Registering to Vote in the 2016 US Election Just Got Easier

Help get everyone to register to vote!

The WordPress.com Blog

It’s time!

As a company whose mission is to democratize publishing, we believe strongly in helping everyone in our community make their voice heard regardless of their political affiliation. So we’ve teamed up with HelloVote to make it easy to register for the upcoming elections in the US — right here on WordPress.com.

Introducing a quick, easy way to register

The election might be mere weeks away, but it’s not too late to register. HelloVote is a sleek voter-registration tool that allows any US-based visitors to your site to register to vote or check their registration status. If you activate the tool, anyone from the US who’s logged in to WordPress.com will see a small box at the bottom-right corner of your site where, by entering their phone number, they’ll be able to complete their registration (or verify they’re already registered) in under a minute.

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The tool will be automatically…

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Between Darkness and Light

Steve McCurry's Blog

The shadow is that place between darkness and light.

00054_09, Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia, 1999, CAMBODIA-10049NF. Shadow Play. Untold_book retouched_Sonny Fabbri 09/08/2015 Preah Khan, Angkor, Cambodia

We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows,
the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates…
Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.
–  Junichiro Tanizaki

Kampala, Uganda Kampala, Uganda

The loveliest things in life are but shadows, and they come and go, and
change and fade away…”
– Charles Dickens

Angkor Wat, Cambodia Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
– T. S. Eliot

Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan

A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.
– Gottfried Benn
Translated from The German by Michael Hofmann

New York City, USA New York City, USA

Afghanistan Afghanistan

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be…

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Short post of the month February 2016 – gravitational waves

Very interesting.

The Science Geek

The subject of February’s short post of the month is gravitational waves. These were predicted by Albert Einstein back in 1916, and after decades of searching have finally been detected. In an announcement made on 11 February at a Washington DC press conference David Reitze, the executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, said:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We did it!”

(Castelvecchi and Witze 2016). Later that day president Obama tweeted his congratulations to the team:

Obama LIGO Tweet

What are gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves are ripples in space time. As gravitational waves pass through an object they cause it to move slightly. The Universe is believed to be awash with gravitational waves, because when massive objects move, such as the Earth orbiting around the Sun, they emit gravitational radiation. However compared to other forms of radiation such as light and radio waves, gravitational waves are very very weak, which is why they have proved…

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The cosmic microwave background: part I

Very clear, plain language explanation easy to understand for the layperson.

The Science Geek

In 1964 two young American radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, made an accidental finding which would win them both the Nobel prize and turned out to be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century.

The story started when Penzias and Wilson were given observing time on a large radio telescope at Bell Labs in New Jersey. The telescope had originally been designed for satellite communications, but with the advances in satellites in the 1960s it had become surplus to requirements.

Horn_Antenna-NJ

Penzias and Wilson at the telescope where they made their discovery (image from NASA)

They had been intending only to map radio signals from objects in our Milky Way galaxy, but their telescope was sensitive enough to pick up a faint background signal. This signal was unusual in that it had the same strength in all directions and at all times of day. Initially they thought that it was a man made signal but…

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River of Life

How lucky we are!

Steve McCurry's Blog

For more than 2000 years, travelers have walked, ridden,
prayed, traded, invaded, escaped, fought, and
died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road
which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996; A Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996 MCS1996002 K010 Magnum Photos, NYC5923 "For McCurry, Calcutta is the most visual city on the planet, spinning with chaos and clutter, crumbling under the weight of its overpopulation, utterly out of control, yet vital and alive. Vendors spill into streets, which hold a confusion of cars, trams, rickshaws, bicycles and pedestrians. So how to make this picture? McCurry looked for an office or apartment on a second floor of a street corner. 'And that is the wonder of the place. Twenty minutes later, I am on a bed in a couple's apartment, making the picture and staying on for a cup of tea." Anthony Bannon. (2005). Steve McCurry. New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 37. National Geographic, March 1997, India: Fifty Years of Independence Phaidon, 55, South Southeast, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, iconic photographs final print_HERMITAGE Dirty, hot, smoggy, friendly- that's how one resident describes Calcutta, a city so humid even the buildings seem to sweat. With crowded streets pockmarked with potholes, an unreliable phone system, and a long love affair with Marxism, Calcutta is only now trying to lure foreign investors. National Geographic, Jeffrey C. Ward (May 1997). India: Fifty years of Independence. National Geographic, vol. 191(5) A tram winds its way through the streets of Calcutta. Dirty, hot, smoggy, friendly, it is a place so humid that even the buildings seem to sweat. This Calcutta street is a cacophony of visual noise. McCurry spent a long time searching for a way to capture the energy and vitality of this most unique of cities. His response was to find a vantage point above street level. Fortunately, he was welcomed into an apartment on the street corner by a young couple. After taking this image he stayed for a cup of tea. South Southeast_Book Steve Mccurry_Book Iconic_Book final print_Sao Paulo final print_Birmingham final print_HERMITAGE retoucher_Sonny Fabbri 3/24/2015 Kolkata, India

This ribbon of humanity stretching northwest from Kolkata,
the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees,
prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kolkata, India Kolkata, India

Here are some pictures of people and places
I have taken along the route of the
Grand Trunk Road during the past thirty years.

Street scene, Calcutta, India, 1996 Kolkata, India

Howrah Station, Kolkata, India Howrah Station, Kolkata, India

Kolkata, India Kolkata, India

Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Bihar, India Bihar, India

Varanasi, India Varanasi, India

Agra, India Agra, India

“Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers,
barbers and bunnias, pilgrims – and potters…

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River of Life

How lucky we are!

Steve McCurry's Blog

For more than 2000 years, travelers have walked, ridden,
prayed, traded, invaded, escaped, fought, and
died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road
which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996; A Tram, Calcutta, India, 1996 MCS1996002 K010 Magnum Photos, NYC5923 "For McCurry, Calcutta is the most visual city on the planet, spinning with chaos and clutter, crumbling under the weight of its overpopulation, utterly out of control, yet vital and alive. Vendors spill into streets, which hold a confusion of cars, trams, rickshaws, bicycles and pedestrians. So how to make this picture? McCurry looked for an office or apartment on a second floor of a street corner. 'And that is the wonder of the place. Twenty minutes later, I am on a bed in a couple's apartment, making the picture and staying on for a cup of tea." Anthony Bannon. (2005). Steve McCurry. New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 37. National Geographic, March 1997, India: Fifty Years of Independence Phaidon, 55, South Southeast, Iconic Images, final book_iconic, iconic photographs final print_HERMITAGE Dirty, hot, smoggy, friendly- that's how one resident describes Calcutta, a city so humid even the buildings seem to sweat. With crowded streets pockmarked with potholes, an unreliable phone system, and a long love affair with Marxism, Calcutta is only now trying to lure foreign investors. National Geographic, Jeffrey C. Ward (May 1997). India: Fifty years of Independence. National Geographic, vol. 191(5) A tram winds its way through the streets of Calcutta. Dirty, hot, smoggy, friendly, it is a place so humid that even the buildings seem to sweat. This Calcutta street is a cacophony of visual noise. McCurry spent a long time searching for a way to capture the energy and vitality of this most unique of cities. His response was to find a vantage point above street level. Fortunately, he was welcomed into an apartment on the street corner by a young couple. After taking this image he stayed for a cup of tea. South Southeast_Book Steve Mccurry_Book Iconic_Book final print_Sao Paulo final print_Birmingham final print_HERMITAGE retoucher_Sonny Fabbri 3/24/2015 Kolkata, India

This ribbon of humanity stretching northwest from Kolkata,
the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees,
prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kolkata, India Kolkata, India

Here are some pictures of people and places
I have taken along the route of the
Grand Trunk Road during the past thirty years.

Street scene, Calcutta, India, 1996 Kolkata, India

Howrah Station, Kolkata, India Howrah Station, Kolkata, India

Kolkata, India Kolkata, India

Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Bihar, India Bihar, India

Varanasi, India Varanasi, India

Agra, India Agra, India

“Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers,
barbers and bunnias, pilgrims – and potters…

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Undaunted Humankind Kabul, Afghanistan, March, 2016

Steve McCurry's Blog

“A landscape might be denuded, a human settlement abandoned or lost,
but always, just beneath the ground lies
history of preposterous grandeur. .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted humankind,
irrepressibly optimistic and proud.

– The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer

_DSC9386.JPG, Afghanistan, 03/2016, AFGHN-14855. Retouch_Natalie Piserchio, 06/09/2016

_DSC8137.JPG, Afghanistan, 03/2016, AFGHN-14852 Retouch_Natalie Piserchio, 06/09/2016

_DSC7779.JPG, Afghanistan, 03/2016, AFGHN-14853. Retouched_Natalie Piserchio, 06/09/2016

AFGHN-14865.jpg

AFGHN-14859 (1)Life in a war zone means that death is always present in the lives of children and their families.All the elements of life and death are in this picture. Boys and girls, graves, playground equipment, and the mosque, all in the shadow of the neighborhood on a hill in Kabul, Afghanistan.

AFGHN-14841

AFGHN-14854

AFGHN-14860

a_DSC8583.JPG, Afghanistan, 03/2016. NOPSD_DSC5683.JPG, Afghanistan, 03/2016, AFGHN-14840. retouched_Natalie Piserchio 06/08/2016

AFGHN-14850This is Abdul Hadi. He is a teacher in the woodworking school of the Institute of Turquoise Mountain (@turquoisemountain), in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he teaches jali woodwork (latticework). He was a woodworker at the court of the last king of Afghanistan, and then for some 35 years did not have a chance to practice his skills, due to the…

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