Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CRAP. WHAT IF I FORGET THE BOOT ORDER OF SURVIVOR: HEROES V. VILLAINS?  This blog, of course, takes no official position on the Stop Online Privacy Act and Protect IP Act, which promise to [ruin]/[save] the Internet as we know it by [kowtowing to]/[protecting the legitimate interests of] content creators such as [Edge]/[The Edge] by granting them [unprecedented and unjustified]/[necessary] powers to thwart the [free flow]/[theft] of their intellectual property.

Wikipedia has gone black for this 24h period in protest, however, and on that we as a blog have two roles to play: (1) please catalog here all the Wiki searches you're doing today before forgetting that you can't do them today, and (2) let us help you.  Our hive mind isn't quite as large as The Entire Internet's, but we can half-ass a reasonable-sounding answer just as well as anyone else.


  1. Kcosmo12:15 AM

    Oh, this could be bad. Most mornings of late, Cosmo Boy has woken up with questions as to the tallest buildings in the world. I can handle 1-4 or so without Wikipedia, but things get tougher around, say, #12.

  2. Slowlylu12:24 AM

    Or it could be really really good for libraries. I liked
    Response as well.

  3. Joseph Finn12:34 AM

    (Being the buzzkill for the fun, but I'll note the mobile version of Wiki is working just fine.)

  4. I'm actually really curious what life is going to be like at the reference desk tomorrow. I half wonder if the students won't think we're somehow supposed to fix it.

    (And this is perhaps where I should also note that due to budget cuts, we dropped our Brittanica Online subscription last year.)

  5. This will change my habits not at all.

  6. sconstant1:07 AM

    <span>Non è</span> <span>un problema per me</span><span>,</span> <span>io so</span> <span>come usare</span> <span>Google Translate</span><span>,</span> <span>e Wiki</span> <span>in altre lingue</span> <span>non è</span> <span>oscurato.</span>

  7. lisased8:02 AM

    Very well. I am deep into season one of "Downton Abbey" and would like to know where I have seen Lady Mary before. Also I need to know if I have seen that episode of "Archer" that the DVR recorded this weekend. 

  8. IMDB is still up.  Likeliest places you've seen Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery)--a very small role in Hanna (though her scene was featured in the trailer), and in prior BBC series Cranford and Waking the Dead.

  9. KCosmo9:15 AM

    I was just thwarted in looking up the head of a NYC private school who supposedly resigned today.  I am truly curious as to how many times this will happen to me today.

  10. Sheila9:25 AM

    I was reading a blog post about a "birth encouragement" program in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. I have no idea where in the world that is, so I clicked on the link, which took me to Wikipedia. I saw the original article for half a second and then it went black. I read somewhere else that Wikipedia is purposely letting the mobile and non-English versions stay up and that it's okay with them if you use it that way... they just want to get their message out. So - anyone know where Nagorno-Karabakh is? I know I could google it but I thought I'd see what Thing Throwers know.

  11. Professor Jeff9:34 AM

    My daughter just started her 4th-grade research project (topic: endangered orangutans), and her librarian has blessedly trained the kids to *avoid* Wikipedia. The librarian's explanation was simple -- don't rely on any site that has an "edit" feature, because that means that anyone (even you 10-year-olds!) can change the information. If only my college students took the same approach....

    Obligatory historian's reference to the Onion's brilliant piece, "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years of American Independence."

  12. I did learn one good thing from Wiki today.  My congressman has a twitter!  I like that they put a zip code link to locate and contact your congressperson and senators.  Interaction with elected officials is always a good thing.  Is that too political?  if so, sorry! 

  13. Watts9:59 AM

    (and I feel more edumutated for having looked that up. So, thanks.)

  14. carried10:03 AM

    Also, Lady Mary was in the adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, as Susan, DEATH's granddaughter.

  15. The Pathetic Earthling10:08 AM

    I was camping down in Santa Barbara County this weekend with some friends and wanted to remember how close we were to Reagan's Rancho Del Cielo, but now the oracle of wikipedia won't let me know!  Of course, this bothered me so I tried to Google up my Congressman's email, but the first link -- Open Secrets -- was itself blacked out.  I eventually conjured up both bits of information, but still -- it took me upwards of 15 seconds!  

  16. Sheila10:23 AM

    Thanks to you as well! I'm not sure how many countries I would have guessed before hitting on Azerbaijan...

  17. Nigel from Cameroon11:10 AM

    Thomas More

  18. workaround #2. If you search for a wiki page, you'll see the page for a second before it goes to black. Just stop the screen load before the black bar appears and you'll be able to read the page.

  19. Not to get overly political, but one thing that I find impressive is that the core message of most of the SOPA/PIPA protestors is not the traditional "copyright is bull!  music should be free!" argument, but rather starts with an acknowledgement that yes, piracy is a bad thing not just for big companies but for the artists/authors who create the works.  That's a far more convincing (and important) argument than starting with "I want to download my pirate movies," and one some other political movements could learn from.

  20. Heard a piece by composer Zdenek Fibich on the radio, did a search . . . .

  21. Professor Jeff12:06 PM

    Worked for Doyle Lonergan. Also father of Voldemort.

  22. Genevieve12:13 PM

    I had no idea that was a real composer!  I only knew him from this piece, "A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich":

    It has my favorite musical instruction ever, frequently quoted at my house:  "release the penguins".
    (Also, it has been so long since I performed with a serious group that I have forgotten the official name of musical directions.  ThingWikiers?)

  23. isaac_spaceman12:52 PM

    Paul Di'Anno.  Just wanted to see what he's up to these days.  Answer:  welfare fraud. 

  24. bella wilfer1:49 PM

    Just wanted to let y'all know that I can certainly help on all issues re: Survivor boot order. (YES I KNOW IT WAS A JOKE...)

  25. E-bow the letter.  (Couldn't remember which album it was on.)

  26. New Adventures in Hi-Fi.  Not to be confused with "Tebow The Letter," Michael Stipe's creepy song about Tim Tebow.

  27. Jordan2:52 PM

  28. Nigel from Cameroon3:17 PM

    Jeev Milkha Singh

  29. D'Arcy4:08 PM

    My students were trying to figure out if it's the cuckoo bird or the kookaburra that steals other birds' nests (because one kid compared his classmate to a cuckoo bird - "He just puts his stuff in anybody's backpack, even if it's not his!") I googled it and we found it without resorting to Wikipedia. Which I suppose I could have used in French.

  30. lisased4:25 PM

    Cranford! That's it! Thank you.

  31. lisased4:25 PM

    Adding that to my list.

  32. lisased4:33 PM

    The youngest just asked about D-Day and Pearl Harbor, both of which I could handle. 

    The oldest needed to identify Newton's force measurement tool. Luckily, Google images helped me there.

  33. for that last post:

    undercover princes
    undercover princesses
    american idol season
    next joe millionaire

  34. Emily4:58 PM

    I could have answered that one! It's not so much steals other birds' nests as has other birds tend to/raise their eggs. I teach Shakespeare and it comes up when I'm explaining the term cuckold.

  35. D'Arcy5:38 PM

    I've never made the connection between cuckoo and cuckold. I had to explain the term to my husband... NOT because he was being cuckolded!!! He read it somewhere and had never heard of it.

  36. D'Arcy5:39 PM

    And boy do you get some interesting results if you google "cuckold".

  37. Me:  Do you know what statistical bootstrapping is?
    Husband: kind of
    (long pause)
    Husband:  do you want some unreliable information from me, or do you just want to wait until Wikipedia is up again?

  38. I had two - one was the Uncanny Valley. I know what it is, but I wanted to read more about it after hearing about it (again) on a podcast this morning. Then, I'm doing some research on retirement plans for work and need to know what the hell basis points are. Anyone?

  39. Patrick9:22 PM

    Off the top of my head,