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American Pharoah(nominated by Montanabw, Vesuvius Dogg, Tigerboy1966, and Froggerlaura) A bay colt with a faint star on his forehead, American Pharoah is so named because his breeder and owner, Ahmed Zayat, is of Egyptian–American background. The mispelling of the name was allegedly the result of holding a competition on social media; the winning name was copied and pasted into an email sent to The Jockey Club, although the submitter claimed she knew how to spell "Pharaoh" and someone else must have transposed the vowels. American Pharoah won the three big US races in May and June 2015 at the age of three and a bit, and he was awarded the American Triple Crown, which hadn't been won since 1978. He retires at the end of this year, and aims to spend his retirement eating grass and doing elementary math. His owner has other ideas… stud life!
Fremantle Prison(nominated by Evad37) Fremantle Prison in the port of Fremantle, Western Australia, was built between 1851 and 1859 using convict labour. Originally housing prisoners transported from the British Isles, it was handed over to the colonial administration in 1886 to incarcerate locally sentenced men and women. Since its closure in 1991, three years after a riot caused substantial damage, the prison has been developed as a tourist attraction. It is a complex of cell blocks, a gatehouse, perimeter walls, cottages, and tunnels- these were sunk into the limestone rock on which the prison was built, and were used to supply water to the town from an aquifer. Convicts were required to pump the water by hand into a reservoir; known as "cranking", this task was used as a punishment for recalcitrants. Prisoners were often ordered to be flogged with a cat-o-nine-tails, but this punishment was unpopular with the prison staff- despite promises of extra pay, about a third of floggings weren't carried out. The last was in 1943, and the last hanging in 1964. The make-up of the prison population gradually changed. At the time of the gold rushes in the 1890s, there were a majority of white short-time prisoners; by the 1980s the numbers of those sentenced for violent crimes had increased, and about a third of inmates were Aborigines.
Last Gasp (Inside No. 9)(nominated by J Milburn) The Last Gasp was an episode of the comedy series Inside No. 9. A seriously ill young girl receives a visit from a singer, as arranged by a charity. The singer appears to die whilst blowing up a balloon. The parents think that the singer's "last gasp" imprisoned in the balloon might have some monetary value. However the singer isn't dead, so his assistant suffocates him with a pillow. Meanwhile the girl attaches the balloon to another helium-filled balloon and releases the two from her bedroom window. Eugene Wat de Omgang, TV critic of South African newspaper The Star described the episode as "hilarious ... I caught myself gasping more than once as its foul contents unfolded".
Serpens(nominated by StringTheory11) The constellation Serpens is associated in star atlases with the constellation Ophiuchus- the latter represents the god of medicine, Asclepius, who showed kindness to a snake. It licked his ears clean and taught him some secret knowledge. Serpens is divided in two parts by Ophiuchus; the snake winds itself through the legs of Asclepius. It contains all kinds of stuff, including the beautiful Hoag's Object, a classic ring galaxy with a high degree of symmetry.
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Albert Reiss in front of the Metropolitan Opera House stage entrance
List of Attorneys General of West Virginia(nominated by West Virginian) The attorney general of West Virginia is a citizen of that state, aged 25 or over, who is elected or appointed to the position as an "executive department-level state constitutional officer". They have to live in Charleston, do all kinds of legal stuff on behalf of the state, and sit on 13 different committees. A prerequisite for the position is that they have to know what "preneed burial statutes" are. For all this work, they're paid $95,000 a year (2012 rates). Since the post was created in 1863, there have been 34 incumbents.
List of awards and nominations received by Leonardo DiCaprio(nominated by FrB.TG)Leonardo DiCaprio is an American actor, who started his career by appearing in Santa Barbara (1990), a TV soap opera described by one critic as being "filmed inside a wardrobe". DiCaprio came out of the wardrobe to appear in films across a wide range of genres; for his work he's received "34 awards from 136 nominations", but no Oscars. In 2014 he received the Clinton Global Citizen Award, which somehow isn't in the list. In the same year Leonardo was also given a cast-iron "Oscar" statue and made an honorary member of the Chamber Theater in Chelyabinsk, Russia. They also offered him a non-speaking part as a servant in Oleg and Vladimir Presniakov's play Plennye Dukhi (Captive Spirits). Guess it's back to the wardrobe, Leo.
List of songs recorded by Lana Del Rey(nominated by Littlecarmen)Lana Del Rey has covered the whole alphabet (with the exception of E, X and Z) in her catalog of songs. We look forward to her covers of "Eye of the Tiger", "Xanadu", and "Zombie". Described as a "torch singer of the internet era", Del Rey says she chose her musical identity because it "reminded [her] of the glamour of the seaside". The smell of rotting seaweed, shingle piercing your flipflops, seagulls pinching your fish'n'chips, rain, rain, rain ... down on the west coast.
Hudson's Soap advertisement reverse, obverse(created by Hudson's Soap, digitized by the Wellcome Trust, restored by Adam Cuerden, nominated by Crisco 1492)Robert Spear Hudson was an apothecary in West Bromwich near Brummagem in the late 1830s who hit upon the idea of grinding up bars of soap and selling the result as "soap powder". His nascent business was helped by the abolition of tax on soap in 1853, and a "rapidly increasing demand for domestic soap products" (the use of coal for industrial and domestic energy produced staggering amounts of pollution and filth). Hudson advertised his product widely with posters and shopcards designed by professional artists; in the standard of advertising and the level of promotion he was well ahead of his competitors.
Annika Beck(created by Diliff; nominated by Crisco 1492)Annika Beck is a German tennis player, currently ranked at number 53 in the singles ratings, having begun 2012 at number 234. She is right-handed, her favourite shot is forehand and her favourite surface is hard. Beck's favourite movie is Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Albert Aurier(created by uncredited photographer, restoration by Jebulon; nominated by Alborzagros) G. Albert Aurier (1865 –1892) was a Symbolist poet, art critic and painter, who died of typhus. He had a significant collection of van Goghs and works by other contemporaries. Apparently some paintings of Aurier's were exhibited in 1960, but these seem to be unknown today, and he is now better known as an art critic.
Aviat Eagle II 2(created by Julian Herzog; nominated by Crisco 1492)Aviat Eagle II is a small aerobatic sporting biplane aircraft. The Aviat Eagle II, produced in the United States since the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, is a kind of IKEA aircraft to make at home from assembly kits. It's not actually made by IKEA, else it would be called FANTADIG.
Danaus genutia(created by Vengolis; nominated by Crisco 1492)Danaus genutia is one of the commonest butterflies in India, known as the common tiger or striped tiger. The stripes signal that they are unpleasant to smell and taste, as generally black and yellow stripes do- a warning signal in the animal kingdom. They are soon released when caught by predators. The common tiger occurs in south east Asia, Australia and India.
Madonna (Edvard Munch) and Madonna (Edvard Munch)(created by Edvard Munch; nominated by Crisco 1492) We've got the munchies this week, with two variations on the same theme by downbeat Norse painter Edvard Munch. He revisited the theme of a half-naked woman with eyes closed and hands behind her back several times between 1892 and 1895. There are various "art critic" interpretations of the meaning behind the image, and you can make up one yourself if you like- it'll be just as valid.
Louis, Grand Dauphin(created by Hyacinthe Rigaud; nominated by Crisco 1492)Louis of France (1661–1711) was the eldest son and heir of Louis XIV, King of France. As with all the heirs to the French throne of the time, he was called the Dolphin or Dauphin, one of the things that are a bit exotic and weird about the French royal family. There are also grades in the Dauphin titles. He became known as Le Grand Dauphin after the birth of his own son, Le Petit Dauphin. But Louis never became king, because his father survived him. Probably it would have worked out better (see French Revolution for details) if they called their offspring Eagle or Lion, or maybe even Le Grande Fromage. After all, to paraphrase de Gaulle, who better to rule a country with 246 cheeses?
Jean Metzinger, Danseuse au café(created by Jean Metzinger; nominated by Pine)Dancer in a café is an abstract Cubists painting from 1912 by Jean Metzinger (1883–1956). It was considered as "barbaric" art when exhibited. The painting depicts a woman dancing in a café, wearing an elaborate gown, made in embroidered green silk velvet and a chiffon caped evening gown and she is holding a bouquet of flowers in her hand. In her right hand. The rest of the painting is subdivided in multiple facets and planes, presenting simultaneously parts of the café scene, the very idea behind the abstract painting, from the beginning...
Rock ptarmigan on Mount Tsubakuro(created by Daisuke Tashiro; nominated by Bruce1ee) The rock ptarmigan is a cold-climate loving gamebird from the grouse family, that prefers high and barren habitats. They are the official bird of Toyama Prefecture in Japan and the official game bird for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Its feathers are brown in summer and white in winter. Rock ptarmigan meat is on the menu for festive meals in Icelandic cuisine, with dishes such as steiktar rjúpur, which is ptarmigan fried and then boiled in milk and water for an hour and a half. We're told that rock ptarmigan tastes like hare, and that hare tastes like Bambi's mother apparently.
Micrometer(created by Lucasbosch; nominated by Armbrust) A very nice micrometer, measuring up to 25 millimetres. The object to be measured is placed between the two anvils, and the free anvil screwed finger-tight. Readings are taken from the linear scale, with the circular scale providing the fine measurement.
Gold 20-stater of Eucratides(created by Yann; nominated by Yann)Eucratides the Great loved coins and loved himself depicted on coins. He was an important Greco-Bactrian king. He engaged in wars against the Indo-Greek kings, the Hellenistic rulers in northwestern India. Eucratides went so far as the Indus, until the twist of fate made him loose. He was defeated and returned to Bactria.
Marian Dawkins(created by Royal Society; nominated by Crisco 1492)Marian Dawkins is a biologist who specialises in the study of animal behaviour and welfare. She believes that the primary focus of animal welfare should be the feelings on the animals themselves, but thinks that the question of whether animals have consciousness may not be answerable. Instead we should focus on their needs and wants.
Sameer Khan(created by Mydreamsparrow; nominated by Mydreamsparrow)Sameer Khan is a fashion choreographer who also trains contestants for beauty pageants such as WTN Miss Mangalore. He is "known for his unique style of bringing elegance in anything that is fashion." Hey, we're just repeating what's in the article, y'know?