The decorated ceilings of the Natural History Museum in South
Kensington, London, were designed by the museum's architect Alfred
Waterhouse, and were unveiled at the building's opening in 1881. The
ceiling of the large Central Hall (pictured) consists of 162 panels, 108
of which depict plants considered significant to the history of the
museum, to the British Empire or to the museum's visitors. The remaining
54 are highly stylised decorative botanical paintings. The ceiling of
the smaller North Hall consists of 36 panels, 18 of which depict plants
growing in the British Isles. Both ceilings make extensive use of
gilding for visual effect. Built of lath and plaster to save costs, the
ceilings are unusually fragile and require extensive maintenance and
restoration. Since 2016 the skeleton of a blue whale has been suspended
from the ceiling of the Central Hall.
Today's selected anniversaries:
Off the coast of Crescent City, California, the steamship
Brother Jonathan (depicted) struck an uncharted rock and sank, killing
225 people; its cargo of gold coins was not retrieved until 1996.
Uruguay defeated Argentina at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo
to win the inaugural FIFA World Cup.
At the height of the political crisis known as the Royal
Question, four workers were shot dead by the Belgian Gendarmerie at a
strike in Grâce-Berleur.
Lebanon War: The Israeli Air Force attacked a three-story
building near the Southern Lebanese village of Qana, killing at least 28
civilians, including 16 children.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (cooking) An earthenware cooking pot of North African origin,
consisting of a shallow, round dish without handles and a tall, conical
or dome-shaped lid.
2. (by extension) A stew, originally from Morocco, the ingredients of
which are traditionally cooked slowly in such a pot; the dish is
normally served with couscous.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The civilised keep alive The territorial war… Erase the race
that claim the place And say we dig for ore, Or dangle devils in a
bottle And push them from the pull of the Bush. … See the sun set
in the hand of the man.
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