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February 14 Wikipedia featured article

Artist's impression of Epsilon Eridani's dust disc Epsilon Eridani is a star in the constellation of Eridanus. Viewable from most of Earth's surface along a declination 9.46° south of the celestial equator, it is 10.5 light-years away and has an apparent magnitude of 3.73. It is the third-closest individual star or star system visible to the unaided eye. Estimated at less than a billion years old, the young star has a higher level of magnetic activity than the present-day Sun, with a stellar wind 30 times as strong. Epsilon Eridani is smaller and less massive than the Sun, with a greater proportion of hydrogen and helium. It is a main-sequence star of spectral class K2, which means that energy generated at the core through nuclear fusion of hydrogen is emitted from the surface at a temperature of about 5,000 K, giving it an orange hue. Observations for more than twenty years have yielded evidence of a giant planet orbiting the star, making it one of the nearest systems with a candidate exoplanet. The detection of this planet, Epsilon Eridani b, was announced by Bruce Campbell, Gordon Walker and Stephenson Yang in 1987. (Full article...) Recently featured: Marvel Science Stories Bobby Peel Kedok Ketawa Archive By email More featured articles...

February 15 Wikipedia featured article

Léal Souvenir is a 1432 oil-on-oak panel portrait by the Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck. The panel was purchased in 1857 by the National Gallery, London, where it is on permanent display. The sitter has not been identified, but his individualistic features suggest a historical person rather than the hypothetical ideal usual in contemporary northern Renaissance portraiture. The portrait contains three layers of painted inscriptions, each rendered to look as if chiseled into stone. The first inscription is in a form of Greek and seems to spell "TYΜ.ωΘΕΟC", which has not been satisfactorily interpreted but has inspired some to title the work Timotheus. The middle lettering reads in French Leal Souvenir ("Loyal Memory") and indicates that the portrait is commemorative, completed after the man's death. The third records van Eyck's signature and the date of execution. The sitter's features have been described as "plain and rustic", yet he is presented as thoughtful and inward-looking. Art historians have detected mournfulness in his expression. (Full article...) Recently featured: Epsilon Eridani Marvel Science Stories Bobby Peel Archive By email More featured articles...

February 16 Wikipedia featured article

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is an adventure video game developed by Chunsoft. The second installment in the Zero Escape series, it was first released on February 16, 2012, for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The story follows the player character Sigma, a man who is abducted and forced along with eight other individuals to play the life-or-death Nonary Game. The characters begin to unravel its secrets and its true purpose. Virtue's Last Reward was developed as a result of the unexpected critical success that its predecessor, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, received in North America. Game director Kotaro Uchikoshi wrote the script, which was localized for North America by Aksys Games, and for Europe by Rising Star Games. Although critics were divided in their opinions of the escape-the-room sections, they gave Virtue's Last Reward positive reviews, especially for its story and characters. Nevertheless, the game was a commercial failure in Japan, which led to the temporary cancellation of its sequel. Development eventually resumed, and Zero Time Dilemma was released in 2016. (Full article...) Recently featured: Léal Souvenir Epsilon Eridani Marvel Science Stories Archive By email More featured articles...

February 17 Wikipedia featured article

Newton's parakeet (Psittacula exsul) is an extinct species of parrot that was endemic to the Mascarene island of Rodrigues in the western Indian Ocean. Several of its features diverged from related species, indicating long-term isolation and adaptation on Rodrigues. Around 40 centimetres (16 in) long, Newton's parakeet was roughly the size of the rose-ringed parakeet, a close relative and probable ancestor. Its plumage was mostly greyish or slate blue, although most species in its genus are green. Little is known about its behaviour; it may have fed on nuts of the bois d'olive tree, along with leaves. It was very tame, and was able to mimic speech. Newton's parakeet was first written about by the French Huguenot François Leguat in 1708, and was mentioned only a few times by other writers. The bird became scarce due to deforestation and perhaps hunting, and was probably wiped out by a series of cyclones and storms that hit Rodrigues in the late 19th century. Only two specimens remain, both from the 1870s. (Full article...) Recently featured: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward Léal Souvenir Epsilon Eridani Archive By email More featured articles...

February 18 Wikipedia featured article

Laurence Hyde Southern Cross is the sole wordless novel by Canadian artist Laurence Hyde (1914–1987). Published in 1951, its 118 wood-engraved images describe the effect of atomic testing on Pacific Islanders. Hyde (pictured) made the book to express his anger at the US military's nuclear tests in the Bikini Atoll. The story tells of the American military evacuating villagers from an island before testing nuclear weapons. A drunken soldier attempts to rape a fisherman's wife during the evacuation, and the fisherman kills him. Their child witnesses the death of its parents and destruction of its environment from the atomic tests. The wordless novel genre had flourished primarily during the 1920s and 1930s, but by the 1940s even the most prolific practitioners had abandoned it. Hyde was familiar with some such works by Lynd Ward, Otto Nückel, and the form's pioneer Frans Masereel. The high-contrast artwork of Southern Cross features dynamic curving lines uncommon in wood engraving and combines abstract imagery with realistic detail. (Full article...) Recently featured: Newton's parakeet Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward Léal Souvenir Archive By email More featured articles...

February 19 Wikipedia featured article

Brougham Castle, founded by Robert de Vieuxpont in the early 13th century, is south-east of Penrith, Cumbria, England, on the site of Brocavum, a Roman fort. The castle is scheduled as an Ancient Monument, along with the fort, as "Brougham Roman fort and Brougham Castle". The Vieuxponts were a powerful land-owning family in North West England and also owned the castles of Appleby and Brough. When Brougham Castle was built, Vieuxpont was one of a few lords loyal to the king in the region. In 1264 his grandson, also named Robert, was declared a traitor and his property was confiscated by Henry III. Brougham Castle and the other estates were eventually returned to the Vieuxpont family. The castle ruins were mentioned at the start of William Wordsworth's poem The Prelude, and were the subject of his Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle upon the Restoration of Lord Clifford, the Shepherd, to the Estates and Honours of his Ancestors. They also inspired a painting by J. M. W. Turner. The castle was left to the Ministry of Works in the 1930s and is today maintained by its successor, English Heritage. (Full article...) Recently featured: Southern Cross (wordless novel) Newton's parakeet Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward Archive By email More featured articles...