Wikipedia:Today's featured article/September 2013

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September 1
Williamette River as it passes through Portland, Oregon

The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of North America. The Willamette's main stem is 187 miles (301 km) long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States. Flowing northward between the Oregon Coast Range and the Cascade Range, the river and its tributaries form the Willamette Valley, which contains two-thirds of Oregon's population. The state's largest city, Portland, surrounds the Willamette's mouth at the Columbia. Due to prolific rainfall in the basin and sediments from the glacial Missoula Floods, the Willamette Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in North America, and was thus the destination of many 19th-century pioneers traveling west along the Oregon Trail. Since 1900, more than 15 large dams and many smaller ones have been built in the Willamette's drainage basin. They are used primarily to produce hydroelectricity, to maintain reservoirs for recreation, and to prevent flooding. The river and its tributaries support 60 fish species, including many species of salmon and trout; this is despite the dams, other alterations, and pollution (especially on the river's lower reaches). (Full article...)

Recently featured: Everything Tastes Better with Bacon – Typhoon Pongsona – Parity of zero


September 2
Fiji Parrotfinch

The Fiji Parrotfinch is a species of estrildid finch endemic to Fiji that was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the Red-headed Parrotfinch. This parrotfinch is a small, mainly green bird with a red head and tail and a stubby dark grey bill. It is found in both forested and open habitats, and has adapted well to man-made environments such as grasslands, pasture and gardens. Pairs have a courtship display in which they fly above the trees in an undulating flight, calling constantly. Breeding birds build a domed grass nest with a side entrance, and lay a clutch normally of four white eggs. The Fiji Parrotfinch eats seeds, especially of grasses, but also readily feeds on insects and nectar. It forms small flocks of up to six individuals after the breeding season. Parrotfinches may be predated by indigenous birds of prey such as the endemic Fiji Goshawk, or by introduced mammals like the small Asian mongoose, rats and mice, and they may be susceptible to disease. Nevertheless, the Fiji species, despite being both uncommon and endemic to one island group, appears to be stable in numbers. It is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, and it is protected under Fijian law. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Willamette River – Everything Tastes Better with Bacon – Typhoon Pongsona


September 3
An Inglis bridge

Charles Inglis (1875–1952) was a British civil engineer who has been described as the greatest teacher of engineering of his time. He was educated at King's College, Cambridge, and then spent two years with the engineering firm run by John Wolfe-Barry before returning to King's College as a lecturer. Working with Professors James Alfred Ewing and Bertram Hopkinson, he made several important studies into the effects of vibration on structures and defects on the strength of plate steel. Inglis served in the Royal Engineers during the First World War and invented the Inglis Bridge, a reusable steel bridging system (example pictured) – the precursor to the Bailey bridge of the Second World War. In 1916 he was placed in charge of bridge design and supply at the War Office and, with Giffard Le Quesne Martel, pioneered the use of temporary bridges with tanks. He returned to Cambridge University after the war as head of the Engineering Department, which became the largest in the university and one of the best regarded engineering schools in the world. Knighted in 1945, he spent his later years developing his theories on the education of engineers and wrote a textbook on applied mechanics. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Fiji Parrotfinch – Willamette River – Everything Tastes Better with Bacon


September 4

The Boys from Baghdad High is a television documentary film, first shown at the 2007 Sheffield Doc/Fest in the United Kingdom. It documents the lives of four Iraqi schoolboys of different religious or ethnic backgrounds at the Tariq bin Ziad High School for Boys in Zayouna, a middle-class neighbourhood in a suburb of Baghdad. It was filmed by the boys themselves over the course of a year in the form of a video diary. They have high expectations and hope to graduate and attend university. They must also deal with increasing sectarian violence, and face the threats of roadside bombings, the hassles of security checkpoints, curfews, and the deterioration of their neighbourhood. The Boys from Baghdad High received high viewership and favourable reviews when it initially aired in the UK in 2008. It was named the Best News and Current Affairs Film at the European Independent Film Festival, won the Premier Prize at the Sandford St. Martin Trust Awards, and was nominated for awards at two film festivals. The documentary also received the Radio Times Readers Award, and a nomination for the Amnesty International 2008 Television Documentary and Docudrama UK Media Award. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Charles Inglis (engineer) – Fiji Parrotfinch – Willamette River


September 5
The US parachute drop at Nadzab

The Landing at Nadzab was an airborne landing on 5 September 1943 during the New Guinea campaign of World War II. It began with a parachute drop (pictured) into Nadzab by the US Army's 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment and elements of the Australian Army. The drop, which took place in conjunction with the Landing at Lae, was observed by General Douglas MacArthur, circling overhead in a B-17. Australian and Papuan troops reached Nadzab that same day after an overland and river trek. The first transport aircraft carrying troops of the Australian 7th Division landed the next morning, but an air crash at Jackson's Field caused half the Allied casualties of the battle. The 7th Division advanced on Lae from Nadzab. On 11 September, it defeated a Japanese force at Heath's Plantation. During this engagement, Private Richard Kelliher won the Victoria Cross, Australia's highest award for gallantry. The Japanese Army elected not to fight for Lae, preferring instead to withdraw over the rugged Saruwaged Range, which proved to be a gruelling test of endurance. Nadzab was then developed and became the major Allied air base in New Guinea. (Full article...)

Recently featured: The Boys from Baghdad High – Charles Inglis (engineer) – Fiji Parrotfinch


September 6
Roger Waters

Roger Waters (born 1943) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and composer. He was a founding member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, serving as bassist and vocalist. Following the departure of bandmate Syd Barrett in 1968, Waters became the band's lyricist, principal songwriter and conceptual leader. The band subsequently achieved international success with concept albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. Although Waters' primary instrument in Pink Floyd was the bass guitar, he also experimented with synthesisers and tape loops and played rhythm guitar on recordings and in concerts. Amid creative differences within the group, Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 and began a legal battle with the remaining members over their intended use of the band's name and material. They settled the dispute out of court in 1987; the four members did not play together until Live 8, nearly 18 years later. Waters released Ça Ira (a three-act opera based on the French Revolution) in 2005, and in 2010 staged The Wall Live concert tour, an updated version of the original Pink Floyd album. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Landing at Nadzab – The Boys from Baghdad High – Charles Inglis (engineer)


September 7
Highbury

The history of Arsenal Football Club between 1886 and 1966 covers the time from the club's foundation, through the first two major periods of success and their subsequent decline to mid-table status. Arsenal were founded in 1886 as a workers' team from Woolwich, in present-day South East London. They turned professional in 1891 and joined the Football League two years later, winning promotion into the First Division in 1904. Arsenal were bought out in 1910 by Sir Henry Norris, and he moved the team to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London, in 1913 to improve their financial standing. It was not until the appointment of Herbert Chapman as manager that Arsenal had their first period of major success; under him and his successor George Allison, Arsenal won five First Division titles and two FA Cups in the 1930s. After the Second World War, Tom Whittaker continued the success, leading the club to two First Division titles and another FA Cup. Arsenal's fortunes gradually declined; by 1966, they were in mid-table obscurity and had not won a trophy in thirteen years. This led to the dismissal of Billy Wright as manager, and with it the appointment of Bertie Mee. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Roger Waters – Landing at Nadzab – The Boys from Baghdad High


September 8
Triple H

SummerSlam (2003) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on August 24, 2003, at the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the 16th annual SummerSlam event and starred wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown! brands in nine professional wrestling matches. In the first main event, World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (pictured) defeated Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton, and Shawn Michaels to retain his championship. In the other main match, featuring wrestlers from the SmackDown! brand, defending WWE Champion Kurt Angle defeated challenger Brock Lesnar. The other main match was a No Holds Barred match between wrestlers from the Raw brand, in which Kane defeated Rob Van Dam. The event marked the second time the Elimination Chamber format was used by WWE; the first was at Survivor Series 2002. Including its scripted buildup, SummerSlam (2003) grossed over $715,000 ticket sales from an attendance of 16,113 and received about 415,000 pay-per-view buys, more than the following year's event. This event helped WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $6.2 million from the previous year. (Full article...)

Recently featured: History of Arsenal F.C. (1886–1966) – Roger Waters – Landing at Nadzab


September 9
Denise Crosby

Natasha "Tasha" Yar is a fictional character who mainly appeared in the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Portrayed by Denise Crosby (pictured), she is chief of security aboard the Starfleet starship USS Enterprise-D. The character's concept was originally based upon the character of Vasquez from the 1986 film Aliens. Yar first appeared in the series' pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint". After Crosby decided to leave the show, Yar was killed by the creature Armus in "Skin of Evil", the 23rd episode of the season – a death that received mainly negative reviews. She was written back into the show for a guest appearance in the third season episode "Yesterday's Enterprise", in which the timeline was altered so that she did not die, and again in the final episode of the series "All Good Things...", in events set prior to the pilot. She has been described as a forerunner to other strong women in science fiction, such as Kara Thrace from the 2004 version of Battlestar Galactica, and a step between the female characters in The Original Series and the command positions they have in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager. (Full article...)

Recently featured: SummerSlam (2003) – History of Arsenal F.C. (1886–1966) – Roger Waters


September 10
Pigeye shark

The pigeye shark is an uncommon species of requiem shark found in the warm coastal waters of the eastern Atlantic and western Indo-Pacific. It prefers shallow, murky environments with soft bottoms, and tends to roam within a fairly localised area. With its bulky grey body, small eyes, and short, blunt snout, the pigeye shark looks almost identical to (and is often confused with) the better-known bull shark. The pigeye shark is an apex predator that mostly hunts low in the water column. It has a varied diet, consisting mainly of bony and cartilaginous fishes but also including crustaceans, molluscs, sea snakes, and cetaceans. This species gives birth to live young, with the developing embryos sustained to term via a placental connection to their mother. Litters of three to thirteen pups are born after a gestation period of nine or twelve months. Young sharks spend their first few years of life in sheltered inshore habitats such as bays. The pigeye shark's size and dentition make it potentially dangerous, though it has not been known to attack humans. It is infrequently caught by fisheries, which use it for meat and fins, and in shark nets used to protect beaches. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Tasha Yar – SummerSlam (2003) – History of Arsenal F.C. (1886–1966)


September 11
Harry McNish, cropped from crew photo

Harry McNish (1874–1930) was the carpenter on Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914 to 1917. At 40, he was one of the oldest members of the crew and was regarded as somewhat odd and unrefined, but was highly respected as a carpenter. He was responsible for much of the work that ensured the crew's survival after their ship, the Endurance, was destroyed when it became trapped in pack ice in the Weddell Sea. He modified the small boat, James Caird, that allowed Shackleton and five men (including McNish) to make a voyage of hundreds of miles to fetch help for the rest of the crew. He briefly refused to follow orders on the crew's long trek pulling the boats across the pack ice, and, despite his efforts during the journey, was one of only four of the crew not to receive the Polar Medal. After the expedition he returned to work in the Merchant Navy and eventually emigrated to New Zealand, where he worked on the docks in Wellington until ill-health forced his retirement. He died destitute in the Ohiro Benevolent Home in Wellington. McNish Island, which lies in the approaches to King Haakon Bay, South Georgia, was named in his honour. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Pigeye shark – Tasha Yar – SummerSlam (2003)


September 12
The helmet from the Sutton Hoo ship burial

The Middle Ages of European history lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the subsequent formation of new kingdoms by barbarian invaders. The Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty, established an empire covering much of Western Europe; the Carolingian Empire endured until the 9th century. During the High Middle Ages, which began after AD 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and crop yields to increase. Western European Christians attempted to regain control of the Holy Land in the Crusades. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism and the founding of universities. The philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, and the architecture of Gothic cathedrals are among the outstanding achievements of this period. The Late Middle Ages was marked by famine, plague, and war; between 1347 and 1350, the Black Death killed about a third of Europeans. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, leading to the early modern period. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Harry McNish – Pigeye shark – Tasha Yar


September 13
Otto Becher

Otto Becher (1908–77) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy. After graduating from the Royal Australian Naval College in 1926, he was posted to a series of staff and training positions prior to specialising in gunnery. He assisted in the extraction of Allied troops from the Namsos region of Norway during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Following service in the Mediterranean theatre, he returned to Australia as officer-in-charge of the gunnery school at HMAS Cerberus for two years. He was given command of HMAS Quickmatch in 1944 and earned a Bar to his Distinguished Service Cross for operations against Japanese forces in the Pacific. After the war he was posted to the Navy Office and later to the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney; in 1951 he was given command of the destroyer HMAS Warramunga. Warramunga formed part of Australia's contribution to the United Nations forces engaged in the Korean War; he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his role. Promoted to rear admiral in 1959, he served as Flag Officer Commanding Australian Fleet and then as Flag Officer-in-Charge East Australia Area before retiring in 1966. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Middle Ages – Harry McNish – Pigeye shark


September 14
Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins (pictured). It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death. In writing the novel, Collins drew upon Greek mythology, Roman gladiatorial games, and contemporary reality television for thematic content. The novel won many awards, including the California Young Reader Medal, and was named one of Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of the Year" in 2008. Since its release, The Hunger Games has been translated into 26 languages, and publishing rights have been sold in 38 territories. The novel is the first in The Hunger Games trilogy, followed by Catching Fire (2009) and Mockingjay (2010). A film adaptation, directed by Gary Ross and co-written and co-produced by Collins herself, was released in 2012. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Otto Becher – Middle Ages – Harry McNish


September 15
Carnell Williams

The 2005 Sugar Bowl was an American college football bowl game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Auburn Tigers at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 3, 2005. Virginia Tech represented the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) after winning the ACC football championship. Auburn represented the Southeastern Conference (SEC), finishing the regular season undefeated. Pre-game media coverage of the game focused on Auburn being left out of the Bowl Championship Series national championship game because of its lower ranking in the BCS poll, a point of controversy for Auburn fans and others. For Auburn, running backs Carnell Williams (pictured) and Ronnie Brown were considered among the best at their position; for Tech, senior quarterback Bryan Randall had had a record-breaking season. Both teams also had high-ranked defenses and in a defensive struggle, Auburn earned a 16–13 victory despite a late-game rally by Virginia Tech. In recognition of his game-winning performance, Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell was named the game's most valuable player. Several players from each team were selected in the 2005 NFL Draft and went on to careers in the National Football League. (Full article...)

Recently featured: The Hunger Games – Otto Becher – Middle Ages


September 16
The Simpsons

The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an action-adventure video game based on the animated sitcom The Simpsons. It was released in North America on September 16, 2003, and in Europe and Japan later in the year. The story and dialogue were crafted by writers from The Simpsons, with all character voices supplied by the actual cast. The game follows the Simpson family and the citizens of Springfield, who witness strange incidents in town and discover that two aliens are filming a reality television series about the populace. To make the show more interesting, the aliens release a new version of the popular soft drink Buzz Cola into Springfield's water supply, which causes insanity. With help from Professor Frink, Homer destroys the aliens' spaceship, and Springfield and its inhabitants are returned to normal. The game received generally favorable reviews from video game critics. Praise focused on the interpretation of the Simpsons television series as a video game and its parodical take on the game Grand Theft Auto III, while criticism mostly surrounded some aspects of gameplay. The game received the award for Fave Video Game at the 2004 Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards and sold three million copies. (Full article...)

Recently featured: 2005 Sugar Bowl – The Hunger Games – Otto Becher


September 17
Elizabeth Canning

Elizabeth Canning (1734–73) was an English maidservant who claimed to have been kidnapped and held in a hayloft against her will, and who ultimately became central to one of the most famous English criminal mysteries of the 18th century. She disappeared on 1 January 1753, returning 28 days later, emaciated and in a "deplorable condition", to her mother's home in the City of London. After Canning was interviewed, two women, Susannah Wells and Mary Squires, were identified as her supposed captors and arrested. Local magistrate Henry Fielding investigated Canning's story, interviewing several witnesses. Wells and Squires were tried and found guilty; Squires was sentenced to death for theft. However, the trial judge, Crisp Gascoyne, was unhappy with the verdict and began his own investigation. Upon being questioned, some witnesses recanted their earlier testimony, and evidence from others implied that Squires could not have abducted Canning. Gascoyne had Canning arrested, and she was found guilty of perjury at a trial in 1754. She was imprisoned for a month and transported for seven years. She died in British America in 1773, but the mystery surrounding her disappearance remains unsolved. (Full article...)

Recently featured: The Simpsons: Hit & Run – 2005 Sugar Bowl – The Hunger Games


September 18
Joss Whedon

"Once More, with Feeling" is the only episode of the fantasy television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer performed as a musical. It was written and directed by the show's creator, Joss Whedon (pictured), and first aired in the United States on November 6, 2001. The episode explores changes in the relationships of the main characters, using the plot device that a demon compels the people of Sunnydale to break into song at random moments to express hidden truths. All cast members sang their parts, although two were given minimal lines by request. It is the most technically complex episode in the series, as extra voice and dance training for the cast was interspersed with the production of four other Buffy episodes. It was Whedon's first attempt at writing music, and different styles—from 1950s sitcom theme music to rock opera—are used to express the characters' secrets. The episode was well received critically upon airing, specifically for containing the humor and wit to which fans had become accustomed. It is considered one of the most effective and popular episodes of the series, and—prior to a financial dispute in 2007—was shown in theaters with the audience invited to sing along. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Elizabeth Canning – The Simpsons: Hit & Run – 2005 Sugar Bowl


September 19
Charminar

Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Located along the Musi River, Hyderabad has a population of 6.8 million, making it the fourth-largest city in India. Established in 1591, Hyderabad was ruled by the Qutb Shahis for a century before falling under Mughal rule. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I created his own dynasty of nizams by establishing the State of Hyderabad, which ultimately became a princely state based in the city during British rule. Relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizam rule remain visible today, with the Charminar (pictured)—dating from the city's founding—coming to symbolise Hyderabad. That legacy is also evident in the city's distinctive cuisine, which includes Hyderabadi biriyani and Hyderabadi haleem. Hyderabad has historically been known as a pearl and diamond trading centre. Today, due to the Telugu film industry, it is also the country's second-largest producer city of motion pictures. The formation of an infotech special economic zone has attracted firms from around the world, while the emergence of biotech industries in the 1990s has led to the title "Genome Valley" alongside the city's traditional status as the City of Pearls. (Full article...)

Recently featured: "Once More, with Feeling" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) – Elizabeth Canning – The Simpsons: Hit & Run


September 20
Tropical Storm Hermine

Tropical Storm Hermine was the eighth tropical cyclone and named storm of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. Hermine developed from a tropical wave that emerged from the west coast of Africa on September 5. The wave moved westward across the Atlantic Ocean, and on entering the northwest Caribbean Sea interacted with other weather systems. The resultant system was declared a tropical depression on September 17 in the central Gulf of Mexico. The storm meandered north slowly, and after being upgraded to a tropical storm made landfall on Louisiana, where it quickly deteriorated into a tropical depression again on September 20. Before the storm's arrival, residents of Grand Isle, Louisiana, were evacuated. Rainfall spread from Louisiana through Georgia, causing isolated flash flooding. In some areas, the storm tide prolonged the coastal flooding from a tropical cyclone. Gusty winds were reported. Associated tornadoes in Mississippi damaged mobile homes and vehicles, and inflicted one injury. While Hermine was a weak storm and not particularly damaging, its effects combined with those of other tropical cyclones caused agricultural damage. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Hyderabad – "Once More, with Feeling" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) – Elizabeth Canning


September 21
Gwen Stefani performing "Rich Girl"

"Rich Girl" is a song by American recording artist Gwen Stefani (pictured) from her 2004 debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Produced by Dr. Dre, the track features rapper Eve, who had previously collaborated with Stefani on the 2001 single "Let Me Blow Ya Mind". "Rich Girl" is a remake of Louchie Lou & Michie One's 1993 song of the same name, which was in turn an adaptation of the Fiddler on the Roof song "If I Were a Rich Man". In the song, Stefani discusses dreams of wealth and luxury. She has said that the song is from the perspective of "when she was just an Orange County girl". The last song to be included on the album, "Rich Girl" was released in late 2004 to mixed reviews from music critics. Some found it ironic that Stefani, who had already sold 26 million records as a member of the rock group No Doubt, discussed having money in the counterfactual conditional. It was a commercial success, reaching the top ten on the majority of the charts it entered. In the United States, the song was certified gold, and it received a nomination for Best Rap/Sung collaboration at the 48th Grammy Awards. The music video was directed by David LaChapelle and features a pirate theme. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Tropical Storm Hermine (1998) – Hyderabad – "Once More, with Feeling" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)


September 22
The Mandurah railway line in the median of Kwinana Freeway

Kwinana Freeway is a 72-kilometre (45 mi) freeway in and beyond the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, linking central Perth with Mandurah to the south. It interchanges with several major roads, including Roe Highway and Mandjoogoordap Drive, and is the central section of State Route 2, which continues north as Mitchell Freeway to Joondalup, and south as Forrest Highway towards Bunbury. A 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) section between Canning and Leach highways is also part of National Route 1. The northern terminus of the Kwinana Freeway is at the Narrows Bridge, which crosses the Swan River, and the southern terminus is at Pinjarra Road, east of Mandurah. Planning began in the 1950s, and the first segment in South Perth was constructed between 1956 and 1959. The route has been progressively widened and extended south since then. The last extension was completed in 2009, with the section north of Pinjarra Road named as part of the Kwinana Freeway, and the remainder named Forrest Highway. The freeway has been adapted to cater for public transport: bus priority measures were introduced in 1987, and in 2007, the Mandurah railway line (pictured) opened, constructed in the freeway median strip. (Full article...)

Recently featured: "Rich Girl" (Gwen Stefani song) – Tropical Storm Hermine (1998) – Hyderabad


September 23
Two hands, one brandishing a pocket knife, the other offering a pocket knife atop several American bills

In political philosophy, a throffer is a proposal that mixes an offer with a threat which will be carried out if the offer is not accepted. The term was first used in print by political philosopher Hillel Steiner, and while other writers followed, it has not been universally adopted. An example (pictured) is "Kill this man and I'll pay you—fail to kill him and I'll kill you instead." Steiner differentiated offers, threats and throffers based on the preferability of compliance and non-compliance for the subject compared to the normal course of events that would have come about were no intervention made, although this approach has been criticised. Throffers form part of the wider moral and political considerations of coercion, and form part of the question of the possibility of coercive offers. The theoretical concerns surrounding throffers have been practically applied concerning workfare programmes, where individuals receiving social welfare have their aid decreased if they refuse the offer of work or education. Several writers have also observed that throffers presented to people convicted of crimes, particularly sex offenders, can result in more lenient sentences if they accept medical treatment. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Kwinana Freeway – "Rich Girl" (Gwen Stefani song) – Tropical Storm Hermine (1998)


September 24
Doug Hutchison

"Squeeze" is the third episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files, premiering on September 24, 1993. It featured the first of two guest appearances by Doug Hutchison (pictured) as the mutant serial killer Eugene Victor Tooms. In this episode, FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) (who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files) investigate a series of ritualistic killings by somebody seemingly capable of squeezing his body through impossibly narrow gaps. The agents deduce that their suspect may be a genetic mutant who has been killing in sprees for ninety years. Production was problematic; creative differences led to the director being replaced, and some missing scenes needed to be shot after the initial filming. "Squeeze" received positive reviews from critics, mostly focusing on Hutchison's performance and the resonance of his character. Academics have examined "Squeeze" for its portrayal of the politics of law enforcement, highlighting the tension—evident throughout the series—between the agents' desire to find the truth and their duty to secure criminal convictions. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Throffer – Kwinana Freeway – "Rich Girl" (Gwen Stefani song)


September 25
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Freedom for the Thought That We Hate is a 2007 non-fiction book by Anthony Lewis about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought, and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Lewis discusses key free speech case law, including U.S. Supreme Court opinions in United States v. Schwimmer (1929), New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), and New York Times Co. v. United States (1971). The book's title is drawn from the dissenting opinion by Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (pictured) in United States v. Schwimmer, who wrote: "if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought—not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate." The book was positively received by The New York Times, Harvard Magazine, Nat Hentoff, two National Book Critics Circle members, and Kirkus Reviews. Jeremy Waldron criticized the work in The New York Review of Books and elaborated on this in The Harm in Hate Speech (2012). This prompted a critical analysis of both works in The New York Review of Books by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. (Full article...)

Recently featured: "Squeeze" (The X-Files) – Throffer – Kwinana Freeway


September 26
Henrik Sedin (back) and his twin brother Daniel (front)

Henrik Sedin and his identical twin brother Daniel Sedin (born 1980) are Swedish professional ice hockey players with the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Henrik (pictured rear) is the team's captain and all-time leading scorer, and Daniel (pictured front) serves as alternate captain in home games. Having played together throughout their careers, the pair are known for their effectiveness playing off one another. They began their professional careers in the Swedish Elite League with Modo Hockey in 1997 and were joint recipients of the 1999 Golden Puck as Swedish player of the year. Daniel was selected second overall by the Canucks in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and Henrik was picked third. Henrik was the team's leading points scorer from 2007–08 to 2009–10, and in 2009–10, he won the Hart Memorial and Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's most valuable player and leading point-scorer, respectively. Daniel won the Art Ross Trophy the following season. They were co-recipients of the Victoria Stipendium as Swedish athletes of the year in 2011. Internationally, they have helped Sweden to victory at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2013 World Championships. (Full articles: Henrik SedinDaniel Sedin)

Recently featured: Freedom for the Thought That We Hate – "Squeeze" (The X-Files) – Throffer


September 27
Some of the lettering used in Whaam!

Whaam! is a 1963 diptych painting by American artist Roy Lichtenstein. The painting's title (pictured) is displayed in the large onomatopoeia in the right panel. One of the best-known works of pop art, it is among Lichtenstein's most important paintings. Whaam! was first exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City in 1963, and purchased by the Tate Gallery, London, in 1966. It has been on permanent display at Tate Modern since 2006. The left-hand panel of Whaam! shows a fighter plane firing a missile. The right-hand panel depicts the missile hitting its target, a second plane, which explodes into flames. Lichtenstein based the image on elements taken from several comic-book panels. He transformed his primary prototype, a panel from a 1962 war comic book, by dividing the composition into two panels and altering the relationship of the graphical and narrative elements. Whaam! is regarded for the temporal, spatial and psychological integration of its two panels, which Lichtenstein conceived as a contrasting pair. Lichtenstein, who served in the United States Army during World War II, depicted aerial combat in several works. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin – Freedom for the Thought That We Hate – "Squeeze" (The X-Files)


September 28
Bulldog Drummond, McNeile's best-known character

H. C. McNeile, MC (1888–1937) was a British soldier and author best known for his series of Bulldog Drummond novels. McNeile started writing short war stories during the First World War; when these were published in the Daily Mail, they were under his penname, Sapper, which was based on that of his regiment, the Royal Engineers. After the war he left the Army and became a full-time writer, changing from writing war stories to thrillers, and from writing short stories to move increasingly to novels. In 1920 he published Bulldog Drummond, whose hero became his best-known creation: nine further Drummond novels followed, as did three plays and a screenplay. McNeile also wrote works that included two other protagonists, Jim Maitland and Ronald Standish, and sales of his books ensured he was one of the most successful British popular authors of the inter-war period before his death in 1937 from throat cancer, which has been attributed to damage sustained from a gas attack in the war. Although seen by his contemporaries as an "upstanding Tory", his work came under criticism after the Second World War for its fascist overtones, xenophobia and anti-semitism. (Full article...)

Recently featured: Whaam! – Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin – Freedom for the Thought That We Hate


September 29
Chamberlain in 1938

The early life, business career and political rise of Neville Chamberlain culminated on 28 May 1937, when he was summoned to Buckingham Palace to "kiss hands" and become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Chamberlain was born in 1869; his father was the politician Joseph Chamberlain. After a period in a firm of chartered accountants, Neville Chamberlain spent six years in the Bahamas managing a sisal plantation. Returning to England in 1897, he became a successful businessman, and Lord Mayor, in his home city of Birmingham. He was elected to the House of Commons aged 49 in 1918, the oldest man at first election to Parliament to become prime minister. After four years on the backbenches, he saw rapid promotion, becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer after less than a year as a minister. He spent five years as Minister of Health, securing the passage of many reforming acts. After two years in opposition, he became part of Ramsay MacDonald's National Government, and spent another five years as Chancellor. Chamberlain had long been regarded as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin's political heir, and when Baldwin announced his retirement, Chamberlain was seen as the only possible successor. (Full article...)

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September 30
The Pearl Fishers, with Caruso, in 1916

Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) is an opera by the French composer Georges Bizet, with a libretto by Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré, first performed on 30 September 1863 at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris. Set in ancient Ceylon, it tells how two men's vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for a woman, who is herself conflicted between secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess. The duet "Au fond du temple saint", generally known as "The Pearl Fishers Duet", is one of the best-known numbers in Western opera. Although the opera was well received by the public and by other composers, initial press reaction was generally hostile, and it was not revived in Bizet's lifetime. It later achieved popularity in Europe and America, and eventually became a staple part of the repertory of opera houses worldwide. The loss of Bizet's original score meant that, until the 1970s, productions were based on versions with significant departures from the original; recently, efforts have been made to reconstruct the score in accordance with Bizet's intentions. Modern critics have detected premonitions of the composer's genius which culminated, 10 years later, in Carmen. (Full article...)

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