[Daily article] December 6: Amanita ocreata

Amanita ocreata, one of the death angels or destroying angels, is a
deadly fungus native to California and the North American Pacific
Northwest. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) generally appear in
spring, associating with oak trees. The stalk, ring, gills and volva are
white, and the cap may be white or ochre, often developing a brownish
centre. It can resemble the edible springtime amanita (A. velosa),
coccora (A. lanei) or stubble rosegill (Volvariella speciosa), but is
similar in toxicity to the death cap (A. phalloides) and to the
destroying angels of Europe (A. virosa) and eastern North America (A.
bisporigera). Its principal toxic constituent, α-amanitin, damages the
liver and kidneys, and has no known antidote. The initial
gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and
vomiting, subside after two or three days. Ongoing damage to internal
organs can cause jaundice, diarrhea, delirium, seizures, coma, and in
many cases, death from liver failure 6 to 16 days after ingestion.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Béla I the Champion was crowned King of Hungary.


Slavery in the United States was officially abolished when the
Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.


At the Melbourne Olympics, 14-year-old swimmer Sandra Morgan
became the youngest Australian to win an Olympic gold medal.


The Irish National Liberation Army exploded a time bomb in
Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, killing eleven British Army soldiers and
six civilians.


An Iranian Air Force C-130 military transport aircraft crashed
into a ten-floor apartment building in a residential area of Tehran,
killing all 84 on board and 44 bystanders.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

them’s the facts:
(idiomatic, colloquial) Those are the facts, that’s the truth, that’s
how it is; frequently used in reference to an unfortunate truth.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  David is the song upon God’s lips, And Our Lady is the goblet that
He sips: And Gabriel’s the breath of His command, But Saint Michael is
the sword in God’s right hand. The Ivory Tower is fair to see, And may
her walls encompass me! But when the Devil comes with the thunder of his
might, Saint Michael, show me how to fight!  
–Joyce Kilmer

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