Wikipedia:WikiProject Quality Article Improvement/TFA

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TFA collected suggestions for Today's Featured article. Some requests were made before at WP:TFAR but reserved here for later.

As of April 2014, you can create nominations using a template, therefore this page is good for history and transition. Templates should be linked on the QAI main page. Planned requests can be found in Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/pending.

TFA[edit]

9 August[edit]

Burials at the Volkovo cemetery
The Leningrad première of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 occurred on 9 August 1942 during the Second World War, while the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was under siege by Nazi German forces (pictured). Dmitri Shostakovich had intended for the piece to be premièred by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, but because of the siege that group was evacuated from the city. The world première of the symphony was held in Kuibyshev with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. The Leningrad première was performed by the surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, supplemented with military performers. Most of the musicians were starving, they frequently collapsed during rehearsals, and three died. The orchestra was able to play the symphony all the way through only once before the concert. The concert was highly successful, prompting an hour-long ovation. It was supported by a Soviet military offensive, code-named Squall, intended to silence German forces during the performance. The symphony was broadcast to the German lines by loudspeaker as a form of psychological warfare. The Leningrad première was considered by music critics to be one of the most important artistic performances of the war because of its psychological and political effects. The conductor concluded that "in that moment, we triumphed over the soulless Nazi war machine". (Full article...)

31 October 2014[edit]

Grace Sherwood[edit]

Pungo, Virginia

Grace Sherwood (c. 1660 – c. 1740), called the Witch of Pungo, is the last person known to have been convicted of witchcraft in Virginia. A farmer, healer, and midwife, she was charged with witchcraft several times. In 1706, she was accused of bewitching Elizabeth Hill, causing Hill to miscarry. The court ordered that Sherwood's guilt or innocence be determined by ducking her in water. If she sank, she was innocent; if she did not, she was guilty. Sherwood floated to the surface and may subsequently have spent up to eight years in jail before being released. Freed from prison by 1714, she recovered her property from Princess Anne County, after which she lived on her farm in Pungo until her death at the age of about 80. On July 10, 2006, the 300th anniversary of Sherwood's conviction, Governor Tim Kaine restored her good name, recognizing that her case was a miscarriage of justice. A statue depicting her was erected in Virginia Beach, close to the site of the colonial courthouse where she was tried. (Full article...)

  • 2 pts for no alleged witch article in 6 months (that I could find), plus excellent date tie-in for Halloween. While anyone here three years ago knows it was on the MP briefly, it was not for long and this is a unique case. There is precedent for articles being on the MP more than once--and full runs, such as Transit of Venus (TFA 2X, OTD 8X). Please judge it on the current version PumpkinSky talk 01:12, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
discussion 2013
The assertion that 'alleged witch' articles comprise a unique category that is dissimilar to other articles is overly specific. September 17th's Elizabeth Canning article is similar to this one- it is also about an 18th century English woman notable for being the defendant/victim of a dubious trial. Therefore, it appears to me that this is a zero point nomination. --Noren (talk) 01:12, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support as conom at the second FAC and because I believe running this would be a good thing, a sign of healing and perhaps we can put a lot of stuff behind us by running this. Bencherlite has yet to make clear his policy on exceptions to the only once being run at TFA.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:20, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Perhaps Bencherlite would have had a chance to do so if, as per the instructions, I'd been asked before this request was added and !voting started. I'm not impressed. BencherliteTalk 05:36, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Sigh. If that is the way you feel about it we can do so withdraw the nomination come and discuss it with you on your talk page and then reinstate the nomination but that seems ... unnecessary.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:51, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - We should show that even Wikipedia can put its past behind it. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:52, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Category:Featured articles that have not appeared on the main page has 1,334 articles. What are the exceptional circumstances / reasons that mean that this article should appear twice when others have yet to appear once? Why is "this is a unique case"? Multiple appearances at OTD are irrelevant for these purposes, aren't they? Transit of Venus appeared twice (and I supported it) because the date relevance for its 2012 reuse was exceptional: after 5th June 2012, the next ToV is not until 2117! BencherliteTalk 05:36, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Because it would mean a lot to some people in a way that normally a TFA, which to me is an inconvenience and an opportunity for people who know nothing about the subject matter to meddle in stuff they haven't a clue about, does not. Your call, but I guess it's for you to decide whether you are running the Bounty or some other vessel.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:15, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I will strike that and bluntly set forth the circumstances. You know what happened. You know what happened around here in 2010-2012. You know that Rlevse left after the Sherwood incident. When he returned, as PumpkinSky, he was promptly blocked by Moni3 for violating WP:RTV, a violation for which the prescribed remedy is to have all edits placed under the same account. Moni3 had threatened him with a block during the FA RFC, and had, two hours previously to the block, called him an "idiot" and a "dingus". This was as the case in which Hawkeye7 was desysoped was nearing decision, so people were on notice ArbCom took a dim view of such things. He stayed that way for months, and no one even had the guts to call Moni3 out on it. This block resulted from the thread here, which I suggest is worth a detailed read for its arrogance, along with other parts of Raul's talk archives where he felt free to trash content contributors, including myself, whom he did not like. Getting back to PumpkinSky, who was after months unblocked by 28bytes (who was promptly elevated to crat by the community), he could have left Sherwood like a festering sore on FAC. Instead, he worked to return it to FA status. I would say it is not unreasonable for him to ask that it be run. It would, among other things, allow the mention on the TFA records page to be amended to note that it was returned to FA status and run on October 31, 2013. I think that would be a positive thing.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:32, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
For the record, several of the above chronology and statements are incorrect. Rlevse/Pumpkin breached WP:RTV for quite some time before it was revealed who he was (there was no "promptly" about it) and in the interim he revisited old grudges as a disguised returning user. And although I no longer have the diff, arb @Risker: opined that Moni's block was correct for a breach of RTV. Perhaps we can stay focused on the merits of the article, and the broader issue of whether we agree with rerunning articles when there are so many that have never run. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:38, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
If you want us to stay focused on the article, Sandy, then why are you raising old issues that have long since been resolved (with your position on the losing side?) Montanabw(talk) 18:05, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
My 16:38 response to Wehwalt's long off-topic post at 15:32 (he raised it, not me) was intentionally brief: nothing is to be gained on this page by detailing all of the taunting and provocation from PumpkinSky that led to the block for breach of RTV to revisit an old grudge-- that belongs elsewhwere, it is unclear why Wehwalt put it here. More significantly, the whole issue of whether this, or any, article should run twice belongs on talk as well. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:03, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Promptly upon discovery, obviously. Although the loose talk thrown around he was BarkingMoon are a scandal upon Wikipedia. Did Risker preface her statement "Despite calling PumpkinSky an idiot and a dingus two hours previously, Moni3 was correct …"? But I agree, I should not let myself rise to bait.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:45, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Clear case for an exception to be made. The article was only up for a few hours before all the drama kicked in and it was taken down; given that it did not get its full 24 hours, I say that it is a unique case that is worthy of an exception to the rules. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Montanabw(talk) 18:05, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Incorrect again: although the article was removed quickly once the copyvio was discovered, the copyvio was on the main page for more than half a day. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:53, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
And I would also note that PS and his colleagues, having broken the record for page views with Kafka, might be entitled to a little slack for not having filed Form B in Hole Q.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:25, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. The article was clearly not ready for TFA then. It is now. Besides it has not been on the main page for a full 24 hours yet, so arguably would not have been a today's featured article. Double sharp (talk) 05:55, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Bencherlite. There is no convincing argument being advanced as to why this merits an exception. The two cases (Barack Obama and Transit of Venus) had good reasons: Obama was re-run to avoid appearance of bias when paired with his opponent in the 2008 election, and Bencherlite has already detailed why Transit of Venus got its exception. The OTD argument has no bearing here as articles can be repeated there as often as needed to provide. Imzadi 1979  06:26, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per Wehwalt, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:31, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment You are forgetting a third exception: Nick Drake, which appeared on two consecutive days due to the SOPA blackout. I think that's the case that Sherwood most resembles, as Sherwood appeared for only half a day on its first appearance. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:02, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Bencherlite, and a site-wide 24-hour blackout (Nick Drake) does not resemble the Grace Sherwood situation, nor does a once-in-a-lifetime repeat of Venus ... noting that I also disagreed with previous re-runs named above by Imzadi. We have thousands of articles that haven't run ... I have never agreed with re-runs, although I went along with the expressed community desires on Obama. I'm not sure that having the same group always support certain items is an example of "putting the past behind us", and this particular part of Wikipedia's history is more likely to NOT be put behind us by this nomination (partly but not only because of the apparent pointiness of nominating it for the same day it ran previously and was removed for copyvio). While it is commendable that those issues were overcome in this article, I don't see benefit in revisiting that chapter when so many articles have yet to run. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:04, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
How pleasant of you to say it is commendable, Sandy. I imagine the passive voice is to avoid praising Pumpkin Sky directly.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:22, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
You have a vivid imagination and presume that I have followed who fixed the article (in fact, even whether it has been fixed): I haven't. For the record, I have never supported running articles more than once, and the case of Nick Drake was a 24-hour, site-wide shutdown whereby that article did not get its mainpage day, ironically related to copyvio (SOPA) issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:28, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
If you can't be bothered to even review the article history, Sandy, then how about you just drop the WP:STICK and let the process play out without your uninformed input? Montanabw(talk) 18:05, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I do not follow your logic, which advocates taking a policy position based on who has worked on an article. Au contraire, I have always opposed the slippery slope of re-running TFAs, regardless of who wrote them. It is unfortunate when factionalism becomes the basis for decisions that affect FAs and the mainpage: my position has been consistent. I disagree on running TFAs twice, whether it has been Raul or Bencherlite doing so, and I suspect this nom illustrates why that slippery slope always concerned me. Who will want this next ? Where is the line going to be drawn when TFA is used to advance articles for reasons unrelated to the ones we normally use for choosing TFA ? The past cases were at least based on external events (election, Venus): this instance is internal navel gazing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:53, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Really! You surprise me. In any event, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that it was principally PumpkinSky! Now I'll stand back and not get in the way of your congratulations to him.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:36, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per Wehwalt. Good if not excellent article for the date proposed. Despite its ugly past and withdrawn status editors reworked and created a new version of this article in a highly collaborative way. I support that which contributes to a positive Wikipedia where our collaborative standards are upheld and where people actually want to work and can work together rather than the poisonous environment becoming increasingly more common. And dragging out the same old beast and kicking at it helps no one. (olive (talk) 15:52, 27 September 2013 (UTC))
  • Support per Wehwalt and others. The haters will always hate; it's time to show redemption and forgiveness. The three or four people who hate Rlevse/Psky for existing will always hate him and never drop the WP:STICK to move on. The rest of us live in the real world. This article has been more thoroughly reviewed, triple-checked, restructured and rewritten than any TFA that has ever appeared. It is a fantastic addition to the TFA collection and perfect for Halloween. In addition, the subject is a woman, an area where wiki has often fallen short in TFA recognition, plus the sourcing is impeccable, the FAC thorough and carefully done, it is what we are supposed to be doing on wikipedia. Let's show some growth and maturity here and put the personality issues behind us. Montanabw(talk) 18:05, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support It's a very appropriate article for that date. If it's solid (which many here have indicated) I see no reason to not run it. If there's a better option out there (not one of the unnamed "many articles that haven't run yet") perhaps one of the opposes should suggest it rather than carrying over with an old grudge. Intothatdarkness 18:32, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Because this is an excellent article and is relevant to the date. We're not a bureaucracy (as the recent FA RFC hammered home) so I think we should make an exception to the usual practice for an article with a very unusual history. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:47, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support in order to expedite the forcible imposition of a bureaucracy. Also, "in 1706, she was accused of bewitching Elizabeth Hill, causing her to miscarry" seems slightly ambiguous to me. By which I mean, thinking about it, I can work out who allegedly miscarried, but it doesn't make for easy reading. I can't think of a better wording without, as Douglas Adams would say, "making an unreadable mess of the sign", but probably someone else is better at that than me. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:10, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Changed "her" to "Hill", the repetition being forgivable.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:07, 27 September 2013 (UTC)tt
  • Support. Struggling to get the hang of the behind-the-scenes brawl above. But as to the front page, go for it, without a doubt, I'd say. Tim riley (talk) 23:01, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I know and understand all that happened, but revisiting it by some of the users who took part on it shows that i) they are not discussing the article and ii) they are deviating from the purpose of this page (I will restrain myself from calling names). I think that Sherwood deserves its 24 hours, given that it is a very different piece of content than what it was years ago when all happened. — ΛΧΣ21 02:26, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Neither do I understand the deviation from the point of this page-- that is, why an exception for this (or I have always felt, any, article), and why has that argument not been made based on the criteria rather than some users launching into off-topic personalization-- but there is no need to name names anyway when we have diffs. The purpose of this page: it is pointed out above that this a zero-point nomination ... That needs to be changed in the summary chart, and if this exception is made, where is the line drawn in the future? I disagree that either Venus or Obama should have run; I would like to see a discussion of why, if this article runs twice, every re-featured article (there are 54) cannot also run twice, and what purpose is served by using TFA as a reward page or popularity contest. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:31, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
    • Huh? We do argue that this is very different content from the previous TFA: that was not FA-worthy, while this is. And that previous version was not even on the main page for a full day. So it was neither today's article, nor a featured article. And I don't see how this is using TFA as a reward page or popularity contest. The article is worthy; it has not had a full chance before, not having deserved one then, but deserves one now.
    • (For the record, I would support allowing FFAs to run twice – and VAs with a sensible time in between, but can see how that could be more controversial, and that is another discussion altogether.) Double sharp (talk) 10:17, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:38, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Not ready[edit]

USS Iowa (BB-61)[edit]

USS Iowa (BB-61)
USS Iowa (BB-61) was the last lead ship of any class of United States battleships, and the fourth in the United States Navy with that name. The only ship of her class to serve in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Casablanca en route to a crucial 1943 meeting in Tehran with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. In 1944, Iowa shelled beachheads at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in advance of Allied amphibious landings and screened aircraft carriers operating in the Marshall Islands. She also served as the Third Fleet flagship, flying Adm. William F. Halsey's flag at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. During the Korean War, Iowa was involved in raids on the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets. She was reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets until her final decommissioning on 26 October 1990. Iowa was donated to the Los Angeles-based non-profit Pacific Battleship Center and was permanently moved to the Port of Los Angeles in the summer of 2012 to serve as a museum and memorial to battleships. (Full article...)
  • Parked here to save the blurb; article still needs more work. -- Dianna (talk) 18:43, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Eris (dwarf planet)[edit]

Eris and Dysnomia
Eris is a dwarf planet. Formally designated 136199 Eris, it is the most massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth most massive body known to orbit the Sun directly. It is estimated to be 2326 (±12) km in diameter, and 27% more massive than Pluto, or about 0.27% of the Earth's mass. Eris was discovered in January 2005 by a Palomar Observatory-based team led by Mike Brown, and its identity was verified later that year. It has one known moon, Dysnomia. With the exception of some comets, Eris and Dysnomia are currently the most distant known natural objects in the Solar System. Because Eris appeared to be larger than Pluto, its discoverers and NASA initially described it as the Solar System’s tenth planet. This, along with the prospect of other similarly sized objects being discovered in the future, motivated the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term planet for the first time. (Full article...)

8 January 2015[edit]

Stephen Hawking[edit]

no FA

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking (born 1942) is a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. His significant scientific works to date have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on theorems on gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. Subsequently, he became research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. Hawking has a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years. He is now almost entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. (Full article...)

9 April 2015[edit]

no FA

Jenna Jameson is an American entrepreneur and pornographic actress, who has been called the world's most famous adult-entertainment performer and "The Queen of Porn". She started acting in erotic videos in 1993 after having worked as a stripper and glamour model. By 1996, she had won the "top newcomer" award from each of the three major adult movie organizations. She has since won more than 20 adult video awards, and has been inducted into both the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) and Adult Video News (AVN) Halls of Fame. Jameson founded the adult-entertainment company ClubJenna in 2000 with Jay Grdina, whom she later married and divorced. Initially a single website, this business expanded into managing similar websites of other stars and began producing sexually explicit videos in 2001. The first such movie, Briana Loves Jenna (with Briana Banks), was named at the 2003 AVN Awards as the best-selling and best-renting pornographic title for 2002. By 2005, ClubJenna had revenues of US$30 million with profits estimated at half that. Advertisements for her site and films, often bearing her picture, have towered on a 48-foot-tall billboard in New York City's Times Square.

(Full article...)

Examples of free style[edit]

Reception history of Jane Austen[edit]

This article appeared as TFA on 28 January 2013.

watercolour sketch of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra (c. 1804)

The reception history of Jane Austen follows a path from modest fame to wild popularity; her novels are both the subject of intense scholarly study and the centre of a diverse fan culture. Jane Austen, the author of such works as Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Emma (1815), has become one of the best-known and widely read novelists in the English language. During her lifetime, Austen's novels brought her little personal fame; like many women writers, she chose to publish anonymously and it was only among members of the aristocracy that her authorship was an open secret. At the time they were published, Austen's works were considered fashionable by members of high society but received few positive reviews. By the mid-19th century, her novels were admired by members of the literary elite who viewed their appreciation of her works as a mark of cultivation. By the turn of the 20th century, competing groups had sprung up—some to worship her and some to defend her from the "teeming masses"—but all claiming to be the true Janeites, or those who properly appreciated Austen. It was not until the 1940s that Austen was widely accepted in academia as a "great English novelist". The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship, which explored numerous aspects of her works: artistic, ideological, and historical. As of the early 21st century, Austen fandom supports an industry of printed sequels and prequels as well as television and film adaptations, which started with the 1940 Pride and Prejudice and evolved to include the 2004 Bollywood-style production Bride and Prejudice. (more ...)

Stephen Crane[edit]

This article appeared as TFA on 5 June 2013.

Formal portrait of Stephen Crane taken in Washington, D.C., about March 1896

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. Crane's first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. He won international acclaim for his 1895 Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, written without any battle experience. Late that year he accepted an offer to cover the Spanish-American War as a war correspondent. As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida for passage to Cuba, he met Cora Taylor, the madam of a brothel, with whom he would have a lasting relationship. Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis at the age of 28. Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, Crane is also known for short stories such as "The Open Boat", "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", and The Monster. Stylistically, his works are characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation. His writing made a deep impression on 20th century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists. (more ...)