Reuters: best photos of the year 2011

Given the turbulent times in which we live, a ‘best photos’ gallery online runs the risk of being dangerously premature – who knows what will happen tomorrow? Still, this collection from Reuters captures in pictures – and words, since the commentaries are often excellent – some of this year’s stories from around the world. Some of these photos are immensely powerful and moving, including some with graphic content or nudity.

Thanks to all those photographers and reporters whose photos such as these remind us what it has meant to live in 2011.

Fear and the media: How to stop worrying and learn to love the calm

Watched the news lately, picked up a newspaper? Then it’s likely you’ll be at least tempted into being afraid, if not downright hide-behind-the-sofa, peek-from-under-the-cushion terrified.

Here’s what you do to overcome the fear in the media. The first is listen to Doug Stanhope. He seems to know something about fear (the audio is not suitable for work so put your headphones on).

When you’re done with Doug read this analysis of how fear works by Tom Engelhardt, along with some statistical analysis (especially if you’re American – I’m not – but the principle applies elsewhere, too).

And if you’re still a little unconvinced, then watch Adam Curtis’ superb dissection of the ways that governments and organisations use fear to try to control me and you, in his documentary The Power of Nightmares.

And by then – well, you may have stopped worrying and learn to love the calm.