A grizzly bear, Operation Mascot, Freedom Planet & Liberty Island, cosmic dust clouds, a cricket five-wicket list, more fine art, & a terrible, terrible opera...: Two articles, three lists, and twenty five pictures became featured.
This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted to featured status from 25 January to 31 January. Text may be adapted from the respective articles and lists; see their page histories for attribution.
Operation Mascot(nominated by Nick-D)Operation Mascot was an unsuccessful British air raid conducted by carrier-borne aircraft against the German battleship Tirpitz at her anchorage in Kaafjord, Norway, on 17 July 1944. The attack was just one of a series of strikes against the battleship launched from aircraft carriers between April and August 1944, initiated after Allied intelligence determined that the damage inflicted during the Operation Tungsten raid on 3 April had been repaired. A force of 44 British dive bombers and 40 fighters took off from three aircraft carriers on 17 July. German radar stations detected these aircraft while they were en route to Kaafjord so the Tirpitz was protected by a smoke screen when the strike force arrived.
Thomas Linley the elder(created by Thomas Gainsborough, nominated by SagaciousPhil)Thomas Linley was an English tenor and musician active in Bath, Somerset. Linley was one of the "most famous of English-born [music] teachers", according to some music historians and musicologists. As his many children grew and he developed their musical talent, he drew an increasing amount of income from their concerts while also managing the assembly rooms in Bath as Musical Director. Assembly rooms were gathering places for members of the higher social classes and Linley's children were the stars of his rooms. When his finances began to prosper, the family moved to a more fashionable address, Royal Crescent. It was said of Linley that he fathered a "nest of nightingales". How, nobody knows; his wife was ugly, but the children beautiful. The children started to feature in concerts further afield, including oratorios in London, and Linley demanded high fees, eventually getting rich on their performances. He lived to be fairly old, but most of his children died before him... wonder how much free will to make choices those children actually had.
Rho Ophiuchi Great Rift, Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, and Infra-red view of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex(created by ESO, Rogelio Bernal Andreo, and NASA respectively, nominated by The Herald) "The unlucky Ophiucus Set", a 3 photo set that first features "Rho Ophiuchi Great Rift" A rich collection of colorful astronomical objects is revealed in this picturesque image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE. In astronomy, the Great Rift (sometimes called the Dark Side, Dark Rift, or, less commonly, Dark River) is a series of overlapping, non-luminous, molecular dust clouds that are located between the Solar System and the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy at a distance of about 100 parsecs or about 300 light years (2×1015 miles or 3×1015 kilometers) from Earth. The clouds are estimated to contain about 1 million solar masses of plasma and dust. The Rho Ophiuchi cloud (pronounced ‘oh-fee-yoo-ki’ and named after a bright star in the region) is found rising above the plane of the Milky Way in the night sky, bordering the constellations Ophiuchus and Scorpius. It’s one of the nearest star-forming regions to Earth, allowing us to resolve much more detail than in similar but more distant regions, like the Orion Nebula. Photograph by Rogelio Bernal Andreo of the binary star system Rho Ophiuchi. This star-forming region is located only 400 light years from Earth and is surrounded by a red emission nebula and numerous light and dark brown dust lanes. Nearby is the yellow star Antares while the globular cluster, M4, is visible between Antares and the red emission nebula. And what set of space photos would be complete without an infrared light view of Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud complex (by NASA). Beam me up Scotty.......
Northeaster(created by Winslow Homer, nominated by Hafspajen)Northeaster is one of innumerable paintings of marine subjects and seascapes by the talented late-19th-century American painter Winslow Homer (1836 –1910). He painted several enchanting paintings on wonderful marine subjects, depicting the fishermen's life, work, and families. Later he chose more and more to paint the sea itself, especially beautiful paintings of the dramatic, stormy seas and the waves crashing onto the rocky shore. It has been said that they "are among the strongest expressions in all art of the power and dangerous beauty of the sea." He is considered one of the foremost painters of the 19th-century US and a preeminent figure in American art. Homer's studio at Prouts Neck, Maine is a museum now.
Louis Guéymard in Robert le diable(created by Gustave Courbet, nominated by Crisco 1492) This is a painting of Louis Guéymard in Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera Robert le diable, painted by Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet, a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. It's rather a treat to get something interesting and unique, such a major painter illustrating an opera. It's a pity the opera's absolute shite. No, seriously. Let me summarize the plot: Robert, Duke of Normandy, is a terrible person, hence him being called "Robert the Devil". However he shows signs of his good nature, such as when he gives a woman over to be raped by his men... but then thinks better of it and stops them... when he realizes she's his half-sister. I'm not even exaggerating. His father, Bertram, is a more literal devil, and is trying to convince him to damn himself by signing his soul away, because Robert's such a good person that he'd lose him otherwise. He does this by sending him to an abbey full of the ghosts of naughty nuns to get a magic branch that he can use to gain the Princess Isabelle, his object of lust. Because apparently using the branch is equivalent to signing his soul away. Never mind, the whole point is to titillate the men in the audience who have a naughty nun fetish, so who cares about a coherent plot? When he goes to get Isabelle, she thinks Robert is using witchcraft to overpower everyone. Because he is. She convinces him to break the branch, and, having lost the ability to play witchcraft freeze tag, he has to flee without her. Last act! Bertram finally reveals he's Robert's father! And Robert's about to sign the contract! But his half-sister - you know, the one he was going to allow to be raped - arrives and tells him that Isabelle is waiting in a carriage just over there, ready to go off and marry him. Robert decides he should sign the contract anyway, just to be safe. Then he hears a religious hymn floating over the breeze... and in a life-changing moment... decides to not sign the contract, and just get everything he wanted without it. Big chorus about how he has succeeded in overcoming evil, despite having never done a single likeable act in the entire opera.
Of course, plenty of good operas have stupidities in their plot - Der fliegende Holländer is basically a teenage girl's Twilight undead pirate fanfic, about how no one understands her, and if only she could save someone bad with her love! It's saved by some extremely good music. The Magic Flute has a plot that's completely ridiculous. It's by Mozart, hence its excellent music (though why it's more popular than Don Giovanni, which is also by Mozart, but has a coherent, interesting plot, I'll never know). Maybe Robert le diable is saved by its music? No: it's written by Meyerbeer, so it was doomed from the start.
Kodiak bear(created by Yathin S Krishnappa, nominated by Hafspajen) The Kodiak bear, also called Ursus arctos middendorffi - not to be confused with Venus willendorffi, is one of the largest bears in the world. The Kodiak bear, also known as the Alaskan grizzly bear, is a lovely looking giant bear with fluffy, soft and light brown fur. They are big and heavy; the small females are about 225 kg (500 lbs) and the big males around 635 kg (1400 lbs). That is quite a lot, ladies and gentlemen. That is about as heavy as a horse. They sleep in the winter and come out in the spring to eat berries and veggies and salmon when it is in season. They don't eat people; the Kodiak bears generally keep away from people. If you meet a bear, just back away slowly and silently, without running or making sudden movements or noises. However, don't go near any bear with cubs, or they will attack. Also, don't try to take away their food and don't do stupid things like throwing stones on them, because they don't like it. Like one of the morons I had the unfortunate idea to go hiking with. A bear was passing by our tent in the evening and the jerk threw a stone on the poor bear, who did nothing at all, just walked by. The bear didn't do anything during the night - very diplomatic of him, I think - but next evening when we came back from a long hike, we found the tent pulled out from the ground and totally ripped into pieces. The jerk was whining and fussing, but I have to say it gave me a certain satisfaction. Why on earth he had to throw that stone at the poor animal for? So be nice to the bears and don't force them to get angry with you. They are very intelligent animals too. The level of intelligence seems to be somewhere between that of an average canine and a primate, so individual bears have personalities and unique ways of dealing with situations. One may have lunch with you while the other has you for lunch. If you are stupid.
Saint George(created by Carlo Crivelli, nominated by Crisco 1492)Saint George was a soldier in the Roman army and was later venerated as a Christian martyr. A highly celebrated saint in both the Western and EasternChristian churches, St. George is the patron saint of England. His cross forms the national flag of England and features within the Union Flag of the United Kingdom. He is often depicted as a soldier in a suit of armour or chain mail, bearing a lance, riding a white horse, and often slaying a dragon. Eastern Orthodox depictions of Saint George slaying a dragon often include the image of the young maiden who looks on from a distance, where the dragon represents Evil. He is celebrated on 23 April and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints. The episode of St. George and the Dragon was a legend developed by Crusaders returned from the Holy Lands. On the establishment of George as a popular saint and protective giant, Erasmus, in The Praise of Folly (1509, printed 1511), remarked "The Christians have now their gigantic St. George, as well as the pagans had their Hercules." He is the patron saint of the agricultural workers, sheep, shepherds, field workers, scouting, archers, armourers, butchers, knights, cavalry, chivalry, crusaders, equestrians, horsemen, horses, the Brazilian football team, and the Portuguese Navy, among others.
Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe: All mimsy were ye borogoves; And ye mome raths outgrabe.
Other strophes soon followed. John Tenniel reluctantly agreed to illustrate the book in 1871, and his illustrations are still the defining images of the poem. The illustration of the Jabberwocky may reflect the contemporary Victorian obsession with natural history and the fast-evolving sciences of palaeontology and geology. The poem was soon translated (!) into other languages too, and lots of interesting poetry come out of that. In German it goes like this:
Es brillig war. Die schlichten Toven Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben: Und aller-mümsige Burggoven Die mohmen Räth' ausgraben.
It sounds best in Welsh, of course:
Mae'n brydgell ac mae'r brochgim stwd Yn gimblo a gyrian yn y mhello: Pob cólomrws yn féddabwd, A'r hoch oma'n chwibruo.
Nobody can deny that original touche to it.
Elliðaey(created by Diego Delso, nominated by Crisco 1492)Elliðaey is the north-easterly most of the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), an archipelago consisting of 15 or 18 islands (and assorted smaller rocks) located south of Iceland. The island is uninhabited, but has a large hunting lodge constructed in 1953. The lodge is owned by the Elliðaey Hunting Association. Despite rumors to the contrary circulating on the internet, the island was not gifted to the pop singer Björk by the Icelandic government.
Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos, California(created and nominated by David Iliff)Point Lobos is the common name for the area including Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and two adjoining marine protected areas: Point Lobos State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Point Lobos State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA). Point Lobos is just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, United States, at the north end of the Big Sur coast of the Pacific Ocean. The iconic Point Lobos area is geologically unique and contains a rich and diverse flora and fauna, both on land and sea. Called the "greatest meeting of land and water in the world" by landscape artist Francis McComas, Point Lobos is considered a crown jewel in the California state park system. The original Point Lobos Ecological Reserve was created in 1973. As one of California's most well-known and longstanding no-take reserves, its large and diverse protected fish populations make Point Lobos a hotspot for non-consumptive recreational diving.