Japanese actress Ryōko Hirosue is known for her role as Mika in the popular and award-winning 2008 film Departures (Japanese: おくりびと). The film's article is now featured.
This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 10 August through 17 August 2014. Anything in quotation marks is taken from the respective articles and lists; see their page histories for attribution.
The 18 Mahan-class destroyers(nominated by Pendright) earned 111 battle stars for their service in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. A few of them were devastated by the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941; six of them were ultimately lost in combat. In the South Pacific, some of them took part in campaigns to retake the Santa Cruz Islands, New Guinea, Guadalcanal, the Philippine Islands, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and others. [The nominator served aboard USS Mahan and Cone in World War II.]
Lost Luggage(nominated by Taylor Trescott) is a 1982 video game for the Atari 2600 in which pieces of luggage fall from a carousel, and the player has to catch them before they hit the ground. Reviewers criticized the game's similarity to the Activision game Kaboom!, believing Lost Luggage to be inferior. Programmer Ed Salvo was inspired to make the game when he was waiting for his luggage at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
California Chrome(nominated by Montanabw) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The chestnut-colored horse was named for his flashy white markings, called "chrome" by horse aficionados. As early as the Santa Anita Derby, dedicated fans—later called "Chromies"—actively supported California Chrome, who was called "the people's horse". He finished fourth in the 2014 Belmont Stakes after another horse at the start caused an injury to one of his heels that no one noticed until after the race.
Megadeth(nominated by Retrohead) is a Los Angeles thrash metal band, formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson. A pioneer of the American thrash metal scene, the band is credited as one of the genre's "big four" with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer. Megadeth plays in a technical style, featuring fast rhythm sections and complex arrangements; themes of death, war, politics and religion are prominent in the group's lyrics.
Portrait of a Young Girl(nominated by Ceoil and Johnbod) (between 1465 and 1470) is a small oil-on-oak panel painting by the Early Netherlandish painter Petrus Christus, now housed in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. The work is both a major stylistic advance in Christus' oeuvre and in that of contemporary portraiture. The subject is placed in an airy, three-dimensional and realistic setting, and stares out at the viewer with an expression that is reserved yet alert and intelligent. The painting is widely regarded as one of the most exquisite Northern Renaissance portraits.
Fluorine(nominated by Parcly Taxel) is a chemical element, and a highly toxic pale yellow diatomic gas (at standard conditions). As the most electronegative element, it is extremely reactive: almost all other elements, including some noble gases, form compounds with fluorine. Fluorite, the primary mineral source of fluorine, was first described in 1529; as it was added to metal ores to lower their melting points for smelting, the Latin verb fluo meaning "flow" became associated with it. Proposed as an element in 1810, fluorine proved difficult and dangerous to separate from its compounds, and several early experimenters died or sustained injuries from their attempts. Industrial synthesis of fluorine gas for uranium enrichment, its largest application, began during the Manhattan Project in World War II.
Development of Grand Theft Auto V, (nominated by CR4ZE) a video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, began in April 2008. The Rockstar Games development team conducted extensive field research in Southern California while creating the game's open world, set in and around Los Santos, a fictionalised depiction of Los Angeles. Grand Theft Auto V is the first game in the series that allows players to control three protagonists, to distinguish the game from its predecessors and let players explore the open world with fewer constraints. The team used motion capture to record the facial and body movements of the characters.
Departures(nominated by Crisco 1492 and Curly Turkey) is a 2008 Japanese drama film directed by Yōjirō Takita. The film follows a young man who stumbles across work as a nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. He is subjected to prejudice from those around him, including from his wife, because of strong social taboos against people who deal with death. Eventually he earns respect through the beauty and dignity of his work. In September 2008 the film opened in Japan, where it went on to win the Academy Prize for Picture of the Year and become the year's highest-grossing domestic film. In 2009, it became the first Japanese production to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The success of Departures led to tourist attractions at sites connected to the film and increased interest in encoffining ceremonies.
Katsudō Shashin(nominated by Curly Turkey) (between 1907 and 1911) is speculated to be the oldest work of animation in Japan, possibly predating the earliest displays there of Western animation. It was discovered in a home projector in Kyoto in 2005. The three-second film depicts a boy who writes "活動写真" (Moving Picture), removes his hat, and waves.
Kedok Ketawa(nominated by Crisco 1492) (The Laughing Mask) is a 1940 action film from the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Union Films' first production, it was directed by Jo An Djan. The film follows a young couple who fight off criminals with the help of a masked man. Advertised as an "Indonesian cocktail of violent actions ... and sweet romance", Kedok Ketawa received positive reviews, particularly for its cinematography. The film, screened until at least August 1944, may be lost.
Neurological diagram of the scallop Placopecten magellanicus
Neural system of a Placopecten magellanicus(created and nominated by KDS444 (a.k.a. KDS4444)) "Placopecten magellanicus, the Atlantic deep-sea scallop (previously known as Pecten tenuicostatus and as Pecten grandis and once referred to as the "giant scallop") is a commercially important pectinid bivalve mollusk native to the western Atlantic Ocean."
Glassy carbon(created and nominated by Alchemist-hp) "Glass-like carbon, often called glassy carbon or vitreous carbon, is a non-graphitizing carbon which combines glassy and ceramic properties with those of graphite. The most important properties are high temperature resistance, hardness (7 Mohs), low density, low electrical resistance, low friction, low thermal resistance, extreme resistance to chemical attack and impermeability to gases and liquids. Glassy carbon is widely used as an electrode material in electrochemistry, as well as for high temperature crucibles and as a component of some prosthetic devices, and can be fabricated as different shapes, sizes and sections. The names glassy carbon and vitreous carbon have been introduced as trademarks; therefore, IUPAC does not recommend their use as technical terms."
Modern color halftoning with CMYK separations(created by Slippens and Pbroks13; nominated by Crisco 1492) "Halftone is the reprographic technique that simulates continuous tone imagery through the use of dots, varying either in size, in shape or in spacing, thus generating a gradient like effect. "Halftone" can also be used to refer specifically to the image that is produced by this process. Where continuous tone imagery contains an infinite range of colors or greys, the halftone process reduces visual reproductions to an image that is printed with only one color of ink, in dots of differing size. This reproduction relies on a basic optical illusion—that these tiny halftone dots are blended into smooth tones by the human eye. At a microscopic level, developed black-and-white photographic film also consists of only two colors, and not an infinite range of continuous tones. For details, see film grain. Just as color photography evolved with the addition of filters and film layers, color printing is made possible by repeating the halftone process for each subtractive color—most commonly using what is called the "CMYK color model". The semi-opaque property of ink allows halftone dots of different colors to create another optical effect—full-color imagery."
A sample of glassy carbon next to a 1 cm3 graphite cube