Wikipedia:Picture of the day/February 2009

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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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February 1 - Sun

Picture of the day
Dogcart

A photochrom from the late 19th century showing two peddlers selling milk from a dogcart near Brussels, Belgium. Dog-drawn carts were prohibited in Great Britain in the early 1900s on animal welfare grounds, but some still exist in France and Belgium. The modern-day sport of carting involves large dogs pulling carts.

Image credit: Detroit Publishing Co.
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February 2 - Mon

Picture of the day
1913 Dallas panorama

A panorama of Dallas, Texas, April 1, 1913. Dallas, which was incorporated on February 2, 1856, is the third-largest city in the state of Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States.

Photo credit: Johnson & Rogers
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February 3 - Tue

Picture of the day
Paper wasp

Polistes dominula, a species of paper wasp, a type of wasp that gathers fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests that appear to be made of gray or brown papery material. The nests of most true paper wasps are characterized by having open combs with cells for brood rearing, and a petiole, or constricted stalk, that anchors the nest.

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar
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February 4 - Wed

Picture of the day
S. A. Andrée base at Spitsbergen

A photochrom of the base at Spitsbergen, Norway, from which S. A. Andrée launched his ill-fated 1897 Arctic balloon expedition, an attempt to reach the North Pole via hydrogen balloon, in which all three crew members died. They survived for three months after their crash, but their remains were not discovered until 1930.

Image credit: Detroit Publishing Co.
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February 5 - Thu

Picture of the day
Hélène Dutrieu

Hélène Dutrieu, shown here in her aeroplane ca. 1911, was the fourth woman in the world (the first from Belgium) to earn a pilot's license and reputedly the first woman to carry passengers and to fly a seaplane. Besides being a pilot, she was a cycling world champion, stunt cyclist, stunt motorcyclist, automobile racer, wartime ambulance driver, and director of a military hospital.

Photo credit: Bain News Service
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February 6 - Fri

Picture of the day
Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's masterworks and as the name implies, uses a pearl earring for a focal point. The painting is currently housed at The Mauritshuis in The Hague. It is sometimes referred to as "the Mona Lisa of the North" or "the Dutch Mona Lisa".

Artist: Johannes Vermeer
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February 7 - Sat

Picture of the day
Crescent Honeyeater

A female Crescent Honeyeater (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus). Native to eastern Australia and Tasmania, this species of honeyeater is found in dense forest and alpine habitats, as well as heathland, parks and gardens. Its diet is made up of nectar and invertebrates. The Crescent Honeyeater measures 14–17 cm (6–7 in) in length and weighs about 16 g (0.56 oz).

Photo credit: Noodle snacks
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February 8 - Sun

Picture of the day
Sea bathing cartoon

A 19th century cartoon from Punch showing men's and children's sea bathing swimsuits of the time. The caption reads, "Now then, Mossoo, your Form is of the Manliest Beauty, and you are altogether a most attractive Object; but you've stood there long enough. So jump in and have done with it!" Although swimwear from that era was quite modest, it was very common for men to swim naked when away from women in the UK.

Image credit: George du Maurier
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February 9 - Mon

Picture of the day
Vancouver at dusk

A stitched panorama of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at dusk, with the North Shore Mountains behind, looking roughly north from the vicinity of Broadway and Oak Street. The bridges on the left of the image are the Granville Street Bridge (foreground) and the Burrard Street Bridge (background with through truss).

Photo credit: Matthew Field
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February 10 - Tue

Picture of the day
Table d'hôte menu

A table d'hôte menu from 1893. A table d'hôte meal, literally "host's table" in French, is a multi-course meal with only a few choices, which is charged at a fixed price. The phrase originally meant literally a particular table, "a common table for guests at a hotel or eating-house". The meaning transferred thence to "a public meal served (at a common table) at a stated hour and at a fixed price". Eventually, the elements required for a meal where guests eat together, that is, at the same table at the same time, fell away so that the phrase persisted where only the fixed price element remained.

This menu was from a dinner given in honor of the conductor Walter Damrosch, whose autograph can be seen in the lower left.

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February 11 - Wed

Picture of the day
Dark Small-branded Swift

The Dark Small-branded Swift (Pelopidas mathias) is a butterfly found throughout much of Southeast and East Asia, and as far as the Philippines. It is considered a pest to rice-growing cultures, although it is not as damaging to rice plants as Parnara guttata. Newly hatched caterpillars are especially voracious in eating young seedlings.

Photo credit: Laitche
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February 12 - Thu

Picture of the day
Charles Darwin in 1879

A portrait of naturalist Charles Darwin in his old age, from the Victorian photography studio Elliott & Fry. By his final years Darwin's fame had spread far and wide, as had his image—always with his iconic beard—in the form of carte de visite and cabinet card photographs. This portrait is from a photography session at Darwin's home, Down House, in 1879. It is one of the most widely distributed images of Darwin: it was issued by Elliott & Fry on heavy card stock around 1880 and subsequently reproduced on postcards, cigarette cards, commemorative stamps, and other memorabilia.

Photo credit: Elliott & Fry
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February 13 - Fri

Picture of the day
Hilda Clark

Hilda Clark, shown here in an 1890s advertisement for Coca-Cola, was an American model and actress. She was born in 1872 in Leavenworth, Kansas, and moved east to Boston to become a popular music hall songstress and actress. However, Clark became famous as a model in 1895 when she became the first woman to be featured on a tin Coca-Cola tray. She remained the advertising "face" of Coca-Cola until February 1903.

Image credit: The Coca-Cola Company
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February 14 - Sat

Picture of the day
Leucanthemum paludosum

A Leucanthemum paludosum flower, one of the about 70 species of plants in the Leucanthemum genus. The name derives from the Greek words leukos, "white," and anthemon, "flower". It occurs in Europe, Northern Africa and the temperate regions of Asia. Many species have been introduced into America, Australia and New Zealand.

Photo credit: Laitche
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February 15 - Sun

Picture of the day
Battle of Harpers Ferry map

A hand-drawn map showing the military positions of both the Union and Confederate armies during the Battle of Harpers Ferry, which took place from September 12–15, 1862, during the American Civil War. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Confederate forces, led by Thomas J. Jackson.

Map credit: Robert Knox Sneden
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February 16 - Mon

Picture of the day
Vernon and Irene Castle

Vernon and Irene Castle, shown here sometime between 1910 and 1918, were a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers. The Castles' initial fame began in Paris where they introduced American ragtime dances such as the Turkey Trot and the Grizzly Bear. When the Castles returned to the U.S., their success was repeated on a far wider scale. They are best known for popularizing the Foxtrot. Vernon was fatally injured in an airplane crash in 1918; Irene went on to become a silent film star and lived until 1969.

Photo credit: Frances Benjamin Johnston
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February 17 - Tue

Picture of the day
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon is an American actor who has been starring in U.S. television programs and films since the 1970s. Currently with a lead role in the series NCIS, Harmon also played notable roles in St. Elsewhere, Flamingo Road and Chicago Hope. His family is also involved in show business: he is married to actress Pam Dawber, was the brother-in-law of the late singer Ricky Nelson, and is uncle to singers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson of the pop duo Nelson and actress Tracy Nelson.

Photo credit: Jerry Avenaim
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February 18 - Wed

Picture of the day
Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman at age 91. Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the U.S. Civil War. After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid on the Combahee River, which liberated more than seven hundred slaves. Tubman, widely known and well-respected while she was alive, became an American icon in the years after her death. She inspired generations of African Americans struggling for equality and civil rights; she was praised by leaders across the political spectrum.

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February 19 - Thu

Picture of the day
The Cow Pock

Ever since vaccines were invented, there has been vaccine controversy, which is dispute over the morality, ethics, effectiveness, or safety of vaccination. This cartoon from 1802, entitled The Cow-Pock—or—the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation! mocks the rumour that cowpox vaccine would cause cow-like appendages to emerge.

Image credit: James Gillray
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February 20 - Fri

Picture of the day
Assassin bug

An assassin bug belonging to the Reduviidae family of insects. A predatory insect so named because of its tendency to wait in ambush for its prey, the assassin bug uses its long rostrum to inject a lethal saliva that liquefies the internal structures of the prey, which are then sucked out.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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February 21 - Sat

Picture of the day
The Taming of the Shrew

An illustration of Act IV Scene 3 from The Taming of the Shrew, published in The Illustrated London News, November 3, 1886. This early comedy by William Shakespeare (believed to have been written between 1590 and 1594) has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, and musical theatre; the most famous adaptation being Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate.

Image credit: C. R. Leslie
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February 22 - Sun

Picture of the day
Palestinian costumes

A Ramallah woman in traditional Palestinian attire, including an embroidered dowry headdress (khirqah), ca. 1898–1914. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's socioeconomic status, marital status, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colours, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.

Photo credit: American Colony, Jerusalem
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February 23 - Mon

Picture of the day
Discovery of the Land

A preparatory study for Discovery of the Land, a mural in the United States Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room, by Candido Portinari. Portinari was a Brazilian painter who was a prominent and influential practitioner of the neorealism style. The mural depicts two sailors who might have been found in either the fleets of Christopher Columbus or Pedro Álvares Cabral, and is part of a series of four that show the colonization of the Americas by Europeans.

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February 24 - Tue

Picture of the day
St. Alexander's Church

A ca. 1890–1900 photochrom of St. Alexander's Church (Kościół św. Aleksandra in Polish), a Roman Catholic church in Warsaw, Poland, before its destruction in World War II. After the war it was rebuilt on a smaller scale.

Image credit: Detroit Publishing Co.
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February 25 - Wed

Picture of the day
Tawny Frogmouth

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a species of frogmouth found throughout the Australian mainland, Tasmania and southern New Guinea. Despite its owl-like appearance, frogmouths are more closely related to nightjars and oilbirds.

Photo credit: Benjamint444
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February 26 - Thu

Picture of the day
Nymphaea 'Peach Glow'

A flower of the 'Peach Glow' cultivar of hardy water lily (genus Nymphaea), photographed just after rain at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. There are about 50 species in the genus, which has a cosmopolitan distribution. Despite their name, water lilies are not related to the true lilies.

Photo credit: Ragesoss
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February 27 - Fri

Picture of the day
West Los Angeles

A stitched panorama of West Los Angeles, California, as seen from the Getty Center on an exceptionally clear day. From left to right, visible landmarks include Downtown Los Angeles, UCLA, Westwood, Interstate 405 (bisecting the image), West LA (the neighborhood of that name), Santa Monica, Malibu, and the Pacific Ocean.

Photo credit: Matthew Field
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February 28 - Sat

Picture of the day
Painted Tiger Moth

The Painted Tiger Moth (Arachnis picta) is a moth of the Arctiidae family native to the Southwestern United States and the bordering parts of Mexico. The wingspan is about 50 mm (2 in).

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