Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Silver Arrow is a ghost train that (according to an urban legend) haunts the Stockholm Metro.

If you want to save imperiled articles, join the Article Rescue Squadron! (You can also help transfer deleted articles to the Annex, which will find a good home for them.)

I've been talking about wikisociology and linking to cool articles for a couple years now. Posts are grouped by category in the lefthand sidebar -- for example, wikisnips are links to articles and gadgets are mostly wiki-related web tools. (Plus, each category has its own rss feed.)

You can also use the search box in the upper left. Typing "San Francisco" brings up this post about burritos.

If you're just looking for a motherlode of great stuff, check wikipedia's list of unusual articles. And for information about how to cite wikipedia, see here.

(If you're wondering, this is the L.A.Times article, and Lih has the reaction roundup.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who owned a small general store and inn in Labette County, Kansas from 1872 to 1873.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The 8 Most Needlessly Detailed Wikipedia Entries. Like most of the new stuff at Cracked magazine, this is pretty funny.

(Of course, being funny doesn't make it literally true. As usual, the comments sections are buzzing with people pissed off about articles being deleted.)

In trust coloring news, Erik Moeller says:

We have provided Luca with the kind of live feed that we normally only give to companies to do his research in real time, and right now he’s working to process a full dump of the English Wikipedia. I have suggested that we could then offer a MediaWiki “tab” that could show the articles with trust coloring overlay.

Initially this could be something that editors add by modifying their user JavaScript, like navigation popups and countless other tools. The trust coloring itself would run on Luca’s servers (but inside a MonoBook skin).

After my conversations with Jim Giles this was condensed into “incorporated into Wikipedia” in the New Scientist article, which is an error (we’re going to send a correction on Monday).


In other words (if you remember that minor brouhaha) the foundation seems to be doing everything just right -- they're in touch with the decentralized nature of the web, the idea of mashups, etc. Awesome.

Also, Kelly Martin is porting mediawiki to java. (Server-side java, presumably -- not the craptastic client-side stuff.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So how many continents are there, again?

The 7-continent model is usually taught in most English-speaking countries, China, and most of Europe. The 6-continent combined-Eurasia model is preferred by the geographic community, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Japan. The 6-continent combined-America model is taught in Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Iran, Greece and some other parts of Europe.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dancing mania is a phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, in which groups of people would dance through the streets of towns or cities, sometimes foaming at the mouth or speaking in tongues, until they collapsed from exhaustion.