Wikipedia:Picture of the day/June 2011

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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.


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June 1 - Wed

Picture of the day
Helen Keller

Helen Keller (1880–1968) was a deafblind American author, political activist, and lecturer. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled, and was outspoken in her opposition to war. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, workers' rights, and socialism, as well as many other leftist causes.

Photo: Unknown; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 2 - Thu

Picture of the day
The Great Presidential Puzzle

An 1880 political cartoon depicts Senator Roscoe Conkling over a "presidential puzzle" consisting of some of the potential Republican nominees as pieces of a newly invented sliding puzzle. Conkling held significant influence over the party during the 1880 Republican National Convention and attempted to use that to nominate Ulysses S. Grant, only to lose out to "dark horse" candidate James A. Garfield.

Artist: James Albert Wales; Lithography: Mayer, Merkel, & Ottmann; Restoration: Jujutacular
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June 3 - Fri

Picture of the day
Drawing of a Palenque relief

An ink-and-wash illustration of a stucco relief on a building in Palenque, a Maya city in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century, but was abandoned around 800. It was first discovered by European explorers in the 16th century, but remained mostly unexplored until 1773. This particular piece was likely constructed during the long reign of K'inich Janaab' Pakal (mid-7th century), and is thought to depict Mayan ancestral rulers or the parents thereof. The standing figure holds a sceptre in the left hand, and in the right, a length of material. The seated figures adopt a posture of submission or deference, with hands placed on opposite shoulders.

Artist: Ricardo Almendáriz; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 4 - Sat

Picture of the day
Portable folding reflector

A photographer's assistant uses a portable folding reflector to "bounce" available sunlight onto the model. Also known as a bounce board, this type of reflector is useful when the available light is insufficient for what the scene requires, and using a flash would make the lighting too harsh. Here, because of the mostly overcast day, the sun is positioned in the wrong location to illuminate both the model and desired background properly, so a reflector is used to accomplish the task.

Photo: Mila Zinkova
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June 5 - Sun

Picture of the day
Dymaxion map animation

An animation showing the unfolding of a Dymaxion map, a projection of a world map onto the surface of a polyhedron (in this case, an icosahedron) and then flattened to form a two-dimensional map which retains most of the relative proportional integrity of the globe map. This type of map was invented by Buckminster Fuller and is one of several of his inventions to use the name Dymaxion.

Image: Chris Rywalt
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June 6 - Mon

Picture of the day
A synagogue on D-Day

A synagogue on West Twenty-Third Street in New York City remained open 24 hours on D-Day for special services and prayer. Jews in the U.S. during World War II were mostly unaware of the atrocities of The Holocaust, beyond the basic facts that Jews were being persecuted by the Nazis. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times and a Jew himself, was anti-Zionist and downplayed much of the news. Furthermore, Jewish studio executives of major film studios did not want to be accused of advocating Jewish propaganda by making films with overtly antifascist themes.

Photo: Farm Security Administration; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 7 - Tue

Picture of the day
Meadow Argus butterfly

The Meadow Argus (Junonia villida) is a species of butterfly native to Australasia. Its brown wings are each covered with two distinctive black and blue eyespots as well as white and orange marks that appear on the edge of the wings. Males and females are similar in appearance and size, with females being slightly larger.

Photo: JJ Harrison
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June 8 - Wed

Picture of the day
Frontispiece to Original Stories from Real Life

The sketch for the frontispiece to Original Stories from Real Life, the only complete work of children's literature by 18th-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. The book was first published by Joseph Johnson in 1788; a second, illustrated edition, with engravings by William Blake based on his own drawings, was released in 1791 and remained in print for around a quarter of a century. The book begins with a frame story, which sketches out the education of two young girls by their maternal teacher Mrs. Mason, followed by a series of didactic tales. Wollstonecraft employed the then burgeoning genre of children's literature to promote the education of women and an emerging middle-class ideology. She argued that women would be able to become rational adults if they were educated properly as children, which was not a widely-held belief in the 18th century.

Artist: William Blake; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 9 - Thu

Picture of the day
Meehan Range

Old Beach, a suburb of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (left), and the Meehan Range, a prominent series of steep hills running parallel to the River Derwent on Hobart's eastern shore. Visible in this stitched panoramic view are Mount Direction (rightmost peak) and Gunners Quoin (cliff).

Photo: JJ Harrison
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June 10 - Fri

Picture of the day
Portolan chart by Jorge de Aguiar

A portolan chart from 1492, the oldest known signed and dated chart of Portuguese origin. Cartography technologies greatly advanced during the Age of Discovery. Iberian mapmakers in particular focused on practical charts to use as navigational aids. Unlike Spanish maps which were regarded as state secrets, Portuguese ones were used by other countries, and Portuguese cartographers drew upon the skill and knowledge of other cultures as well.

Map: Jorge de Aguiar
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June 11 - Sat

Picture of the day
Tuskegee Airman

A portrait of Edward M. Thomas, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American pilots in United States military history. During World War II, the U.S. military was still racially segregated. In 1941, the Army Air Corps formed the 99th Pursuit Squadron. Their first combat assignment was to attack the island of Pantelleria in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily. On June 11, 1943, the island surrendered; it was the first time in history an enemy's military resistance had been overcome solely by air power.

Photo: Toni Frissell; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 12 - Sun

Picture of the day
Cross-section of a grape

A cross-sectional view of some grapes, showing the main physical structures of the grape and the components extracted during each pressing to make wine. Grapes are cultivated for both winemaking and eating. They were originally domesticated in Central Asia in the Neolithic period, and the oldest evidence of winemaking dates to around 8,000 years ago.

Image: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal
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June 13 - Mon

Picture of the day
Long-exposure photograph

A long-exposure seascape photograph of rocks at Clifton Beach, Tasmania. In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (film or sensor): the longer the shutter speed, the more light is let in. This can be done for technical reasons, such as in low-light conditions, or to create an artistic effect as shown here, when the ocean waves appear to be fog.

Photo: JJ Harrison
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June 14 - Tue

Picture of the day
Dugout home

A dugout home, a building based in a hole or depression dug into the ground, near Pie Town, New Mexico, US, in 1940. These structures are one of the most ancient types of human housing known to archaeologists. Dugouts can be fully recessed into the earth, with a flat roof covered by ground, or dug into a hillside. They can also be semi-recessed, with a constructed wood or sod roof.

Photo: Russell Lee; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 15 - Wed

Picture of the day
Roadside Hawk

The Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris) is a relatively small bird of prey. Specimens normally range from 31 to 41 centimetres (12 to 16 in) in length and weigh 250–300 grams (8.8–10.6 oz). The Roadside Hawk is common throughout its range: from Mexico through Central America to most of South America east of the Andes. It is well adapted to most ecosystems in its range, and can also be found in urban areas. Its diet consists mainly of insects, squamates, and small mammals, such as young common marmosets and similarly sized monkeys.

Photo: Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes
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June 16 - Thu

Picture of the day
Dunrobin Castle

A view of Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland, Highland, Scotland, from the castle's gardens. A castle was first built on the site in 1401, but most of the current building was designed in 1845 by Sir Charles Barry. Barry, also responsible for the Palace of Westminster, turned the castle into a Scots Baronial-style home.

Photo: Jack Spellingbacon
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June 17 - Fri

Picture of the day
Mosquito

A mosquito (Ochlerotatus notoscriptus shown) feeding on a human arm. Mosquitoes have mouthparts that are adapted for piercing the skin of plants and animals. While males typically feed on nectar and plant juices, the female needs to obtain nutrients from a "blood meal" before she can produce eggs. In some of the 3,500 species of mosquito, the females feed on humans, and are therefore vectors for a number of infectious diseases.

Photo: JJ Harrison
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June 18 - Sat

Picture of the day
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, with the peak Huayna Picchu behind it. Perhaps the most famous Inca site, Machu Picchu is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru. It was probably built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century, but abandoned soon after during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham, and it is now an important tourist attraction.

Photo: Martin St-Amant
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June 19 - Sun

Picture of the day
Isothermal map of the world

An isothermal map of the world, based on the research of Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist whose work laid the foundation for the sciences of physical geography and meteorology, among other things. By delineating "isothermal lines", he simultaneously suggested the idea and devised the means of comparing the climatic conditions of various countries.

Map: William C. Woodbridge; Restoration: Jujutacular and Lise Broer
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June 20 - Mon

Picture of the day
Kenyon Cox nude study

This study drawing by Kenyon Cox shows the allegorical figure of Romance nude, bending her head to read a book on her lap. Romance is one figure in a painting, The Arts, in the north-end lunette of the Southwest Gallery in the Library of Congress' Jefferson Building. Cox was an advocate of figurative art—art that is clearly sourced from real objects—and is therefore by definition representational rather than abstract art.

Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 21 - Tue

Picture of the day
Ottoman heliograph crew in Huj

A World War I Ottoman signaling crew in Huj (1917) with a heliograph (far left), a wireless solar telegraph that signals using Morse code flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes were generated by tilting the mirror with a lever mounted behind it. The heliograph is a simple but highly effective instrument for instantaneous optical communication over long distances. The record is 183 mi (295 km), using a 8"x8" mirror. The depicted device has a 5" diameter mirror, rated for 30 mile range.

Photo: American Colony; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 22 - Wed

Picture of the day
South Cape Bay, Tasmania

South Cape Bay, located on the south-western shore of Tasmania, within Southwest National Park. The park is Tasmania's largest and forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The park is well-known for its pristine wilderness and remoteness. The southern and western reaches of the park are far removed from vehicular access, with access only by foot, boat, or light aircraft.

Photo: JJ Harrison
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June 23 - Thu

Picture of the day
Mud cracks

Mudcracks in sludge, the remains of a sewage treatment plant in Kos, Greece. Mudcracks naturally form when wet, muddy sediment desiccates, causing contraction through a decrease in tensile strength. Individual cracks join up, forming a polygonal, interconnected network. These cracks may later be filled with new sediment, forming casts on the base of the overlying bed.

Photo: Hannes Grobe
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June 24 - Fri

Picture of the day
Martian dust devil trails

Trails of Martian dust devils, which appear as dark streaks on the light surface, as seen by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Dust devils are strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwinds that can form when hot air near the surface rises quickly through a small pocket of cooler, low-pressure air above it. On Mars, dust devils have unexpectedly cleaned the solar panels of the Mars rovers.

Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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June 25 - Sat

Picture of the day
River Thames in London

A westward view of the River Thames passing between the London boroughs of Lambeth and City of Westminster, with the London Eye ferris wheel on the left and the Palace of Westminster in the centre. The Thames is the second-longest river in England and has a special significance in flowing through London, although this is only a short part of its course. Its strategic position has made it a physical and political boundary, as well as the centre of many events in British history.

Photo: David Iliff
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June 26 - Sun

Picture of the day
Great coat of arms of the Russian Empire (1800)

The Great Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire, as presented to Emperor Paul I in October 1800. The use of the double-headed eagle in the coat of arms (seen in multiple locations here) goes back to the 15th century. With the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Grand Dukes of Muscovy came to see themselves as the successors of the Byzantine heritage, a notion reinforced by the marriage of Ivan III to Sophia Paleologue. Ivan adopted the golden Byzantine double-headed eagle in his seal, first documented in 1472, marking his direct claim to the Roman imperial heritage and his assertion as sovereign equal and rival to the Holy Roman Empire.

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June 27 - Mon

Picture of the day
Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

A sketch of the action during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, fought on June 27, 1864, during William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. Sherman, a Major General in the Union Army, had used a series of flanking maneuvers against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, each compelling the Confederates to withdraw with minimal casualties on either side. After two months and 70 miles (110 km) of such maneuvering, Sherman ordered a large-scale frontal assault, which was easily repulsed. However, a demonstration by Major General John M. Schofield threatened the Confederate army's left flank, prompting yet another withdrawal toward Atlanta and the removal of Johnston from command.

Artist: Alfred Waud; Restoration: Lise Broer
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June 28 - Tue

Picture of the day
Cape Barren Goose

The Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) is a large goose native to southern Australia. It is 75–100 cm (30–40 in) long, weighs 3.1–6.8 kg (7–15 lb) and has a 150–190 cm (59–75 in) wingspan, with males slightly larger than females. Its plumage is almost uniformly grey, bearing rounded black spots.

Photo: JJ Harrison
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June 29 - Wed

Picture of the day
Canon EOS 400D body

The body of a Canon EOS 400D (called Digital Rebel XTi in North America and EOS Kiss Digital X in Japan) digital single-lens reflex camera without the lens attached, so that the lens mount is visible. It went on sale in August 2006, succeeding the popular EOS 350D, and was itself replaced by the 450D in April 2008. The Canon EOS line was introduced in 1987 and is named after the Titan goddess of the dawn Eos. It competes primarily with the Nikon F series and its successors, and with autofocus SLR systems from other manufacturers.

Photo: Thomas Wolf
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June 30 - Thu

Picture of the day
Yiddish language poster

An American World War I propaganda poster in the Yiddish language. It reads, "Food will win the war! You came here seeking freedom; now you must help to preserve it. Wheat is needed for the Allies. Waste nothing." Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world and written in the Hebrew alphabet. It combines German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages. In the early 20th century, it became the primary language of a large Jewish community in Eastern Europe that rejected Zionism and sought Jewish cultural autonomy in Europe.

Poster: Charles Edward Chambers; Restoration: Lise Broer
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