Wikipedia:Picture of the day/October 2004

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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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Strelitzia Strelitzia, Sunday 31 October, 2004
Strelitzia is a South African genus of perennial plants named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, home of the former Queen Charlotte of England. The common name of the genus is "bird of paradise", because of the resemblance of its flowers to the bird of that name. Photo credit: Scott Bauer USDA Degenerate art, Saturday, 30 October, 2004
The Magdeburger Ehrenmal from Ernst Barlach was declared to be "degenerate art" due to the anti-war motive. Degenerate art (from the German: "entartete Kunst") is a term that became notorious during the Nazi rule of Germany to refer to any art reflecting values or aesthetics contrary to the Aryan ones. It is therefore somewhat ironic that the concept of "degenerate art" was first proposed during the late nineteenth century by Max Nordau, the Zionist leader. In 1937, Nazi authorities purged German museums of art they considered "degenerate." They then took 650 of the works so condemned, and sent them on tour as a special exhibit of "degenerate art." Photo credit: Chris 73

Cathedral of Magdeburg Cathedral of Magdeburg, Friday, 29 October, 2004
The Cathedral of Magdeburg (known as Magdeburger Dom in German) is the first gothic cathedral in Germany and with a height of 104 m the highest cathedral in Eastern Germany. The current cathedral was constructed over the period of 300 years starting from 1209, and the completion of the steeples took place only in 1520. In 2004 a funding drive for a new organ that was started in 1997 was completed, collecting 2 Million Euro. The new organ has been ordered from a company near Potsdam, constructing a 36 ton instrument with 93 registers and approximately 5000 pipes. The construction is planned to be completed in 2007, and the new organ will hopefully be used for the first time in 2008. Photo credit: Chris 73

Zermatt and Matterhorn Matterhorn, Thursday, 28 October, 2004
The Matterhorn is located on the border between Switzerland and Italy, towering over the Swiss town of Zermatt and the Italian town Breuil-Cervinia in the Val Tournanche. It was the last major mountain of the Alps to be climbed, not merely because of its technical difficulty, but of the fear it inspired in early mountaineers. The first serious attempts began around 1858, mostly from the Italian side, but despite appearances, the southern routes are harder, and parties repeatedly found themselves on difficult slippery rock and had to turn back. Photo credit: Stan Shebs

Sunflowers Sunflower, Wednesday, 27 October, 2004
The oil extracted from Sunflower seeds, is used for cooking, as a carrier oil and is used to produce biodiesel. The meal remaining after the seeds have been processed for oil is used as a livestock feed. Some recently developed varieties have drooping heads. These varieties are less attractive to gardeners growing the flowers as ornamentals, but appeal to farmers, because they reduce bird damage and losses from some plant diseases. Photo credit: Bruce Fritz (USDA)

Kepler's Supernova Supernova remnant, Tuesday 26 October, 2004
This Supernova remnant of Kepler's Supernova (SN 1604) is made up of the materials left behind by the gigantic explosion of a star. There are two possible routes to this end: either a massive star may cease to generate fusion energy in its core, and collapse inward under the force of its own gravity, or a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it reaches a critical mass and undergoes a similar collapse. In either case, the resulting supernova explosion expels much or all of the stellar material with great force. Photo credit: NASA

The Himalayan Mountains Himalayan Mountains, Monday 25 October, 2004
The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everest as seen from the International Space Station. The Himalaya separates India and the Northern Areas of Pakistan on the south and southwest from the vast Tibetan plateau (now ruled by China) on the north. Four of the world's fourteen eight-thousanders, mountains higher than 8000 m, can be seen, Makalu (8462 m), Everest (8850 m), Lhotse (8516 m) and Cho Oyu (8201 m). Photo credit: NASA

Horse Chestnuts Conker, Sunday 24 October, 2004
A selection of fresh conkers from a Horse-chestnut. They are not true nuts, but rather capsules. The soft whitish-brown wood can be used for cheap furniture, boxes and firewood. The nuts are poisonous, but some Native American tribes leached the pulverized nuts to make them edible. Crushed buckeye nuts have been used by poachers to kill fish for easy capture. Some animals, notably deer, are resistant to the toxins. Photo credit: Solipsist

Peacock Peafowl, Saturday 23 October, 2004
The Peafowl are most notable for the male's extravagant tail, a result of sexual selection, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen. In user-friendly English, however, peacock is used to mean any peafowl. Many of the brilliant colors of the peacock plumage are due to an optical interference phenomenon called Bragg reflection. Photo credit: Adrian Pingstone

Germplasm Enhancement for Maize Biodiversity, Friday 22 October, 2004
Biodiversity is the diversity of and in living nature. Diversity, at its heart, implies the number of different kinds of objects, such as species. To increase the genetic diversity of U.S. corn, the Germplasm Enhancement for Maize (GEM) project seeks to combine exotic germplasm, such as this unusually colored and shaped maize from Latin America, with domestic corn lines. Photo credit: Keith Weller (USDA)

Surface tension Surface tension, Thursday 21 October, 2004
Surface tension is caused by the attraction between molecules of a liquid, due to van der Waals forces. In the bulk of the liquid, molecules are pulled in all directions, resulting in a net force of zero. At the surface, molecules are pulled inwards, but there are no liquid molecules on the outside to balance these forces, so the surface molecules are subject to an inward force of molecular attraction which is balanced by the resistance of the liquid to compression. Photo credit: W. M. Connolley

Redback spider Redback spider, Wednesday 20 October, 2004
The redback spider is a potentially dangerous spider found throughout Australia. A successful bite from a female redback injects a neurotoxin into the blood stream. Individuals bitten often describe the bite as extremely painful. In September 2004, inmates at Grafton maximum security prison in New South Wales were found to be keeping redback spiders. Media reported a prisoner's allegation that other inmates had been breeding the spiders, milking them, and injecting the venom for a high. However, the authorities uncovered no supporting evidence (e.g. syringes), and concluded the spiders were kept simply as pets. Photo credit: Fir0002

Landing at the Battle of Normandy Battle of Normandy, Tuesday 19 October, 2004
The Battle of Normandy (D-Day) is one of the best-known battles of World War II. The invasion force included 4000 landing craft, 130 warships for bombardment and 12,000 aircraft to support the landings. In order to persuade the Germans that the invasion would really be coming to the Pas de Calais, the Allies prepared a massive deception plan, called Operation Fortitude. An entirely fictitious First U.S. Army Group was created, with fake buildings and equipment, and false radio messages were sent. Photo credit: U.S. Army's First Division

Shuttle Space Shuttle Columbia, Monday 18 October, 2004
The Space Shuttle Columbia seconds after engine ignition in 1981. For the first two missions only, the external fuel tank was painted white. The space shuttle became the major focus of NASA in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Planned to be frequently launchable and mostly reusable vehicle, four space shuttles were built by 1985. The first to launch, Columbia did so on April 12, 1981. Photo credit: NASA

Mad scientist caricature was reused on Sunday 17 October.

Ladybird Ladybird, Saturday 16 October, 2004
Ladybirds are beneficial to organic gardeners because most species are insectivores, consuming aphids, fruit flies, thrips, and other tiny plant-sucking insects that damage crops. In fact, their name is derived from "Beetle of Our Lady", recognizing their role in saving crops from destruction. Today they are commercially available from a variety of suppliers. Adult ladybirds are able to reflex-bleed from their leg joints. The blood is yellow, with a strong repellent smell, and is quite obvious when one handles a ladybird roughly. Photo credit: PDPhoto.org

Halo around the sun Halo around the sun, Friday 15 October, 2004
Halos are optical phenomena that appear near or around the Sun or Moon, and sometimes near other strong light sources such as street lights. There are many types of halos, but they are mostly caused by ice crystals in cold cirrus clouds located high (5-10 km, or 3-6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion, similarly to the rainbow. Photo credit: NOAA

Pentakis dodecahedron Pentakis dodecahedron, Thursday 14 October, 2004
An animated Pentakis dodecahedron, member of the Catalan solids. Catalan solids are all convex, face-uniform but not vertex-uniform. This is because the dual Archimedean solids are vertex-uniform and not face uniform. Note that unlike Platonic solids and Archimedean solids, the faces of Catalan solids are not regular polygons. However, the vertex figures of Catalan solids are regular, and they have constant dihedral angles. Additionally, two of the Catalan solids are edge-uniform: the rhombic dodecahedron and the rhombic triacontahedron. These are the duals of the two quasi-regular Archimedean solids. Photo credit: W. M. Connolley

The caterpillar of the Large White butterfly Caterpillar, Wednesday 13 October, 2004
The Caterpillar of the Large White butterfly. Caterpillars eat leaves voraciously, grow rapidly, shed their skins generally four or five times, and eventually pupate into an adult form. Caterpillars do not breathe through their mouths. Air enters their bodies through a series of small tubules along the sides of their thorax and abdomen. These tubules are called 'spiracles', and inside the body they connect together into a network of airtubes or 'tracheae'. Photo credit: Sannse

Fire ants Fire ants, Tuesday, 12 October, 2004
Fire ants, like these Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta), are more aggressive than most native ant species and have a painful sting that is rarely life-threatening to humans and other large animals, but can kill smaller animals such as birds. Fire ants cannot be killed by flooding. If the ants sense a change in water levels in their nests, they will come together and form a huge ball that is able to float on the water and protects the queen in its center. Photo credit: Scott Bauer

Natto Nattō, Monday 11 October, 2004
Nattō (納豆) is a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, popular especially at breakfast, when it is eaten on top of rice. Natto is an acquired taste and has a powerful aroma and sticky consistency. Photo credit: Gleam

UK roundabout was reused on Sunday 10 October, 2004

Potato plant was reused on Saturday 9 October, 2004

A large Bonfire Bonfire, Friday 8 October, 2004
Controlling fire was one of the first great achievements of humankind. It made possible migration to colder climates which otherwise would have remained out of reach for colonization. It allowed for cooking food and using flame and heat to process materials. Archeological studies indicates that ancestors of modern humans such as Homo erectus may have been using controlled fire as early as 790,000 years ago. Photo credit: Fir0002

"Promenade des Anglais" in Nice "Promenade des Anglais" in Nice, Thursday 7 October, 2004
"Promenade des Anglais" in Nice, a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera - Côte d'Azur. During the middle ages Nice had its share in the wars and disasters of Italy. As an ally of Pisa it was the enemy of Genoa, and both the king of France and the emperor endeavoured to subjugate it; but in spite of all it maintained its municipal liberties. Photo credit: W. M. Connolley

Sculpture by Henry Moore Sculpture by Henry Moore, Wednesday 6 October, 2004
Sculpture by Henry Moore, an influential 20th century sculptor who helped to introduce modernism. Best known for his abstract monumental bronzes, Moore's subjects are usually abstractions of the female figure, typically mother-and-child or reclining figures. Photo credit: Andrew Dunn

Hansom cab Hansom cab, Tuesday 5 October, 2004
A Hansom cab is a kind of horse- drawn carriage first designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from Leicestershire, England. Its purpose was to combine speed with safety, with a low center of gravity that was essential for safe cornering. The Hansom Cab was introduced to the United States during the late 19th century, and was most commonly used there in New York City. Photo credit: Andrew Dunn

Frogspawn Frogspawn, Monday October 4, 2004
In the life cycle of a frog, a female lays her eggs in a shallow pond or creek, where they will be sheltered from the current and from predators. The eggs, known as frogspawn hatch into tadpoles. The tadpoles develop gradually into adolescent froglets and finally the froglet develops into an adult frog. Photo credit: Tarquin

Bumblebee was reused on Sunday 3 October, 2004

Peppermint and Corsican mint plant was reused on Saturday 2 October, 2004

Villain was reused on Friday 1 October, 2004


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