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Beyond the lines

Manny Machado, the Baltimore Orioles third baseman, took some heat earlier this season when he said that baseball is “a little boring to watch.” It’s true that unlike other major sports, most players on the field of play are usually standing around. But he’s not looking at the big picture, especially the carnival-like atmosphere of Fenway Park. The Globe’s Stan Grossfeld trained his camera away from game action to record scenes that are anything but boring.

The view behind Lynne Smith of Wellesley, the “Fenway Hat Lady”. (Stan Grossfeld/ Globe Staff)


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

Seasonal workers harvest Longjing (Dragon Well) tea at a tea plantation in the Meijiawu village, outside Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, April 13. (Roman Pilipey/EPA)


NRA night at NASCAR in Bristol, Tenn.

Tens of thousands of NASCAR fans gather near this tiny southern town for a premier event, and one that’s sponsored by the NRA. But here, deep in Trump country, there was universal condemnation for white supremacists and Neo-nazis. -- By Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff photographer

Warren Denney, a professional Abraham Lincoln impersonator, wears his hat as he stands to watch the cars take off for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Qualifying Race. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)


Deadly earthquake hits Mexico City

A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City on the 32nd anniversary of the city’s biggest quake that killed thousands. Rescue and search missions are under way as workers and residents dig through the rubble looking for survivors. The quake has claimed at least 200 lives, including 21 children trapped in their school.

A rescue worker listens for signs of a person trapped under the rubble of a building in the Ciudad Jardin neighborhood of Mexico City on Sept 21. (Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press)


Impact of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean Islands and left a path of destruction all over the state of Florida. At least 72 people are dead, as rescue operations continue and the extent damage is still being determined. Florida is dealing with record flooding, and over six million people lost power.

Bill Quinn surveys the damage caused to his trailer home from Hurricane Irma at the Seabreeze Trailer Park in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, Sept. 12. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)


Globe staff photos of the month, August 2017

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month, including a solar eclipse, Boston Comic Con, the Elite Dodgeball National Championships, a record setting attempt for visiting every T station on every subway line, and the counter protest to the “Free Speech Rally” in Boston.

Boston Police officer Muryelle Staco shows her moves during a “Dance with a Cop” contest with youngsters at the YMCA’s Camp Ponkapoag in Milton. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)


The 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana

She was adored in Britain, and beyond, and in her death was dubbed “the people’s princess.” Diana, Princess of Wales, brought a warmth and humanity to the British monarchy that it hadn’t known before, and the masses loved her for it. Her struggles, her heartbreak, her tireless charitable work endeared her to people everywhere, and 20 years ago — on Aug. 31, 1997 — Diana’s death at 36 in a high-speed car crash in Paris left the world in mourning. Tens of thousands paid their respects in person, tearfully laying flowers at the gates of Kensington Palace in her memory. Millions more watched her funeral, which was televised around the globe.

From left, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Charles Spencer, Prince William, and Prince Philip stood as the coffin bearing the body of Princess Diana was taken into Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 6, 1997. (John Gaps III/Pool)


Hurricane Harvey devastates southeast Texas

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm along the southeast coastline of Texas over the weekend, the most powerful storm to hit the United States since 2004. As the storm lingers in the region, rainfall has caused major flooding in the Houston area and south Texas, leading to thousands of people needing rescue and evacuation.

People wait in line to buy groceries at a Food Town during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30 in Houston. Monster storm Harvey made landfall again Wednesday in Louisiana, evoking painful memories of Hurricane Katrina's deadly strike 12 years ago, as time was running out in Texas to find survivors in the raging floodwaters. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)


There goes the sun, total solar eclipse 2017

For the first time since 1918, a total eclipse of the sun was viewable from coast-to-coast in a 70-mile wide path of the United States for around two minutes at totality. -- By Lloyd Young

A woman reacts to seeing the solar eclipse along the waterfront near the Children's Museum in Boston. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

Scenes from the ‘Boston Free Speech’ rally and counterprotest

‘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

Armed with foam shields and weapons, gladiators from the camp Rome charged into battle at Ragnarok XXXII. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)


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

US Border Patrol trainees run upon their initial arrival to the US Border Patrol Academy on Aug. 2 in Artesia, N.M. All new agents must complete a months-long training course at the New Mexico faciltiy before assuming their posts at Border Patrol stations, mostly along the US-Mexico border. (John Moore/Getty Images)


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

As other members of the Gospel Love Tones arrive for a gig at a nursing home in Newton, Stephen Cooper tests the microphone. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)


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

Berklee School of Music professor Steve Wilkes records the sounds of the White Mountains on the summit of Mt. Israel. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)


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

Anna Voloshyna and Valyzaveta Yakhno of Ukraine compete during the Women’s Synchronized Duet Technical, Preliminary round on day one of the 2017 FINA World Championshipson July 14. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)


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.

Iraqi families, who were displaced by the ongoing operation by Iraqi forces against jihadists of the Islamic State group to retake the city of Mosul, are seen gathering on an area near Qayyarah on October 24, 2016. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)


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

One of four newly hatched African penguin chicks was weighed by penguin biologists at the New England Aquarium on June 29. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)


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.

National Republican Guards GIPS and firefighters try to extinguish a fire in a forest after a wildfire took dozens of lives on June 19 near Pedrogao Grande, in Leiria district, Portugal. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)


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

A sailor climbs the rigging on the American Eagle during the Grand Parade of Sail in Boston. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)


The Graduates, 2017

A look at the season of pomp and circumstance.

Gabriela Kula is shocked when her name is announced for the Dean’s Award during Emerson College 137th undergraduate commencement in Agganis Arena at Boston University. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)

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