Wikipedia article of the day for August 20, 2017

The Wikipedia article of the day for August 20, 2017 is Lundomys.
Lundomys molitor, commonly known as the greater marsh rat, is a semiaquatic rat species from southeastern South America. Its distribution is now restricted to Uruguay and nearby Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, but it previously ranged northward into Minas Gerais, Brazil, and southward into eastern Argentina. It was first described in 1887 by Danish zoologist Herluf Winge, who reviewed materials collected by Peter Wilhelm Lund in the caves of Lagoa Santa in Minas Gerais. The Argentine form may have been distinct from the form that now lives in Brazil and Uruguay. It is a large rodent, with a head-and-body length averaging 193 mm (7.6 in). Its tail is longer than the head and body combined. Its coat, yellow-brown at the sides, is long, dense, and soft. It is an excellent swimmer, propelled by large hindfeet with conspicuous interdigital webbing. It builds nests above the water supported by reeds. It is not currently threatened, reflecting a relatively wide distribution and the absence of evidence for a decline in populations.

Picture of the day for August 20, 2017

NASA astronaut Nicholas Patrick, STS-130 mission specialist, participates in the mission’s third and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. During the five-hour, 48-minute spacewalk, Patrick and astronaut Robert Behnken (out of frame), mission specialist, completed all of their planned tasks, removing insulation blankets and launch restraint bolts from each of the Cupola’s seven windows.. Learn more.

Wikipedia article of the day for August 19, 2017

The Wikipedia article of the day for August 19, 2017 is Bone Wars.
The Bone Wars were rivalries between paleontologists, mainly Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, that led to a surge of fossil discoveries during the Gilded Age of American history. Cope, of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and Marsh, of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, competed using underhanded methods, resorting to bribery, theft, destruction of bones, and mutual attacks in scientific publications. They sought fossils in rich bone beds in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. From 1877 to 1892, they used their wealth and influence to finance their own expeditions and to procure services and dinosaur bones from fossil hunters. Cope and Marsh were financially and socially ruined by their attempts to disgrace each other, but their contributions to science and the field of paleontology, including many unopened boxes of fossils found after their deaths, were massive. Their efforts led to many new descriptions of dinosaur species, of which 32 remain valid today. The Bone Wars shed light on prehistoric life and sparked the public’s interest in dinosaurs, leading to continued fossil excavation in North America in the decades to follow.

Picture of the day for August 19, 2017

A honey bee, in contrast with the stingless honey bee, is any bee member of the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests from wax. In the United States, National Honey Bee Day is an awareness day observed on the third Saturday of August.. Learn more.

Wikipedia article of the day for August 18, 2017

The Wikipedia article of the day for August 18, 2017 is Heathenry (new religious movement).
Heathenry, or Germanic Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan religion. The practitioners of this new religious movement model their faith on the belief systems of Germanic peoples of Iron Age and Early Medieval Europe. Heathenry uses historical, archaeological, and folkloric evidence as a basis. It does not have a unified theology and typically centers on a pantheon of deities. It adopts cosmological views, including an animistic view of the cosmos in which the natural world is imbued with spirits. Many practitioners are solitary; other members of the Heathen community assemble in small groups to perform their rites in specially constructed buildings or outdoors (pictured). Heathen ethical systems place great emphasis on honor, personal integrity, and loyalty, while beliefs about an afterlife are varied and rarely emphasized. Many groups adopt a universalist perspective which holds that the religion is open to all, irrespective of ethnic or racial identity. Scholarly estimates put the number of Heathens at no more than 20,000 worldwide, with communities of practitioners active in Europe, North America, and Australasia.

Picture of the day for August 18, 2017

Blue hour view of the pagan temple in the Bazaar square, Old city (İçəri Şəhər), Baku, Azerbaijan. The Old City of Baku, that dates at least from the 12th century, became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country in 2000.. Learn more.