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[Daily article] November 1: Doc Adams

Daniel "Doc" Adams (1814–1899) was an American baseball player and
executive who is regarded as an important figure in the sport's early
years. He began his career with the New York Knickerbockers in 1845 and
played for the club into his forties (pictured, center, in 1859).
Researchers have called Adams the creator of the shortstop position, and
as club president six times between 1847 and 1861, Adams advocated rule
changes that resulted in nine-man teams and nine-inning games. When the
National Association of Base Ball Players was formed in 1858, he led the
rules and regulations committee of the new organization. In his role,
Adams ruled that the field's bases should be 90 feet (27 m) apart, the
modern distance, and supported eliminating the "bound rule", which
allowed for balls caught after one bounce to be recorded as outs. Adams'
contributions in creating baseball's rules went largely unrecognized for
decades after his death, but in 1980 a letter about him appeared in The
New York Times and by 1993, researcher John Thorn had written about
Adams' role. His nickname came from his medical work; he later became a
bank president and member of the Connecticut legislature.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

996:

Holy Roman Emperor Otto III issued a document containing the
earliest known use of "Osterrîchi", the Old High German name of
Austria.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Austria>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 31: Resurrectionists in the United Kingdom

Resurrectionists (depicted in action) were commonly employed by
anatomists in the United Kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries to
disinter the bodies of the recently deceased for anatomical research.
Between 1506 and 1752 only a very few cadavers were available each year.
The supply was increased when, in an attempt to intensify the deterrent
effect of the death penalty, the Murder Act 1752 allowed executed
criminals to be dissected—a fate generally viewed with horror—in
place of gibbeting. The change was insufficient to meet the needs of
hospitals and teaching centres. Corpses and their component parts became
a commodity, but although the practice of disinterment was hated by the
general public, bodies were not legally anyone's property.
Resurrectionists caught plying their trade ran the risk of attack.
Measures taken to stop them included increased security at graveyards,
secure coffins, and physical barriers. Matters came to a head following
the Burke and Hare murders of 1828. Although it did not make body
snatching illegal, the Anatomy Act 1832 effectively put an end to the
work of the resurrectionists by allowing anatomists access to the
workhouse dead.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

475:

Romulus Augustulus took the throne as the last ruling emperor of
the Western Roman Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_Augustulus>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 30: Peter Warlock

Peter Warlock was the pseudonym of Philip Heseltine (1894–1930), a
British composer and music critic. The Warlock name, which reflects
Heseltine's interest in occult practices, was used for all his published
musical works. Best known as a composer of songs and other vocal music,
he also achieved notoriety through his unconventional and often
scandalous lifestyle. As a schoolboy at Eton College, Heseltine came
under the spell of the British composer Frederick Delius, with whom he
formed a close friendship. After a failed student career in Oxford and
London, he turned to musical journalism, while developing interests in
folk-song and Elizabethan music. His first serious compositions date
from around 1915. A lasting influence arose from his meeting in 1916
with the Dutch composer Bernard van Dieren. Heseltine composed songs in
a distinctive, original style, and built a reputation as a combative and
controversial music critic. He made a pioneering contribution to the
scholarship of early music, published under his own name, and produced a
full-length biography of Delius. He died in his London flat of coal gas
poisoning in 1930, probably by his own hand.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1806:

War of the Fourth Coalition: Believing they were massively
outnumbered, the 5,300-man German garrison at Stettin, Prussia (now
Szczecin, Poland), surrendered to a much smaller French force without a
fight.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitulation_of_Stettin>
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[Daily article] October 29: Sonic: After the Sequel

Sonic: After the Sequel is a 2013 platform video game created by
Brazilian student Felipe Daneluz (LakeFeperd). It is an unofficial work
based on the Sonic the Hedgehog series' canon and set between the
official games Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. Daneluz's second Sonic game, it
follows Sonic: Before the Sequel, which was set after the original Sonic
the Hedgehog. Like its predecessor, After the Sequel stars Sonic the
Hedgehog and his sidekick Tails in a quest to retrieve Chaos Emeralds
from Doctor Eggman. After the Sequel was inspired by Sonic Heroes and
other games both inside and outside the Sonic series, and it was
developed with Sonic Worlds, an engine that does not require expertise
in computer programming. It was released as a free download for Windows
personal computers. The game was very well received by video game
journalists, who lauded its preservation of retro Sonic gameplay and its
eclectic, 1990s-style soundtrack. The trilogy of Before the Sequel,
After the Sequel, and their successor Sonic Chrono Adventure performed
unusually well for fangames, having been downloaded 120,000 times by
March 2014. Sega has not sent Daneluz a cease and desist order for the
game.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

539 BC:

Cyrus the Great captured Babylon, incorporating the Neo-
Babylonian Empire and making the Achaemenid Empire the largest in the
history of the world.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 28: Ruma Maida

Ruma Maida (released internationally as Maida's House) is a 2009
Indonesian film written by Ayu Utami (pictured), directed by Teddy
Soeriaatmadja and starring Atiqah Hasiholan, Yama Carlos, Nino
Fernandez, and Frans Tumbuan. It follows a woman's struggle to save an
historic house from a developer, while showing the life of the house's
original owner. Work on the film began in 2008, when Utami was
approached by Lamp Pictures and asked to write a script with nationalist
themes. Over six months, with input from Soeriaatmadja, she completed
the story and later wrote a song for the soundtrack, which was provided
by Naif. Shooting took place in Semarang, Central Java, and Kota,
Jakarta, and different visual styles were used for scenes in the past
and present. After three months of editing, the film premiered on the
anniversary of the 1928 Youth Pledge. It was later shown in film
festivals in Singapore, Australia, and Italy. Critical reception was
mixed; reviewers praised the visuals but disapproved of the plot and
dialogue. Ruma Maida was nominated for twelve Citra Awards at the 2009
Indonesian Film Festival, winning one.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1420:

Beijing was officially designated the capital of the Ming
Dynasty on the same year that the Forbidden City (pictured), the seat of
government, was completed.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing>

(Continue reading)

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October 27: Æthelstan

Æthelstan (died 939) is regarded by historians as one of the greatest
Anglo-Saxon monarchs and the first king of England. The grandson of
Alfred the Great, he succeeded as King of the Anglo-Saxons in 924. In
927 he conquered Viking-ruled York and thus became the first king to
rule the whole of England. In 934 he invaded Scotland, and in 937 the
Scots and the Vikings united to launch an invasion of England, but
Æthelstan won a crucial victory at the Battle of Brunanburh. This gave
him great prestige both in England and on the Continent. Æthelstan
centralised government and summoned leading figures from distant areas
to his councils, including Welsh kings, who acknowledged his lordship by
their attendance. He was one of the most pious West Saxon kings
(depicted presenting a book to St Cuthbert), and was known for
collecting relics and founding churches. His household was the centre of
English learning during his reign, and it laid the foundation for the
English Benedictine Reform later in the century. No other West Saxon
king played as important a role in European politics, and he arranged
the marriages of several of his sisters to continental rulers.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelstan>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1275:

The earliest recorded usage of the name "Amsterdam" was made on
a certificate by Count Floris V of Holland that granted the
inhabitants, who had built a bridge with a dam across the Amstel
(pictured), an exemption from paying the bridge's tolls.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam>
(Continue reading)

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October 26: Byzantine civil war of 1341–47

The Byzantine civil war of 1341–47 broke out after the death of
Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos (pictured). As his chief aide and
closest friend, John VI Kantakouzenos became regent for the Emperor's
young son and heir, John V Palaiologos. While Kantakouzenos was absent
from Constantinople, a new regency was established with support from
Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, which launched a persecution of
Kantakouzenos' family and supporters. In response, Kantakouzenos was
proclaimed co-emperor at Demotika on 26 October 1341. During the first
years of the war, the forces of the new regency prevailed. Most of the
cities in Thrace and Macedonia came under regency control, but
Kantakouzenos reversed these gains with assistance from the neighbouring
rulers of Serbia and the Turkish beyliks. Kantakouzenos was crowned in
1346, and entered Constantinople on 3 February 1347. By agreement, he
was to rule for ten years as the senior emperor and regent for John V,
until the boy came of age. Despite this apparent victory, a subsequent
resumption of the civil war forced Kantakouzenos to retire to become a
monk in 1354. The conflict proved disastrous for the Empire, as seven
years of warfare, marauding armies, social turmoil, the loss of
territory to neighbouring rulers, and the Black Death devastated
Byzantium, reducing it to a rump state.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_civil_war_of_1341%E2%80%9347>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1708:

The final stone of St Paul's Cathedral (pictured), rebuilt
after the original burned down in the 1666 Great Fire of London, was
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[Daily article] October 25: Katy Perry

Katy Perry (born 1984) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress.
She pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager, releasing her debut
album in 2001, then moved to Los Angeles to venture into secular music.
After signing to Capitol Records in 2007, she rose to fame in 2008 with
the release of the single "I Kissed a Girl" from her second album, One
of the Boys. Perry's third album, Teenage Dream (2010), became the first
by a female artist to produce five number-one Billboard Hot 100 songs.
Her fourth album, Prism, was released in 2013 and included the number-
one singles "Roar" and "Dark Horse". Perry has received many awards and
nominations, and been included in the Forbes list of "Top-Earning Women
In Music" for 2011, 2012, and 2013. She has sold 11 million albums and
81 million singles worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists
of all time. She made her film debut voicing Smurfette in The Smurfs in
2011, and released a documentary film in 2012, which concentrated on her
life as a touring artist and the dissolution of her brief marriage to
English actor and comedian Russell Brand in the early 2010s.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1616:

The Dutch sailing ship Eendracht reached Shark Bay on the
western coastline of Australia, as documented on the Hartog Plate etched
by explorer Dirk Hartog.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartog_Plate>

1854:
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[Daily article] October 24: Woolly mammoth

The woolly mammoth was one of the last in a line of mammoth species. Its
appearance and behaviour are among the best studied of any prehistoric
animal due to the discovery of frozen carcasses (example pictured) in
Siberia and Alaska, as well as skeletons, teeth, stomach contents, dung,
and depiction from life in prehistoric cave paintings. The animal was
only identified as an extinct species of elephant by Georges Cuvier in
1796. Its closest extant relative is the Asian elephant. The woolly
mammoth was well adapted to the cold environment during the last ice
age, and had long, curved tusks. Its habitat was the mammoth steppe,
which stretched across northern Eurasia and North America. The woolly
mammoth coexisted with early humans, who used its bones and tusks for
making art, tools, and dwellings, and the species was also hunted for
food. It disappeared from its mainland range at the end of the
Pleistocene 10,000 years ago, most likely through a combination of
climate change, consequent disappearance of its habitat, and hunting by
humans. Recreation through cloning has been proposed, but this is as yet
infeasible; the ethics of this have also been questioned.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1648:

The second treaty of the Peace of Westphalia, the Treaty of
Münster, was signed, ending both the Thirty Years' War and the Dutch
Revolt, and officially recognizing the Republic of the Seven United
Netherlands and Swiss Confederation as independent states.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Westphalia>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 23: Conte di Cavour-class battleship

The Conte di Cavour-class battleships were a group of three dreadnoughts
built for the Royal Italian Navy. The ships were completed during World
War I, but did not see action. Leonardo da Vinci was sunk by a magazine
explosion in 1916 and later sold for scrap. Conte di Cavour (pictured)
and Giulio Cesare supported operations during the Corfu Incident in 1923
and were extensively reconstructed between 1933 and 1937 to add more
powerful guns, armor and speed. Both ships participated in the Battle of
Calabria in July 1940, when Giulio Cesare was lightly damaged. They were
both present when British torpedo bombers attacked the fleet at Taranto
in November 1940, and Conte di Cavour was torpedoed; repairs were not
completed before the Italian surrender in September 1943, and she was
scrapped in 1946. Giulio Cesare escorted convoys and participated in the
Battle of Cape Spartivento in late 1940 and the First Battle of Sirte in
late 1941. She was designated as a training ship in early 1942, and
escaped to Malta after Italy surrendered. The ship was transferred to
the Soviet Union in 1949 and used for training until she was sunk by a
mine in 1955 and scrapped.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conte_di_Cavour-class_battleship>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1641:

Irish Catholic gentry in Ulster tried to seize control of
Dublin Castle, the seat of English rule in Ireland to force concessions
to Catholics.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Rebellion_of_1641>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 22: Chorioactis

Chorioactis is a genus of fungus that contains the single species
Chorioactis geaster, an extremely rare mushroom found only in select
locales in Texas and Japan. In the former, it is commonly known as the
"devil's cigar" or the "Texas star"; in Japan it is called kirinomitake.
It is notable for its unusual appearance. The fruit body, which grows on
the stumps or dead roots of cedar elms (in Texas) or dead oaks (in
Japan), somewhat resembles a dark brown or black cigar before it splits
open radially into a starlike arrangement of four to seven leathery
rays. The interior surface of the fruit body bears the spore-bearing
tissue, and is colored white to brown, depending on its age. Fruit body
opening can be accompanied by a distinct hissing sound and the release
of a smoky cloud of spores. Fruit bodies were first collected in Austin,
Texas, and the species was named Urnula geaster in 1893; it was later
found in Kyushu in 1937, but the mushroom was not reported again in
Japan until 1973. Although the new genus Chorioactis was proposed to
accommodate the unique species a few years after its original discovery,
it was not until 1968 that it was accepted as a valid genus.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1633:

Ming Chinese naval forces defeated a Dutch East India Company
fleet in the Taiwan Strait, the largest naval encounter between Chinese
and European forces before the First Opium War two hundred years later.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Liaoluo_Bay>

(Continue reading)


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