Wikipedia:Picture of the day/May 2011

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These featured pictures have been chosen to appear as picture of the day (POTD) on the English Wikipedia's Main Page, as scheduled below. Individual sections for each day on this page can be linked to with the day number of the month as the anchor name.

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May 1

Lucy Merriam, child model

Lucy Merriam, a child model and actress known for role as Emma Lavery on the American soap opera All My Children. Child models are used for a wide variety of commercial purposes, often because they evoke a sense of innocence or vulnerability. The visible success of child models who become media celebrities has led numerous children (and their parents) to pursue modeling as a part-time career.

Photo: Merriam family


May 2

U.S. Whig Party candidate, 1848

"An Available Candidate: The One Qualification for a Whig President"—an editorial cartoon about the 1848 U.S. presidential election, showing a military man representing either Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott, both of whom were generals in the United States Army during the Mexican–American War, atop a pile of skulls. The Whig Party only operated for about 20 years, but during their brief existence, they could boast a number of political luminaries such as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln, and would see three of their members become President of the United States (not including Lincoln, who was elected as a Republican).

Image: Nathaniel Currier; Restoration: Lise Broer


May 3

Fly portrait

The head of a flesh-fly, a family of flies. Flies have a mobile head with eyes, and, in most cases, have large compound eyes on the sides of the head, with five small ocelli on the top. The antennae take a variety of forms, but are often short, to reduce drag while flying. Fly mouths do not contain teeth or anything else that would allow them to eat solid foods.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 4

Guide at Little Norway, Wisconsin

A 1942 photo of a tour guide at Little Norway, a tourist attraction and living museum of a Norwegian village located in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, US. Little Norway consists of a fully restored farm dating to the mid-19th century. It was originally built by Norwegian immigrant Osten Olson Haugen. In the 1930s, Isak Dahle purchased the farm as a gift to his family. Little Norway is home to one of the few examples of original Norse stave church architecture outside of Norway.

Photo: Arthur Rothstein; Restoration: Lise Broer


May 5

Little Wattlebird

A Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera) among Red Flowering Gum flowers. It is the smallest of the wattlebirds, but considered medium-to-large in the honeyeater family. Little Wattlebirds feed on nectar obtained with a long, brush-tipped tongue adapted for probing deep into flowers.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 6

Let L-410 Turbolet

The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin-engined short-range transport aircraft, manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer LET, mostly used for passenger transport. The L-410 first flew in 1969, and with more than 1100 produced, is the most popular 19-seat plane in history.

Photo: Łukasz Golowanow


May 7

Calvin Borel

Calvin Borel is an American jockey in thoroughbred horse racing. He has won three of the last four Kentucky Derby races (2007, 2009, and 2010). In 2009, he also won the Preakness Stakes, but lost the Belmont Stakes, the third race of the so-called Triple Crown. His 2009 Derby win with Mine That Bird was the second biggest upset in Derby history behind Donerail, and Borel's winning margin of ​6 34 lengths was the greatest in Derby history since Assault won by 8 lengths in 1946.

Photo: Joe Schneid


May 8

Dan'l Druce, Blacksmith

Hermann Vezin in the title role of Dan'l Druce, Blacksmith, an 1876 play by W. S. Gilbert. In the story, Druce begins as a miser and drunkard whose wife has left him. Two army deserters find shelter at his house, but they rob him and abandon a baby girl there. Many years later, Druce has become a blacksmith, and the two men return to try to claim the girl. The play was a success, running for about 100 performances and enjoying tours and several revivals.

Artist: Francis S. Walker; Engraving: Brothers Dalziel
Restoration: Adam Cuerden


May 9

Human circulatory system

A simplified diagram of the human circulatory system (anterior view), the organ system that passes nutrients, gases, hormones, blood cells, etc. to and from cells in the body to help fight diseases and help stabilize body temperature and pH to maintain homeostasis. This system may be seen strictly as a blood distribution network, but some consider the circulatory system as composed of the cardiovascular system, which distributes blood, and the lymphatic system, which distributes lymph. In this diagram, red indicates blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood, while blue indicates those that carry deoxygenated blood.

Image: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal


May 10

Marasmius elegans

The Velvet Parachute (Marasmius elegans) is one of about 500 species of mushroom in the Marasmius genus of agarics. Most members of this genus are small, unimpressive brown mushrooms, making them not readily distinguishable to non-specialists, and therefore seldom collected by mushroom hunters.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 11

Big White Fog

A poster advertising Big White Fog, a play by Theodore Ward. The play follows the Masons, a fictional African American family struggling through the Great Depression. Ward completed the play in 1937, and it debuted at the Great Northern Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, in 1938. The play received its European premiere on May 11, 2007, at the Almeida Theatre in London.

Image: Works Progress Administration; Restoration: Jujutacular


May 12

Eristalinus fuscicornis

Eristalinus fuscicornis is a species of hoverfly in the Eristalinus genus. The members of this genus are characterized by distinctive eye markings, usually in the form of spots or bands (as shown here). Most are stout flies, and are nimble flyers, even compared to other hoverfly species.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim


May 13

Masked Lapwing

The Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles, ssp. novaehollandiae shown), also known as the Spur-winged Plover, is a common and conspicuous bird native to northern and eastern Australia, as well as New Zealand. They are most common around the edges of wetlands and in other moist, open environments, but are adaptable and can often be found in surprisingly arid areas.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 14

Agusta A109

An Agusta A109 rescue helicopter leaves Mount Pilatus, near Lucerne, Switzerland, after recovering a patient. Later renamed AgustaWestland AW109, the A109 is a helicopter manufactured by Agusta (now AgustaWestland) of Italy. It is a light-weight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose craft.

Photo: Ikiwaner


May 15

Dundasite and crocoite

Dundasite (white), an uncommon lead aluminium carbonate mineral, intermingled with crocoite (orange). Dundasite occurs in the oxidized zone of lead ore deposits. It is named after the type locality, Dundas, Tasmania, Australia.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 16

Lake District, England

A panoramic view of Skiddaw mountain, the town of Keswick, and Derwentwater, as viewed from Walla Crag on a clear autumn afternoon in the Lake District. Located in North West England, the district is a popular tourist destination and is famous for its lakes and mountains, especially those within its national park.

Photo: David Iliff


May 17

John Shea

John Shea is an American film, television, and theatre actor best known for his role as Lex Luthor in the 1990s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He has acted in a number of international films, including Achchamundu! Achchamundu!. The appearance made him the first American to appear in a Tamil language film.

Photo: Michael Calas


May 18

"Salvage Scrap to Blast the Jap"

"Salvage Scrap to Blast the Jap", an American government propaganda poster from World War II, showing a Bald Eagle, the national bird, dropping a bomb on a snake representing Japan. During the war, the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used various means to circumvent this official line, including the Writers' War Board and the Office of War Information.

Poster: Phil von Phul; Restoration: Lise Broer


May 19

Antigenic shift

An illustration explaining how antigenic shift can occur in the influenza virus. Antigenic shift occurs when two or more different strains of one or more viruses combine to form a new subtype having a mixture of each original virus's surface antigens. The process may occur in any number of viruses, but influenza is the best-known example. Antigenic shift is a specific case of reassortment or viral shift that confers a phenotypic change, and should not be confused with antigenic drift, which is the natural mutation over time of known viral strains.


May 20

Chien-Ming Wang

Chien-Ming Wang is a Taiwanese baseball pitcher, currently playing for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He began his professional career with the New York Yankees in 2000, playing with their minor league affiliate, the Staten Island Yankees. He made his MLB debut in 2005 and quickly became the Yankees' ace. After major shoulder surgery in 2009, he joined the Nationals, but sat out the 2010 season to recover.

Photo: Keith Allison


May 21

Perga sp. larva

With almost 450 described species, Pergidae (Perga sp. larva pictured) is the third-largest family of sawflies. The majority of Pergidae species occur in South America and Australia. They are the dominant family in Australia and are one of the major families in the Neotropics.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 22

Jumping spider with prey

A camouflaged Menemerus species of jumping spider, with a male ant as prey. Camouflage is a form of crypsis, which is the ability of an organism to avoid observation or detection by other organisms. This is useful as an antipredator adaptation or in this case, a strategy employed by ambush predators.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim


May 23

New York Public Library in 1908

The Main Branch building New York Public Library in 1908, during late stage construction. Upon his death in 1886, New York governor Samuel J. Tilden bequeathed funds to build a grand library in New York City, and that money was used to combine the financially struggling Astor and Lenox Libraries. Construction began in 1902 and the library officially opened on May 23, 1911.

Photo: Detroit Publishing Co.; Restoration: Lise Broer


May 24

The Battle at La Hogue

After their victory in the Battle of Barfleur in the Nine Years' War, an English fleet under Edward Russell gave chase to French ships commanded by Anne Hilarion de Tourville. On 21 May (O.S.) 1692, the damaged French ships of the line beached themselves at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, Normandy. All twelve of them were destroyed (seen here), forcing King Louis XIV to cancel his invasion plans.

Artist: William Woollett; Restoration: Adam Cuerden


May 25

Blackbird nest

A female Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) in her nest. Cup nests like the one shown here, usually made of pliable materials like grasses, are commonly built by passerines. Other types of nests include the knot-hole left by a broken branch, a burrow dug into the ground, a chamber drilled into a tree, an enormous rotting pile of vegetation and earth, or a mud dome with an entrance tunnel.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 26

European Rabbit

The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a species of rabbit native to the Iberian Peninsula and Northwest Africa. It has been widely introduced to countries on all continents with the exception of Antarctica and Sub-Saharan Africa, often with devastating effects on local biodiversity. In Australia particularly, twelve pairs of rabbits introduced in 1859 became millions in just ten years, the fastest spread ever recorded of any mammal anywhere in the world.

Photo: JJ Harrison


May 27

2009 World Championships in Athletics

Berlin's Olympiastadion, during the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, in which 1,984 participants from 201 nations competed. Most of the events were held inside the stadium, with the exceptions of marathon and racewalking. In the men's 100 metres race, Jamaican Usain Bolt shattered the world record, finishing in 9.58 seconds.

Photo: Tobi 87


May 28

Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Dead Acacia erioloba trees in Deadvlei, a white claypan inside Namib-Naukluft Park in the Namib Desert of Namibia. Deadvlei is surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, averaging 350 metres (1,150 ft) high. About 900 years ago, drought caused the dunes to block the Tsauchab river, which in turn killed the trees. However, because the desert is so dry, they do not decompose.

Photo: Ikiwaner


May 29

Wongudan, Seoul

A 1925 photo of Wongudan, an altar site in Seoul built in 1897 as a location for the performance of the rite of heaven. King Seongjong of the Goryeo Dynasty was the first to perform the rite, designed to ensure a bountiful harvest, in the tenth century. The practice was discontinued by later Goryeo kings, revived briefly in the mid fifteenth century by Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty, then reinstated with the founding of the Korean Empire in 1897. Much of the altar complex was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, and the gate and fountain seen here were also subsequently removed, leaving only the three-storey Hwangungu pagoda remaining.

Photo: Burton Holmes; Restoration: Lise Broer


May 30

Bengalia species blow-fly

A species of blow-fly belonging to the Bengalia genus (species unidentified). Unlike the bright green or blue of most blow-flies, members of Bengalia tend to have dull colours. They are noted as kleptoparasites of ants and will snatch food and pupae being carried by ants, or feed on winged termites.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim


May 31

Cleveland Arcade

The interior of the Arcade, one of the oldest indoor shopping malls in the United States, as seen in 1966. Located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, it is a Victorian-style structure of two nine-story buildings, joined by a five-story arcade with a glass skylight along the four balconies. The Arcade opened on May 31, 1890, and is still in business today.

Photo: Martin Linsey for HABS



Picture of the day archive

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