From today's featured article
Prince Octavius of Great Britain (1779–1783) was the thirteenth child and eighth son of King George III and his queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. King George and Queen Charlotte were much more involved in rearing their fifteen children than was usual for aristocratic parents of the time. George was extremely devoted to Octavius, who was too young to cause the kinds of trouble that his elder brothers did by this time. Contemporary accounts describe Octavius as having a sweet nature, and being particularly close to his sister Sophia. Six months after the death of his younger brother Prince Alfred, Octavius was inoculated against the smallpox virus. He became ill and died several days later. His death at the age of four devastated his parents, and in particular his father. King George III had been very fond of his two youngest sons, Alfred and Octavius, and his later bouts of madness involved hallucinations of the two dead princes. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that male Dendropsophus branneri frogs (example pictured) have a special "fighting call" reserved for combat with other males?
- ... that while serving as his party's regional leader in Oruro, Franz Choque simultaneously worked as an importer to make ends meet?
- ... that Mardi Gras Hangover was marketed as a "loop coaster", but was criticized for lacking the characteristics of a roller coaster?
- ... that Hanthawaddy royal Bya Kun fought for Ava against his enemy King Razadarit in the Forty Years' War?
- ... that The Inland Whale, by Theodora Kroeber, sought to demonstrate the literary merit of Indigenous American oral traditions?
- ... that the Liverpool Echo described British rock and roll star Tommy Steele as "quite unable to sing and play the guitar at the same time" when reviewing his first album?
- ... that linebacker Carlton Martial, who recently broke a college football record for the most tackles, began his career as a walk-on?
- ... that the Golden Mirror, a Qing-dynasty medical text, contains a "one-page array of 24 anuses"?
In the news
- Jiang Zemin (pictured), former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, dies at the age of 96.
- A deadly fire in Ürümqi escalates ongoing protests across China in response to the government's zero-COVID policy.
- Anwar Ibrahim of the Pakatan Harapan coalition becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia after the general election produces the nation's first hung parliament.
- An earthquake centred near Cianjur in Indonesia's West Java kills at least 323 people and injures more than 7,000 others.
On this day
- 1577 – Francis Walsingham (pictured), Elizabeth I of England's principal secretary and spymaster, was knighted.
- 1822 – Pedro I was crowned the first emperor of Brazil, seven weeks after his reign began on his 24th birthday.
- 1941 – The Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, was founded.
- 1991 – A referendum held to ratify the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine passed with more than 92 percent of the vote.
Today's featured picture
The red-bellied piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri), also known as the red piranha, is a species of piranha native to South America, found in the Amazon, Paraguay, Paraná and Essequibo basins, as well as the coastal rivers of northeastern Brazil. They are omnivorous foragers and feed on insects, worms, crustaceans, and fish. Red-bellied piranhas often travel in shoals as a predatory defense but rarely exhibit group hunting behavior. Acoustic communication is common and is sometimes exhibited along with aggressive behaviors. They are also often kept as an aquarium species. This fish was photographed at Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany.
Photograph credit: H. Zell