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St. Elmo is a 1914 American silent drama film produced by the Balboa Amusement Producing Company and distributed by William Fox's Box Office Attractions Company. It was the first feature-length film adaptation of Augusta Jane Evans's 1866 novel of the same name. The story follows the life of the title character (played by William Jossey), who kills his cousin (Francis McDonald) over the love of Agnes (Madeline Pardee), falls from grace, and eventually finds redemption and love with Edna (Gypsy Abbott). It is disputed who directed the film; many sources credit Bertram Bracken, while others list St. Elmo as J. Gordon Edwards's directorial debut. Some reviewers praised the scenery and overall production quality, considering the film an improvement over stage adaptations of the novel. Others found the scenery irrelevant and the story confusing. Despite mixed reviews, the film was financially successful, reportedly setting box office records. The following year, a film adaptation of an unrelated Evans novel, Beulah, was marketed as a sequel. As with most Balboa films, St. Elmo is now believed lost. (Full article...)

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The flag of Trenton, Georgia
The flag of Trenton, Georgia

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Model of the Schiaparelli lander
Model of the Schiaparelli lander

On this day...

October 28: Feast days of Simon the Zealot and Jude the Apostle (Western Christianity)

Prospero satellite
Prospero satellite
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Manitoba Legislature in downtown Winnipeg
Manitoba Legislature in downtown Winnipeg

Manitoba's 137 municipalities cover 20% of the Canadian province's land mass yet are home to 94% of its population. Manitoba is the fifth most populous province in Canada with 1,208,268 residents as of 2011 and is the sixth largest in land area at approximately 552,000 km2 (213,000 sq mi). A municipality in Manitoba is "a municipality that is continued or formed under" the Municipal Act, which was enacted in 1996. These municipalities provide local government services to their residents. The Local Government Districts Act, enacted in 1987, allows the formation of local government districts as another municipality type. Of the 137 municipalities, 37 are urban municipalities (10 cities, 25 towns and 2 villages), 98 are rural municipalities and 2 are local government districts. Over half of Manitoba's population resides in the City of Winnipeg (Manitoba Legislature pictured), the provincial capital, with a population of 663,617. Manitoba's first municipality was the RM of Springfield (originally Springfield-Sunnyside). Winnipeg was incorporated as a city a few weeks later, on November 8, 1873. (Full list...)

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King vulture

A portrait of a king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) at Walsrode Bird Park, Germany. This species of vulture lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. Though its ruff, flight, and tail feathers are gray to black, the king vulture's head and neck are bald and with varying skin color.

Photograph: Olaf Oliviero Riemer

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