From today's featured article
Doom is a first-person shooter game developed and published by id Software, released on December 10, 1993. The player assumes the role of a space marine fighting through hordes of undead humans and invading demons. The game is presented with 3D graphics, with 2D enemies and objects. John Carmack (pictured) created the 3D game engine, with action-heavy design by John Romero and Sandy Petersen. Despite controversy over its graphic violence, Doom was a critical and commercial success, earning a reputation as one of the best and most influential games of all time and shifting the public perception of the entire medium. It sold an estimated 3.5 million copies by 1999, and up to 20 million people played it within two years of launch. Termed the "father" of first-person shooters, Doom sparked the rise of online games and communities. It led to an array of imitators and clones, as well as a robust Doom modding scene. Doom has been ported to a variety of platforms, and spawned a long-running franchise. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Varroa destructor (example pictured), the Varroa mite, is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on honey bees and is one of the most harmful honey-bee pests in the world?
- ... that Father Marceli Godlewski, known for his pre-war anti-Semitic activities, helped save the lives of hundreds of Jews held in the Warsaw Ghetto during the German occupation of Poland?
- ... that a reception was held for civic leaders of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, to promote a forthcoming TV station that never launched?
- ... that the scholar Mathias Nordvig argues that Norse mythology contains many implicit references to Icelandic volcanoes?
- ... that when a state highway between Beegum and Peanut was vetoed, a newspaper accused their residents of lacking imagination?
- ... that Raymond Bushland and Edward F. Knipling won the 1992 World Food Prize for developing the sterile insect technique which eliminated parasitic screw-worms from the United States?
- ... that HMS Trent helped keep the Dutch in port by sending bogus signals to a non-existent fleet?
- ... that a design for the New Zealand florin was criticized as looking like a violently defecating kiwi?
In the news
- Baldur's Gate 3 (director Swen Vincke pictured) wins game of the year at The Game Awards.
- At least 17 people are killed as Cyclone Michaung makes landfall in India.
- Amidst a diplomatic crisis with Guyana, Venezuela holds a referendum to advance its claim to the disputed Guayana Esequiba region.
- A bombing at Mindanao State University in Marawi, Philippines, kills four people.
- Mount Marapi erupts on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, killing 23 hikers.
On this day
- 1508 – The Papal States, France, Aragon and the Holy Roman Empire formed the League of Cambrai, an alliance against the Republic of Venice.
- 1847 – "Il Canto degli Italiani", the Italian national anthem since 1946, made its public debut in Genoa.
- 1901 – On the fifth anniversary of the death of their founder, Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in Stockholm.
- 1970 – Around the northern Thai village of Mae Salong, remnants of Chinese anti-communist forces now fighting on behalf of the Thai government launched a five-year campaign against local communist insurgents.
- 1983 – Raúl Alfonsín (pictured) became the first democratically elected president of Argentina to take office after more than seven years of military dictatorship.
Today's featured picture
"The Raven" is a narrative poem by the American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The poem describes a narrator who is half asleep, poring over ancient books at midnight on a dreary winter night. He hears a tapping sound, and finds a raven at the window, which flies into his room and perches on a bust of Athena. The narrator asks the bird a series of questions, to which the bird replies only "nevermore". Eventually, the narrator falls into despair and ends with his final admission that his soul is trapped beneath the raven's shadow and shall be lifted "nevermore". Originally published in 1845, the poem was widely popular but did not bring Poe much financial success. It has influenced many modern works and is referenced throughout popular culture. This lithographic illustration by Édouard Manet is the last in a set of four plates that depict different stages in "The Raven". Describing this plate, the art historian James H. Rubin wrote: "In the fourth plate, shadow has itself taken on life, becoming the most prominent form. At its bottom it resembles that cast by the bird perched upon the bust, but then in much freer strokes it becomes a dense vapour rising and trailing into oblivion."