Admiral on deck: a modern Ada Lovelace
This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 12 to 19 October 2014. Anything in quotation marks is taken from the respective articles and lists; see their page histories for attribution.
14 October was Ada Lovelace
Day, a day honoring women's contributions to sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This portrait of mathematician and computer scientist Rear Admiral "Amazing Grace" Hopper
was promoted to featured picture.
Four featured articles were promoted this week.
- Turquoise parrot (nominated by Cas Liber) Casliber created a stub for this article in December 2006 and, 238 edits and eight years later, it has now been promoted to FA. It tells us of a species of rather colourful parrot, native to Eastern Australia. Numbers of the species crashed in the early 20th century, but now appear to be recovering.
- Interstate 69 in Michigan (nominated by Imzadi1979) is a 202.3-mile (325.6 km) part of the Interstate Highway System that has been in existence since October 1967.
- Not My Life (nominated by Neelix) "is a 2011 American independent documentary film about human trafficking and contemporary slavery", which was written, produced, and directed by Robert Bilheimer. Not My Life took four years to film, and detailed human trafficking in 13 countries on every inhabited continent. In 2012 the film was named Best World Documentary at the Harlem International Film Festival in September 2012.
- Hemmema (nominated by Peter) "A hemmema was a type of warship built for the Swedish archipelago fleet and the Russian Baltic navy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries"; designed by the Swedish naval architect Fredrik Henrik af Chapman, the hemmema was a specialised vessel with a shallow draught for use in shallow waters. It was originally designed for use against the Russian navy, and the Swedes built six hemmemas between 1764 and 1809. After the Russians captured three of the Swedish vessels in 1808, they built built six hemmemas between 1808 and 1823.
Four featured lists were promoted this week.
- Tom Hanks on screen and stage (nominated by Cowlibob) One of the most successful actors of recent times, Hanks began his career on stage in 1977, performing in a series of Shakespeare plays. In 1980 he made his debut on the big and small screens; his second film role—as the lead in Splash—made his name, and led to a string of hits which have garnered five Academy Award nominations (winning two), and nominations and wins for most major film and television awards. This is Cowlibob's seventh featured list, all of which have been film related.
- List of international cricket five-wicket hauls by Mitchell Johnson (nominated by NickGibson3900) Johnson is a left-arm fast bowler who represents Australia at Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket. Since his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2007, he has taken five-wicket hauls 12 times in tests, and 3 in ODIs.
- List of Interstate Highways in Michigan (nominated by Imzadi1979) is that section of the Interstate Highway System—about 1,239 miles (1,994 km)—that is owned and maintained by the U.S. state of Michigan. The system was started in the 1950s, and the most recent section was completed in 1992.
- List of Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order appointed by Queen Victoria (nominated by Noswall59) The Royal Victorian Order is an order of knighthood that was officially created and instituted on 23 April 1896 by Queen Victoria. It is still awarded by the sovereign of the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth realms, and is granted personally by the monarch to recognise personal service to the monarchy. The most senior of the five ranks in the order is the Knight Grand Cross (GCVO). Originally limited to men, women were first admitted in 1936.
Fifty-three featured pictures were promoted this week.
- Herman Willem Daendels (created by Raden Saleh, nominated by Crisco 1492) Governor of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), and the Dutch Gold Coast (now Ghana), Herman Willem Daendels lived a complicated life which included a civil war, the French Revolution, and a coup d'état before he even left Europe. The painter, Raden Saleh, is also highly interesting: a native Indonesian who inspired the entire modern Indonesian art movement.
- Inuit woman (created by Lomen Bros., Nome, Alaska; restored by Papa Lima Whiskey and Crisco 1492; nominated by Belle) Nowadluk Ootenna (also spelt Nowadlook or Anglicised to Nora) was an Inuit woman who lived in Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, working as a reindeer herder. This photograph dates from 1907.
- Engravings of U.S. Presidents set: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt (created by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, prepared, restored, and nominated by Godot13) A series of engravings of the presidents from a US Treasury specimen book, presumably published during Theodore Roosevelt's tenure (1901–1909), given that his portrait ends the series.
- 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (created by Evan-Amos, nominated by Bellus Delphina) A particularly ambitious gaming console from 1993, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer offered fully supported 3D gaming at a time when other systems had fairly moderate support for such things, tending towards sprite-based games. Unfortunately, it was created by a small company that had to hire other manufacturers, leading to a cost of around US$600 to 700 ($960 to 1120 in today's money), and it failed to compete successfully with more-established companies such as Nintendo and Sega.
- Fire on the Deepwater Horizon (created by United States Coast Guard, edited by Mark Miller and Ottojula, nominated by Pine) In 2010, an oil-drilling platform owned by BP, Deepwater Horizon, caught on fire. The oil spill eventually resulting from this lasted for months before it could be stopped, with some sources claiming it never stopped completely, heavily contaminated the Gulf of Mexico, shut down huge swaths of coastal businesses, and cleanup took place over years. Last month, BP was found guilty of gross negligence and reckless conduct that made them primarily responsible for the spill, which could result in up to 18 billion U.S. dollars in additional penalties.
- Saint Joseph and the Christ Child (created by Guido Reni, nominated by Hafspajen) While the Madonna and child is particularly common in religious paintings, few works focus on the other side of the family, the infant Jesus and his father, Joseph. This painting by Guido Reni is an excellent picture of paternal love, with Joseph's pleased, but restrained expression, and the beautifully painted child happily playing while looking back at him.
- Beauty Revealed (created by Sarah Goodridge, nominated by Crisco 1492) Sarah Goodridge was an artist specializing in portrait miniatures. This tiny little self-portrait – just 6.7 by 8 cm (2.6 × 3.1 in) – entitled Beauty Revealed shows, surrounded by beautifully detailed folds of cloth, her breasts.
- Still life: apples and jar (created by Samuel Peploe, nominated by Hafspajen) The Scottish Colourists were an early 20th-century group of four painters noted for their uses of vivid, contrasting colours, influenced by French artists of the period, but turning it into their own idiom. This painting is by Samuel Peploe, who specialised in still lifes. Bold, and showing the influence of abstract art, particularly in the background, it's a fine work of art.
- Grace Hopper (created by James S. Davis, nominated by Pine) United States Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper invented the first ever compiler for a computer language, did the initial work that led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages, and created the term debugging after the removal of an actual moth from a computer.
- One-dollar, two-dollar, five-dollar, ten-dollar, twenty-dollar, fifty-dollar, one-hundred-dollar, five-hundred-dollar, and one-thousand-dollar United States Notes from the 1880 series (created by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, nominated and prepared by Godot13 from specimens at the National Numismatic Collection of the National Museum of American History) The United States Notes for 1880 was the final redesign of the large-sized U.S. dollar bills before they shrank in size. One interesting thing about them is that, unlike modern currency, they feature a wider range of people, such as Union General Joseph K. Mansfield and DeWitt Clinton, creator of the Erie Canal.
- Portrait of Charles Hodge (created by Rembrandt Peale, nominated by Crisco 1492) Charles Hodge was an American theologian, one of the leading promoters of Princeton Theology, and an important figure in the development of the modern evangelical and fundamentalist branches of Christianity.
- Anatomical diagram of a Pectinidae (scallop) (created and nominated by KDS444) KDS444 has this interesting workflow where he presents a very good SVG diagram as a featured picture canidate, encourages comments, then uses the comments to continuously improve the diagram, until it comes out the other side as more-or-less a definitive way of presenting the information. In this case, an anatomical diagram of a scallop (Pectinidae).
- Darwinius masillae (created by Jens L. Franzen, et al. [see file description page]; nominated by Alborzagros) This photograph, while a bit small for a featured picture, shows the only known fossil (nicknamed "Ida") from the Darwinius genus of primates, and thus, of course, the only known fossil for its species. It is a particularly complete specimen, superficially resembling a lemur. The specimen is somewhat controversial, due to somewhat overblown and incompletely substantiated claims regarding its importance.
- Banquet Still Life (created by Adriaen van Utrecht, nominated by Hafspajen) A staggeringly well-constructed 1644 oil on canvas painting by the Flemish still life painter Adriaen van Utrecht from the Dutch Golden Age of painting. This painting is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
- Rubens Peale with a Geranium (created by Rembrandt Peale, nominated by Hafspajen) This is an 1801 oil on canvas painting of the botanist Rubens Peale with his geranium, said to be the first grown in the new world. Rubens was 17 when he sat for the painting for his elder brother Rembrandt.
- Albert Einstein (created by Ferdinand Schmutzer, restored and nominated by Adam Cuerden) This is a younger-than-normal picture of the German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science Albert Einstein, taken during a lecture in Vienna in 1921 when the Great Brain was 41. The photograph is a study by the portraitist Ferdinand Schmutzer, a member of the Vienna Secession. Schmutzer did not intend his studies to be published, they were for his own private use.
- Niagara Falls, from the American Side (created by Frederic Edwin Church, nominated by Hafspajen) This is a 1967 painting by the American artist Frederic Edwin Church. Church is noted as one of the most outstanding Romantic landscape painters from the US. He was part of the American Hudson River School art movement. Church made a series of paintings on Niagara Falls, of which the most famous is this one, Niagara Falls, from the American Side. It is currently located in the collection of the Scottish National Gallery, which would explain to the more Edinburgh-resident of this article's writers why it looked so familiar.
- Oedipus and the Sphinx (created by Gustave Moreau, nominated by Crisco 1492) An 1864 painting by Gustave Moreau, depicting the meeting between Oedipus and the Sphinx on the road to Delphi. The picture is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; for those in London or Paris, Ingres also painted two later versions which are now in the National Gallery and Louvre, respectively.
- One hard dollar (created by Gregor MacGregor and W.H. Lizars; nominated and prepared by Godot13 from specimens at the National Numismatic Collection of the National Museum of American History) One dollar, Bank of Poyais, Republic of Poyais (1820s). After fighting in South and Central America, the Scottish soldier Gregor MacGregor created an elaborate scam claiming to have been made a Cacique of the entirely fictitious Cazique of Poyais, all in an effort to defraud land investors. Nearly 200 died in 1822–23 in connection with his deception.
- Helix Nebula (created by NASA and ESA, nominated by The Herald) This is the Helix Nebula, a cosmic starlet located about 700 light-years away in the Aquarius constellation, as seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The nebula is the remains of a star, which has died and is puffing out its outer gaseous layers. (On a cheery note this is what our sun will look like in about five billion years.
- Cymon and Iphigenia (created by Sir Frederic Leighton, nominated by Sagaciousphil) Leighton took eight months to complete this masterpiece, which he based on Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron. The picture depicts Iphigenia asleep in a grove; as she is discovered by the rough, uneducated Cypriot youth Cymon, he falls in love, and the power of that love turns him into a polished man of letters. Those of you in and around Sydney can visit the original at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.