Wikipedia:Picture of the day/December 2018

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A monthly archive of Wikipedia's featured pictures



These featured pictures previously appeared (or shall appear) as Picture of the day as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating Picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{pic of the day}} (text version) or {{POTD}} (short version). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.




December 1 - Sat

The Princess and the Trolls
The Princess and the Trolls, by John Bauer (1882–1918), was painted as an illustration for "The Changeling", a short story by Helena Nyblom. A watercolour held by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, it was first published in the 1913 edition of the anthology Among Gnomes and Trolls. It shows the princess Bianca Maria between two trolls in a forest. Bauer's illustrations of fairy tales and children's stories made him a household name in his native Sweden, and shaped perceptions of many fairy tale characters.Illustration: John Bauer

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December 2 - Sun

Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is a video game console developed by Nintendo and released on March 3, 2017. It is a hybrid console, which means it can be used as both a home console and as a portable console. In the home console mode, the main unit is inserted onto a docking station to connect to a television. Alternatively, for portable use, it can be removed from the dock and operated similarly to a tablet computer through its LCD touchscreen. The Switch is the fastest-selling console in Nintendo's history, and the fastest-selling of all time in both Japan and the United States. By September 2018 it had sold 22.86 million units, with sales heavily tied to the critically acclaimed titles The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey.Photograph: Evan-Amos

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December 3 - Mon

Abdul Haris Nasution
Abdul Haris Nasution (3 December 1918 – 6 September 2000) was an Indonesian army general. Born into a Batak Muslim family in the North Sumatran village of Hutapungkut, in what was then the Dutch East Indies, he studied teaching and enrolled at a military academy in Bandung. After Sukarno declared Indonesia's independence on 17 August 1945, Nasution joined the war against the Dutch, commanding the Siliwangi Division guerrilla unit in West Java. After the country's internationally recognised independence in 1949, Nasution was appointed Chief of Staff of the army. He remained in post being suspended in 1952 following a failed show of force against the president. He was reappointed Chief of Staff in 1955. In 1965 there was a coup attempt by the 30 September Movement. Natution's house was attacked, and his daughter killed, but he was able to escape by scaling a wall and hiding in the Iraqi ambassador's residence.Photograph: Punt / Anefo; restoration: Chris Woodrich

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December 4 - Tue

McClure Tunnel
The McClure Tunnel is a tunnel in Santa Monica, California, which connects Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) with the western terminus of the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10). It is 400 feet (120 m) long. The first tunnel on the site was a Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel constructed in 1886. This featured in a brief 1898 film called Going Through the Tunnel, which showed the ocean view appearing to the left as the passenger emerges from the western portal. The rail tunnel was demolished and replaced with the current road tunnel, which opened in 1936. It was named after local newspaper publisher Robert E. McClure in 1979.Photograph: Steve Lyon

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December 5 - Wed

Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II (5 December 1443 – 21 February 1513), born Giuliano della Rovere, was the pope and ruler of the Papal States from 1503 until his death. His papacy was dominated by conflict with the Republic of Venice, which had seized papal territory following the death of Julius's predecessor. This escalated into the War of the League of Cambrai. Julius was also a notable patron of arts and infrastructure. He commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

This oil painting, Portrait of Pope Julius II, was produced in 1511–12 by the Italian painter Raphael. There are several versions, one of which hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, and was believed for many years to be the original. However, research in 1970 indicated that a version owned by the National Gallery in London is likely the original.Painting: Raphael

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December 6 - Thu

International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station in low Earth orbit, run as a joint project by the American, Russian, Japanese, European, and Canadian space agencies. Its first component was sent into orbit in 1998, and it has been inhabited continuously since 2000. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components, which have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles. It serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields.

This photograph, taken in 2011 by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli from a departing Russian Soyuz spacecraft, shows the ISS and the docked Space Shuttle Endeavour.Photograph: Paolo Nespoli.

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December 7 - Fri

Camelopardalis
Camelopardalis is a large but faint constellation of the northern sky. Introduced in 1612 or 1613 by Petrus Plancius, it represents a giraffe. The brightest stars in Camelopardalis are β Cam, a double star 1,000 light-years from Earth with apparent magnitude 4.03; CS Cam, a 4.21-magnitude variable star; and α Cam, a blue-hued supergiant star of magnitude 4.3. At 5,000 light-years from Earth, α Cam is one of the most distant stars easily visible with the naked eye. The constellation is located in the part of the celestial sphere facing away from the galactic plane, which means it has many distant galaxies visible within its borders. This includes the NGC 2403 galaxy in the M81 Group, located approximately 12 million light-years from Earth.

This illustration was produced in around 1823 and comes from Urania's Mirror, a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards. Above the giraffe are the now-abandoned constellations of Tarandus and Custos Messium.Lithograph: Sidney Hall. Restoration: Adam Cuerden.

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December 8 - Sat

The Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception is an oil painting by Italian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. One of seven altarpieces commissioned in 1767 by King Charles III of Spain for the Church of Saint Pascual in Aranjuez, it depicts the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels and crowned with the circle of stars. She is shown trampling a snake, representing her victory over the devil. The painting's subject is the Immaculate Conception, an idea taught by the Catholic Church stating that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin. At the time the painting was commissioned, the Immaculate Conception concept was already common in art despite still being developed by theologians. It was declared a dogma of the Catholic Church in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, with the associated feast celebrated on 8 December. The painting is currently held by the Prado Museum in Madrid.Painting: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

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December 9 - Sun

United States one hundred-dollar bill
The $100 bill is a banknote of the United States dollar. It has been the highest-value bill circulated since 1969, when the $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills were retired. The first $100 United States Note was issued in 1862 and the Federal Reserve Note version was launched in 1914, alongside other denominations. The obverse of the bill has featured the image of US founding father Benjamin Franklin since 1914, while the reverse has shown the Independence Hall in Philadelphia since 1928.

This picture shows a 1934 Gold Certificate with signatures of US Treasurer W. A. Julian and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr.Banknote: Bureau of Engraving and Printing

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December 10 - Mon

Swallow
Swallows, together with martins, form a family of passerine birds known as the Hirundinidae. They are found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. There are around 90 species of Hirundinidae, with the greatest diversity found in Africa, which is thought to be where they evolved as hole-nesters. For the most part swallows are insectivorous, taking flying insects on the wing and using foveae in their eyes to help track prey.

This picture shows the pied-winged swallow, which is found in several countries in western Africa.Photograph: Charles J. Sharp

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December 11 - Tue

Ringling Brothers Circus
The Ringling Brothers Circus was founded in the American city of Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 1884 by five of the seven Ringling brothers. In 1907 the brothers acquired the Barnum & Bailey Circus, merging it with their original circus in 1919 to form the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, promoted as The Greatest Show on Earth and operated until 2017.

This is a poster for the circus produced around 1899 by the Coach Lithographic Company of Buffalo, New York.Poster: Coach Lithographic Co; Restoration: Trialsanderrors and Adam Cuerden

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December 12 - Wed

The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical play written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, based on Maria von Trapp's memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, it tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, and together they flee from Austria to escape the Nazis. Songs from the musical include "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", and the title song "The Sound of Music".

This picture shows actress Mary Martin with children in a 1959 publicity photo for the musical. In the movie version, the role was played by Julie Andrews.Photograph: Toni Frissell, Restoration: Adam Cuerden

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December 13 - Thu

Leopard seal
The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), also known as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic, after the southern elephant seal. It is second only to the killer whale among Antarctica's top predators, feeding on a wide range of prey including cephalopods, other pinnipeds, krill, birds and fish. Together with the Ross seal, the crabeater seal and the Weddell seal, if is part of the tribe of lobodontini seals.

This image shows a leopard seal in the Antarctic Sound in 2016. See also the same seal yawning.Photograph: Godot13

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December 14 - Fri

Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst (née Goulden, 1858–1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement, who helped women win the right to vote. The first election with female voters was the general election of 14 December 2018, one hundred years ago today. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.Photograph: Matzene of Chicago, restoration: Adam Cuerden

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December 15 - Sat

Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the mayor of Torrejón
Unfortunate events in the front seats of the ring of Madrid, and the death of the mayor of Torrejón is an etching with burnished aquatint, drypoint and burin on paper by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya. It is number 21 in a series of 35 etchings making up his Tauromaquia ("art of bullfighting") series, which he produced between 1815 and 1816. The etching details an event from 15 June 1801 when a bull broke through barriers at a bullfight in Madrid, killing two people including the mayor of Torrejón de Ardoz. The plate has been described by Robert Hughes as among the greatest of Goya's graphic output.Etching: Francisco Goya

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December 16 - Sun

Fountain of Qayt Bay
The Fountain of Qayt Bay is a domed public fountain (sabil) located on the western esplanade of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, situated fifty metres west of the Dome of the Rock. Built in the fifteenth century by the Egyptians, it was completed in the reign of Qaitbay, Sultan of Egypt, after whom it is named.Photograph: Godot13

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December 17 - Mon

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December 18 - Tue

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December 19 - Wed

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December 20 - Thu

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December 21 - Fri

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December 22 - Sat

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December 23 - Sun

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December 24 - Mon

Aida
Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House and had its première there on 24 December 1871, in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini.

This picture shows the set for a performance of Aida by the Israeli Opera in 2011.Photograph: Avinoam Michaeli

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December 25 - Tue

Nativity at Night
The Nativity at Night is a painting by Early Netherlandish artist Geertgen tot Sint Jans, dating to around 1490. It is a panel painting in oil on oak. The painting shows the Nativity of Jesus, attended by angels, and with the Annunciation to the shepherds on the hillside behind seen through the window in the centre of the painting. It is a small painting presumably made for private devotional use, and Geertgen's version, with significant changes, of a lost work by Hugo van der Goes of about 1470. The Nativity at Night hangs in the National Gallery, London.Painting: Geertgen tot Sint Jans.

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December 26 - Wed

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December 27 - Thu

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December 28 - Fri

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December 29 - Sat

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December 30 - Sun

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December 31 - Mon

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Picture of the day archive



Today is Tuesday, December 11, 2018; it is now 13:39 UTC