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[Daily article] July 28: SMS Goeben

SMS Goeben was the second of two Moltke-class battlecruisers of the
Imperial German Navy, launched in 1911 and named after the German
Franco-Prussian War veteran General August Karl von Goeben. Compared to
their British rivals in the Indefatigable class, Goeben and her sister
ship were significantly larger and better armored. After her
commissioning, Goeben, with the light cruiser Breslau, patrolled the
Mediterranean during the Balkan Wars. After the outbreak of World War I
on 28 July 1914, Goeben and Breslau evaded British naval forces and
reached Constantinople. The two ships were transferred to the Ottoman
Empire on 16 August 1914, and Goeben became the flagship of the Ottoman
Navy as Yavuz Sultan Selim. By bombarding Russian facilities in the
Black Sea, she brought Turkey into World War I on the German side. In
later service, she carried the remains of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from
Istanbul to İzmit in 1938. She was decommissioned in 1950 and scrapped
in 1973, after the West German government declined to buy her back. She
was the last surviving ship built by the Imperial German Navy, and the
longest-serving battlecruiser or dreadnought-type ship in any navy.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1821:

Peruvian War of Independence: Argentine general José de San
Martín declared the independence of Peru from Spain.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_de_San_Mart%C3%ADn>

1866:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 27: Manta ray

Manta rays are large eagle rays belonging to the genus Manta. The larger
species, M. birostris, reaches 7 m (23 ft) in width while the smaller,
M. alfredi (pictured), reaches 5.5 m (18 ft). Both have triangular
pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing
mouths. Mantas can be found in temperate, subtropical and tropical
waters. M. birostris migrates across open oceans, singly or in groups,
while M. alfredi tends to be resident and coastal. They are filter
feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton, which they swallow with
their open mouths as they swim. Gestation lasts over a year, producing
live pups. Mantas may visit cleaning stations for the removal of
parasites. Like whales, they breach, for unknown reasons. Both species
are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature. Threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and
direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine, and
their slow reproductive rate exacerbates these threats. Only a few
aquariums are large enough to house them. In general, these large fish
are seldom seen and difficult to study.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1302:

Byzantine–Ottoman Wars: The Ottoman sultanate scored its
first major victory against the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of
Bapheus in Bithynia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bapheus>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 26: The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated comedy film based on the
television series The Simpsons. Directed by David Silverman, it stars
the regular cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright,
Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress MacNeille, and Pamela
Hayden. It features Albert Brooks as Russ Cargill, the evil head of the
Environmental Protection Agency who intends to destroy Springfield after
Homer pollutes the lake. As the townspeople exile him and eventually his
family abandons him, Homer works to redeem his folly by stopping
Cargill's scheme. Previous attempts to create a film version of The
Simpsons failed due to the lack of a script of appropriate length and
production crew members. Eventually, producers and writers banded
together and conceived numerous narrative concepts, one of which was
selected for development. The script was re-written over a hundred
times, and this creativity continued after animation had begun in 2006.
The film premiered in Springfield, Vermont (theater sign pictured),
which had won the right to hold it in a competition. It was a box office
success, grossing over $527 million, and received critical acclaim.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1509:

Krishnadevaraya, who would become the most powerful of all the
Hindu rulers of India, ascended to the throne of the Vijayanagara
Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishnadevaraya>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 25: St James' Church, Sydney

St James' Church is an Anglican parish church in Sydney, Australia.
Named in honour of St James the Great, it is the oldest extant church
building in the city's inner region and has been in continuous service
since it was consecrated in February 1824. Its original ministry was to
the early convict population of Sydney as well as to the administrative
élite. In succeeding centuries, the church has maintained a special
role in the city's religious, civic and musical life as well as close
associations with the legal and medical professions. The church building
was designed in the style of a Georgian town church by the transported
convict architect Francis Greenway. Worship is in a style commonly found
in the High Church and moderate Anglo-Catholic traditions of
Anglicanism, in contrast to the majority of churches in its diocese
where services are generally in the style associated with Low Church.
The teaching at St James' has a more liberal perspective than most
churches in the diocese on issues of gender and the ordination of women.
Part of a historical precinct, it is listed on the Register of the
National Estate and has been described as one of the world's 80 greatest
man-made treasures.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_James%27_Church,_Sydney>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1261:

Alexios Strategopoulos led the Nicaean forces of Michael VIII
Palaiologos to recapture Constantinople, re-establish the Byzantine
Empire, and end the Latin Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexios_Strategopoulos>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 24: Prince William, Duke of Gloucester

Prince William, Duke of Gloucester (1689–1700), was the son of
Princess Anne (later Queen of Great Britain) and her husband, Prince
George, Duke of Cumberland. William was their only child to survive
infancy. Styled Duke of Gloucester, he was viewed as a Protestant
champion because his birth seemed to cement the Protestant succession
established in the "Glorious Revolution" that had deposed his Catholic
grandfather James II the previous year. Anne was estranged from her
brother-in-law, William III, and her sister, Mary II, but supported the
links that developed between them and her son. Prince William befriended
his Welsh body-servant at his nursery in Campden House, Kensington; his
memoir of the Duke is an important source for historians. William's
precarious health was a constant source of worry to his mother. His
death at the age of eleven precipitated a succession crisis as his
mother was the only individual remaining in the Protestant line of
succession established by the Bill of Rights 1689. To avoid the throne
passing to a Catholic, the Act of Settlement 1701 settled the throne on
Electress Sophia of Hanover, a cousin of King James, and her Protestant
heirs.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_William,_Duke_of_Gloucester>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1701:

French explorer Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac established Fort
Pontchartrain du Détroit, which later grew into the city of Detroit
(pictured).
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 23: Alaska-class cruiser

The Alaska-class cruisers were a class of six cruisers ordered prior to
World War II for the U.S. Navy. They were officially classed as large
cruisers (CB), but others have regarded them as battlecruisers. Their
intermediate status is reflected in the naming of the ships after US
territories and insular areas, rather than states (battleships) or
cities (cruisers). The idea for a large cruiser class originated in the
early 1930s when the Navy sought to counter German Deutschland-class
"pocket battleships". Planning of what became the Alaska class began in
the later 1930s after the deployment of Germany's Scharnhorst-class
battleships and rumors that Japan was constructing a new battlecruiser
class. To serve as "cruiser-killers" capable of seeking out and
destroying such ships, the Alaska class was given large guns, limited
armor protection against 12-inch shells, and machinery capable of speeds
of about 31–33 knots (36–38 mph, 58–61 km/h). Of the six
planned, two were completed and a third was cancelled during
construction. Alaska and Guam (pictured) served for the last year of
World War II as bombardment ships and fast carrier escorts, and were
decommissioned in 1947.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska-class_cruiser>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1829:

William Austin Burt was awarded a patent for the typographer
(replica pictured), the first practical typewriting machine.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typographer_(typewriter)>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 22: Chat Moss

Chat Moss is a large area of peat bog that makes up 30 per cent of the
City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. North of the River
Irwell, 5 miles (8 km) to the west of Manchester, it occupies an area
of about 10.6 square miles (27.5 km2). Peat development seems to have
begun there at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago, and
the depth of peat ranges from 24 to 30 feet (7 to 9 m). A great deal of
reclamation work has been carried out, but a large network of drainage
channels is required to keep it from reverting to bog. In 1958 peat
extractors discovered the severed head of what is believed to be a
Romano-British Celt, possibly a sacrificial victim. Much of Chat Moss is
now prime agricultural land, although farming in the area is in decline.
A 228-acre (92 ha) area of Chat Moss, notified as Astley and Bedford
Mosses, has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Chat
Moss threatened the completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway,
until George Stephenson succeeded in constructing a railway line through
it in 1829; his solution was to "float" the line on a bed of bound
heather and branches topped with tar and covered with rubble stone.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

838:

Arab–Byzantine wars: The forces of the Abbasid Caliphate
defeated Byzantine Empire troops, led by Emperor Theophilos himself, at
the Battle of Anzen near present-day Dazman, Turkey.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Anzen>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 21: Leo Minor

Leo Minor is a small and faint constellation in the northern celestial
hemisphere. Its name is Latin for "the smaller lion", in contrast to
Leo, the larger lion (19th-century illustration of both pictured). It
lies between the larger and more recognizable Ursa Major to the north
and Leo to the south. Leo Minor was not regarded as a separate
constellation by classical astronomers; it was designated by Johannes
Hevelius in 1687. There are 37 stars brighter than apparent
magnitude 6.5 in the constellation; three are brighter than
magnitude 4.5. 46 Leonis Minoris, an orange giant of magnitude 3.8,
is located some 95 light-years from Earth. At magnitude 4.4, Beta
Leonis Minoris is the second brightest star and the only one in the
constellation with a Bayer designation. It is a binary star, the
brighter component of which is an orange giant and the fainter a yellow-
white main sequence star. The third brightest star is 21 Leonis
Minoris, a rapidly rotating white main-sequence star of average
magnitude 4.5. The constellation also includes two stars with planetary
systems, two pairs of interacting galaxies, and the unique deep-sky
object Hanny's Voorwerp.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

230:

Pope Pontian began his pontificate, succeeding Urban I.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pontian>

1645:
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 20: Australian contribution to the Battle of Normandy

The Australian contribution to the Battle of Normandy involved more than
3,000 military personnel serving under British command, the majority
from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (Australian members of No.
196 Squadron pictured). Others served with the Royal Navy and British
Army. After participating in the Allied landings on 6 June 1944,
Australian air force and army personnel fought in the subsequent Battle
of Normandy between June and August 1944, and an RAAF fighter squadron
operated from airfields in Normandy. Throughout the campaign, Australian
airmen provided direct support to the Allied ground forces by attacking
German military units and their supply lines, as well as forming part of
the force which defended the beachhead from air attack. Australians also
indirectly contributed to the campaign by attacking German submarines
and ships which posed a threat to the invasion force. Australia's
contribution to the fighting in Normandy is commemorated in memorials
and cemeteries in London and Normandy.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1779:

Tekle Giyorgis I began the first of his six reigns as Emperor
of Ethiopia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tekle_Giyorgis_I>

1807:

French brothers Claude and Nicéphore Niépce received a patent
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 19: McDonald's Cycle Center

McDonald's Cycle Center is an indoor bike station in Millennium Park in
the Loop community area of Chicago. The city built the center and opened
it July 2004. Since June 2006, it has been sponsored by McDonald's and
other partners, including city departments and bicycle advocacy
organizations. The bike station, which serves bicycle commuters and
utility cyclists, provides lockers, showers, a snack bar with outdoor
summer seating, bike repair, bike rental and 300 bicycle parking spaces.
The Cycle Center is accessible by membership and day pass. It also
accommodates runners and inline skaters, and provides space for a
Chicago Police Department Bike Patrol Group. Planning for the Cycle
Center was part of the larger "Bike 2010 Plan", in which the city aimed
to make itself more accommodating to bicycle commuters. Chicago Mayor
Richard M. Daley was an advocate of the plan. Suburban Chicago-based
McDonald's controversially claimed that their sponsorship of the Cycle
Center fit with their efforts to promote health. Environmentalists,
urban planners and cycling enthusiasts around the world have expressed
interest in the Cycle Center, and want to match its urban planning and
transit-oriented development success story.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s_Cycle_Center>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

64:

The Great Fire of Rome started among the shops around the Circus
Maximus, eventually destroying three of fourteen Roman districts and
severely damaging seven others.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Rome>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] July 18: Today (The Smashing Pumpkins song)

"Today" is a song by American alternative rock band The Smashing
Pumpkins, written by lead vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan (pictured
in 2010). "Today" was released in September 1993 as the second single
from the band's second album and major label debut, Siamese Dream. The
song, seemingly upbeat, contains dark lyrics. Corgan wrote it about a
day when he had suicidal thoughts, exemplified by the reference to self-
mutilation in the chorus. The contrast between the grim subject matter
of the song and the soft instrumental part during the verses, coupled
with use of irony in the lyrics, left many listeners unaware of the
song's tale of depression and desperation. Although Corgan opted for
"Cherub Rock", the lead single from the album, to be the opening track,
"Today" and its follow-up "Disarm" are credited in AllMusic for
popularizing the band and "sen[ding] [Siamese Dream] into the
stratosphere". "Today" has been generally well received by critics, and
in an article about the song in Blender it was described as having
"achieved a remarkable status as one of the defining songs of its
generation, perfectly mirroring the fractured alienation of American
youth in the 1990s." (Full article...).

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Today_(The_Smashing_Pumpkins_song)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1389:

France and England agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem,
establishing a 13-year peace during the Hundred Years' War.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truce_of_Leulinghem>

(Continue reading)


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