From today's featured article
Hurricane Sergio was a powerful and long-lived tropical cyclone that hit the Baja California Peninsula as a tropical storm and caused flooding throughout southern Texas in early October 2018. Sergio became the eighth Category 4 hurricane in the East Pacific for 2018, breaking the record of seven set in the 2015 season. The twentieth named storm, eleventh hurricane, and ninth major hurricane of the season, Sergio organized into a tropical storm on September 29 and became a hurricane on October 2. It peaked as a Category 4 hurricane on October 4, with reported maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h). It maintained peak intensity for 12 hours before weakening. The system then began another period of intensification, achieving a secondary peak with reported winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) on October 6. It made landfall in western Baja California Sur on October 12, caused over US$2 million in damage, and triggered over a thousand school closures. (This article is part of a featured topic: 2018 Pacific hurricane season.)
Did you know ...
- ... that when pieces from Mendelssohn's German Liturgy were sung by the Thomanerchor (pictured) in 2022, a reviewer noted "a captivating purity in the tone of devotional Reformation romanticism"?
- ... that the only run scored by John Gamble was a game-winner?
- ... that despite the commercial success of previous Kendrick Brothers films, star Kirk Cameron said that Lifemark was unable to secure a distributor due to its pro-life stance?
- ... that the elite men's race at today's London Marathon is expected to feature three of the five fastest men in history?
- ... that Tolkien may have devised the sundering of the Elves to justify the existence of two distinct Elvish languages in his legendarium?
- ... that the six highest Minor League Baseball season attendance counts were all at Sahlen Field?
- ... that Bob Dylan recorded "To Ramona" in a single take, for an album recorded in a single three-hour session?
- ... that during his first air-sea rescue mission with the Irish Air Corps, Barney McMahon landed to refuel with a mixture of petrol and paraffin, filtered through a pair of tights?
In the news
- In Burkina Faso, a coup d'état led by Ibrahim Traore deposes interim president Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba (pictured).
- Russia annexes the partially occupied Ukrainian oblasts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson after widely condemned referendums.
- Hurricane Ian impacts Cuba and the United States, leaving at least 70 people dead and millions of others without power.
- NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft deliberately collides with the asteroid Dimorphos in a demonstration of asteroid deflection.
On this day
- 1263 – Scottish–Norwegian War: Norwegian and Scottish armies fought the Battle of Largs, an inconclusive engagement near the present-day town of Largs, Scotland.
- 1835 – Mexican dragoons dispatched to disarm settlers at Gonzales in Mexican Texas encountered stiff resistance from a Texian militia at the Battle of Gonzales, the first armed engagement of the Texas Revolution.
- 1879 – Qing China signed the Treaty of Livadia with the Russian Empire, but the terms were so unfavorable that the Chinese government refused to ratify the treaty.
- 1942 – Second World War: HMS Curacoa (pictured) was accidentally rammed and sunk by RMS Queen Mary while escorting the liner to provide protection from submarine attacks.
- 1971 – Nguyễn Văn Thiệu was re-elected unopposed as President of South Vietnam.
Today's featured picture
The common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), also known as the Eurasian kingfisher or the river kingfisher, is a small species of kingfisher with seven subspecies recognized within its wide distribution across Eurasia and northern Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but migrates from areas where rivers freeze in winter. Like all kingfishers, the common kingfisher is highly territorial; since it must eat around 60 per cent of its body weight each day, it is essential to have control of a suitable stretch of river. It is solitary for most of the year, roosting alone in heavy cover. If another kingfisher enters its territory, both birds display from perches, and fights may occur, in which a bird will grab the other's beak and try to hold it underwater. Pairs form in the autumn but each bird retains a separate territory, generally at least 1 km (0.6 mi) long but up to 3.5 km (2.2 mi), and territories are not merged until the spring. This female common kingfisher, of the subspecies A. a. ispida, was photographed near Kecskemét in Hungary.
Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp