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May 1
Millennium Park, as seen from the Aon Center

Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a 24.5-acre (9.9 ha) section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously occupied by parkland, Illinois Central rail yards and parking lots. The park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art. As of 2009, Millennium Park trailed only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction. Planning of the park began in October 1997. Construction began in October 1998, and Millennium Park was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004, four years behind schedule. The three-day opening celebrations were attended by some 300,000 people and included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. The park has received awards for its accessibility and green design. Millennium Park has free admission, and features the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden and other attractions. The park is connected by the BP Pedestrian Bridge and the Nichols Bridgeway to other parts of Grant Park. Millennium Park is considered to be the city's most important project since the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, and it far exceeded its originally proposed budget of $150 million. (more...)

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May 2
Brabham BT3 Formula One car

Brabham was a British racing car manufacturer and Formula One racing team. Founded in 1960 by driver Jack Brabham and designer Ron Tauranac, the team won four drivers' and two constructors' world championships in its 30-year Formula One history. Jack Brabham's 1966 drivers' championship remains the only victory by a car bearing the driver's own name. In the 1960s, Brabham was the world's largest manufacturer of open wheel racing cars for sale to customer teams, and had built more than 500 cars by 1970. During this period, teams using Brabham cars won championships in Formula Two and Formula Three and competed in the Indianapolis 500. British businessman Bernie Ecclestone owned Brabham between 1972 and 1988. Under his ownership, Brabham introduced innovations such as the "fan car", in-race refuelling, carbon brakes, and hydropneumatic suspension, and was the first team to win a drivers' championship with a turbocharged car. Ecclestone sold the team in 1988. Its final owner was the Middlebridge Group, a Japanese engineering firm. Midway through the 1992 season, the team collapsed financially as Middlebridge was unable to meet loan repayments. In 2009 an unsuccessful attempt was made by a German organisation to enter the 2010 Formula One season using the Brabham name. (more...)

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May 3

Shadow the Hedgehog is a 2005 video game developed by Sega Studio USA, the former United States division of Sega's Sonic Team. Featuring the titular fictional character Shadow the Hedgehog from Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series, Shadow the Hedgehog is the third game (and the last in the Sonic series) developed by Sega Studio USA. Following the trend of recent Sonic games such as Sonic Adventure and Sonic Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog is a 3D platform game. Most levels have three possible missions—"Hero", "Dark", or "Normal"—that the player may choose to complete; some levels have only two (which mostly are only "Hero" and "Dark"). The missions completed determine the game's plot, a feature referenced by the game's tagline, "Hero or villain? You decide." The plot centers on the attempt of Shadow, a creation of Doctor Eggman's grandfather Gerald Robotnik, to learn about his past after suffering from amnesia. To defeat enemies encountered, Shadow can use various weapons and special attacks. Shadow the Hedgehog was created for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox video game consoles. It received mixed to negative reviews; critics criticized its unwelcome "dark" theme, particularly the addition of guns and other weapons, but praised its replay value. (more...)

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May 4
Obverse of a 1795 Flowing Hair dollar

The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. Minted in 1794 and 1795, the size and weight of the coin were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas. In 1791, following a study by Alexander Hamilton, Congress passed a joint resolution calling for the establishment of a national mint. Later that year, in his third State of the Union address, President George Washington urged Congress to provide for a mint, which was officially authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. Despite the authorization, silver and gold coins were not struck until 1794. The Flowing Hair dollar, designed by Robert Scot, was initially produced in 1794, and again in 1795. In October 1795 the design was replaced by the Draped Bust dollar. In May 2010, a specimen striking from the 1794 production was sold in a private sale for $7.85 million, the highest selling price of any coin in history. (more...)

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May 5
Mezzotint of Sir William Garrow, published on March 24, 1810

William Garrow (1760–1840) was a British barrister, politician and judge known for his indirect reform of the advocacy system, which helped usher in the adversarial court system used in most common law nations today. He introduced the phrase "innocent until proven guilty", insisting that defendants' accusers and their evidence be thoroughly tested in court. Garrow is best known for his criminal defence work and the example he set with his aggressive defence of clients. Garrow joined Lincoln's Inn in November 1778, and was called to the Bar on 27 November 1783. He quickly established a reputation as a criminal law barrister, particularly for the defendants, and in February 1793 was made a King's Counsel by HM Government to prosecute cases involving treason and felonies. Garrow is also known for his impact on the rules of evidence, coining the best evidence rule. His work was cited as recently as 1982 in the Supreme Court of Canada and 2006 in the Irish Court of Criminal Appeal. In 2009, BBC One broadcast Garrow's Law, a four-part fictionalised drama of Garrow's beginnings at the Old Bailey; a second series aired in late 2010. (more...)

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May 6

Aaliyah (1979–2001) was an American recording artist, actress and model. At age 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive Records and her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records. He introduced her to R. Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. The album sold three million copies in the United States and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. After facing allegations of an illegal underage marriage with Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive and signed to Atlantic Records. Aaliyah worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott for her second album, One in a Million; it sold 3.7 million copies in the United States and over eight million copies worldwide. In 2000, Aaliyah appeared in her first major film, Romeo Must Die. After completing Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah filmed her part in Queen of the Damned. She released her third and final album, Aaliyah, in July 2001. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed in an airplane crash in The Bahamas after filming the music video for the single "Rock the Boat". Since then, Aaliyah's music has achieved commercial success with several posthumous releases. She has been credited for helping redefine R&B and hip hop, earning her the nickname "Princess of R&B". (more...)

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May 7
Stanley Green, the Protein Man, in Oxford Street in 1977

Stanley Green (1915–1993) was a sandwich man who became a well-known figure in London, England, during the latter half of the 20th century. For 25 years Green patrolled Oxford Street, carrying a placard that advocated "Less Lust, By Less Protein: Meat Fish Bird; Egg Cheese; Peas Beans; Nuts. And Sitting"—the wording, and punctuation, changing somewhat over the years. Arguing that protein made people lustful and aggressive, his solution was "protein wisdom," a low-protein diet for "better, kinder, happier people." For a few pence, passers-by could buy his 14-page pamphlet, Eight Passion Proteins with Care, which reportedly sold 87,000 copies over 20 years. Green became one of London's much-loved eccentrics, though his campaign to suppress desire, as one commentator put it, was not invariably popular, leading to two arrests for obstruction and the need to wear green overalls to protect himself from spit. He nevertheless took great delight in his local fame. The Sunday Times interviewed him in 1985, and his "less passion, less protein" slogan was used by Red or Dead, the London fashion house. When he died in 1993 at the age of 78, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Times published his obituary, and his pamphlets, placards, and letters were passed to the Museum of London. (more...)

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May 8
Logo for House, M.D.

House is an American television medical drama that debuted on the Fox network on November 16, 2004. The show's central character is Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), an unconventional and misanthropic medical genius who heads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton‑Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. The show's premise originated with Paul Attanasio, while David Shore, who is credited as creator, was primarily responsible for the conception of the title character. It is largely filmed in Century City. House often clashes with his fellow physicians, including his own diagnostic team, because many of his hypotheses about patients' illnesses are based on subtle or controversial insights. His flouting of hospital rules and procedures frequently runs him afoul of his boss (and, later, girlfriend), hospital administrator and Dean of Medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). House's only true friend is Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard), head of the Department of Oncology. Critically acclaimed for much of its run, House maintains high viewer ratings. Distributed to 66 countries, House was the most watched television program in the world in 2008. (more...)

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May 9
Portrait of King Edward III, by an unknown artist

Edward III (1312–1377) was king of England from 1327 until his death, and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His reign saw vital developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution of the English parliament—as well as the ravages of the Black Death. Edward was crowned at the age of fourteen, following the deposition of his father. When he was only seventeen years old, he led a coup against his regent, Roger Mortimer, and began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland in 1333, he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337, starting what would become known as the Hundred Years' War. Following some initial setbacks, the war went exceptionally well for England; the victories of Crécy and Poitiers led up to the highly favourable Treaty of Brétigny. Edward’s later years, however, were marked by international failure and domestic strife, largely as a result of his inertia and eventual bad health. Highly revered in his own time and for centuries after, Edward was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by later Whig historians. This view has turned, and modern historiography credits him with many significant achievements. (more...)

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May 10
Chris Bosh

The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association. The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. When the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA. Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years; but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league attendance records and made the NBA Playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. With the appointment of Bryan Colangelo as General Manager and a revamp of the roster for the 2006–07 season, they qualified for their first playoff berth in five years and captured their first division title. In the following season, they advanced to the playoffs again. In a bid to persuade Bosh to stay beyond the final year of his contract, the team had a roster overhaul in the 2009–10 season. However, the attempt to make the playoffs was unsuccessful and Bosh signed with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in a new era for the franchise. (more...)

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May 11
A Shimer College class

Shimer College is a small, private, undergraduate liberal arts college in Chicago. Founded by Frances Wood Shimer in 1853 in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, it was a women's school for most of its first century. It joined with the University of Chicago in 1896, and became one of the first junior colleges in the country in 1907. In 1950, it became a co-educational four-year college, took the name Shimer College, and adopted the university's curriculum of the Hutchins Plan of Great Books and Socratic seminars. In 1958, Shimer separated from the university and enjoyed national recognition and strong growth in the 1960s but was forced by financial problems to abandon its campus in 1978. It then moved to Waukegan, IL, remaining there until 2006, when it moved to the National Register of Historic Places-listed campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in the Bronzeville neighborhood in the Douglas community area of Chicago. Classes are exclusively small seminars in which students discuss original source material rather than textbooks. The Early Entrant Program, in place since 1950, allows students who have not yet completed high school to start college early. Shimer has the third highest rate of graduates who complete doctorate degrees of any liberal arts college in the country. (more...)

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May 12
Hurricane Rick at peak intensity as a Category 5 hurricane, October 17, 2009

Hurricane Rick was the second-most intense Pacific hurricane on record and the strongest ever to form during October. Developing south of Mexico on October 15, 2009, Rick traversed an area favoring rapid intensification, allowing it to become a hurricane within 24 hours of being declared a tropical depression. An eye began to form during the afternoon of October 16; once fully formed, the storm underwent another period of rapid strengthening. During the afternoon of October 17, the storm attained Category 5 status on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. Several hours later, Rick attained its peak intensity as the second-strongest Pacific hurricane on record with winds of 180 mph (285 km/h). After maintaining this intensity for several hours, Rick began to weaken in response to a combination of an eyewall replacement cycle and increasing wind shear. On October 21, Rick quickly moved northeast, brushing the tip of Baja California Sur before making landfall near Mazatlán with winds of 55 mph (90 km/h). Several hours after moving inland, the final advisory from the NHC was issued as the storm weakened to a tropical depression and dissipated. Overall, the damage from Rick was significantly less than what was initially anticipated. Throughout Mexico, three people were killed by the storm, one in Oaxaca and two in Baja California Sur. (more...)

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May 13
LAV-AT destroyed by friendly anti-tank missile during the Battle of Khafji

The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War. It took place in and around the Saudi Arabian city of Khafji, from 29 January to 1 February 1991 and marked the culmination of the Coalition's air campaign over Kuwait and Iraq, which had begun on 17 January 1991. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered 1st and 5th Mechanized Divisions and 3rd Armored Division to conduct a multi-pronged invasion from Southern Kuwait toward Khafji, engaging American, Saudi and Qatari forces along the coastline. These divisions, which had been heavily damaged by Coalition aircraft in the preceding days, attacked on 29 January. Most of their attacks were fought off by U.S. Marines as well as U.S. Army Rangers and Coalition aircraft, but one of the Iraqi columns occupied Khafji on the night of 29–30 January. Between 30 January and 1 February, two Saudi Arabian National Guard battalions and two Qatari tank companies attempted to retake control of the city, aided by Coalition aircraft and American artillery. By 1 February, the city had been recaptured. The battle serves as a modern demonstration that air power can halt and defeat a major ground operation. It was also a major test of the Saudi and Qatari armies. (more...)

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May 14
The Flag of Virginia

Virginia is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. The state population is over eight million. Its geography and climate are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which are home to much of its flora and fauna. The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In May 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Virginia was one of the Thirteen Colonies involved in the American Revolution. During the American Civil War, Virginia joined the Confederate States of America, which named Richmond its capital, and the state of West Virginia separated. The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislature in the Americas, and the state is unique for prohibiting governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy is diversified with agriculture in regions like the Shenandoah Valley, federal agencies in Northern Virginia, and military facilities in Hampton Roads. The growth of the media and technology sectors have made computer chips the leading export, with the industry based on the strength of Virginia's public schools and universities. (more...)

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May 15
An American Goldfinch resting on a branch

The American Goldfinch is a North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from southern Canada to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canadian border to Mexico during the winter. The only finch in its subfamily which undergoes a complete molt, the American Goldfinch displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration; the male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter months, while the female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The male displays brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate. The American Goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. It is a social bird, and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating. The breeding season is tied to the peak of food supply, beginning in late July, which is relatively late in the year for a finch. Human activity has generally benefited the American Goldfinch. It is often found in residential areas, attracted to bird feeders installed by humans, which increase its survival rate in these areas. Deforestation also creates open meadow areas which are the preferred habitat of the American Goldfinch. (more...)

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May 16
Portrait of the battle between Little Belt and the President, by Edward Orme

USS President was a 44-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. She was one of the original six frigates whose construction was authorized by the Naval Act of 1794. Launched on 10 April 1800, she was the last to be completed. Her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. On 16 May 1811 President was at the center of the Little Belt Affair, when her crew mistakenly identified HMS Little Belt as HMS Guerriere, which was sought after for impressing an American seaman. The ships exchanged cannon fire for several minutes; Little Belt was heavily damaged. Subsequent U.S. and Royal Navy investigations placed responsibility for the attack on each other with no resolution. The incident contributed to tensions between the U.S. and Great Britain that led to the War of 1812. (more...)

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May 17

The CSI effect is any of several ways in which the exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on crime shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation influences its public perception. The term most often refers to the belief that jurors have come to demand more forensic evidence in criminal trials, thereby raising the standard of proof for prosecutors. Although this belief is widely held among American legal professionals, several studies have shown that crime shows are unlikely to cause such an effect. There are several other manifestations of the CSI effect. Greater public awareness of forensic science has increased the demand for forensic evidence in police investigations, which in turn has significantly increased workloads for crime laboratories. The number and popularity of forensic science degree programs at the university level have greatly increased worldwide, though some new programs have been criticized for inadequately preparing their students for real forensic work. It is possible that forensic science shows teach criminals how to conceal evidence of their crimes, thereby making it more difficult for investigators to solve cases. (more...)

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May 18

Taare Zameen Par is a 2007 Bollywood drama film directed by Aamir Khan, written by Amole Gupte, and produced by Aamir Khan Productions. The film explores the life and imagination of eight-year-old Ishaan (Darsheel Safary). Although he excels in art, his poor academic performance leads his parents to send him to a boarding school. Ishaan's new art teacher (Aamir Khan) suspects that he is dyslexic, and helps him to overcome his disability. The film made its cinematic debut in India on 21 December 2007, and UTV Home Entertainment released a DVD for Indian audiences in 2008. Less than two years later Walt Disney Home Entertainment released an international edition DVD titled Like Stars on Earth, marking the first purchase of distribution rights for an Indian film by a global company. Taare Zameen Par has received several awards, including the Filmfare Best Film Award for 2008 and the 2008 National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare. It was India's official entry for the 2009 Academy Awards Best Foreign Film, and the film's failure to progress to the nominations short list sparked a debate about why no Indian film has ever won an Oscar. Media outlets made comparisons between Taare Zameen Par and the British drama Slumdog Millionaire, which won several Oscars that same year. (more...)

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May 19
The nave of Netley Abbey looking west from the crossing

Netley Abbey is a ruined medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite being a royal abbey, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars or churchmen, and its nearly 300-year history was quiet. The monks were best known to their neighbours for the generous hospitality they offered to travellers on land and sea. In 1536, the abbey was closed by Henry VIII of England during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the building was converted into a mansion by William Paulet, a wealthy Tudor politician. The abbey was used as a country house until the beginning of the eighteenth century, after which it was abandoned and partially demolished for building materials. Subsequently the ruins became a tourist attraction, and provided inspiration to poets and artists of the romantic movement. In the early twentieth century the site was given to the nation, and it is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, cared for by English Heritage. The extensive remains consist of the church, cloister buildings, abbot's house, and fragments of the post-Dissolution mansion. (more...)

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May 20
Ferenc Szisz driving the Renault AK during the 1906 French Grand Prix

The 1906 French Grand Prix was a motor race held on 26 and 27 June 1906, on closed public roads outside the city of Le Mans. The Grand Prix was organised by the Automobile Club de France (ACF) at the prompting of the French automobile industry as an alternative to the Gordon Bennett races, which limited each competing country's number of entries regardless of the size of its industry. The ACF chose a 103.18-kilometre (64.11 mi) circuit, composed primarily of dust roads sealed with tar, which would be lapped six times on both days by each competitor, a combined race distance of 1,238.16 kilometres (769.36 mi). Lasting for more than 12 hours overall, the race was won by Ferenc Szisz driving for the Renault team. Renault's victory contributed to an increase in sales for the French manufacturer in the years following the race. Despite being the second to carry the title, the race has become known as the first Grand Prix. The success of the 1906 French Grand Prix prompted the ACF to run the Grand Prix again the following year, and the German automobile industry to organise the Kaiserpreis, the forerunner to the German Grand Prix, in 1907. (more...)

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May 21
The asteroid 951 Gaspra

The asteroid belt is a region of the Solar System located roughly between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter. It is occupied by numerous irregularly shaped bodies called asteroids or minor planets. More than half the mass of the belt is contained in the four largest objects: Ceres, 4 Vesta, 2 Pallas, and 10 Hygiea. These have mean diameters of more than 400 km, while the remaining bodies range down to the size of a dust particle. Individual asteroids within the main belt are categorized by their spectra, with most falling into three basic groups: carbonaceous, silicate, and M-type metal-rich. The asteroid belt formed from the primordial solar nebula as a group of planetesimals, which in turn formed protoplanets. Between Mars and Jupiter, gravitational perturbations from the giant planet imbued the protoplanets with too much orbital energy for them to accrete into a planet. Collisions became too violent and, instead of sticking together, the planetesimals and the protoplanets shattered. Asteroid orbits continue to be appreciably perturbed whenever their period of revolution about the Sun forms an orbital resonance with Jupiter. Other regions of small solar system bodies include the centaurs, the Kuiper belt and scattered disk, and the Oort cloud. (more...)

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May 22

God Hates Us All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. Released on September 11, 2001, the album received mixed critical reviews, although it entered the Billboard 200 at number 28. Recorded in three months at The Warehouse Studio in Canada, God Hates Us All includes the Grammy Award-nominated "Disciple" and is the band's last album to feature drummer Paul Bostaph. Guitarist Kerry King wrote approximately 80% of the lyrics, adopting a different approach from earlier recordings by including prevalent themes such as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. Limiting the lyrics to topics which everyone could relate to, King wished to explore more in depth, realistic subject matter. The band experimented musically by recording two songs with seven-string guitars, and a further two with drop B tunings. The album's release was delayed due to the graphic nature of its artwork for which slip covers were created to cover the original artwork, difficulties encountered during audio mixing, and the change of distributor by the band's record label during the release period. (more...)

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May 23
Boletus edulis in Tuchola Forest, Poland

Boletus edulis, commonly known as penny bun or porcino, is a basidiomycete fungus. It is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere across Europe, Asia, and North America, and has been introduced to southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The fungus grows in deciduous and coniferous forests and tree plantations, forming symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations with living trees by enveloping sheaths of fungal tissue around their underground roots. The fungus produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above ground in summer and autumn. The fruit body has a large brown cap which on occasion can reach 35 cm (14 in) in diameter and 3 kg (6.6 lb) in weight. It has tubes extending downward from the underside of the cap, rather than gills. Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in high regard in many cuisines, and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Although it is sold commercially, it has not been successfully grown in cultivation. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. (more...)

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May 24

Tiny Thompson (1903–1981) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. He played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL), first for the Boston Bruins, and later for the Detroit Red Wings. A four-time Vezina Trophy winner, Thompson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959. He was a member of one Stanley Cup-winning team, as a rookie in the 1928–29 season with the Boston Bruins. At the start of the 1938–39 season, after ten full seasons with Boston, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, where he completed the season, and played another full one before retiring. During his NHL career, he recorded 81 shutouts, the sixth highest of any goaltender. After retiring from playing, he coached lower-league teams before becoming a noted professional scout. Thompson helped popularize the technique of catching the puck as a method of making a save. A competent puckhandler, he was the first goaltender in the NHL to record an assist by passing the puck with his stick to a fellow player. (more...)

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May 25
Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series written by Douglas Adams (pictured) and first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Radio 4 in 1978. The serial follows the adventures of Englishman Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect, an alien who writes for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an intergalactic encyclopedia and travelogue. After Earth is destroyed in the first episode, Dent and Ford find themselves aboard a stolen spaceship piloted by a motley crew including Zaphod Beeblebrox (Ford's semi-cousin and Galactic President), a depressed robot called Marvin and an Earth woman calling herself Trillian, who is the only other surviving human being. A second series was transmitted in 1980 and the first series was adapted for television. This in turn was followed by five novels, a computer game and several other adaptations. Before his death in May 2001, Adams considered writing a third radio series based on his novel Life, the Universe and Everything. Dirk Maggs eventually directed and co-produced radio series adaptations of that novel, as well as So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless in 2004–05. (more...)

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May 26
Evelyn Waugh, c. 1940

Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966) was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer. His best-known works include his early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), his novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) and his trilogy of Second World War novels collectively known as Sword of Honour (1952–61). Waugh, a conservative Roman Catholic whose views were often trenchantly expressed, is widely recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century. In the 1930s he travelled extensively, often as a special newspaper correspondent. He served in the British armed forces throughout the Second World War, first in the Royal Marines and later in the Royal Horse Guards. All these experiences, and the wide range of people he encountered, were used in Waugh's fiction, generally to humorous effect; even his own mental breakdown in the early 1950s, brought about by misuse of drugs, was fictionalised. After his death in 1966 he acquired a new following through film and television versions of his work, most memorably Brideshead Revisited in 1982. (more...)

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May 27
Ernst Lindemann

Ernst Lindemann (1894–1941) was a German naval captain and the only commander of the battleship Bismarck during its eight months of service in World War II. Lindemann joined the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) in 1913, and after his basic military training, served on a number of warships during World War I as a wireless telegraphy officer. After World War I, he served in various staff as well as naval gunnery training positions. In May 1941, Lindemann commanded Bismarck during Operation Rheinübung. The German task force, under the command of Admiral Günther Lütjens, consisted of the battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. It was to break out of its base in German occupied Norway and attack British merchant shipping lanes in the Atlantic Ocean. The force's first major engagement was the Battle of the Denmark Strait which resulted in the sinking of HMS Hood. Less than a week later, on 27 May, Lindemann and most of his crew lost their lives during Bismarck's last battle. He was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross ([Ritterkreuz des Eisernes Kreuzes] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)), which recognized extreme bravery on the battlefield or outstanding military leadership. (more...)

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May 28
An air photo of Inyo Craters

The Mono–Inyo Craters are a north–south-trending volcanic chain in Eastern California that stretch 25 miles (40 km) from the northwest shore of Mono Lake to south of Mammoth Mountain. The chain is located in Mono County in the U.S. State of California. Eruptions along the narrow fissure system under the chain began in the west moat of Long Valley Caldera 400,000 to 60,000 years ago. Mammoth Mountain was formed during this period. Multiple eruptions from 40,000 to 600 years ago created Mono Craters and eruptions 5,000 to 500 years ago formed Inyo Craters. The area has been used by humans for centuries. Obsidian was collected by Mono Paiutes for making sharp tools and arrow points. Mono Mills processed timber felled on or near the volcanoes for the nearby boomtown Bodie in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Water diversions into the Los Angeles Aqueduct system from their natural outlets in Mono Lake started in 1941 after a water tunnel was cut under Mono Craters. Mono Lake Volcanic Field and a large part of Mono Craters gained some protection under Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area in 1984. Resource use along all of the chain is managed by the United States Forest Service as part of Inyo National Forest. (more...)

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May 29
A Deinonychus antirrhopus skeleton, in the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences

Deinonychus is a genus of carnivorous dromaeosaurid dinosaur that existed during the Early Cretaceous. It contains only a single species, D. antirrhopus. Fossils of the 3.4 meter (11 ft) long dinosaur have been recovered from the U.S. states of Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, though teeth attributed to Deinonychus have been found as far east as Maryland. A 1960s study of Deinonychus revolutionized the way scientists thought about dinosaurs, leading to the "Dinosaur renaissance" and igniting a debate on whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Where the popular conception of dinosaurs had been one of plodding reptilian giants, the study's description of Deinonychus' small body, sleek horizontal posture, ratite-like spine and enlarged raptorial claws suggested an active, agile predator. As in other dromaeosaurids, the tail vertebrae have a series of ossified tendons and super-elongated bone processes. These features would seem to make the tail into a stiff counterbalance, but fossils of closely-related species suggest that, in life, the tail could swish to the sides with a high degree of flexibility. Deinonychus teeth and other remains have been found closely associated with those of the ornithopod Tenontosaurus, implying that it was hunted or at least scavenged upon by Deinonychus. (more...)

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May 30
Portrait of Charles Holden by Benjamin Nelson, 1910

Charles Holden (1875–1960) was an English architect best known for designing many London Underground stations during the 1920s and 1930s, for Bristol Central Library, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's headquarters at 55 Broadway and for the University of London's Senate House. He also created many war cemeteries in Belgium and northern France for the Imperial War Graves Commission. Although not without its critics, his architecture is widely appreciated. He was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 1936 and was appointed a Royal Designer for Industry in 1943. His station designs for London Underground became the corporation's standard design influencing designs by all architects working for the organisation in the 1930s. Many of his buildings have been granted listed building status, protecting them from unapproved alteration. Modestly believing that architecture was a collaborative effort, he twice declined the offer of a knighthood. (more...)

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May 31
A poster advertising Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi, published by G. Ricordi, Milan, in 1918–19

Gianni Schicchi is a comic opera in one act by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, composed in 1917–18. The libretto is based on an incident mentioned in Dante's Divine Comedy. The work is the third and final part of Puccini's Il trittico—three one-act operas with contrasting themes, written to be presented together. Although it continues to be performed with one or both of the other trittico operas, Gianni Schicchi is now more frequently staged either alone or with short operas by other composers. Gianni Schicchi, a comedy, completes the triptych by combining elements of Puccini's modern style of harmonic dissonance with lyrical passages described as reminiscent of Rossini. When Il trittico premiered at New York's Metropolitan Opera in December 1918, Gianni Schicchi became an immediate hit, whereas the other two operas were received with less enthusiasm. Although on artistic grounds Puccini opposed performing the three operas except as the original triptych, by 1920 he had given his reluctant consent to separate performances. Gianni Schicchi has subsequently become the most-performed part of Il trittico, and has been widely recorded. (more...)

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