visitors: “When guests visit the new Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, they will be treated to a sight previously seen only by astronauts in space – Atlantis tilted at a 43.21-degree angle with its payload bay doors open as if it has just undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). The 90,000 square-foot Atlantis attraction is the marquee element of the Visitor Complex’s 10-year master plan.” Photo #1 by NASA

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48 Eerily Intriguing Shipwrecks

September 27th, 2012 Permalink

We expect to see ships from land as they sail away, but there is something eerily intriguing about ships that you see from land because they are above-water wrecks. Some are rusty and crusty shipwrecks that didn’t sink completely underwater, while others crashed, collided, or ran aground on the sandy beach or rocky reef. Yet other wrecks were perfectly fine ships that nature picked up and tossed on land via a hurricane, typhoon or tsunami. Even though these abandoned boats litter nature, the shores or shallow waters, there is still a haunting beauty to wrecks and to seascapes with relic ribs where ghostly wreckage remains. It makes us ponder what the story is behind these shipwrecks visible from land and what the sailors endured. The United Nations estimates more than 3 million shipwrecks litter the ocean floor, but we could find no estimate to the number of boats that are abandoned, derelict or beached worldwide. Here are 48 fabulous photos showing eerily intriguing shipwrecks in varying states of destruction and decay. [48 Photos]

Rusted shipwreck resting on a reef in Hawaii - All that remains above water of an unnamed vessel wrecked on the reef long ago

Rusted shipwreck resting on a reef in Hawaii. The photographer noted, “All that remains above water of an unnamed vessel wrecked on the reef long ago.” NOAA Photo #1 by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA / NMFS / OPR; NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program

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35 Wildly Wonderful Wheelchair Design Concepts

September 7th, 2012 Permalink

With the Paralympic Games showcasing what people with disabilities can do, we wanted to look at design concepts and prototypes that may be a future reality for individuals with limited mobility. Industrial designers come up with all kinds of wheelchair design concepts — some seem spectacular, while others seem . . . spectacularly bizarre and impractical even if they are aesthetically pleasing. Most concept wheelchairs never make it to market, even if they do manage to receive some sort of funding. We wanted to showcase all kinds of wheelchairs, even if we disagreed with them and wondered if the designers bothered to consult people who use wheelchairs every day, all day. Others wheelchairs seem so wonderful that we want to see them become a reality . . . more than that, an affordable reality since wheelchairs can cost more than some people’s cars. AngelBear, whose website this is, happens to have Spina Bifida, so we have a lot of experience dealing with wheelchairs and the dreaded insurance to have them, or repairs to them, approved. Please don’t take offense at any of the designers’ descriptions or word choices. We do not want to stifle creative innovation, because you never know what some designer may come up with in the future. [35 Photo (or montages) and 1 video]

Artist Sue Austin flies through the water in a self-propelled underwater wheelchair - wheelchair prototype

Artist Sue Austin flies through the water in a self-propelled underwater wheelchair. The prototype wheelchair enables Sue to go on a gentle, dreamlike exploration of an exotic underwater world. This impressed us so much, we wanted to do a post on wheelchair prototypes and design concepts. Photo #1 by © 2012 Susan Austin

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Celebrating World Photography Day with Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year

August 14th, 2012 Permalink

August 19, 2012, is World Photography Day. This is great opportunity to say thank you to photographers. Without photographers licensing their awesome captures as Creative Commons, we wouldn’t be able to share so many awesome works of art. Once upon a time there were not nearly so many quality images licensed under Creative Commons, but that continues to change. We wanted to celebrate World Photography Day by showcasing the Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year, decided at the last part of June 2012. There were all sorts of categories in this Sixth Annual Wikimedia Commons POTY Contest, so here are extremely varied subjects that were declared Picture of the Year winners. Congratulations! [31 Photos]

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY, Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 1st place: View of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier

Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2011 #1 with 143 votes in Final. A view of the lake Bondhus in Norway. In the background a view of the Bondhus Glacier as a part of the Folgefonna GlacierView of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier. Photo #1 by Alchemist-hp (www.pse-mendelejew.de)

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Mysterious & Massive World Hidden Underground: Paradise & Fairytale Caves

July 21st, 2012 Permalink

Hidden in the thick tropical forest of Vietnam is a land of phenomenal caves. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest major karst area in Asia; the karst is believed to have formed 400 million years ago, during the Palaeozoic era, With every cave discovery, that cave is considered the largest and longest in Phong Nha-Ke Bang, only to learn later that yet another even more massive cave has been found. This national park is home to the largest cave in the world and is said to be the home of the many of the world’s most beautiful caves. It’s famous for its cave and grotto systems, about 300 caves and grottos, of which only 20 have been surveyed by Vietnamese and British scientists. UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site for its geological values. Spectacular stalactites and stalagmites create an underground fairy-tale-like world where formations look like the caves possess jagged teeth or home to strangely alien trees. Visitors to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park most often visit the massive Paradise Cave and huge Phong Nha Cave as seen below. If you don’t expect to ever travel to Vietnam, then here is a virtual trip to see the mysterious and massive world hidden beneath Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park . [39 Photos, 2 Videos]

Thien Duong Cave or Paradise Cave - Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park - Vietnam (Động Thiên Đường)

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest major karst area in Asia. Protecting those caves is the reason for the park and also why it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cave is called Thien Duong (Động Thiên Đường) and is over 19 miles (31 km) long. The British cave explorers were so impressed by the beauty of the rock formation inside the cave, they dubbed this place as “Paradise Cave.” Photo #1 by Vo Thanh Lam

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Happy Independence Day America!

July 3rd, 2012 Permalink

Happy Birthday America! As you celebrate Independence Day, spare a thought for our troops and for their families. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Happy Birthday USA!

Happy Birthday USA! Photo #1 by ppalmward

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Stunning Star Trails from Space & Incredible ISS Astronaut Photography [27 Pics, 2 Vids]

June 22nd, 2012 Permalink

ISS astronauts continue to shoot spectacular images and send them back to Earth to share the stunning sights. [27 Photographs, 2 Videos]

More timelapse star trails as seen from ISS Expedition 31

This is stargazing mixed with stunning long exposure photography while orbiting the Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour. These star trails from space were captured by astronaut photographer Don Pettit. This is a composite of a series of images photographed from a mounted camera on the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, from approximately 240 miles above Earth. Photo #1 by ISS Science Officer Don Pettit

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Memorial Day Tribute: Appreciating U.S. Military Personnel [43 PICS]

May 24th, 2012 Permalink

In 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, it was decided to decorate the graves of those who died in the war. Although it wasn’t yet called Memorial Day, it did begin with the idea of remembering and honoring soldiers. Americans do still visit graves and attend Memorial Day services, but over the years Memorial Day has morphed into a three day weekend of barbecues, boating and the opening of city swimming pools. We wanted to show our appreciation of the people in the military who put their lives on the line for America. Like in hug a soldier, these photos certainly don’t include everyone, but we liked them. This tribute is our way of saying thank you to our troops for all that you do and thank you to military families for the sacrifice and separation you endure. We appreciate you and Happy Memorial Day! [43 Photos]

U.S. Service members with the Texas Military Forces participate in Game 3 of the Major League Baseball World Series in Arlington, Texas

Happy Memorial Day! We’d like to pay a tribute to people in our military as well as kick off summer and baseball! DoD Photo #1 by Staff Sgt. Eric Wilson, U.S. Air Force

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: 10th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011

April 23rd, 2012 Permalink

Coming in as the 10th most visited national park in 2011 is Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Ohio. It offers adventurers a little bit of everything in the 20,339 acres of woods, water, wildlife and even caves. There are nearly 200 miles of trails within the park for visitors to hike, bike or for horseback riding. The Cuyahoga River, meaning ‘crooked river’ in Mohawk, is fed by more than 190 miles of other waterways to tempt fishermen of all ages. Millions of years ago, water etched out the 105-foot high sandstone Ritchie Ledges and Ice Box Cave, also carving other wonderful rock formations. More than 2 million visitors came to Cuyahoga Valley National Park last year to enjoy the wooded ravines, gentle rolling hills, 170 waterfalls, historic railway, buildings and paths. Welcome to Ohio’s only national park, welcome to Cuyahoga Valley National Park! [40 Photos]

Ledges with spring trees at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Ritchie Ledges, which formed more than 300 million years ago, with spring trees at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Ledges are found within the Virginia Kendall Park unit of Cuyahoga National Park. Photo #1 by © Tom Jones / NPS

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Whitewater Adrenaline Rush: Extreme Kayaking [45 Photos, 5 Videos]

April 7th, 2012 Permalink

There are many types of kayaking which can include paddling down gently moving water, but these kayakers are into demanding, dangerous whitewater. If trapping your legs into the cockpit and kayaking over insanely treacherous whitewater river rapids is not enough of an extreme adventure sport, then how about going over a waterfall in a kayak? Professional kayakers drop hundreds of feet going over falls. Extreme sports photographers captured these whitewater kayakers river running, rolling, creeking, playboating and during other extreme kayaking. We’re not quite sure if these kayakers are on drugs . . . or need to be. Or maybe all these adrenaline junkies need is the natural drug, an adrenaline rush? [45 Photos & 5 Videos]

A rocky kayak ride Great Falls Park just outside Washington DC

At Great Falls, near McLean, Virginia, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it plunges over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. It’s considered so dangerous, that ironically the National Park Service warns, “Swimming, wading, and entering the river in any manner are prohibited year round. Dangerous currents, rocks, and rapids make the river extremely hazardous.” Here’s an adrenaline junkie running a rocky kayak ride at Great Falls Park. Photo #1 by O Palsson

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