Hadji Ali (c. 1887–92 – 1937) was a vaudeville performance artist, thought to be of Egyptian descent, who was famous for acts of controlled regurgitation. His best-known feats included water spouting, smoke swallowing, and nut and handkerchief swallowing followed by disgorgement in an order chosen by the audience. In this 1926 image, he is performing his water spouting at the Egyptian Legation.Photograph: National Photo Company; restoration: Centpacrr and Chris Woodrich
The North Africa series of US Silver Certificates was issued in November 1942 in denominations of 1, 5, and 10 US dollars. The notes were similar to standard circulating silver certificates, except for their bright yellow seals. They were circulated amongst US troops in Europe and North Africa during World War II, and intended to be demonetized should the American forces be defeated.
Haddon Hall is an English light opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by Sydney Grundy. Set at the eponymous hall, which today is England's best preserved medieval manor house, the opera dramatises the legend of Dorothy Vernon's elopement with John Manners; although Vernon married Manners in the 1500s, Grundy and Sullivan moved the setting forward to the 17th century. After its 1892 premiere at the Savoy Theatre, Haddon Hall ran for 204 performances. It remained popular with stage troupes into the 1920s.
This illustration, from the cover of the 1 October 1892 edition of The Illustrated London News, depicts a scene from Act II, Scene i: Dorothy Vernon steals away from Haddon Hall on a dark and stormy night.Illustration: M. Browne and Herbert Railton; restoration: Adam Cuerden
The marsh sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) is a small wader which breeds in open grassy steppe and taigawetlands from easternmost Europe to central Asia. This migratory species generally winters in Africa and India, but some individuals – such as this one, photographed in Thailand – go to South East Asia or Australia.Photograph: JJ Harrison
Three stages of a common poppy flower (Papaver rhoeas): bud, flower and fruit (capsule). The species, which grows up to 70 centimetres (28 in) in height, has large showy flowers which measure 50 to 100 millimetres (2 to 4 in). The flower stem is usually covered with coarse hairs that are held at right angles to the surface. The later capsules are hairless, obovoid in shape, and less than twice as tall as they are wide, with a stigma at least as wide as the capsule.
Anatomical diagram of a giant scallop, a species in the family Pectinidae. Colors are close to those in an actual animal, though shown with greater than natural contrast for emphasis. Not shown are the left gill, the veins on the left side of the body, and the left shell or "valve". The hinge line corresponds to the animal's dorsal side, though when living it usually rests "sideways", on its right. The giant scallop is equilateral and very nearly equivalved (having left and right valves close to the same size and shape), though this is not true of all, or even most, members of its family.
The scallop's nervous system is centered around the visceral ganglia, which constitute a kind of molluscan "brain". The head-to-tail longitudinal axis reaches from the anterior ear to the middle of the adductor muscle, making only a very small portion of the animal morphologically the "front" and the rest corresponding to its "back". The final loop of the intestine goes directly through the ventricle of the heart before it reaches its u-shaped terminus.Diagram: K.D. Schroeder
Portrait of Madame X is an oil painting on canvas completed by John Singer Sargent in 1884. Painted by request of the artist, it depicts a young socialite named Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau – a popular subject for artists who was praised for her beauty – wearing a black satin dress with jeweled straps. The painting was controversial when displayed at the 1884 Salon, and though Sargent defended himself by saying he had painted her "exactly as she was dressed, that nothing could be said of the canvas worse than had been said in print of her appearance", the artist moved to London shortly afterwards.Painting: John Singer Sargent
The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a bird in the honeyeater family endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia and feeds mostly nectar, fruit and insects. This highly vocal species has a large range of songs, calls, scoldings and alarms, lives in large groups, and is territorial. Populations have grown in numerous places along this miner's range, and as such there is now an overabundance.Photograph: JJ Harrison
Zoran Dragić (right) committing a personal foul on Carl English during a 2013 basketball game between Game Estudiantes and Unicaja Málaga. Personal fouls, defined as illegal personal contact with an opponent which affects gameplay, are the most common type of foul in basketball, but are not always considered unsportsmanlike.Photograph: Carlos Delgado
The Cave of the Crystals is a little-explored cave in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. Lying 300 metres (1,000 ft) below the surface and connected to the Naica Mine, the main chamber contains some of the largest crystals ever found. The largest of these gypsum formations is 12 m (40 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight.Photograph: Alexander Van Driessche
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, was completed in 537 as a Greek Orthodox church, serving in this capacity until 1204, when it became the main Roman Catholic cathedral of the Latin Empire. Consecrated again to the Orthodox faith in 1261, it became a mosque in 1453, following the fall of Constantinople. The architectural style of this former basilica, including its large dome, influenced the architecture of Ottoman mosques, including that of the Blue Mosque, which replaced the Hagia Sophia as the principal mosque of Istanbul in the early 1600s. In 1931 the mosque was closed to the public, secularized, and then reopened as a museum; it is now a common tourist destination.Photograph: Arild Vågen
The musk duck (Biziura lobata) is a duck native to southern Australia and the only extant member of its genus. Named for the peculiar musky odour that it gives off during breeding season, this duck is highly aquatic, preferring deep, still lakes and wetlands with areas of both open water and reed beds. The musk duck feeds primarily on water beetles, yabbies, water snails, and freshwater shellfish, supplemented with a variety of aquatic plants and a few fish.Photograph: JJ Harrison
Arundhati Roy (b. 1961) is an Indian author and political activist who won the 1997 Man Booker Prize with her debut novel The God of Small Things. Born in Shillong, Meghalaya, Roy wrote several screenplays in the late 1980s after meeting (and later marrying) director Pradip Krishen. She wrote The God of Small Things over a four-year period ending in 1996; it was published the following year and received positive international reviews, although in India the work was controversial. She has continued to write essays and articles, but has yet to publish another novel.Photograph: Augustus Binu
The Heart of the Andes is an oil painting on canvas completed by the American landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church in 1859. It shows an idealized view of the Andes, which Church visited in 1853 and 1857. When it was first exhibited, the painting was a popular success, viewed by more than 12,000 people in a little less than a month. Poetry and music were written about it, and the painting was ultimately sold for $10,000 – at that time the highest price ever paid for a work by a living American artist. The Heart of the Andes was bequeathed by the owner, Margaret Dows, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art upon her death in 1909.Painting: Frederic Edwin Church
The Mark IV tank was introduced by the British in May 1917 to fight in World War I. The "female" version, as pictured here, was armed with five machine guns. Production of the Mark IV ceased at the end of the War in 1918. A small number served briefly with other combatants afterwards.
This Mark IV tank, on display in Ashford, Kent, was presented to the town after the end of World War I. The engine was removed to install an electricity substation inside it, though this substation was subsequently removed; the tank's interior is now empty.Photograph: Peter Trimming
The orbicular batfish (Platax orbicularis) is a batfish endemic to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It has a thin, disc-shaped body, and male can grow up to 50 centimetres (20 in) in length. In the wild, the orbicular batfish lives in brackish or marine waters, usually around reefs, at depths from 5 to 30 metres (20 to 100 ft). It is also a popular aquarium fish, although captive specimens generally do not grow as long as wild ones.Photograph: Alexander Vasenin
The Confederate forces lost 1,750 men, with another 3,800 wounded; the Union forces, meanwhile, lost 189 with another 1,033 wounded. Although many Union soldiers were captured, they were recovered when Union forces reentered Franklin on December 18. The Army of Tennessee had been routed at the Battle of Nashville several days earlier.Lithograph: Kurz and Allison; restoration: Adam Cuerden