The Wikipedia article of the day for August 17, 2017 is Hurricane Andrew.
Hurricane Andrew (1992) was an Atlantic hurricane, the most destructive one ever in Florida. Named as a tropical storm on August 17, it hit the northwestern Bahamas six days later at Category 5 strength, leaving 1,700 people homeless, killing four, and disrupting the transport, communications, water, sanitation, agriculture, and fishing sectors. It struck Florida on August 24 with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph (270 km/h). In the city of Homestead in Miami-Dade County, it stripped many homes of all but their concrete foundations. Statewide, Andrew destroyed or damaged over 164,000 homes, killed 44 people, and left a record $25 billion in damage. A facility housing Burmese pythons was destroyed, releasing them into the Everglades, where they now number up to 300,000. The hurricane destroyed oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Louisiana, where it downed 80% of the trees in the Atchafalaya River Basin, devastated agriculture, and caused 17 deaths. The storm spawned at least 28 tornadoes along the Gulf Coast, mostly in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. In total, Andrew caused $26.5 billion in damage and left 65 people dead.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 16, 2017 is Richard II of England.
Richard II (1367–1400) was King of England, the last
of the main-line kings of the House of Plantagenet. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. A son of Edward, the Black Prince, he was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III. Richard was tall, good-looking and intelligent, but he may have suffered from a personality disorder, especially toward the end of his reign. Less warlike than his father or grandfather, he sought to bring an end to the Hundred Years’ War started by Edward III. A firm believer in the royal prerogative, he restrained the power of the aristocracy and relied on a private retinue for military protection. He promoted an elevated image of himself, and art and culture were at the centre of his court, in contrast to the fraternal, martial court of his grandfather. Shakespeare’s play Richard II portrays his misrule and deposition as responsible for the 15th-century Wars of the Roses, but modern historians disagree, attributing his downfall to practices that were unacceptable to the political establishment.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 15, 2017 is Jennifer Lawrence.
Jennifer Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. After starring in the television series The Bill Engvall Show (2007–2009) and making her film debut in Garden Party (2008), she had her breakthrough with Winter’s Bone in 2010. She took over the role of Mystique in the X-Men film series in 2011, and starred as Katniss Everdeen in the top-grossing Hunger Games films (2012–2015). She became the second-youngest recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing a depressed widow in Silver Linings Playbook (2012). She won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for playing a troubled wife in American Hustle (2013), and received Golden Globe Awards for both of these films and for playing an inventor in the biopic Joy (2015). Lawrence’s films have grossed in excess of $5.5 billion globally, and she has been the world’s highest-paid actress since 2015. Her many awards and honors include appearances in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and the Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2014 and 2016. She is a vocal advocate of feminism and gender equality.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 14, 2017 is Xx (album).
xx is the debut album by English indie pop band the xx, released by Young Turks, an imprint of XL Recordings, on 14 August 2009. Audio engineer Rodaidh McDonald and the xx strove for an intimate, unembellished sound. The band’s Jamie Smith produced xx on his laptop, mixing in electronic beats. Strongly influenced by R&B acts, the album also drew comparisons to alternative rock, electronica, and post-punk sounds. The melancholic songs on xx featured minimalist arrangements. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim sang most of these as low-key duets, and wrote emotional lyrics about love, intimacy, loss, and desire. The album received widespread acclaim from critics, many naming it one of the year’s best records. It became a sleeper hit in Britain and the United States. Although none of its singles became hits, xx benefited from the licensing of its songs on television and the band’s 2010 Mercury Prize win for the album. In 2013, xx was ranked number 237 on NME magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 13, 2017 is Bert T. Combs.
Bert T. Combs (August 13, 1911 – December 4, 1991) was an American jurist and politician from Kentucky. After being decorated for prosecuting Japanese war criminals before military tribunals during World War II, he returned to his law practice in Prestonsburg. In 1951 he was appointed by Governor Lawrence Wetherby to fill a vacancy on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and was elected to a full term later that year. He was elected the 50th Governor of Kentucky in 1959 on his second run for the office. Combs secured passage early in his term of a larger-than-needed three percent sales tax to pay a bonus to the state’s military veterans, and used much of the surplus to improve the state’s educational system and expand the state park and highway systems. He was appointed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, serving three years. In 1985 Combs’ challenge to the state’s education funding model led to a court ruling that declared Kentucky’s entire public school system unconstitutional. In 1991 Combs was caught in a flash flood on the road, and died of hypothermia.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 12, 2017 is Falaise Pocket.
In the Battle of the Falaise Pocket (12–21 August 1944) in the Second World War, Allied forces encircled and destroyed most of the German Army Group B west of the Seine river in a pocket at Falaise in northwestern France. It was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy. The Americans had broken out from the Normandy beachhead, the Third U.S. Army under General George Patton was rapidly advancing, and British and Canadian forces were launching offensives south of Caumont and Caen. Adolf Hitler ordered Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, the commander of Army Group B, to conduct a counter-offensive at Mortain instead of withdrawing. Four depleted panzer divisions were not enough to stop the First U.S. Army, which converged with the British Second Army and the First Canadian Army on the Falaise–Chambois area, directed by the Allied ground forces commander, General Bernard Montgomery. German counter-attacks forced some gaps in the Allied lines, but by the evening of 21 August the pocket had been sealed, with around 50,000 Germans trapped inside. Many escaped, but losses in men and equipment were huge. A few days later, the Allies liberated Paris.
The Wikipedia article of the day for August 11, 2017 is Elfin woods warbler.
The elfin woods warbler (Setophaga angelae) is an uncommon bird species endemic to Puerto Rico. Discovered in 1968, it is the most recently described species of the New World warblers. The name angelae is a tribute to Angela Kepler, one of its discoverers. Characteristic of Antillean warblers (S. adelaidae, S. delicata, S. plumbea and S. pharetra), the species features a long bill and short, round wings (averaging 53.8 mm or 2.12 in). An insectivore, it feeds by gleaning small insects off leaves. El Yunque National Forest, where it was first captured, was initially believed to be its only habitat, but its largest population has been found in the Maricao State Forest. Due to its small numbers and restricted habitats, conservation efforts were begun in 1982 to protect this species. It is not in immediate danger as it lives mainly in protected forest, but potential threats include habitat reduction, natural disasters, and introduced species such as rats and small Asian mongooses.