Wikipedia:Picture of the day/December 2007

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These featured pictures previously appeared (or shall appear) as Picture of the day as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating Picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{pic of the day}} (text version) or {{POTD}} (short version). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.


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December 1 - Sat

Picture of the day
Robert E. Lee

A portrait of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee in April 1865, shortly after his surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse. The most celebrated general of the Confederate forces, Lee initially denounced secession as "revolution" and a betrayal of the efforts of the Founders. However, Lee's loyalty was to his home state of Virginia and when it became clear that Virginia would secede, Lee became commander of the Virginia state forces. His victories against superior Union forces won him fame as a crafty and daring battlefield tactician. After the war, Lee discouraged a guerrilla campaign to continue the war, and encouraged reconciliation between the North and South.

Photo credit: Mathew Brady
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December 2 - Sun

Picture of the day
Seattle, Washington

The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk, viewed from the south. The Columbia Center (middle) is the second tallest building on the West Coast of the United States, and the twelfth tallest in the United States. Smith Tower (left), completed 1914, was at one time the fourth tallest building in the world. The highway in the foreground is Interstate 5.

Photo credit: Cacophony
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December 3 - Mon

Picture of the day
Kuwaiti oil fires

USAF aircraft of the 4th Fighter Wing (F-16, F-15C and F-15E) fly over Kuwaiti oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqi Army as part of a scorched earth policy during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Nearly 800 oil wells were set ablaze and the fires were not fully extinguished until eight months after the end of the war.

Photo credit: United States Air Force
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December 4 - Tue

Picture of the day
ARVN child soldier

This twelve-year old ARVN Airborne trooper poses with an M79 grenade launcher during a sweep through the devastated Plantation Road area after a day-long battle near Tan Son Nhut during the Vietnam War. The young soldier had been "adopted" by the US Army Airborne Division.

Photo credit: J.F. Fitzpatrick, Jr., SPC5, U.S. Army Signal Corps
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December 5 - Wed

Picture of the day
Trithemis kirbyi

A male Kirby's Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) dragonfly in Tsumeb, Namibia. The species may be found throughout Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean Islands and in southern Asia. This specimen is displaying the pose that gave its genus the name "Dropwings".

Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert
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December 6 - Thu

Picture of the day
Static line

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Eleven (EODMU-11) members parachute from the ramp of a C-130 Hercules using a static line, a line connecting the deployment bag of the parachute to the aircraft from which the parachutist jumps. Static lines are used in order to make sure that a parachute is deployed immediately after leaving the plane.

Photo credit: Photographer's Mate Airman Chris Otsen, United States Navy
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December 7 - Fri

Picture of the day
SS Thistlegorm

A winch and associated parts sitting on the deck of the SS Thistlegorm, a transport ship that was sunk by a German bomber during World War II, on 5 October 1941 near Ras Muhammad in the Red Sea. The wreck was originally located by Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1956, yet only in the last two decades has it become a busy recreational dive site.

Photo credit: Woodym555
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December 8 - Sat

Picture of the day
Casting tin soldiers

Tin soldiers, approx. 65 mm (2.6 in) high, being cast in German moulds from the early 20th century. The two mould halves are clamped together, and the molten metal, an alloy of tin and lead, heated to approx. 300 °C (572 °F) is poured into the mould. When the metal has solidified, the mould is cracked open. Sprues (pouring channels) and extraneous flash (metal that has penetrated cracks and air channels in the mould) are seen in the third image, and have been removed from the castings in the last image.

Photo credit: J-E Nyström
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December 9 - Sun

Picture of the day
Eristalis tenax

Eristalis tenax is a European hoverfly, also known as the drone fly. Adults appear similar in appearance to honey bees, likely giving it some degree of protection from this resemblance to a stinging insect.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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December 10 - Mon

Picture of the day
Robert William Thomson obituary

The obituary of Robert William Thomson as it appeared in the Illustrated London News on 29 March 1873. Thomson was the inventor of the pneumatic tyre, the elliptic rotary steam engine and locomotive traction engine, the portable steam crane, and numerous other inventions. The obituary preceding his is for Evelyn Denison, 1st Viscount Ossington.

Image credit: Illustrated London News
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December 11 - Tue

Picture of the day
St. Louis, Missouri

A panorama of the St. Louis, Missouri skyline, as seen from across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Illinois, centered on the Gateway Arch. The Arch, as the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, sits near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and commemorates the Louisiana Purchase, the first civil government west of the Mississippi, and the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case.

Photo credit: Brian Uphoff
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December 12 - Wed

Picture of the day
Mummified seahorse

Macro of a naturally mummified seahorse, which is considered a fundamental ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM practices include theories, diagnosis and treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage. In the West, traditional Chinese medicine is considered alternative medicine, but in China and Taiwan, it is considered an integral part of the health care system.

Photo credit: Jon Zander
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December 13 - Thu

Picture of the day
Giza pyramids

The main pyramids of the Giza Necropolis (front to back): Pyramids of the Queens, Pyramid of Menkaure, Pyramid of Khafre, and Pyramid of Khufu. The pyramids are the sole remainders of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and, along with the ancient city of Memphis and the pyramids of Dahshur, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Photo credit: Ricardo Liberato
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December 14 - Fri

Picture of the day
Mussolini and Hitler

Benito Mussolini of Fascist Italy (left) and Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany, two of the Axis leaders of World War II, before one of the Honor Temples of Königsplatz, Munich, sending off their armies to North Africa and into Egypt against the British.

Photo credit: Istituto Nazionale Luce
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December 15 - Sat

Picture of the day
Red-veined darter

A female red-veined darter (Sympetrum fonscolombei), a dragonfly common to southern Europe and, from the 1990s onwards, has increasingly been found in northwest Europe, including Great Britain and Ireland. Adults are red (males) or yellow (females), showing beautiful saturated colours. Juveniles are greenish with black stripes on the thorax and abdomen.

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar
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December 16 - Sun

Picture of the day
Battle of Okinawa

The American aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill burns after sustaining two successive kamikaze strikes within thirty seconds during the Battle of Okinawa on May 11, 1945. Nearly 350 died, making this the deadliest kamikaze attack on a US ship during World War II. Although badly damaged, the carrier was able to return to Puget Sound Navy Yard under her own steam.

Photo credit: United States Navy
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December 17 - Mon

Picture of the day
Fuel injector

An animated cut-away diagram of a typical fuel injector, which is used to spray controlled amounts of petrol (gasoline) into an internal combustion engine. A solenoid is activated when fuel is intended to be delivered to the engine, causing the plunger to become pulled toward the solenoid by magnetic force. This uncovers the valve opening, allowing fuel to flow into the atomiser and out the spray tip. The route of fuel is shown in orange; grey/blue indicates no fuel present.

Image credit: WikipedianProlific
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December 18 - Tue

Picture of the day
Portland, Oregon

A stitched panorama of the skyline of downtown Portland, Oregon on the Willamette River, taken from the east waterfront.

Photo credit: Eric Baetscher
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December 19 - Wed

Picture of the day
Mulberry Street, Manhattan, 1900

A photochrom of Mulberry Street in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, from the year 1900. Mulberry Street is the center of New York's Little Italy and continues into Chinatown. The street is often misidentified as the setting of Dr. Seuss' story, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, but that distinction belongs to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Image credit: Detroit Photographic Co.
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December 20 - Thu

Picture of the day
Motorcyclist

A panned photograph of a motorcyclist on a Honda CB550 wearing a full-face helmet with a visor, although jeans and laced shoes are usually not considered proper motorcycle safety clothing.

Photo credit: Eric Baetscher
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December 21 - Fri

Picture of the day
J.W. Booth wanted poster

The wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth (center) and his co-conspirators John Surratt (left) and David Herold (right), following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. Booth, one of the most popular actors of his day and an outspoken advocate of the Confederacy, originally planned to kidnap Lincoln, but after that plan failed, plotted to kill the President upon hearing Lincoln's plan to give suffrage to former slaves. Herold was supposedly to have killed Vice President Andrew Johnson at the same time, but this attack was never carried out. After the assassination, Herold and Booth fled to a farmhouse in Virginia where they were discovered by Union Army soldiers on April 26. Booth was shot and killed, but Herold surrendered and was later executed for his actions. Surratt, meanwhile, had been involved in the kidnapping plot, but not the assassination attempt. He fled the country and was arrested in Vatican City, but was never convicted on any charges relating to the shooting.

Image credit: United States Department of War
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December 22 - Sat

Picture of the day
Frederick III of Germany

Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia, later Frederick III, in the August 20, 1870 issue of the Illustrated London News, during his time as commander of one of the three divisions of the German Army in the Franco-Prussian War. He was noted for his fondness for liberal democracy and pacifism, but died less than a year after he became king, before he could institute any real reforms. His death and replacement by his more militaristic son, without the reforms that might have impeded his son's urges, is often considered one of the factors that led to World War I. This engraving is based on a portrait photograph of him taken in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Image credit: Illustrated London News
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December 23 - Sun

Picture of the day
Rye

Rye, by Ivan Shishkin (1878). Shishkin was a leading Russian landscape painter associated with the realistic Peredvizhniki movement. The painting represents boundless rye fields in the Central Black Earth Region. The canvas still hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Artist: Ivan Shishkin
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December 24 - Mon

Picture of the day
Neue Wache

The interior of the Neue Wache, the central memorial of Germany for victims of war and tyranny. Located in Berlin, the building was originally built as a guardhouse, and has been used as a war memorial since 1931. The statue, Mother with her Dead Son is directly under the oculus, and so is exposed to the rain, snow and cold, symbolising the suffering of civilians during World War II.

Photo credit: Daniel Schwen
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December 25 - Tue

Picture of the day
1863 Santa Claus

One of the earliest depictions of the modern Santa Claus by Thomas Nast, which appeared on the cover of the January 3, 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly. At this time, the image of Santa Claus had not yet merged with that of Father Christmas. This version was likely based on the Belsnickel ("Furry Nicholas"), a mythical being who visited naughty children in their sleep. The name originated from the fact that the person appeared to be a huge beast since he was covered from head to toe in fur. This image appeared as a small part of a larger illustration titled "A Christmas Furlough" in which Nast set aside his regular news and political coverage to do a Santa Claus drawing. This Santa was a man dressed up handing out gifts to Union Army soldiers.

Artist: Thomas Nast
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December 26 - Wed

Picture of the day
Yellow-bellied Marmot

A Yellow-bellied Marmot seen on top of Mount Dana, Yosemite National Park, USA. The road in the background is Tioga Pass Road. Yellow-bellied Marmots are ground squirrels that live in the western United States and southwestern Canada. They inhabit steppes, meadows, talus fields and other open habitats, sometimes on the edge of deciduous or coniferous forests, and typically above 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) of elevation.

Photo credit: Inklein
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December 27 - Thu

Picture of the day
Piccadilly Circus

Shaftesbury Avenue from Piccadilly Circus, in the West End of London, c. 1949. The Circus, a famous traffic intersection and public space in the City of Westminster was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly. Its status as a major traffic intersection has made it a busy meeting point and a tourist attraction in its own right.

Photo credit: Chalmers Butterfield
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December 28 - Fri

Picture of the day
Lioness

A lioness in Ishasha Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Ishasha lions are famed for tree climbing, a trait only shared with lions in the Lake Manyara region. They often spend the hottest parts of the day in the large fig trees found throughout the area. It is still unclear why so few lions exhibit this behavior.

Photo credit: Cody Pope
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December 29 - Sat

Picture of the day
Roesel's bush-cricket

A male Roesel's bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeseli), a European bush-cricket named after August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof, a German entomologist. Its song is very similar to that of Savi's Warbler. Its body length as an adult insect is 15 to 18 mm. It is brown with a pale margin to the sides of the pronotum. Its forewings usually reach midway along its abdomen at rest. However there is a macropterous form of this insect (f. diluta), in which the wings reach beyond the tip of the abdomen. This form appears predominantly during hot summers and enables the species to extend its geographical range rapidly while conditions are suitable; such migrations may also be in response to local overpopulation.

Photo credit: Richard Bartz
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December 30 - Sun

Picture of the day
Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II is the Queen regnant of sixteen independent states and their overseas territories and dependencies. Though she holds each crown and title separately and equally, she is resident in and most directly involved with the United Kingdom. She is currently the second longest serving head of state in the world.

The 16 countries of which she is Queen are known as Commonwealth Realms, and their combined population is over 129 million. In practice she herself wields almost no political power in any of her realms.

Photo credit: NASA
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December 31 - Mon

Picture of the day
28 August 2007 lunar eclipse

A sequence of images from the 28 August 2007 lunar eclipse from Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia. Each image was taken at about a three-minute interval except the last image in the sequence which shows what the moon looked like at about the middle of the eclipse. The majority of the Americas observed an abbreviated eclipse, with moonset occurring at some time during the eclipse. Siberia, far eastern Russia, eastern South Asia, China, the rest of eastern and southeastern Asia, New Guinea, and the rest of Australia missed out on the beginning of the eclipse, because the eclipse occurred at or close to moonrise in those regions. The Philippines, particularly Metro Manila, missed the rare eclipse entirely, due to clouds from the rainy season.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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