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This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 8 to 14 February, 2015. Descriptions may be based on or quoted from the respective articles or nominations; see their page histories for attribution.
The Trinity nuclear test, 16 milliseconds after explosion. 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
The Japanese version of the Sega Saturn, because I'm tired of black boxes when we feature images of video game consoles.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within(nominated by Freikorp) A relatively early 3D-animated film which attempted to make the leap to photorealism, Square Pictures rendered the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within using some of the most advanced processing capabilities available for film animation at the time. A render farm consisting of 960 workstations was tasked with rendering each of the film's 141,964 frames, and a staff of 200 and about four years labored towards its completion. Square intended to make the character of Aki Ross into the world's first photorealistic computer-animated actress, with plans for appearances in multiple films in different roles. However, all this technical achievement also made it a very expensive film, so Square Pictures was unable to make back the money put into it, leading to its demise. The plot follows scientists Aki Ross and Doctor Sid in their efforts to free a post-apocalyptic Earth from a mysterious and deadly alien race known as the Phantoms, who have driven the remnants of humanity into "barrier cities".
Interstate 8(nominated by Rschen7754) A road from San Diego, California to Casa Grande, Arizona, Interstate 8, like much of the American interstate system, expands on previous roads. Mobster Jimmy Fratianno was involved in the construction of the El Centro section, and was convicted of fraud, public utility and labour violations, withholding wages from the truckers he employed, and damaging roads with overloaded trucks. The Arizona State government, meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, was found guilty by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee of financial mismanagement in their hiring of contractors, failing to protect the public interest while doing so, and leading to numerous errors in construction. In other words, a surprising article, full of juicy scandals.
Girl Pat (1935 trawler)(nominated by Brianboulton) The Girl Pat was a small fishing trawler based at the Lincolnshire port of Grimsby, whose unauthorised transatlantic voyage in 1936 caused a media sensation. The escapade ended in Georgetown, British Guiana, with the arrest of the trawler's captain, George "Dod" Orsborne, and his brother. The pair were later imprisoned for the theft of the vessel. Built in 1935, Girl Pat was the property of the Marstrand Fishing Company of Grimsby. On 1 April 1936, Orsborne, with a crew of four and his brother James as a supernumerary, took the vessel out on what the owners authorised as a routine North Sea fishing trip of two to three weeks' duration. Using a cheap school atlas to navigate, the trawler went on a long cruise, to Spain, the Savage Islands, Dakar in Senegal, and islands off French Guiana in South America. The wayward sailors were finally captured in Georgetown, British Guiana, and the world's press, unsurprisingly, thought they were amazing and took their side. They were convicted, but after eighteen months for George, and twelve months for his brother, they were out, still acclaimed as public heroes.
Fork-marked lemur(nominated by Maky) Like all lemurs, the fork-marked lemur is native to Madagascar, where they are found only in the west, north, and east sides of the island. But not the south; the south is right out. Fork-marked lemurs are among the least studied of all lemurs and are some of the largest members of the family Cheirogaleidae, weighing around 350 grams (0.77 lb) or more.
Sega Saturn(nominated by TheTimesAreAChanging) Showcased at the Tokyo Toy Show in June 1994, according to Sega project manager Hideki Okamura, the Saturn Sega project started over two years beforehand. The name "Saturn" was initially the system's codename during development in Japan, but was eventually chosen as the official product name. Initially successful in Japan, it failed to sell in large numbers in the United States after its surprise May 1995 launch, four months before its scheduled release date. After the debut of the Nintendo 64 in late 1996, the Saturn rapidly lost market share in the US, where it was discontinued in 1998, but it lasted somewhat longer in Japan and Europe. It is considered a commercial failure, albeit one with some highly-regarded games.
Rodrigues starling(nominated by FunkMonk) is an extinctspecies of starling that was endemic to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues. Known only from partially-fossilized remains and the reports of a single sailor, Julien Tafforet, who was marooned on the island, the Rodrigues starling was 25–30 cm (10–12 inches) long, and had a stout beak. It was described as having a white body, partially black wings and tail, and a yellow bill and legs, and ate eggs and dead tortoises. Predation by rats introduced to the area was probably responsible for the bird's extinction some time in the 18th century.
Laurence Olivier(nominated by SchroCat and Tim riley) In 1924, Gerard Olivier, a habitually frugal man, told his son that not only must he gain admission to the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, but he must also gain a scholarship with a bursary to cover his tuition fees and living expenses. Olivier's sister had been a student there and was a favorite of Elsie Fogerty, the founder and principal of the school. Olivier later speculated that it was on the strength of this that Fogerty agreed to award him the bursary. Following Olivier's success in Shakespearean stage productions, he made his first foray into Shakespeare on film in 1936, as Orlando in As You Like It, directed by Paul Czinner, "a charming if lightweight production", according to Michael Brooke of the British Film Institute's (BFI's) Screenonline. He is noted for numerous films, including three adaptations of Shakespeare which he also directed: Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955), adaptations of novels, such as Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), Marathon Man (1976), and other films including The Boys from Brazil (1978), involving a plot to clone Hitler, and - in a rather clever twist - to also give him the important life events that shaped Hitler's character. Fun fact: I'd love to include pictures of him in this Signpost, but am not convinced of the copyright status of any of the half-decent images.
Destroy this Mad Brute: Enlist predates King Kong by sixteen years.
It's not a huge secret that Adam tends to use the featured article section of this article to find things to restore. He doesn't generally spend a tenner to buy a copy of the magazine in question, though, like he did here.
Marvel Science Stories cover(created by Norman Saunders, restored and nominated by Adam Cuerden) A fine, rare example of science fiction art from an ephemeral magazine. As the magazine's table of contents describes this cover of the April-May 1939 issue of Marvel Science Stories, "Norman Saunders, inimitable science-fiction cover artist, gives his conception of a beauty parlor of the future — A Mechanical Fountain of Youth", and an accompanying article by Eando Binder chattily talks about imagining walking into one of these future marvels, and with no injections or cutting, just the miraculous power of electricity recharging the cells - yes, we know - and adjusting the hormone levels by modifying the endocrine glands, in order to restore one to the state they were in at their youth. The article explains that biology is one of the younger sciences, so it might well be possible. Well... maybe this was more plausible at the time, but anyone who has done biology in school in the last few decades will be able to tear this apart themselves.
The Princess and the Trolls(created by John Bauer, nominated by SagaciousPhil)John Bauer was a Swedish painter and illustrator. While heavily influenced by the art of the Renaissance, his style was romantic nationalism and he was dedicated to the folklore and nature of his home country. This image, from the Nationalmuseum Stockholm, is one of his illustrations for Among Gnomes and Trolls, a series of popular fairy tale anthologies published by Åhlén & Åkerlund. Bauer produced watercolors using a muted color scheme that were included as full-page illustrations which were a highlight of the series; sales dropped significantly when he was not illustrating the books. Bauer abandoned the series after World War I, saying that he could no longer imagine the world as a fairy tale. Unfortunately, he died young at 36 along with his wife and child, drowning in a shipwreck on Lake Vättern.
Three Arch Bay(created and nominated by D. Ramey Logan) Three Arch Bay in Laguna, California was named after the shape of the rocks, forming the Three Arches this rather exclusive area is named after. Few people even know these pools are in South Laguna Beach. The original square pool, seen in the center of the photo, was built in 1929 by the famous director and producer Edward H. Griffith. This entire community was sold in 1926 for $135,000.00. Today, the original Edward H. Griffith home featuring the original pool is on the market and will run you a cool 25 million, but that price includes the original pool and private beach, an interior that would have you feeling like "Pete the Pirate", and your own personal "Light House" reading room to allow you to "Edit Wikipedia in Style"! The classic 1935 Warner Bros. Academy Award-nominated film Captain Blood was also filmed in Three Arch Bay, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill and Basil Rathbone - so you will be in good company! Take the flight and get the shot with WPPilot.
Deutsche Mark(created by Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company for the United States Army, nominated and prepared from the collections of the Smithsonian Institute by Godot13) A 1948 West German (Federal Republic of Germany) Deutsche Mark. The issue of this currency by the Allies was combined with a wage freeze, and two different exchange rates with the old Rentenmark, depending on whether they were savings or wages/payments, attempting to avoid further hyperinflation. In the summer of 1948, a giant wave of strikes and demonstrations swept over West Germany, leading to an incident in Stuttgart where strikers were met by US tanks ("Stuttgarter Vorfälle"), and only after the wage freeze was abandoned was the Deutsche Mark accepted. By the way, the article Deutsche Mark is terribly written at times. The bit of text that was based on is only semi-coherent, so we apologize for any mistakes.