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Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author best known for her works of speculative fiction. She wrote more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children's books. She achieved critical and commercial success with A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) and The Left Hand of Darkness (1969). Le Guin was influenced by cultural anthropology, Taoism, feminism, and the writings of Carl Jung. Many of her stories used anthropologists or cultural observers as protagonists. Several works reflect Taoist ideas about balance and equilibrium. Le Guin often subverted typical speculative fiction tropes, such as through her use of dark-skinned protagonists in the Earthsea fantasy series. She won eight Hugo Awards, six Nebulas, and twenty-two Locus Awards, and in 2003 became only the second woman honored as a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that Dabusun Lake (pictured) is the largest remaining lake in China's Qarhan Playa , which 30,000 years ago held a single lake spreading over at least 25,000 km2 (9,700 sq mi)?
- ... that mathematician Dona Strauss left South Africa over apartheid, lost a faculty job at Dartmouth for joining an anti-war protest, and helped found European Women in Mathematics?
- ... that the Church of the Gesú in Philadelphia once held more than 200 relics?
- ... that John Gillies devised what is thought to have been the first British closed-circuit anaesthetic machine?
- ... that New York City's Kings Plaza shopping mall was built with a marina for visitors, as well as its own power system?
- ... that prior to joining the Supreme Court of Chile, Gloria Ana Chevesich was best known for convicting a former government minister and 13 others of fraud in the MOP-Gate case?
- ... that despite its name, the Pere Marquette Lumber Company ranked among the largest salt and lumber producers in the state of Michigan?
- ... that one of the Buddha's chief female disciples, Uppalavanna , is said to have become a nun because she was so beautiful that her father feared conflict between her many wealthy suitors?
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On this day
October 21 : Shemini Atzeret (Judaism, 2019)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- 1858 – French composer Jacques Offenbach's operetta Orpheus in the Underworld , featuring the music most associated with the can-can, was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in Paris.
- 1867 – The first and second of three treaties were signed near Medicine Lodge, Kansas, between the United States and several Native American tribes in the Great Plains, requiring them to relocate to areas in present-day western Oklahoma.
- 1959 – The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (pictured), designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York City.
- 1969 – Siad Barre led Supreme Revolutionary Council forces in a military coup and established the Somali Democratic Republic .
- 1983 – At the 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures, the length of a metre was redefined as the distance that light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second.
Henry Lawes (d. 1662) · Georg Solti (b. 1912) · Dorothy Hale (d. 1938)
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The 1992 Major League Baseball expansion draft was held by Major League Baseball (MLB) to allow two expansion teams, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies, to build their rosters prior to debuting in the National League's (NL) East and West divisions, respectively, in the 1993 MLB season. The 1990 collective bargaining agreement between MLB owners and the MLB Players Association allowed the NL to expand by two members to match the American League (AL). In June 1991, MLB accepted bids of groups from Miami, Florida, and Denver, Colorado, with debuts set for 1993. The Marlins and Rockies used the expansion draft to build their teams using different strategies. As the Rockies had a smaller operating budget than the Marlins, the Rockies targeted prospects with low salaries, while the Marlins selected older players intended to provide more immediate impact. ( Full list... )
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The red-banded fruiteater (Pipreola whitelyi) is a species of bird in the family Cotingidae. Its known range is restricted to the humid highland forests of the tepuis in the southeast of Venezuela and western Guyana. While likely present, it remains unconfirmed in adjacent parts of northern Brazil. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern". Uniquely among the fruiteaters, the underparts of the male are primarily grey. As suggested by its common name, the male also has a conspicuous red pectoral collar. The species grows to a length of about 16.6 cm (6.5 in).
This picture is a lithograph of a female (top) and a male (bottom) red-banded fruiteater, produced by Dutch bird illustrator John Gerrard Keulemans in 1886 for an edition of the journal Ibis . The adult male has greyish-green upper parts with a distinctive long golden stripe that runs above the eye and round the ear coverts. The chin and belly are grey and there is a broad, orange-red chest collar, and yellowish-ochre under-tail coverts. The female has similar head markings, a yellowish patch at the side of the neck, and moss-green upper parts. There is no chest collar and the underparts are greyish-white, boldly streaked with black. The beak and legs are pinkish-grey; the male has an orange iris and the female's is ochre.
Lithograph credit: John Gerrard Keulemans
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