This Signpost "Featured content" report covers material promoted from 19 November through 15 December. Text may be adapted from the respective articles and lists; see their page histories for attribution.
Scarlett Johansson(nominated by FrB.TG) is an American actress and singer. She was among the world's highest-paid actresses from 2014 to 2016, has made multiple appearances in the Forbes Celebrity 100, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has acted in numerous movies, and was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards. In addition, Johansson has been on Broadway and won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. She was the highest-grossing actress of 2016, and is also, as of May 2017, the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America. As a public figure, Johansson is considered a modern sex symbol of Hollywood. She is a prominent celebrity brand endorser, and also supports various charities and causes. She has been married twice, first to Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds from 2008 to 2011 and later to French businessman Romain Dauriac (with whom she has a daughter) from 2014 to 2017.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz(nominated by Auntieruth55) was a Prussianlieutenant general, and among the greatest of the Prussian cavalry generals. He commanded one of the first Hussar squadrons of Frederick the Great's army and is credited with the development of the Prussian cavalry to its efficient level of performance in the Seven Years' War. Seydlitz became legendary throughout the Prussian Army both for his leadership and for his reckless courage. During the Seven Years' War, he came into his own as a cavalry general, known for his coup d'œil, his ability to assess at a glance the entire battlefield situation and to understand intuitively what needed to be done: he excelled at converting the King's directives into flexible tactics. In the war, he played a key role in several battles. Frederick rewarded him with the Order of the Black Eagle on the field after the Battle of Rossbach; he had already received the Pour le Mérite for his action at the Battle of Kolin. Although estranged from Frederick for several years, the two were reconciled during Seydlitz's final illness. Seydlitz died in 1773, and Frederick's heirs included his name on the Equestrian statue of Frederick the Great in Berlin, in a place of honor.
Lilias Armstrong(nominated by Umimmak) was an English phonetician. Her book on English intonation, written with Ida C. Ward, was in print for fifty years. She also provided some of the first detailed descriptions of tone in Somali and Kikuyu. Armstrong grew up in Northern England. She graduated from the University of Leeds, where she studied French and Latin. She taught French in an elementary school in the London suburbs before joining the University College Phonetics Department, headed by Daniel Jones, where she was eventually appointed as a reader. Her works include the 1926 book A Handbook of English Intonation (co-written with Ward), the 1934 paper "The Phonetic Structure of Somali", and the book The Phonetic and Tonal Structure of Kikuyu, published posthumously in 1940. She was the subeditor of the International Phonetic Association's journal Le Maître Phonétique for more than a decade, and was praised in her day for her teaching. Jones wrote in his obituary of her that she was "one of the finest phoneticians in the world".
Saguaro National Park(nominated by Finetooth) is a United States national park in Pima County in southeastern Arizona. The 92,000-acre (37,000 ha) park consists of two separate areas—the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) about 10 miles (16 km) west of the city of Tucson and the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) about 10 miles (16 km) east of the city—that preserve Sonoran Desert landscapes, fauna, and flora, including the giant saguaro cactus. Earlier residents of and visitors to the lands in and around the park before its creation included the Hohokam, Sobaipuri, Tohono O'odham, Apaches, Spanish explorers, missionaries, miners, homesteaders, and ranchers. In 1933, President Herbert Hoover, using the power of the Antiquities Act, established the original park, Saguaro National Monument, in the Rincon Mountains. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy added the Tucson Mountain District to the monument and renamed the original tract the Rincon Mountain District. Congress combined the TMD and the RMD to form the national park in 1994. Popular activities in the park include hiking on its 165 miles (266 km) of trails and sightseeing along paved roads near its two visitor centers. Both districts allow bicycling and horseback riding on selected roads and trails. The RMD offers limited wilderness camping, but there is no overnight camping in the TMD.
Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral(nominated by Ceoil () is a Gothic revival three spire cathedral in the city of Cork, Ireland. It belongs to the Church of Ireland and was completed in 1879. Christian use of the site dates back to a seventh-century monastery, and was, according to tradition, founded by Finbarr of Cork. During the medieval period, the site underwent successive wars, waves of church building and damage. Around 1536, during the Protestant Reformation, the cathedral became part of the Established Church. After a previous building was destroyed, work began in 1863, and resulted in the first major commission for the Victorian architect William Burges, who designed most of Fin Barre's architecture, sculpture, stained glass, mosaics and interior furniture. Saint Fin Barre's foundation stone was laid in 1865. The cathedral was consecrated in 1870, and the limestone spires completed by October 1879.
The black honeyeater(nominated by Cas Liber) is a species of bird in the honeyeater familyMeliphagidae, and the sole species in the genusSugomel. The black honeyeater exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the male being black and white while the female is a speckled grey brown; immature birds look like the female. The species is endemic to Australia, and ranges widely across the arid areas of the continent, through open woodland and shrubland, particularly in areas where the emu bush and related species occur. A nectar feeder, the black honeyeater has a long curved bill to reach the base of tubular flowers such as those of the emu bush. It also takes insects in the air, and regularly eats ash left behind at campfires. Cup-shaped nests are built in the forks of small trees or shrubs. The male engages in a soaring song flight in the mating season, but contributes little to nest building or incubating the clutch of two to three eggs. Both sexes feed and care for the young. While the population appears to be decreasing, the black honeyeater is sufficiently numerous and widespread to be considered least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List of Endangered species.
The Bat (play)(nominated by RL0919) is a three-act play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood that was first produced by Lincoln Wagenhals and Collin Kemper in 1920. The story combines elements of mystery and comedy as Cornelia Van Gorder and guests at her rented summer home spend a stormy night searching for stolen money they believe is hidden in the house, while they are stalked by a masked criminal known as "the Bat". The Bat's identity is revealed at the end of the final act. After opening in 1920, The Bat was a critical and commercial success. It ran for 867 performances in New York and 327 performances in London; several road companies took the show to other areas. The play was revived twice on Broadway, in 1937 and 1953. It had several adaptations, including a 1926 novelization credited to Rinehart and Hopwood but ghostwritten by Stephen Vincent Benét. Three film adaptations were produced: The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). The play and its adaptations inspired other comedy-mysteries with similar settings, and influenced the creation of the comic-book superhero Batman.
Elizabeth David(nominated by Tim riley & SchroCat) was a British cookery writer. In the mid-20th century she strongly influenced the revitalisation of home cookery in her native country and beyond with articles and books about European cuisines and traditional British dishes. In the 1930s she studied art in Paris, became an actress, and ran off with a married man with whom she sailed in a small boat to Italy, where their boat was confiscated. They reached Greece, where they were nearly trapped by the German invasion in 1941, but escaped to Egypt, where they parted. She then worked for the British government, running a library in Cairo. While there she married, but she and her husband separated soon after and subsequently divorced. In 1946 David returned to England, where food rationing imposed during the Second World War remained in force. Dismayed by the contrast between the bad food served in Britain and the simple, excellent food to which she had become used in France, Greece and Egypt, she began to write magazine articles about Mediterranean cooking. They attracted favourable attention, and in 1950, at the age of 36, she published A Book of Mediterranean Food. Her recipes called for ingredients such as aubergines, basil, figs, garlic, olive oil and saffron, which at the time were scarcely available in Britain. Books on French, Italian and, later, English cuisine followed. By the 1960s David was a major influence on British cooking. She was deeply hostile to anything second-rate, and to over-elaborate cooking and bogus substitutes for classic dishes and ingredients. In 1965 she opened a shop selling kitchen equipment, which continued to trade under her name after she left it in 1973. David's reputation rests on her articles and books, which have been continually reprinted. Between 1950 and 1984 she published eight books; after her death her literary executor completed a further four that she had planned and worked on. David's influence on British cooking extended to professional as well as domestic cooks, and chefs and restaurateurs of later generations such as Terence Conran, Simon Hopkinson, Prue Leith, Jamie Oliver, Tom Parker Bowles and Rick Stein have acknowledged her importance to them. In the U.S., cooks and writers including Julia Child, Richard Olney and Alice Waters have written of her influence.
Der 100. Psalm(nominated by Gerda Arendt) is a composition in four movements by Max Reger in D major for mixed choir and orchestra, a late Romantic setting of Psalm 100. Reger began composing the work in 1908 for the 350th anniversary of Jena University. The occasion was celebrated that year with the premiere of Part I, conducted by Fritz Stein on 31 July. Reger completed the composition in 1909. It was published that year and premiered simultaneously on 23 February 1910 in Chemnitz, conducted by the composer, and in Breslau, conducted by Georg Dohrn. Reger structured the text in four movements, as a choral symphony. He scored it for a four-part choir with often divided voices, a large symphony orchestra, and organ. He requested additional brass players for the climax in the last movement when four trumpets and four trombones play the melody of Luther's chorale "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott". Reger used both late-Romantic features of harmony and dynamics, and polyphony in the Baroque tradition, culminating in the final movement, a double fugue with the added instrumental cantus firmus.In 1922, the biographer Eugen Segnitz noted that this work, of intense expression, was unique in the sacred music of its period, with its convincing musical interpretation of the biblical text and manifold shades of emotion. Paul Hindemith wrote a trimmed adaption which probably helped to keep the work in the repertory, and François Callebout wrote an organ version, making the work accessible for smaller choirs. The organ version was first performed in 2003, in Wiesbaden where the composer studied. The celebration of the Reger Year 2016, reflecting the centenary of the composer's death, led to several performances of Der 100. Psalm.
Megalodon(nominated by User:Dunkleosteus77) meaning "big tooth", is an extinctspecies of shark that lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago (mya), from the Early Miocene to the end of the Pliocene. The shark has made appearances in several media, such as the Discovery Channel's docufictionMegalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. Scientists suggest that megalodon looked like a stockier version of the great white shark, though it may have looked similar to the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) or the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus). Regarded as one of the largest and most powerful fish to have ever lived, fossil remains of megalodon suggest that this giant shark reached a length of 18 meters (59 ft), though there are many other competing figures due to fragmentary remains; for example, 24 to 25 meters (79 to 82 ft). Their large jaws could exert a bite force of up to 110,000 to 180,000 newtons (25,000 to 40,000 lbf). Their teeth were thick and robust, built for grabbing prey and breaking bone. Megalodon probably had a profound impact on the structure of marine communities. The fossil record indicates that it had a cosmopolitan distribution. Megladon would have fed on large sea animals. The animal faced competition from whale-eating cetaceans, such as Livyatan and ancient killer whales (Orcinus citoniensis), which likely contributed to its extinction. As it preferred warmer waters, it is thought that oceanic cooling associated with the onset of the ice ages, coupled with the lowering of sea levels and resulting loss of suitable nursery areas, may have also contributed to its decline. A reduction in the diversity of baleen whales and a shift in their distribution toward polar regions may have reduced megalodon's primary food source. The extinction of the shark appeared to affect other animals; for example, the size of baleen whales increased significantly after the shark had disappeared.
History of the British farthing(nominated by Wehwalt): The British farthing was a British coin worth a quarter of an old penny ( 1⁄960 of a pound sterling). It ceased to be struck after 1956 and was demonetised from 1 January 1961. The British farthing is a continuation of the English farthing. Only pattern farthings were struck under Queen Anne as there was a glut of farthings from previous reigns. The coin was struck intermittently under George I and George II, but by the reign of George III, counterfeits were so prevalent the Royal Mint ceased striking copper coinage after 1775. The next farthings were the first struck by steam power, in 1799 by Matthew Boulton at his Soho Mint under licence. Boulton coined more in 1806, and the Royal Mint resumed production in 1821. The farthing was struck fairly regularly under George IV and William IV. By then it carried a scaled-down version of the penny's design, and would continue to mirror the penny and halfpenny until after 1936. Farthings were struck in most years of Queen Victoria's long reign. The coin continued to be issued in most years of the first half of the 20th century, and in 1937 it finally received its own reverse design, a wren. By the time the coin bore the portrait of Elizabeth II in 1953–1956, inflation had eroded its value. A fall in commercial demand also contributed to its demise.
The Three Sisters (Oregon)(nominated by ceranthor) are volcanic peaks that form a complex volcano in the U.S. state of Oregon. They are part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Cascade Range in western North America. More than 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in elevation, they are the third-, fourth-, and fifth-highest peaks in Oregon. Located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, they are about 10 miles (16 km) south of the nearest town, Sisters. The mountains, particularly South Sister, are popular destinations for climbing and scrambling. They are subject to frequent snowfall, occasional rain, and extreme temperature variation between seasons. Although they are often grouped together as one unit, the three mountains differ in geology and eruptive history. Neither North Sister nor Middle Sister has erupted in the last 14,000 years. South Sister last erupted about 2,000 years ago and might erupt in the future, threatening life within the region. After satellite imagery detected tectonic uplift near South Sister in 2000, the United States Geological Survey improved monitoring in the immediate area.