From today's featured article
"Last Gasp" is the fourth episode of the first series of the British black comedy anthology television programme Inside No. 9. It first aired on 26 February 2014 on BBC Two. Written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the story revolves around the birthday of the severely ill Tamsin—played by Lucy Hutchinson—whose parents arrange for the singer Frankie J Parsons (David Bedella) to visit their daughter through the charity WishmakerUK. Frankie dies after blowing up a balloon, leading to arguments between Tamsin's father (Pemberton), the WishmakerUK representative Sally (Tamsin Greig, pictured), and Frankie's assistant Si (Adam Deacon) over the now-valuable balloon containing Frankie's last breath. The story was inspired by someone Pemberton had seen on Swap Shop who collected air from different places. The episode is a morality tale that satirizes and critiques celebrity culture. Pemberton subsequently sold a balloon containing his breath on eBay, with proceeds going to a Sport Relief charity. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Ingushetia is often called the "land of towers" after the Ingush towers (examples pictured), unique medieval monuments found throughout the region?
- ... that the album Something Like This by Ben Rector debuted at number one on iTunes' singer-songwriter album chart five minutes after its release?
- ... that Maria Leshern von Herzfeld helped to organise the prison escape of the Russian revolutionary Peter Kropotkin?
- ... that the Boundary Fire burned 17,788 acres (7,199 ha) of the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests in Arizona?
- ... that Valentine Strudwick enlisted to serve in the First World War at 14 years old?
- ... that The Seoul Press was an English-language newspaper created to justify Japan's colonial rule of Korea?
- ... that archaeologist Karl Frederik Kinch identified the location of Stagira, the hometown of Aristotle?
- ... that the US federal government's "checking account" held more than $800 billion at the beginning of February 2024?
In the news
- The Odysseus robotic lander (pictured) of the IM-1 mission performs the first commercial soft landing on the Moon.
- At the British Academy Film Awards, Oppenheimer wins Best Film and six other awards.
- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in a corrective labor colony near Kharp, at the age of 47.
- In American football, the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers to win the Super Bowl.
On this day
- 747 BC – According to Ptolemy, the reign of the Babylonian king Nabonassar (name in Akkadian pictured) began, marking a new era characterized by the systematic maintenance of chronologically precise historical records.
- 1914 – RMS Britannic, the third and largest Olympic-class ocean liner of the White Star Line after RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, was launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
- 1979 – The Superliner railcar entered revenue service with Amtrak.
- 2014 – Former editor-in-chief of Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao Kevin Lau was stabbed, prompting concerns and protests about media freedom.
From today's featured list
There have been 137 five-wicket hauls taken by 121 different players in Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket. A T20I is an international cricket match between two teams, each having T20I status, as determined by the International Cricket Council, the sport's world governing body. A five-wicket haul refers to a bowler taking five or more wickets in a single innings. This is regarded as a notable achievement, especially in the Twenty20 format, as bowlers can bowl no more than four overs in an innings. The first five-wicket haul in a T20I match was taken by Pakistan's Umar Gul (pictured) while playing against New Zealand at The Oval during the 2009 ICC World Twenty20. Five bowlers have taken a five-wicket haul on T20I debut. Tanzania's Yalinde Nkanya has taken the most economical five-wicket haul with an economy rate of just 0.50. He ended with the figures of 5/2 in 4 overs. (Full list...)
Today's featured picture
The Grands Boulevards is an oil on canvas painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painted in 1875. The painting illustrates a busy Paris boulevard, showing the effects of the recent renovation of the city by Georges-Eugène Haussmann. It depicts a wide, paved street with a large concrete building to the right of the painting. The influence of impressionism on Renoir can be seen in the painting through the short brush strokes and a seemingly out of focus view. The work is now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Painting credit: Pierre-Auguste Renoir