Although 2012 regrettably saw several periods with little progress, with the welcome return of GamerPro64 we have seen several interesting topics promoted—in addition to the usual Wikipedia strong points of numismatics, military history and meteorology, the year has also been a strong one for music with topics promoted featuring a mezzo-soprano wunderkind and an Indonesian legend. Sport saw a strong showing, too, with both baseball and motorcycle racing seeing hugely comprehensive topics put through, which reflect the ability of FT to showcase vast spans of knowledge in surprisingly deep chunks. My personal favourite of our 2012 topics was also the year's least—a topic on the Armero tragedy reminded me that there's still room to encapsulate subjects that are entirely new to the process, and to use the idea of a topic to explore an event rather than something that obviously lends itself to the process like a series of lists or a serried history.
2012 was admittedly a slow year for both myself and Featured Topics. From my near-four-month vacation from the site to having delegates come and go, it was unfortunate that only twelve were promoted. But the ones that were promoted have shown hard work accomplished by the editors. Examples like Nickels of the United States and the Nebula Award topic had their respective articles and lists promoted by a single editor, which itself is a feat worth a congratulations. But the one topic I've been fascinated with since I came back is Chrisye, since its main article is in itself an interesting read. So for this year I hope that there will be an increase in Featured Topics and increased interest in the content.
James Bryant Conant (nom), by Hawkeye7. Conant (1893–1978) was a chemist, a transformative President of Harvard University, and the first U.S. Ambassador to West Germany. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he began work as a researcher and educator. By age 36 he had become a professor at Harvard University; four years later, he became its president, and began instituting reformist policies. He did research for the US government, including on the atom bomb, during World War II, and afterwards served as an ambassador.
John F. Bolt (nom), by Ed!. Bolt (1921–2004) was a US Marine Corps aviator and a decorated flying ace. Born to a poor family, he enrolled with the Marines after dropping out of college in 1941. He saw action in World War II in the Pacific, shooting down six enemy aircraft. In the Korean War, he downed another six enemy aircraft while serving as a flight leader. After the wars, Bolt continued to advise the military.
Maus (nom), by Curly Turkey. Maus is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, the first of its kind both to win a Pulitzer prize and receive academic attention. It depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, depicting each race as a different kind of animal. It was serialized from 1980 until 1991 as an insert in the magazine Raw.
Highway 61 Revisited (nom), by Mick gold and Moisejp. Highway 61 Revisited is a critically acclaimed 1965 rock album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. It was named after a highway near the singer's place of birth. Highway 61 Revisited reached the top ten in both the US and UK, and Dylan has continued to perform songs from the album. Rolling Stone ranked it fourth on their list of the Greatest Albums of All Time.
HMS Tiger (1913) (nom), by Sturmvogel 66. HMS Tiger was a battlecruiser of the Royal Navy during World War I. Described by Sir John Keegan as "certainly the most beautiful warship in the world then, and perhaps ever", the ship was launched in 1913. She first saw combat at the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915, while still in shakedown. In 1931 she was decommissioned and sold for scrap the following year.
Skye (nom), by Ben MacDui. Skye is a large and northerly island in Scotland. Inhabited since the Mesolithic period, as of 2003 it has a population of 9,232, with Portree as its largest settlement. The island, which radiates out from the Cuillins, is known for its tourism, agriculture, fishing and whisky-distilling and is accessible from mainland Scotland by bridge. It has abundant wildlife and a mild, wet and windy climate.
Columbian half dollar (nom), by Wehwalt. The Columbian half dollar is the first American commemorative coin and the first domestic coin to depict a historical person, Christopher Columbus. Issued by the Bureau of the Mint in 1892 and 1893, it was meant to raise funds for the World's Columbian Exposition and commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' trip to the New World. Some five million were struck, half of which were melted afterwards.
List of U.S. National Forests (nom), by Fredlyfish4. The United States has 155 National Forests, protected areas managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The first such forest was established in 1891, while the most recent was in 1983. Only ten US states have no National Forest.
Justin Timberlake videography (nom), by Tomica. The American entertainer Justin Timberlake has appeared in some 25 music videos (including guest roles), 4 video albums, and 17 film appearances, several in commercially successful films.
Seventeen featured pictures were promoted this week:
Wulingyuan (nom; related article), created by Chensiyuan and nominated by Tomer T. Wulingyuan is an area in Hunan Province, China, noted for its tall quartzite sandstone pillars. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Narbonne Cathedral (nom; related article), created by Benh and nominated by Elekhh. Narbonne Cathedral is an unfinished former cathedral which was started in 1272, became a bishop's seat, and was declared a minor basilica in 1886.
Pickett's Charge (nom; related article), created by Thure de Thulstrup, restored and nominated by Adam Cuerden. Pickett's Charge was an infantry assault during the American Civil War. It was ordered by Robert E. Lee against Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg and proved to be a debacle.
Roadkill (nom; related article), created by Jjron and nominated by Elekhh. Roadkill is an animal or animals that have been struck and killed by motor vehicles. The animal shown in this picture is a deer, killed in South Carolina, US.
Mute Swan (nom; related article), by Geni. The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a species of bird native to parts of Europe and Asia which is less vocal than other swans. The large swan was first described in 1789 and is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the bill.
Lar gibbon (nom; related article), by JJ Harrison. The lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) is a primate from southeast Asia which feeds mostly on fruit. Although it is classified as "Endangered", it is commonly seen in zoos.
Pin-tailed Snipe (nom; related article), by JJ Harrison. The Pin-tailed Snipe (Gallinago stenura) is a migratory bird native to Asia. It feeds mainly on insects and earthworms and nests in a well-hidden location on the ground.
Starburst in NGC 4449 (nom; related article), created by NASA, ESA, A. Aloisi (STScI/ESA), and The Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and nominated by Pine. NGC 4449 is an irregular galaxy which is considered a starburst galaxy due to its high rate of star formation.
Loligo forbesii (nom; related article), created by Comingio Merculiano, restored by Citron, and nominated by Ceranthor. Loligo forbesii is a commercially important species of squid which can grow up to 90 centimetres (35 in) in length. Its lifespan averages five years.