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From today's featured article
Resurrectionists (1847), by Hablot Knight Browne
Resurrectionists (depicted in action) were commonly employed by anatomists in the United Kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries to disinter the bodies of the recently deceased for anatomical research. Between 1506 and 1752 only a very few cadavers were available each year. The supply was increased when, in an attempt to intensify the deterrent effect of the death penalty, the Murder Act 1752 allowed executed criminals to be dissected—a fate generally viewed with horror—in place of gibbeting. The change was insufficient to meet the needs of hospitals and teaching centres. Corpses and their component parts became a commodity, but although the practice of disinterment was hated by the general public, bodies were not legally anyone's property. Resurrectionists caught plying their trade ran the risk of attack. Measures taken to stop them included increased security at graveyards, secure coffins, and physical barriers. Matters came to a head following the Burke and Hare murders of 1828. Although it did not make body snatching illegal, the Anatomy Act 1832 effectively put an end to the work of the resurrectionists by allowing anatomists access to the workhouse dead. (Full article...)
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From Wikipedia's new and recently improved content:
Aerial view of Alrov Mamilla Avenue (foreground) and Old City Walls (background)
... that several 19th-century buildings were integrated into the design of Jerusalem's outdoor Mamilla Mall (pictured), including the Convent of St. Vincent de Paul?
... that Romeyn Beck Hough's American Woods is a set of over 1,000 paper-thin wood slices collected from 354 different tree species?
... that the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, was founded in 1625 by King Andrianjaka on the site of a village occupied by Vazimba, the island's earliest inhabitants?
... that visitors to the Florentine villa of Theodosia Trollope found the atmosphere less intense than that at the nearby home of Elizabeth Barrett Browning?
... that no part of Stranger Hollow is within 500 metres (1,600 ft) of a road?
... that according to one review of The War Symphonies: Shostakovich Against Stalin, Shostakovich would be "horrified" by the film's "mickey-mousings" of his music?
... that a revealing red frock by Australian designer Ruth Tarvydas had more coverage than Jennifer Hawkins when she won Miss Universe 2004?
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In the news
Antares rocket explosion
In baseball, the San Francisco Giants defeat the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series.
An Antares rocket explodes (pictured) during the launch of the unmanned Cygnus CRS-3 spacecraft to the International Space Station.
The Botswana Democratic Party maintains its majority in Parliament after the general election.
China launches an experimental lunar mission, Chang'e 5-T1, which will loop behind the Moon and return to Earth.
A soldier is shot dead at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada, and shots are fired in the Centre Block Parliament building.
Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege is awarded the Sakharov Prize for helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ongoing: Ebola outbreak – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Recent deaths: Michael Sata – Mbulaeni Mulaudzi – Ben Bradlee
On this day...
October 31: Halloween; Samhain begins (Northern Hemisphere); Beltane begins (Southern Hemisphere); Reformation Day (Protestantism)
475 – Romulus Augustulus took the throne as the last ruling emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
1517 – According to traditional accounts, Martin Luther (pictured) first posted his Ninety-Five Theses onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, present-day Germany, marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
1822 – Emperor Agustín de Iturbide of the First Mexican Empire dissolved the Mexican Congress and replaced it with a military junta answerable only to him.
1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her own Sikh bodyguards, sparking anti-Sikh riots throughout the country.
1999 – All 217 people on board EgyptAir Flight 990 were killed when the aircraft suddenly plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States.
More anniversaries: October 30 – October 31 – November 1
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From today's featured list
A photograph of a grey dam with red structures spaced across the top of it and with hilly terrain in the background all under a blue sky with white clouds
The tallest dams in China are some of the tallest dams in the world. Nearly 22,000 dams over 15 metres (49 ft) in height – about half the world's total – have been constructed in China since the 1950s. Many of the tallest are located in the southwestern part of the country on rivers such as the Yangtze (Three Gorges Dam pictured). While beneficial, many throughout the country have been criticized for their effects on the environment, displacement of locals and effect on transboundary river flows. Currently, the country's and world's tallest, Jinping-I Dam, an arch dam 305 m (1,001 ft) high, is located in Sichuan. The tallest embankment dam in China is the 261 m (856 ft) Nuozhadu Dam in Yunnan. The country's highest gravity dam is Longtan Dam at 216.2 m (709 ft), which can be found in Guangxi. At 233 m (764 ft), Shuibuya Dam in Hubei is the world's tallest concrete-face rock-fill dam. In Sichuan, the government is constructing the 312 m (1,024 ft) tall Shuangjiangkou Dam which, when complete, will become the world's tallest dam. (Full list...)
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Today's featured picture
Edward Scriven's engraving of John Masey Wright's illustration to Robert Burns' poem "Halloween". First published in 1786, the poem is included in the Kilmarnock volume and is one of Burns' longer poems.
Illustration: John Masey Wright and Edward Scriven; restoration: Adam Cuerden
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