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Glacier Point at Sunset, Yosemite National Park, California. Let's start with something beautiful, before we get into America's dark past.
This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted to featured status from 12 through 18 April. Text may be adapted from the respective articles and lists; refer to their page histories for attribution.
In 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in her hometown of Rochester, New York, and convicted in a widely publicized trial. Although she refused to pay the fine, the authorities declined to take further action. In 1878, Congress was presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote. Popularly known as the Anthony Amendment, it became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.
Live and Let Die (novel)(nominated by SchroCat) A "lurid meller" in one critic's estimation, Live and Let Die was Ian Fleming's second James Bond novel. Code number 007 is on the trail of Mr. Big, real name Buonaparte Ignace Gallia, who has been financing Soviet spies by selling 17th-century gold coins from pirate Henry Morgan's buried treasure. The coins are smuggled into the US by placing them in aquariums containing "poisonous tropical fish". In a quiet moment of reflection, "Boney" Gallia confesses to Bond that he is prey to "'accidie' – the deadly lethargy that envelops those who are sated". He has a spherical head, "twice the normal size", and his skin is grey-black in colour. Intellectually brilliant, and with superb organisational skills, Mr. Big represents the "banality of evil", and is eventually defeated by Bond, an "anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department" (Fleming's description of his hero). Bond's last glimpse of Mr. Big is of his left arm rising out of the sea as sharks rip his flesh apart.
Susan B. Anthony dollar(nominated by RHM22) The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a US dollar coin which was produced from 1979 to 1981, with an additional run in 1999. Its predecessor, the Eisenhower dollar, was unpopular due to its size and weight. Various shapes, such as twelve-sided, were designed and rejected before it was decided to retain a round shape to avoid costly modification of vending machines across the nation. The design had an inner border of eleven sides to facilitate identification by feel. Anthony was chosen after a number of organisations recommended her depiction in place of a Liberty Head (which was the original design). Chief Engraver of the MintFrank Gasparro produced depictions which were rejected as being too pretty or too aged, before he drew her at an imagined age 50 (no photos of Anthony at that age were available). It was in her early fifties that Anthony was at the "peak of her influence as a social reformer".
Mind Meld(nominated by Neelix)Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime is a 2001 documentary film in which two unemployed actors with the unlikely names of Shatner and Nimoy, who have a website to promote, talk about the science fiction soap opera they once appeared in. Among topics raised are; the question of the "legitimacy of consistently portraying an extraterrestrial", alcoholism, sex, typecasting, and fine art photography. According to one reviewer, the film was likely to appeal only to extreme fans or people interested in flatulence; he gave the film an 'F' rating.
The Negro Motorist Green Book(nominated by Prioryman)The Negro Motorist Green Book is a guidebook which was published in the US annually over thirty years from 1936. In a country where the mass production of automobiles gave many opportunities for recreational travel to the "ordinary person", African Americans were faced with many inconveniences and dangers if they tried to travel across the land by car. The guidebook's publishers sought to alleviate worry by providing information as to where black travellers could find lodging and restaurants that were safe for them to enter.
Radiocarbon dating(nominated by Mike Christie) When cosmic rays enter the Earth's upper atmosphere, they collide with atoms and molecules of atmospheric gases (mostly oxygen and nitrogen) to produce a shower of particles, particularly neutrons. When these neutrons go on to hit nitrogen atoms, the collision knocks off a proton, converting the nitrogen into radioactive carbon-14. The carbon reacts with oxygen to produce radioactive carbon dioxide. All forms of carbon dioxide gas are heavier than oxygen and nitrogen, so the gas flows down to the ground, where it is taken up into plant material by the process of photosynthesis and then into animal material when the plants are eaten. Because this carbon-14 is radioactive, and radioactivity decays, if the radioactivity of the bone your dog dug up in the garden is measured, and you know that the proportion of each isotope of atmospheric carbon has remained constant, and you know the rate of decay, you can work out when the bone was last inside a living animal. Hmm… August 1485. Rover, drop it! The technique was invented by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and has become a standard tool for archaeologists and food safety inspectors.
Air Mata Iboe(nominated by Crisco 1492)Air Mata Iboe is an Indonesian film from 1941 – a "musical extravaganza" with a tragic storyline. Married to a merchant, the Indonesian woman Soegiati has three sons and a daughter; three of them marry and move away, leaving only Soemadi, who is his mother's favourite. One night the police come to arrest the merchant, Soebagio, who has been moonlighting as a robber. Soemadi makes a false confession to protect his father, and is exiled for his "crimes". Feelings of guilt drive Soebagio to his death, and his widow Soegiati is left in debt. She is soon homeless and penniless. Turning first to her two remaining sons, who are wealthy, Soegiati is refused help because they are scared of their wives. Her daughter and son-in-law offer to take her in, but Soegiati sees their poverty and chooses instead to live on charity. Time passes, Soemadi returns, and after meeting his mother, he seeks revenge on his brothers. Fifi Young took the rôle of Soegiati; she was to reprise it in 1957 in a remake. The original film is probably lost – the film stock was nitrocellulose which is dangerously flammable, and it's possible that copies were deliberately destroyed.
Texas Revolution(nominated by Maile and Karanacs) Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna's Army of Operations entered the Mexican province of Texas in mid-February 1836 after Texians and volunteers from the US had attacked and defeated a number of Mexican garrisons. General de Urrea and Mexican troops campaigned along the Texas coast, defeating Texian troops and killing many of those who tried to surrender. Santa Anna was captured during a surprise attack by Sam Houston's newly formed Texian army at San Jacinto. In exchange for his life (many of the captured troops were summarily executed), Santa Anna agreed to order the Mexican army to retreat south.
Mark Oliphant(nominated by Hawkeye7)Mark Oliphant was a "meddling foreigner" whose actions in 1941 helped to start the development of an atomic bomb. He was sent to the USA to find out why the findings of the British Military Application of Uranium Detonation Committee were being ignored. He found that the head of the Uranium Committee had locked them in his safe. Oliphant went to a meeting of the committee and forcefully demanded that the construction of a bomb be the only priority. He managed to convince the American scientists that the atom bomb was feasible, and that they should take the lead, as Britain lacked the resources to carry through development.
List of works by H. Rider Haggard(nominated by SchroCat)H. Rider Haggard was a prolific and high-profile English writer, probably best known for his Allan Quatermain series of stories set in Africa. He wrote much more besides: his output included 56 novels, 3 short-story collections, and nearly 100 letters published in The Thunderer. He was an expert on land management and agricultural reform and wrote several non-fiction books on the subject, along with works on southern Africa and the Zulus. In 1895, Rider Haggard served on a government commission to examine Salvation Army labor colonies, and from 1906 to 1911, he served on the Royal Commission on Coastal Erosion, travelling widely round the coast of the British Isles. Haggard states in his memoirs that "I wonder if there is a groin ... that I have not seen and thoughtfully considered". No wonder he was haggard – he should've been looking at groynes.
Pancuran Tujuh (Javanese: Pancuran Pitu, both meaning "Seven Springs") is a hot spring that you need to place on your bucket list, as Chris Woodrich proves with this utterly remarkable photo (well, it's really 30 photos). Read about how he "got the shot" below. Pack your bags and book the trip now, we hear it's nice this time of year ....
The Fighting Temeraire(created by J. M. W. Turner, nominated by Hafspajen) HMS Temeraire was a wooden three-decked ship of the line, armed with 98 cannon. She fought in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, her crew lashing the Temeraire to two French ships and capturing them after a ferocious fight. After being reduced to a training ship in the 1820s, she was sold for scrap in 1838. Turner's painting The Fighting Temeraire depicts her on her last journey to the breaker's yard, being towed by a paddle-wheel steam tug. The silvery wraith of the Temeraire is seen behind a dirty, squat boat belching out red flame and black smoke.
Pasteur's portrait by Edelfelt(created by Albert Edelfelt, nominated by Hafspajen) This portrait of Louis Pasteur depicts him among laboratory glassware used in his experimental methods. Pasteur is known as the "father of microbiology" for his discoveries in the fields of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and, of course, pasteurization.
La Schiavona(created by Titian, nominated by SchroCat)La Schiavona (1510–12) by Titian; this is a portrait of an unknown lady, probably from Dalmatia ("La Schiavona" translates as "Dalmatian woman"). The raised relief sculpture was a later addition, and the original drapery he painted is now starting to show through the thinning paint.
Pancuran Tujuh(created and nominated by Chris Woodrich) "A panoramic image consisting of 30 or so frames shot using a Canon EOS 60D, a Canon EF-S 18–55mm lens at 55mm (effective length of 88mm after including the crop factor) and a 'Nodal Ninja' panoramic head, then 'stitched' together in PTGui." According to local legend, a man named Syekh Maulana Maghribi discovered the springs after sailing to Gresik, on Java. There he found seven springs, which he named Pancuran Pitu, and bathed in the waters, treating himself. The waters contain sulfur and other minerals; this might be just the place you're looking for to rejuvenate your body and soul. With a population of 143 million, Java is the home of 57 percent of the Indonesian population, and is the most populous island on Earth. This is one remarkable panoramic photo; well done, Chris!
Anthidium florentinum(created and nominated by Alvesgaspar) Something must be bugging Alvesgaspar this week, or it is just these fine photos of bugs that has us questioning the bugs around us? Anthidium is a genus of bee often called mason or potter bees, who use conifer resin, plant hairs, mud, or a mix of them to build nests. Alvesgaspar's bug collection of featured photos continues to grow, with not one but two featured bugs this week. Get out your featured fly swatter for the next one ....
Eristalinus taeniops(created and nominated by Alvesgaspar)Eristalinus taeniops is a species of hoverfly, also known as the band-eyed drone fly, that likes to hang out in Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, North Africa, the Canary Islands, the Caucasus, eastern parts of the Afrotropical region down to South Africa, Nepal, Northern Pakistan, Northern India, Iran, and southern California. "Waiter, there seems to be a fly in my soup?" "Don't worry, sir. That spider on your bread will soon get him!"
Gorakhpur Junction railway station(created and nominated by The Herald) A shot from the foot-over bridge of Gorakhpur Junction railway station located in the city of Gorakhpur in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It serves as the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway. A remodeling of the Gorakhpur railway station was launched in 2009. The remodeling work was completed on war-footing within the scheduled time. With the inauguration of the remodeled yard on 6 October 2013, Gorakhpur has a platform measuring 1,366.33 metres (4,482.7 ft) with ramp, making it the world's longest railway platform."Waiter, do you have frogs' legs?" "No sir, I've always walked."
The Adoration of the Kings(created by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, nominated by SchroCat) – The Adoration of the Kings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1564). Many of those surrounding Christ – including the Three Kings – are caricatured slightly or shown as a grotesque, and the Virgin is shown naturally and not idealized. The viewpoint is from a slightly elevated position, which has the effect of focusing attention on the Christ figure in the Virgin's lap, in the exact center of the painting. In this treatment, the painter's first purpose is to record the range and intensity of individual reactions to the sacred event. In the chronological sequence of Bruegel's work, this painting of 1564 marks an important departure as the first to be composed almost exclusively of large figures.
Hollister Municipal Airport(created and nominated by WPPilot) Looking for a nice Hundred Dollar Hamburger?. Hollister Municipal Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) north of the central business district of Hollister, a city in San Benito County, California, United States, just south of San Jose. It saw its first powered flight departure on April 14, 1912, from what was then a small livestock pasture. In the 1940s, the US Navy took control of the field and commissioned it as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Today, Hollister Airport is a popular destination for pilots in search of the famous $100 hamburger. The traditional "$100 hamburger trip" would typically involve: flying a short distance (less than two hours), eating at an airportrestaurant, and flying home. That was many years ago; the cost of fuel forced aircraft rental prices to over $150 dollars a hour today, and that same burger is going to run you well over a hundred bucks. It will be the best burger you eat for a while. Hollister Airport does not have a tower. Contact them using UNICOM 123.00, make left traffic on runway 31 (that is the big runway), and have a safe flight.
Madonna of Loreto(created by Raphael, nominated by Chris Woodrich) The Madonna of Loreto is a painting finished around 1508–1509 by the ItalianHigh Renaissance painter Raphael. It is housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. It has been widely copied throughout the centuries. It shows the Christ Child playing with the Madonna's veil, while a melancholic St. Joseph looks on. For centuries, the painting kept company with the Portrait of Pope Julius II, first at the Santa Maria del Popolo, then in private collections, and for a time, their location was unknown. Their ownership, or provenance, has been difficult to unravel because of the number of copies of both paintings, the unclear ownership chain, misinformation, and delay of publication of vital information. Saint Joseph seemed to be an afterthought: X-rays of the painting show that Saint Joseph was painted over a window that was previously over the Madonna's shoulder. Further, the change in the position of the Child's right foot was revealed via X-ray. These changes align with Raphael's preliminary drawings for the painting.
Pampus(created and nominated by Johan Bakker) Our second aerial photo to make the list of featured photos this week: Pampus, an artificial island and late 19th-century sea fort, located in the IJmeer near Amsterdam. It now belongs to the municipality of Muiden and is open to visitors. The fort was commissioned in 1895. It was armed with four Krupp 240mm (9.5") L35 (35 calibers long) guns deployed in two hydraulically operated cupolas of two guns each. Electric lifts brought shells and cartridges up from the magazines on the ground floor. These guns fired a shell of 280kg for a range of up to eight km. Each gun had a crew of an NCO and six gunners, who could get off one shot every six minutes. During World War II, the Nazis used the island as a bombing target, filling bomb chambers with smoke to show the pilot where the bomb hit as a training aid.
Dutch men-o'-war and other shipping in a calm(created by Willem van de Velde the Younger, nominated by Alborzagros)Dutch men-o'-war and other shipping in a calm, c. 1665 by Willem van de Velde the Younger. Most of Van de Velde's finest works represent views off the coast of Holland and include Dutch shipping. His best productions are delicate, spirited, and finished in handling, and correct in the drawing of the vessels and their rigging. The numerous figures are tellingly introduced, and the artist is successful in his renderings of the sea, whether in calm or storm. The ships are portrayed with almost photographic accuracy, and are the most precise guides available to the appearance of 17th-century ships.
Battle of Scheveningen(created by Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraaten, nominated by Alborzagros )Slag bij Ter Heijde, by the Dutch artist Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraaten, was painted between 1653 and 1666, and depicts the sea battle of Scheveningen. After their victory at the Battle of the Gabbard in June 1653, the English fleet of 120 ships under General at SeaGeorge Monck blockaded the Dutch coast, capturing many merchant vessels. The Dutch economy began to collapse immediately, with mass unemployment and even starvation. On 24 July (3 August Gregorian calendar), Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp put to sea in the Brederode with a fleet of 100 ships to lift the blockade at the island of Texel, where Vice-Admiral Witte de With's 27 ships were trapped by the English. On 8 August, the English sighted Tromp and pursued to the south, sinking two Dutch ships before dark. However, de With managed to slip out and rendezvous the next day with Tromp off Scheveningen, after Tromp had positioned his ships north of the English fleet. In the morning of 31 July, the Dutch gained an advantage from the weather and attacked. The ensuing battle was ferocious, with the fleets moving through each other four times. Tromp was killed early in the fight by a sharpshooter. His death was kept secret to keep up the morale of the Dutch. There was extensive damage on both sides, and some of the Dutch ships retreated to the north; the English ships were too damaged to maintain the blockade. Both sides claimed victory; the Dutch as the blockade was lifted, the English because the Dutch had fled.
Perseus and Andromeda(created by Lord Frederic Leighton, nominated by Hafspajen) This work depicts a bonkoid scene from Greek mythology where the hero Perseus rescues Andromeda from the clutches of a sea monster ("Release The Kraken!"). Here, Perseus is astride the winged horse Pegasus, the sun forming a halo around the hero. Lord Leighton being Lord Leighton and not Blair Leighton, the naked Andromeda is front and center, because you always want to wear your costume d'anniversaire when you're about to be devoured by a sea monster. Blair would have put several dismembered bodies in the foreground, because reasons.
Baturraden(created and nominated by Chris Woodrich) An overview of the Baturraden tourist resort, on the slopes of Mount Slamet in Banyumas Regency. Baturraden is located in Central Java, at about 640 metres (2,100 ft) above sea level. The area is some 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the volcano's crater; this has led to the number of visitors decreasing when the volcano is active. The name Baturraden is derived from the Javanese words Batur ("manservant") and Raden ("nobleman/noblewoman"). According to local legend, the young daughter of a local king fell in love with a young stablehand. The two furtively had a furtive relationship before ultimately eloping (furtively) without getting their parents' blessings. Shortly after their first child was born, the noblewoman's father marched on their home with his army and demanded that she return home. When she refused, the king had the stableman stabbed with a kris. The noblewoman, in despair, took the kris from her husband's body and killed herself.