From today's featured article
The Sawmill Fire was a wildfire that burned almost 47,000 acres (19,000 ha) of the U.S. state of Arizona. It began on April 23, 2017, at a gender reveal party held in the Coronado National Forest with the detonation by gunshot of a target packed with blue powder and tannerite. Because of hot and arid conditions in the area, the fire spread rapidly and forced the closure of Arizona State Route 83 and Interstate 10 and the evacuation of 100 people. By April 30, the fire was fully contained and evacuation orders were lifted. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the fire, which cost $8,200,000 and required the deployment of over 800 first responders to contain and suppress. No buildings were destroyed by the fire, though the flames were as little as 50 feet (15 m) from the historic Empire Ranch at times. When the source of the fire became public knowledge, it resulted in widespread ridicule of gender reveal parties in concept and practice. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that after the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption (pictured) was named a minor basilica by Pope Francis in 2022, this was announced on the vigil of the Assumption of Mary?
- ... that a Carolingian military sermon promises soldiers victory, provided they do not engage in sexual activity or looting?
- ... that the slopes near Bass Lake at Flat Top Manor in North Carolina were covered with hundreds of apple trees?
- ... that Rockstar Vancouver developed most of the "Beta 5" update for Counter-Strike?
- ... that Iraqi psychologist Nuri Ja'far, in his youth, was denied admission to the College of Medicine University of Baghdad by Harry Sinderson?
- ... that Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell wrote the melody for their four-time Grammy-nominated song "Happier Than Ever" on an $80 guitar?
- ... that South African politician Speedy Mashilo was kidnapped for seven hours?
- ... that The Random Years includes a version of strip poker played to Antiques Roadshow?
In the news
- Following the death of Mahsa Amini, at least 50 people are killed during protests (example pictured) in Iran.
- At least 100 people are killed in renewed fighting between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
- In the Swedish general election, the bloc consisting of the Sweden Democrats, Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals wins a majority of seats in the Riksdag.
- French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard dies at the age of 91.
On this day
- 1841 – Raja Muda Hashim, the uncle of Omar Ali Saifuddin II, Sultan of Brunei, conceded land to the British adventurer James Brooke (pictured) to establish the Raj of Sarawak.
- 1869 – Jay Gould, James Fisk and other speculators plotted but failed to control the United States gold market, causing prices to plummet.
- 1945 – Dozens of Jews were injured in the Topoľčany pogrom, one of the worst episodes of anti-Jewish violence in postwar Czechoslovakia.
- 1992 – After his neighbor identified handwriting samples placed on local billboards by police, Oba Chandler was arrested three years after he committed a triple murder in the Tampa Bay area in Florida.
- 2019 – The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom unanimously ruled that advice given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Queen Elizabeth II that Parliament should be prorogued was unlawful.
Today's featured picture
The brown-headed honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris) is a species of passerine bird in the family Meliphagidae, the honeyeaters. Endemic to Australia, its natural habitats are temperate forests and Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation. Insects form the bulk of its diet, and like its close relatives, the black-chinned and strong-billed honeyeaters, it forages by probing in the bark of tree trunks and branches. This brown-headed honeyeater was photographed perching on a branch in Patchewollock, Victoria.
Photograph credit: John Harrison