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[Daily article] February 1: Germany women's national football team

100px|Goalie Nadine Angerer saving a goal 

The German women's national football team represents Germany in 
international women's football and is directed by the German Football 
Association (DFB). The team – then informally called West Germany in 
English – played its first international match in 1982. After German 
reunification in 1990, the DFB squad remained the national side of the 
Federal Republic of Germany. The German national team is one of the 
most successful in women's football. They are two-time world champions, 
having won the 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Germany is the 
only nation which has won both the men's and the women's World Cup. The 
team has won seven of the ten UEFA European Championships, claiming the 
last five titles in a row. Germany has won three bronze medals at the 
Women's Olympic Football Tournament, finishing third in 2000, 2004 and 
2008. The popularity of the women's national football team has grown 
since the team won their first World Cup title. They were chosen as 
Germany's Sports Team of the Year in 2003. Silvia Neid has been the 
team's head coach since 2005, succeeding Tina Theune after nine years 
as her assistant. As of September 2011, Germany is ranked No. 2 in the 
FIFA Women's World Rankings. (more...)

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[Daily article] February 2: Chew Stoke

100px|Chew Stoke

Chew Stoke is a small village and civil parish in the Chew Valley, in 
Somerset, England, about 8 miles (13 km) south of Bristol. It is at the 
northern edge of the Mendip Hills, a region designated by the United 
Kingdom as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is within the 
Bristol/Bath green belt. The parish includes the hamlet of Breach Hill, 
which is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Chew Stoke itself. 
Chew Stoke has a long history, as shown by the number and range of its 
heritage-listed buildings. The village is at the northern end of Chew 
Valley Lake, which was created in the 1950s, close to a dam, pumping 
station, sailing club, and fishing lodge. A tributary of the River 
Chew, which rises in Strode, runs through the village. The population 
of 905 is served by one shop, two public houses, a primary school and a 
bowling club. Together with Chew Magna, it forms the ward of Chew 
Valley North in the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset. 
Chew Valley School and its associated leisure centre are less than a 
mile (1.6 km) from Chew Stoke. The village has some areas of light 
industry but is largely agricultural; many residents commute to nearby 
cities for employment. (more...)

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[Daily article] February 3: Pathways into Darkness

Pathways into Darkness is a first-person adventure video game developed 
and published by Bungie Software Products Corporation (now Bungie) in 
1993, exclusively for Apple Macintosh personal computers. Players 
assume the role of a Special Forces soldier who must stop a powerful, 
godlike being from awakening and destroying the world. Players solve 
puzzles and defeat enemies to unlock parts of a pyramid where the god 
sleeps; the game's ending changes depending on player actions. Pathways 
began as a sequel to Bungie's Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete, before 
the developers created an original story. Jason Jones programmed the 
game, while his friend Colin Brent developed the environments and 
creatures. The game features three-dimensional texture mapped graphics 
and stereo sound on supported Macintosh models. Pathways was critically 
acclaimed and won a host of awards; it was also Bungie's first major 
commercial success, enabling the two-man team of Jason Jones and Alex 
Seropian to move into a Chicago office and begin paying staff. 
(more...)

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Today's selected anniversaries:

1488:

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[Daily article] February 4: Richard Barre

Richard Barre (c. 1130 – c. 1202) was a medieval English justice, 
clergyman, and scholar. He was educated at the law school of Bologna, 
and entered royal service under King Henry II of England, later working 
for Henry's son and successor Richard I. He was also briefly in the 
household of Henry's son Henry the Young King. Barre served the elder 
Henry as a diplomat, and was involved in a minor way with the king's 
quarrel with Thomas Becket, which earned Barre a condemnation from 
Becket. After King Henry's death, Barre became a royal justice during 
Richard's reign, and was one of the main judges in the period from 1194 
to 1199. During the reign of King John, Barre was no longer employed as 
a judge owing to earlier disagreements with John. Barre was the author 
of a work of biblical extracts dedicated to one of his patrons, William 
Longchamp, the Bishop of Ely and Chancellor of England. (more...)

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Today's selected anniversaries:

211:

Roman emperor Septimius Severus died of illness while on a military 
campaign in Eboracum (modern York, England).
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[Daily article] February 5: Titania (moon)

100px|The high-resolution Voyager 2 image of Titania taken on January 
24, 1986

Titania is the largest of the moons of Uranus and the eighth largest 
moon in the Solar System. Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, 
Titania is named after the queen of the fairies in Shakespeare's A 
Midsummer Night's Dream. Its orbit lies inside Uranus' magnetosphere. 
Titania consists of approximately equal amounts of ice and rock, and is 
likely differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle. A layer of 
liquid water may be present at the core–mantle boundary. The surface of 
Titania, which is relatively dark and slightly red in color, appears to 
have been shaped by both impacts and endogenic processes. It is covered 
by numerous impact craters reaching 326 km in diameter, but is less 
heavily cratered than the surface of Uranus' outermost moon, Oberon. 
Titania probably underwent an early endogenic resurfacing event that 
obliterated its older, heavily cratered surface. Like all major moons 
of Uranus, Titania probably formed from an accretion disk that 
surrounded the planet just after its formation. As of 2011, the Uranian 
system has been studied up close only once: by the spacecraft Voyager 2 
in January 1986. It took several images of Titania, which allowed 
mapping of about 40% of the moon’s surface. (more...)

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[Daily article] February 6: Prince Louis of Battenberg

100px|Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg prior to 1915

Prince Louis of Battenberg (1854–1921) was a German prince related to 
the British Royal Family. After a career in the United Kingdom's Royal 
Navy lasting over forty years, in 1912 he was appointed First Sea Lord, 
the professional head of the British naval service. He took steps to 
ready the British fleet for combat as World War I began, but his 
background as a German prince forced his retirement at the start of the 
war when anti-German feeling was running high. Queen Victoria and her 
son King Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, occasionally intervened in 
his career—the Queen thought that there was "a belief that the 
Admiralty are afraid of promoting Officers who are Princes on account 
of the radical attacks of low papers and scurrilous ones". However, 
Louis welcomed battle assignments that provided opportunities for him 
to acquire the skills of war and to demonstrate to his superiors that 
he was serious about his naval career. Posts on royal yachts and tours 
arranged by the Queen and Edward actually impeded his progress, as his 
promotions were perceived as royal favours rather than deserved. He 
married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and was the father of Earl 
Mountbatten, who also served as First Sea Lord from 1954 to 1959. 
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, consort of Queen Elizabeth II, is his 
grandson. (more...)

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[Daily article] February 7: Cartman Gets an Anal Probe

"Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" is the pilot episode of the animated 
television series South Park. It first aired on Comedy Central in the 
United States on August 13, 1997. The episode introduces child 
protagonists Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh and Kenny 
McCormick, who attempt to rescue Kyle's younger brother Ike from being 
abducted by aliens. At the time of the writing of the episode, South 
Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone did not yet have a series 
contract with Comedy Central. Short on money, the creators animated the 
episode using paper cutout stop motion technique, similarly to the 
short films that were the precursors to the series. As such, "Cartman 
Gets an Anal Probe" remains the only South Park episode animated 
largely without the use of computer technology. Part of a reaction to 
the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s in the United States, South 
Park is deliberately offensive. Much of the show's humor, and of 
"Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", arises from the juxtaposition of the 
seeming innocence of childhood and the violent, crude behavior 
exhibited by the main characters. The episode also exemplifies the 
carnivalesque, which includes humor, bodily excess, linguistic games 
that challenge official discourse, and the inversion of social 
structures. Initial reviews of the episode were generally negative; 
critics singled out the gratuitous obscenity of the show for particular 
scorn. Regarding the amount of obscenities in the episode, Parker later 
commented that they felt "pressure" to live up to the earlier shorts 
which first made the duo popular. (more...)

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[Daily article] February 8: Vijayanagara Empire

100px|Stone Chariot at the Vitthala Temple in Hampi

The Vijayanagara Empire was an empire based in South Indian in the 
Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his 
brother Bukka Raya I of the Yadava lineage. The empire rose to 
prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers against 
Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. It lasted until 1646 
although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by 
the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of 
Vijayanagara (pictured), whose impressive ruins surround modern Hampi, 
now a World Heritage Site in modern Karnataka, India. The writings of 
medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernão Nunes and 
Niccolò Da Conti and the literature in local vernaculars provide 
crucial information about its history. The empire's legacy includes 
many monuments spread over South India, the best known being the group 
at Hampi. Secular royal structures show the influence of the Northern 
Deccan Sultanate architecture. Efficient administration and vigorous 
overseas trade brought new technologies like water management systems 
for irrigation. The empire's patronage enabled fine arts and literature 
to reach new heights in the languages of Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and 
Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The 
Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that 
transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor. 
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[Daily article] February 9: Frederick Russell Burnham

100px|Frederick Russell Burnham in 1901

Frederick Russell Burnham (1861–1947) was an American scout and world 
traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army in 
colonial Africa and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell, thus 
becoming one of the inspirations for the founding of the international 
Scouting Movement. Burnham had little formal education, attending high 
school but never graduating. He began his career at 14 in the American 
Southwest as a scout and tracker for the U.S. Army in the Apache Wars 
and Cheyenne Wars. Sensing the Old West was getting too tame, as an 
adult Burnham went to Africa where this background proved useful. He 
soon became an officer in the British Army, serving in several battles 
there. During this time, Burnham became friends with Baden-Powell, and 
passed on to him both his outdoor skills and his spirit for what would 
later become known as Scouting. Burnham eventually moved on to become 
involved in espionage, oil, conservation, writing and business. His 
descendants are still active in Scouting. (more...)

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1825:
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[Daily article] February 10: Big Butte Creek

100px|Willow Lake, located in the Big Butte Creek watershed

Big Butte Creek is a 12-mile (19 km) long tributary of the Rogue 
River located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It drains approximately 245 
square miles (630 km2) of Jackson County. The north fork of the creek 
begins on Rustler Peak and the south fork's headwaters are near Mount 
McLoughlin. They meet near Butte Falls, and Big Butte Creek flows 
generally northwest until it empties into the Rogue River about 1 mile 
(1.6 km) southwest of Lost Creek Dam (William L. Jess Dam). Big Butte 
Creek's watershed was originally settled over 8,000 years ago by the 
Klamath, Upper Umpqua, and Takelma tribes of Native Americans. In the 
Rogue River Wars of the 1850s, most of the Native Americans were either 
killed or forced into Indian reservations. The first non-indigenous 
settlers arrived in the 1860s, and the area was quickly developed. The 
creek was named after Snowy Butte, an early name for Mount McLoughlin. 
In the late 19th century, the watershed was primarily used for 
agriculture and logging. The small city of Butte Falls was incorporated 
in 1911. (more...)

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