[Daily article] March 9: Armillaria gallica

Armillaria gallica is a species of honey mushroom in the family
Physalacriaceae. It is a common and ecologically important wood-decay
fungus that can feed on dead organic material in soil, or live as an
opportunistic parasite in weakened tree hosts to cause root or butt rot.
It is found in temperate regions of Asia, North America, and Europe. The
yellow-brown mushrooms, covered with small scales, can grow to around
10 cm (4 in) in diameter. On the underside of the caps are gills that
are white to creamy or pale orange. The fungus has been the subject of
considerable scientific research into its role as a plant pathogen, its
ability to bioluminesce, its unusual life cycle, and its ability to form
large and long-lived colonies. A 1,500-year-old colony was discovered in
the early 1990s in a Michigan forest, reported to cover an area of 15
hectares (37 acres) and weigh at least 9,500 kilograms (21,000 lb); as
a tourist attraction called the “humungous fungus”, it inspires an
annual mushroom-themed festival in Crystal Falls.

Read more:

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1009:

The first known record of the name of Lithuania appeared in an
entry in the annals of the Quedlinburg Abbey in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

1842:

Francisco Lopez woke from a nap under a tree at Rancho San
Francisco and made the first documented discovery of gold in California.

1910:

A massive seventeen-month-long strike action, which at its peak
involved 15,000 coal miners represented by the United Mine Workers
across 65 mines, began in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, U.S.

1925:

The Royal Air Force began a bombardment and strafing campaign
against the mountain strongholds of Mahsud tribesmen in South
Waziristan.

1956:

In Tbilisi, Georgia, Soviet military troops suppressed mass
demonstrations against Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s de-
Stalinization policy.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

retrench:
1. (transitive) To cut down or reduce.
2. (transitive, specifically) To terminate the employment of a worker to
reduce the size of a workforce; to make redundant.
3. (transitive, military) To furnish with a retrenchment (a defensive work
within a fortification).
4. (intransitive) To abridge; to curtail.
5. (intransitive) To take up a new defensive position.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I could feel the hackles on the back of my neck stiffening and I
knew he felt the same way. Dog was meeting dog. Nobody knew it but the
dogs and they weren’t telling. He was bigger than I thought. The
suggestion of power I had seen in his photographs was for real. When he
moved it was with the ponderous grace of some jungle animal, dangerously
deceptive, because he could move a lot faster if he had to. When we were
ten feet away he pretended to see us for the first time and a wave of
charm washed the cautious expression from his face and he stepped out to
greet Dulcie with outstretched hand. But it wasn’t her he was seeing. It
was me he was watching. I was one of his own kind. I couldn’t be faked
out and wasn’t leashed by the proprieties of society. I could lash out
and kill as fast as he could and of all the people in the room, I was
the potential threat. I knew what he felt because I felt the same way
myself.  
–Mickey Spillane

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