Wikipedia:Picture of the day/December 2018

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A monthly archive of the English Wikipedia's pictures of the day

These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk 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.

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December 1 – Sat

The Princess and the Trolls
The Princess and the Trolls, by John Bauer (1882–1918), was painted as an illustration for "The Changeling", a short story by Helena Nyblom. A watercolour held by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, it was first published in the 1913 edition of the anthology Among Gnomes and Trolls. It shows the princess Bianca Maria between two trolls in a forest. Bauer's illustrations of fairy tales and children's stories made him a household name in his native Sweden, and shaped perceptions of many fairy tale characters.Illustration: John Bauer

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December 2 – Sun

Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is a video game console developed by Nintendo and released on March 3, 2017. It is a hybrid console, which means it can be used as both a home console and as a portable console. In the home console mode, the main unit is inserted onto a docking station to connect to a television. Alternatively, for portable use, it can be removed from the dock and operated similarly to a tablet computer through its LCD touchscreen. The Switch is the fastest-selling console in Nintendo's history, and the fastest-selling of all time in both Japan and the United States. By September 2018 it had sold 22.86 million units, with sales heavily tied to the critically acclaimed titles The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey.Photograph: Evan-Amos

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December 3 – Mon

Abdul Haris Nasution
Abdul Haris Nasution (3 December 1918 – 6 September 2000) was an Indonesian army general. Born into a Batak Muslim family in the North Sumatran village of Hutapungkut, in what was then the Dutch East Indies, he studied teaching and enrolled at a military academy in Bandung. After Sukarno declared Indonesia's independence on 17 August 1945, Nasution joined the war against the Dutch, commanding the Siliwangi Division guerrilla unit in West Java. After the country's internationally recognised independence in 1949, Nasution was appointed Chief of Staff of the army. He remained in post being suspended in 1952 following a failed show of force against the president. He was reappointed Chief of Staff in 1955. In 1965 there was a coup attempt by the 30 September Movement. Natution's house was attacked, and his daughter killed, but he was able to escape by scaling a wall and hiding in the Iraqi ambassador's residence.Photograph: Punt / Anefo; restoration: Chris Woodrich

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December 4 – Tue

McClure Tunnel
The McClure Tunnel is a tunnel in Santa Monica, California, which connects Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) with the western terminus of the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10). It is 400 feet (120 m) long. The first tunnel on the site was a Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel constructed in 1886. This featured in a brief 1898 film called Going Through the Tunnel, which showed the ocean view appearing to the left as the passenger emerges from the western portal. The rail tunnel was demolished and replaced with the current road tunnel, which opened in 1936. It was named after local newspaper publisher Robert E. McClure in 1979.Photograph: Steve Lyon

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December 5 – Wed

Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II (5 December 1443 – 21 February 1513), born Giuliano della Rovere, was the pope and ruler of the Papal States from 1503 until his death. His papacy was dominated by conflict with the Republic of Venice, which had seized papal territory following the death of Julius's predecessor. This escalated into the War of the League of Cambrai. Julius was also a notable patron of arts and infrastructure. He commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

This oil painting, Portrait of Pope Julius II, was produced in 1511–12 by the Italian painter Raphael. There are several versions, one of which hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, and was believed for many years to be the original. However, research in 1970 indicated that a version owned by the National Gallery in London is likely the original.Painting: Raphael

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December 6 – Thu

International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station in low Earth orbit, run as a joint project by the American, Russian, Japanese, European, and Canadian space agencies. Its first component was sent into orbit in 1998, and it has been inhabited continuously since 2000. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components, which have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles. It serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields.

This photograph, taken in 2011 by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli from a departing Russian Soyuz spacecraft, shows the ISS and the docked Space Shuttle Endeavour.Photograph: Paolo Nespoli.

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December 7 – Fri

Camelopardalis is a large but faint constellation of the northern sky. Introduced in 1612 or 1613 by Petrus Plancius, it represents a giraffe. The brightest stars in Camelopardalis are β Cam, a double star 1,000 light-years from Earth with apparent magnitude 4.03; CS Cam, a 4.21-magnitude variable star; and α Cam, a blue-hued supergiant star of magnitude 4.3. At 5,000 light-years from Earth, α Cam is one of the most distant stars easily visible with the naked eye. The constellation is located in the part of the celestial sphere facing away from the galactic plane, which means it has many distant galaxies visible within its borders. This includes the NGC 2403 galaxy in the M81 Group, located approximately 12 million light-years from Earth.

This illustration was produced in around 1823 and comes from Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards. Above the giraffe are the now-abandoned constellations of Tarandus and Custos Messium.Lithograph: Sidney Hall. Restoration: Adam Cuerden.

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December 8 – Sat

The Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception is an oil painting by Italian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. One of seven altarpieces commissioned in 1767 by King Charles III of Spain for the Church of Saint Pascual in Aranjuez, it depicts the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels and crowned with the circle of stars. She is shown trampling a snake, representing her victory over the devil. The painting's subject is the Immaculate Conception, an idea taught by the Catholic Church stating that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin. At the time the painting was commissioned, the Immaculate Conception concept was already common in art despite still being developed by theologians. It was declared a dogma of the Catholic Church in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, with the associated feast celebrated on 8 December. The painting is currently held by the Prado Museum in Madrid.Painting: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

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December 9 – Sun

United States one hundred-dollar bill
The $100 bill is a banknote of the United States dollar. It has been the highest-value bill circulated since 1969, when the $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills were retired. The first $100 United States Note was issued in 1862 and the Federal Reserve Note version was launched in 1914, alongside other denominations. The obverse of the bill has featured the image of US founding father Benjamin Franklin since 1914, while the reverse has shown the Independence Hall in Philadelphia since 1928.

This picture shows a 1934 Gold Certificate with signatures of US Treasurer W. A. Julian and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr.Banknote: Bureau of Engraving and Printing

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December 10 – Mon

Swallows, together with martins, form a family of passerine birds known as the Hirundinidae. They are found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. There are around 90 species of Hirundinidae, with the greatest diversity found in Africa, which is thought to be where they evolved as hole-nesters. For the most part swallows are insectivorous, taking flying insects on the wing and using foveae in their eyes to help track prey.

This picture shows the pied-winged swallow, which is found in several countries in western Africa.Photograph: Charles J. Sharp

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December 11 – Tue

Ringling Brothers Circus
The Ringling Brothers Circus was founded in the American city of Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 1884 by five of the seven Ringling brothers. In 1907 the brothers acquired the Barnum & Bailey Circus, merging it with their original circus in 1919 to form the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, promoted as The Greatest Show on Earth and operated until 2017.

This is a poster for the circus produced around 1899 by the Coach Lithographic Company of Buffalo, New York.Poster: Coach Lithographic Co; Restoration: Trialsanderrors and Adam Cuerden

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December 12 – Wed

The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical play written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, based on Maria von Trapp's memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, it tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, and together they flee from Austria to escape the Nazis. Songs from the musical include "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", and the title song "The Sound of Music".

This picture shows actress Mary Martin with children in a 1959 publicity photo for the musical. In the movie version, the role was played by Julie Andrews.Photograph: Toni Frissell, Restoration: Adam Cuerden

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December 13 – Thu

Leopard seal
The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), also known as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic, after the southern elephant seal. Its only natural predators are the killer whale and possibly the elephant seal. It feeds on a wide range of prey including cephalopods, other pinnipeds, krill, birds and fish. Together with the Ross seal, the crabeater seal and the Weddell seal, it is part of the tribe of lobodontini seals.

This image shows a leopard seal in the Antarctic Sound in 2016. See also the same seal yawning.Photograph: Godot13

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December 14 – Fri

Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst (née Goulden, 1858–1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement, who helped women win the right to vote. The first election with female voters was the general election of 14 December 1918, one hundred years ago today. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.Photograph: Matzene of Chicago, restoration: Adam Cuerden

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December 15 – Sat

Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the mayor of Torrejón
Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the mayor of Torrejón is an etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and burin on paper by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya. It is number 21 in a series of 35 etchings making up his Tauromaquia ("art of bullfighting") series, which he produced between 1815 and 1816. The etching details an event from 15 June 1801 when a bull broke through barriers at a bullfight in Madrid, killing two people including the mayor of Torrejón de Ardoz. The plate has been described by art critic Robert Hughes as among the greatest of Goya's graphic output.Etching: Francisco Goya

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December 16 – Sun

Fountain of Qayt Bay
The Fountain of Qayt Bay is a domed public fountain (sabil) located on the western esplanade of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, situated fifty metres west of the Dome of the Rock. Built in the fifteenth century by the Egyptians, it was completed in the reign of Qaitbay, Sultan of Egypt, after whom it is named. Placed on a raised prayer platform, together with a freestanding mihrab, the fountain is a three-tiered structure with a height of more than 13 metres (43 ft), and sits above an underground reservoir.Photograph: Godot13

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December 17 – Mon

Lady Dorothy Browne and Sir Thomas Browne
Lady Dorothy Browne and Sir Thomas Browne is an oil-on-panel painting attributed to English painter Joan Carlile and probably completed between 1641 and 1650. It depicts Thomas Browne, the son of a merchant from Cheshire, who eventually became a physician and author in Norwich; and his wife Dorothy Browne (née Mileham), who came from a land-owning family in Norfolk. The two Brownes are portrayed in contrasting styles, with Lady Dorothy looking directly at the viewer with a pleasant expression while Sir Thomas appears to be staring into the distance. The painting is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.Painting: Joan Carlile

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December 18 – Tue

The kob (Kobus kob) is an antelope found across Central Africa and parts of West Africa and East Africa. It is closely related to the reedbucks and waterbucks and similar in appearance to the impala but more heavily built. Kob have few strong social bonds, but females can live in herds numbering in the thousands. Males are generally territorial, although on densely-populated floodplains some males live in clustered territories known as leks.

This picture shows a female and calf of the Ugandan kob (K. kob thomasi) in the Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Uganda. This subspecies appears on the coat of arms of Uganda.Photograph: Charles J Sharp

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December 19 – Wed

720th Special Tactics Group
The 720th Special Tactics Group is one of the special operations ground components of the 24th Special Operations Wing, assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) of the United States Air Force. The group is headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and has squadrons in five states: Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Washington.

This picture shows airborne forces of the 720th Special Tactics Group, based at Hurlburt Field, jumping out of a C-130J Hercules aircraft during water rescue training above Choctawhatchee Bay.Photograph: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

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December 20 – Thu

John's Lane Church
The Church of St. Augustine and St. John, commonly known as John's Lane Church, is a large Roman Catholic church located on Thomas Street in Dublin, Ireland. It was opened in 1874 on the site of the medieval St. John's Hospital, which was founded in around 1180. John's Lane Church is served by the Augustinian Order.

This picture shows the exterior of the church. See also: the interior.Photograph: David Iliff

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December 21 – Fri

Wilton Diptych
The Wilton Diptych is a small portable diptych of two Baltic oak panels, painted on both sides, set in frames of the same material and joined by two hinges. Dating from around 1395–1399, it is an extremely rare survival of a late Medieval religious panel painting from England. The diptych was painted for King Richard II, who is depicted kneeling before the Virgin and Child in what is known as a donor portrait. He is presented to them by his patron saint, John the Baptist, and by the English royal saints Edward the Confessor and Edmund the Martyr. The inner faces of the panels are in excellent condition for their age, though some glazes have been lost, but the outer faces have paint losses from handling.

This picture shows the righthand panel of the inside of the diptych, with the Virgin and Child.

See also: the lefthand inside panel, showing Richard II and the saints.Painting: Unknown English or French painter from the 1390s

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December 22 – Sat

Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is the ring name of Colby Daniel Lopez (born 1986), an American professional wrestler. He has been signed to WWE since 2010, having previously wrestled for Ring of Honor under the ring name Tyler Black. He debuted on WWE's main roster at the 2012 Survivor Series as part of a faction called The Shield, winning his first main roster championship while with the group, the WWE Tag Team Championship with Roman Reigns.

This picture shows Rollins with the WWE Money in the Bank briefcase, which he won in 2014.Photograph: Anton Jackson

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December 23 – Sun

Battle of Malvern Hill
The Battle of Malvern Hill was fought on July 1, 1862, between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac. It was the final battle of the Seven Days Battles during the American Civil War, taking place on Malvern Hill near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Including inactive reserves, more than fifty thousand soldiers from each side took part, using more than two hundred pieces of artillery and three warships. The battle resulted in a tactical victory for the Union side, but the Confederates claimed a strategic victory as the Union failed to go on to capture Richmond.

This is a map of the night's march undertaken by the Union forces after the battle.Map: Private Robert K. Sneden, mapmaker for Samuel P. Heintzelman's III Corps

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December 24 – Mon

Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House and had its première there on 24 December 1871, in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini.

This picture shows the set for a performance of Aida by the Israeli Opera in 2011.Photograph: Avinoam Michaeli

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December 25 – Tue

Nativity at Night
The Nativity at Night is a painting by Early Netherlandish artist Geertgen tot Sint Jans, dating to around 1490. It is a panel painting in oil on oak. The painting shows the Nativity of Jesus, attended by angels, and with the Annunciation to the shepherds on the hillside behind seen through the window in the centre of the painting. It is a small painting presumably made for private devotional use, and Geertgen's version, with significant changes, of a lost work by Hugo van der Goes of about 1470. The Nativity at Night hangs in the National Gallery, London.Painting: Geertgen tot Sint Jans.

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December 26 – Wed

Spanish peseta
The Spanish peseta is a former currency of Spain and, alongside the French franc, a former de facto currency in Andorra. It was introduced in 1868, replacing the peso, at a time when Spain was considering joining the Latin Monetary Union. Spain joined the euro in 1999, and the peseta was replaced by euro notes and coins in 2002.

This picture shows a 1000 peseta banknote from 1957. The obverse depicts the Catholic Monarchs while the reverse shows the coat of arms of Spain.Banknote: Bank of Spain

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December 27 – Thu

Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams (born December 27, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and businesswoman. She serves as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and occasional keyboardist of the rock band Paramore. Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee, at the age of fifteen after her parents divorced. In 2004, she formed Paramore alongside Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. The band currently consists of Williams, Farro and Taylor York. They have released five studio albums: All We Know Is Falling (2005), Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), Paramore (2013) and After Laughter (2017).Photograph: Sven-Sebastian Sajak

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December 28 – Fri

The Little Street
The Little Street (Het Straatje) is a painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, dating to around 1657–58. An oil-on-canvas work, it is a relatively small painting, being 54.3 centimetres (21.4 in) high by 44.0 centimetres (17.3 in) wide. It depicts a street in Vermeer's hometown of Delft, one of three he painted of the town, the others being View of Delft and the now lost House Standing in Delft. The painting bears the signature "I V MEER", below the left hand corner below the window. The Little Street is now exhibited at the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam.Painting: Johannes Vermeer

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December 29 – Sat

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson assumed the presidency as he was vice president of the United States at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote. Although his ranking has fluctuated over time, he is generally considered among the worst American presidents.Engraving: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; restoration: Andrew Shiva

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December 30 – Sun

Peterhof Palace
The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens located in the Russian town of Petergof, part of the federal city of Saint Petersburg. The site was commissioned by Peter the Great in 1709 for country habitation, but in 1717 he decided to expand the property as a result of his visit to the Palace of Versailles. The original architect of the buildings was Domenico Trezzini, and the style he used became the foundation for the Petrine Baroque style favored throughout Saint Petersburg. Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond was chosen to design the gardens, likely due to his previous collaborations with Versailles landscaper André Le Nôtre. Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli completed an expansion from 1747 to 1756 for Elizabeth of Russia. Together with other sites in the Saint Petersburg area, the complex is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Photograph: Godot13

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December 31 – Mon

Game Gear
The Sega Game Gear is a handheld game console by Sega, released in various countries between 1990 and 1992. The Game Gear shares much of its hardware with the Sega Master System, and can play Master System games through an adapter. Containing a full-color backlit screen with a landscape format, Sega positioned the Game Gear as a technologically superior handheld to the rival Nintendo Game Boy but due to issues with its short battery life, lack of original titles, and weak support from Sega, the Game Gear was unable to beat the Game Boy. The Game Gear was succeeded by the Sega Nomad in 1995 and discontinued in 1997. It sold approximately 11 million units.Photograph: Evan Amos

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Picture of the day archive

Today is Sunday, November 17, 2019; it is currently 12:16 UTC.