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Tropical Storm Zelda

Tropical Storm Zelda was the last tropical cyclone of the 1991 Pacific typhoon season. The area of low pressure that became Zelda formed near the International Date Line, and became a tropical depression on November 27, 1991. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that it had reached tropical storm intensity near the Marshall Islands on November 28. According to the JTWC, the storm strengthened to 65 knots (120 km/h; 75 mph), equivalent to a Category 1 on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, on November 29, and reached a peak of 80 kn (150 km/h; 90 mph). According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, it had a barometric pressure of 975 hectopascals (28.8 inHg). Zelda weakened into a tropical storm on December 2, and then a tropical depression two days later. It caused significant damage in the Marshall Islands, but no deaths or injuries were reported. Later in December, U.S. president George H. W. Bush declared the storm to be a major disaster, allowing the FEMA to assist. (Full article...)

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Ida Hunt Udall
Ida Hunt Udall

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Jiang Zemin in 2002
Jiang Zemin

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December 2

The Battle of Austerlitz, 2nd December 1805 by François Gérard
The Battle of Austerlitz, 2nd December 1805 by François Gérard
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Monzambano, a Goito-class cruiser
Monzambano, a Goito-class cruiser

A series of torpedo cruisers was built between the 1870s and the 1890s by the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy) as part of a program intended to strengthen the fleet during a period of limited naval budgets. Six different classes, comprising eighteen torpedo cruisers, were constructed. The first vessel, Pietro Micca, was laid down in 1875, and was one of the first torpedo cruisers built by any navy. She proved to be a disappointment in service, being too slow to be an effective warship. Pietro Micca was followed by the more successful design, Tripoli, which provided the basis for the four Goito-class cruisers (example pictured) and the eight-vessel Partenope class. Most of the Italian torpedo cruisers served during the relatively uneventful 1880s, 1890s, and 1900s, and as a result, saw little activity outside of routine training operations. By the early 1900s, many of the cruisers had been reduced to subsidiary roles or had been discarded outright. A handful of vessels, specifically of the Partenope and Agordat classes, were still in front-line service by the time of the Italo-Turkish War in 1911–1912. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Bézier curve

A Bézier curve is a parametric curve used in computer graphics and related fields. The curve, which is related to the Bernstein polynomial, is named after Pierre Bézier, who used it in the 1960s for designing curves for the bodywork of Renault cars. Other uses include the design of computer fonts and animation. Bézier curves can be combined to form a Bézier spline, or generalized to higher dimensions to form Bézier surfaces.

Image credit: Phil Tregoning

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