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‘Ragnarok’ event reenacts mythic battle

For 32 years now, one week each summer, the world has come to an end. Behold, Ragnarok: a weeklong battle event, held at a campground in Pennsylvania, whose name references an apocalyptic Norse myth. It’s part medieval history, part celebration of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and a dizzying array of people brandishing foam weapons and foam shields. With “storyline battles” straight out of “Lord of the Rings,” fighters take to the field for full contact combat. The sport is called Dagorhir (it means “Battle Lords” in Tolkien’s Elvish language) and its players fight each other with foam swords, arrows, axes, rocks, and shields. Only traditional garb is allowed here. Think tunics, flowing skirts, leather shoes. Some embrace the medieval, while others go full Orc. There’s a deeper sense of shared community that flows through each camp set up here where fighters camp out together sometimes in period tents and cook together. Some of the more established camps host nightly gatherings where IDs and period drinking vessels are both required. This year’s event drew more than 1,800 people according to organizers, a far cry from the 75 people who were there the first time the world ended back in 1985.-- By Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff (25 photos total)

US border patrol agents in training

President Trump has pledged to add 5,000 agents to the existing Border Patrol force of more than 21,000 as part of his border security policy. All new agents complete a months-long training course at the US Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, N.M.-- By John Moore/Getty Images (21 photos total)

A solitary vigil, a song of love

Noelia Ferreira, like hundreds of Massachusetts parents, cares for her medically fragile daughter, Abi, at home. But MassHealth has let reimbursements languish, making it nearly impossible to find a skilled nurse to help her. Abi needs nearly round the clock medical care that Noelia is forced to do herself. “It puts Abi at risk and it’s killing me.” Noelia says. Photos by Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff. (23 photos total)

The Gospel Love Tones keep on spreading the good news

They got their start under street lamps, singing doo-wop and soul for family, friends, and neighbors in the Village, a historically black neighborhood of West Newton. That was decades ago. Brothers Walter and Stephen Cooper and a cousin, Richard Evans, have never stopped singing. Even as construction of the Mass. Pike largely decimated their community. Even as their lives were consumed by careers, marriages, children, and personal trials. Even as their musical interests evolved — as youthful dreams of becoming the next Four Tops faded and they gravitated to spirituals and gospel. “We’ve been singing forever, it seems like,” Walter Cooper says. Since 1988, they’ve been performing as the Gospel Love Tones, their timeless music rooted in history but fiercely relevant to the present. “Gospel is the aches and pains and the sorrows and the moanings of a depressed, enslaved people,” Evans says. Stephen Cooper says: “Gospel is, to me, the spreading of the good news.” Today, with a fourth member, Kenny Haywood, the Gospel Love Tones bring warm, four-part harmonies and an uplifting message to schools, assisted-care facilities, holiday celebrations, and to Myrtle Baptist Church, a vibrant centerpiece of the old neighborhood. In this political climate, Evans says, gospel has once again become a source of comfort and hope — especially for African-Americans. “So much is going on today,” Stephen Cooper says, “that we can try to alleviate or bring some sense of peace and tranquillity to this world.”-- By Scott Helman and photography Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff (24 photos total)

Globe staff photos of the month, July 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month, including celebrating the Fourth of July, kiteboarding in Nantucket, attending summer camp, recording the sounds of the White Mountains, and the start of the Patriots training camp.-- By Lloyd Young (36 photos total)

World Aquatics Championships

The 17th FINA (Federation Internationale De Natation or International Swimming Federation) World Championships are underway in Budapest. Almost 3,ooo athletes compete in 75 aquatic events over 17 days, ending July 30. The event shows us the interesting qualities of water and athletic movement, creating visual anomalies.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (34 photos total)

The Battle of Mosul

Iraqi government declared the city of Mosul liberated on July 9th, after a nine-month offensive to retake the city. Since October, the forces in Mosul have faced the toughest fighting in the 3-year war against the Islamic State fighters in Iraq. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed and Amnesty International called the battle a ‘‘civilian catastrophe,’’ with more than 5,800 civilians killed in the western part of the city. The gruelling battle displaced nearly 900,000 from their homes. Sporadic fighting continues in the Old City, signaling the presence of militants still in the area. (37 photos total)

Globe staff photos of the month, June 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month, including beating the summer heat, a six-alarm fire on Dorchester Avenue, Boston’s Pride Parade, David Ortiz’s number’s retirement, and a visit by 54 tall ships to the Boston Harbor.-- By Lloyd Young (40 photos total)

Homeland of tea

According to a legend, tea was first discovered by the legendary Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 BC. Today, China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. It is the most highly consumed beverage in the world. China still boasts many teahouses, particularly in cities with a strong teahouse culture such as Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Chengdu. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. The pickers work from early morning until evening for an average wage of around 120 RMB (around 16 euros) a day. Tea can be sold from around 80 RMB (around 11 euros) to over 4,000 RMB (around 525 euro) per kilogram. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea. Chinese people believe that the practice of brewing and drinking tea can bring the spirit and wisdom of human beings to a higher level.-- By EPA (23 photos total)

Portugal forest fire

The huge forest fire that erupted on June 17 in central Portugal killed at least 64 people and injured hundreds more, with many trapped in their cars by the flames. It is the deadliest natural disaster to hit the country in decades. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, as a claim stating arsonists may have started the devastating blaze emerged on Wednesday. (40 photos total)

Sail Boston 2017

A majestic procession of 54 tall ships will grace Boston Harbor Saturday with a Grand Parade of Sail that puts history in motion. The ship’s arrival will mark a six-day celebration of maritime glory as more than a million visitors are expected to see and board the vessels docked in the city before they depart on Thursday.-- By Bill Greene (32 photos total)

The Graduates, 2017

A look at the season of pomp and circumstance. (34 photos total)

Globe staff photos of the month, May 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month, including college graduations, Boston Calling, a family of foxes, Memorial Day, and the end of the Celtics’ playoff run. (44 photos total)

Frolicking foxes

About two weeks ago, my wife and I drove past a bunch of foxes walking around the cemetery next to the Pembroke (Mass.) Friends Meetinghouse. I pass it almost every day and have never seen them before. I knew we had gone by a great photo opportunity. The Meetinghouse, which was built in 1706, sits at a busy intersection. But it’s an ideal location if you’re a fox, I suppose. There are thick woods adjacent and a feed store a block away that sells live chickens. My wife, who is also a photographer, and I decided to return with our 300 mm and 400 mm lenses. We had never seen such a large group of foxes together like this. After that first day, we rarely saw them. Then on one evening, we saw the mother fox run through the woods towards the house. By this time, it was close to 7 p.m., and the warm sunlight bathed the foxes in a golden glow. It was that moment that we waited so long for. We both quietly walked the perimeter, hugging a rock wall like hunters, except armed with cameras. We split up, taking different sides. All the foxes were out now. It was a perfect moment. The cubs played and frolicked on the lawn, against the house, and around the headstones. They seemed impervious to us being there. We stayed until the mother took off with one of the cubs into the woods. We looked at each other and felt we had witnessed something extraordinary. From that day, we haven’t seen them since.-- By John Tlumacki/Globe Staff photographer (15 photos total)

Remembering JFK on his 100th birthday

John F. Kennedy was born on May 29th, 1917 in Brookline, Mass. The youngest president elected in the United States was assassinated just two years into his presidency, but still left a lasting legacy. Here is a look back at moments of JFK’s life in his home state. (41 photos total)

World weather report

A look at extreme and stormy weather around the globe. From devastating tornadoes to record-breaking heat, photographers covered various forms of wild weather this month.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (37 photos total)

Africa refugees journey

The surge of more than half a million South Sudanese refugees into Uganda since July 2016 has created Africa’s largest refugee crisis. There were high hopes that South Sudan would have peace and stability after its independence from neighboring Sudan in 2011 but the country plunged into ethnic violence in December 2013 when forces loyal to President Salva Kiir started battling those loyal to Riek Machar, his former vice president. (29 photos total)

Robot (Defined)

robot (noun) 1 -- A machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (such as walking or talking) of a human being - also: a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized. 2 -- A device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks. 3 -- A mechanism guided by automatic controls. (29 photos total)

The Circus leaves town

This month, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed for the last time in New England. After 146 years, “The Greatest Show on Earth” ends it historic run. We visted one of the finals shows and also look back at this traveling spectacle that was a form entertainment for many generations. (42 photos total)

Political crisis in Venezuela

Venezuelan authorities say that at least 37 people have been killed during two months of protests, as demonstrators call for an election to unseat President Nicolas Maduro. He has called the actions an attempted coup, and says he plans to rewrite the country’s constitution. (30 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, April 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month, including NBA and NHL playoffs, signs of spring, Opening Day at Fenway Park, Easter Sunday, and the Boston Marathon. (41 photos total)

California drought: then and now

Getty Images photographer Justin Sullivan documented California’s severe drought conditions in 2014 and recently returned to the same places to compare the drastic change after the state’s exceptionally wet winter. Governor Jerry Brown has ended the state’s water emergency status in all but four counties. (15 photos total)

Ring of honor

Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes likes “combat” sports. When she was an exchange student at Plymouth South High, the native of Poland went out for the football team and wrestled. Then she discovered boxing, “my favorite thing in the world.” The 37-year- old, who lives with her husband in Marshfield, has become one of the world’s top-ranked female welterweights while working full time as a lawyer. Magdziak Lopes loves to win, but her April 7 fight was about family, and her preparation had been weighted with grief. Her husband and trainer, Wayne Lopes, had lost his son Manny on New Year’s Eve. The 32-year- old had battled depression and drugs. When fight night arrived, “I wanted to do well for Wayne,” Magdziak Lopes says. Her win in the match at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, came after eight rounds. As the referee raised Magdziak Lopes’s arm in victory, “for a split second” she felt “on top of the world.” And then she felt relief. Near the end of the evening, Manny, a promising boxer whose career was derailed by hand injuries, was honored by the promoter. Magdziak Lopes wept.-- By Craig F. Walker and Michael Fitzgerald/Globe Staff (30 photos total)

2017 Boston Marathon

More than 30,000 racers took off from Hopkinton under sunny skies Monday in the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. (28 photos total)

Animal expressions

A look at the interesting faces of all kinds of creatures and different forms of communication among the species.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (38 photos total)

Deadly chemical attack in Syria

Earlier this week, over 80 civilians died in a chemical weapon attack in Syria. In response, President Trump ordered a US missile strike targeting the Syrian air base. (23 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, March 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month: a funeral for a fallen firefighter, mid-month snow storm, a sled dog race in northern Maine, and St. Patrick’s Day. (36 photos total)

Spring blossoms

Bleak winter landscapes transform into splendors of color all over the world.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (27 photos total)

Cloud (Defined)

1. a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor (as water or ice) suspended in the atmosphere of a planet (as the earth) or moon. 2. any similar mass, especially of smoke or dust.-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (34 photos total)

Along the frozen trail

For 25 years, intrepid mushers and their teams have completed the more than 200-mile icy loop that makes up the annual Can-Am Crown 250 sled dog race. On March 5, a Quebec competitor beat the field to the finish in Fort Kent, Maine, for an eighth title, a record. The Can-Am includes three races: typically 30, 100, and 250 miles. But it’s the longest race that you’ll hear about on the car radio, with updates slipped between songs as the race unfolds almost entirely out of public view. Spectators catch a glimpse of racers at the start, cheering the teams as they run through downtown Fort Kent before disappearing into the woods. The teams won’t reemerge for hours, miles away at Portage Lake, the first checkpoint, where they’ll stop to feed their dogs, bed them down on hay, and wrap them in blankets for a rest. Warm winter weather wreaked havoc on the usual course this year with ice starting to run on some rivers that racers usually cross, and some trails being rendered impassable. Officials rerouted the checkpoints, trimming the 250-mile race to 209. Even with the shorter haul, it still takes days to complete the race, with mushers resting at mandatory intervals and then heading back into the bitter cold to harness their dogs. Sleep takes place in spurts and many legs are run in the dead of night with only a headlamp to illuminate the narrow trail.-- By Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff (16 photos total)

Through the closing door

A handful of Syrian refugees began arriving in Boston in recent months, welcomed by volunteers from local Jewish temples. Deep uncertainties remain, and fears too, but new life is taking root. Editor’s Note: Some names have been changed to protect the subjects’ privacy.--By Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff (25 photos total)

Sox spring training in detail

Spring training is a time for fans to get closer to their heroes. Access is easier, spirits are higher, and hope springs eternal. The games don’t count, and every team is tied for first place. These closeups are a colorful promise that winter is nearly over and Opening Day is not far away.-- By Stan Grossfeld (19 photos total)

Snows of winters past

A look back at snowy scenes in Massachusetts. (39 photos total)

Fear on the Farm

Migrant labor has long been essential to the dairy farmers in the rolling fields of Western New York. But beyond the usual problems with tractor repairs and feed prices, this season has brought a new worry: the serious threat that farm workers will be deported as part of President Trump’s immigration crackdown. Now, those farmers are arriving at work every day wondering how many of their employees will still be there. Photographs by Craig F. Walker (23 photos total)

Dancing for a dream

Hundreds of ballet dancers are in Boston at the Youth America Grand Prix Regional semifinals vying for the opportunity to make it to the finals in New York City, a chance at scholarships, and to someday train with the best dance companies in the world. (27 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, March 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month: a funeral for a fallen firefighter, mid-month snow storm, a sled dog race in northern Maine, and St. Patrick’s Day. (36 photos total)

International Women’s Day, 2017

Women around the globe took to the streets today to participate in International Women’s Day. The day recognizes the struggle for women’s rights and commemorates their contributions to society. This year, organizers in the US planned additional socio-economic themed demonstrations for “A Day Without A Woman.”-- By Leanne Burden Seidel (35 photos total)

Mountaineers in training

Climbers come to the High Tatras Mountains along the border of northern Slovakia to learn essential climbing skills and practices during the winter season. To become a professional climber, the applicants have to fulfill the basic climbing course in the summer and winter alpine courses.--By European Pressphoto Agency (15 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, February 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month: winter storms and record temperatures, spring training in Florida, a tornado hits Conway, and the Patriots fifth Super Bowl win. (36 photos total)

Festival (Defined)

festival (noun) A time of celebration marked by special observances or an often periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus. Editor’s Note: “Defined” is an occasional series exploring the definitions of words via photography.-- By Lloyd Young (46 photos total)

Palm oil production

Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an estimated 50 percent of packaged products sold in supermarkets contain some of the ubiquitous oil. It is mainly grown in Southeast Asia and is used in products as diverse as ice cream, toothpaste, and detergent. The demand for more and more land to plant palm oil trees has seen the rapid and rampant destruction and conversion of tropical rainforest habitats into plantations. This is threatening important ecosystems, displacing and killing threatened and endangered species, among them orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos. Classified as critically endangered, on the edge of extinction, orangutan numbers have fallen so dramatically that wildlife organizations and conservationists say unless the destruction ends, we will see the end of the species.--By European Pressphoto Agency (26 photos total)

Remembering the ’67 Red Sox ‘Impossible Dream’ season

In the basement of a Canton home is a dusty yellow Kodak box that hasn’t been opened in a half a century. Inside lies buried treasure, the 1967 Red Sox “Impossible Dream” season captured in 4,000 black-and-white negatives. It was the year that forever changed baseball in Boston, and Frank O’Brien was just a rookie Globe sports photographer who captured it all. Read the story-- By Stan Grossfeld (24 photos total)

China’s Red Army schools

The Yang Dezhi “Red Army” elementary school in Wenshui, Xishui country in Guizhou province was designated a “Red Army primary school” -- funded by China’s “red nobility” of revolution-era Communist commanders and their families, one of many such institutions that have been established across the country. Such schools are an extreme example of the “patriotic education” which China’s ruling Communist party promotes to boost its legitimacy -- but which critics condemn as little more than brainwashing.--By AFP/Getty Images (17 photos total)

Patriots Super Bowl LI victory parade

The New England Patriots once again for the fifth time rolled through the city in triumph after winning Super Bowl LI. (31 photos total)

Super Bowl LI

In the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, Tom Brady and the Patriots overcame a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to stun the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in overtime Sunday night in Super Bowl LI. (51 photos total)

Refugee family settles in New England

One of the last refugee families to be resettled in New England arrived in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday. President Trump issued an executive order last week that barred any new refugees for 120 days, but they were allowed entrance due to a waiver for previously approved refugees. Sendegeya Bayavuge, a 52-year-old farmer, and six other members of the family had been living at a refugee camp in Uganda for two decades after escaping the violence in Dthe emocratic Republic of Congo. Photographer Craig F. Walker documented their arrival and the beginning of a new life in Lowell. (21 photos total)

Globe photos of the month, January 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month: protesting a new president’s policies, polar plunge into Dorchester Bay, hockey at Fenway Park, and the Patriots run to the Super Bowl.-- By Lloyd Young (39 photos total)

Young lives lost

The morning after a 16-year-old was fatally shot on the streets of Dorchester allegedly by two teens, Globe staff photographer Pat Greenhouse started documenting the destruction of three young lives and their devastated families. Raeshawn Moody, now 15, who is among the youngest in Boston to be accused of murder, could face life in prison. Looking back on mistakes they’ve made, Moody’s father remarks “We dropped the ball.” (19 photos total)

Wooden box camera artist

Luis Maldonado is the last remaining photographer in the main square of the Chilean capital still using a wooden box camera. The box camera's mechanism is simple: light enters through a lens and the photographic paper inside it captures a negative image of the subject. I know that you have to eat and live. But if it were up to me, I'd only be doing box photos. It's what fills me up," he said. "I'd be empty without the box."--By Associated Press (17 photos total)

Aboard the bus to the Women’s March

On Friday, Globe staff photographer Jessica Rinaldi traveled to Washington, D.C. with a local group from Massachusetts to attend the historic Women’s March on Washington following Donald Trump’s inauguration. More than 9,600 women, children and men from this state protested with about half a million people at the National Mall on Saturday, and were joined by millions around the world. (24 photos total)
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