Archive for the ‘Wikipedia’ category

Actions vs. words

January 18th, 2012

Wikipedia followed through on the blackout, although you can get around it by turning off JavaScript in your browser. Google changed their logo. Twitter is tweeting about it. We’ll see if the statement was heard by lawmakers.

Are you ready for the Internet to shut down tomorrow?

January 17th, 2012

As a protest against SOPA and PIPA, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and a number of other big sites on the Internet are planning to stop services for 24 hours. Instead of a normal Google search, a page describing why they’re protesting.

The text of the Stop Online Piracy Act is here. The Protect IP Act is here. Essentially, the bills say that if a site is found to have material on it that breaks copyright, Internet service providers are required to deny access to those sites.

Are you ready to get some sunshine tomorrow? What are we going to do with ourselves? Use Bing?

Yeah. I don’t work at that school.

August 18th, 2011

The positive? Someone quoted me with regards to P.J. Haarsma’s author visit to our school years ago.

The negative? I don’t work at Desert Arroyo Middle School. I would have to Google it to find where it is.

I’m going to try and edit the Wikipedia page where it’s mentioned.

Oh, Wikipedia. Facepalm.

Notice how there’s a citation, even. It links to a fan site that isn’t even online anymore.

The quote is from my website article here.

The USA! USA! History of the Bell

June 10th, 2011

This is a couple of days old, so by Internet standards, that truly is the equivalent to Paul Revere’s period of history. Stephen Colbert had his viewers edit the Wikipedia page for ‘bell’ as a parody of a statement by Sarah Palin. Much like when he asked them to edit the entry for ‘elephant’, the page went through many revisions.
Here’s one of the results:

This isn’t to prove that Wikipedia is as evil as some people claim, but a reminder to students (and educators) that Wikipedia should not be your only source for information. Some pages get constantly edited and fiction may slide in as fact before someone corrects the page.

Really, you should always get multiple sources, especially ones who were actually there (primary) and not just passing on a story that they heard (secondary). It’s just good research.

Recommended Corrections

October 17th, 2009

I was doing a search for a project I’m working on and Wikipedia, like many times, came up as the number one search result. I scanned through to see what it said, and found something I hadn’t seen in a while:
I forgot that how-to information was not supposed to be in Wikipedia, even though it slides by all the time. At least this editor caught it, but did you see when they made the recommendation? May 2009. Previous to that, someone caught that the article was a jumble of contradictions caused by people with very different opinions trying to edit the same section of the article. That was caught in March of 2009. Both of these notes asked for a re-write, but no one has taken the time to actually correct the errors.
Once again, make sure to not use Wikipedia as your only source of information.

Telkhine Wikipedia Entry

May 14th, 2009

I’m reading through The Last Olympian and I decided to see if I could find a picture of a telkhine, one of the water monsters.

When I went to the Wikipedia article, it had some funny style/wording errors (and a little bit of bias from Atlantis).

Research suggests they were the original gods of Rhodes, before the advent of Greek monoculture. In the classical records of the post-catastrophe period…

No citations needed, I guess. Just trust that they’re right. They did research. They say they did. But where?

Clearly, the Telchines apparently lost one of the titanomachias. Alternatively, there were nine Telchines, children of Thalassa and Pontus. They had flippers instead of hands and dogs’ heads; they were known as fish children.

Is it clear? Apparent? And I don’t think “alternatively” is the transition word you’re looking for.

They were skilled metal workers in brass and iron, and made a trident for Poseidon and a Sickle for Cronus, both ceremonial weapons. It is this ability to cast metal that would make them appear magical to early societies, and may have been a real, but advanced race of people.

Sickle: so important, you can’t help but capitalize it. You also probably want to cite some sources when claiming water monsters are actually an advanced ancient culture from Atlantis.

Here’s the original article. I hope someone makes some edits.

22 year-old college student beats most of the media

May 12th, 2009

Shane Fitzgerald, a college student in Ireland, posted a fake quote on a French composer’s Wikipedia page. Before Wikipedia could take the fake quote down, many news companies took the quote and ran with it as truth.

The fake quote:

Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear.

Beautiful quote and beautifully fake.

When Fitzgerald e-mailed the major news agencies to reveal his hoax/experiment, only a few admitted their mistake. This quote from the Associated Press article echoes my sentiments:

He said the Guardian was the only publication to respond to him in detail and with remorse at its own editorial failing. Others, he said, treated him as a vandal.

“The moral of this story is not that journalists should avoid Wikipedia, but that they shouldn’t use information they find there if it can’t be traced back to a reliable primary source,” said the readers’ editor at the Guardian, Siobhain Butterworth, in the May 4 column that revealed Fitzgerald as the quote author.

Thankfully I’ve been marked as dubious.

February 17th, 2009

This morning I put up a page on Wikipedia about myself:

Students, remember: Wikipedia shouldn’t be your only source of information. Anyone can edit the page. Let’s see how long it takes for my page to be removed/edited. The issue is that you’re relying on other users to catch the error, and not everyone knows what they’re talking about.

Alan F. Horn – Be careful with Wikipedia

August 26th, 2008

Update: I added my own Wikipedia page. See its progress from start to finish on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia sometimes has entries edited by people who want a joke/revenge:

I don’t know Alan F. Horn, president of Warner Brothers, but I’m pretty sure people would notice his eating habits. This might be someone angry about Horn’s ideas for the Man of Steel movie.

Another Reason Not to Fully Trust Wikipedia

December 7th, 2007

Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia article about book 3 in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series:

From a press release made on 30th October 2007 on, it is stated that the publication date of the as yet untitled third book will be September 23, 2008. A fourth book has been announced. Some of the previously mentioned known details may appear in the fourth book instead of the third, since the two volumes used to be one and the same. Paolini has also stated that the book will end with the death of another major character, but gave no hints as to who it might be.[8]

An excerpt from Book 3, “Light and Shadow”, was included in the Eldest deluxe edition and later released on the Fricaya network.[9] The chapter follows Roran, Eragon and Saphira as they approach Helgrind. Saphira finds the mountain’s impregnability to be an illusion created by Galbatorix, and enters it to find a large cavern. The chapter closes with Saphira being attacked by a Lethrblaka (a parent of the Ra’zac), which knocks Eragon unconscious.and arya dies in this book if any of you have quistions about it email me at

Find the bad edit.