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[Daily article] December 1: School for Creative and Performing Arts

90px|Barbara Britton in 1982 performance of The King and I at the 
School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio

The School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) is a magnet arts 
school in Cincinnati, Ohio. SCPA was founded in 1973 as one of the 
first magnet schools in Cincinnati and became the first school in the 
country to combine a full range of arts studies with a complete 
college-preparatory academic program for elementary through high school 
students. The school rose to national prominence in the 1980s, but was 
nearly closed in the 1990s following a series of scandals, leadership 
struggles, and an arson fire which destroyed the auditorium. Its 
reputation recovered in the years that followed and in 2009–10, the 
school was featured in the MTV reality series Taking the Stage, filmed 
at the school and featuring SCPA students. In 2010 SCPA combined with 
the Schiel Primary School for Arts Enrichment to create the first 
kindergarten through twelfth grade arts school and first private sector 
/ public arts school in the US. Students must audition for admission; 
fewer than 20 percent of those who apply each year are accepted. The 
newly combined school offers a curriculum designed to prepare students 
for professional careers in creative writing, dance, drama, music, 
technical theater, and visual art. (more...)

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[Daily article] December 2: Macaroni Penguin

100px|Macaroni Penguin

The Macaroni Penguin is a species of penguin found from the 
Subantarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula. One of six species of crested 
penguin, it bears a distinctive yellow crest, and the face and 
upperparts are black and sharply delineated from the white underparts. 
Its diet consists of a variety of crustaceans, mainly krill, as well as 
small fish and cephalopods; the species consumes more marine life 
annually than any other species of seabird. Numbering up to 100,000 
individuals, the breeding colonies of the Macaroni Penguin are among 
the largest and densest of all penguin species. After spending the 
summer months breeding, penguins disperse into the oceans for six 
months; a 2009 study found that Macaroni Penguins from Kerguelen 
travelled over 10,000 km (6,200 mi) in the central Indian Ocean. With 
about 18 million individuals, the Macaroni Penguin is the most numerous 
penguin species. However, widespread decline in populations have been 
recorded since the mid 1970s. These factors result in their 
conservation status being reclassified as vulnerable. (more...)

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the Slav – Bix Beiderbecke 

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[Daily article] December 3: Tropical Storm Barry (2001)

100px|Tropical Storm Barry

Tropical Storm Barry was a strong tropical storm that made landfall 
on the Florida Panhandle during August 2001. The third tropical cyclone 
and second named storm of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season, Barry 
developed from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on 
July 24 and tracked westward. The wave entered the Caribbean on July 29 
and spawned a low pressure area that organized into Tropical Storm 
Barry on August 3. After fluctuating in intensity and track, the system 
attained peak winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) over the Gulf of Mexico, and 
headed northward before moving ashore on the Gulf Coast. Unlike the 
devastating Tropical Storm Allison earlier in the season, Barry's 
effects were moderate. Nine deaths occurred, six in Cuba and three in 
Florida. As a tropical cyclone, rainfall peaked at 8.9 in (230 mm) at 
Tallahassee, and winds gusts topped out at 79 mph (127 km/h). The wave 
that would become Barry dropped large amounts of rain across southern 
Florida, leading to significant flooding and structural damage. 
Moderate flooding occurred throughout the Panhandle, where damage as a 
result of high wind gusts was also reported. Barry is estimated to have 
caused $30 million (2001 USD, $36.5 million 2008 USD) in damage. 
(more...)

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[Daily article] December 4: Saturn

100px|Saturn, photographed in July 2008

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet 
in the Solar System, after Jupiter, with an average radius about nine 
times larger than the Earth's. Saturn is named after the Roman god 
Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus (the Titan father of Zeus), the 
Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol 
(♄) represents the Roman god's sickle. Along with Jupiter, Uranus and 
Neptune, Saturn is a gas giant. Together, these four planets are 
sometimes referred to as the Jovian planets, meaning "Jupiter-like". 
Saturn has a ring system that is divided into nine continuous and three 
discontinuous main rings (arcs), consisting mostly of ice particles 
with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. Sixty-two known moons 
orbit the planet; fifty-three are officially named. This does not 
include the hundreds of "moonlets" within the rings. Titan, Saturn's 
largest and the Solar System's second largest moon (after Jupiter's 
Ganymede), is larger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in 
the Solar System to retain a significant atmosphere. (more...)

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[Daily article] December 5: Adenanthos obovatus

100px|A specimen of Adenanthos obovatus photographed in Big Grove, 
Albany

Adenanthos obovatus is a shrub of the Proteaceae family endemic to 
Southwest Australia. It grows as a many-stemmed spreading bush up to 
1 m (3 ft) high, and about 1.5 m (5 ft) across, with fine bright green 
foliage. Made up of single red flowers, the inflorescences appear from 
April to December, and peak in spring (August to October). The shrub 
grows on sandy soils in seasonally wet lowland areas as well as hills 
and dunes. It regenerates after bushfire by resprouting from its 
underground lignotuber. Pollinators include honeyeaters, particularly 
the Western Spinebill, which can access the nectar with its long curved 
bill, and the Silvereye, which punctures the flower tube. The most 
commonly cultivated Adenanthos species in Australia, it has a long 
flowering period and attracts honeyeaters to the garden. It is 
harvested for the cut flower industry. (more...)

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1484:

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[Daily article] December 6: McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

100px|A McDonnell XF-85 Goblin at the National Museum of the US Air 
Force

The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin was an American prototype fighter aircraft 
conceived during World War II by McDonnell Aircraft. It was intended to 
be carried in and deployed from the bomb bay of the giant Convair B-36 
bomber as a parasite fighter. The XF-85's intended role was to defend 
bombers from hostile interceptors, a need demonstrated during World 
War II. Two prototypes were constructed before the program was 
terminated. The XF-85 was a response to a United States Army Air 

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1060:

Béla I the Champion was crowned king of Hungary.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9la_I_of_Hungary>

1921:

The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and then came into force exactly one 
year later, establishing the Irish Free State, the first independent 
Irish state to be recognised by the British government.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Irish_Treaty>

1989:
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[Daily article] December 7: USS Arizona (BB-39)

115px|The detonation of Arizona<span 
style="padding-left:0.1em;">'</span>s forward magazine 
(artillery)|magazines

USS Arizona was a Pennsylvania-class battleship built for the United 
States Navy in the mid-1910s. Commissioned in 1916, the ship remained 
stateside during World War I. In 1919 the vessel represented American 
interests in the Mediterranean during the Greco-Turkish War. Several 
years later, she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and was assigned 
to it for the rest of her career. Arizona spent most of her time 
between the wars training, including participation in the annual Fleet 
Problems, and aided survivors of 1933 Long Beach earthquake. In 1940, 
she joined the Pacific Fleet in its new base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to 
deter the Japanese Empire. During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 
on 7 December 1941, Arizona was bombed, exploded and sank, killing 
1,177 officers and crewmen. The next day, the United States declared 
war on Japan. Unlike many of the other ships sunk or damaged that day, 
Arizona was not repaired. Her wreck still lies at the bottom of Pearl 
Harbor, and is the final resting place for the remains of most of those 
who died. They are commemorated by the USS Arizona Memorial which 
straddles her hull. (more...)

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[Daily article] December 8: Xá Lợi Pagoda raids

110px|Main hall of the Xá Lợi Pagoda

The Xá Lợi Pagoda raids were a series of synchronized attacks on 
Buddhist pagodas in the major cities of South Vietnam on August 21, 
1963. The raids were executed by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam 
Special Forces and combat police, both of which took their orders 
directly from Ngo Dinh Nhu, the younger brother of the Roman Catholic 
President Ngo Dinh Diem. The Xá Lợi Pagoda, the largest in the South 
Vietnamese capital, Saigon, was the most prominent of the temples 
raided. Over 1,400 Buddhists were arrested, and estimates of the death 
toll and missing ranged up to the hundreds. At first, the Ngo family 
claimed that the army had carried out the raids, something their ally 
the United States initially believed. However, this was later debunked, 
and the incident prompted the US to turn against the regime and begin 
exploring alternative leadership options, eventually leading to Diem's 
overthrow in a coup. In South Vietnam itself, the raids stoked 
widespread anger. Several high-ranking public servants resigned, and 
university and high school students boycotted classes and staged 
riotous demonstrations, resulting in further mass incarcerations. As 
most of the students were from middle-class public service and military 
families, the arrests caused further upset among the Ngo family's power 
base. (more...)

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[Daily article] December 10: Norwich Market

100px|Norwich Market, 2009

Norwich Market is an outdoor market consisting of around 200 stalls 
in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 
11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area 
following the Norman conquest of England, it replaced an earlier market 
a short distance away. It has been in operation on the present site for 
over 900 years. By the 14th century, Norwich was one of the largest and 
most prosperous cities in England, and Norwich Market was a major 
trading hub. In the Georgian era, Norwich became an increasingly 
popular destination with travellers, and developed into a fashionable 
shopping town. Following the First World War, the local authority began 
to systematically buy up all the stalls on the market, eventually 
bringing the entire market into public ownership, and the market was 
radically redesigned in the 1930s. Stalls were arranged into parallel 
rows, and a new City Hall was built along the entire western side of 
the marketplace to replace the by now inadequate Guildhall. This new 
arrangement survived with few significant changes for the rest of the 
20th century. By the 1990s the market was becoming decrepit, and 
proposals were made for another radical rebuilding of the area. These 
proposals were abandoned in favour of a scheme which replaced the old 
stalls with steel units of four stalls each. The rebuilt market was 
completed in early 2006, and is one of the largest markets in Britain. 
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[Daily article] December 11: Californication (album)

100px|The Red Hot Hili Peppers at Pinkpop Festival in 2006

Californication is the seventh studio album by American rock band Red 
Hot Chili Peppers, released on June 8, 1999, on Warner Bros. Records. 
Produced by Rick Rubin, Californication saw the return of John 
Frusciante, who had previously appeared on Mother's Milk and Blood 
Sugar Sex Magik, to replace Dave Navarro as the band's guitarist. 
Frusciante's return was credited with changing the band's sound. The 
record marked a shift in style from the Navarro era. The album's 
lyric's incorporates various sexual innuendos often associated with the 
band, but contains more varied themes than previous releases, such as 
lust, death, suicide, California, drugs, globalization and travel. The 
Chili Peppers' most commercially successful studio release, 
Californication has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. The record 
produced several hits for the band, including "Otherside", 
"Californication" and the Grammy Award-winning "Scar Tissue". 
Californication peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200. 
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