Wikipedia:Picture of the day/March 2005

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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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March 1[edit]

Picture of the day

Bonsai

The art of bonsai originated from China over two thousand years ago, where it has been called penzai, it spread to Korea during the Tang or Song Dynasty (the 7th13th century). As the Chinese art is intended for outdoor display the plants tend to be some what larger than seen in Japanese bonsai. A bonsai is not a genetically dwarfed plant; it is kept small by shaping and root pruning.

Photo credit: USDA-ARS
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March 2[edit]

Picture of the day

Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula (also known as Messier Object 16, M16 or NGC 6611) is a young open cluster of stars. The nebula is an active region of star formation. Light from the bright, hot, young stars near the centre of the cluster illuminate the clouds of hydrogen gas and dust still collapsing to form new stars.

As projected on the sky, the Eagle Nebula lies in the constellation of Serpens Cauda. In three dimensions, it is relatively close to the solar system being some 7,000 light years away on the edge of the Sagittarius Arm, the next nearest spiral arm towards the centre of the Milky Way.

In fact, when the picture is not coloured, is only red colored, the "Eagle" can be seen as a dark spot in the center of the nebula.

Photo credit: NASA
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March 3[edit]

Picture of the day

Barrel Organ

A barrel organ is a mechanical musical instrument made of a series of pipes, and bellows, like any other traditional organ, and of a cylinder studded with staples or bridges or pins corresponding in their placement to a particular tune. The continuous rotation of the barrel causes the staples to come into contact with levers and rods which open valves to let air from the bellows into the organ pipes. The bellows is usually actuated by the same power source which, through reduction gearing or worm gearing, causes the drum to slowly turn around.


Photo credit: Chepry
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March 4[edit]

Picture of the day

Hebe x franciscana

Hebe is a genus of plants native to New Zealand and other temperate regions of the southern hemisphere. They are commonly cultivated as decorative, evergreen garden shrubs and often used for groundcover.

Hebes have perfect flowers (with both male and female reproductive parts), which are arranged in a spiked inflorescence.

This particular example is Hebe x franciscana, also known as 'Blue Gem' Veronica. It is a cultivated hybrid between Hebe elliptica and Hebe speciosa.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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March 5[edit]

Picture of the day

Tugra Mahmuds II.gif

The Tughra (طغراء) of Mahmud II. A tughra is a Turkish paisley-like calligraphic seal or signature used at the beginning of sultans' decrees. These colorful emblems incorporated the ruler's name and title in intricate vegetal inscriptions designed by neshanis, or court calligraphers. Parallel to the European signet, tughras often appeared on coins and stamps of the Ottoman Empire.

Photo credit: Baba66
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March 6[edit]

Picture of the day

Lugano by Prokudin-Gorskii

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a Russian pioneer of colour photography. This view of Lugano was most likely taken in 1909.

Although James Clerk Maxwell made the first colour photograph in 1861, the results were far from realistic until Prokudin-Gorskii perfected the technique with a series of improvements around 1905. His process used a camera that took a series of monochrome pictures in rapid sequence, each through a different coloured filter. Prokudin-Gorskii then went on to document much of the country of Russia, travelling by train in a specially equipped darkroom railroad car.

Photo credit: Prokudin-Gorskii
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March 7[edit]

Picture of the day

1958 Chevrolet Corvette

Taking its name from a small, maneuverable fighting frigate, the first Chevrolet Corvettes were virtually handbuilt in Flint, Michigan. The outer body was made out of a revolutionary new composite material called fiberglass, offering the strength of steel without the weight. The tradition continues even today, as no Corvette has ever had anything other than a fiberglass outer skin..

Photo credit: Softeis
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March 8[edit]

Picture of the day

Horse and Plough

The plough is a development of the pick, and was initially pulled by oxen or humans, and later horses. Modern ploughs are, in industrialized countries, powered by tractors. Ploughing has several beneficial effects. The major reason for ploughing is to incorporate the residue from the previous crop into the soil. Ploughing also reduces the prevalence of weeds in the fields, and makes the soil more porous, easing later planting.

Photo credit: Marcela
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March 9[edit]

Picture of the day

Marginated Tortoise

The natural range of the Marginated Tortoise is southern Greece, from the Peloponnesus to Mount Olympus. They are also found in isolated zones of the Balkans and Italy, with a somewhat broader range in northeastern Sardinia. The primary food for these tortoises are plants from their native Mediterranean region. Early in the morning, they leave their nightly shelter and bask in the sun to raise their body temperature. Then they go in search of food. In captivity, the primary foodstuffs are dandelions, clover and various varieties of lettuce.

Photo credit: Richard Mayer
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March 10[edit]

Picture of the day

Mark 48 Torpedo testing

The Mark 48 torpedo, carried by all U.S. Navy submarines, is designed to combat fast, deep-diving nuclear-powered submarines and high performance surface ships. In this test, an Australian submarine fired a Mark-48 war-shot torpedo at the 28 year old former Destroyer Escort Torrens. The torpedo detonated underneath the hull as designed and broke the destroyer in two.

Photo credit: United States Navy
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March 11[edit]

Picture of the day

Weedy Sea Dragon

The Weedy sea dragon is a marine fish related to the seahorse. They are native to the shallow water around the southern coastline of Australia, between Port Stephens and Geraldton, as well as Tasmania.

Weedy sea dragons are named for the weed-like projections on their bodies, which serve to camouflage them as they move among the seaweed beds where they are usually found.

Photo credit: Rling
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March 12[edit]

Picture of the day

Meadow Argus Butterfly

Unlike many insects, butterflies do not experience a nymph period, but instead go through four stages: Egg, Larva, Pupa and Imago. The adult butterflies have four wings, but unlike moths, the fore and hindwings are not hooked together, permitting a more graceful flight. Some butterflies have evolved 'eye' like markings on their wings, scaring off some birds, or allowing the butterfly a chance of escaping in the confusion when the bird simply pokes a hole in one of the wings.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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March 13[edit]

Picture of the day

Sake barrels

Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage, brewed from rice. In Japan, the word simply means alcoholic beverage. As with other alcohol in Japan, sake is poured with the palm of the hand facing down and the back of the hand facing up, particularly when it is poured for another person. Pouring with the palm of the hand facing up is considered rude and is likely to elicit surprise and disapproval.

Photo credit: Dan Smith
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March 14[edit]

Picture of the day

Robert Hooke's drawing of a flea

In most cases fleas are just a nuisance to their hosts, but some people and some animals suffer allergic reactions to flea saliva resulting in rashes, bites generally result in the formation of a slightly-raised swollen itching spot. However, fleas can transmit disease. One devastating example of this was the bubonic plague, transmitted between rodents and humans.

In 1664 Robert Hooke's Micrographia was the first book to describe the microscopic world and included many of his highly detailed hand drawn illustrations such as this flea. Micrographia was a bestseller in its day.

Photo credit: Robert Hooke
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March 15[edit]

Picture of the day

Cockroach

Cockroaches are often found around garbage and in the kitchen. Female cockroaches, or henroaches, are sometimes seen carrying egg cases on the end of their abdomen. The eggs hatch from the combined pressure of the hatchlings gulping air and are initially bright white nymphs that continue inflating themselves with air and harden and darken within about 4 hours. Their transient white stage while hatching and later while molting has led to many individuals claiming to have seen albino cockroaches.

The world's largest cockroach is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, which can grow to 90 mm in length and weigh more than 30 grams.

Photo credit: Joăo Estęvăo A. de Freitas
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March 16[edit]

Picture of the day

Air Force One over Mt. Rushmore

The planes that serve as Air Force One can be operated as a military command center in the event of an incident such as a nuclear attack. Operational modifications include aerial refueling capability, electronic countermeasures (ECMs) which jam enemy radar, and flares to avoid heat-seeking missiles. The heavily shielded electronics onboard include around twice the amount of wiring found in a regular 747.

Photo credit: United States Air Force
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March 17[edit]

Picture of the day

Baseball pitching motion
A skilled baseball pitcher often throws a variety of different pitches in order to prevent the batter from hitting the ball well. The most basic pitch is a fastball, where the pitcher throws the ball as hard as he can. Some pitchers are able to throw a fastball at a velocity of over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). Other common types of pitches are the curveball, slider, changeup, forkball, and knuckleball. These generally are intended to have unusual movement or deceive the batter as to the rotation or velocity of the ball, making it more difficult to hit.

Photo credit: Rick Dikeman
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March 18[edit]

Picture of the day

Hazelnuts

The Common Hazel is a shrub native to Europe and Asia. Its flowers are produced very early in spring before the leaves, and are monoecious. The seed is a nut, known as a hazelnut or cobnut. The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about 7-8 months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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March 19[edit]

Picture of the day

Bison skull pile

The American Bison, or Buffalo, is the largest terrestrial mammal in North America, and once inhabited the Great Plains in massive herds. They were central to the lives of Native American tribes.

This pile of bison skulls from the 1870s illustrates the extent of their slaughter in the 19th century by settlers: from a population of about 60 million in 1800 to as few as 750 in 1890. They have since been reintroduced into the wild and are no longer considered a high risk endangered species.

Credit: Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library
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March 20[edit]

Picture of the day

Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster occupies a site of approximately 3.24 hectares (8 acres) on the west bank of the Thames, it has approximately 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases, and 4.8 km of passageways. The 96 m high slim Clock Tower is undoubtedly the most famous feature, and houses the bell known as Big Ben, from which the Clock Tower is colloquially, but inaccurately named.

Photo credit: Solipsist
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March 21[edit]

Picture of the day

Habanero chile

The Habanero chile is the most intensely spicy chile pepper of the Capsicum genus. Most habaneros rate 200,000–300,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), and the Red Savinas variety, at 580,000 SHU, holds the record for being the "World's Hottest Spice".

The Habanero and Scotch bonnet are not identical, but are two varieties of the same species; the most notable difference is their shapes. The habanero is a cultivar; the Scotch bonnet a true variety.

Photo credit: André Karwath
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March 22[edit]

Picture of the day

Yellow rose

Roses are one of the most popular garden shrubs, and are also among the most common flowers sold by florists. The hips are sometimes eaten, mainly for their vitamin C content. They are usually pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup, as the fine hairs surrounding the seeds are unpleasant to eat (resembling itching powder).

Photo credit: Fir0002
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March 23[edit]

Picture of the day

Apricots

Apricots originated in northeastern China near the Russian border, not in Armenia as their scientific name, Prunus armeniaca, suggests. Although they had spread as far as Armenia by the time the Romans introduced them into Europe around 70 BC.

Photo credit: Fir0002
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March 24[edit]

Picture of the day

Zion Narrows

The Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park, located near Springdale, Utah, is a 16-mile long slot canyon along the Virgin River. Recently rated as number five out of National Geographic's Top 100 American Adventures, it is one of the most rewarding hikes in the world.

Photo credit: Jon Sullivan, pdphoto.org
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March 25[edit]

Picture of the day

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Delicate Arch is a remarkable freestanding natural arch and the signature landmark of Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, USA.

Surprisingly, the arch played no part in the original designation of the area as a U.S. National Monument in 1929, and was not included within the original monument boundary. It was added when the monument was enlarged in 1938.

Photo credit: National Park Service
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March 26[edit]

Picture of the day

Cat in Greece

The cat is a small feline carnivorous mammal that has been domesticated for several millennia. A male cat is usually called a tom cat, a female cat is called a queen. A young cat is called a kitten (as are baby rats, rabbits, hedgehogs and squirrels).

Photo credit: Chmouel Boudjnah
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March 27[edit]

Picture of the day

Zuni girl with jar

The Zuni are a Native American tribe, one of the Pueblo peoples, who live beside the Zuni River, in western New Mexico.

The Zuni language is unique and unrelated to the languages of the other Pueblo peoples. The Zuni continue to practice their traditional shamanistic religion with its regular ceremonies and dances and an independent mythology.

Photo credit: Edward Curtis (1903)
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March 28[edit]

Picture of the day

Abbey of Senanque

The Abbey of Senanque, located in France, Provence, Vaucluse, Gordes village. An abbey is a Christian monastery or convent, under the government of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serve as the spiritual father or mother of the community.

Photo credit: Greudin
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March 29[edit]

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Child laborer, New Jersey, 1910

In the west, during the Industrial Revolution, the use of child labor was commonplace, particularly in factories. In the United Kingdom during the Victorian era, a series of Factory Acts were introduced to gradually restrict the hours that children were allowed to work, and to improve safety.

Today, similar laws have been enacted by most wealthy countries and forced child labor is often considered a violation of human rights. In poorer countries, child labor may still be accepted, where families often rely on the labors of their children for survival.

Photo credit: Lewis W. Hine (1910)
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March 30[edit]

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An elaborate sand sculpture

A sand castle is a type of sand sculpture which resembles a miniature building, often a castle. Sand castles are typically made on beaches with wet fine sand and, optionally, tools such as shovels and buckets and reinforcers such as wood, usually by children, but also by adults who engage in sand sculpture contests, in which the goal is to create large and complex structures which do not appear to be constructed purely from sand.

Photo credit: Guy King
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March 31[edit]

Picture of the day

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was a 19th century American poet, who, along with Emily Dickinson, was influential in developing a distinctly American voice in poetry. His most famous work is the collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass.

Whitman so admired this picture of himself, that he is known to have sent a copy to the poet Tennyson in England.

Photo credit: George C. Cox (1887)
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