Wikipedia:Main Page queue

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Featured article
August 20
Amy Adams in 2016

Amy Adams (born August 20, 1974) is an American actress. She made her feature film debut with a supporting part in the 1999 satire Drop Dead Gorgeous, and her first major role was in Steven Spielberg's 2002 biopic Catch Me If You Can. After a breakthrough role as a loquacious pregnant woman in Junebug (2005), her first major success as a leading lady was in the 2007 musical Enchanted, in which she played a cheerful Disney Princess. She went on to play naive, optimistic women in a series of films. She played stronger female parts to positive reviews in The Fighter (2010) and The Master (2012), and in 2013 she began portraying Lois Lane in superhero films set in the DC Extended Universe. She won two consecutive Golden Globe Awards for playing a seductive con artist in American Hustle (2013) and Margaret Keane in Big Eyes (2014). Further acclaim came for playing a linguist in the science fiction film Arrival (2016) and a self-harming reporter in the miniseries Sharp Objects (2018). (Full article...)

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Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901) was a politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd President of the United States from 1889 to 1893. Before ascending to the presidency, Harrison established himself as a prominent local attorney, church leader, and politician in Indianapolis, Indiana, and as a Union Army soldier in the American Civil War. After a term in the U.S. Senate (1881–1887), the Republican Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888. Hallmarks of his administration included unprecedented economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and Sherman Antitrust Act, as well as modernizing the U.S. Navy and admitting six new western states to the Union.

Engraving: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; restoration: Andrew Shiva
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August 20
Adams in 2015
Adams in 2015

Amy Adams is an American actress who has appeared in several films and television shows. She made her film debut in the 1999 black comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous and had her first major role in Steven Spielberg's biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can (2002). However, the film did not launch her career as Spielberg had hoped. She had her breakthrough in 2005 by playing a joyful pregnant woman in Junebug (2005) and in 2007, Adams starred in the Disney romantic comedy Enchanted. Adams played a naive nun in Doubt (2008) and expanded into dramatic roles by playing a tough barmaid in David O. Russell's sports drama The Fighter (2010). She subsequently starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's drama The Master (2011) and Russell's crime comedy American Hustle (2013), for which she received her fifth Academy Award nomination. In 2016, Adams played intellectual women troubled by their memories in the science fiction film Arrival and the psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals. She went on to gain acclaim for playing a self-harming reporter in the HBO thriller miniseries Sharp Objects (2018). (Full list...)

Part of the Amy Adams series, one of Wikipedia's featured topics.
On this day

August 20: Day of Arafah (Islam, 2018); Day of Restoration of Independence in Estonia (1991); St. Stephen's Day in Hungary

Yellowstone fires
Yellowstone fires

Jeremi Wiśniowiecki (d. 1651) · Rudolf Bultmann (b. 1884) · Mika Yamamoto (d. 2012)

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Tomorrow

Featured article
August 21
Bloc Party in 2008
Bloc Party in 2008

Intimacy is the third studio album by British indie rock band Bloc Party (pictured). It was recorded in London and Kent during 2008 and was produced by Jacknife Lee and Paul Epworth. The album became available for purchase on the band's website as a digital download on 21 August 2008. The record was released in compact disc form in October 2008, with Wichita Recordings as the primary label. It peaked at number 8 on the UK Albums Chart and entered the Billboard 200 in the United States at number 18. The album incorporates electronic elements and unconventional musical arrangements. As the record's title suggests, its tracks are about personal relationships, and are loosely based on one of frontman Kele Okereke's breakups in 2007. Three songs were released as singles: "Mercury", "Talons", and "One Month Off"; the first two tracks entered the UK Top 40. Intimacy was generally well received by critics. Reviewers focused on its rushed release and central theme, considering them either bold steps or poor choices. (Full article...)

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PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony Computer Entertainment. The successor to the PlayStation Portable, it was designed to meld the experience of dedicated video game platforms with mobile gaming. Released between 2011 and 2012, the system was successful on launch; however, sales faltered in later years, precipitating a shift from big budget games to indie developers and mid-level Japanese companies. The system, which has seen several variations, primarily competes with the Nintendo 3DS as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.

Photograph: Evan Amos
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On this day

August 21: First day of Eid al-Adha (Islam, 2018)

Nat Turner woodcarving
Nat Turner woodcarving

John Claypole (b. 1625) · John MacCulloch (d. 1835) · Eve Torres (b. 1984)

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In two days

Featured article
August 22
Debussy in 1908

Claude Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. He was seen, during his lifetime and afterwards, as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born to a family of modest means, he was admitted at the age of ten to France's leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris. He originally studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire's conservative professors. He took many years to develop his mature style, and was nearly 40 before achieving international fame in 1902 with the only opera he completed, Pelléas et Mélisande. Debussy developed his own style in the use of harmony and orchestral colouring. His works have strongly influenced a wide range of composers, including Béla Bartók, Olivier Messiaen, George Benjamin and the jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans. (Full article...)

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A Visit to the Seaside, a 1908 film directed by British filmmaker George Albert Smith. This work was the first film screened using Kinemacolor, a color motion picture process developed by Smith and used commercially from 1908 to 1914. This additive two-color process involved photographing and projecting a black-and-white film behind alternating red and green filters. It was later used for films such as With Our King and Queen Through India (1912), The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1914), and Little Lord Fauntleroy (1914).

Film: George Albert Smith
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On this day

August 22

America's Cup
America's Cup

Isabella of France (d. 1358) · Thomas Tredgold (b. 1788) · Alexandros Kontoulis (d. 1933)

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In three days

Featured article
August 23
Playbill of the Broadway production

The Bat is a three-act comedy-mystery play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood that was first produced by Lincoln Wagenhals and Collin Kemper. The play opened on Broadway on August 23, 1920. At a rented summer home, Cornelia Van Gorder and guests search for stolen money while being stalked by a masked criminal known as "the Bat". The play originated as an adaptation of Rinehart's 1908 mystery novel The Circular Staircase. It was a critical and commercial success, running for 867 performances in New York and 327 in London, with tours by several road companies. It was revived twice on Broadway, in 1937 and 1953. It had several adaptations, including a 1926 novelization credited to Rinehart and Hopwood but ghostwritten by Stephen Vincent Benét. Three film adaptations were produced: The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). The play and its adaptations inspired other comedy-mysteries with similar settings, and influenced the creation of the comic-book superhero Batman. (Full article...)

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Belshazzar's Feast

Belshazzar's Feast is an oil painting completed by the Dutch artist Rembrandt in 1635. Drawing on the Biblical Book of Daniel, it depicts the Neo-Babylonian king Belshazzar holding a feast using sacred vessels looted from the Temple in Jerusalem; God, angered by this blasphemy, has inscribed the following writing on the wall: "God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; your kingdom is given to the Medes and Persians". This painting, which has been seen as Rembrandt's attempt to establish himself as a painter of large, baroque history paintings, is in the National Gallery, London.

Painting: Rembrandt
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On this day

August 23: Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism/Black Ribbon Day in Canada, parts of the European Union, Georgia, and the United States

Sacco and Vanzetti
Sacco and Vanzetti

Ali al-Ridha (d. 818) · Henry Every (b. 1659) · Oscar Hammerstein II (d. 1960)

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In four days

Featured article
August 24

Phantasmagoria is a point-and-click adventure game designed by Roberta Williams for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. Released by Sierra On-Line on August 24, 1995, it tells the story of Adrienne Delaney (Victoria Morsell), a writer who moves into a remote mansion and finds herself terrorized by supernatural forces. Made at the peak of popularity for interactive movie games, Phantasmagoria features live-action footage. It was based on Williams' 550-page script, about four times the length of an average Hollywood screenplay, and cost $4.5 million to develop. Peter Maris directs a cast of 25 actors, all performing in front of a blue screen. The musical score includes neo-Gregorian chant performed by a 135-voice choir. Phantasmagoria became one of the best-selling games of 1995. It received mixed reviews, earning praise for its graphics and suspenseful tone, but criticism for its slow pacing and easy puzzles. The game drew controversy, particularly due to a rape scene. Some retailers declined to carry it, religious organizations and politicians condemned it, and it was refused classification altogether in Australia. (Full article...)

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Nembrotha cristata

Nembrotha cristata is a colourful species of sea slug. This nudibranch, a marine gastropod in the family Polyceridae, lives on rocks or coral reefs in the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean. This species of sea slug is black with green markings. Adults reach sizes of around 50 mm in length.

Photograph: Steve Childs
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August 24
Akkadian cylinder seal depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, Enki, and Isimud
Akkadian cylinder seal depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, Enki, and Isimud

Deities in ancient Mesopotamia were almost exclusively anthropomorphic. They were thought to possess extraordinary powers and were often envisioned as being of tremendous physical size. The deities typically wore melam, an ambiguous substance which "covered them in terrifying splendor". The ancient Mesopotamians believed that their deities lived in Heaven, but that a god's statue was a physical embodiment of the god himself. The Mesopotamian pantheon evolved greatly over the course of its history. During the first of the four phases of the history of Mesopotamian religion, starting in the fourth millennium BC, deities' domain mainly focused on basic needs for human survival. During the second phase, which occurred in the third millennium BC, the divine hierarchy became more structured and deified kings began to enter the pantheon. During the third phase, in the second millennium BC, the gods worshipped by an individual person and gods associated with the commoners became more prevalent. During the fourth and final phase, in the first millennium BC, the gods became closely associated with specific human empires and rulers. (Full list...)

On this day

August 24: Independence Day in Ukraine (1991)

The 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team
The 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team

Magnus Barefoot (d. 1103) · William Wilberforce (b. 1759) · Valentine Baker (b. 1888)

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In five days

Featured article
August 25
Clarke at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2005

Tales of Wonder was a British science fiction magazine launched in 1937 with Walter Gillings as editor, published by a subsidiary of William Heinemann. Gillings was able to attract some good material, and included many reprints from US science fiction magazines. Arthur C. Clarke (pictured) made his first professional sale to Tales of Wonder, with two science articles. Gillings also published William F. Temple's first story, some early material by John Wyndham, and "The Prr-r-eet" by Eric Frank Russell. American writers who appeared in the magazine included Murray Leinster, Jack Williamson, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, and S. P. Meek. With the advent of World War II, paper shortages and Gillings' call-up into the army made it increasingly difficult to continue, and the sixteenth issue, dated Spring 1942, was the last. Tales of Wonder was the first British science fiction magazine aimed at an adult market, and its success made it apparent that a British science fiction magazine could survive. (Full article...)

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Mexican peso

A gold coin, issued by the Second Mexican Empire in 1866, in the denomination of 20 pesos. It depicts Maximilian I of Mexico (r. 1864–67) on its obverse, with the coat of arms of Mexico on its reverse. This coin is an early example of a peso, which remains Mexico's national currency to the present day.

Photograph: National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History
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August 25

Rings of Neptune
Rings of Neptune

Agnes Mowinckel (b. 1875) · Mary Tappan Wright (d. 1916) · Theresa Andrews (b. 1962)

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In six days

Featured article
August 26
The composer

Ralph Vaughan Williams (12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions, including nine symphonies, written over 60 years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his work marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties, when his studies with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music. His symphonies express a wide range of moods: from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. His other concert works include Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing (1930) has been frequently staged. He insisted on the traditional English pronunciation of his first name ("Rafe"). (Full article...)

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Madame Moitessier

Madame Moitessier is the title of a portrait of Marie-Clotilde-Inès Moitessier (née de Foucauld) begun in 1844 and completed in 1856 by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. When first requested to paint Moitessier, Ingres refused; however, upon meeting her and being struck by her Junoesque beauty, he agreed to take the commission. His first portrait, shown here, depicts Madame Moitessier seated and draws on such inspirations as the frescoes of Herculaneum and the portraits of Titian. It is now in the National Gallery in London.

Painting: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
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On this day

August 26: Raksha Bandhan (Hinduism, 2018); Heroes' Day/Herero Day in Namibia; Women's Equality Day in the United States

Bomb explosion at Harvey's Resort Hotel
Bomb explosion at Harvey's Resort Hotel

Manuel Abad y Queipo (b. 1751) · Sue Bailey Thurman (b. 1903) · Katherine Johnson (b. 1918)

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In seven days

Featured article
August 27
Trey Parker and Matt Stone in 2007

"Volcano" is the second episode of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States in August 1997. In the episode, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny go on a hunting trip with Stan's uncle Jimbo and his war buddy Ned, unaware that a nearby volcano is about to erupt. Written by series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone (pictured), the episode was inspired by the 1997 disaster films Volcano and Dante's Peak, both of which Parker and Stone strongly disliked. "Volcano" received generally positive reviews and was nominated for a 1997 Environmental Media Award. Over one million viewers watched the original broadcast. The episode marked the first of two appearances for Scuzzlebutt, who became a popular minor character and appeared in the video games South Park 10: The Game and South Park Rally. The episode parodied the Duck and Cover educational videos from the 1950s and 1960s that advised people to hide under tables in the event of a nuclear attack. (Full article...)

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Abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa

The Abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa is a Benedictine abbey located in Codalet, France. Founded at its present site in 878, it flourished through the subsequent millennium, but was closed and sold after the French Revolution and fell into disrepair. In 1919, it was refounded and rebuilt by the Cistercians, a reformed version of the Benedictines. Parts of the original building now make up The Cloisters museum in New York City.

Photograph: Cancre
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August 27
Map of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
Map of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

There are 13 municipalities in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Pennsylvania law defines the two kinds of incorporated municipalities in Sullivan County: four boroughs and nine townships. In the 2010 census, the population of Sullivan County was 6,428, making it an "Eighth Class County", defined by Pennsylvania law as "having a population of less than 20,000 inhabitants". Its county seat is Laporte, which was the smallest county seat in Pennsylvania by population, as of 2001. Sullivan County (map pictured) is located in north central Pennsylvania, about 123 miles (198 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 195 miles (314 km) east-northeast of Pittsburgh. Its municipalities range in size from the borough of Dushore with 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) to Davidson Township with 78.2 square miles (203 km2). Cherry Township has the highest population of any municipality (1,705 or 26.5% of the county total as of 2010). (Full list...)

On this day

August 27: National Heroes' Day in the Philippines (2018)

Battle of Grand Port
Battle of Grand Port

Tomás Luis de Victoria (d. 1611) · Man Ray (b. 1890) · Brian Epstein (d. 1967)

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