Wikipedia article of the day for July 31, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Rodrigues rail. Check it out: Summary: The Rodrigues rail (Erythromachus leguati) was a flightless bird endemic to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The rail was described as having grey plumage, a red beak and legs, and a naked red patch around the eye. The bird fed on tortoise eggs. It was described as being attracted to red objects, which humans exploited while hunting it. The Rodrigues rail is believed to have become extinct in the mid-18th century because of predation by introduced cats and destruction of its habitat by tortoise hunters. The bird was first documented from life by two contemporaneous accounts, first by François Leguat, a French Huguenot refugee marooned on Rodrigues in 1691, and then by Julien Tafforet, marooned on the island in 1726. Subfossil remains (pictured) were later discovered and connected with the old accounts in 1874, and the species was named E. leguati in Leguat’s honour.

Wikipedia article of the day for July 30, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Ceilings of the Natural History Museum, London. Check it out: Summary: The decorated ceilings of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London, were designed by the museum’s architect Alfred Waterhouse, and were unveiled at the building’s opening in 1881. The ceiling of the large Central Hall (pictured) consists of 162 panels, 108 of which depict plants considered significant to the history of the museum, to the British Empire or to the museum’s visitors. The remaining 54 are highly stylised decorative botanical paintings. The ceiling of the smaller North Hall consists of 36 panels, 18 of which depict plants growing in the British Isles. Both ceilings make extensive use of gilding for visual effect. Built of lath and plaster to save costs, the ceilings are unusually fragile and require extensive maintenance and restoration. Since 2016 the skeleton of a blue whale has been suspended from the ceiling of the Central Hall.

Wikipedia article of the day for July 29, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Eris (dwarf planet). Check it out: Summary: Eris is the second-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, slightly smaller by volume than the dwarf planet Pluto, although it is 27 percent more massive. Discovered in January 2005 by a team based at Palomar Observatory, it was named after Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord. The ninth-most-massive object directly orbiting the Sun, Eris is the largest object in the Solar System that has not been visited by a spacecraft. It is a member of a high-eccentricity population known as the scattered disk and has one known moon, Dysnomia. It is about 96 astronomical units (14.4 billion kilometres; 8.9 billion miles) from the Sun, roughly three times as far away as Pluto. Except for some long-period comets, Eris and Dysnomia were the most distant known natural objects in the Solar System until 2018 VG18 was discovered in 2018. Observations of a stellar occultation by Eris in 2010 showed that its diameter was 2,326 ± 12 kilometers (1,445.3 ± 7.5 mi).

Wikipedia article of the day for July 28, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Elasmosaurus. Check it out: Summary: Elasmosaurus was a large marine reptile in the order Plesiosauria. The genus lived about 80.5 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous. The first specimen was sent to the American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope after its discovery in 1867 near Fort Wallace, Kansas. Only one incomplete skeleton is definitely known, consisting of a fragmentary skull, the spine, and the pectoral and pelvic girdles, and a single species, E. platyurus, is recognized today. Measuring 10.3 meters (34 ft) long, the genus had a streamlined body with paddle-like limbs or flippers, a short tail, and a small, slender, triangular head. With a neck around 7.1 meters (23 ft) long, Elasmosaurus was one of the longest-necked animals to have lived, with the largest number of neck vertebrae known, 72. It probably ate small fish and marine invertebrates, seizing them with long teeth. Elasmosaurus is known from the Pierre Shale formation, which represents marine deposits from the Western Interior Seaway.

Wikipedia article of the day for July 27, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Osbert Lancaster. Check it out: Summary: Osbert Lancaster (4 August 1908 – 27 July 1986) was an English cartoonist, architectural historian and stage designer. He became known in the 1930s for his books on architecture, aiming to amuse the general reader while demystifying the subject. Several of the terms he coined as labels for architectural styles such as “Pont Street Dutch” have gained common usage, and his books have continued to be regarded as important works of reference on the subject. In the Daily Express from 1938 to 1981 he drew the “pocket cartoons”, a form he introduced to Britain. They featured a cast of regular characters, led by his best-known creation, Maudie Littlehampton, through whom he expressed his views on the fashions, fads and political events of the day. In 1951 he was commissioned to create costumes and scenery for a new ballet, Pineapple Poll. Between then and the early 1970s he designed new productions for the Royal Ballet, Glyndebourne, D’Oyly Carte, the Old Vic and the West End.

A Flight through the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

What would it look like to fly through the distant universe? To find out, a team of astronomers estimated the relative distances to over 5,000 galaxies in one of the most distant fields of galaxies ever imaged: the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). Because it takes light a long time to cross the universe, most galaxies visible in the featured video are seen when the universe was only a fraction of its current age, were still forming, and have unusual shapes when compared to modern galaxies. No mature looking spiral galaxies such as our Milky Way or the Andromeda galaxy yet exist. Toward the end of the video the virtual observer flies past the farthest galaxies in the HUDF field, recorded to have a redshift past 8. This early class of low luminosity galaxies likely contained energetic stars emitting light that transformed much of the remaining normal matter in the universe from a cold gas to a hot ionized plasma. via NASA

Wikipedia article of the day for July 26, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Carlos Castillo Armas. Check it out: Summary: Carlos Castillo Armas (November 4, 1914 – July 26, 1957) was a military officer and the 28th president of Guatemala. He came to power in a 1954 coup d’état backed by the US Central Intelligence Agency that overthrew the democratically elected President Jacobo Árbenz, and consolidated his position in an October 1954 election in which he was the only candidate. A member of the right-wing National Liberation Movement party, he was also the first of a series of authoritarian rulers in Guatemala who were close allies of the United States. Under Castillo Armas, the reforms of the Guatemalan Revolution were largely undone. Land was confiscated from small farmers and returned to large landowners, and thousands of people were arrested, tortured, or killed under suspicion of being communists. In 1957 Castillo Armas was assassinated by a presidential guard. His policies sparked a series of leftist insurgencies culminating in the Guatemalan Civil War, which lasted from 1960 to 1996.

Wikipedia article of the day for July 25, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Operation Cobra. Check it out: Summary: Operation Cobra was an offensive launched by the First United States Army under Omar Bradley against the German 7th Army commanded by Paul Hausser in the Cotentin Peninsula during the Normandy campaign of World War II. The attack commenced on 25 July 1944, having been delayed several times by poor weather. Supporting offensives had drawn the bulk of German armored reserves toward the British and Canadian sectors, and the lack of men and materiel available to the Germans meant they were unable to form successive lines of defense. After a slow start the offensive gathered momentum and by 27 July most organized resistance had been overcome and the Americans advanced rapidly. The German response was ineffectual and the entire Normandy front soon collapsed. Operation Cobra, together with concurrent offensives by the British Second Army and the Canadian First Army, was decisive in securing an Allied victory in the Normandy campaign and the loss of the German position in northwestern France.

Wikipedia article of the day for July 24, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is Melanie Barnett. Check it out: Summary: Melanie Barnett is a fictional character on the American sitcom The Game, which aired on The CW and BET from 2006 to 2015. Portrayed by actress Tia Mowry (pictured), Melanie was introduced in a backdoor pilot on the sitcom Girlfriends as the cousin of Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross). Melanie chooses to support the career of her boyfriend Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall), a National Football League player, rather than attend medical school at Johns Hopkins University. The series focuses primarily on Melanie and Derwin’s complicated relationship and her fears of his infidelity. Mowry left the series in 2012 upon learning that Hall had decided to leave the show and her role would be reduced. Both actors reprised their roles in the series finale. Mowry’s performance received positive feedback from critics, who agreed that the role displayed her maturity as an actress. She received nominations for two NAACP Image Awards and a Teen Choice Award for the role.

Wikipedia article of the day for July 23, 2020

Wikipedia article of the day is John Leak. Check it out: Summary: John Leak (c. 1892 – 1972) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in battle that could be awarded at that time to a member of the Australian armed forces. Leak enlisted in early 1915, and served with the 9th Battalion during the Gallipoli campaign. Along with his unit, he transferred to the Western Front, where he participated in the Battle of Pozières in July 1916. For his actions on 23 July during this battle he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Mouquet Farm in August. Suffering from the effects of his service, Leak was convicted of desertion in November 1917, but his sentence was ultimately suspended. In early March 1918 he was gassed, and saw no further combat before the Armistice of 11 November 1918. He returned to Australia and was discharged in 1919. After various jobs, Leak settled in South Australia in 1937 and died in 1972.