Wikipedia:Picture of the day/May 2009

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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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May 1 - Fri

Picture of the day
Empire State Building

A structural worker bolts beams on the framework during the construction of the Empire State Building in New York City. The 1,250-foot (380 m) building opened on May 1, 1931, at the time the tallest building in the world, overtaking the Chrysler Building (seen to the right), which had just been completed the year before. The addition of a pinnacle and antennas later increased its overall height to 1,472 feet (449 m).

Image credit: Lewis Hine
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May 2 - Sat

Picture of the day
Hispano Aviación HA-1112

The Hispano Aviación HA-1112 was a license-built version of the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 developed in Spain during and after World War II. The Spanish government in 1942 contracted with Messerschmitt to supply Bf 109G-2 materials, but due to difficulties incurred by the war, the company only delivered 25 incomplete airframes to Hispano Aviación. The plane shown in this photo has been rebuilt to resemble a Luftwaffe Bf 109, except without the Nazi swastika.

Photo credit: Kogo
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May 3 - Sun

Picture of the day
Napoleon's exile to Elba

A cartoon from 1814 depicting the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte to the island of Elba. After his defeat in the War of the Sixth Coalition, he arrived in Elba on 3 May 1814, where he had sovereignty over the island. Napoleon stayed for 300 days, after which he escaped and regained power for the period known as the Hundred Days.

Image credit: J. Phillips
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May 4 - Mon

Picture of the day
Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 28

Ludwig van Beethoven's manuscript sketch for Piano Sonata No. 28, Op. 101, Movement IV, Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr und mit Entschlossenheit (Allegro), in his own handwriting. The 20-minute piece was completed in 1816 and was dedicated to the pianist Baroness Dorotea Ertmann.

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May 5 - Tue

Picture of the day
Greater Crested Tern

A Greater Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) displaying in breeding plumage. This member of the tern family nests in dense colonies on coastlines and islands in the area from South Africa around the Indian Ocean to the central Pacific and Australia. It is closely related to the Royal and Lesser Crested Terns, but can be distinguished by its size and bill colour.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks
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May 6 - Wed

Picture of the day
Wire brush

A circular wire brush mounted to a 205 mm (8.1 in) bench grinder with a tool rest in front. Wire brushes are typically made of a large number of steel wire bristles and are used for removing paint and rust.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks
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May 7 - Thu

Picture of the day
German Instrument of Surrender

The German Instrument of Surrender, the main portion of which was signed at Reims, France, at 02:41 on 7 May 1945, was the legal instrument that established the armistice ending World War II in Europe. It was signed by representatives of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, the Allied Expeditionary Force and Soviet High Command. Another act of military surrender was signed, shortly before midnight, on 8 May in the outskirts of Berlin, Germany, at the insistence of the Soviets.

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May 8 - Fri

Picture of the day
Painted Lady

The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a well-known colourful butterfly, found on every continent except Antarctica. It occurs in any temperate zone, including mountains in the tropics. The species is resident only in warmer areas, but migrates in spring, and sometimes again in autumn.

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar
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May 9 - Sat

Picture of the day

A film, reenacting supposed Spanish atrocities in Cuba, one of many pieces of propaganda of the Spanish–American War. American newspapers ran stories of a sensationalist nature, often without confirming facts; this type of journalism became known as yellow journalism, which helped to precipitate military action by the U.S.

Listen to: When Johnny Comes Marching Home, an American patriotic song recorded during the war

Film: Edison Manufacturing; Audio: Emile Berliner
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May 10 - Sun

Picture of the day
Gran Dolina, Atapuerca Mountains

Archaeological and paleontological excavations at the site of Gran Dolina, in the Atapuerca Mountains of Spain, where fossils and stone tools of the earliest known hominians in Western Europe have been found. Two archaeological levels are visible in this shot: The first one is TD-10, and it is believed to be a Homo heidelbergensis camp, about 300,000 years old. The second is TD-6, located under the scaffolding (bottom centre). The first remains of the new species mentioned by the Atapuerca team, Homo antecessor, were found there, about 800,000 years old.

Photo credit: Mario Modesto Mata
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May 11 - Mon

Picture of the day
Somagahana Fuchiemon

A ca. 1850 Japanese woodblock print of Somagahana Fuchiemon, a sumo wrestler. The Japanese tradition of sumo is an ancient one, having originally been associated with the Shinto religion. Over time it evolved into a form of wrestling combat, and then into a sport. Most of the current rules of the sport developed in the early Edo period. Current professional sumo tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in 1684, and then were held in the Ekō-in in the Edo period. They have been held in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan since 1909.

Artist: Kunisada
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May 12 - Tue

Picture of the day
Segregated drinking fountain

An African-American child at a segregated drinking fountain on a courthouse lawn, North Carolina, United States, 1938, an example of state racism, a type of institutional racism promoted by a government.

Photo credit: John Vachon, FSA
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May 13 - Wed

Picture of the day
One million colors

This image (when viewed in full size) contains 1 million pixels, each of a different color. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors, most of which are outside the gamut of this image.

Image credit: J-E Nyström
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May 14 - Thu

Picture of the day
Marsh Marigold

A macro shot of a hoverfly pollinating a Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) flower. This herbaceous perennial is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, growing up to 80 centimetres (31 in) tall.

Photo credit: Richard Bartz
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May 15 - Fri

Picture of the day
1871 Yellowstone map

A map drawn based on data collected by Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden during the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871, showing the area of the then-proposed Yellowstone National Park. The geological survey was the first one funded by the federal government of the United States to explore and further document features in the region, and played a prominent role in convincing the U.S. Congress to pass the legislation withdrawing this region from public auction and creating the country's first national park.

Map credit: USGS
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May 16 - Sat

Picture of the day
Paper wasp colony

A young paper wasp queen (Polistes dominula) is founding a new colony. The nest was made with wood fibers and saliva, and the eggs were laid and fertilized with sperm kept from the previous year. The timespan between the first and last photos is about one month.

  1. The nest with only a few cells.
  2. New cells being made
  3. A caterpillar was caught and is being chewed to feed the larvae.
  4. Feeding the larvae.
  5. Using the wings to cool down the larvae.
  6. The wasp guarding her heirs.

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar
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May 17 - Sun

Picture of the day
Piping Plover

The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) is a small shorebird that nests and feeds along coastal sand and gravel beaches on the Atlantic coast of North America, the shores of the Great Lakes and in the mid-west of Canada and the United States. This individual has been banded for research purposes.

Photo credit: Mdf
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May 18 - Mon

Picture of the day
Wu Tingfang

Wu Tingfang (also referred to as Ng Choy) was a Chinese diplomat and politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and briefly as Acting Premier during the early years of the Republic of China. He studied at St. Paul's College in Hong Kong (a British colony at the time), where he learnt to read and write English, and later studied law in England at University College London and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1876, becoming the first ethnically Chinese barrister in history. After returning to Hong Kong, he became the first ethnically Chinese unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

Photo credit: Frances Benjamin Johnston
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May 19 - Tue

Picture of the day
Cedar Key, Florida

An 1884 lithographic bird's-eye map of Cedar Key, a city on the west coast of the U.S. state of Florida. Originally an important port, Cedar Key declined in importance once railroads reached Tampa to the south, and after an 1896 hurricane and a large fire later that year. The city is now best known as a tourist resort.

Image credit: J. J. Stoner
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May 20 - Wed

Picture of the day
Gordon Dam

Gordon Dam is a 140-metre (460 ft) tall asymmetrical double curvature arch dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania, Australia. Lake Gordon (right) was formed by the dam's construction.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks
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May 21 - Thu

Picture of the day
Windsor Castle

Foot Guards marching across the Quadrangle of the Upper Ward of Windsor Castle (view from southwest shown here). Located in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, it is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, is the oldest in continuous occupation.

Photo credit: David Iliff
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May 22 - Fri

Picture of the day
Oregon Convention Center

The Oregon Convention Center is located on the east side of the Willamette River in the Lloyd District neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. It is best known for the twin spire towers which provide light into the building's interior, and which are also upwardly lit on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Photo credit: Eric Baetscher
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May 23 - Sat

Picture of the day
Mount Cleveland 2006 eruption

An ash plume drifts from Mount Cleveland, a stratovolcano in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska, on May 23, 2006. Astronaut Jeffrey Williams, flying over the event on board the International Space Station, was the first to notice the eruption, even before the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Williams
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May 24 - Sun

Picture of the day
Migrant workers

A 1935 photo of a family of migrant workers in California, United States, during the Great Depression. In the United States, the term "migrant worker" is commonly used to describe low-wage workers performing manual labor in the agriculture field. During the Great Depression, Okies who fled the Dust Bowl were a significant source of temporary farm labor. Outside the U.S., the modern definition of the term by the United Nations includes anyone working outside of their home country.

Photo credit: Dorothea Lange
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May 25 - Mon

Picture of the day
Battle of Yorktown

Union Army artillery battery with 13-inch seacoast mortars, Model 1861, during the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, in 1862, during the American Civil War. Fought between April 5 – May 4, the battle ended inconclusively when the Confederate Army slipped away during the night of May 3.

Photo credit: James F. Gibson
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May 26 - Tue

Picture of the day
Lixus angustatus

Lixus angustatus is one of the approximately 60,000 known species in the Curculionidae family of weevils. They are recognized by their distinctive long snout and geniculate antennae with small clubs; beyond that curculionids have considerable diversity of form and size, with adult lengths ranging from 1 to 40 millimetres (0.04 to 1.57 in).

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar
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May 27 - Wed

Picture of the day
South Wind, Clear Sky

South Wind, Clear Sky, the second of Katsushika Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. This ukiyo-e woodblock print was made ca. 1930 from the original drawings made ca. 1830 by Hokusai. There are actually 46 prints in the series, the last 10 having been added at a later date due to popular demand.

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May 28 - Thu

Picture of the day
Eurasian Coot

A Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) foraging for food. This member of the rail and crake family Rallidae occurs and breeds in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, and has recently expanded its range into New Zealand.

Photo credit: Noodle snacks
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May 29 - Fri

Picture of the day
Temperate House, Kew Gardens

Built in 1859 and at 4,880 square metres (52,500 sq ft) in area, the Temperate House in Kew Gardens is the largest surviving Victorian glass structure in the world, and houses an extensive collection of temperate plants, including the world's largest indoor plant, the Chilean wine-palm.

Photo credit: David Iliff
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May 30 - Sat

Picture of the day
L'Innocence

L'Innocence, a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau that uses a young child and a lamb as symbols of innocence. Although the term encompasses a number of meanings, the one depicted here is a state of unknowing, where one's experience is lesser, in either a relative view to social peers, or by an absolute comparison to a more common normative scale. In contrast to ignorance, it is generally viewed as a positive term, connoting an optimistic view of the world, in particular one where the lack of knowledge stems from a lack of wrongdoing, whereas greater knowledge comes from doing wrong.

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May 31 - Sun

Picture of the day
Brown Spider Monkey

The Brown Spider Monkey is a critically endangered New World monkey native to Colombia and Venezuela. The blue eyes on this individual are uncommon among the species.

Photo credit: Tom Friedel
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Picture of the day archive


Today is Sunday, April 26, 2015; it is now 23:56 UTC