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Today's featured article

Liberty cap mushrooms

Psilocybe semilanceata is a fungus whose mushrooms, known as liberty caps, are also called magic mushrooms for their psychedelic properties. They are the most common of the psilocybin mushrooms, and among the most potent. They have a distinctive conical or bell-shaped cap, up to 2.5 cm (1.0 in) wide, with a small nipple-like protrusion on the top. Yellow to brown in color and fading to a lighter color as they mature, they feed off decaying grass roots in fields, grassy meadows, and similar habitats, particularly in wet fields that are well-fertilized by sheep and cattle manure. The mushroom is widely distributed in the cool temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in Europe, and has been reported occasionally in India, South America, and Australasia. The earliest reliable history of P. semilanceata intoxication dates back to 1799 in London. In the 1960s the mushroom was the first European species confirmed to contain psilocybin; it was later found to contain the psychoactive compounds phenylethylamine and baeocystin as well. The possession or sale of psilocybin mushrooms is illegal in many countries. (Full article...)

Today's featured picture

Geneva drive

The Geneva drive is a gear mechanism that translates a continuous rotation into an intermittent rotary motion. The rotating drive wheel has a pin that reaches into a slot of the driven wheel advancing it by one step. The drive wheel also has a raised circular blocking disc that locks the driven wheel in position between steps. Such a mechanism is used in film projectors, watches, and indexing tables, among others.

Animation: Mike1024

Yesterday's featured picture

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls is a seasonal three-tiered waterfall fed by the Jamison Creek, near the town of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. The falls are accessible via the National Pass Walking Trail and the Overcliff/Undercliff Walk. The total height of the waterfall is 187 metres (614 ft); this includes the upper falls (shown here), which have two drops, and the lower falls.

Photograph: David Iliff

Featured Picture from Day before Yesterday


The ChS8 is an electric mainline passenger locomotive used in Russia and Ukraine. Built between 1983 and 1989, it was developed for pulling long passenger trains (28–32 carriages) at speeds of 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) or faster. Since 2010 Russia has switched to more energy-efficient designs, such as the EP10 and EP20.

Photograph: George Chernilevsky

Featured Picture from Two Days before Yesterday

Compound eyes

Compound eyes on a blue bottle fly. Unlike simple eyes, which have a single concave photoreceptive surface, compound eyes consist of a number of individual lenses (called ommatidia) laid out on a convex surface; this means that they point in slightly different directions. Compound eyes provide a wide field of view and can detect fast movement, but have low resolution.

Photograph: JJ Harrison

Religion in Society

There is a great disconnect between how athiests and religionist view the proper place for religion in the public square. Briefly, atheists (usually) want no religion in the public square, and religionists want equal access (non-denominational) to the public square and view athiesm as just one other "religion" that needs access.

Wikipedia's Reputation

I've been thinking about this key principle: "[What] reliable sources ... have in common is process and approval between document creation and publication." This is also the key to Wikipedia's reliability and reputation. The core principles of neutrality and verifiability along with the standards for articles (featured/good/etc) and the implicit approval of every person who reads an article and makes no changes to it.

Intellectual Property

We (Americans) often "borrow" other people's intellectual property because the transaction method (i.e. limited use permission) does not exist and can not be created without the transaction cost exceeding the value of the permission (which is close to $0.00 in most cases) so we keep using other's work, and they don't sue us.

Interesting Discussions

TithingTheologyChristian ScienceChildren of RecordWhy Edit is on IntroductionThe Bible and BoM


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