Wikipedia:WikiProject Quality Article Improvement/TFA

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TFA collected suggestions for Today's Featured article. Some requests were made before at WP:TFAR but reserved here for later.

As of April 2014, you can create nominations using a template, therefore this page is good for history and transition. Templates should be linked on the QAI main page. Planned requests can be found in Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/pending.

TFA[edit]

Any date[edit]

Banker horse[edit]

Banker horses on Corolla Island
The Banker horse is a feral horse living on the islands of North Carolina's Outer Banks. It is small, hardy, and has a docile temperament. Descended from domesticated Spanish horses possibly brought to the Americas in the 16th century, the foundation bloodstock may have become feral after surviving shipwrecks or being abandoned on the islands by exploratory expeditions. Populations are found on Ocracoke Island, Shackleford Banks, Currituck Banks, and in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Sanctuary. Although they are not considered to be indigenous to the islands, Bankers are allowed to remain because of their historical significance. They survive by grazing marsh grasses, which supply them with water as well as food, supplemented by temporary freshwater pools. The horses are managed by the National Park Service, the State of North Carolina, and several private organizations. The horses are monitored for diseases and safeguarded from traffic on North Carolina Highway 12. Island populations are limited by adoptions and by birth control. Bankers taken from the wild and trained have been used for trail riding, driving, and occasionally for mounted patrols. (Full article...)

9 August[edit]

Burials at the Volkovo cemetery
The Leningrad première of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 occurred on 9 August 1942 during the Second World War, while the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was under siege by Nazi German forces (pictured). Dmitri Shostakovich had intended for the piece to be premièred by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, but because of the siege that group was evacuated from the city. The world première of the symphony was held in Kuibyshev with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. The Leningrad première was performed by the surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, supplemented with military performers. Most of the musicians were starving, they frequently collapsed during rehearsals, and three died. The orchestra was able to play the symphony all the way through only once before the concert. The concert was highly successful, prompting an hour-long ovation. It was supported by a Soviet military offensive, code-named Squall, intended to silence German forces during the performance. The symphony was broadcast to the German lines by loudspeaker as a form of psychological warfare. The Leningrad première was considered by music critics to be one of the most important artistic performances of the war because of its psychological and political effects. The conductor concluded that "in that moment, we triumphed over the soulless Nazi war machine". (Full article...)

31 October 2014[edit]

Grace Sherwood[edit]

Pungo, Virginia

Grace Sherwood (c. 1660 – c. 1740), called the Witch of Pungo, is the last person known to have been convicted of witchcraft in Virginia. A farmer, healer, and midwife, she was charged with witchcraft several times. In 1706, she was accused of bewitching Elizabeth Hill, causing Hill to miscarry. The court ordered that Sherwood's guilt or innocence be determined by ducking her in water. If she sank, she was innocent; if she did not, she was guilty. Sherwood floated to the surface and may subsequently have spent up to eight years in jail before being released. Freed from prison by 1714, she recovered her property from Princess Anne County, after which she lived on her farm in Pungo until her death at the age of about 80. On July 10, 2006, the 300th anniversary of Sherwood's conviction, Governor Tim Kaine restored her good name, recognizing that her case was a miscarriage of justice. A statue depicting her was erected in Virginia Beach, close to the site of the colonial courthouse where she was tried. (Full article...)

  • 2 pts for no alleged witch article in 6 months (that I could find), plus excellent date tie-in for Halloween. While anyone here three years ago knows it was on the MP briefly, it was not for long and this is a unique case. There is precedent for articles being on the MP more than once--and full runs, such as Transit of Venus (TFA 2X, OTD 8X). Please judge it on the current version PumpkinSky talk 01:12, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

1 December 2014[edit]

Carsten Borchgrevink[edit]

Carsten Borchgrevink
Carsten Borchgrevink (1864–1934) was an Anglo-Norwegian polar explorer and a pioneer of modern Antarctic travel. He was the precursor of Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen and other more famous names associated with the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He began his exploring career in 1894 by joining a Norwegian whaling expedition, from which he brought back a collection of the first specimens of vegetable life within the Antarctic Circle. In 1898–1900 Borchgrevink led the British-financed Southern Cross Expedition, which in 1899 became the first to overwinter on the Antarctic mainland and the first to visit the Great Ice Barrier since the expedition of Sir James Ross nearly sixty years previously. Borchgrevink's colleagues were critical of his leadership, and his own accounts of the expedition were regarded as journalistic and unreliable. Borchgrevink was one of three scientists sent to the Caribbean in 1902 by the National Geographic Society, to report on the aftermath of the Mount Pelée disaster. Thereafter he settled in Oslo, away from public attention. In 1930 Britain's Royal Geographical Society finally acknowledged Borchgrevink's contribution to polar exploration and awarded him its Patron's Medal. (Full article...)

150th birthday in 2014 --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:29, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Not ready[edit]

USS Iowa (BB-61)[edit]

USS Iowa (BB-61)
USS Iowa (BB-61) was the last lead ship of any class of United States battleships, and the fourth in the United States Navy with that name. The only ship of her class to serve in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Casablanca en route to a crucial 1943 meeting in Tehran with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. In 1944, Iowa shelled beachheads at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in advance of Allied amphibious landings and screened aircraft carriers operating in the Marshall Islands. She also served as the Third Fleet flagship, flying Adm. William F. Halsey's flag at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. During the Korean War, Iowa was involved in raids on the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets. She was reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets until her final decommissioning on 26 October 1990. Iowa was donated to the Los Angeles-based non-profit Pacific Battleship Center and was permanently moved to the Port of Los Angeles in the summer of 2012 to serve as a museum and memorial to battleships. (Full article...)
  • Parked here to save the blurb; article still needs more work. -- Dianna (talk) 18:43, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Eris (dwarf planet)[edit]

Eris and Dysnomia
Eris is a dwarf planet. Formally designated 136199 Eris, it is the most massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth most massive body known to orbit the Sun directly. It is estimated to be 2326 (±12) km in diameter, and 27% more massive than Pluto, or about 0.27% of the Earth's mass. Eris was discovered in January 2005 by a Palomar Observatory-based team led by Mike Brown, and its identity was verified later that year. It has one known moon, Dysnomia. With the exception of some comets, Eris and Dysnomia are currently the most distant known natural objects in the Solar System. Because Eris appeared to be larger than Pluto, its discoverers and NASA initially described it as the Solar System’s tenth planet. This, along with the prospect of other similarly sized objects being discovered in the future, motivated the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term planet for the first time. (Full article...)

8 January 2015[edit]

Stephen Hawking[edit]

no FA

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking (born 1942) is a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. His significant scientific works to date have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on theorems on gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. Subsequently, he became research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. Hawking has a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years. He is now almost entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. (Full article...)

9 April 2015[edit]

no FA

Jenna Jameson is an American entrepreneur and pornographic actress, who has been called the world's most famous adult-entertainment performer and "The Queen of Porn". She started acting in erotic videos in 1993 after having worked as a stripper and glamour model. By 1996, she had won the "top newcomer" award from each of the three major adult movie organizations. She has since won more than 20 adult video awards, and has been inducted into both the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) and Adult Video News (AVN) Halls of Fame. Jameson founded the adult-entertainment company ClubJenna in 2000 with Jay Grdina, whom she later married and divorced. Initially a single website, this business expanded into managing similar websites of other stars and began producing sexually explicit videos in 2001. The first such movie, Briana Loves Jenna (with Briana Banks), was named at the 2003 AVN Awards as the best-selling and best-renting pornographic title for 2002. By 2005, ClubJenna had revenues of US$30 million with profits estimated at half that. Advertisements for her site and films, often bearing her picture, have towered on a 48-foot-tall billboard in New York City's Times Square.

(Full article...)

Examples of free style[edit]

Reception history of Jane Austen[edit]

This article appeared as TFA on 28 January 2013.

watercolour sketch of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra (c. 1804)

The reception history of Jane Austen follows a path from modest fame to wild popularity; her novels are both the subject of intense scholarly study and the centre of a diverse fan culture. Jane Austen, the author of such works as Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Emma (1815), has become one of the best-known and widely read novelists in the English language. During her lifetime, Austen's novels brought her little personal fame; like many women writers, she chose to publish anonymously and it was only among members of the aristocracy that her authorship was an open secret. At the time they were published, Austen's works were considered fashionable by members of high society but received few positive reviews. By the mid-19th century, her novels were admired by members of the literary elite who viewed their appreciation of her works as a mark of cultivation. By the turn of the 20th century, competing groups had sprung up—some to worship her and some to defend her from the "teeming masses"—but all claiming to be the true Janeites, or those who properly appreciated Austen. It was not until the 1940s that Austen was widely accepted in academia as a "great English novelist". The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship, which explored numerous aspects of her works: artistic, ideological, and historical. As of the early 21st century, Austen fandom supports an industry of printed sequels and prequels as well as television and film adaptations, which started with the 1940 Pride and Prejudice and evolved to include the 2004 Bollywood-style production Bride and Prejudice. (more ...)

Stephen Crane[edit]

This article appeared as TFA on 5 June 2013.

Formal portrait of Stephen Crane taken in Washington, D.C., about March 1896

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. Crane's first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. He won international acclaim for his 1895 Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, written without any battle experience. Late that year he accepted an offer to cover the Spanish-American War as a war correspondent. As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida for passage to Cuba, he met Cora Taylor, the madam of a brothel, with whom he would have a lasting relationship. Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis at the age of 28. Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, Crane is also known for short stories such as "The Open Boat", "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", and The Monster. Stylistically, his works are characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation. His writing made a deep impression on 20th century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists. (more ...)