The pictures of the year are pretty amazing. Can we go a week without a major celebrity death already? Remembering Carrie Fisher. And an Australian punches a kangaroo in the face to save his dog

ghostplayer-footballpic

One of my favorite things to look at the end of December every year are the pictures of the year. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a photography nerd, but I’m always fascinated by how photojournalists get these amazing, iconic shots all the time, and how the power of photographs can change the world (think of the 1960s civil rights photos, for example. The pictures of ferocious dogs attacking African-American peaceful protesters in the South absolutely had a role in changing public opinions about segregation.)

As always there was a motherlode of great photos taken around the world this year; the one above is my favorite, taken by Jae S. Lee of the Dallas Morning News in September. It literally looks like there’s a ghost player on the field, but it’s just No. 62’s helmet popping off at the exact right moment for the photographer.

Here’s another one I love, at protests in Baton Rouge, La. after another killing of an African-American by police:

 

photosofyear-2016

If you want to see more amazing shots, check out the BBC’s collection here (the Usain Bolt one is pretty spectacular), the Washington Post’s choices are here , and the New York Times’ photos of the year are here

**Next up today, 2016 just continues to pummel us with celebrities dying way too young, not even giving us the last few days of the year without some tragic news.

Carrie Fisher will always be known first and foremost as the beautiful Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movies; that was such an iconic role in movies that have been seen by millions and millions of people.

But to me, her real acting triumph came in one of my all-time favorite flicks, the incomparable “When Harry Met Sally.” As Marie, Sally’s best friend, she brings humor and wisdom in the package of a forever-single, constantly-scheming woman of the 1980s. She ends up with Bruno Kirby’s character Jess, giving us even more humor together.

Carrie Fisher didn’t have an easy life; she was the daughter of two huge celebrities (Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds), struggled with bipolar disorder, and never quite reached the heights of “Star Wars,” again.

But she was a terrific actress and should be remembered for openly confronting her mental illness with humor and grace.

**Finally today, this video went viral a few weeks ago but yours truly just heard about it the other day. It’s pretty incredible and strange: An Australian man saw his dog in trouble, with a kangaroo having a headlock around the pooch.

So the man did what any of us would do: He punched the kangaroo in the face.  The expression on the kangaroo’s mug after the punch (around the :30 mark) is pretty amazing.

I do not condone violence against animals, but this is such a bizarre video, it was mesmerizing. When do you ever go toe-to-toe with a kangaroo?

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