Wikipedia:Main Page history/2012 November 28

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A sickener mushroom photographed in Oneida County, New York, US

Russula emetica, commonly known as the sickener, emetic Russula, or vomiting Russula, is a basidiomycete mushroom, and the type species of the genus Russula. It has a red, convex to flat cap up to 8.5 cm (3.3 in) in diameter, with a cuticle that can be peeled off almost to the centre. The gills are white to pale cream, and closely spaced. A smooth white stem measures up to 10.5 cm (4.1 in) long and 2.4 cm (0.9 in) thick. First described in 1774, the mushroom has a wide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, where it grows on the ground in damp woodlands in a mycorrhizal association with conifers, especially pine. The mushroom's common names refer to the gastrointestinal distress they cause when consumed raw. The flesh is extremely peppery, but this offensive taste, along with its toxicity, can be removed by parboiling or pickling. Although it used to be widely eaten in Russia and eastern European countries, it is generally not recommended for consumption. There are many similar Russula species that have a red cap with white stem and gills, some of which can be reliably distinguished from R. emetica only by microscopic characteristics. (Full article...)

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November 28: Independence Day in Albania (1912) and Mauritania (1960); Navy Day in Iran (1980)

Coat of arms of the Royal Society

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Today's featured picture

The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby

Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, a character from The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby, a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Published in 1863, the book was extremely popular in England, and was a mainstay of British children's literature for many decades. The book had been intended in part as a satire, a tract against child labour, as well as a serious critique of the closed-minded approaches of many scientists of the day in their response to Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution.

Artist: Jessie Willcox Smith; Restoration: ErikTheBikeMan

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