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Aretha Franklin in 2009
Aretha Franklin in 2009

On this day

August 17: Qixi Festival (Chinese calendar, 2018); Independence Day in Indonesia (1945)

Battle of Verneuil
Battle of Verneuil

Matthew Boulton (d. 1809) · Gene Stratton-Porter (b. 1863) · Korrie Layun Rampan (b. 1953)

More anniversaries:

Did you know?

Candy striped flatworm
Candy striped flatworm
  • ... that the candy striped flatworm (pictured) appears to glide across the seabed, being moved by cilia on its underside?
  • ... that Leonard Owen oversaw the building of Calder Hall, the world's first nuclear power station to produce electricity on a commercial scale?
  • ... that John F. Kennedy suggested the State of Washington replace its unofficial motto "Al-ki" with "For You and Me, a Destiny", a lyric from "Washington, My Home", the state song?
  • ... that while working for the predecessor of NASA, Chinese physicist Wu Zhonghua pioneered the three-dimensional flow theory, which has been used to design many aircraft engines?
  • ... that Brugada syndrome is known in the Philippines as Bangungut, or "a scream followed by sudden death during sleep"?
  • ... that American rapper Gizzle worked as a ghostwriter for other hip hop artists before releasing her debut mixtape in 2017?
  • ... that the killer whale Tahlequah carried her dead calf for over two weeks in an apparent showing of grief?

Today's Featured Article

Golden jackal at Upper Bhavani, India

The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a wolf-like canid native to Southeast Europe, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and regions of Southeast Asia. Compared with the Arabian wolf, which is the smallest of the gray wolves (Canis lupus), the jackal is smaller and possesses shorter legs, a shorter tail, a more elongated torso, a less-prominent forehead, and a narrower and more pointed muzzle. The coat can vary from a pale creamy yellow in summer to a dark tawny beige in winter. The golden jackal has a widespread distribution and high density in areas with plenty of available food and optimum shelter. The ancestor of the golden jackal is believed to be the extinct Arno river dog that lived in Mediterranean Europe 1.9 million years ago. It is more closely related to the gray wolf, coyote, African golden wolf, and Ethiopian wolf than it is to the African black-backed or side-striped jackals. The golden jackal is expanding beyond its native grounds in Southeast Europe into Central Europe, occupying areas where there are few or no wolves. (Full article...)

Photo of the Day

Hunter's Home

Hunter's Home is an oil painting by Henry Voordecker held by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. A typical genre painting, it depicts a hunter at home, surrounded by animals and members of his family. The work is in a Biedermeier style, and its themes are characterized by the reinforced feelings of security, Gemütlichkeit, and traditional simplicity, portraying a sentimental view of the world.

Painting: Henry Voordecker

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