More about this blog

I figured I could give some more detail about how this blog came to be, and some other details readers may wish to know.

The genesis of this blog came from an informal game played in my office during idle hours. My particular military occupational specialty is mostly administrative, and so I spend a lot of time in front of my computer. One of the benefits of my particular MOS is that tasks are relatively finite, so that when the work for the day is done, we don't need to create busywork, letting us pursue other stuff while waiting for more tasks to come our way. Since we are still in the office during working hours, I try to keep my guys on something at least resembling productive, so I encourage them to learn stuff on Wikipedia instead of wasting time on Facebook or ESPN.com or whatever. Eventually, we got bored of just reading the articles and started sharing them.
One of us found Wikipedia:Wiki Game, which is essentially 6 degrees of separation (more popularly known as 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon) and we played that for a while, but its charm died rather quickly (though I'm told that there is an iPad game that does exactly this). We came up with our own Wikipedia Game: to find the strangest of the strange, and the funniest of the funny. This was part contest, part sharing, and part just a yuk-fest. But then, I found Wikipedia:Unusual articles... and the fun died. Most of the good articles were on there, and it was hard to find anything worth sharing without cheating off of the list. Everything was there, presented in linear form, complete with pictures and a brief witty explanation. There was no way we could compete with that.
I briefly tried to stimulate the game again online, via a forum owned by a friend of mine. However, there was really no interest in it. None of the discussion board members were really interested in Wikipedia, or used it frequently, so I wound up being the only one to post findings (I'm not even sure if any of them read it). Then I realized that there is a good market for my fun, I just needed a different venue. Hence, this blog was born.

Speaking of Wikipedia:Unusual articles, some of you might ask: why should I read your blog if I can just read that list? Well, hopefully, I can prove myself to be wittier than what you'd find there. There is also a measure of scale: a person can get easily overloaded with that massive list (people like to be spoon fed their entertainment). And of course, I'm not just copying articles off of that list; I find lots of cool stuff that isn't there, and I'm not just going to skulk it for my content.

Another note is the permanency of links. Because Wikipedia articles change over time, what I look at at the time of a post may not be the same article a reader sees down the road. I thought about posting links to the revision I see, but decided against it for a number of reasons. In general, most edits tend to improve an article, and I'm not really cool with showcasing poor versions of an article. Also, technical stuff happens: links break, images get deleted, templates have their functionality change; all of this adds up to making an old revision sometimes completely unreadable years down the road.
I touched upon this before, but I'll clarify here: I'm going to focus on articlespace, and not the behind-the-scenes drama and nonsense. There are plenty of bad jokes and other deleted nonsense on Wikipedia, and I'm not really going to delve into that kind of stuff very often. I prefer articles that are interesting for their content, not the goings-on.

I should have another entry up by the end of the day today. Happy reading!

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