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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>

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[Daily article] October 21: Analytical Review

The Analytical Review was a periodical established in London in 1788 by
the publisher Joseph Johnson (pictured) and the writer Thomas Christie.
Part of the Republic of Letters, it provided summaries and analyses of
new publications and acted as a forum for radical political and
religious ideas. Although it aimed at impartiality, its articles were
often critical of the British government and supportive of the French
revolutionaries. While the journal had low circulation numbers for its
day, it still influenced popular opinion and was feared by the
administration of William Pitt the Younger. Government supporters
founded the Anti-Jacobin Review in 1797, which criticized the radical
politics of the Analytical and monitored it for unpatriotic and
irreligious sentiments. The Analytical Review focused on politics,
philosophy, natural history, and literature. Its prominent writers (who
signed their work with pseudonymous initials) included the poet William
Cowper, the moralist William Enfield, the physician John Aikin, and the
polemicist Mary Wollstonecraft. It suspended publication in December
1798 after Johnson was convicted of seditious libel and other
contributors had died or retired.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1805:

Napoleonic Wars: Lord Nelson signalled "England expects that
every man will do his duty" to the rest of his Royal Navy forces before
they defeated Pierre-Charles Villeneuve and his combined
French–Spanish navy at the Battle of Trafalgar off the coast of
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[Daily article] October 20: James Chadwick

James Chadwick (1891–1974) was an English physicist who was awarded
the 1935 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the neutron, and
who led the British team that worked on the Manhattan Project during the
Second World War to produce atomic bombs. He studied under Ernest
Rutherford in Manchester and Hans Geiger in Berlin, where he
demonstrated that beta radiation produced a continuous spectrum, not
discrete lines as had been thought. He later became Rutherford's
Assistant Director of Research at the Cavendish Laboratory of the
University of Cambridge. Chadwick's research led to his discovery of the
neutron in 1932; he later measured its mass. In 1935 he became a
professor at the University of Liverpool, which he made an important
centre for the study of nuclear physics. During the Second World War,
Chadwick carried out research as part of the Tube Alloys project to
build an atomic bomb, and wrote the final draft of the MAUD Report,
which inspired the U.S. government to begin serious atomic bomb research
efforts. He later served as the British scientific advisor to the U.N.
Atomic Energy Commission and as Master of Gonville and Caius College,
Cambridge.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1572:

Eighty Years' War: Soldiers of the Spanish Tercios waded across
the river Scheldt at its mouth, walking overnight in water to chest
height, to relieve the siege of Goes in the Spanish Netherlands.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relief_of_Goes>
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[Daily article] October 19: Briarcliff Manor, New York

Briarcliff Manor is a suburban village in Westchester County, New York,
less than 30 miles (48 km) north of New York City. Its motto is "A
Village between Two Rivers", reflecting its location between the Hudson
and Pocantico Rivers. It extends into the towns of Mount Pleasant and
Ossining, and includes the communities of Scarborough and Chilmark. In
the precolonial era, the area was inhabited by a band of the Wappinger
tribes of Native Americans. In the early 19th century, the area was
known as Whitson's Corners. Walter William Law moved to the area and
purchased lands during the 1890s; he also developed the village,
establishing schools, churches, parks and the Briarcliff Lodge. The
village was incorporated in 1902, growing from 331 people when
established to 7,867 in the 2010 census. It is primarily residential and
has a relatively wealthy population. Its recreational facilities and
parks, about 180 acres (73 ha), are all accessible to the public. The
village has an elected local government, with departments including
police, fire, recreation, and public works (Village Hall pictured). A
2012 study found it had the second-lowest crime rate in the state.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briarcliff_Manor,_New_York>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1789:

John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United
States.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jay>

1864:
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[Daily article] October 18: Battle of Caishi

The Battle of Caishi was a major naval engagement of the Jin–Song wars
that took place on November 26–27, 1161. Although a peace treaty in
1142 had settled the border between the two states, putting the Jin in
control of northern China and the Song in control of the south, Prince
Hailing of Jin was intent on uniting them under a single emperor.
Without much resistance, his army pushed through to the Yangtze River,
which he planned to cross at Caishi, south of modern-day Nanjing. The
Song were fortified along the Yangtze front. Hailing embarked from the
shore of the Yangtze on November 26, but the Song fleet, equipped with
trebuchets (example pictured) that launched incendiary bombs made of
gunpowder and lime, decisively defeated the light ships of the Jin navy.
Hailing was assassinated by his own men shortly after the battle. A
military coup had taken place in his absence, enthroning Emperor
Shizong, and a peace treaty signed in 1165 ended the conflict. Modern
studies suggest that the battle was smaller and that both sides were
more evenly matched than traditional accounts suggest. Nonetheless, the
victory boosted the Song infantry's morale and halted the Jin's southern
advance.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1009:

Under orders from Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church now within the walled
Old City of Jerusalem, was destroyed.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Holy_Sepulchre>
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October 17: Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso
pianist of the Romantic period. He grew up in Warsaw but left Poland,
never to return, aged 20. He settled in Paris, obtaining French
citizenship in 1835. From 1837 he maintained an often troubled
relationship with the French writer George Sand. A brief and unhappy
visit to Majorca with her was one of his most productive periods of
composition. All of Chopin's compositions include the piano. Most are
for solo piano, although he also wrote two piano concertos, a few
chamber pieces, and some songs to Polish lyrics. Many contain elements
of Polish folk music and of the classical tradition of J.S. Bach, Mozart
and Schubert. His innovations in style, musical form, and harmony, and
his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout
and after the late Romantic period. His music, his status as one of
music's earliest "superstars", his association with political
insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading
symbol of his era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject
of numerous films and biographies of varying degrees of historical
accuracy.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Chopin>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1558:

Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service, was founded by order
of King Sigismund II Augustus.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postage_stamps_and_postal_history_of_Poland>

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[Daily article] October 16: Tintin in Tibet

Tintin in Tibet is the twentieth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the
comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The cartoonist considered it
his favourite Tintin adventure and an emotional effort, as he created it
while suffering from traumatic nightmares and a personal conflict while
deciding to leave his wife of three decades for a younger woman. The
comic, serialised from 1958–59 in Tintin magazine, tells of the young
reporter Tintin in search of his friend Chang Chong-Chen, whom the
authorities claim has died in a plane crash in the Himalayas. Convinced
that Chang has survived, Tintin leads his companions across the
Himalayas to the plateau of Tibet, along the way encountering the
mysterious Yeti. Themes in Hergé's story include extrasensory
perception, the mysticism of Tibetan Buddhism (Tibetan monastery
pictured), and friendship. Tintin in Tibet has been translated into 32
languages, is highly regarded by critics, and has been praised by the
Dalai Lama, who awarded it the Light of Truth Award. The story was a
commercial success and was published in book form in 1960; the series
itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

456:

Magister militum Ricimer defeated Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and
became master of the Western Roman Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricimer>

1834:
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[Daily article] October 15: Tropical Storm Kiko (2007)

Tropical Storm Kiko was a strong tropical storm that capsized a boat off
the western coast of Mexico, killing at least 15 people. The 15th and
final tropical cyclone of the 2007 Pacific hurricane season, Kiko
developed out of a tropical wave that formed off the coast of Africa on
September 26 and traversed the Atlantic. The wave crossed over Central
America and entered the Pacific Ocean on October 8, where it spawned
Tropical Depression 15-E on October 15. The depression drifted to the
south over the next day before briefly being declared Tropical Storm
Kiko. It subsequently weakened into a tropical depression, but later
reattained tropical storm intensity. By October 18, Kiko was forecast
to make landfall along the western Mexican coastline as a moderate
tropical storm. As a precaution, port captains in the area shut down
shipping and residents were advised to avoid low-lying areas that might
flood and to move to temporary shelters. The cyclone turned to the west
without making landfall and reached its peak intensity of 70 mph
(110 km/h) on October 20. The tropical storm slowly weakened to a
remnant low-pressure area by October 24 and completely dissipated on
October 27.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Kiko_(2007)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1764:

English historian Edward Gibbon observed friars singing Vespers
at Capitoline Hill in Rome, inspiring him to write The History of the
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gibbon>
(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 14: Colorado River

The Colorado River is the principal river of the Southwestern United
States and northwest Mexico. Rising in the western Rocky Mountains, the
1,450-mile (2,330 km) river drains a vast arid region of the Colorado
Plateau and the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts as it heads towards the Gulf
of California. Known for its dramatic scenery (Horseshoe Bend pictured)
and its whitewater, the Colorado carves numerous gorges, including the
Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. For 8,000 years, the Colorado Basin
was only sparsely populated by Native Americans, though some of their
ancient civilizations employed advanced irrigation techniques. Even
after becoming part of the U.S. in the 1800s, the Colorado River country
remained extremely remote until John Wesley Powell's 1869 river-running
expedition, which began to open up the river for future development.
Since the completion of Hoover Dam in 1935, the Colorado has been tamed
by an extensive system of dams and canals, providing for irrigation,
cities, and hydropower. Today the Colorado supports 40 million people in
seven U.S. and two Mexican states; with every drop of its water
allocated, it no longer reaches the sea except in years of heavy runoff.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1066:

Norman conquest of England: The forces of William the Conqueror
defeated the English army at Hastings and killed Harold Godwinson, the
last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hastings>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 13: Capitol Loop

The Capitol Loop is a state trunkline highway running through Lansing,
Michigan, in the United States that was commissioned on October 13,
1989. It forms a loop route off Interstate 496 through downtown near the
Michigan State Capitol complex, home of the state legislature and
several state departments. The trunkline follows a series of one-way and
two-way streets through downtown Lansing, directing traffic to the State
Capitol (pictured) and other government buildings. Unlike the other
streets downtown, the seven streets comprising the Capitol Loop are
under state maintenance and jurisdiction. The loop was originally
proposed in 1986 as part of a downtown revitalization effort. Almost
from the beginning the highway was affected by various controversies.
Local community leaders suggested renaming the Capitol Loop for Martin
Luther King, Jr., immediately before the state designated the highway.
Reconstruction projects along the loop in 2004–05 were also
contentious. In 2010, additional issues surfaced regarding the posting
and enforcement of speed limits on city streets in Michigan, including
the streets that make up the Capitol Loop.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

54:

Claudius (bust pictured), the first Roman emperor to be born
outside Italy, died mysteriously, most likely by poison administered by
his wife Agrippina.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius>

(Continue reading)

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[Daily article] October 12: Drakengard

Drakengard is an action role-playing video game developed for the
PlayStation 2 by Japan-based studio Cavia and published by Square Enix.
The first game in the Drakengard series, it was released in Japan in
September 2003 and in North America and Europe the following year; a
version for mobile phones was also released in Europe. The player
controls Caim, a deposed prince, and Angelus, a red dragon who forms a
magical pact with Caim to save both their lives. The story follows their
involvement in a religious war between the Union and the Empire, and
their quest to protect magical seals that keep the world in balance. The
game features a mixture of hack-and-slash ground-based missions
controlling Caim, aerial combat with Angelus, and role-playing elements.
It was conceived as a hybrid between the popular Dynasty Warriors series
and the aerial combat game Ace Combat. Drakengard was the debut project
for both producer Takamasa Shiba and writer and director Taro Yoko. It
sold well in Japan and received mixed to positive reviews in the west:
reviewers praised the game's story and music, but were mixed about the
graphics and criticized the gameplay for being repetitive.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1799:

Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse became the first woman to make a
parachute descent, falling 900 m (3,000 ft) in a hot-air balloon
gondola.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Genevi%C3%A8ve_Labrosse>

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