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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Hot air balloon found at sea, SNL sees WikiLeaks as 'TMZ' and more

By Melissa Bell
balloon
Balloonists Carol Rymer Davis, left, and Richard Abruzzo launching for the Gordon Bennett gas balloon race. (Robin Macey/AP)

Tragedy at sea:

In September, the small, close world of hot air ballooning was dealt a blow when an American duo went missing after their balloon set sail in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race. Richard Abruzzo, 47, of Albuquerque and Carol Rymer Davis, 65, of Denver were well-known veteran balloonists went they went missing over the Adriatic Sea. Two months later, their remains and their balloon have been discovered by a fishing boat, finally giving some measure of closure to their friends and family.

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Natural relief:

The Big Picture at Boston.com partnered with National Geographic to show off some of their entries for the 2010 Photography Contest. The images cover three categories of people, places and nature. In traditional National Geographic style, they evoke the exotic and the awe-inspiring. My favorite: the dolphin swimming along with a plastic bag caught on his fin, almost looking as if it is heading off to the grocery store. It would be funny, if the ecological implications were not so disturbing.

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Politics as unusual:

The soon-to-be speaker of the House of Representatives, receives the New Yorker profile treatment. The magazine asks if John Boehner (R-Ohio) will be able to unite a tea party Congress and focus the "rebellion" to benefit his party, or if like Newt Gingrich in 1995, he will fail to capitalize on the momentum.

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WikiLeaks as comic fodder:

By Melissa Bell  | December 6, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
 
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