Wild

Wild

[wahyld]
Wild, Jonathan, 1683-1725, English criminal. He maintained a highly organized gang of thieves in London and long escaped punishment by posing as an instrument of justice and helping the authorities catch other criminals independent of, or rebellious to, his control. He planned robberies and then secured rewards for helping owners recover "lost" property. His thriving business required warehouses, branch offices, artisans to make alterations, and a vessel for trade with the Continent. He was finally convicted (1725) of receiving a reward for returning some stolen lace and was hanged at Tyburn. Literary accounts of Wild's career, such as those of Fielding and Defoe, are partly fictional.

See W. R. Irwin, The Making of Jonathan Wild (1941); G. Howson, Thief-Taker General (1970).

Coarse annual grass (Zizania aquatica) of the family Poaceae (or Gramineae) whose grain, now often considered a delicacy, has long been an important food of American Indians. Despite its name, the plant is not related to rice. Wild rice grows naturally in shallow water in marshes and along the shores of streams and lakes in northern central North America. Cultivated varieties are now grown in Minnesota and California. The plant, about 3–10 ft (1–3 m) tall, is topped with a large, open flower cluster. The ripened grains, dark brown to purplish-black, are slender rods 0.4–0.8 in. (1–2 cm) long.

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or wild boar or wild pig

Any wild member of the pig species Sus scrofa; the ancestor of domestic pigs. It is native to forests ranging from western and northern Europe and North Africa to India, the Andaman Islands, and China and has been introduced to New Zealand and the U.S. It has a bristly, blackish or brown coat and stands up to 35 in. (90 cm) tall at the shoulder. Except for old, solitary males, boars live in groups. They are omnivores and are good swimmers. They have sharp tusks and, though normally not aggressive, can be dangerous. Because of its strength, speed, and ferocity, the boar has long been a prized game animal.

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Any flowering plant that grows without intentional human aid. Wildflowers are the source of all cultivated garden varieties of flowers. A wildflower growing where it is unwanted is considered a weed. Thousands of the approximately 250,000 species of flowering plants are wildflowers. Wildflowers can be divided into three categories by location: those found in the tropics and subtropics, those in temperate regions, and those that grow on the summits of mountain chains and in the Arctic and Antarctic.

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Abundant “wild duck” (Anas platyrhynchos, family Anatidae) of the Northern Hemisphere, ancestor of most domestic ducks. The mallard is a typical dabbling duck in its general habits and courtship display. The drake of the common mallard (subspecies A. p. platyrhynchos) has a metallic green or purplish head, reddish breast, and light-gray body; the hen is mottled yellowish brown. Both sexes have a yellow bill and a purplish blue, white-bordered wing mark. Males and females of the Greenland mallard (A. p. conboschas) also differ markedly in plumage. In the other subspecies, both sexes resemble the female common mallard. Mallards are found throughout most of Asia, Europe, and northern North America.

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or wild carrot

Bristly biennial (Daucus carota) of the parsley family, native to Eurasia but now found almost worldwide. An ancestor of the cultivated carrot, it grows 5 ft (1.5 m) tall and has divided, long, feathery leaves. Flat-topped clusters (umbels) of white or pink flowers have a single dark-purple flower in the center and resemble lace. The enlarged root is edible but very bitter, and the ribbed fruits have sharp spines.

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Spicebush (Lindera benzoin).

Deciduous, dense shrub (Lindera benzoin, or Benzoin aestivale) of the laurel family, native to eastern North America. Found most often in damp woods, it grows 5–20 ft (1.5–6 m) tall. The shiny, oblong leaves (3–5 in., or 8–13 cm, long) are wedge-shaped near the base. Small, yellow flowers crowded in small, nearly stalkless clusters are followed by fleshy red fruit with a stony covering around the seed. Tea is sometimes brewed from young twigs, leaves, and fruit.

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orig. James Butler Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok.

(born May 27, 1837, Troy Grove, Ill., U.S.—died Aug. 2, 1876, Deadwood, Dakota Territory) U.S. frontiersman. He left home in 1865 to farm in Kansas, where he became involved in the Free State (antislavery) movement. He later served as a constable in Monticello, Kan. While working as a stage driver in 1861, he shot and killed the outlaw Dave McCanles; legends of his marksmanship probably began in the exaggerated accounts of his role in this incident. He was a Union scout and a spy in the American Civil War (1861–65); after the war, he was appointed deputy U.S. marshal (1866–67). His ironhanded rule as sheriff of Hays City (1869–71) and as marshal of Abilene (1871) helped tame these Kansas towns. While seated at a poker table in a saloon, he was shot dead by a drunken stranger, Jack McCall.

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orig. James Butler Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok.

(born May 27, 1837, Troy Grove, Ill., U.S.—died Aug. 2, 1876, Deadwood, Dakota Territory) U.S. frontiersman. He left home in 1865 to farm in Kansas, where he became involved in the Free State (antislavery) movement. He later served as a constable in Monticello, Kan. While working as a stage driver in 1861, he shot and killed the outlaw Dave McCanles; legends of his marksmanship probably began in the exaggerated accounts of his role in this incident. He was a Union scout and a spy in the American Civil War (1861–65); after the war, he was appointed deputy U.S. marshal (1866–67). His ironhanded rule as sheriff of Hays City (1869–71) and as marshal of Abilene (1871) helped tame these Kansas towns. While seated at a poker table in a saloon, he was shot dead by a drunken stranger, Jack McCall.

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Comet 81P/Wild, also known as Wild 2, is a comet named after Swiss astronomer Paul Wild (pronounced Vilt), who discovered it in 1978.

It is believed that for most of its 4.5 billion-year lifetime, Wild 2 had a more distant and circular orbit. In 1974, it passed within only about one million kilometers of the planet Jupiter, whose strong gravitational pull altered the comet's orbit and brought it into the inner solar system. Its orbital period changed from 40 years to about 6 years, and its perihelion is now about 1.59 AU (astronomical unit).

Stardust Mission

NASA's Stardust Mission launched a spacecraft, named Stardust, on February 7, 1999. It flew by Wild 2 on January 2, 2004 and collected particle samples from the comet's coma, which were returned to Earth along with interstellar dust it collected during the journey. 72 close-up shots were taken of Wild 2 by Stardust. They revealed a surface riddled with flat-bottomed depressions, with sheer walls and other features that range from very small to up to 2 kilometres across. These features are believed to be caused by impact craters or gas vents. During Stardust's flyby, at least 10 gas vents were active. The comet itself has a diameter of 5 kilometres.

Stardust's "sample return canister," was reported to be in excellent condition when it landed in Utah, on January 15, 2006. A NASA team analyzed the particle capture cells and removed individual grains of comet and interstellar dust, then sent them to about 150 scientists around the globe. NASA is collaborating with The Planetary Society who will run a project called "Stardust@Home," using volunteers to help locate particles on the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC).

So far, the composition of the dust has contained a wide range of organic compounds, including two that contain biologically usable nitrogen. Indigenous aliphatic hydrocarbons were found with longer chain lengths than those observed in the diffuse interstellar medium. No hydrous silicates or carbonate minerals were detected, which suggests a lack of aqueous processing of Wild 2 dust. Very few pure carbon (CHON) particles were found in the samples returned. A substantial amount of crystalline silicates such as olivine, anorthite and diopside were found, materials only formed at high temperature. This is consistent with previous observations of crystalline silicates both in cometary tails and in circumstellar disks at large distances from the star. Possible explanations for this high temperature material at large distances from Sun were summarised before the Stardust sample return mission by van Boekel et al:

Both in the Solar System and in circumstellar disks crystalline silicates are found at large distances from the star. The origin of these silicates is a matter of debate. Although in the hot inner-disk regions crystalline silicates can be produced by means of gas-phase condensation or thermal annealing, the typical grain temperatures in the outer-disk (2−20 au) regions are far below the glass temperature of silicates of approx 1,000 K. The crystals in these regions may have been transported outward through the disk or in an outward-flowing wind. An alternative source of crystalline silicates in the outer disk regions is in situ annealing, for example by shocks or lightning. A third way to produce crystalline silicates is the collisional destruction of large parent bodies in which secondary processing has taken place. We can use the mineralogy of the dust to derive information about the nature of the primary and/or secondary processes the small-grain population has undergone.

Results from a study reported in the September 19, 2008 issue of the journal Science has revealed an oxygen isotope signature in the dust that suggests an unexpected mingling of rocky material between the center and edges of the solar system. Despite the comet’s birth in the icy reaches of outer space beyond Pluto, tiny crystals collected from its halo appear to have been forged in the hotter interior, much closer to the sun.

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