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[Daily article] April 1: Invisible rail

The invisible rail (Habroptila wallacii) is a large flightless rail that
is endemic to the island of Halmahera in North Maluku, Indonesia, where
it inhabits impenetrable sago swamps adjacent to forests. Its plumage is
predominantly dark slate-grey, and the bare skin around its eyes, the
long, thick bill and the legs are all bright red. Its call is a low
drumming sound which is accompanied by wing-beating. Information on the
behaviour of this shy bird, usually shielded by its dense habitat, is
limited. Recorded dietary items include sago shoots and insects, and it
also swallows small stones to help break up its food. It is apparently
monogamous, but little else is known of its courtship behaviour. The
only known nest was a shallow bowl in the top of a rotting tree stump
that was lined with wood chips and dry leaves. The two young chicks were
entirely covered in black down typical of precocial newly hatched rails.
The estimated population of 3,500–15,000 birds has a restricted range
and is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

528:

China's only cross-dressing emperor ruled for a single day.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daughter_of_Emperor_Xiaoming_of_Northern_Wei>

1293:

Robert Winchelsey left England for Rome to be consecrated by
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[Daily article] March 31: Missing My Baby

"Missing My Baby" is a song released by American Tejano music recording
artist Selena on her third studio album Entre a Mi Mundo (1992). It was
composed by her brother A.B. Quintanilla III, the song's principal
record producer. He wanted to showcase Selena's diverse musical
abilities and to help her cross over into the English-speaking market;
most of the album is Mexican pop and traditional Mexican songs. Critics
praised her emotive enunciation in the song. "Missing My Baby" is a mid-
tempo R&B; ballad influenced by urban and soul music. The lyrics talk
about the narrator's love for her boyfriend and how much she misses him.
Although never intended to be released as a single, the track peaked at
number 22 on the US Rhythmic Top 40 chart in 1995. The track was one of
the first songs to be played by radio stations after Selena was shot and
killed by her friend, the former manager of her boutiques, on March 31,
1995. A posthumous music video made for cable network VH1 was released
in 1998 to promote the triple box-set Anthology (1998).

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1492:

The Catholic Monarchs of Spain issued the Alhambra Decree,
ordering all Jews to convert to Christianity or be expelled from the
country.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra_Decree>

1822:

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[Daily article] March 30: Alsos Mission

The Alsos Mission was an Allied unit formed to investigate Axis
scientific developments, especially nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons, as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. Colonel
Boris Pash, a former Manhattan Project security officer, was the
mission's commander, and Samuel Goudsmit was its scientific leader. They
joined the advancing Allied units, and occasionally operated behind
enemy lines, first in Italy, and later in France and Germany. Gathering
information on the German nuclear project, mission personnel captured
and dismantled the German experimental nuclear reactor at Haigerloch
(pictured) in a daring raid behind German lines in April 1945. They took
senior German researchers into custody, including Otto Hahn, Max von
Laue, Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. They
searched for personnel, records, and materials that might be useful, to
make them available for Allied research and to keep them out of Soviet
hands. Over 1,000 tons of uranium ore was recovered by the mission,
along with stocks of heavy water.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1867:

U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the
purchase of Alaska for US$7.2 million from Russia.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Purchase>

1899:

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[Daily article] March 29: John Tyler

John Tyler (1790–1862) was the tenth President of the United States
(1841–45). He served as a Virginia state legislator, governor, U.S.
representative, and senator before his election as vice president in
1840 on the Whig Party ticket led by William Henry Harrison. He became
the first vice president to succeed to the presidency without being
elected to the office after his running mate's death in April 1841.
Taking the oath of office, he immediately moved into the White House and
assumed full presidential powers, a precedent that would govern future
successions and eventually become codified in the Twenty-fifth
Amendment. He found much of the Whig program unconstitutional, and
vetoed several of his party's bills. The Whigs, led by Kentucky Senator
Henry Clay, dubbed him "His Accidency", and expelled him from the party.
Stalemated on domestic policy, Tyler had several foreign-policy
achievements, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and
the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China. He dedicated his last two years
in office to the annexation of Texas, then retired to his Virginia
plantation. When the Civil War began in 1861, Tyler won election to the
Confederate House of Representatives shortly before his death.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1807:

German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers discovered 4
Vesta, the brightest asteroid and the second-most massive body in the
asteroid belt.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4_Vesta>
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[Daily article] March 28: Josh Hutcherson

Josh Hutcherson (born 1992) is an American actor and filmmaker. He began
his acting career at a young age with minor roles in TV commercials and
pilot episodes. As he gained experience, he began taking on bigger
roles, notably in Zathura (2005), RV (2006), Bridge to Terabithia
(2007), Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), and The Kids Are All
Right (2010). Over the course of his young career, he picked up three
individual Young Artist Awards. Hutcherson has played Peeta Mellark in
the science fiction adventure film series, The Hunger Games (2012, 2013
and 2014), in his best-known role. He has also taken on filmmaking and
voiceover work, earning credits as an executive producer for Detention
(2011), The Forger (2012), and Escobar: Paradise Lost (2015), and for
voice acting in 2013's Epic, the most commercially successful of his
films except for The Hunger Games series. Hutcherson received the GLAAD
Vanguard Award in 2012 for his efforts in promoting equal rights for
LGBT people, and he supports the gay–straight alliance chapter called
"Straight But Not Narrow".

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

193:

Praetorian Guards assassinated Roman emperor Pertinax and sold
the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didius_Julianus>

1862:

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[Daily article] March 27: D'Oliveira affair

The D'Oliveira affair was a controversy over the inclusion of Basil
D'Oliveira, a mixed-race cricketer of South African origin, in the
England cricket team selected to tour apartheid-era South Africa in
1968–69. D'Oliveira had moved to England primarily because apartheid
restricted his cricketing career; he played Test cricket for England
from 1966. The English cricketing authorities wished to maintain
traditional links with South Africa and have the tour go ahead without
incident; the South Africans publicly indicated that D'Oliveira could
play, but secretly worked to prevent this. D'Oliveira's omission from
the tour party, ostensibly on cricketing merit, prompted a public outcry
in Britain; when he was then chosen to replace an injured player, the
South Africans alleged political motivations behind England's team
selection. Following abortive attempts at compromise, the English
cancelled the tour before it began. Sporting boycotts of South Africa
were already under way but this controversy was the first to have a
serious impact on South African cricket. South Africa was almost totally
isolated from international cricket from 1971 to 1991.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Oliveira_affair>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1329:

Pope John XXII issued a papal bull that some of the works of
German theologian and mystic Meister Eckhart were heretical.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meister_Eckhart>

1782:
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[Daily article] March 26: Exhumation of Richard III of England

The exhumation of Richard III of England in September 2012 and his
reburial in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March 2015 took place over 500
years after his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard was
originally buried in Leicester's Greyfriars Friary, but the site of his
grave was forgotten after the friary was demolished and it was generally
believed that his bones had been thrown into the nearby River Soar. In
September 2012, an archaeological excavation took place at the site of
the friary and a skeleton was discovered of a man with a spinal
deformity and severe head injuries. He appeared to have been hastily
buried without a coffin in a crudely cut grave. Analysis of the bones
showed that he had been killed by edged weapons cutting open his skull
and piercing his brain. DNA tests and radiocarbon dating confirmed that
the skeleton was that of Richard III. Leicester Cathedral was chosen as
the site of Richard's reburial, though some argued that York Minster or
Westminster Abbey would be more suitable locations. The reinterment in
an ecumenical Christian service at the cathedral, and the unveiling of
his tomb, were scheduled for the end of a week's commemorations.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1351:

War of the Breton Succession: Thirty knights each from France
and England fought to determine who would rule the Duchy of Brittany,
which later was celebrated as a noble display of the ideals of chivalry.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_of_the_Thirty>

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[Daily article] March 25: Nauru reed warbler

The Nauru reed warbler (Acrocephalus rehsei) is the only passerine land-
bird that breeds on the island of Nauru in the Pacific Ocean. It is
related to other Micronesian reed warblers, all of which evolved from
one of several radiations of the genus across the Pacific. Related
warblers on nearby islands include the Carolinian reed warbler, with
which the Nauru species was initially confused, and the nightingale reed
warbler. A medium-sized warbler, the Nauru reed warbler has dark brown
upperparts, cream underparts and a long, thin beak. It makes a low, cup-
shaped nest into which it lays two or three white eggs, and it feeds on
insects. It is found throughout Nauru, whose environment has changed
substantially in recent decades due to phosphate mining. The Nauru reed
warbler is potentially threatened by introduced predators and habitat
loss, and its small range leaves the species vulnerable to diseases and
tropical cyclones. Reports of a similar warbler from nearby islands
suggest that the Nauru reed warbler may have been eradicated from those
islands by introduced cats.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1655:

Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan, the
largest natural satellite of the planet Saturn.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(moon)>

1802:

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[Daily article] March 24: Isabeau of Bavaria

Isabeau of Bavaria (c. 1370–1435) became the queen of King Charles
VI of France in 1385. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach, the
eldest daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea
Visconti of Milan. Isabeau was sent to France at age 15 or 16, where the
young French king liked her enough to marry her three days after they
met. Charles suffered from lifelong progressive mental illness from
1392, and was forced to temporarily withdraw from government. A 1393
masque or masquerade ball for one of Isabeau's ladies-in-waiting—an
event later known as Bal des Ardents—ended in disaster with the King
almost burning to death. Although he demanded Isabeau's removal from his
presence during attacks of mental illness, he allowed her to act on his
behalf. Charles' illness created a power vacuum that eventually led to
the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War between the supporters of his
brother, Louis of Orléans, and the royal dukes of Burgundy. Isabeau
shifted allegiances between the factions, choosing courses she believed
most favorable for the heir to the throne. She was present at the
signing of the Treaty of Troyes in 1421, and lived in English-occupied
Paris until her death in 1435.

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1860:

Rōnin samurai of the Mito Domain assassinated Japanese Chief
Minister Ii Naosuke, upset with his role in the opening of Japan to
foreign powers.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakuradamon_Incident_(1860)>
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[Daily article] March 23: Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut (born 1987) is an Indian film actress. She has
established a career in Bollywood, and is the recipient of a National
Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. She was born in Bhambla, a small
town in Himachal Pradesh. Adamant to build her own career path, she
relocated to Delhi at age sixteen, where she briefly became a model.
After training under the theatre director Arvind Gaur, she made her film
debut in the 2006 thriller Gangster. She received praise for portraying
emotionally intense characters in the dramas Woh Lamhe (2006), Life in
a... Metro (2007) and Fashion (2008). For the last of these, she won the
National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. Ranaut featured in the
successful films Raaz: The Mystery Continues (2009) and Once Upon a Time
in Mumbaai (2010), though she was criticised for being typecast in
neurotic roles. A comic role opposite R. Madhavan in Tanu Weds Manu
(2011) was well-received, though this was followed by brief roles in
unsuccessful films. She then played a mutant in the science fiction film
Krrish 3 (2013), one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films, and won
the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for the comedy-drama Queen (2014).

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

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1775:

American Revolution: Patrick Henry made his "Give me liberty,
or give me death!" speech to the House of Burgesses of Virginia, urging
military action against the British Empire.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give_me_liberty,_or_give_me_death!>

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[Daily article] March 22: God of War (video game)

God of War is a third person action-adventure video game for the
PlayStation 2, first released on March 22, 2005. Loosely based on Greek
mythology, it is the first installment in the series of the same name
and the third chronologically. The player controls Kratos, a Spartan
warrior who serves the Olympian Gods. The goddess Athena tasks him with
killing Ares, the God of War, who tricked Kratos into killing his own
wife and child. As Ares besieges Athens out of hatred for Athena, Kratos
embarks on a quest to find the one object capable of stopping the god:
the legendary Pandora's Box. The gameplay focuses on combo-based combat
and features quick time events that require the player to complete game
controller actions in a timed sequence to defeat stronger enemies and
bosses. The player can use magical attacks, and the game also features
puzzles and platforming elements. The eleventh best-selling PlayStation
2 game of all time, it sold more than 4.6 million copies worldwide.
Regarded as one of the best action-adventure games for the platform and
noted for its graphics, sound, presentation, and story, it won several
"Game of the Year" awards.

Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_War_(video_game)>

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1765:

The Parliament of Great Britain passed the Stamp Act, requiring
that many printed materials in the Thirteen Colonies in British America
carry a tax stamp (pictured).
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamp_Act_1765>

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