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[Daily article] April 25: Startling Stories

Startling Stories was an American pulp science fiction magazine,
published by Standard Magazines from 1939 to 1955. Its first editor was
Mort Weisinger, who also edited Thrilling Wonder Stories, Standard's
other science fiction title. Startling ran a lead novel in every issue;
the first was The Black Flame by Stanley G. Weinbaum. The magazine
focused on younger readers, and, when Weisinger was replaced by Oscar J.
Friend in 1941, the magazine became even more juvenile in focus. Sam
Merwin, Jr., Friend's successor, was able to improve the quality of the
fiction substantially, publishing Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of
Night and other well-received stories. Earle K. Bergey painted almost
every cover between 1942 and 1952, equipping his heroines with brass
bras and implausible costumes; the public image of science fiction in
his day was partly created by his work. In later years, competition
affected the magazine's ability to acquire quality material. In
mid-1952, Standard attempted to change Startling's image by adopting a
more sober title typeface and reducing the covers' sensationalism, but
the pulp magazine market was collapsing and publication ceased in 1955.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startling_Stories>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1792:

French composer Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote "La
Marseillaise", now the national anthem of France.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Marseillaise>

1864:
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[Daily article] April 24: Wilfrid

Wilfrid (c. 633 – c. 709) was an English bishop. The abbot of a
monastery at Ripon, he advocated the Roman method for calculating the
date of Easter at the Synod of Whitby in 664 and was appointed Bishop of
Northumbria as a result. After Wilfrid quarrelled with Ecgfrith, the
Northumbrian king, Theodore of Tarsus (the Archbishop of Canterbury)
implemented some reforms in the diocese despite Wilfrid's opposition.
Pope Agatho ruled in Wilfrid's favour, but Ecgfrith imprisoned Wilfrid
before exiling him. Aldfrith, Ecgfirth's successor, allowed Wilfrid to
return, but later expelled him. Wilfrid again appealed to Rome, and
eventually regained possession of his Northumbrian monasteries. After
Wilfrid's death, he was venerated as a saint. His followers commissioned
a Life of Wilfrid (page from an 11th-century copy pictured), and the
medieval historian Bede also wrote extensively about him. Wilfrid lived
ostentatiously and claimed to be the first Englishman to introduce the
Rule of Saint Benedict into English monasteries. Some modern historians
see him as a champion of Roman customs against those of the British and
Irish churches, others as an advocate for monasticism.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfrid>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1479 BC:

Thutmose III became the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth
Dynasty of Egypt, although during the first 22 years of the reign he was
co-regent with his aunt, Hatshepsut.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thutmose_III>

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[Daily article] April 23: 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian)

The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) was
a German mountain infantry division of the Waffen-SS during World War
II. Raised in the Independent State of Croatia, it was given the title
Handschar after a fighting knife carried by Turkish policemen when the
region was part of the Ottoman Empire. From March to December 1944, it
fought a counter-insurgency campaign against communist-led Yugoslav
Partisan resistance forces. The first non-Germanic Waffen-SS division,
it was composed of Bosnian Muslims with some Catholic Croat soldiers and
mostly German and ethnic German officers and non-commissioned officers.
It swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler and the Croatian leader Ante
Pavelić. It established a designated "security zone" in north-eastern
Bosnia but fought outside the zone on several occasions. It gained a
reputation for brutality and savagery during combat operations and
atrocities against Serb and Jewish civilians. After late 1944, non-
German members began to desert in large numbers, particularly once they
had retreated inside the Reich frontier. Others surrendered to British
forces. Thirty-eight officers were extradited to Yugoslavia, and ten
were executed.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Waffen_Mountain_Division_of_the_SS_Handschar_(1st_Croatian)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1014:

Irish forces led by Brian Boru clashed with the Vikings in the
Battle of Clontarf.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Clontarf>

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[Daily article] April 22: Two-cent piece

The two-cent piece was produced by the U.S. Mint for circulation from
1864 to 1872 and for collectors in 1873. It was designed by James B.
Longacre. The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused
government-issued coins, even the non-silver Indian Head cent, to vanish
from circulation, hoarded by the public. One means of filling this gap
was private token issues, often made of bronze. The cent at that time
was struck of a copper-nickel alloy. The piece was difficult for the
Philadelphia Mint to strike, and Mint officials, as well as the annual
Assay Commission, recommended the coin's replacement. Despite opposition
from those wishing to keep the metal nickel in the coinage, Congress
passed the Coinage Act of 1864, authorizing bronze cents and two-cent
pieces. Although initially popular in the absence of other federal
coinage, the two-cent piece's place in circulation was later usurped by
the three-cent piece and the nickel. There were decreasing mintages each
year, and it was abolished by the Mint Act of 1873. Large quantities
were redeemed by the government and melted. Nevertheless, two-cent
pieces remain inexpensive by the standards of 19th-century American
coinage.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-cent_piece>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1500:

Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral and his crew landed
in present day Brazil and claimed the land for Portugal.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_%C3%81lvares_Cabral>

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[Daily article] April 21: Hurricane Kiko (1989)

Hurricane Kiko was one of the strongest tropical cyclones to ever make
landfall on the eastern coast of the Baja California Peninsula. The
eleventh named storm of the 1989 Pacific hurricane season, Kiko formed
out of a large mesoscale convective system on August 25. Slowly
tracking northwestward, the storm rapidly intensified into a hurricane
early the next day. Strengthening continued until early August 27, when
Kiko reached its peak intensity with winds of 120 mph (195 km/h). The
storm turned west at this time, and at around 0600 UTC, the storm made
landfall near Punta Arena on the southern tip of Baja California. The
hurricane rapidly weakened into a tropical storm later that day and
further into a tropical depression by August 28, shortly after entering
the Pacific Ocean. The depression persisted for another day while
tracking southward, before being absorbed by nearby Tropical Storm
Lorena. Though Kiko made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane, its impact
was relatively minor. Press reports indicated that 20 homes were
destroyed and numerous highways were flooded by torrential rains.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Kiko_(1989)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

753 BC:

Romulus and Remus founded Rome, according to the calculations
by Roman scholar Varro Reatinus.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_and_Remus>

1836:

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[Daily article] April 20: Paramount Television Network

The Paramount Television Network was a venture in the late 1940s by
American film corporation Paramount Pictures to organize a television
network. The company had built television stations KTLA in Los Angeles
and WBKB in Chicago, and had invested $400,000 in the DuMont Television
Network, which operated stations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and
Pittsburgh. The Paramount Television Network aired several programs,
including the Emmy award-winning children's series Time for Beany, and
distributed them to an ad-hoc network of stations. It signed affiliation
agreements with more than 50 television stations in 1950; despite this,
most of Paramount's series were not widely viewed outside the West
Coast. The Federal Communications Commission prevented the studio from
acquiring additional television stations. Escalating disputes between
Paramount and DuMont concerning breaches of contract, company control,
and network competition erupted regularly between 1940 and 1956, and led
to the dismantling of the DuMont Network. Paramount continued to produce
series for other networks, and re-entered the broadcast network field in
1995 with the United Paramount Network.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramount_Television_Network>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1535:

The appearance of sun dogs over Stockholm, Sweden, inspired the
painting Vädersolstavlan, the oldest colour depiction of the city.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A4dersolstavlan>

1828:
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[Daily article] April 19: Banksia grossa

Banksia grossa is a species of shrub in the plant family Proteaceae
endemic to Southwest Australia. It is one of fourteen species of banksia
of the series Abietinae, all of which bear predominantly round or oval
inflorescences. Collected in 1965, it was described in 1981 by Alex
George. Its thick leaves and large seeds distinguish it from other
members of the Abietinae, and are the basis of its species name. Found
in sand or sand over laterite among heath between Eneabba and
Badgingarra in Western Australia, it grows as a many-stemmed shrub to
1 m (3 ft) high with narrow leaves and oval brownish flower spikes up
to 10 cm (4 in) high, composed of hundreds of individual flowers.
Flowering occurs throughout the cooler months of March to September. Old
flower spikes develop woody follicles which bear the seeds. The plant
takes 5 to 7 years to reach maturity and begin flowering. After
bushfire, Banksia grossa regenerates from its woody lignotuber;
bushfires also stimulate the release of seeds, which germinate after
disturbance. Visitors to (and likely pollinators of) inflorescences
include insects and a nocturnal mammal, the white-tailed dunnart.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksia_grossa>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

65:

The freedman Milichus betrayed Gaius Calpurnius Piso's plot to
kill the Emperor Nero and all the conspirators were arrested.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisonian_conspiracy>

1809:
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[Daily article] April 18: Beorhtwulf of Mercia

Beorhtwulf (died 852) was King of the Mercians from 839 or 840 to 852.
His ancestry is unknown, though he may have been connected to Beornwulf,
who ruled Mercia in the 820s. Beorhtwulf restarted a Mercian coinage
early in his reign, initially with strong similarities to the coins of
Æthelwulf of Wessex, and later with independent designs. The Vikings
attacked soon after Beorhtwulf's accession: the province of Lindsey was
raided in 841, and London, a key centre of Mercian commerce, was
attacked the following year. Another Viking assault on London in 851
"put Beorhtwulf to flight", according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; the
Vikings were subsequently defeated by Æthelwulf. Berkshire appears to
have passed from Mercian to West Saxon control during Beorhtwulf's
reign. The Welsh are recorded to have rebelled against Beorhtwulf's
successor, Burgred, shortly after Beorhtwulf's death, suggesting that
Beorhtwulf had been their overlord. Charters from his reign show a
strained relationship with the church, as he seized land and
subsequently returned it. Beorhtwulf and his wife, Sæthryth, may have
had two sons, Beorhtfrith and Beorhtric. Beorhtwulf's death is not
recorded.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beorhtwulf_of_Mercia>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1689:

Provincial militia and citizens gathered in Boston, and
arrested officials of the Dominion of New England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1689_Boston_revolt>

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[Daily article] April 17: Spinning Around

"Spinning Around" is the lead single from Light Years (2000), Kylie
Minogue's seventh studio album. The disco-influenced dance-pop song
addresses the theme of reinvention, with Minogue (pictured performing
the song) claiming that she has changed as a person and learned from the
past. Released in June 2000, it received favourable reviews from music
critics, who regarded it as one of the album's highlights and praised
Minogue for returning to her signature musical style. The song was a
commercial success and became Minogue's "comeback" single following the
critical and commercial disappointment of her sixth studio album
Impossible Princess (1997). It entered the Australian Singles Chart at
number one, becoming the singer's first chart-topper since "Confide in
Me" (1994). The song also debuted at number one in the United Kingdom,
and was her first UK number-one single since 1990. The accompanying
music video features Minogue dancing and enjoying herself in a disco. It
became popular for the gold hotpants she sported in most of the scenes
and led to a media "fetish" regarding her bottom. "Spinning Around" has
been performed by Minogue during most of her concert tours.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinning_Around>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1907:

Brazil became the third country in the world to start
construction on a dreadnought battleship (pictured), sparking a vastly
expensive South American naval arms race.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_dreadnought_race>

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[Daily article] April 16: Horrible Histories (2009 TV series)

Horrible Histories is a children's sketch-comedy adaptation of Terry
Deary's long-running book series, produced by Lion Television with
Citrus Television, that ran for five 13-episode series on Britain's CBBC
from 2009 to 2013. Like the books, it was intended to foster children's
interest in British and other Western world history through factual
anecdotes retold with a focus on "gross-out"-style humour and comic
violence – "history with the nasty bits left in". The producers of
the TV series recruited writers and performers with roots in the adult
British comedy community. These in turn took a deliberately non-
condescending approach, relying instead on such influences as Blackadder
and the Monty Python films. A focus on historical accuracy was combined
with a comedy style relying heavily on parodies of current UK pop-
culture to make those facts more accessible, leading to takeoffs of
Masterchef, The Apprentice and Wife Swap among others. The result won
numerous domestic and international awards, including two British Comedy
Awards and four consecutive Children's BAFTAs (cast at 2011 ceremony
pictured), and eventually garnered respect as a classic from viewers of
all ages.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horrible_Histories_(2009_TV_series)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1847:

New Zealand Wars: A minor Māori chief was accidentally shot by
a junior British Army officer in the Petre settlement of New Zealand's
North Island, triggering the Wanganui Campaign.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanganui_Campaign>
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[Daily article] April 15: Bharattherium

Bharattherium is a mammal that lived in India during the Maastrichtian
(latest Cretaceous). The genus has a single species, Bharattherium
bonapartei. It is part of the gondwanathere family Sudamericidae, which
is also found in Madagascar and South America during the latest
Cretaceous. The first fossil of Bharattherium was discovered in 1989 and
published in 1997, but the animal was not named until 2007, when two
teams independently gave it different names. The specific name
bonapartei honors Argentinean paleontologist José Bonaparte, who was
the first to describe a gondwanathere fossil. Bharattherium is known
from a total of eight isolated fossil teeth, including one incisor and
seven molariforms (molar-like teeth). Bharattherium molariforms are
high, curved teeth, with a height of 5.97 to 8.40 mm. The tooth enamel
has traits that have been interpreted as protecting against cracks in
the teeth. The hypsodont (high-crowned) teeth of sudamericids like
Bharattherium is reminiscent of later grazing mammals, and the discovery
of grass in Indian fossil sites contemporaneous with those yielding
Bharattherium suggest that sudamericids were indeed grazers.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharattherium>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1638:

A rebellion by Catholic Japanese peasants in Shimabara over
increased taxes was put down by the Tokugawa shogunate, resulting in
greater enforcement of the policy of national seclusion.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimabara_Rebellion>

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Gmane