Wikipedia:Today's featured list/August 2012

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

August 6
Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt slowing down after winning the 2008 Olympic Games 100 m final in a record-breaking time
Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt slowing down after winning the 2008 Olympic Games 100 m final in a record-breaking time

Olympic records in athletics have been recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) every four years at the modern Summer Olympic Games since the first Games in 1896. The athletics events, which take place at each Games, are divided into four groups: track events, field events, road events (such as walks and the marathon) and combined events (the heptathlon and the decathlon). Olympic records for each event have existed since the first Games, although some were later rescinded by the IOC. In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson broke the Olympic and world record in the 100 metres, but he was subsequently disqualified after it was discovered that he had used anabolic steroids to enhance his performance. His record was expunged and the gold medal was instead awarded to American Carl Lewis. Usain Bolt (pictured) holds the current Olympic record in the 100 metres, set at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The longest-standing modern Olympic athletics record is Bob Beamon's achievement in the men's long jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, which also stood as the world record for 23 years until Beamon's compatriot, Mike Powell, jumped farther at the 1991 World Championships in Athletics in Tokyo. (Full list...)


August 13
The memorial monument for the victims of the "shoot-to-kill" order at the Berlin Wall
The memorial monument for the victims of the "shoot-to-kill" order at the Berlin Wall

There were numerous deaths at the Berlin Wall, which stood as a barrier between West Berlin and East Germany from 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989. Before erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin, from where they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the Wall prevented almost all such emigration. The state-funded Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam has given the official figure of 136 deaths, including people attempting to escape, border guards, and innocent parties (memorial monument pictured). However, researchers at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and some others had estimated the death toll to be significantly higher. In numerous legal cases throughout the 1990s, several border guards, along with political officials responsible for the defence policies, were found guilty of manslaughter and served probation or were jailed for their role in the Berlin Wall deaths. (Full list...)


August 20
List of Eagle Scouts
List of Eagle Scouts

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program division of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Since it was first awarded to Arthur Eldred (pictured) on August 21, 1912, Eagle Scout has been earned by more than two million young men. As of 2012, requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges, demonstrating Scout Spirit, leadership, service and performing an Eagle Scout Service Project. Eagle Scouts are presented both a medal and badge that visibly recognize the accomplishments of the Scout. Eagle Palms are a further recognition, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership and merit badge requirements. The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) is bestowed to Eagle Scouts for nationally renowned distinguished service in their profession and to the community for a period of at least 25 years after earning the Eagle Scout rank. The National Eagle Scout Association Outstanding Eagle Scout Award is bestowed to Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves at a local-to-regional level or who have not yet met the 25-year tenure requirement to be considered for a DESA. (Full list...)


August 27
Cook's Tree Boa, Caroni Swamp, Trinidad
Cook's Tree Boa, Caroni Swamp, Trinidad

Forty-seven species of snake have been recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, making the snake population of this area the most diverse in the Caribbean. Forty-four of these snake species are found in Trinidad and twenty-one in Tobago. Many of these species are South American, most of which are present in Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and several smaller islands. The Bocas Islands, which lie between Trinidad and Venezuela, in the Bocas del Dragón, consist of Chacachacare, Monos, Huevos and Gaspar Grande. Several smaller islands lie off Trinidad, but snakes have been recorded on only one of them: Caledonia Island. Snakes have been recorded on one island off Tobago: Little Tobago. Four species are venomous: two coral snake species, the fer-de-lance, and the South American bushmaster. The common coral is found on at least two of the Bocas Islands: Gaspar Grande and Monos. No venomous snakes inhabit Tobago. (Full list...)