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[Daily article] December 31: Terang Boelan



Terang Boelan is a 1937 film from the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).
Written by Saeroen, directed by Albert Balink, and starring Rd Mochtar,
Roekiah and E. T. Effendi, the film follows two lovers who elope after
one is nearly forced to marry an opium smuggler. Shot in the Indies and
Singapore and partially inspired by the 1936 Hollywood film The Jungle
Princess, Terang Boelan was aimed at native audiences and included
kroncong music and several actors from Balink's previous work, Pareh
(1936). It was a commercial success in both the Indies and abroad (under
the title Full Moon), earning 200,000 Straits dollars in British Malaya.
This success revived the faltering domestic film industry and inspired
films aimed at Malay audiences in Malaya, creating a formula of songs,
beautiful scenery and romance that was followed for decades afterwards.
Modern critical reception of the film, which has been lost since at
least the 1970s, has generally been positive. The Indonesian film
historian Misbach Yusa Biran described it as a turning point in the
history of Indonesian cinema for its catalytic effect on the industry's
growth.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terang_Boelan>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1857:

Queen Victoria selected Ottawa, then a small logging town, to
be the capital of the British colony of Canada.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa>

1862:

American Civil War: The Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee, began in an engagement where both sides would suffer their
highest casualty rates of the war.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stones_River>

1972:

Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente died in a plane
crash en route to deliver aid to victims of the Nicaragua earthquake.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Clemente>

1998:

The European Exchange Rate Mechanism froze the values of the
legacy currencies in the Eurozone and established the value of the euro
currency.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro>

1999:

Boris Yeltsin, the first President of Russia, resigned and
named Vladimir Putin as acting President.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

reverie:
A state of dreaming while awake; a loose or irregular train of thought;
musing or meditation; daydream.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/reverie>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the
light joyousness of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the
labors it has cost me.
--Henri Matisse
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henri_Matisse>

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[Daily article] December 30: Muckaty Station



Muckaty Station is a 2,380-square-kilometre (590,000-acre) Aboriginal
freehold landholding in Australia's Northern Territory, approximately
800 kilometres (500 mi) south of Darwin. Originally under traditional
Indigenous Australian ownership, the area became a pastoral lease in the
late 19th century and for many years operated as a cattle station.
Muckaty Station was returned to its Indigenous custodians in 1999. It is
traversed by the Stuart Highway, built in the 1940s along the route of
the service track for the Australian Overland Telegraph Line, a natural
gas pipeline, and the Adelaide–Darwin railway. The area comprises
semi-arid stony ridges, claypans and a stony plateau, and experiences a
sub-tropical climate, with a wet season between January and March. The
vegetation is mostly scrubland, including spinifex grasslands. The fauna
is generally typical of Australian desert environments, and includes the
red kangaroo (pictured), the eastern wallaroo, the northern nail-tail
wallaby, and the spinifex hopping mouse. A site within Muckaty is being
considered for Australia's low-level and intermediate-level radioactive
waste storage and disposal facility. The plan is subject to a Federal
Court challenge due to be heard early in 2013.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muckaty_Station>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1702:

Carolina colonial governor James Moore abandoned the siege
against the Castillo de San Marcos at St. Augustine, Spanish Florida,
and retreated to Charles Town in disgrace.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_St._Augustine_(1702)>

1896:

Philippine Revolution: Nationalist José Rizal was executed by
a firing squad in Manila after Spanish authorities convicted him of
rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Rizal>

1947:

Michael, King of Romania, was forced to abdicate by the
country's communist government.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_of_Romania>

2005:

Tropical Storm Zeta was declared a tropical depression, making
it the record-breaking thirtieth tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic
hurricane season, the most active in recorded history.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Zeta>

2006:

MV Senopati Nusantara, an Indonesian ferry, sank in the Java
Sea during a storm, killing at least 400 people.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Senopati_Nusantara>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

peckled:
(now UK dialectal) Speckled, spotted.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/peckled>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Never do I hesitate to look squarely at the unexpected face that every
passing hour unveils to us, and to sacrifice the false images of it
formed in advance, however dear they may be. In me, the love of life in
general predominates over love of my own life (that, indeed, would never
have sufficed to bear me up). May life herself speak! However inadequate
I may be in listening to her, and in repeating her words, I shall try to
record them, even if they contradict my most secret desires. In all that
I write, may her will, not mine, be done!
--Romain Rolland
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Romain_Rolland>

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[Daily article] December 29: War against Nabis



The War against Nabis, or the Laconian War, of 195 BC was fought between
the Greek city-state of Sparta under their ruler Nabis (depicted) and a
coalition composed of Rome, the Achean League, Pergamum, Rhodes, and
Macedon. During the Second Macedonian War (200–196 BC), Macedon had
given Sparta control over Argos, an important city on the Aegean coast.
Sparta's continued occupation of Argos thereafter was used as a pretext
for Rome and its allies to declare war. The anti-Spartan coalition laid
siege to Argos, captured the Spartan naval base at Gythium, and invested
and besieged Sparta itself. Negotiations led to peace on Rome's terms,
under which Argos and the coastal towns of Laconia were separated from
Sparta and the Spartans were compelled to pay a war indemnity to Rome
for eight years. Argos joined the Achaean League, and the Laconian towns
were placed under Achaean protection. As a result of the war, Sparta
lost its position as a major power in Greece. All consequent Spartan
attempts to recover the losses failed and Nabis, the last sovereign
ruler, was eventually murdered. Soon after, Sparta was forcibly made a
member of the Achaean League, ending several centuries of fierce
political independence.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_against_Nabis>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1170:

Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket (stained glass portrait
pictured) was slain in his own cathedral by four knights of Henry II of
England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket>

1779:

American Revolutionary War: British soldiers under the command
of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell captured Savannah, Georgia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_Savannah>

1937:

The Constitution of Ireland, the founding legal document of the
state known today as the Republic of Ireland, came into force.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Ireland>

1972:

While the crew of Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 were busy trying
to solve an instrumentation problem, the aircraft crashed into the
Florida Everglades, killing 101 people.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Air_Lines_Flight_401>

1992:

President of Brazil Fernando Collor de Mello resigned in an
attempt to stop his impeachment proceedings from continuing, but the
Senate of Brazil continued anyway, finding him guilty.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Collor_de_Mello>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

nobble:
1. (UK, Australia, slang) To injure or obstruct intently; batter.
2. (UK, slang) To gain influence by corrupt means or intimidation.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nobble>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love
of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
--William Ewart Gladstone
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Ewart_Gladstone>

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[Daily article] December 28: The Notorious B.I.G.



Christopher Wallace (1972–1997), best known as The Notorious B.I.G.,
was an American rapper/hip hop artist. Wallace was raised in the
Brooklyn borough of New York City and began rapping when he was a
teenager. The release of Wallace's debut album Ready to Die in 1994 made
him a central figure in the East Coast hip hop scene and increased New
York's visibility in the genre at a time when West Coast artists were
more common in the mainstream. While recording his second album, Wallace
was heavily involved in the East Coast/West Coast hip hop feud
dominating the scene at the time. On March 9, 1997, Wallace was killed
by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His
double-disc set Life After Death, released 16 days later, hit No. 1 on
the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000 (one of the few
hip hop albums to receive this certification). Wallace was noted for his
"loose, easy flow", dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling
abilities. Two more albums have been released since his death. In 2012,
The Source ranked him No. 3 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All
Time. He has certified sales of 17 million units in the United States.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Notorious_B.I.G.>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

484:

Alaric II succeeded his father Euric as king of the Visigoths.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaric_II>

1612:

Galileo became the first person to observe the planet Neptune,
although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neptune>

1879:

The Tay Rail Bridge, spanning the Firth of Tay in Scotland
between Dundee and the Wormit, collapsed during a violent storm while a
train was passing over it, killing all on board.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_Bridge_disaster>

1912:

The San Francisco Municipal Railway, operator of the city's
famed cable car system (cable car pictured), opened its first line.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Municipal_Railway>

1935:

Politician Pavel Postyshev revived the New Year tree tradition
in the Soviet Union when Pravda published his letter asking for them to
be installed in schools, children's homes, Young Pioneer Palaces,
children's clubs, children's theaters, and cinema theaters.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Postyshev>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

brawn:
Physical strength; muscularity.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/brawn>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that
the substratum of everything is of mental character. But no one can deny
that mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience, and all
else is remote inference — inference either intuitive or deliberate.
--Arthur Stanley Eddington
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Arthur_Stanley_Eddington>

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December 27: Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō



Hōshō was the world's first commissioned ship to be designed and built
as an aircraft carrier, and the first aircraft carrier of the Imperial
Japanese Navy (IJN). Commissioned in 1922, the ship was used for testing
aircraft and equipment, and to evaluate operational methods and tactics.
She provided valuable lessons and experience for the IJN in early
carrier air operations. Hōshō and her aircraft participated in the
Shanghai Incident in 1932 and in the opening stages of the Sino-Japanese
War in 1937. During those two conflicts, her aircraft supported Imperial
Japanese Army ground operations and engaged in combat with aircraft of
the Nationalist Chinese Air Force. The small size of the ship and her
assigned airgroups (usually around 15 aircraft) limited the
effectiveness of her contributions. As a result, the carrier was placed
in reserve after her return to Japan from China and she became a
training carrier in 1939. During World War II, Hōshō participated in
the Battle of Midway in June 1942 in a secondary role. After the battle,
the carrier resumed her training role for the duration of the conflict
and survived the war with only minor damage. She was used as a
repatriation transport after the war and was scrapped in 1946.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_aircraft_carrier_H%C5%8Dsh%C5%8D>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

537:

The current Hagia Sophia building in Istanbul, originally built
as a church before it later became a mosque in 1453 and then a museum in
1935, was inaugurated.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia>

1918:

A public speech by famed Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski
in Poznań sparked the Greater Poland Uprising against Germany.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignacy_Jan_Paderewski>

1966:

The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the
world, was discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_Swallows>

1979:

Soviet war in Afghanistan: Soviet troops stormed Tajbeg Palace
outside of Kabul and killed Afghan President Hafizullah Amin and his 300
elite guards.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafizullah_Amin>

2007:

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was
assassinated while she was leaving a political rally of Pakistan Peoples
Party supporters at Liaquat National Bagh in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Benazir_Bhutto>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

hooey:
(slang) Silly talk or writing; nonsense.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hooey>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

There is nothing of such force as the power of a person content merely
to be himself, nothing so invincible as the power of simple honesty,
nothing so successful as the life of one who runs alone.
--Louis Bromfield
<https://en.wikiquote.org//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Bromfield>

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[Daily article] December 26: Psilocybe aztecorum



Psilocybe aztecorum is a species of psilocybin mushroom in the
Strophariaceae family. Known only from central Mexico, the fungus grows
on decomposing woody debris, and is found in mountainous areas at
elevations of 3,200 to 4,000 m (10,500 to 13,000 ft), typically in
meadows or open, grassy forests associated with Hartweg's Pine. The
mushrooms have convex to bell-shaped caps 1.5–2 cm (0.6–0.8 in) in
diameter, set atop slender cylindrical stems that are up to 7.5 cm
(3.0 in) long. The color of the caps changes with variations in
hydration, and ranges from dark chestnut brown to straw yellow or
whitish when dry. The species was first reported by French mycologist
Roger Heim in 1956 as a variety of Psilocybe mexicana before he
officially described it under its current name a year later. Named for
its association with the Aztec people, P. aztecorum may have been one
of the sacred mushroom species, or teonanácatl ("flesh of the gods"),
reported in the codices of 16th-century Spanish chronicler Bernardino de
Sahagún. The mushrooms are still used for spiritual ceremonies by
Nahuatl Indians in the Popocatépetl region, although this traditional
usage is waning.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybe_aztecorum>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1606:

The first recorded performance of the play King Lear, a tragedy
by William Shakespeare based on the legendary King Lear of Britain, was
held.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Lear>

1862:

American Civil War: Confederate defenders were victorious in
the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou as the Union Army attempted to capture the
city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chickasaw_Bayou>

1919:

American baseball player Babe Ruth was sold by the Boston Red
Sox to their rivals, the New York Yankees, starting the 84-year-long
Curse of the Bambino.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_the_Bambino>

1991:

The Supreme Soviet officially dissolved itself, completing the
dissolution of the Soviet Union.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Soviet_Union>

2006:

The Hengchun earthquake struck off the southwest coast of
Taiwan, on the anniversaries of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that
devastated coastal communities across Southeast and South Asia, and of
the 2003 Bam earthquake that destroyed areas of southeastern Iran.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Bam_earthquake>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

rebarbative:
Irritating, repellent.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rebarbative>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

We're creators by permission, by grace as it were. No one creates
alone, of and by himself. An artist is an instrument that registers
something already existent, something which belongs to the whole world,
and which, if he is an artist, he is compelled to give back to the
world.
--Henry Miller
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_Miller>

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[Daily article] December 25: William the Conqueror



William the Conqueror (c. 1028 – 1087) was the first Norman King of
England. He had been Duke of Normandy since 1035, although his
illegitimate status and youth caused him difficulties and he did not
secure his hold over the duchy until about 1060. In the 1050s and early
1060s William became a contender for the English throne, then held by
his childless relative Edward the Confessor. Among other potential
claimants was the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, who Edward
named as the next king on his deathbed in January 1066. William argued
that Edward had previously promised him the throne, and that Harold had
sworn to support William's claim. William invaded England in September
1066, defeating Harold at the Battle of Hastings, and was crowned on
Christmas Day 1066. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, but by
1075 William's hold on England was mostly secure. William's final years
were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with
his eldest son, and threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In
1086 he ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, listing all the
landholders in England and their holdings. He died in September 1087 on
campaign in northern France, and was buried in Caen.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_the_Conqueror>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1643:

Captain William Mynors of the East India Company vessel, the
Royal Mary, landed at an uninhabited island and named it Christmas
Island.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Island>

1815:

The Handel and Haydn Society, the oldest continuously
performing arts organization in the United States, premiered at King's
Chapel in Boston.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handel_and_Haydn_Society>

1926:

Emperor Taishō died of a heart attack, and was succeeded by
his son, Hirohito, who became the longest-reigning Emperor of Japan
until his death in 1989.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirohito>

1989:

Romanian Revolution: Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife
Elena were condemned to death and executed under a wide range of
charges.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolae_Ceau%C8%99escu>

2009:

Aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umar_Farouk_Abdulmutallab>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

wassail:
To go from house to house at Christmastime, singing carols.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wassail>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Do you hear the people sing Lost in the valley of the night? It is the
music of a people Who are climbing to the light. For the wretched of the
earth There is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise. They will live again in freedom In the Garden of
the Lord. They will walk behind the plough-share, They will put away the
sword. The chain will be broken And all men will have their reward!
--Les Misérables
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables_(musical)>

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[Daily article] December 24: Cosima Wagner



Cosima Wagner (1837–1930) was the daughter of pianist and composer
Franz Liszt, and the second wife of composer Richard Wagner. She was
previously married to the conductor Hans von Bülow. With Wagner she
founded the Bayreuth Festival as a showcase for his stage works; after
his death she directed the festival for more than 20 years, building its
repertoire to form the Bayreuth canon of ten operas and establishing it
as a major event in the world of musical theatre. She opposed theatrical
innovations and adhered closely to Wagner's original productions of his
works, an approach continued by her successors long after her retirement
in 1907. Under her influence, Bayreuth became identified with anti-
Semitism and theories of German racial and cultural superiority. This
was a defining feature of Bayreuth for decades, into the Nazi era which
closely followed her death in 1930; thus, although she is widely
perceived as the saviour of the festival, her legacy remains
controversial.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosima_Wagner>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1865:

Six Confederate veterans of the American Civil War founded the
Ku Klux Klan, which would later become a white supremacist group.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan>

1914:

British and German soldiers interrupted the First World War to
celebrate Christmas, beginning the Christmas truce.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce>

1968:

Astronaut William Anders of the NASA Apollo 8 mission, the
first manned voyage to orbit the Moon, took the famous photograph known
as "Earthrise" (pictured), showing the Earth rising above the lunar
surface.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthrise>

1980:

Witnesses reported the first of several sightings of
unexplained lights in the sky near RAF Woodbridge, in Rendlesham Forest,
Suffolk, England, an incident called "Britain's Roswell".
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendlesham_Forest_incident>

2008:

The Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, began
attacks on several villages in Haut-Uele District, Democratic Republic
of the Congo, resulting in at least 400 deaths and numerous atrocities.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Christmas_massacres>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

bullshot:
1. A cocktail made from vodka and beef bouillon.
2. (neologism, video games) A phony screenshot created for promotional
purposes.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bullshot>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though
that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create
complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives
in a free society.
--Dana Gioia
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dana_Gioia>

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[Daily article] December 23: New York State Route 319



New York State Route 319 was a state highway in Chenango County, New
York, in the United States. It was 5.47 miles (8.80 km) long and
connected the hamlet of Preston to the nearby city of Norwich. What
became NY 319 was originally built during the early 19th century as the
privately owned Norwich and Preston Turnpike. The state of New York
assumed ownership in the early 20th century, and the Preston–Norwich
state highway was designated as NY 319 as part of the 1930 renumbering
of state highways in New York. Maintenance of NY 319 was split between
the state and the city of Norwich, with the New York State Department of
Transportation handling the part of the route west of the city limits.
In 1962, the New York State Legislature approved a highway maintenance
swap that would transfer the state-maintained section of NY 319 to
Chenango County when a new alignment was constructed for NY 23 through
the northwestern part of the county. The project was completed in July
1984, at which time the NY 319 designation was completely removed and
Chenango County assumed maintenance of the route's former alignment west
of Norwich. The new county road was redesignated County Route 10A.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_319>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1888:

During a bout of mental illness, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh
stalked his friend French painter Paul Gauguin with a razor, and then
afterwards cut off the lower part of his own left ear and gave it to a
prostitute.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh>

1957:

Ian Craig of Australia became the youngest Test cricket captain
in history.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Craig>

1958:

The Tokyo Tower (pictured), the tallest self-supporting steel
structure in the world at 332.5 metres (1,091 ft), opened.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Tower>

1972:

In one of the most famous plays in the history of American
football, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris made the
Immaculate Reception of a pass by quarterback Terry Bradshaw near the
end of a playoff game.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Reception>

1990:

About eighty-eight percent of the population in Slovenia voted
to secede from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Slovenia>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

relict:
1. Something which, or someone who, survives or remains after the loss of
others (compare relic).
2. (archaic) The surviving member of a married couple; a widow or widower.
3. (biology, ecology) A species, organism or ecosystem which was once
widespread but which is now found only in a few areas: some think the
Loch Ness monster is a relict from the age of dinosaurs.
4. (geology) A structure or other feature which has survived from a
previous age: dark rims are a relict of a primary interaction between
basalt and seawater.
5. (linguistics) A word or language which survives as an archaicism.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/relict>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Even happiness itself may become habitual. There is a habit of looking
at the bright side of things, and also of looking at the dark side.
--Samuel Smiles
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Samuel_Smiles>

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[Daily article] December 22: Blackburn Olympic F.C.



Blackburn Olympic F.C. was an English association football club based in
Blackburn, Lancashire, in the late 19th century. Although it was only in
existence from 1878 to 1889, it is significant in the history of
football in England as the first club from the north of the country and
the first from a working-class background to win the Football
Association Challenge Cup (better known as the FA Cup, trophy pictured).
The cup had previously been won only by teams of wealthy amateurs from
the home counties, and Olympic's victory against Old Etonians F.C. in
1883 marked a turning point in the sport's transition from a pastime for
upper-class gentlemen to a professional sport. Olympic, however, proved
unable to compete with wealthier and better-supported clubs in the
professional era. Most of Olympic's home matches took place at the
Hole-i'-th-Wall stadium, named after an adjacent public house. One
Olympic player, James Ward, was selected for the England team while
playing for the club. Six other former or future England internationals
played for Olympic, including Jack Hunter, who was the club's coach at
the time of Olympic's FA Cup win.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Olympic_F.C.>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1807:

In an effort to avoid engaging in the Napoleonic Wars, the
United States Congress passed the Embargo Act, forbidding American ships
from engaging in trade with foreign nations.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embargo_Act_of_1807>

1944:

World War II: US Army General Anthony McAuliffe responded to
the German ultimatum of surrender during the Battle of the Bulge with a
single word, "NUTS!"
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_McAuliffe>

1947:

The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the
Constituent Assembly.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Italy>

1997:

Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquished the disputed title of
President of Somalia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussein_Farrah_Aidid>

2001:

Burhanuddin Rabbani of the Northern Alliance handed over power
in Afghanistan to the interim government headed by Hamid Karzai.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamid_Karzai>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

rebirth:
1. Reincarnation, new birth subsequent to one's first: rebirth of the soul
in a new body.
2. Revival, reinvigoration: the rebirth of feminism, the rebirth of the
Handelian oratorio.
3. Spiritual renewal: rebirth in Christ, the doctrine of rebirth through
baptism.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rebirth>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it's not so
much which road you take, as how you take it.
--Charles de Lint
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Charles_de_Lint>

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[Daily article] December 20: 2012 phenomenon



The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs
according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on
21 December 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year
cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical
alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining
to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the
start of a time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a
positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark
the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the date marks the end
of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end
of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, an
interaction between Earth and the black hole at the centre of the
galaxy, or Earth's collision with a planet called "Nibiru". Scholars
from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic
events occurring in 2012. Mayanist scholars state that predictions of
impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts,
and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012
misrepresents Maya history and culture.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1860:

South Carolina became the first of eleven slave states to
secede from the United States, leading to the eventual creation of the
Confederate States of America and later the American Civil War.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America>

1946:

Frank Capra's popular Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life was
first released in New York City.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life>

1955:

Cardiff was proclaimed as the capital of Wales.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff>

1999:

Portugal transferred sovereignty of Macau, which it had
administered since the mid-16th century, to China.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macau>

2007:

Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Suzanne Bloch was stolen from the
São Paulo Museum of Art.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_Suzanne_Bloch>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

b'ak'tun:
A period, in Maya calendrical reckoning, of 144&#160;000 days, which is
394.25 solar years.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/b%27ak%27tun>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness.
--David Bohm
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/David_Bohm>

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[Daily article] December 19: James Tod



James Tod (1782–1835) was an English officer of the British East India
Company and an Oriental scholar. He combined his official role and his
amateur interests to create a series of works about the history and
geography of India, particularly the area then known as Rajputana
(present-day Rajasthan). He travelled to India in 1799 as a cadet in the
Bengal Army and rose quickly in rank. After the Third Anglo-Maratha War,
during which Tod was involved in the intelligence department, he was
appointed Political Agent for some areas of Rajputana. His task was to
help unify the region under the control of the East India Company. While
Tod was initially successful, his methods were questioned. Over time,
his work was restricted and his areas of oversight were significantly
curtailed. In 1823, due to declining health and reputation, Tod resigned
and returned to England. He then published a number of academic works
about India, based on materials collected during his travels. His major
works have been criticised as inaccurate and biased. However, he is
highly regarded in some areas of India and his accounts of India in
general and the Rajputs in particular had a significant impact on
British views for many years.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Tod>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1154:

Henry II was crowned King of England in London's Westminster
Abbey.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_II_of_England>

1828:

Nullification Crisis: Vice President of the United States John
C. Calhoun wrote the South Carolina Exposition and Protest to protest
the Tariff of 1828.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina_Exposition_and_Protest>

1843:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a novella about the miser
Ebenezer Scrooge and his conversion after being visited by three
Christmas ghosts, was first published.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Carol>

1932:

The BBC's World Service was launched as BBC Empire Service.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_World_Service>

1964:

The Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the ruling junta of South
Vietnam led by Nguyen Khanh, initiated a coup, dissolving and arresting
members of the High National Council, a civilian advisory body.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_1964_South_Vietnamese_coup>

1997:

SilkAir Flight 185 crashed into the Musi River in Indonesia in
what was determined to be a murder-suicide by the captain.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SilkAir_Flight_185>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

doomsayer:
One who makes dire predictions about the future; one fond of predicting
disaster.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/doomsayer>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an
Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with
each other, with the season, or with me. in
--A Christmas Carol
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Carol>

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[Daily article] December 18: Final Fantasy



Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. It
centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video
games (RPGs), but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and
other merchandise. The first game in the series, published in 1987, was
conceived by Sakaguchi as his last-ditch effort in the game industry;
the title was a success and spawned sequels. The video game series has
since branched into other genres. Although most Final Fantasy
installments are supposedly independent stories with different settings
and main characters, they feature identical elements that define the
franchise. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while
exploring the characters' internal struggles and relationships. The
series has been commercially and critically successful; it is Square
Enix's best selling video game franchise, with more than 100 million
units sold, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. It was
awarded a star on the Walk of Game in 2006, and holds seven Guinness
World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. It has
also introduced many features now common in role-playing video games and
has been credited with helping to popularize console-based RPGs in
markets outside Japan.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1892:

The first performance of the fairy tale-ballet The Nutcracker
was held at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nutcracker>

1912:

Amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced the discovery of
fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human, known as
Piltdown Man, which later turned out to be a hoax.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piltdown_Man>

1939:

Second World War: The German Luftwaffe victory over the Royal
Air Force in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight greatly influenced both
sides' future air strategy.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Heligoland_Bight_(1939)>

1966:

Epimetheus (pictured), one of the moons of Saturn, was
discovered, but was mistaken as Janus. It took 12 years to determine
that they are two distinct objects sharing the same orbit.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epimetheus_(moon)>

1996:

The school board of Oakland, California, passed a controversial
resolution officially declaring African American Vernacular English as a
separate language or dialect.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Ebonics_controversy>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

pergola:
A framework in the form of a passageway of columns that supports a
trelliswork roof; used to support and train climbing plants.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pergola>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Come, Desire of nations, come, fix in us thy humble home; rise, the
woman's conquering Seed, bruise in us the serpent's head. Adam's
likeness, Lord, efface; stamp thine image in its place. Second Adam from
above, Reinstate us in thy love. Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to
the new born King!"
--Charles Wesley
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Charles_Wesley>

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[Daily article] December 17: Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo



"Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo" is the ninth episode of the first season
of the animated comedy television series South Park. The show's first
Christmas special, it portrays the Jewish character Kyle feeling
excluded from the town's Christmas celebrations and being comforted by
Mr. Hankey, who can talk and sing. As Mr. Hankey does not come alive in
the presence of other characters, they begin to think that Kyle is
delusional. In another plot strand, the townspeople remove all symbols
of Christmas from South Park to render the celebrations politically
correct and inoffensive. When all the children start believing in him,
Mr. Hankey finally reveals himself to everyone and scolds them for
losing sight of the good things of Christmas and focusing on the bad.
The townspeople apologize to Kyle, then sing Christmas songs and watch
Mr. Hankey fly away with Santa Claus. Heavily influenced by the Peanuts
Christmas special "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Mr. Hankey, the
Christmas Poo" was the first South Park musical episode and the only
episode in season one in which Kenny does not die. It is a satire of
political correctness and religious sensitivity and has been described
as one of the classic South Park episodes.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Hankey,_the_Christmas_Poo>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

942:

William I Longsword of Normandy was ambushed by supporters of
Arnulf I, Count of Flanders while the two were at a peace conference to
settle their differences.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_I,_Duke_of_Normandy>

1790:

The Aztec calendar stone (pictured), now a symbol of modern
Mexican culture, was excavated in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main
square.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_calendar_stone>

1944:

Nazi troops under Joachim Peiper killed unarmed prisoners of
war, captured during the Battle of the Bulge, with machine guns near
Malmedy, Belgium.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malmedy_massacre>

1951:

The Civil Rights Congress, an American civil rights group,
presented a document to the United Nations Genocide Convention charging
the United States government with genocide against African Americans.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Charge_Genocide>

2010:

Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in
protest to police harassment, triggering the Tunisian Revolution.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Bouazizi>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

neotenous:
1. Exhibiting retention of juvenile characteristics in the adult.
2. (informal) Babyfaced.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/neotenous>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

You may well ask why I write. And yet my reasons are quite many. For it
is not unusual in human beings who have witnessed the sack of a city or
the falling to pieces of a people to set down what they have witnessed
for the benefit of unknown heirs or of generations infinitely remote;
or, if you please, just to get the sight out of their heads.
--Ford Madox Ford
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ford_Madox_Ford>

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[Daily article] December 16: 1950 Atlantic hurricane season



The 1950 Atlantic hurricane season was the first year in the Atlantic
hurricane database (HURDAT) in which storms were given names by the
United States Air force from the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet. It
was an active season with sixteen tropical storms, with eleven of them
developing into hurricanes. Eight of these hurricanes were intense
enough to be classified as major hurricanes—a denomination reserved
for storms that attained sustained winds equivalent to a Category 3 or
greater on the present-day Saffir-Simpson scale. The high number of
major hurricanes make 1950 the holder of the record for the most systems
of such intensity in a single season. The large quantity of strong
storms during the year yielded the highest seasonal accumulated cyclone
energy (ACE) of the 20th century. The tropical cyclones of the season
produced a total of 88 fatalities and $38.5 million in property
damage. The first officially named Atlantic hurricane was Hurricane Able
(path pictured), which formed on August 12, brushed the North Carolina
coastline, and later moved across southeastern Canada. The strongest
hurricane of the season, Hurricane Dog reached the equivalent of a
Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and caused extensive
damage to the Leeward Islands.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1950_Atlantic_hurricane_season>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1598:

Admiral Yi Sun-sin's Korean navy defeated the Japanese fleet at
the Battle of Noryang, the final naval battle of the Imjin War.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Noryang>

1653:

Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of
England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Cromwell>

1761:

Seven Years' War: Russian forces captured Kolberg, Prussia's
last port on the Baltic coast, after a four-month siege.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Kolberg_(Seven_Years%27_War)>

1918:

Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declared the formation of the
Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, a puppet state created by Soviet
Russia to justify the Lithuanian–Soviet War.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_Soviet_Socialist_Republic_(1918%E2%80%931919)>

1930:

Herman Lamm, "the father of modern bank robbery", was shot and
killed during a botched robbery attempt in Clinton, Indiana, US.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Lamm>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

tergiversation:
1. The act of abandoning something or someone, of changing sides;
desertion; betrayal.
2. The act of evading any clear course of action or speech, of being
deliberately ambiguous; equivocation.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tergiversation>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

The God to whom depth in philosophy bring back men's minds is far from
being the same from whom a little philosophy estranges them.
--George Santayana
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana>

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[Daily article] December 15: Common toad



The common toad is an amphibian found throughout most of Europe, with
the exception of Ireland, Iceland and some Mediterranean islands. It is
an inconspicuous animal as it usually lies hidden during the day,
becoming active at dusk and spending the night hunting for the
invertebrates on which it feeds. It moves with a slow ungainly walk or
short jumps and has greyish brown skin covered with wart-like lumps.
Although usually a solitary animal, in the breeding season large numbers
converge on certain breeding ponds, where the males compete to mate with
the females. Eggs are laid in gelatinous strings in the water and later
hatch out into tadpoles. After several months of growth and development,
these sprout limbs and undergo metamorphosis into tiny toads. The
juveniles emerge from the water and remain largely terrestrial for the
rest of their lives. The common toad seems to be in decline in part of
its range but overall is listed as being of "Least Concern" in the IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species. It is threatened by habitat loss,
especially by drainage of its breeding sites, and some toads get killed
on the roads as they make their annual migrations. It has long been
associated in popular culture and literature with witchcraft.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_toad>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1467:

Troops under Stephen III of Moldavia defeated the forces of
Matthias Corvinus of Hungary in present-day Baia, Romania.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baia>

1791:

The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution,
collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights>

1906:

The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, a
14.17-kilometre (8.80 mi) long deep-level underground tube railway
connecting Hammersmith and Finsbury Park, London, opened.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern,_Piccadilly_and_Brompton_Railway>

1961:

Former Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death after
being found guilty on fifteen criminal charges, including war crimes and
crimes against humanity.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Eichmann>

2010:

A boat carrying around 90 asylum seekers, mostly from Iraq and
Iran, crashed into rocks and sank off the coast of Christmas Island,
Australia, killing 48 people.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Christmas_Island_boat_disaster>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

mango:
To remove the innards of, stuff (especially with spicy foods), seal and
pickle or pour boiling vinegar over (a fruit).
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mango>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

In time of crisis, we summon up our strength. Then, if we are lucky, we
are able to call every resource, every forgotten image that can leap to
our quickening, every memory that can make us know our power. And this
luck is more than it seems to be: it depends on the long preparation of
the self to be used. In time of the crises of the spirit, we are aware
of all our need, our need for each other and our need for our selves. We
call up, with all the strength of summoning we have, our fullness.
--Muriel Rukeyser
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Muriel_Rukeyser>

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[Daily article] December 14: Vidya Balan



Vidya Balan (born 1978) is an Indian film actress, who appears in Hindi,
Bengali and Malayalam language films. At age sixteen, Balan landed her
first acting role in the sitcom Hum Paanch (1995). After making several
unsuccessful attempts to start a career in film, she acted in television
commercials and music videos. In 2003, Balan made her feature film debut
with the independent Bengali drama Bhalo Theko and in 2005, she garnered
praise for her first Hindi film, Parineeta. Her subsequent portrayal of
glamorous characters in the films Heyy Babyy (2007) and Kismat
Konnection (2008) met with negative comments from film critics. She
later portrayed five consecutive roles to wide critical acclaim in Paa
(2009), Ishqiya (2010), No One Killed Jessica (2011), The Dirty Picture
(2011), and Kahaani (2012). These roles have fetched her the tag of a
"female hero" and established her as a leading contemporary actress of
Hindi cinema. Balan has received one National Film Award, four Filmfare
Awards and four Screen Awards. She initially drew criticism for her
weight and dress sense, but was later credited in the media for
retaining her individuality and breaking stereotypes of a Hindi film
heroine.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vidya_Balan>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1836:

The Toledo War, the mostly bloodless boundary dispute between
Ohio and the adjoining Territory of Michigan, unofficially ended with a
resolution passed by the controversial "Frostbitten Convention".
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_War>

1960:

Australian cricketer Ian Meckiff was run out on the last day of
the first Test between Australia and the West Indies, causing the first
Tied Test in the history of cricket.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Meckiff>

1962:

NASA's Mariner 2 became the world's first spacecraft to
successfully conduct a planetary encounter when it flew by Venus.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariner_2>

1999:

Torrential rains caused flash floods (damage pictured) in
Vargas, Venezuela, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, the
destruction of thousands of homes, and the complete collapse of the
state's infrastructure.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vargas_tragedy>

2004:

Cuba and Venezuela founded the Bolivarian Alliance for the
Americas.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivarian_Alliance_for_the_Americas>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

instar:
1. Any one of the several stages of postembryonic development which an
arthropod undergoes, between molts, before it reaches sexual maturity:
the hopper was placed in a box in its first instar.
2. An arthropod at a specified one of these stages: first and second
instars of this species are more susceptible to H. bacteriophora than
later instars.
3. A stage in development: "photographs of the landlady's children in all
their instars" (Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita).
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/instar>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching. It is through
your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are
brought to life.
--Morihei Ueshiba
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Morihei_Ueshiba>

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[Daily article] December 13: Rex Ryan



Rex Ryan (born 1962) is an American football head coach for the New York
Jets of the National Football League (NFL). After serving as an
assistant coach for 22 years, Ryan attained his first head coaching job
in the NFL with the Jets in 2009. He is the son of former Philadelphia
Eagles and Arizona Cardinals head coach Buddy Ryan and is the fraternal
twin brother of Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
Upon graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Ryan spent
the next 22 years serving as an assistant coach on different teams at
both the college and professional level. At the behest of their head
coach Brian Billick, Ryan joined the Baltimore Ravens in 1999 and spent
nine years there. In 2005 he earned the title of defensive coordinator
and in 2008 became the assistant head coach. Hours after the Ravens lost
to the Steelers in the 2008 playoffs, Ryan accepted a contract offer
from the Jets for their vacant head coaching position. He has become
well known throughout the league for his outspoken manner, boisterous
attitude and success with the Jets, and his teams are highly regarded by
critics for their defensive capabilities.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_Ryan>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1577:

Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth, England, with five ships and
164 men on his round-the-world voyage.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake>

1636:

The Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia units, an
act considered to be the founding of the National Guard of the United
States.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Guard_of_the_United_States>

1862:

American Civil War: Union forces under Maj. Gen. Ambrose
Burnside suffered severe casualties against entrenched Confederate
defenders at the Battle of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fredericksburg>

1937:

Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese forces captured Nanjing in
China and then began to commit numerous atrocities over the next several
weeks.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre>

2001:

The Parliament of India was attacked by five gunmen, resulting
in 15 deaths, including those of the perpetrators.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Indian_Parliament_attack>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

calendrical:
Of, pertaining to, or used by a calendar system.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/calendrical>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

If our animosities are born out of fear, then confident generosity is
born out of hope. One of the central lessons I have learned after a half
century of working in the developing world is that the replacement of
fear by hope is probably the single most powerful trampoline of
progress.
--Aga Khan IV
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Aga_Khan_IV>

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[Daily article] December 12: Pepper v Hart



Pepper v Hart is a landmark decision in English law on the use of
legislative history in statutory interpretation. The House of Lords, by
a majority, established the principle that when primary legislation is
ambiguous then, under certain circumstances, a court may refer to
statements made in Parliament in an attempt to interpret the meaning of
the legislation. Before this ruling, such an action would have been seen
as a breach of parliamentary privilege. Lord Mackay (pictured),
dissenting, argued that Hansard should not be considered admissible
evidence due to the time and expense involved in a lawyer having to look
up every debate and discussion on a particular statute when giving legal
advice or preparing a case. The decision met a mixed reception. While
the judiciary were cautiously accepting, legal academics argued that it
violated rules of evidence, damaged the separation of powers between the
executive and Parliament and caused additional expense in cases. In
2000, a senior judge, Lord Steyn, delivered a lecture in which he
attacked the logic and legal theory behind the decision, and several
subsequent judicial decisions have considerably limited the use of
Pepper by the courts.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_v_Hart>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

627:

A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor
Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh, near
present-day Mosul, Iraq.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nineveh_(627)>

1915:

President Yuan Shikai of the Republic of China reinstated the
monarchy and declared himself Emperor.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuan_Shikai>

1939:

The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duchess was rammed by the
battleship HMS Barham she was escorting and sank with heavy loss of
life.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Duchess_(H64)>

1942:

World War II: German troops began Operation Winter Storm, an
attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of
Stalingrad.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Winter_Storm>

1964:

Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of the Republic of
Kenya.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jomo_Kenyatta>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

tin anniversary:
The tenth anniversary (yearly recurrence) of an event, especially a
wedding.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tin_anniversary>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to
tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will
certainly be lost.
--William Lloyd Garrison
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Lloyd_Garrison>

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[Daily article] December 11: Battle of Radzymin (1920)



The Battle of Radzymin, a key part of what later became known as the
Battle of Warsaw, took place during the Polish–Soviet War (1919–21).
The battle occurred near the town of Radzymin, some 20 kilometres
(12 mi) north-east of Warsaw, between August 13 and 16, 1920. The first
phase began with a frontal assault by the Red Army on the Praga
bridgehead. The Soviet forces captured Radzymin on August 14 and
breached the lines of the 1st Polish Army, which was defending Warsaw
from the east. Radzymin changed hands several times in heavy fighting.
The Russians wanted to break through the Polish defences to Warsaw,
while the Polish aim was to defend the area long enough for a two-
pronged counteroffensive to outflank the attacking forces. After three
days of intense fighting, the corps-sized 1st Polish Army under General
Franciszek Latinik managed to repel a direct assault by six Red Army
rifle divisions at Radzymin and Ossów. The struggle for control of
Radzymin forced General Józef Haller, commander of the Polish Northern
Front, to start the 5th Army's counterattack earlier than planned.
Radzymin was recaptured on August 15, and this victory proved to be one
of the turning points of the Battle of Warsaw.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Radzymin_(1920)>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1905:

In support of the December Uprising in Moscow, the Council of
Workers' Deputies of Kiev stage a mass uprising, establishing the
Shuliavka Republic in the city.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuliavka_Republic>

1920:

Irish War of Independence: Following an Irish Republican Army
ambush of a British Auxiliary patrol in Cork, British forces burned and
looted numerous buildings in the city.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Burning_of_Cork>

1972:

Apollo 17 (insignia pictured), the last Apollo moon mission,
landed on the Moon.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_17>

1981:

Salvadoran Civil War: About 900 civilians were killed by the
Salvadoran armed forces in an anti-guerrilla campaign.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Mozote_massacre>

2006:

The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the
Holocaust opened in Tehran "to provide an appropriate scientific
atmosphere for scholars to offer their opinions in freedom about a
historical issue", but was criticised worldwide as a "meeting of
Holocaust deniers".
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Conference_to_Review_the_Global_Vision_of_the_Holocaust>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

stigmatize:
(transitive) To characterize as disgraceful or ignominious; to mark with
a stigma or stigmata.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stigmatize>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Existence is a mystery, and one should accept it as a mystery and not
pretend to have any explanation. No, explanation is not needed — only
exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery
of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And
truth liberates.
--Osho
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bhagwan_Shree_Rajneesh>

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[Daily article] December 9: Anna of East Anglia



Anna (killed 653 or 654) was King of East Anglia from the early 640s
until his death. Little is known of Anna's life or his reign, as few
records have survived from this period. He was one of the three sons of
Eni who ruled East Anglia, succeeding after Ecgric was killed in battle
by Penda of Mercia. Anna was praised by Bede for his devotion to
Christianity and was renowned for the saintliness of his family. In 645
Cenwalh of Wessex was driven from his kingdom by Penda and due to Anna's
influence, he was converted to Christianity while living as an exile at
the East Anglian court. Upon his return from exile, Cenwalh re-
established Christianity in his own kingdom and the people of Wessex
then remained firmly Christian. Following the attack in 651 by Penda on
the monastery at Cnobheresburg, which Anna richly endowed, he was forced
by Penda to flee into exile. He may have travelled to the western
kingdom of the Magonsæte and returned in about 653, but East Anglia was
attacked again by Penda soon afterwards and at the Battle of Bulcamp the
East Anglian army, led by Anna, was defeated by the Mercians, and Anna
and his son Jurmin were both killed. He was succeeded by his brother,
Æthelhere.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_of_East_Anglia>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1872:

P. B. S. Pinchback took office as Governor of Louisiana, the
first African American governor of a U.S. state.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._B._S._Pinchback>

1911:

A mine explosion near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 miners
despite a well-organized rescue effort led by the United States Bureau
of Mines.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_Mountain_Mine_disaster>

1931:

The approval of the Spanish Constitution by the Constituent
Cortes paved the way to the establishment of the Second Spanish
Republic.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Constitution_of_1931>

1940:

Second World War: British and Commonwealth forces opened
Operation Compass, the first major Allied military operation of the
Western Desert Campaign.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass>

1969:

U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers proposed his plan for
a ceasefire in the War of Attrition; Egypt's and Jordan's acceptance of
it over PLO objections led to civil war in Jordan in September 1970.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_Plan>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

pass muster:
1. (idiomatic) To meet or exceed a particular standard.
2. (idiomatic) To adequately pass a formal or informal inspection.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pass_muster>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

Accuse not Nature: she hath done her part; Do thou but thine.
--John Milton
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Milton>

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[Daily article] December 8: Imagine (song)



"Imagine" is a song written and performed by English musician John
Lennon. The best selling single of his solo career, its lyrical
statement is one of collectivist positivism. It challenges the listener
to imagine a world at peace, without the divisiveness and barriers of
borders, religious denominations and nationalities, and to consider the
possibility that the focus of humanity should be living a life
unattached to material possessions. Lennon and Yoko Ono co-produced the
song and album of the same name with Phil Spector. One month after the
September 1971 release of the LP, Lennon released "Imagine" as a single
in the United States; the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot
100 and the album became the most commercially successful and critically
acclaimed of his solo career. Lennon released "Imagine" as a single in
the United Kingdom in 1975, and the song has since sold more than 1.6
million copies in the UK. It earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, an
induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped
Rock and Roll, and Rolling Stone ranked it number 3 in their list of
"The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagine_(song)>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1854:

In his apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX
proclaimed the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds
that the Virgin Mary was born free of original sin.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception>

1941:

Second World War: Led by Takashi Sakai, the Imperial Japanese
Army invaded Hong Kong and quickly achieved air superiority by bombing
Kai Tak Airport.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hong_Kong>

1987:

A man shot and killed eight people at the Australia Post
building in Melbourne, before jumping to his death.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Street_massacre>

1991:

Leaders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine signed the Belavezha
Accords, agreeing to dissolve the Soviet Union and establish the
Commonwealth of Independent States.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_of_Independent_States>

2010:

The Japanese experimental spacecraft IKAROS (model pictured)
passed by Venus at about 80,800 km distance, completing its planned
mission to demonstrate solar sail technology.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IKAROS>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

menorah:
(Judaism) A candelabrum with nine branches used in Jewish worship on
Hanukkah.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/menorah>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

How could I think the brief years were enough To prove the reality of
endless love?
--Delmore Schwartz
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Delmore_Schwartz>

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[Daily article] December 7: Supernatural (season 2)



Season two of Supernatural, an American paranormal drama television
series created by Eric Kripke, premiered September 28, 2006, and
concluded May 17, 2007, airing 22 episodes. The season focuses on
protagonists Sam (Jared Padalecki, pictured) and Dean Winchester (Jensen
Ackles) as they track down Azazel, the demon responsible for the deaths
of their mother Mary and father John. They attempt to discover the
demon's plan for Sam and other psychic children—young adults who were
visited by Azazel as infants and given abilities, and whose mothers
often then died in a fire. During their travels, they use their father's
journal to help them carry on the family business—saving people and
hunting supernatural creatures. The season aired Thursdays, 9:00 pm ET
in the United States, and averaged only about 3.14 million viewers. The
cast and crew garnered many award nominations, but the episodes received
mixed reviews from critics. While both the brotherly chemistry between
the lead actors and the decision to finish the main storyline were
praised, the formulaic structure of the episodes was criticized. The
season was internationally syndicated, released on DVD as a six-disc
box, and made available through digital retailers.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural_(season_2)>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1724:

In Toruń, Royal Prussia, Polish authorities executed the
city's mayor and nine other Lutheran officials following tensions
between Protestants and Catholics.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumult_of_Thorn_(Toru%C5%84)>

1787:

Delaware became the first U.S. state to ratify the United
States Constitution.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware>

1941:

World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy made a surprise attack
on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, intending to neutralize the United States
Pacific Fleet from influencing the war Japan was planning to wage in
Southeast Asia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor>

1988:

A 6.9 Mw earthquake struck the Spitak region of Armenia,
killing at least 25,000 people.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_Spitak_earthquake>

2005:

Spanish authorities captured Croatian Army general Ante
Gotovina (pictured), who was wanted for war crimes committed during the
Croatian War of Independence; he was eventually cleared of all charges.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ante_Gotovina>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

blunderbuss:
An old style of muzzleloading firearm and early form of shotgun with a
distinctive short, large caliber barrel that is flared at the muzzle,
therefore able to fire scattered quantities of nails, stones, shot, etc.
at short range: Timothy was excited to find a toy blunderbuss waiting
under the Christmas tree.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blunderbuss>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

And I feel that something's coming, and it's not just in the wind. It's
more than just tomorrow, it's more than where we've been, It offers me a
promise, it's telling me "Begin", I know we're needing something worth
believing in.
--Harry Chapin
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harry_Chapin>

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[Daily article] December 6: Ace Books



Ace Books is the oldest active specialty publisher of science fiction
and fantasy books (example pictured) and issued many of the best known
science fiction writers of the 1950s and 1960s. The company was founded
in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn, and began as a genre publisher
of mysteries and westerns. It soon branched out into other genres,
publishing its first science fiction title in 1953; this was a
successful innovation, and within a few years, such titles outnumbered
both mysteries and westerns. Ace became known for the tête-bêche
binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not
originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this
"Ace Double" format, and Ace continued to issue books in varied genres,
bound tête-bêche, until 1973. These have proved attractive to book
collectors, and some rare titles in mint condition command prices up to
$1,000. It was one of the leading science fiction publishers for its
first ten years, but its fortunes began to decline after the death of
owner A. A. Wyn in 1967. Two prominent editors, Donald A. Wollheim and
Terry Carr, left in 1971, and in 1972 Ace was sold to Grosset & Dunlap.
It is now an imprint of Penguin Group (USA).

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Books>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1865:

Slavery in the United States was officially abolished when the
Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution>

1917:

A ship in Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, carrying TNT
and picric acid caught fire after a collision with another ship and
caused the world's largest man-made accidental explosion (pictured).
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Explosion>

1928:

On the behest of the United States, the Colombian Army
violently suppressed a month-long strike by United Fruit Company
workers.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_massacre>

1982:

The Irish National Liberation Army exploded a time bomb in
Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, killing eleven British Army soldiers and
six civilians.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droppin_Well_bombing>

1988:

The Australian Capital Territory was granted self-government.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Australian_Capital_Territory>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

Nicholine:
Created by, in the style of, or pertaining to (any of several people
named) Nicholas.
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Nicholine>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

The position which believers and unbelievers occupy with regard to their
various forms of faith is very much the same all over the world. The
difficulties which trouble us, have troubled the hearts and minds of men
as far back as we can trace the beginnings of religious life. The great
problems touching the relation of the Finite to the Infinite, of the
human mind as the recipient, and of the Divine Spirit as the source of
truth, are old problems indeed; and while watching their appearance in
different countries, and their treatment under varying circumstances, we
shall be able, I believe, to profit ourselves, both by the errors which
others committed before us, and by the truth which they discovered. We
shall know the rocks that threaten every religion in this changing and
shifting world of ours, and having watched many a storm of religious
controversy and many a shipwreck in distant seas, we shall face with
greater calmness and prudence the troubled waters at home.
--Max Müller
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_M%C3%BCller>

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[Daily article] December 5: Golden White-eye



The Golden White-eye is a species of bird in the white-eye family
Zosteropidae. It is the only species within the genus Cleptornis. The
Golden White-eye was once considered to be a honeyeater in the family
Meliphagidae and although it is now known to be a white-eye, its
position within that family is still uncertain. The species is
restricted to the islands of Saipan and Aguijan in the Northern Mariana
Islands, where it is sympatric (shares its range) and competes with the
related Bridled White-eye. The Golden White-eye has golden plumage and a
pale eye-ring. It feeds on insects, fruit, and nectar and forages in
pairs or small family groups. The bird is monogamous and lays two eggs
in a small cup nest. Fossil evidence shows the Golden White-eye once
also occurred on Tinian and Rota but was extirpated in those locations
through the impact of human activities. Despite its current abundance on
Saipan and Aguijan, and the fact that it has among the highest recorded
densities for any bird, it is nevertheless considered to be critically
endangered. It is threatened by the invasive Brown Tree Snake, which has
recently become established on Saipan; efforts are under way to control
the snakes and breed the white-eye in zoos.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_White-eye>

_______________________________
Today's selected anniversaries:

1484:

Pope Innocent VIII issued the papal bull Summis desiderantes
affectibus, giving Dominican Inquisitor Heinrich Kramer explicit
authority to prosecute witchcraft in Germany.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summis_desiderantes_affectibus>

1775:

American Revolutionary War: Continental Army Colonel Henry Knox
arrived at Fort Ticonderoga in New York to arrange the transport of
60 tons of artillery that would be used to strengthen the Siege of
Boston.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_train_of_artillery>

1936:

The 1936 Soviet Constitution, also known as the "Stalin"
constitution, was adopted.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1936_Soviet_Constitution>

1972:

Gough Whitlam took office as the 21st Prime Minister of
Australia and formed a duumvirate with his deputy Lance Barnard, ending
23 years of Liberal-Country Party government.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gough_Whitlam>

2005:

The Civil Partnership Act came into force, granting civil
partnerships in the United Kingdom with rights and responsibilities
identical to civil marriage.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Partnership_Act_2004>

_____________________________
Wiktionary's word of the day:

archeress:
A female archer, a woman who shoots an arrow from a bow: Elizabeth
deigned to show her skill as an archeress, to the detriment of the
dappled deer in the wide park beyond (John Berwick Harwood).
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/archeress>

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

The existing scientific concepts cover always only a very limited part
of reality, and the other part that has not yet been understood is
infinite.
--Werner Heisenberg
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Werner_Heisenberg>

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