Wikipedia:Picture of the day/August 2008

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These featured pictures, as scheduled below, have been chosen to appear as the picture of the day (POTD) on the English Wikipedia's Main Page. Individual sections for each day on this page can be linked to with the day number as the anchor name (e.g. [[Wikipedia:Picture of the day/August 2008#1]] for August 1).

You can add an automatically updating POTD template to your user page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.Purge server cache


August 1

A 1918 silent film clip showing tanks in World War I. The tank was the most rapidly developed weapon system in the history of warfare. From non-existence, the tank went from concept to rendering valuable front-line service in World War I in less than three years.

Film credit: U.S. National Archives


August 2

JetBlue Airways Flight 292

JetBlue Airways Flight 292, an Airbus A320-232, making an emergency landing at LAX on September 21, 2005 after the front landing gear malfunctioned. The front gear was turned perpendicular to the runway causing the tires to be torn off and sparks to fly up on impact. No one was injured during the landing and passengers began to disembark less than seven minutes later.

Photo credit: Andrew Marino


August 3

Bufflehead

The Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) is a small American sea duck of the genus Bucephala. The name Bufflehead is a combination of buffalo and head, referring to the oddly bulbous head shape of the species. This is most noticeable when the male puffs out the feathers on the head, thus greatly increasing its apparent size.

Photo credit: Mdf


August 4

Felbrigge Psalter

The Felbrigge Psalter, an illuminated manuscript Psalter, is the oldest book from England to have an embroidered bookbinding. The needlework on this mid-thirteenth century manuscript probably dates from the early fourteenth century, which puts it more than a century earlier than the next oldest embroidered binding to have survived. Both the design and execution depicting the Annunciation are exceptionally high quality. The cover is made with linen and gold on linen with later leather binding edge.

Book credit: Anne de Felbrigge


August 5

Khond woman

An Adivasi (indigenous) woman from the Kutia Khond tribal group in the Indian state of Orissa. Khonds were known for their human sacrifices, which were intended to further the fertilization of the earth.

Photo credit: PICQ


August 6

Vietnam Veterans Memorial design

Maya Lin's original competition submission for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.. Originally designed as a student project at Yale University's School of Architecture in 1981, the memorial is a black granite wall, in the shape of a V, on which the names of American servicemen killed or missing in action from the Vietnam War are inscribed. The architect hoped that "these names, seemingly infinite in number, [would] convey the sense of overwhelming numbers, while unifying these individuals into a whole."

Image credit: Maya Lin


August 7

The Spinning Dancer

The Spinning Dancer is a kinetic, bistable optical illusion resembling a pirouetting female dancer. Some observers initially see the figure as spinning clockwise and some counter-clockwise. Additionally, some may see the figure suddenly spin in the opposite direction. The illusion derives from an inherent ambiguity from the lack of visual cues for depth. There are other optical illusions that originate from the same or similar kind of visual ambiguity, such as the Necker cube.

Image credit: Nobuyuki Kayahara


August 8

Paris skyline

A view over Paris, at dusk, from the Tour Montparnasse, the tallest skyscraper in France with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Photo credit: Benh Lieu Song


August 9

Pasture Day Moth caterpillar

A Pasture Day Moth (Apina callisto) caterpillar amongst capeweed leaves. This moth species is, unlike other members of the Noctuidae family, diurnal. When the larvae are fully grown, measuring about 60 mm, they burrow down before becoming pupae.

Photo credit: Fir0002


August 10

Asteraceae poster

A poster of twelve different species of flowers of the Asteraceae family:

Photo credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar, Tony Wills (10)


August 11

Onchocerca volvulus

A scanning electron microscope image of an adult black fly with the parasite Onchocerca volvulus (shown in red) emerging from the insect's antenna. O. volvulus is a nematode that causes river blindness, the world's second leading infectious cause of blindness. About 18 million people are currently infected with this parasite. Approximately 300,000 have been irreversibly blinded by it.

Image credit: Agricultural Research Service


August 12

Forked tongue

The head of a Coastal Carpet Python, the largest subspecies of Morelia spilota, a non-venomous Australian python, showing its forked tongue, a feature common to many reptiles, who smell using the tip of their tongue. Having a forked tongue allows them to tell which direction a smell is coming from.

Photo credit: LiquidGhoul


August 13

Temple of Saturn poster

A 1920 travel poster for train service from Paris to Rome via Lyon, depicting the Temple of Saturn, a monument to the agricultural deity Saturn, at the Roman Forum. It is the oldest-surviving foundation in that area, having been established between 501 and 498 BC.

Poster credit: Geo Dorival


August 14

Navajo family with loom

A Navajo family with a loom, required for making Navajo rugs near Old Fort Defiance, New Mexico, 1873. Navajo textiles are highly regarded and have been sought after as trade items for over 150 years. Traditional Navajo weaving used upright looms with no moving parts and support poles made from wood, as shown here. Steel pipe is more common today.

Photo credit: Timothy H. O'Sullivan


August 15

Brolga

A Brolga (Grus rubicunda), sometimes known as the 'Native Companion' or 'Australian Crane', in Victoria, Australia. This individual is approximately 1 metre (3.3 ft) in height. A common gregarious wetland bird species in tropical and eastern Australia, the Brolga is well known for its intricate mating dance.

Photo credit: John O'Neill


August 16

Dougong

A colorful dougong supporting a structure at Sagami Temple, Kasai, Hyōgo, Japan. Dougong is a structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean architecture. The use of dougong first appeared in buildings of the late centuries BC and evolved into a structural network that joined pillars and columns to the frame of the roof. The pieces are fit together by joinery alone without glue or fasteners, due to the precision and quality of the carpentry.

Photo credit: 663highland


August 17

Five thousand non-violent demonstrators demanding the integration of Goa into India march against the Portuguese on 15 August 1955, where they were met with gunfire, killing 22. The political integration of India occurred after Indian independence and required the integration of the territories of the British Empire, those under the control of their hereditary rulers, and several colonial enclaves controlled by France and Portugal.

Film credit: Universal Studios


August 18

Caligo eurilochus

Caligo eurilochus is an owl butterfly ranging from Mexico, through Central America, to the Amazon River basin in South America.

Photo credit: Richard Bartz

Recently featured:

August 19

Mussolini and Hitler

The two European Axis leaders during World War II, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, riding in an automobile, circa June 1940. This photo was found in Eva Braun's personal photo albums and is credited to her, though whether she was the true photographer is unknown.

Photo credit: Eva Braun

Recently featured:

August 20

Red-eyed Tree Frog

The Red-eyed Tree Frog (Litoria chloris) is a species of tree frog native to eastern Australia; ranging from north of Sydney to Proserpine in mid-northern Queensland. These frogs typically reach a size of 65 millimetres (2.6 in). Its skin secretions have been found to destroy HIV, without harming healthy T cells.

Photo credit: LiquidGhoul

Recently featured:

August 21

Beater

A 19th-century Japanese woodblock print in the ukiyo-e style depicting a weaver using a beater, a weaving tool designed to push the weft yarn securely into place, in her hand, mounted from a notched pole and suspended overhead. Beaters appear both in a hand-held form, and as an integral part of a loom. At her feet, she controls several heddles with their mounting and attachments.

Woodcut artist: Yanagawa Shigenobu


August 22

Northern Elephant Seals fighting

Two male Northern Elephant Seals fighting fiercely for mates. These true seals have a highly polygynous mating system, with a successful male able to impregnate up to 50 females in one season. Unsuccessful males will not mate at all, while successful males have harems of 30 to 100 females.

Photo credit: Mike Baird


August 23

Greater Yellowlegs

The Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) is a large North American shorebird, similar in appearance to the smaller Lesser Yellowlegs. Its closest relative, however, is the Greenshank, together with which and the Spotted Redshank it forms a close-knit group. They are also the largest shanks apart from the Willet, which is altogether more robustly built.

Photo credit: Mike Baird


August 24

Polish cavalry

Polish cavalry in Sochaczew in 1939 during the Battle of the Bzura, one of the last major military actions to have been conducted on horseback. In contrast with its traditional role in armed conflicts of the past, the cavalry was no longer seen as a unit capable of breaking through enemy lines. Instead, it was used as a mobile reserve of the Polish armies. Polish cavalry units took part in most of the battles of 1939 and on several occasions proved to be the elite of the Polish Army.

Photo credit: Unknown


August 25

Civil Rights Act of 1964

United States President Lyndon B. Johnson (seated) signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark piece of legislation that outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment. Among the guests behind him is Martin Luther King, Jr. (directly behind and to the right of Johnson).

Photo credit: Cecil W. Stoughton


August 26

Pigment

Pigments for sale at a market stall in Goa, India. Many pigments used in manufacturing and the visual arts are dry colourants, ground into a fine powder. This powder is then added to a vehicle or matrix, a relatively neutral or colorless material that acts as a binder, before it is applied. Unlike a dye, a pigment generally is insoluble.

Photo credit: Dan Brady


August 27

Monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of the best-known species of butterfly. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 centimetres (3½–4 in).

Photo credit: Derek Ramsey


August 28

Da Vinci's study of a fetus

Anatomical study of a fetus in a uterus at four months of gestation (pen over red chalk, circa 1510–1513). Artists use studies in preparation for a finished piece, or as visual notes. Written notes alongside visual images add to the import of the piece as they allow the viewer to share the artist's process of getting to know the subject. Unfortunately notepaper often lacks the quality needed to ensure the study's longevity.

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci, photo by Luc Viatour


August 29

Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana during 2005, shown here looking down on Interstate 10 at West End Boulevard towards Lake Pontchartrain. Over 1,800 people were confirmed dead with 705 still missing. It was the costliest Atlantic hurricane in history causing around $86 billion in damage. This photo shows flooded roadways as the United States Coast Guard conducted initial damage assessment overflights of New Orleans on Monday, August 29, 2005. The city flooded due primarily to the failure of the levee system. Many who remained in their homes had to swim for their lives, wade through deep water, or remain trapped in their attics or on their rooftops.

Photo credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Niemi, USCG


August 30

Rigger

"Big Pete" Ramagos, rigger at work on Douglas Dam, Tennessee, June 1942. A rigger is a person or company which specializes in the lifting and/or moving of extremely large and/or heavy objects. Riggers use equipment expressly designed for moving and lifting objects where ordinary material handling equipment cannot go.

Photo credit: Alfred T. Palmer


August 31

Bearded Vulture

The Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), is an Old World vulture, the only member of the genus Gypaetus. It breeds on crags in high mountains in southern Europe, Africa, India and Tibet, laying one or two eggs in mid-winter which hatch at the beginning of spring. The Lammergeier has been successfully re-introduced into the Alps, but is still considered threatened in Europe, although it is rated Least Concern overall.

Photo credit: Richard Bartz


Picture of the day archive

2004
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2005
January
February
March
April
May
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