SMS Wörth is the latest featured article on pre-WWI German ships by Parsecboy. He recently made news in the Signpost for his work on the largest ever Good Topic in Wikipedia's history, which this article forms part of, and currently seems determined to raise it to the largest featured topic, with this being just the latest of his many, many featured articles.
This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 15 June through 21 June.
This image, The Kelpie by Herbert James Draper, isn't a particularly good depiction of the subject of our new featured article, kelpies: Kelpies generally appear as men, when in human shape, and are shape-shifters, usually appearing as horses, tempting riders onto them, at which point they drown them within nearby bodies of water.
Flotilla is a turn-based space combat strategy game, and the subject of a new featured article.
Francis B. Spinola was the first Italian American to be elected to the United States House of Representatives.
SMS Wörth(nominated by Parsecboy) SMS Wörth was one of four Germanpre-dreadnought battleships of the Brandenburg class, built in the early 1890s. The class also included Brandenburg, Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm, and Weissenburg. The ships were the first ocean-going battleships built by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy). Wörth was laid down in May 1890, launched on 6 August 1892 and commissioned into the fleet on 31 October 1893. She was named for the Battle of Wörth fought during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. Wörth served in the German fleet for the first decade of her career, participating in the normal peacetime routine of training cruises and exercises. She took part in the German naval expedition to China in 1900 to suppress the Boxer Rebellion, though by the time the fleet arrived the siege of Peking had already been lifted, and Wörth saw little direct action in China. She was placed in reserve in 1906 as newer, more powerful vessels had supplanted the Brandenburg class as front-line battleships. Obsolete by the start of World War I, Wörth and Brandenburg served in a limited capacity in the Imperial German Navy as coastal defense ships for the first two years of the war, though they did not see action. By 1916, Wörth was reduced to a barracks ship, a role in which she served until the end of hostilities. Despite plans to convert her into a freighter after the war, Wörth was scrapped in the port of Danzig in 1919.
New York Dolls (album)(nominated by Dan56)New York Dolls is the debut studio album by American hard rock band the New York Dolls, released on July 27, 1973, by Mercury Records. The band formed in 1971 and developed a following while playing regularly in lower Manhattan. They held little appeal for record companies because of their onstage cross-dressing and vulgarity, and most record producers were reluctant to work with them. After signing a two-album deal with Mercury, the New York Dolls recorded their first album at The Record Plant in New York City with producer Todd Rundgren, who was known for his sophisticated pop sound. The album features carefree rock and roll and Brill Building pop influences among its hard rock songs. Their lyrics were written by lead singer David Johansen and touch on themes such as urban youth, teen alienation, adolescent romance, and authenticity. For shock value, the band was photographed in exaggerated drag on the album cover. Upon its release, New York Dolls received very positive reviews from music critics, but sold poorly and only charted at number 116 on the Billboard 200. The band toured the US to promote the album, but were difficult to market and developed a reputation for excess. Despite its commercial failure, the album was an influential precursor to the 1970s punk rock movement and has since received acclaim from critics as one of the greatest debut albums in rock music.
Kelpie(nominated by Sagaciousphil and Eric Corbett) Kelpie (or water kelpie) is the Lowland Scottish name given to a malevolent water spirit or demon inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland. It has usually been described as appearing as a horse, but is able to adopt human form. Some accounts state that the kelpie retains its hooves when appearing as a human, leading to its association with the Christian idea of Satan as alluded to by Robert Burns in his 1786 poem "Address to the Deil". Almost every sizeable body of water in Scotland has an associated kelpie story, but the most extensively reported is that of Loch Ness, first recorded in the 6th century. The kelpie has counterparts across the world, such as the wihwin of South America, the Scandinavianbäckahästen and the Australian bunyip. The origin of the belief in malevolent water horses may lie in the human sacrifices once made to appease the gods of water, but it also served a practical purpose in keeping children away from dangerous stretches of water, and warning young women to be wary of handsome strangers.
Royal baccarat scandal(nominated by SchroCat ) The royal baccarat scandal (also known as the Tranby Croft affair) was a British gambling scandal of the late 19th century involving the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. The scandal started during a house party in September 1890, when Sir William Gordon-Cumming, a decorated lieutenant colonel in the Scots Guards, was accused of cheating at baccarat. Edward had been invited to stay at Tranby Croft, Yorkshire, the home of Arthur Wilson and his family. Gordon-Cumming was seen to be acting in a suspicious manner, and was subsequently pressured into signing a document that stated he would never play cards again, in exchange for the silence of the guests. The secret was not kept for long, and Gordon-Cumming demanded a retraction from the Wilson family, who he considered to blame for divulging the news. They refused and he filed a writ for slander in February 1891. Despite the efforts of the prince's courtiers to have the matter dealt with by a military court, the case was heard in June 1891. The atmosphere at trial was described as being like a theatre, and Edward was called as a witness, the first time the heir to the throne had been compelled to appear in court since 1411. Gordon-Cumming was found guilty, dismissed from the army, and ostracised from society for the rest of his life. Public opinion was on his side, and the prince was at his most unpopular for several years afterwards.
Liberty Head double eagle(nominated by Wehwalt ) The Liberty Head double eagle (or Coronet double eagle) is an American twenty-dollar gold piece struck as a pattern coin in 1849, and for commerce from 1850 to 1907. It was designed by Mint of the United States Chief Engraver James B. Longacre. The largest denomination of United States coin authorized by the Mint Act of 1792 was the eagle, or ten-dollar piece. The large amount of bullion being brought east after the discovery of gold in California in the 1840s caused Congress to consider new denominations of gold coinage. The gold dollar and double eagle were the result. After considerable infighting at the Philadelphia Mint, Chief Engraver James B. Longacre designed the double eagle, and it began to be issued for commerce in 1850. Only one 1849 double eagle is known to survive; it rests in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian. The coin was immediately successful; merchants and banks used it in trade. It was struck until replaced by the Saint-Gaudens double eagle in 1907, and many were melted when President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalled gold coins from the public in 1933. Millions of double eagles were sent overseas in international transactions throughout its run to be melted or placed in bank vaults. Many of the latter have now been repatriated to feed the demand from collectors and those who desire to hold gold.
Israel the Grammarian(nominated by Dudley Miles ) Israel the Grammarian (c. 895 – c. 965) was one of the leading European scholars of the mid-tenth century. Probably a Breton, he was at the court of King Æthelstan of England in the 930s. After Æthelstan's death, Israel successfully sought the patronage of Archbishop Rotbert of Trier and became tutor to Bruno, later the Archbishop of Cologne. In the late 940s, he is recorded as a bishop, and at the end of his life he was a monk at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Maximin in Trier. An accomplished poet, Israel was a disciple of the ninth-century Irish philosopher John Scottus Eriugena and one of the few scholars of his time to understand Greek. He wrote theological and grammatical tracts, and commentaries on the works of other philosophers and theologians.
Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra, Vulpecula and Anser, plate 14 from Urania's Mirror, is one of the four illustrations from that set of star charts promoted this week. This completes a six-month project to raise to featured status every single one of the plates from that publication available from the Library of Congress.