The year passed so awfully quickly, like a twitch in a shooter game, that it kind of faked me out. A week ago, I didn't believe there were 10 stellar games to make a complete 'best of' story. But I looked at a list I'd been keeping since January. I was suddenly overwhelmed — I saw at least 30 worthy games. And from those, I plucked the very best of 2013.
A young, displaced girl cries after the relative she was with disappears into a row of latrines Sunday at a U.N. compound in Juba, South Sudan. Violence in the country has forced an estimated 70,000 people to take refuge in U.N. compounds.
A view of the New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney Harbor in Sydney, Australia.
Credit Nikki Short / EPA/Landov
Thousands of Filipinos toot their Torotots (party blowers) during an attempt to break the Guinness record for the "most number of people blowing party blowers simultaneously" in Davao city. Ten-thousand party blowers were expected to make noise there on New Year's Eve.
Credit Ritchie B. Tongo / EPA/Landov
A Buddhist woman prays ahead of the new year at Chogye Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea.
Credit Ahn Young-joon / AP
Balinese girls in traditional costumes gather during a parade for 2013's last sundown in Bali, Indonesia.
Credit Firdia Lisnawati / AP
A reveler poses on New Year's Eve in Amritsar, India.
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New Year's Eve fireworks explode over Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, marking the start of 2014 near the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Credit Kin Cheung / AP
People celebrate the New Year during an event for the Count Down Seoul 2014 at the Time Square in Seoul, South Korea.
Credit Park Jin Hee / Xinhua/Landov
People gather to release balloons to celebrate the New Year during an annual countdown ceremony in Tokyo. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air, carrying with the visitors' wishes.
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People celebrate ahead of New Year's Day in the center of Rosa Khutor, a venue of the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics.
Credit Maxim Shemetov / Reuters/Landov
A lightshow illuminates the Great Wall during a New Year countdown event in Beijing.
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A reveler takes part in festivities during a New Year countdown event at the Great Wall in Beijing. Hundreds of people gathered at the Great Wall to celebrate the New Year.
Credit Wang Zhao / AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai to celebrate the new year in a dazzling bid for a new world record. The glittering fireworks display that lasted around six minutes spanned over 60 miles of the Dubai coast.
Credit Karim Sahib / AFP/Getty Images
The new year has begun in Australia, where fireworks exploded near Sydney's Harbor Bridge and the Opera House.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:00 am
Here's why picking a Top 10 list of best TV shows has become such treacherous work for critics this year: Quite simply, 2013 was the year quality exploded in the television industry.
Thanks to the simultaneous maturing of Netflix, AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, Amazon, BBC America, Sundance Channel, iTunes and many more media platforms, fans of great television had more options than ever to find high-quality product whenever and wherever they liked.
Each December, NPR Music draws up a tribute to some of the great musicians, composers, producers and other visionaries who died during the course of the year. Inevitably, the list is incomplete, but it provides a sense of how much talent and vision has been lost in the past 12 months.
Are we witnessing the twilight of DVD and Blu-ray?
Kinda-sorta. With the emergence of various digital distributions systems — streaming and downloading through your laptop, your cable system, your game console — it's easy to see how these discs will be the next physical media formats to fade away. DVD and Blu-ray could well go the way of CDs and vinyl, becoming a niche boutique market for collectors.