This week's "Featured content" covers Sunday 13 – Saturday 19 November
The Napoleonic Wars (nom) were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to the application of modern mass conscription. The portal includes rotations of selected battles, pictures, and biographies. pictures above and at the bottom
Good looks will get you a long way: an Australian Cattle Dog shows the breed's typical alert expression, from the new featured article.
Four articles were promoted to featured status:
Australian cattle dog (nom), a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia for driving cattle over long distances across rough terrain. A medium-sized, short-coated dog, it has either brown or black hair distributed fairly evenly through a white coat, which gives the appearance of a "red" or "blue" dog. It has been nicknamed red heeler and blue heeler on the basis of this colouring and its practice of moving reluctant cattle by nipping at their heels. Mdk572 coordinated the work of many editors in preparing the article, and shepherded it through the FAC process. The Signpost asked her how she became interested in the breed:
- "I grew up on a cattle station in central Queensland in the north-eastern part of the continent, and Australian cattle dogs have always been part of my life. Over the years I've collected all of the books, articles and pamphlets on the breed that I stumbled across or could search out.
- "Robert Kaleski was influential in establishing the breed, but many of his explanations of breed characteristics are not supported by modern science. His theories continue to be circulated as fact, so researching the article involved cross-checking all published information against independent sources; this involved topics as apparently disparate as the history of the Hunter Valley and the canine genome project.
- "Contributing to the article gave me a new understanding of Kaleski; self-schooled in a Sydney library in his teens, he was a thinker, writer, inventor, and environmentalist, and like me a fan of the Australian cattle dog."
Amundsen's South Pole expedition (nom). Nominator Brianboulton says, "Almost 100 years ago a team of Norwegian explorers led by Roald Amundsen became the first to reach the South Pole, narrowly preceding a British expedition led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen's party returned safely, Scott's men died on their return journey. This tragedy overshadowed Amundsen's achievement for decades; many thought that he had stolen an unfair march on Scott by being less than honest about his expedition's objectives. Here is the story of his expedition".
Epsilon Eridani (nom), a star with an orange hue only 10.5 light years away – the third closest of the individual stars or star systems visible to the naked eye and the closest star known to host a planet. Its age is estimated at less than a billion years, compared with the Sun's 5 billion years. Despite being smaller and less massive than Sol, its stellar winds are up to 30 times stronger. (RJHall)
Persoonia lanceolata (nom), created and expanded by Casliber. Commonly known as lance-leaf geebung, it is a shrub native to the mid-eastern region of the Australian continent. The plant lives in sandstone-based nutrient-deficient soil in the dry sclerophyll forest. After a fire, it can regenerate itself using seed banks stored on the ground.
One list was promoted: Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children (nom) (nominated by Albacore). This is an honour presented at the Grammy Awards – a ceremony that was established in 1958 and was originally called the Gramophone Awards – to recording artists for works containing quality "spoken word" performances aimed at children. Among the recipients are former US President Bill Clinton, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and actor Sophia Loren, for their work on the album Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf. The award was given to Audrey Hepburn in 1994, just after her death. By coincidence, a famous image of the actor was promoted to featured status this week. picture at right
A new featured picture by Wikimedian High Contrast
of the 8th-century Qasr Kharana
, one of the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan
Three images were promoted. Please click on "nom" to view medium-sized images:
Audrey Hepburn (nom; related article) (1929–93), the great British actor in her 20s, by an unknown photographer. This was a publicity shot for the 1957 film Love in the Afternoon. As nominator J Milburn said, "a striking photo of a striking woman". picture at right
Qasr Kharana in Jordan (nom; related article), close to the border with Saudi Arabia. It is believed to have been built sometime before the early 8th century, and is one of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in the region. Reviewer Materialscientist wrote that this is a "remote historical jewel". Its purpose remains unclear today. "Castle" is a misnomer as the building's internal arrangement does not suggest a military use, and slits in its wall could not have been designed as balistraria, or arrow slits. It could have been a caravanserai or a resting place for traders, but lacks the water source such buildings usually had close by and is not on a major trade route. It is well-preserved, whatever its original use. The photographer, Wikimedian High Contrast, took this picture in 2009.
Patrouille de France (nom; related article), the French Acrobatic Patrol, is the precision aerobatic demonstration team of the French Air Force. Established in 1931, it is one of the world's oldest and most skilled demonstration teams, and is noted for the presence of women in the team of pilots. In this image, the pilots are captured flying the Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet in full formation. (created by Wikimedian Łukasz Golowanow).
How war has changed. This painting by Elizabeth Thompson
, who achieved fame for her paintings of military battle scenes at the end of that tradition, is from the new featured portal, Napoleonic Wars
. The painting depicts the Battle of Quatre Bras, showing British redcoats in an infantry square formation while defending against French cavalry attacks.