The Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) is a passerine bird usually found in eastern and south-eastern Australia. It can grow up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long. These thornbills are predominantly insectivores, though they may also eat seeds, fruit, or nectar.Photo: JJ Harrison
"St Simeon Stylites" is a poem written by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, in 1833 and published in his 1842 collection of poetry. The poem describes the actions of Simeon Stylites, the first pillar saint (a mediaeval Christian movement in which hermits, in the hopes of becoming closer to God, would perch atop tall columns for years, as a form of asceticism), who counts his various physical acts and hopes that he has earned his place in heaven. It captures Tennyson's feelings following the death of a close friend, Arthur Hallam, and contains feelings of self-loathing and regret. The work has ironic overtones that give it the appearance of a satirical work.
This illustration, from a 1901 edition, illustrates the following lines:
"And yet I know not well,
For that the evil ones come here, and say,
'Fall down, O Simeon; thou hast suffered long
For ages and for ages!'"
The Visible Pinball Machine, a machine for playing pinball created by the Pacific Pinball Museum with transparent surfaces to show the normally concealed mechanisms. In pinball, players manipulate one or more steel balls on a playing field to score as many points as possible; a game ends after all the balls fall into the drain located at the bottom of the slanted playing field.Photograph: Kevin Tiell/Pacific Pinball Museum
The Green Heron (Butorides virescens) is a heron species of North and Central America; this specimen was photographed at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. Adults have a body length of about 44 cm (17 in) and have been known to use tools to attract fish which they then eat.Photograph: Basar
"The Sleeping Beauty" is a poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and published in 1830; it was later expanded and published in 1842 as "The Day-Dream". Based on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, the poem (as with many of Tennyson's adaptations of existing literary works) focuses on a single aspect of the story, the appearance of the eponymous character as she sleeps.
This illustration by W. E. F. Britten was published in 1901 to accompany a reprinting of "The Sleeping Beauty". It accompanies the poem's final lines: "She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells / A perfect form in perfect rest."Illustration: W. E. F. Britten; restoration: Adam Cuerden
A self-portrait by the Mars rover Curiosity on October 31, 2012. The mosaic is stitched from a set of 55 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager at "Rocknest," the spot in Gale crater where the mission's first scoop sampling took place. Self-portraits such as this help NASA document the state of the rover and track changes, such as dust accumulation and wheel wear.Photograph: NASA
A neutral density filter is a filter that reduces or modifies the intensity of all wavelengths or colors of light equally, giving no changes in hue of color rendition. The filter reduces the amount of light entering the lens, allowing the photographer to select combinations of aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity to avoid overexposed pictures. It would normally be attached to the lens, but is hand-held here to illustrate the effect.Photograph: Robert Emperley
HMS Hood was a British battlecruiser, the last such ship built for the Royal Navy. Constructed beginning in 1916, Hood was the only Admiral-class battlecruiser to be completed. She was commissioned in 1920 and used generally for showing-the-flag exercises until the onset of the Second World War. After a refit, Hood was sent back into service. On 24 May 1941, early in the Battle of the Denmark Strait, she was struck by several German shells and exploded; only three of the 1,418 crew members survived.Photograph: Allan C. Green; restoration: Adam Cuerden
Marpesia zerynthia, also known as the Waiter Daggerwing, is a species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae that occurs in, and somewhat north and south of, Mesoamerica. First described in 1823, this butterfly inhabits tropical deciduous and evergreen forests. Males can generally be found closer to the ground than females, which prefer the canopies.Photograph: Paolo Costa Baldi
"The Deserted House" is a five-stanza poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in 1830, and included in his collection Poems, Chiefly Lyrical. The poem is characterised by its reliance on short lines which alternate in rhyme and meter to prevent a felicitous feel, a technique which has drawn much positive critical commentary. In the poem, Tennyson uses the image of a dark house as a metaphor for a dead body, underlining it with the closing stanza:
Come away: for Life and Thought Here no longer dwell; But in a city glorious— A great and distant city—have bought A mansion incorruptible. Would they could have stayed with us!
The Gran Sabana is a savanna in southeastern Venezuela known for its varied landscape. Pictured here is a morning view of two tepuis, Kukenán and Roraima; although Roraima tepui is actually higher than Kukenan, due to perspective it appears lower.Photograph: Paolo Costa Baldi