Featured picture Choice of the week: the common warthog Phacochoerus africanus, a dangerous and intimidating animal, photographed from the rooftop of a safari vehicle (see the judge's reasons at the bottom).
Featured article Choice of the week, Fridtjof Nansen. Having stopped for repairs at the remote Arctic Cape Flora in 1896, Nansen heard the sounds of dogs and human voices, and went to investigate. The extraordinary chance meeting of two explorers was then photographed.
Trafford Park (nom), the world's first industrial estate, and still the largest in Europe. This former deer park became one of the most important engineering complexes in Britain. (nominated by Parrot of Doom and MalleusFatuorum).
Armero tragedy (nom), the second-deadliest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, in 1985, which caught nearby towns in Colombia unaware, despite warnings to the government some three months before (ceranthor).
Shield nickel (nom), the first actual "nickel" (five-cent coin), struck from the same copper-nickel alloy used today. The design had a troubled 17-year life before its replacement (Wehwalt).
Fridtjof Nansen (nom), described by nominator Brianboulton as "one of the most significant European figures of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sportsman, scientist, explorer, diplomat, statesman, Nobel laureate – a giant of his times, a story well worth the telling." (Choice of the week, picture at right)
Pig-faced women (nom). We leave readers to ponder this excerpt: "Once shaved, the drunken bear would be fitted with padded artificial breasts, and dressed in women's clothing and a wig" (iridescent) (picture at right).
Ambrose Rookwood (nom), somewhat showy individual, one of the conspirators in the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. Nominator Parrot of Doom says the story deserves telling "if only to highlight how naive he was to have thought that it could ever have worked."
Rivadavia class battleship (nom), two ships which were constantly entangled in drama before they were even put into service, but were quickly forgotten and made obsolete. (Ed).
Battle of Gonzales (nom). Readers might at first be puzzled that "one side took time out from firing their weapons to eat watermelon. The other side were under orders not to fight and went home", according to nominator Karanacs' teaser.
My three finalists were all great: one comparatively well-known (Fridtjof Nansen), one comparatively obscure (Trafford Park), and one probably almost unknown in the Anglophone world, (Honório Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná). In the end, while I laud the fabulous work casting light on those lesser-known stories, I chose the gripping telling and excellent illustration of Nansen's remarkable life. Plus he has a smouldering sexy look in the lead photo.
Choice of the week. We asked FL nominator and reviewer Sandman888 for their choice of the best (disregarding their own, of course):
"I picked List of Commando raids on the Atlantic wall as my choice of the week. Not only does it tell an interesting story of World War II and how the British Commandos had a string of operations in France and Norway, but its gallery of live shots enhances the visual appeal.
Siberian War: Blagoveshchensk (nom). Nominator Adam Cuerden said, "a fine illustration of a largely forgotten aspect of the Russian Revolution: the attempt to stop it. I also like seeing Japanese work of this period, [probably] period where their art is most affected by Western styles." He noted the dynamism of the slightly off-kilter angles, and its bright, luxuriant colours (created by Shobido & Co, Tokyo).
Ego Likeness (nom), a publicity shot of an American darkwave/industrial rock band, created by Kyle Cassidy who according to nominator J Milburn would "love for me to nominate it here. If you're interested to know what they sound like (and it may not be to everyone's taste) they have a a load of videos on YouTube".
Intricate aerial naval exercise (nom), a spectacular aerial shot of an intricate naval manoeuvre (created by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Miguel Angel Contreras of the US Navy).
When I watched the Lion King films, Pumbaa the warthog looked quite cute; but little did I know that in reality a warthog was so hairy and intimidating. I was surprised to learn that a female can inflict mortal wounds to a lion to defend her piglets. I had recently been to the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and I understand the difficulty of taking a picture like this one. Holding a 1.4 kg lens attached to a heavy SLR and taking a sharp, well-focused picture from the rooftop of a safari vehicle is a real feat. The sharply focused animal adds encyclopedic value by showing the typical surroundings of the animal. The slightly out-of-focus background and foreground elements also draw the reader's eyes to the magnificent beast. I have seen very few pictures of this kind, and so it is my choice of the week. [picture at top]