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Soyuz MS-10 launch
Soyuz MS-10 launch

On this day

October 17: Dessalines Day in Haiti (1806)

Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australia
Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australia

Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke (d. 1781) · Childe Hassam (b. 1859) · Chuka Umunna (b. 1978)

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The Ana María Monument in Maracaibo
The Ana María Monument in Maracaibo

Today's Featured Article

Chapter 9 considers the motivations of various groups championing conservation of polar bears.
A polar bear

Political Animals and Animal Politics is a 2014 book edited by the green political theorists Marcel Wissenburg and David Schlosberg, and published by Palgrave Macmillan. The first edited collection to address the emergence of academic animal ethics informed by political philosophy, its chapters variously cover institutional change for animals, the relationship between animal ethics and ecologism, and real-world laws made for the benefit of animals. Recurring features include discussions of human exceptionalism, exploration of ways that animal issues are or could be present in political discourse, and reflections on the relationship between theory and practice in politics. For example, Kurtis Boyer contributed a chapter entitled "The Limits of Species Advocacy", focusing on the legal protection of polar bears (example pictured). The political theorist Robert Garner wrote that Political Animals and Animal Politics should be praised for its trailblazing, but predicted that it would be superseded by stronger collections on the same theme. (Full article...)

Photo of the Day

Study of a Young Woman

Study of a Young Woman is a painting by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, completed between 1665 and 1667, around the same time as his better-known Girl with a Pearl Earring. The two paintings are similar in tone, composition, and size. Both subjects wear pearl earrings, have scarves draped over their shoulders, and are shown in front of a plain black background. It is likely that the creation of both works involved the use of a camera obscura. The sitter is depicted as having a widely spaced and flat face, with a small nose and thin lips. Her lack of conventional beauty has led to a general belief that this work was painted on commission, although it is possible that the model was Vermeer's daughter. The work was probably created as a tronie rather than a portrait, being a study of the young woman's thoughts, feelings, or character, something typical in many of Vermeer's paintings. Study of a Young Woman is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Painting: Johannes Vermeer