Friday, April 06, 2012
Strong winds, big voices: The best of iReport this week

Lights dimmed around the world, tornadoes ripped through Texas and palm leaves fluttered at the hands of religious tradition. Check out the best of iReport this week:


Storms in Texas


Storms ripped through several parts of Texas this week, and Kelly Carrasco had her camera out as a tornado touched down in Forney, Texas. “As we looked right down the street, the funnel cloud started to spin and just dropped to the earth. We didn't know if it was headed our way or not,” she said. Air traveler Eric Gould also captured a video of hail pinging his plane like popcorn as the storm passed over the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. “The noise of ice cubes hitting the aluminum exterior of a 757 was as deafening as it was frightening," he said.


Racism in America


Does racism still exist in America? Against the backdrop of Trayvon Martin’s death and Anderson Cooper 360's year-long study on kids and race, iReporters pondered where racism starts and what can be done about it. Frequent commentator Omekongo Dibinga said America must engage in a “nationwide dialogue” if it wants to overcome racism.


Life with autism


April 2 was World Autism Awareness Day, and we asked families to share what it’s like to live with the disorder. We received more than 250 submissions, including inspiring testimonials from high-functioning adults and heart-breaking footage from families who say there's nothing positive about this disease. Samantha Cotterill, from Niskayuna, New York, has autism, and her son has Asperger’s Syndrome. She explains that sometimes she finds herself wearing two different hats when it comes to being a person with autism and also being a mother to a son with the disorder. "Sometimes the marriage of the two works beautifully, and at other times one hat can be forgotten for the other," she said.


Earth Hour worldwide


For 60 minutes, lights across the world went dim in celebration of Earth Hour, a movement to raise awareness about the environment and climate change.  Chris De Bruyn celebrated Earth Hour with other Iraqis in Sulaimani, Iraq. “I am very pleased to see Iraqis take part in such an important issue as protecting the environment," he said.


Palm leaves for Palm Sunday


Decorative leaves were adorned with ribbons and flowers for Palm Sunday, a religious tradition that commemorates Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, and is celebrated worldwide. Ronald Roldan shared photos from the Philippines, where he says people buy palm or coconut leaves to be blessed by the priest.


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