Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 2018 - Wikipedia

Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 2018

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March 1

Scarab seal inscribed with "the son of Ra, Sheshi, given life"

Sheshi was a ruler of parts of Ancient Egypt sometime between 1800 and 1550 BC, near the end of the Middle Kingdom or during the Second Intermediate Period. Based on the archaeological evidence, he is the best attested king in this timeframe; hundreds of scaraboid seals bearing his name have been found as far away as Carthage and throughout Canaan, Egypt, and Nubia. Nevertheless, historians cannot pin down basic facts about this ruler, such as his dynasty or the duration and extent of his reign. Three competing hypotheses have been put forth: he may have been Salitis, founder of the 15th Dynasty and king of the invading Hyksos, or a later Hyksos king or vassal of the second half of the 15th Dynasty, or a ruler of the 14th Dynasty, a line of kings of Canaanite descent ruling over the Eastern Nile Delta immediately before the arrival of the Hyksos. (Full article...)

March 2

1859 Indian Head cent

The Indian Head cent is a penny ($0.01) that was produced by the U.S. Bureau of the Mint from 1859 to 1909. It was preceded by the large cent (1793–1857), a copper coin about the size of a half dollar, and the Flying Eagle cent. The large cent was discontinued after a rise in the price of copper in the wake of the California Gold Rush (1848–1855). The 1857 Flying Eagle is identical in diameter to the modern U.S. cent, but thicker, with a composition of 12% nickel and 88% copper. The Indian head cent, designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint, was initially the same size as the Flying Eagle. Cents were hoarded during the economic chaos of the American Civil War, when nickel was in short supply, and privately issued bronze tokens began to circulate until Congress authorized a thinner cent of bronze alloy. After the war the cent became popular, and even more so with the advent of coin-operated machines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1909, the Indian Head cent was replaced by Victor D. Brenner's Lincoln cent. (Full article...)

March 3

The ship in 1911

HMS St Vincent was the lead ship of her class of three dreadnought battleships, built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was equipped with ten 12-inch (305 mm) guns in five gun turrets. After commissioning in 1910, her entire career was spent with the Home Fleet and Grand Fleet, often serving as a flagship. In the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, the ship discharged 98 shells from her main guns, firing first at the crippled German light cruiser SMS Wiesbaden. Targeting the battlecruiser SMS Moltke, her first hit wrecked the sickbay and slightly damaged the surrounding superstructure and hull, causing minor flooding. The second hit penetrated the rear armour of the superfiring turret at the rear of the ship. Apart from Jutland and the inconclusive Action of 19 August several months later, her service during World War I generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. Deemed obsolete after the war, the ship was reduced to reserve and used as a training ship. St Vincent was sold for scrap in 1921 and broken up the following year. (Full article...)

March 4

Miriam Makeba performing

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008) was a South African singer, actor, and civil rights activist. She was a vocal opponent of apartheid and white-minority government, in South Africa and elsewhere. Associated with genres including afropop, jazz, and world music, she began singing professionally in the 1950s. She had a brief role in the anti-apartheid film Come Back, Africa (1959), which led to performances in Venice, London, and New York City. Makeba moved to the United States, where her career flourished, and released several albums and songs, including the hit "Pata Pata" (1967). She and Harry Belafonte received a Grammy Award for their 1965 album An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba. Her 1968 marriage to Stokely Carmichael of the Black Panther Party was not well received in the US, and she moved to Guinea, where she wrote and performed music more explicitly critical of apartheid. Nicknamed Mama Africa, she was one of the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition. Her music, in Nelson Mandela's words, "inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us". (Full article...)

March 5

A small square of thorium metal in an ampule

Thorium is a chemical element with symbol Th and atomic number 90. A reactive actinide metal, its chemistry is dominated by the +4 oxidation state; it is silvery and tarnishes black in air, forming the dioxide. It is malleable and moderately hard, with a high melting point. Its most stable isotope, 232Th, is weakly radioactive with a half-life of 14.05 billion years, roughly the age of the universe: it decays very slowly to stable lead. Thorium and uranium are the only two significantly radioactive primordial elements. Thorium is chiefly refined from monazite sands as a byproduct of extracting rare earth metals. It was discovered in 1829 by the Norwegian mineralogist Morten Thrane Esmark and identified by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Applications were found for the element in the 19th century, but after its radioactivity was discovered in the early 20th century, its use significantly declined. Thorium has been suggested as a replacement for uranium in nuclear reactors. (Full article...)

March 6

3 of Hearts is the self-titled debut studio album by the American group 3 of Hearts, released on March 6, 2001, through the record label RCA Nashville. It is a teen pop and country music album, though according to some music critics, it leans more towards pop music. The album was managed by American producer Byron Gallimore; its marketing focused on the group's crossover appeal to teenagers and young adults. 3 of Hearts performed on a national tour sponsored by Seventeen magazine and another sponsored by Walmart, and the singers were featured in several marketing campaigns. Reviews of the album were mixed; some critics praised the group's vocals and public image, but others criticized the songs as generic and lacking an authentic country sound. The album peaked at number 45 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. "Love Is Enough" and "Arizona Rain" were released as singles and made appearances on the Country Airplay Billboard chart. The album's low sales and lack of appeal to country radio audiences led RCA to drop the group. (Full article...)

March 7


Henry Wrigley (1892–1987) was an air vice marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). A pioneering flyer and aviation scholar, he piloted the first trans-Australia flight from Melbourne to Darwin in 1919, and afterwards laid the groundwork for the RAAF's air power doctrine. During World War I, he joined the Australian Flying Corps and saw combat with No. 3 Squadron on the Western Front, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross; he later commanded the unit and published a history of its wartime exploits. He was awarded the Air Force Cross for his 1919 cross-country flight. He was a founding member of the RAAF in 1921. In 1936, he was promoted to group captain and took command of RAAF Station Laverton. Raised to air commodore soon after the outbreak of World War II, he became Air Member for Personnel in November 1940. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire the next year. He served as Air Officer Commanding RAAF Overseas Headquarters, London, from 1942 until his retirement from the military in 1946. His writings on air power were collected and published posthumously as The Decisive Factor in 1990. (Full article...)

March 8

Louise Bryant in 1913, painted by John Trullinger

Louise Bryant (1885–1936) was an American feminist, political activist, and journalist. After growing up in rural Nevada and graduating with a degree in history from the University of Oregon, she wrote for two newspapers, the Spectator and The Oregonian. After leaving her first husband in 1915, she married John Reed and moved to Greenwich Village, where she formed friendships with leading feminists of the day. Like Reed, she took lovers, including the playwright Eugene O'Neill and painter Andrew Dasburg. Her news stories were distributed by Hearst during and after her trips to Petrograd and Moscow, and appeared in newspapers across the United States and Canada. Generally in sympathy with the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution, her articles featured Catherine Breshkovsky, Maria Spiridonova, Alexander Kerensky, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky. A collection of articles from her first trip was published as a book in 1918, Six Red Months in Russia. After Reed's death in 1920, Bryant wrote for Hearst about Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Russia, and other countries. The Bryant–Reed story is told in the 1981 film Reds. Her neglected grave in Versailles was restored in 1998. (Full article...)

March 9

Armillaria gallica 26659.jpg

Armillaria gallica is a species of honey mushroom in the family Physalacriaceae. It is a common and ecologically important wood-decay fungus that can feed on dead organic material in soil, or live as an opportunistic parasite in weakened tree hosts to cause root or butt rot. It is found in temperate regions of Asia, North America, and Europe. The yellow-brown mushrooms, covered with small scales, can grow to around 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. On the underside of the caps are gills that are white to creamy or pale orange. The fungus has been the subject of considerable scientific research into its role as a plant pathogen, its ability to bioluminesce, its unusual life cycle, and its ability to form large and long-lived colonies. A 1,500-year-old colony was discovered in the early 1990s in a Michigan forest, reported to cover an area of 15 hectares (37 acres) and weigh at least 9,500 kilograms (21,000 lb); as a tourist attraction called the "humungous fungus", it inspires an annual mushroom-themed festival in Crystal Falls. (Full article...)

March 10

Amazing stories quarterly 1928win.jpg

Amazing Stories Quarterly was a U.S. science fiction pulp magazine published from 1928 to 1934. Launched by Hugo Gernsback as a companion to his Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine, it premiered with a reprint of H.G. Wells' When the Sleeper Wakes in the Winter 1928 issue. Over the next five issues only one more reprint appeared: Gernsback's own novel Ralph 124C 41+, in the Winter 1929 issue. He went bankrupt in early 1929, and lost control of both publications; his assistant, T. O'Conor Sloane, took over as editor. The magazine began having financial difficulties in 1932, and the schedule became irregular; the last issue was dated Fall 1934. Authors whose work appeared in Amazing Stories Quarterly include Stanton A. Coblentz, Miles J. Breuer, A. Hyatt Verrill, and Jack Williamson. Critical opinions differ; Everett Bleiler considers few of the stories to be of acceptable quality, but Milton Wolf and Mike Ashley regard the work Sloane published in the early 1930s to be some of the best in the new genre. (Full article...)

March 11


Douglas MacArthur's escape from the Philippines during World War II began on 11 March 1942, after U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered him to withdraw. MacArthur left Corregidor Island and traveled in PT boats with his family and staff through stormy seas patrolled by Japanese warships, reaching Mindanao two days later. Arriving in Australia, he declared, "I came through and I shall return". MacArthur, a well-known general who had a distinguished record in World War I, had retired from the army in 1937 to become a defense advisor to the Philippine government. He was recalled to active duty in July 1941, a few months before the outbreak of the Pacific War with the Empire of Japan, to become commander of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, which included Philippine forces. By March 1942, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines had compelled him to withdraw his forces on Luzon to Bataan. The doomed defense of Bataan captured the imagination of the American public, and MacArthur became a living symbol of Allied resistance to the Japanese, at a time when the news from all fronts was uniformly bad. (Full article...)

March 12

G. Stone Motors exterior.png

Family Trade is an American reality television series broadcast by Game Show Network (GSN). The show premiered on March 12, 2013, and continued to air new episodes until April 16, 2013. Filmed in Middlebury, Vermont, the series chronicles the daily activities of G. Stone Motors (pictured), a GMC and Ford car dealership that employs the barter system in selling its automobiles. The business is operated by its founder, Gardner Stone, his son and daughter, Todd and Darcy, and General Manager Travis Romano. The series features the shop's daily interaction with its customers, who bring in pigs, maple syrup, collectable dolls and other items for resale to make a down payment on a vehicle they are leasing or purchasing. Family Trade was part of GSN's attempt to broaden their programming beyond traditional game shows. The series was given unfavorable reviews by critics, and its television ratings fell over time, losing almost half of its audience between the series premiere and finale. (Full article...)

March 13

Soviet prisoners of war dressed with new clothes near the Arctic Circle at Rovaniemi in January 1940

The Winter War (30 November 1939 – 13 March 1940) began when the Soviet Union (USSR) invaded Finland three months after the outbreak of World War II. The USSR had sought to annex Finnish territory, including land near Leningrad, 32 km (20 mi) from the border. After Finland refused, the USSR attacked with more than twice as many soldiers, thirty times as many aircraft, and a hundred times as many tanks as the defending forces. The Red Army had been crippled by Joseph Stalin's Great Purge and the Finnish Defence Forces repelled the invasion in temperatures down to −43 °C (−45 °F) for much longer than expected. A reorganized Soviet offensive broke through in February 1940 and forced the Finns to seek peace. Finland ceded 11 percent of its territory, but retained sovereignty. Soviet casualties have been estimated at 321,000 to 381,000, compared to Finnish casualties of 70,000. The poor performance of the Red Army encouraged Adolf Hitler to consider an attack on the USSR. After a 15-month lull called the Interim Peace, the Continuation War and Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941. (Full article...)

March 14

Thomas Riley Marshall headshot.jpg

Thomas R. Marshall (March 14, 1854 – June 1, 1925) was a Democratic politician who served as the 28th Vice President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. As the 27th Governor of Indiana, he proposed a new, controversial state constitution and pressed for other Progressive Era reforms. His popularity as governor, and Indiana's status as a critical swing state, helped him secure the vice presidential nomination on a ticket with Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and win the general election. During World War I, after a small number of anti-war senators kept the Senate deadlocked by refusing to end debate, Marshall led the body to adopt its first rule allowing filibusters to be ended by a two-thirds majority vote. After a stroke incapacitated Wilson in October 1919, many cabinet officials and Congressional leaders urged Marshall to become acting president, but he refused to forcibly assume the presidency for fear of setting a precedent. Well known for his wit and sense of humor, he once quipped during a Senate debate, "What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar". (Full article...)

March 15

Ferugliotherium was a mammal of the Late Cretaceous, around 70 million years ago. The genus was first described in 1986 but misidentified as a member of Multituberculata, an extinct group of rodent-like mammals, on the basis of a single tooth, a low-crowned molar. It is thought to have had a small body mass, about 70 g (2.5 oz), and may have eaten insects and plant material. Its remains have been found in two geological formations of present-day southern Argentina, as part of a mammal fauna that included the sudamericid Gondwanatherium and a variety of dryolestoids. The upper and lower incisors were long and rodent-like, with enamel on only one side of the crown. A fragment of the lower jaw shows that the tooth socket of the lower incisor was very long. Although Ferugliotherium had much lower-crowned teeth than the sudamericids, they shared the same backward jaw movement during chewing and essentially similar patterns in their incisors and on the chewing surface of their molar-like teeth, with small enamel prisms. (Full article...)

March 16

Marie Aug 24 2014 1830Z.png

Hurricane Marie is tied as the seventh-most intense Pacific hurricane on record, attaining a barometric pressure of 918 mbar (hPa; 27.11 inHg) in August 2014. At its peak, the hurricane's gale-force winds spanned an area 575 miles (925 km) across. Although its center remained well away from land, its large size created dangerous surf from Southwestern Mexico to southern California. Off the coast of Los Cabos, three people drowned after their boat capsized in rough seas. In Colima and Oaxaca, heavy rains and flooding from outer bands caused two fatalities. Toward the end of August, swells of 10 to 15 ft (3.0 to 4.6 m), the largest seen from a hurricane in decades, battered coastlines in southern California, with structural damage on Santa Catalina Island and in the Greater Los Angeles Area. A breakwater near Long Beach sustained $10 million worth of damage, with portions gouged out. One person drowned in the surf near Malibu. Hundreds of ocean rescues, including over 100 in Malibu alone, were attributed to the storm, and overall losses reached $20 million. (Full article...)

March 17

Concept art depicting Torque, a character from the game

Freedom Planet is a two-dimensional platform video game developed and published by independent developer GalaxyTrail, a studio set up for the project by designer Stephen DiDuro. The player controls one of three anthropomorphic animal protagonists: the dragon Lilac, the wildcat Carol, or the Basset Hound Milla. Aided by the duck-like Torque (concept art shown), the player attempts to defeat Lord Brevon, who plans to conquer the galaxy. While the game focuses on fast-paced platforming, its levels are interspersed with slower action scenes. Freedom Planet began development as a Sonic the Hedgehog fangame, but DiDuro lost interest in creating a derivative work and reconceived the project as his own intellectual property. Developed in Denmark and the United States, the game and its art have East Asian influences: its background visuals were inspired by medieval Chinese art, and its title is written in katakana. Critics praised its gameplay, aesthetics, and balance of Sonic elements with original content, but were mixed on its pacing and length. (Full article...)

March 18

Elcor, Minnesota, c. 1916

Elcor is a ghost town in the U.S. state of Minnesota that was inhabited between 1897 and 1956. It was built on the Mesabi Iron Range near the city of Gilbert in St. Louis County. At its peak around 1920, Elcor had two churches, a post office, a general store, a primary school, a railroad station and its own law enforcement, and housed a population of nearly 1,000. Elcor was a mining town, built by the mining company to house its workers. People were allowed to own their homes, but the land on which the houses stood belonged to the company. In the early days, houses were made of wooden boards and surrounded by a four-board-high fence fronted with a boardwalk. Most of the streets were dirt roads. The townspeople were pioneers and immigrants, largely Croatian, Slovenian, Finnish, Italian, German, Scandinavian and English (especially Cornish). After the last mine closed in 1954, the residents were ordered to vacate the property; by 1956, Elcor was completely abandoned. (Full article...)

March 19

Milla Jovovich in 2013
Milla Jovovich

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a 2004 science fiction action horror film filmed in Toronto, Canada, directed by Alexander Witt and written by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the second installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is based on the video game series of the same name. Milla Jovovich (pictured) reprises her role as Alice, and is joined by Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine and Oded Fehr as Carlos Oliveira. Resident Evil: Apocalypse is set directly after the events of the first film, where Alice escaped from an underground facility overrun by zombies. She now bands together with other survivors to escape the zombie outbreak which has spread to the fictional Raccoon City. The film borrows elements from several games in the Resident Evil series, including the characters Valentine and Oliveira and the villain Nemesis. While it received mostly negative reviews from critics for its plot, the film was praised for its action sequences. Of the six films in the series, it has the lowest approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Earning $129 million worldwide on a $45 million budget, it surpassed the box office gross of the original film. (Full article...)

March 20

Barry Voight (born 1937) is an American geologist, volcanologist, author, and engineer. He was a professor of geology at Pennsylvania State University from 1964 until his retirement in 2005. He still conducts research on rock mechanics, plate tectonics, disaster prevention, and geotechnical engineering. In April 1980, Voight's publications on landslides, avalanches and other mass movements convinced Rocky Crandell of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to ask him to look at a growing bulge on the Mount St. Helens volcano in the state of Washington. Voight predicted the collapse of the mountain's north flank as well as a powerful eruption. After his predictions were realized in May 1980, he was hired by the USGS to investigate the debris avalanche that initiated the eruption. His work at St. Helens brought him international recognition, and he continued researching and guiding monitoring efforts at several active volcanoes, including Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, Mount Merapi in Indonesia, and Soufrière Hills, a volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. (Full article...)

March 21

Auriga constellation map.svg

Capella is a star system of four stars in the constellation of Auriga, appearing as a single star to the naked eye. It is the third-brightest star or star system in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus and Vega. Always above the horizon for observers north of 44°N, the Capella system is only 42.9 light-years from the Sun. Its two largest stars are Capella Aa and Capella Ab, bright yellow giant stars in a binary pair, both around 2.5 times as massive as the Sun. They are in a very tight circular 104-day orbit, some 0.76 astronomical units (au) apart. Capella Aa is the cooler and more luminous of the two, with around 79 times the Sun's luminosity. An ageing red clump star, it is fusing helium to carbon and oxygen in its core. Ab is slightly less massive, smaller and hotter, about 73 times as luminous as the Sun. The Capella system is one of the brightest sources of X-rays in the sky, thought to come primarily from the corona of the more massive giant. The other two stars, a binary pair around 10,000 au from the first two, are faint, small and relatively cool red dwarfs. (Full article...)

March 22

Thaddeus McCotter, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg

The Thaddeus McCotter presidential campaign of 2012 began when he filed papers on July 1, 2011, to run for the Republican Party's 2012 nomination for President of the United States. He officially announced his candidacy the next day at a rock festival near Detroit. McCotter, who had been a congressman from Michigan since 2003, was first mentioned as a potential presidential candidate on an April 2011 episode of the Fox News show Red Eye. During the campaign, he focused on reform of government and Wall Street. Commentators noted that McCotter's lack of name recognition hindered his chances for nomination. When included in Republican presidential preference polls, he regularly received less than one percent support. Following a last place finish in the Ames Straw Poll and the lack of any invitation to presidential debates, he dropped his candidacy on September 22, 2011, and endorsed Mitt Romney. He resigned from Congress in July 2012 amid a fraud investigation surrounding his congressional re-election campaign. (Full article...)

March 23

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine

The Age of Reason is a work by English and American political activist Thomas Paine (pictured), arguing for the philosophical position of deism. Following in the tradition of eighteenth-century British deism, it challenges institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible. It was published in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, and became a best-seller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Fearing its revolutionary ideas, the British government prosecuted printers and book-sellers who tried to publish and distribute it. The Age of Reason highlights what Paine saw as corruption among Christian churches and criticizes their efforts to acquire political power. Paine advocates reason over revelation, leading him to reject miracles and to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of literature rather than as a divinely inspired text. He promotes natural religion and argues for the existence of a creator-God. Most of Paine's arguments had long been available to educated people, but his engaging, irreverent and inexpensive pamphlets made deism appealing and accessible to a mass audience. (Full article...)

March 24

Chastain at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con

Jessica Chastain (born March 24, 1977) is an American actress and film producer. She has earned critical praise for her portrayals of strong-willed women in films with feminist themes. Born and raised in Sacramento County, California, Chastain studied acting at Juilliard. She made her film debut in the drama Jolene (2008), and gained wide recognition in 2011 for starring roles in half a dozen films, including The Help, which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2012, she won a Golden Globe Award for playing a CIA agent in the thriller Zero Dark Thirty. Her highest-grossing releases were the science fiction films Interstellar (2014) and The Martian (2015). She continued to draw praise for her performances in the dramas A Most Violent Year (2014), Miss Sloane (2016), and Molly's Game (2017). Chastain is the founder of the production company Freckle Films, which promotes diversity in film. She is vocal about mental health issues, and gender and racial equality. (Full article...)

March 25

WDWRR - Lilly Belle 2016 2.jpg

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a 3-foot (914 mm) narrow-gauge American heritage railroad and attraction that encircles most of the Magic Kingdom theme park of Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. Constructed by WED Enterprises, it has three train stations along 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of track, and four historic steam locomotives, originally built by Baldwin Locomotive Works. On a typical day, two or three locomotives will complete round trips in 20 minutes on the main line. The railroad's development was led by Roger E. Broggie. The attraction's locomotives were acquired from the Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán, a narrow-gauge railroad system in Mexico, and altered to resemble locomotives built in the 1880s. The passenger cars were built from scratch. The railroad opened to the public for the first time on the theme park's opening day, October 1, 1971. Since then, it has become one of the world's most popular steam-powered railroads, with about 3.7 million passengers each year. (Full article...)

March 26

Dendrocygna bicolor wilhelma.jpg

The fulvous whistling duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) is a tropical and subtropical bird in the family of ducks, geese and swans. It breeds in much of Mexico and South America, the West Indies, the southern US, sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. It has mainly reddish brown plumage, long legs and a long grey bill, and shows a distinctive white band across its black tail in flight. Like other members of its ancient lineage, it has a whistling call. The preferred habitat is shallow lakes, paddy fields or other wetlands with plentiful vegetation. The nest, placed among dense vegetation or in a tree hole, typically holds around ten whitish eggs, which hatch in 24–29 days. The downy grey ducklings leave the nest within a day or so of hatching, but the parents continue to protect them until they fledge around nine weeks later. The fulvous whistling duck feeds in wetlands by day or night on seeds and other parts of plants. It has a huge range and is not threatened, despite hunting, poisoning by pesticides and natural predation by mammals, birds and reptiles. (Full article...)

March 27

Coalhouse Fort, Tilbury UK.jpg

Coalhouse Fort is an English artillery fort built in the 1860s to guard the lower Thames from seaborne attack. It stands at Coalhouse Point in Essex on the north bank of the river, at a location near East Tilbury that was vulnerable to raiders and invaders. It was the last in a series of fortifications dating back to the 15th century and was the direct successor to a smaller mid-19th century fort on the same site. It was initially a front-line fortification, supported by Shornemead Fort and Cliffe Fort on the Kent shore. Over time, as batteries and forts further downriver became the front line of the Thames defences, its main weapons were replaced with smaller quick-firing guns intended for use against fast-moving surface and aerial targets. Its last military use was as a training facility after the Second World War. Decommissioned in 1949, the fort fell into dereliction, despite its historical and architectural significance. Its restoration has been funded in part by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Warner Bros. film studio, which used it as a location for the opening scenes of the 2005 film Batman Begins. (Full article...)

March 28

Gaga performing during the Joanne World Tour in November 2017

Lady Gaga (born March 28, 1986) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to prominence in 2008 with her debut album The Fame and its singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". Her EP The Fame Monster followed the next year, and featured the successful singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro". The title track from her second album Born This Way (2011) became the fastest selling song on iTunes at the time of its release. With this as well as Artpop (2013), Cheek to Cheek (2014), and Joanne (2016), Gaga became the first woman to have four albums reach number one on the US Billboard 200 during the 2010s. In television, she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work in American Horror Story: Hotel (2015–2016). Gaga is known for her unconventionality, provocative work, and experimentation with her appearance and image. She supports a variety of activist causes, and created the Born This Way Foundation to empower youth and combat bullying. (Full article...)

Part of the Overview of Lady Gaga series, one of Wikipedia's featured topics.

March 29

Casey Stengel 1953.png

Casey Stengel (1890–1975) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder, and a manager for the New York Yankees championship teams of the 1950s and for the New York Mets in the early 1960s. He was an outfielder for the 1912 Brooklyn Dodgers, and played on their 1916 National League championship team. After serving in the navy during World War I, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Giants and the Boston Braves. In 1925 he began a career as a manager, with mostly poor finishes for the next twenty years, especially with the Dodgers (1934–1936) and Braves (1938–1943). In 1948 he was hired as Yankee manager. In his twelve seasons, his teams garnered ten pennants, winning seven World Series, including a record-setting streak of five in a row (1949–1953). He was known for his humorous and sometimes disjointed banter. His showmanship helped the Mets, an expansion team, when they hired him in late 1961, but the team finished last for four years in a row, and he retired in 1965. Remembered as one of the great characters in baseball history, Stengel was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. (Full article...)

March 30


DJ AM (A. M. Goldstein; March 30, 1973 – August 28, 2009) was an American disc jockey (DJ). Obsessed with deejaying as a child, Goldstein developed a drug addiction as a teenager and was sent to the controversial rehabilitation center Straight, Incorporated. His drug problems worsened until he attempted suicide in 1997. He became sober, and later sponsored other addicts through Alcoholics Anonymous. He began deejaying and joined the band Crazy Town in 1999 before focusing on a career as a solo DJ. In 2006, he accepted a million-dollar contract to perform weekly at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. In 2008, Goldstein and Travis Barker formed the duo TRV$DJAM. They were the only two survivors of a Learjet 60 crash later that year. Goldstein hosted the 2009 drug intervention television series Gone Too Far, and appeared to be struggling with his addiction during filming. In August 2009, he was found dead from a drug overdose. The DJ AM Memorial Fund was launched that year for people recovering from drug addiction. (Full article...)

March 31

Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs

"Nightswimming" is the eighth episode of the American television police procedural fantasy drama Awake, which originally aired on NBC in 2012. Written by Leonard Chang and co-executive producer Davey Holmes, and directed by executive producer Jeffrey Reiner, the episode received mixed reviews. Awake stars Jason Isaacs (pictured) as Michael Britten, a detective living in two separate realities after a car crash. In one reality, his wife Hannah (Laura Allen) survived the crash; in the other, his son Rex (Dylan Minnette) survived. In this episode, Michael helps accountant Marcus Ananyev (Elijah Alexander) and his wife Alina (Ayelet Zurer) start a new life in the Witness Protection Program after a gang member attempts to kill Marcus in Rex's reality. In the other reality, Michael and Hannah prepare for a new life in Oregon, and go swimming at a college pool to celebrate their love. During filming, a woman who was near the swimming pool confronted Isaacs about his nudity. The episode featured Otis Redding's "Pain in My Heart". "Nightswimming" drew 2.8 million viewers on its debut. (Full article...)

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