Wikipedia:Picture of the day/July 2006

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July 1 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Spanish Shawl

The Spanish shawl (Flabellina iodinea) is a nudibranch native to the North American west coast, ranging from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California Sur, Mexico, and even the Galápagos Islands. Nudibranchs are carnivorous sea slugs. They are among the most colorful creatures on earth. Their color patterns make them invisible or warn off predators as being distasteful or poisonous.

Photo credit: Magnus Kjærgaard
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July 2 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

1927 Solvay Conference on Quantum Mechanics

The Solvay Conference on Quantum Mechanics is held every three years and is devoted to outstanding preeminent open problems in both physics and chemistry. The 1927 conference (attendees shown here) had seventeen Nobel Prize winners and was the beginning of the Bohr-Einstein debates, wherein Albert Einstein challenged the standard or Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Photo credit: Benjamin Couprie
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July 3 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Hypervelocity impact demonstration

Hypervelocity is a very high velocity (over 3,000 m/s [10,000 ft/s]), such that the strength of materials is very small compared to inertial stresses. This is especially important in the case of space debris, which can be highly damaging to functioning satellites when impacting at orbital speeds. Shown here is the "energy flash" of a hypervelocity impact during a simulation of what happens when a piece of orbital debris hits a spacecraft in orbit.

Photo credit: NASA/Vanderdecken
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July 4 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Sample of Caslon font

Caslon is the name of a large family of serif typefaces designed by William Caslon. It is cited as the first original typeface of English origin—English printers prior to this time used mainly imported Dutch types. The United States Declaration of Independence was printed in Caslon. Although its popularity has waned, it is still used for book typography, and a favorite saying of printers remains, "When in doubt, use Caslon."

This specimen was designed and printed by William Caslon, and includes a variety of fonts for several languages.

Image credit: William Caslon
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July 5 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

Diagrams of first and third rate warships, England, 1728 Cyclopaedia.

A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for war. They are designed to withstand damage and are usually both faster and more manoeuvrable than merchant ships. A warship typically only carries weapons, ammunition and supplies for its own crew. Warships usually belong to a navy, though they have sometimes been operated by individuals or companies. This plate from the 1728 Cyclopaedia shows first and third rate English warships.

Illustration credit: 1728 Cyclopaedia
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July 6 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Great Wall of China, 1907

The Great Wall of China is a 6,352 km (3,948 miles) long Chinese fortification built over a span of nearly 2,000 years, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids coming from areas in modern-day Mongolia and Manchuria. Along most of its arc, it roughly delineates the border between North China and Inner Mongolia. Although it is commonly said that the wall is visible to the naked eye from space, it is more accurate to say that it is visible under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look.

Photo credit: Herbert Ponting
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July 7 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Woolworth Building, 1913

The Woolworth Building in New York City is considered to be the world's first skyscraper. It was constructed in 1913 and was the world's tallest building for seventeen years and today remains one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States. The building was owned by the F.W. Woolworth Company for 85 years until it was sold in 1998. Most of the ornate lobby, previously a tourist attraction, was restricted to those with business in the building after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Photo credit: Pictorial News Co.
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July 8 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

The Lockheed SR-71, commonly known as the "Blackbird", was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft that flew from 1964–98. The SR-71 was one of the first aircraft to be shaped to have an extremely low radar signature. The aircraft flew so fast and so high that if the pilot detected a surface-to-air missile launch, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate. During its entire operational life, more than 3,000 missiles were fired at the aircraft, yet no SR-71 was ever shot down.

Photo credit: NASA
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July 9 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Hut of the Toda people

The Toda people are a small pastoral tribe of less than 1,000 people who reside in the Nilgiri hills of Southern India. Shown here is a typical Toda hut, about 3 m (10 ft.) high, 5.5 m (18 ft.) long and 2.7 m (9 ft.) wide. They are built of bamboo fastened with rattan and thatched. The hut has only a tiny (about 0.9 x 0.9 m, 3 x 3 ft.) entrance at the front, which serves as protection from wild animals.

Photo credit: Pratheepps
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July 10 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Pirate caricature

A pirate is a person who commits piracy by engaging in robbery, pillaging, or plundering at sea. The earliest known pirates are the Sea Peoples (13th century BC), but the classic era of piracy in the Caribbean lasted from about 1560 until the 1720s. Seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue, particularly in the waters between the Pacific and Indian oceans. In popular culture, pirates are associated with a stereotypical manner of speaking and dress, as shown in this caricature. This tradition owes much to Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1950 film Treasure Island.

Illustration credit: J.J./Gustavb
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July 11 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Hummingbirds, by Ernst Haeckel, 1904

Hummingbirds are small birds in the family Trochilidae. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings, 15 to 80 times per second (depending on the size of the bird). Unlike other bird species capable of limited hovering, the hummingbird is alone in its ability to fly deliberately backwards or vertically, and to maintain position for drinking from flower blossoms. They are named for the characteristic hum made by their wings. Hummingbirds are found only in the Americas, from southern Canada and Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, including the West Indies. The majority of species occur in tropical Central and South America, but several species also breed in temperate areas.

Illustration credit: Ernst Haeckel
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July 12 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

New York City
New York City, nicknamed the "Big Apple", is the most populous city in the United States (8.1 million in 2005) and the most densely populated major city in North America. The city is a center for international finance, fashion, entertainment, and culture, and is widely considered to be one of the world's major global cities. The city proper consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city is also distinguished for having the lowest crime rate among the 25 largest American cities.

Photo credit: Daniel Schwen
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July 13 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Day-old chick

Chickens (a one-day-old chick pictured) are domesticated birds often raised as a type of poultry. With a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other bird. They serve as one of the most common meats around the globe, and are frequently prepared as food in a large number of ways. In some areas, notably Asia, they are also kept as pets.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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July 14 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Statue of Joan of Arc, Notre Dame de Paris

The "Maid of Orleans", Joan of Arc is a national heroine of France and a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. She helped inspire Charles VII's troops to retake most of his dynasty's former territories, which had been under English and Burgundian dominance during the Hundred Years' War. She later was convicted of heresy (overturned posthumously) and burnt at the stake at the age of nineteen. Pope Benedict XV canonized her on 16 May 1920 and she is now one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church.

Shown here is a statue of Joan of Arc inside Notre Dame de Paris, a Gothic cathedral in Paris, where she was beatified in 1909.

Photo credit: Steven G. Johnson
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July 15 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Alchemist's laboratory, by Hans Vredeman de Vries, 1595

Alchemy refers to both an early protoscientific and an early philosophical discipline, both combining elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art. Alchemy has been practiced in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and China, in Classical Greece and Rome, in the Islamic empire, and then in Europe up to the nineteenth century — in a complex network of schools and philosophical systems spanning at least 2500 years.

Illustration credit: Hans Vredeman de Vries
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July 16 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Huli Wigman, Papua New Guinea

The Huli are an aboriginal tribe that lives in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. They number over 65,000 and have been living in the area for at least 600 years. They speak Huli, Tok Pisin, and English.

Photo credit: Nomad Tales
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July 17 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Nepenthes rafflesiana

An image of an ant drinking nectar from the peristome of an upper pitcher of a Nepenthes rafflesiana, a species of carnivorous pitcher plant found in Borneo, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. It produces two distinct types of pitchers, which are used to capture and kill insect prey for nutrients. The lower pitchers are generally round, squat and 'winged', while the upper pitchers are more narrow at their base. N. rafflesiana is very popular in cultivation and is commonly recommended as a "first plant" to new Nepenthes growers. Most N. rafflesiana plants on the market today are propagated by tissue culture or other forms of vegetative propagation.

Photo credit: NepGrower
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July 18 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Astronaut Steve Robinson on a spacewalk, August 2005

Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth and outside of his or her spacecraft. EVAs may be made outside a craft orbiting Earth (a spacewalk) or on the surface of the Moon (a moonwalk). Shown here is Steve Robinson on the first EVA to perform an in-flight repair of the Space Shuttle (August 3 2005).

Photo credit: NASA
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July 19 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

Iris xiphium

A Dietes grandiflora, a plant in the Iridaceae family native to South Africa, but commonly cultivated around the world. Flowers in the Dietes genus differ from irises in having flowers with six free petals that are not joined into a tube at their bases.

Photo credit: Heath McKinley
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July 20 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Another Place

An image showing a portion of Another Place, a piece of modern sculpture by Antony Gormley. It consists of 100 cast iron figures which face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of Crosby Beach, Liverpool, England. All of the figures stare out over the Irish Sea and most get submerged at high tide.

Photo credit: Chowells
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July 21 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Dinner Plain, Victoria, Australia
A panoramic image of a neighbourhood in Dinner Plain, a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is located on the Great Alpine Road, 10 kilometres from Mount Hotham Alpine Resort, and 375 kilometres from Melbourne. It has a permanent population of approximately 50, yet has over 200 lodges and chalets for tourist accommodation. It is the only freehold village in the Australian Alps.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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July 22 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Mormon row barns, Grand Teton National Park

A barn at the Grand Teton National Park. The United States National Park, named after Grand Teton of the Teton Range, is located in western Wyoming, south of Yellowstone. The park is located in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact temperate zone ecosystems remaining on the planet.

Photo credit: Jon Sullivan
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July 23 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Leadenhall Market, London, England

Leadenhall Market is a covered market that dates back to the 14th century in the City of London, located in Gracechurch Street. The ornate roof structure of the current building, designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones, and painted green, maroon, and cream, makes the building a tourist attraction.

Shown here is a spherical panorama of 3 images of the market's interior taken in portrait format.

Photo credit: Diliff/Dschwen
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July 24 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Bats, by Ernst Haeckel, 1904

The 67th plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (1904), depicting an assortment of Bats (Chiroptera). They are the only mammals capable of flight, thanks to their forelimbs which are developed as wings. There are about 1,100 species of bats worldwide, which is about 20% of all mammal species. About 70 percent of bats are insectivorous. Most of the remainder feed on fruits and their juices, but some prey on vertebrates.

Illustration credit: Ernst Haeckel
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July 25 - Tue[edit]

Picture of the day

Miners in Copper Country, Michigan, USA, 1905

Miners pose with lunch pails in hand on a pile of "poor rock" (waste rock), which had been broken off the richer copper-bearing rock in the Tamarack #5 Shaft-Rockhouse (seen in the background) at the Tamarack Mine, located in Copper Country, Michigan, USA. This picture (from 1905) was most likely taken during the shift-change, just as miners were going down into, or had just come up from the mines.

Photo credit: Adolph F. Isler
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July 26 - Wed[edit]

Picture of the day

Malé, capital of the Maldives

An aerial photo of Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. Malé is located on Malé Island in the Kaafu Atoll, but administratively it is not considered part of Kaafu. The island is heavily urbanised, with the city, one of the most densely populated in the world, taking up essentially its entire landmass. The tsunami resulting from the Indian Ocean earthquake in December 2004 flooded two-thirds of the city.

Photo credit: Shahee Ilyas
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July 27 - Thu[edit]

Picture of the day

Kayan girl, northern Thailand

The Kayan or Padaung are a group of the Karen people found in Myanmar and Thailand. They are known for a particular body modification, which consists of coiling lengths of brass around the neck of the women. The coils are first applied when the girls are about five years old, and the coil is replaced with longer coils as the weight of the brass pushes down the collar bone and compresses the rib cage, resulting in the appearance of a very long neck. The practice has seen a surge in recent years because the custom draws tourists who buy their handicrafts.

Photo credit: Diliff
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July 28 - Fri[edit]

Picture of the day

Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria, Australia
The Loch Ard Gorge, found in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, is named after the clipper ship Loch Ard, which ran aground on nearby Muttonbird Island on 1 June 1878 approaching the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne.

Shown here is a panorama of 4 segments taken from the cliffs looking down towards Loch Ard Gorge.

Photo credit: Diliff
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July 29 - Sat[edit]

Picture of the day

Mount Hotham, Victoria, Australia
A panoramic image of the scenery from Mount Hotham during the summer. Located in Victoria, Australia, Mount Hotham is the highest ski resort village in the country. Its summit rises to an altitude of 1,861 metres above sea level, while Mount Hotham village stands at 1,750 metres. Most of the skiing is based on one side of a large valley and the area connects to the Bogong High Plains.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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July 30 - Sun[edit]

Picture of the day

Grizzly Bear

A Grizzly Bear wandering in Denali National Park, Alaska during the autumn. The Grizzly Bear is a subspecies of the Brown Bear, found in the interior of North America. They reach weights of 180-680 kg (400-1,500 lb) and are colored blond to deep brown or black. In spite of their massive size, these bears can run at speeds of up to 55 km/h (35 mph). The current range of the Grizzly Bear extends from Alaska, down through much of Western Canada, and into the upper Northwestern United States including Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Lavoie/Fir0002
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July 31 - Mon[edit]

Picture of the day

Mount Hood, Oregon

Mount Hood, a dormant stratovolcano, reflected in the waters of Trillium Lake, Oregon, United States. At 11,249 feet (3,429 metres), Mount Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon and the fourth-highest in the Cascade Range. It is considered an active volcano, but no major eruptive events have been catalogued since systematic record keeping began in the 1820s.

Photo credit: Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory
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