Wikipedia:Picture of the day/December 2010

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Featured content:

Featured picture tools:

A monthly archive of Wikipedia's featured pictures


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.


Purge server cache



December 1 - Wed

Picture of the day
Azurite

Azurite is a soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. Its primary use is for pigment: it gives a wide range of blues depending on the degree of fineness to which it was ground and its basic content of copper carbonate. Azurite is easily confused with lapis lazuli, another blue stone composed primarily of a different mineral, lazurite.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 2 - Thu

Picture of the day
William Henry Smith in Punch

"Our New 'First Lord' at Sea", an 1877 editorial cartoon from Punch mocking the appointment of William Henry Smith (right) as First Lord of the Admiralty, the governor of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. Smith had been a household name thanks to the W H Smith chain of booksellers and newsagents, and he had been a Member of Parliament for the previous ten years, but he had no naval or even military experience whatsoever. The following year, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore would satirise him on similar grounds, and he became known as "Pinafore Smith" throughout the course of his three years in the post.

Artist: John Tenniel; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 3 - Fri

Picture of the day
Gonia capitata close-up

A macro view of a Gonia capitata fly feeding on honey, showing its proboscis and pedipalps (the two appendages protruding from the proboscis), two types of insect mouthparts. The proboscis actually comprises the labium, a quadrupedal structure, and a sponge-like labellum at the end. Flies eat solid food by secreting saliva and dabbing it over the food item. As the saliva dissolves the food, the solution is then drawn up into the mouth as a liquid. The labellum's surface is covered by minute food channels which form a tube leading to the esophagus, and food is drawn up the channels by capillary action.

Photo: Richard Bartz
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 4 - Sat

Picture of the day
Amanita muscaria

Two immature Amanita muscaria mushrooms, a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus found throughout the world. Its main psychoactive constituent is the compound muscimol, an alkaloid that occurs naturally in Amanita species. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 5 - Sun

Picture of the day
Abutilon × hybridum flower

The flower of a Abutilon × hybridum 'Patrick Synge' cultivar, a hybrid shrub of unknown parentage. The common name "Chinese Lantern" is often used, though the same name is also applied to Physalis alkekengi. It is a popular group of hybrids that are semi-tropical, frost-tender shrubs typically growing 2–3 m (7–10 ft) tall. The lantern-like buds open to solitary, pendulous, bell- to cup-shaped flowers to 8 cm (3 in) diameter with five overlapping petals and significant staminal columns typical of the mallow family. Flowers come in red, pink, yellow, white and pastel shades. Lobed, maple-like, light green leaves are often variegated with white and yellow.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 6 - Mon

Picture of the day
Anthophora sp. bee

A female bee of the Anthophora genus, with its tongue extended to take in water or aphid secretions. Anthophora comprises over 450 species worldwide, being most abundant and diverse in the Holarctic and African biogeographic regions.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 7 - Tue

Picture of the day
Derwentwater

A panoramic view of the northern shore of Derwentwater, one of the principal bodies of water in the Lake District in North West England, as seen from near Keswick. The lake measures approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) long by 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, with a depth of about 72 feet (21.9 m). Derwentwater is a popular tourist destination, especially for recreational walking, and there is an extensive network of footpaths within the hills and woods surrounding the lake.

Photo: David Iliff
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 8 - Wed

Picture of the day
Dún Laoghaire in the 1890s

An 1890s photochrom print of Dún Laoghaire (then known as Kingstown), a suburban seaside town and county town of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County, in Ireland. A major port of entry from Great Britain, the town is situated about 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Dublin city centre. The town's name derives from a fort ("Dún" in Irish) built by Laoghaire, a 5th century High King of Ireland.

Image: Detroit Publishing Co.; Restoration: A. Cuerden
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 9 - Thu

Picture of the day
Pacific Black Duck

The Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) is a dabbling duck found throughout much of the southwestern Pacific. It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes, with a green speculum and pale underwing. The size range is 54–61 cm (21–24 in), with males being slightly larger than females.

Photo: Fir0002
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 10 - Fri

Picture of the day
Scene from Rob Roy

A scene from Sir Walter Scott's 1817 historical novel Rob Roy, which tells the story of Frank Osbaldistone, the son of an English merchant who travels to Scotland to collect a debt stolen from his father. On the way he encounters the larger-than-life title character of Robert Roy MacGregor. Though Rob Roy is not the lead character (in fact the narrative does not move to Scotland until halfway through the book) his personality and actions are key to the story's development. The novel is a brutally realistic depiction of the social conditions in Highland and Lowland Scotland in the early 18th century.

Engraving: Dalziel Brothers; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 11 - Sat

Picture of the day
Gawthorpe Hall

Gawthorpe Hall is an Elizabethan house in Padiham, in the borough of Burnley, Lancashire, England. It was originally a pele tower, a strong square structure built in the 14th century as a defence against the invading Scots. Around 1600 a Jacobean mansion was dovetailed around the pele, but in 1850 Sir Charles Barry, who later designed the Houses of Parliament, redesigned it to its current state.

Photo: Childzy
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 12 - Sun

Picture of the day
Smoky quartz

Smoky quartz is a brown to black variety of quartz. It goes by various names, depending on the colour: a dark-brown to black opaque variety is called "morion"; a yellow-brown variety from Scotland is known as "cairngorm", the colour being a result of ferric oxide impurity.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 13 - Mon

Picture of the day
Internal spider anatomy

The internal anatomy of a typical female two-lunged spider. The yellow items signify portions of the digestive system, red indicates the circulatory system, blue is the nervous system, pink is the respiratory system, and purple is the reproductive system. Lastly, the spinnerets and poison glands are shown in green.

Image: Ryan Wilson, after John Henry Comstock
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 14 - Tue

Picture of the day
Karkalla flower

The flower of a Karkalla (Carpobrotus rossii), a succulent coastal groundcover plant native to southern Australia. Australian Aborigines traditionally eat the globular purplish-red fruit, fresh and dried. The salty leaves are also reported to be eaten with meat.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 15 - Wed

Picture of the day
Scene from "The Canterville Ghost"

A scene from "The Canterville Ghost", Oscar Wilde's first published story, which is about an American family that moves into a haunted house in England. However, instead of being frightened of the eponymous ghost, they turn the tables and prank him, such as in this scene, where the twin boys have set up a butter-slide, causing the ghost to slip down the staircase. The story satirises both the unrefined tastes of Americans and the determination of the British to guard their traditions.

Artist: Wallace Goldsmith; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 16 - Thu

Picture of the day
Frontispiece to A Memoir of Jane Austen

The frontispiece to A Memoir of Jane Austen, a biography of the author Jane Austen (1775–1817), written by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh and published 52 years after her death. Common to biographies written in the Victorian era, it did not attempt to unreservedly tell the story of the author's life, but instead kept much private information from the public. The Memoir generated popular interest in the works of Jane Austen, which only a literary elite had read up until that point. The art for the frontispiece took some liberties with the original painting, softening Austen's features in the Victorian style.

Image: James Andrews, after Cassandra Austen
Restoration: Adam Cuerden/Staxringold

ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 17 - Fri

Picture of the day
White-barred Emperor butterfly

The White-barred Emperor (Charaxes brutus, ssp. natalensis shown here) is a butterfly species native to central and southern Africa. The wingspan is 60–75 mm (2.4–3.0 in) in males and 75–90 mm (3.0–3.5 in) in females. All Charaxes species are tropical Old World butterflies, with the highest diversity in the humid forests around the Indian Ocean, from Africa to Indonesia.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 18 - Sat

Picture of the day
Black Currawong

The Black Currawong (Strepera fuliginosa) is a large passerine bird native to Tasmania. One of three currawong species, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie. It is a large crow-like bird, around 50 cm (20 in) long on average, with yellow irises, a heavy bill, and black plumage with white wing patches. It is similar in appearance to the Clinking Currawong, but the latter has a white rump and larger white wing patches. The Black Currawong is usually found in wetter eucalypt forests, in areas above 200 m (656 ft) altitude, mainly in the Central Highlands, with scattered records elsewhere in Tasmania and the surrounding islands.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 19 - Sun

Picture of the day
Semi-submersible oil platform

The semi-submersible oil platform P-51, operated by Brazilian energy company Petrobras, being positioned by tugboats. Semisubs sit on pontoons located under the ocean surface, with the operating deck atop columns, above the sea level. In this manner, they are relatively protected from wave action.

Photo: Agência Brasil
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 20 - Mon

Picture of the day
Estádio da Luz

The Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, is the home stadium of the association football club S.L. Benfica. The stadium, which has a capacity of 65,400, opened in October 2003, and has hosted several major games, including the final of the 2004 European Championship. The name translates to "Stadium of Light", a common theme in Portuguese Catholicism. It replaced an older, larger stadium, also called Estádio da Luz.

Photo: Massimo Catarinella
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 21 - Tue

Picture of the day
Great Britain snowed under

A satellite photo of Great Britain and part of Ireland showing the extent of snow cover during the winter of 2009–2010, the coldest in Europe since 1981–82. Starting on 16 December 2009 a persistent weather pattern brought cold moist air from the north with systems undergoing cyclogenesis from North American storms moving across the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and saw many parts of Europe experiencing heavy snowfall and record low temperatures.

Photo: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 22 - Wed

Picture of the day
Amethyst crystal

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The color is a result of irradiation which causes the iron ions present as impurities in quartz to rearrange themselves in the crystal lattice. On exposure to heat, the irradiation effects can be partially cancelled and amethyst generally becomes yellow or even green.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 23 - Thu

Picture of the day
French marigold

The French marigold (Tagetes patula) is an annual flowering plant in the daisy family. The flowers are used to make food coloring as well as dyes for textiles. The plants are also distilled for their essential oils, which are then used in perfumes, and they are also being investigated for anti-fungal properties.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 24 - Fri

Picture of the day
Aida poster

A poster for a 1908 American production of Aida, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi that premiered on December 24, 1871, to great acclaim at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo, Egypt. However, Verdi was most dissatisfied that the audience consisted of invited dignitaries and critics, but no members of the general public. He therefore considered the European premiere, held at La Scala, Milan, to be its real premiere.

Poster: Otis Lithograph Co; Restoration: Adam Cuerden
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 25 - Sat

Picture of the day
"Gloria in Excelsis Deo"

An engraving of an angel with the words Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax ("Glory to God in the highest and peace on Earth"), the words angels sang when the birth of Christ was announced to shepherds, as recounted in Luke 2:14. This formed the basis of a doxology which is today known as Gloria in Excelsis Deo. A tradition recorded in the Liber Pontificalis states that Pope Telesphorus used the hymn at the Mass of Christmas Day in the 2nd century A.D., and it is still recited in its entirety in the Byzantine Rite Orthros service. The Gloria has been and still is sung to a wide variety of melodies, modern scholars having catalogued well over two hundred of them.

Image: Dalziel Brothers, after J. R. Clayton
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 26 - Sun

Picture of the day
Australian Magpie

The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is an omnivorous medium-sized passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea. It has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is considered invasive, as well as to the Solomon Islands and Fiji, where it is not. Adults range from 37 to 43 cm (15 to 17 in) in length, with distinctive black and white plumage, red eyes and a solid wedge-shaped bluish-white and black bill. Described as one of Australia's most accomplished songbirds, the Australian Magpie has an array of complex vocalisations.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 27 - Mon

Picture of the day
Zebra portrait

A portrait of a Plains Zebra (Equus quagga), the most common and widespread species of zebra. The unique stripes and behaviors of zebras make these among the animals most familiar to people. They can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The name "zebra" comes from the Old Portuguese word zevra which means "wild ass". Zebra stripes are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the animal. It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes. Embryological evidence, however, shows that the animal's background color is black and the white stripes are additions.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 28 - Tue

Picture of the day
Face of a yellowjacket queen

The face of a southern yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa) queen. Yellowjacket is the common name in North America for some species of predatory wasps. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, usually black and yellow, small size (similar to a honey bee), their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing.

Photo: Thomas Shahan
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 29 - Wed

Picture of the day
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

W. W. Denslow's illustration of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep", a children's nursery rhyme that dates to 1744, when it was published in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book. Since then, the words have remained mostly intact with few changes. The rhyme is sung to a variant of the 1761 French melody Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman, which is also used for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and the alphabet song. As with many nursery rhymes, attempts have been made to find origins and meanings for the rhyme, but no theories have been definitively proven. Denslow's illustration accompanied a 1901 edition of Mother Goose.

Restoration: Lise Broer
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 30 - Thu

Picture of the day
Creedite

A sample of orange-colored creedite, a rare hydroxyl halide mineral that forms from the oxidation of fluorite ore deposits. It occurs as colorless to white to purple monoclinic prismatic crystals.

Photo: Noodle snacks
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version

December 31 - Fri

Picture of the day
Animation of the knight's tour

The knight's tour is a mathematical problem involving a knight on a chessboard. The knight is placed on the empty board and, moving according to the rules of chess, must visit each square exactly once. A knight's tour is called a closed tour if the knight ends on a square attacking the square from which it began (so that it may tour the board again immediately with the same path). Otherwise the tour is open. The depicted tour is an open tour, with shaded squares denoting where the knight has already visited.

Animation: Ilmari Karonen
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

view - edit - protected version


Picture of the day archive


Today is Thursday, October 2, 2014; it is now 13:22 UTC