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Today

Featured article
July 10
Jane Cobden

Jane Cobden (1851–1947) was a British Liberal politician and radical activist. An early proponent of women's rights, she was one of two women elected to the inaugural London County Council in 1889, although legal challenges prevented her from being a councillor. Throughout her life she sought to protect and develop the legacy of her father, the Victorian reformer Richard Cobden, in particular the causes of land reform, peace, social justice and women's suffrage. She was also a consistent advocate for Irish independence. In the 1890s she extended her interests to advancing the rights of the indigenous populations within colonial territories. She opposed the Boer War of 1899–1902, and after the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910 she attacked its segregationist policies. Before the First World War she spoke out against Joseph Chamberlain's tariff reform crusade on the grounds of her father's free trade principles, and was prominent in the Liberal Party's revival of the land reform issue. In 1928 she presented the old Cobden family residence, Dunford House, to the Cobden Memorial Association as a centre dedicated to the issues and causes that had defined "Cobdenism". (Full article...)

Recently featured: Banksia dentata – Alexander Cameron Rutherford – No. 34 Squadron RAAF

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HEALPix projection

The HEALPix projection is a family of map projections, the members of which are distinguished by their H and K parameters that describe the the specific arrangement. The H=4, K=3 HEALPix projection, as shown here applied to Earth, maps the sphere to twelve square facets (diamonds) on the plane, then divides these facets into pixels. This projection is widely used in physical cosmology for maps of the cosmic microwave background.

Map: Strebe, using Geocart
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On this day

July 10: Silence Day; Independence Day in the Bahamas (1973)

Lady Jane Grey

More anniversaries: July 9 July 10 July 11

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Tomorrow

Featured article
July 11
Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth (1895–1948) was an American baseball outfielder and pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1914 to 1935. Born in Baltimore, Ruth was sent at age seven to St. Mary's, a reformatory where he learned baseball skills. In 1914, Ruth was signed to play minor-league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. He began his MLB career as a stellar left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting (and some pitching) records, including 714 career home runs. In his fifteen years with the Yankees, Ruth helped them win seven American League pennants and four World Series championships. His big swing led to escalating home run totals that boosted baseball's popularity and made home runs a major factor in the sport. Ruth's unprecedented power and carousing lifestyle made him a larger-than-life figure in the "Roaring Twenties". One of the first five inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture, and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Jane Cobden – Banksia dentata – Alexander Cameron Rutherford

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In the Conservatory

In the Conservatory is an 1879 oil painting by Édouard Manet which depicts a married couple, Manet's friends the Guillemets, in a conservatory in Paris then owned by painter Otto Rosen. Despite a hint of intimacy from the proximity of their hands, the couple appear detached from both each other and the conservatory around them. First exhibited in the 1879 Paris Salon, the painting is now held at the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

Painting: Édouard Manet
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Featured list
July 11
A photograph of a marble relief under an arch in a wall between two vertical pillars with eight white candles in the foreground

Approximately 100 papal tombs are at least partially extant, representing less than half of the 264 deceased popes. In the first few centuries in particular, little is known of the popes and their tombs, and available information is often contradictory. As with other religious relics, multiple sites claim to house the same tomb. Furthermore, many papal tombs that recycled sarcophagi and other materials from earlier tombs were later recycled for their valuable materials or combined with other monuments. For example, the tomb of Pope Leo I was combined with Leos II, III, and IV circa 855, and then removed in the seventeenth century and placed under his own altar, below Alessandro Algardi's relief, Fuga d'Attila (pictured). The style of papal tombs has evolved considerably throughout history, tracking trends in the development of church monuments. Notable papal tombs have been commissioned from sculptors such as Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Most extant papal tombs are located in St. Peter's Basilica, other major churches of Rome, or other churches of Italy, France, and Germany. (Full list...)

On this day

July 11: Day of the Flemish Community of Belgium; Naadam begins in Mongolia

Woodblock print of Zheng He's ships

More anniversaries: July 10 July 11 July 12

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In two days

Featured article
July 12
Cyclists on the M-185

M-185 is a state trunkline highway in the U.S. state of Michigan that circles Mackinac Island, a popular tourist destination. A narrow paved road of 8.004 miles (12.881 km), it offers scenic views of the Straits of Mackinac dividing the Upper and the Lower peninsulas of Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. It has no connection to any other state highways and is accessible only by passenger ferry. M-185 passes several key sites within Mackinac Island State Park, including Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock, British Landing, and Devil's Kitchen. Outside of the downtown area, it runs between the water's edge and woodlands. Traffic on is by foot, on horse, by horse-drawn vehicle, or by bicycle; motorized vehicles have been banned since the 1890s, and only a few vehicles have been permitted on the island other than emergency vehicles. It is the only state highway in the US where cars cannot drive. The highway was built during the first decade of the 20th century by the state and designated as a state highway in 1933. It was paved in the 1950s, and portions were rebuilt to deal with shoreline erosion in the 1980s. Until 2005, it was the only state highway without any automobile accidents. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Babe Ruth – Jane Cobden – Banksia dentata

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Annelid diagram

A cross section of a post-clitellum segment of an annelid (ringed worm); almost all segments of an annelid contain the same set of organs and parts, a pattern called metamerism. Annelids have no lungs, but rather exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen directly through the moist skin when blood reaches the extremely fine capillaries of the body walls; a dry worm cannot breathe and will die of suffocation. The worm's red blood, which does not consist of platelets or red cells but mostly of a liquid containing suspended hemoglobin, makes a circuit up and down the animal in its closed circulatory systems.

Diagram: K.D. Schroeder
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On this day

July 12: Independence Day in Kiribati (1979) and São Tomé and Príncipe (1975); The Twelfth in Northern Ireland

An abandoned Soviet T-34 tank at Prokhorovka

More anniversaries: July 11 July 12 July 13

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In three days

Featured article
July 13
Joel Brand

Joel Brand (1906–1964) was a rescue worker, born in Transylvania but raised in Germany, who became known during The Holocaust for his efforts to save Hungary's Jews from deportation to Auschwitz. A leading member of Budapest's Aid and Rescue Committee, which smuggled Jews out of occupied Europe, Brand was approached in April 1944 by Adolf Eichmann, the German SS officer in charge of the deportations. He proposed that Brand broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain, in which the Nazis would exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks for the Eastern front and large quantities of tea and other goods. It was the most ambitious of a series of such deals between Nazi and Jewish leaders, and may have been intended as a cover by the SS for peace talks. The British government thwarted the proposal, arresting Brand in Turkey and leaking Eichmann's offer to the media. The failure of the proposal, and the wider issue of why the Allies were unable to save 435,000 Hungarian Jews from Auschwitz, has been bitterly debated for years. Brand later said that "An accident of life placed the fate of one million human beings on my shoulders. I eat and sleep and think only of them." (Full article...)

Recently featured: M-185 (Michigan highway) – Babe Ruth – Jane Cobden

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NGC 1316

NGC 1316 is a lenticular radio galaxy located some 60 million light-years away in a cluster in the constellation Fornax. It is thought to have formed from a merger of two or more galaxies approximately 3 gigayears ago and to have a supermassive black hole in the center.

Photo: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
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On this day

July 13: National Day of Commemoration in Ireland (2014)

Charlotte Corday at the death of Marat

More anniversaries: July 12 July 13 July 14

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In four days

Featured article
July 14
1601 sketch of the broad-billed parrot

The broad-billed parrot is a large extinct parrot in the family Psittaculidae that was endemic to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It has been classified as a member of the tribe Psittaculini, and may have been closely related to the Rodrigues parrot. The broad-billed parrot had a large head in proportion to its body, a distinct crest of feathers on the front of the head, and a very large beak that would have enabled it to crack hard seeds. Subfossil bones indicate that the species exhibited greater sexual dimorphism in overall size and head size than any living parrot. A contemporary description indicates that it had a blue head, a greyish or blackish body, and perhaps a red beak. The broad-billed parrot was first referred to as the "Indian raven" in Dutch ships' journals from 1598 onwards. It was first scientifically described from a subfossil mandible in 1866, but this was not linked to the few brief contemporary descriptions until the rediscovery of a detailed 1601 sketch (pictured). The bird became extinct in the 17th century owing to a combination of deforestation, predation by introduced invasive species, and probably also because of hunting. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Joel Brand – M-185 (Michigan highway) – Babe Ruth

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Auckland

A panoramic view of Auckland, the largest and most populous city in New Zealand. At the far left is the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and prominent in the centre-left of the photograph is the Sky Tower and the Auckland Central Business District, which is one of the most built-up areas in the country.

Photograph: Christian Mehlführer
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Featured list
July 14
A photograph of hands holding a gold trophy in the form of a ball held by people with their arms extended above their heads all standing on a base

The FIFA World Cup finals are the last matches of the FIFA World Cup, an international association football competition established in 1930. The results of the finals determine which men's national team is declared world champions and receives the FIFA World Cup Trophy (pictured). The tournament has been decided by a one-off match on every occasion except 1950, when the tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams. With five titles, Brazil is the most successful World Cup team and also the only nation to have participated in every World Cup finals tournament. Italy have four titles and Germany have three. The other former champions are Uruguay and Argentina with two titles each, and England, France, and Spain with one each. (Full list...)

On this day

July 14: Bastille Day in France (1789)

Valerie Plame

More anniversaries: July 13 July 14 July 15

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In five days

Featured article
July 15
Frank Headlam

Frank Headlam (1914–1976) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force. He joined as an air cadet in 1934 and specialised in flying instruction and navigation before the outbreak of World War II. In April 1941, he became commanding officer of No. 2 Squadron and saw action against Japanese forces in the South West Pacific. After returning to Australia, he held staff appointments and training commands, finishing the war a group captain. Headlam served as Officer Commanding North-Western Area in 1946, and was Director of Training from 1947 to 1950. In 1950–51, during the Malayan Emergency, he was stationed at Singapore as commander of No. 90 (Composite) Wing and, later, RAF Tengah. Promoted air vice-marshal, he successively held the positions of Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Operational Command, AOC No. 224 Group RAF during the Indonesia–Malaysia Konfrontasi, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, and AOC Support Command. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1958 and Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1965, and retired in 1971 following a posting to London as Head of the Australian Joint Services Staff. (Full article...)

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Cupha erymanthis

Cupha erymanthis is a species of brush-footed butterfly found in forested areas of tropical South and Southeast Asia which may feed on liquids from carrion. This specimen was photographed in Kadavoor, Kerala, India.

Photograph: Jkadavoor
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On this day

July 15: Seventeenth of Tammuz (Judaism, 2014); Festino of Saint Rosalia in Palermo, Italy; Chūgen/Bon Festival in Japan

HMS Bellerophon

More anniversaries: July 14 July 15 July 16

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In six days

Featured article
July 16
Herman G. Felhoelter

The Chaplain–Medic massacre was a war crime that took place in the Korean War on July 16, 1950, on a mountain above the village of Tunam, South Korea. Operating at the Kum River during the Battle of Taejon, troops of the US Army's 19th Infantry Regiment were cut off from resupply by a roadblock established by North Korean troops of the NK 3rd Division. The roadblock proved difficult to break, and forced US troops to move through nearby mountains to evacuate their wounded. Thirty unarmed and critically wounded US troops were stranded at the top of a mountain along with a chaplain (Herman G. Felhoelter, pictured) and a medic. They were discovered by a North Korean patrol. Though the medic was able to escape, the North Koreans executed Felhoelter as he prayed over the wounded, then killed the rest of them. The massacre was one of several incidents that led US commanders to establish a commission in July to look into war crimes during the war. The same month, the North Korean commanders, concerned about the way their soldiers were treating prisoners of war, laid out stricter guidelines for handling enemy captives. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Frank Headlam – Broad-billed parrot – Joel Brand

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Buffy hummingbird

The buffy hummingbird (Leucippus fallax) is a South American species of hummingbird. It can be found in subtropical or tropical dry forests, mangrove forests, and dry shrubland; it prefers living near the canopy.

Photograph: Wilfredor; edit: Julia W
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On this day

July 16: Feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Roman Catholic Church)

Mission San Diego de Alcalá

More anniversaries: July 15 July 16 July 17

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In seven days

Featured article
July 17
Marcus Trescothick

Somerset County Cricket Club's 2009 season saw the team compete in four English competitions: the first divisions of the County Championship and the NatWest Pro40 League, the Friends Provident Trophy, and the Twenty20 Cup. Somerset were in contention to win the County Championship until the last few weeks of the season, but the batting-friendly pitch at their home ground meant that they finished with too many draws to claim their first Championship title. Somerset were unbeaten in the group stage of the Friends Provident Trophy, but were eliminated in the first knock-out round, and finished runners-up by one point in the NatWest Pro40. In the Twenty20 Cup, Somerset finished as losing finalists, thus qualifying for the international Champions League Twenty20, where they were eliminated in the second group stage. Overall, Somerset had a successful season but fell short of winning any competitions, prompting their Director of Cricket Brian Rose said "We've had enough of being cricket's nearly men." Marcus Trescothick (pictured) topped the national batting tables and was named by the Professional Cricketers' Association as Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Year. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Chaplain–Medic massacre – Frank Headlam – Broad-billed parrot

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Schloss Johannisburg

Schloss Johannisburg is a schloss in Aschaffenburg, Germany, that was erected between 1605 and 1614 by Georg Ridinger. This red sandstone building overlooks the River Main.

Photograph: Rainer Lippert; edit: Carschten
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On this day

July 17: Feast day of the Scillitan Martyrs (Roman Catholic Church); Constitution Day in South Korea (1948)

Damage caused by the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse

More anniversaries: July 16 July 17 July 18

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