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.
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.
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.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 17, 2017 is Hurricane Andrew.
Hurricane Andrew (1992) was an Atlantic hurricane, the most destructive one ever in Florida. Named as a tropical storm on August 17, it hit the northwestern Bahamas six days later at Category 5 strength, leaving 1,700 people homeless, killing four, and disrupting the transport, communications, water, sanitation, agriculture, and fishing sectors. It struck Florida on August 24 with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph (270 km/h). In the city of Homestead in Miami-Dade County, it stripped many homes of all but their concrete foundations. Statewide, Andrew destroyed or damaged over 164,000 homes, killed 44 people, and left a record $25 billion in damage. A facility housing Burmese pythons was destroyed, releasing them into the Everglades, where they now number up to 300,000. The hurricane destroyed oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Louisiana, where it downed 80% of the trees in the Atchafalaya River Basin, devastated agriculture, and caused 17 deaths. The storm spawned at least 28 tornadoes along the Gulf Coast, mostly in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. In total, Andrew caused $26.5 billion in damage and left 65 people dead.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 16, 2017 is Richard II of England.
Richard II (1367–1400) was King of England, the last
of the main-line kings of the House of Plantagenet. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. A son of Edward, the Black Prince, he was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III. Richard was tall, good-looking and intelligent, but he may have suffered from a personality disorder, especially toward the end of his reign. Less warlike than his father or grandfather, he sought to bring an end to the Hundred Years’ War started by Edward III. A firm believer in the royal prerogative, he restrained the power of the aristocracy and relied on a private retinue for military protection. He promoted an elevated image of himself, and art and culture were at the centre of his court, in contrast to the fraternal, martial court of his grandfather. Shakespeare’s play Richard II portrays his misrule and deposition as responsible for the 15th-century Wars of the Roses, but modern historians disagree, attributing his downfall to practices that were unacceptable to the political establishment.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 15, 2017 is Jennifer Lawrence.
Jennifer Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. After starring in the television series The Bill Engvall Show (2007–2009) and making her film debut in Garden Party (2008), she had her breakthrough with Winter’s Bone in 2010. She took over the role of Mystique in the X-Men film series in 2011, and starred as Katniss Everdeen in the top-grossing Hunger Games films (2012–2015). She became the second-youngest recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing a depressed widow in Silver Linings Playbook (2012). She won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for playing a troubled wife in American Hustle (2013), and received Golden Globe Awards for both of these films and for playing an inventor in the biopic Joy (2015). Lawrence’s films have grossed in excess of $5.5 billion globally, and she has been the world’s highest-paid actress since 2015. Her many awards and honors include appearances in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and the Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2014 and 2016. She is a vocal advocate of feminism and gender equality.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 14, 2017 is Xx (album).
xx is the debut album by English indie pop band the xx, released by Young Turks, an imprint of XL Recordings, on 14 August 2009. Audio engineer Rodaidh McDonald and the xx strove for an intimate, unembellished sound. The band’s Jamie Smith produced xx on his laptop, mixing in electronic beats. Strongly influenced by R&B acts, the album also drew comparisons to alternative rock, electronica, and post-punk sounds. The melancholic songs on xx featured minimalist arrangements. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim sang most of these as low-key duets, and wrote emotional lyrics about love, intimacy, loss, and desire. The album received widespread acclaim from critics, many naming it one of the year’s best records. It became a sleeper hit in Britain and the United States. Although none of its singles became hits, xx benefited from the licensing of its songs on television and the band’s 2010 Mercury Prize win for the album. In 2013, xx was ranked number 237 on NME magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.