Communities across the United States are struggling with an epidemic of overdose deaths due to heroin and opioid pain pill addiction. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed nationwide, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper.
The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, completed in 1888, has been opened to the public for 127 years. Located in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park, it is the second oldest glass conservatory in America.
Originally The Baltimore Conservatory, it was renamed in 2004 after an extensive renovation funded by the state, Baltimore City, the Baltimore Conservatory Association and city residents. The conservatory is operated and maintained by city workers and a group of dedicated volunteers.
It is hard to imagine that one decade ago I had been dispatched to the Indonesia to cover Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services’ efforts after the December 26 tsunami that would eventually kill more than 200,000 people. The devastation remains unconscionable today, after being dropped into Aceh province to cover the victims and survivors. Only one word could truly describe my reaction to seeing the damage from the event: “Helpless.”
Addicted to photographing severe weather, Richmond photographer Jamie Betts lets us in on this high-risk, and often dangerous hobby, that results in stunning images of Mother Nature at her angriest. He shares photographs from storms in Maryland, Virginia, Kansas and Switzerland. “My popular ‘McDonald’s strike’ photo documents one of my many close calls,” Betts said. “That strike was only a couple hundred yards away and it was so bright I was temporarily blinded.”
The Darkroom will take you Up Close in a new series featuring images and techniques that truly augment our perceptual power, altering our understanding and appreciation of the world. First up are sixteen winning photos from the 2012 Wellcome Image Awards, which highlight the best in medical and microscopic photography, and is sponsored by the London-based Wellcome Trust charitable foundation. This remarkable set of photos includes everything from magnified views of a moth fly to a human brain during a surgical procedure to the building blocks of your morning cup of coffee (caffeine crystals) – all as you’ve never seen them before.