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Ruins at Byblos
Ruins at Byblos

The royal necropolis of Byblos is a group of nine Bronze Age underground shaft and chamber tombs housing the sarcophagi of several kings of the city. The site of Byblos (ruins pictured) was rediscovered in the late 19th century by French scholar Ernest Renan near modern Jbeil, Lebanon. Byblos traded with Egypt during the Bronze Age; this influence was shown in excavated reliefs bearing Egyptian hieroglyphs. In 1922, heavy rains triggered a landslide exposing an underground tomb containing a massive stone sarcophagus. The grave was explored by archaeologist Charles Virolleaud and Egyptologist Pierre Montet, who unearthed eight more tombs. The earliest tombs dated back to the 19th century BC; some were unspoiled, and contained royal gifts from pharaohs Amenemhat III and Amenemhat IV. The more recent graves, some from the Late Bronze Age, were robbed in antiquity. Seven stone sarcophagi were discovered, all undecorated except the Ahiram sarcophagus, famed for its Phoenician inscription. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 10 Wikipedia featured article
Allison Janney, who played C. J. Cregg
Allison Janney, who played C. J. Cregg

C. J. Cregg is a fictional character, played by Allison Janney (pictured), on the American serial television drama The West Wing. From the beginning of the series in 1999 until the sixth season in 2004, she is White House press secretary in the administration of President Josiah Bartlet. After that, she serves as the president's chief of staff until the end of the show in 2006. The character is said to have been partially inspired by real-life White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, who worked as a consultant on the show. Aaron Sorkin, the show's creator, designed Cregg to be assertive and independent from the show's men. She is portrayed as a smart, strong, witty, and thoughtful character, although she is frequently patronized and objectified by her male coworkers. Initially, she is portrayed as politically inept, but she quickly becomes one of the most savvy characters on the show. For her performance, Janney received four Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 11 Wikipedia featured article

Wipeout 2048 is a racing video game in which players pilot anti-gravity ships around futuristic race tracks. It was developed by SCE Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. A launch title for the PlayStation Vita hand-held console, the game was released on 19 January 2012 in Japan and on 22 February in Europe. It is the ninth instalment of the series Wipeout and the last game to be developed by Studio Liverpool. Wipeout 2048 is a prequel to the first game in the series. It was designed as a test-bed for the Vita. Studio Liverpool's suggestions of a touchscreen device and two separate analogue sticks were eventually incorporated into the console. Wipeout 2048 includes downloadable content and an online multiplayer mode, and allows cross-platform play with PlayStation 3 owners of Wipeout HD. Reviewers agreed that the game's graphics and visuals showcased the power of the Vita, but criticised its long loading times and other technical issues. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 12 Wikipedia featured article
Villa La Rotonda
Villa La Rotonda

Palladian architec­ture is an archi­tec­tural style based on the work of Andrea Palladio. Buildings which adhere to his concepts of symmetry, perspective and the principles of classical architecture are described as Palladian. This can be seen at Villa La Rotonda (pictured), one of Palladio's most influential designs, which he began around 1565. The style spread from Italy in the early 17th century and was introduced to England by Inigo Jones. The early 18th century saw a resurgence led by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, whose own Chiswick House, and Holkham Hall with William Kent, are among the finest English Palladian buildings. In North America, Palladianism was taken up by Thomas Jefferson; his home, Monticello, was based on a design by Palladio. The style was superseded by Neoclassical architecture in the later 18th century, and in the 19th both were eclipsed by the Gothic Revival. Palladio remains an influential architect and works in his style continue to be built. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 13 Wikipedia featured article

King's Highway 403 is a 400-series highway in Ontario, Canada, between Woodstock and Mississauga, which branches off southwards from Highway 401 and travels through Hamilton and Mississauga before reuniting with the 401. It is concurrent and co-signed with the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) for 22 km (14 mi) from Burlington to Oakville. The 403 designation was applied to a short stub in 1963; the entire route was completed when the Brantford to Ancaster section opened on August 15, 1997. The Woodstock to Burlington stretch was dedicated as the Alexander Graham Bell Parkway in 2016. Most of Highway 403 runs through suburbia, although the areas west of Hamilton are agricultural except for Brantford. In Hamilton, Highway 403 descends the Niagara Escarpment, then runs north of Hamilton Harbour to the QEW. It then travels through Burlington and Oakville, departing from the QEW to the north at the Mississauga–Oakville boundary. It then crosses Mississauga's city centre before turning north and ends at Highway 401. Some lanes continue north to Brampton as Highway 410. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 14 Wikipedia featured article
Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain, towering to the north of Darjeeling
Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain, towering to the north of Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a town in India's East­ern Hima­layas, situated close to the borders with Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China. In the mid-19th century, when much of India was under East India Company rule, Darjeeling was founded as a summer retreat. On the slopes below, tea plantations were laid out where Darjeeling tea is grown. Thousands of labourers from the surrounding regions built the town and worked in the tea plantations. Their descendants constitute the majority of Darjeeling's residents today and give the town a cosmopolitan ethnic mix. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, ascending 2,100 metres (7,000 ft), is a World Heritage Site and a popular tourist experience. The local economy is largely dependent on tourism and tea growing. Population growth has made unregulated construction, traffic congestion and water shortages common. Deforestation has damaged the environment, including the springs that supply the town's water. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 15 Wikipedia featured article
Rømer's observations of the occultations of Io
Rømer's observations of the occultations of Io

The speed of light in vacuum, denoted c, is a physical constant that is exactly equal to 299,792,458 metres per second (approximately 186,282 miles per second, or one foot per nanosecond). According to standard modern physics, visible light and all other electromagnetic radiation moves at this constant speed in vacuum, and c is the fastest speed at which matter, energy or any signal carrying information can travel through space. Ole Rømer first demonstrated in 1676 that light does not travel instantaneously by studying the apparent motion of Jupiter's moon Io (diagram shown). In an 1865 paper, James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light was an electromagnetic wave, and therefore travelled at the speed c. According to the theory of special relativity, which interrelates space and time, all observers will measure the speed of light as being the same, regardless of the inertial reference frame of the observer or the velocity of the object emitting the light. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 16 Wikipedia featured article
Bodies of massacre victims, many with hands still bound
Bodies of massacre victims, many with hands still bound

The Hill 303 massacre was a war crime that took place during the Korean War on August 17, 1950, on a hill above Waegwan, South Korea, when forty-one US Army soldiers held as prisoners of war were murdered. Troops of the North Korean People's Army (KPA) surrounded elements of the US 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter. Most of the US troops escaped but one platoon misidentified KPA troops as South Korean reinforcements and was captured. US forces counterattacked and as the KPA began to retreat one of their officers ordered the prisoners to be shot so they would not slow them down. US commanders subsequently broadcast radio messages and dropped leaflets demanding that senior KPA commanders be held responsible. The KPA commanders, concerned about the way their soldiers were treating prisoners of war, laid out stricter guidelines for handling captives. Memorials were later constructed on Hill 303 to honor the victims of the massacre. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 17 Wikipedia featured article
"There is no judgment except for God", the motto of the Kharijites, in Arabic
"There is no judgment except for God", the motto of the Kharijites, in Arabic

The Kharijites were an Islamic sect which emerged during the First Muslim Civil War (656–661). The first Kharijites emerged from the supporters of Caliph Ali while protesting against his peace talks with Mu'awiya at the Battle of Siffin in 657. After Ali defeated the Kharijites, he was assassinated in 661 by a vengeful Kharijite. As caliph, Mu'awiya kept them in check until the power vacuum caused by the Second Muslim Civil War allowed them to seize large areas in Persia and Arabia. Weakened by internal disputes, they were defeated by subsequent governments, although their revolts lingered on into the Abbasid period. Ibadis are the sole surviving sect. Rejecting noble descent as a requirement for the caliphal office, the Kharijites held that any pious Muslim could become caliph. Most Kharijite groups branded other Muslims as unbelievers. Mainstream Muslims have viewed the Kharijites as religious extremists, although some modern Arab historians have stressed their egalitarian tendencies. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 18 Wikipedia featured article

Confirmation bias is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions. As a result, people recall information from memory selectively, and interpret it in a biased way, in particular for emotionally significant issues and established beliefs. Biased search, interpretation and recall have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (disagreeing parties diverging further when they are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (beliefs persisting after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the primacy effect (data encountered early in a series being given more weight) and illusory correlation (people falsely perceiving an association between two events or situations). Explanations for these biases include wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. This can lead to disastrous decisions, especially in organizational, military and political contexts. (Full article...)

Go to article - August 19 Wikipedia featured article