Jan 042013

The wikipedia searches show what was on the minds of people last year.

English wiki top 10 in 2012The list of the english wiki is pretty much predictable – companies, books, movies and news. Only one unknown term – but now I know that One Direction is yet another boy band (and hey, it’s been a good while since the previous).

Finnish wiki top 10 in 2012The list of the finnish wiki, on the other hand, is odd. Half of the terms are as expected, but I really wonder what are the guitarist from Europe, a domestic publish-your-nekkid-pictures-site and Titanic (the ship, not the movie) doing in the top ten.

Dec 302012

Good to know that there’s a wikipedia article on the concept of applying blunt force to a malfunctioning device.

My personal hall of fame-contribution to the annals of technical tapping is a hairline fracture in the right big toe on account of a television (this was the eighties, a modern screen would burst into atoms at such treatment).

Sep 142011

Yesterday evening I was hit by a sudden memory of a tale from the old woodchuck’s handbook (the copy published by the local Walt Disney company): a mysterious shaft somewhere in the US from which various treasures had been unearthed with great difficulty, since the deep hole kept on filling with water.

Had no idea of the time, place or any real details beyond the above (I probably still own the book, but it’s somewhere at my parents’ place).

Entered a descriptive sentence “mystery hole in the ground that fills with water” into google and was instantly rewarded: the Oak Island mystery remains unsolved to this day.

Jan 152011

Wikipedia 10 yearsWikipedia turns 10 today. Sure, it’s occasionally mired in misinformation and controversy and has been publicly punked multiple times, but wikipedia’s nonetheless a good starting point for most kinds of deeper search.

(Recent topics checked: “witch house” as a musical genre, the names of guest stars on “NCIS: Los Angeles”, the chronology of eighties Macintosh computer releases. And many others.)

Apr 012009

By far the best I’ve seen this year was about Palm’s sudden follow-up product to the still unreleased Pre: Post. And while some chunks of the proposed feature set are plausible, most are dead giveaways…

Sadly enough, wikipedia has deleted the annual collections of jokes, at least the appropriately named AprilFoolsDayOnTheWeb.com provides insight into what happened across the web.

Mar 082009

Irregular bout of appreciation to the wonders of wikipedia sighted recently:

  • Simple english wikipedia was a gift from xkcd the other day. The effort to render complex concepts into form understandable by laypersons is probably much much harder than it seems.
  • Unusual software bugs (mostly named after scientists famous for their counterintuitive theories).
  • The stippled portraits made famous by Wall Street Journal are known as hedcuts.
  • A canonical listing of model railroad scales.
  • Every once in a while the domestic wikipedia exceeds the depth of the big original. The article on late Cliff Burton is one such.
Feb 032009

Among the recently featured articles are pearls such as:

In comparison, the selection of chess champions, catholic clergymen and Radiohead albums in the domestic wikipedia pales in comparison. Though this week’s feature on platypus is a pleasant exception.