From today's featured article
Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The plot focuses on commodities broker Louis Winthorpe III, played by Dan Aykroyd, and street hustler Billy Ray Valentine, played by Eddie Murphy (pictured), who are the subject of a bet to test how each man will perform when their lives are swapped. Trading Places was the fourth-highest-grossing film of 1983 in the United States and Canada and received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the cast and the film's revival of the screwball comedy genre. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score and won two BAFTA awards. The film has been praised as one of the greatest comedy films and Christmas films ever made, but retrospective assessments have criticized its use of racial jokes and language. In 2010, the film was referenced in congressional testimony concerning the reform of the commodities trading market designed to prevent the insider trading demonstrated in Trading Places. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that George Griffith's 1901 novel A Honeymoon in Space contains what may be the first space suits in fiction (pictured)?
- ... that before being a top player at a Division I FBS school, wide receiver Grant DuBose worked bagging groceries and saw limited playing time for a Division II team?
- ... that to prevent bishops from opposing the Elizabethan Book of Common Prayer, reformers had the entire papalist party arrested during a debate?
- ... that Oscar James Campbell Jr., an American scholar of Shakespeare, complained in 1926 that PhD students of English had to read "masses of stupid and essentially insignificant material"?
- ... that the prime minister of Serbia signed the 1918 Geneva Declaration after intervention from the President of France?
- ... that the first song played on That's 60s was the same song Tony Blackburn had played on BBC Radio 1 more than 55 years earlier?
- ... that a university student sought counseling from his pastor after attending a guest lecture on sexuality by lesbian and former novice Joanne Marrow?
- ... that the BBC commissioned a painting of a 1987 Bullingdon Club photograph featuring David Cameron and Boris Johnson to circumvent copyright protection?
In the news
- In Ukraine, the Kakhovka Dam (pictured) is breached, causing flooding and prompting mass evacuations.
- Flooding across Haiti leaves at least 51 people dead and 11 others missing.
- At least 275 people are killed and over 1,175 others injured in a collision involving three trains in Balasore, India.
- In cricket, the Indian Premier League concludes with the Chennai Super Kings defeating the Gujarat Titans in the final.
- Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is re-elected President of Turkey in a runoff.
On this day
- 1783 – Laki, a volcanic fissure in Iceland (pictured), began an eight-month eruption, triggering a major famine and causing widespread fluoride poisoning.
- 1950 – Thomas Blamey became the only Australian to attain the rank of field marshal.
- 1967 – The Israeli Air Force attacked the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171.
- 2007 – A major storm caused the bulk carrier Pasha Bulker to run aground in New South Wales, Australia.
- 2009 – Two American journalists, having been arrested for illegal entry into North Korea, were sentenced to twelve years hard labor before being pardoned two months later.
- William of York (d. 1154)
- Suharto (b. 1921)
- Lauren Burns (b. 1974)
- Kim Clijsters (b. 1983)
Today's featured picture
Ruddigore is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy operas and the tenth of fourteen comic operas written together by Gilbert and Sullivan, and was first performed by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre in London on 22 January 1887. The first night was not altogether a success, as critics and the audience felt that Ruddygore (as it was originally spelled) did not measure up to its predecessor, The Mikado. However, after it was revived by D'Oyly Carte in 1920, the work was reassessed more positively. This illustration was created by the British illustrator H. M. Brock for the 1921 revival of Ruddigore at the Prince's Theatre in London. Published in the October 29 issue of The Sphere, it depicts a scene from the opera in which the ghosts of Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd's ancestors step out of their picture frames and accuse him of not having committed a crime every day in accordance with the family curse.
Poster credit: H. M. Brock; restored by Adam Cuerden
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