Obsession is a key strand of the HuffPost DNA. This includes an obsession with using all the tools at our disposal to tell the most important -- and most entertaining -- stories, every day, all year long. And, in fact, 2012 has been a year in which, more than ever before, we've launched new platforms to tell and share those stories, from our live-streaming video network HuffPost Live to our international editions in the UK, Canada, France, Spain, and Italy, to the magazine you're reading now.
And as 2012 winds to a close, we asked ourselves, how could we do justice to the year's defining stories -- the people, events, innovations, triumphs and heartbreaks that shaped our lives?
The result is "The Year In Photos," a collection of images selected by our photo editors for the way they vividly -- and often beautifully -- tell the stories that defined 2012. Some of the photos will be familiar, some not. There's a photo I'd never seen before of President Obama and Mitt Romney during one of the debates (remember those?). There are photos that communicate more than words ever could -- from the image of a single Greek protester staring down a battalion of riot police to the sheer power of nature that ravaged entire neighborhoods during Hurricane Sandy. There are glimpses of the moments that captured our attention, our imaginations, and our Twitter feeds -- Linsanity, Chick-Fil-A, Clint Eastwood and his empty chair, Gangnam Style. And there are tributes to those who left us in 2012: Ray Bradbury, Maurice Sendak, Sally Ride, Dick Clark, our dear friend Nora Ephron, and many others who left indelible marks on our culture.
But really, the photos speak for themselves. We hope they'll prompt reflection and provide fresh angles into stories you followed obsessively -- or missed entirely -- in 2012. And from all of us at Huffington and The Huffington Post, wishing you a more fulfilling, more creative, and less stressful 2013.
This story appears in the year-end photo issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, Dec. 28.