Sunday, December 28, 2008


only played on the wikipedia a lil' this month, as moving to Trinidad and adventuring around took precedence over nerding it up on the computer. 40 hours a week on the internet for work still leaves plenty of time to delve deeper into the wiki world though

I found these other guys who are running a parallel list of places by area. Their table is far superior to the one me and my buddies at the E+m² have, but they are irrelevant. The only articles that link to their pages are their other pages. They are a self-perpetuating set of hyperlinks. A perfect example of a waste of energy. One of the main reasons that I've been so slow (aside from sheer laziness) to contribute heavily to the wikipedias is fear of squandering my time and efforts. These dudes have heated debates amongst themselves on the talk pages, but their hard work will continue to go unappreciated. Suppose it is still better than killing orcs and being a level 73 elvin mage or whatever they'd be doing with the internet otherwise, but it is depressing to see wasted potential

in other news, the wikipedia has a tournament where the more things you write and edit the more points you get and you can advance to the next round and there is a bracket and a wikicup champion. I signed up for the Simple English tournament (I am representing Trinidad & Tobago) and wrote a coupla stubs just to get back into the habit. There's no way I'm gonna win the tournament, but my objective is to not finish in last place. Look for me to curtail the English and Spanish wikipediaing, at least 'til I get thrown out of the tournament

Saturday, November 29, 2008

1 E+12 m²

I've always had a thing for maps and charts full of statistics and almanacs and rankings. Realized one day that I was embarrassingly ignorant of Africa. Started out by just drawing the continent with borders for all the countries. I challenge any of you to take a blank piece of paper and draw Africa. Your map will be awful. Maybe you'll be able to roughly place Egypt and South Africa and maybe a few others, but no way you'll even get more that a dozen of the 53 with any accuracy. After a few times you can get pretty good though. Once I could draw a nasty map of Africa I started learning and comparing the land areas and populations of the countries. That was almost 4 years ago though, and I haven't played with any of the flashcards since I moved out of that apartment

A few weeks ago I found some underperfected wikipedianess that is right up that alley though. It is a list ranking of all sorts of stuff based on size. Countries and states and provinces too. I had made some charts versing the big Brazilian and Australian ones with Canadia's best of and Alaska, but without the Russian and Chinese ones it was a pretty dumb game. I had almanacs in 3 languages, but none had stats for all the contestants. Fast forward a few years and now everything is but a hyperlink or two away. They got planets and moons and oceans and deserts and all sorts of stuff these wikipedia charts. Still missing a lot though, which is where I can be of assistance

I added Chad, Mali, and Mauritania on the E + 12m² page. Apparently folks had been neglecting the African countries on my flashcards. I also added Krasnoyarsk Krai (Russia), Tyumen Oblast (Russia), and South Australia. Corrected the numbers for Canada, Western Australia, Greenland, Queensland, Xinjiang, and Northern Territory too

Then I created links to the E + 12m² page on for Greenland, Alaska, and Bolivia, and corrected the ones for Indonesia and the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Pará. Coupla them are featured articles too. Hadn't really used the English account since Dec 2007 and first day back I'm editing featured articles. Tried to add the E + 12m² link on other articles that didn't have it, but there is template drama. Everything has it's own special template with all sorts of things that get confused. I can do countries and Brazilian states, but couldn't get Chinese, Russian, Canadian, or Australian ones. Not trying to edit their Infobox templates, so their km² isn't hyperlinked like everyone else's

Still though, it was a pretty decent return from hiatus. The E + 11m² article has a lot more missing information/mistakes as there are a lot more things of that size than there are one order of magnitude larger. It shouldn't be that hard though, I'll prolly get in a few here and there over the next few weeks

I also unified all my accounts. All the various wikipedias are independent, which meant that prior to May 2008 you had to have separate accounts for everything. If I wanted to upload a picture for an article I wrote in Spanish, I had to create a separate account to upload the picture to the Commons. Then if I wanted to put that picture on the English wikipedia I needed to create another account to do that. So stupid. You always had the option of logging in anonymously and editing things as your IP address, but then you don't get the glory of contributing. I don't even have a profile page for most of my wiki accounts, but still. Not even sure what all a unified account entails. It feels like a big step up in legitimacy though, which is for what everything wikipedia-related should be striving

Monday, November 3, 2008

tryin' to bring sexyback

last week I was staying in Brooklyn and a friend recommended walking 'cross the bridge into Manhattan. So many people died and got "the bends" during its construction, gotta love feats of engineering with high body counts. Anywhoo . . . one of the signs from its centennial celebration in 1983 pointed out the various skyscrapers of the skyline. Recognized the name of one of 'em and proclaimed "hey, I know that building! I wrote the wikipedia entry for that building." Chuckled a bit and walked over the river. Downtown has lots more old and interesting things than does midtown, midtown architecture tends to be more of the giant rectangular style than the stone and gargoyle stuff in older areas. Was quite impressed with the carvings and metal stuff on this one building and then saw the name. "Hey, I wrote the wikipedia entry for that building too!" There weren't any pictures of all these cool details on the wikipedia though, just a crappy generic picture. Now here I was standing before the building that doesn't have any good pictures on the wikipedia. No excuses, I gotta start wikipediaing again. Had a buddy in Dubai who I tried to recruit into taking pictures of some of the Dubai skyscrapers that don't have good wikipedia pictures, but he declined. Now here I was in New York not taking pictures for the wikipedia either. And I had been in Chicago and not taken any pictures there either

haven't worked out since Puerto Rico either, but I'ma start overachieving again on at least one front ere I head back down to the Caribbean

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wikidrama: the navigational templates versus

Navigational templates are lil' boxes on the bottom of a wikipedia article that link it to other articles sharing a common theme. They are for the most part redundant with categories and lists, but they look pretty and lead to more right clicking and result in lots of Open Link in New Tab. Because they are easy to make, look cool, and link to articles you like/think people should click on, folks make a lot of navigational templates. That's why I make 'em. I even put pictures on mine. My navigational templates rock.

The creation of navigational templates has been getting completely out of hand. Some articles have a ridiculous number that serve more to confuse/overwhelm than to provide meaningful encyclopedic content. Check out the comical number of navigational templates for soccer coachSven-Göran Eriksson. A backlash of anti-navigational template deletionists have been overcompensating for this proliferation. Wiki folks tend to be sensitive and highly protective of their creations, and when legitimate navigational templates got caught in the deletion rampage, shit got kinda crazy. Wikipedia's open and democratic nature leads to bickering and counter rebuttals worse than you can imagine. Thousands of these guys versing thousands of these guys. Trust me, you don't want to get involved with any of these dudes.

Not sure who's gonna win the versus, but I'ma keep making navigational templates 'til the whole thing gets resolved. Been putting off making lists for some reason, but I need to get on that in order to hedge my bets and be sufficiently redundant that I won't be upset if everything gets deleted.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

first encounter with a vandal

There's this dude (who logs in from multiple IP addresses) who likes to go around falsifying heights of skyscrapers in Mexico. Not quite sure why someone would chose to spend their time doing that, but the wikipedias attracts some strange folks. I wasn't trying to start any fights or appeal to any authorities or anything, so I just undid his stupidity and added some comments to the talk page. It was my first time contributing to a talk pages and doing so made me feel like an upstanding member of society.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the extent of my contributions for April. I could make excuses (and not having electricity for 3 weeks is a pretty damn good one), but I am the only one responsible for my lack of productivity. Still plugging along, albeit at a slower than expected pace. Finally updated this blog though. It had been idle since November. Was hoping to have my wikiprofiles updated as well, but didn't get around to it. Maybe May will be the month. Will May be maybe the month? Maybe May be maybe be May maybe maybe maybe

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Categories and Templates

I am now completely inside the Matrix. Simultaneously creating everything in Spanish and Simple. I am awesome. Arbitrarily set the proverbial bar at 250m+ and have conquered New York and Chicago. Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Dubai are next. Then I'ma knock out all the rest of the buildings in the US.

My templates rock. Wanna thank my man Nimbus 08 for inspiring me with the idea of adding a picture to the templates.

Categories are pretty insane too. If ever go completely Howard Hughes paranoid bonkers, that's prolly where you'll find me. Lots and lots of potential for thinking too much there

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


started starting on the simple. Simple English wikipedia sucks. Depressing the number of dead links, stubs, and terrible articles. I'ma do what I do though and benchmark the skyscraper stuff with the best of 'em. I'll be doing the spanish simultaneously as well. It's a very small corner of the universe I've staked out, but my rinconcito kicks ass in its legitimacy.

Was plugging away at the history of the tallest building in the world 'til I got caught in the whole habitable floors v. architectural detail debate. Was going back and forth between giving it to Ulmer Münster or the Park Row building for a while and then it stopped being fun so I quit. Coullda written the definitive answer as the internet consensus is split and no one could have contradicted a well-articulated stance on the issue, but I just didn't care enough. The whole episode kinda soured me for a while and left me indifferent to everything.

I have a tendency to get bored easily. When inspired I am capable of doing anything, but once derailed it can take me a while to get going again. Lack of urgency is one of the biggest things I have to overcome (in wikipedia and everything else in life). Without a deadline, I get distracted to the point of inactivity. I need to be in a routine. Routines are great for me since I am a robot. I need to eat breakfast in the morning (and coffee and a muffin is NOT breakfast. Without 500+ calories and 20+ grams of protein I'll be grumpy 'til lunch), but other than that I am extremely flexible. Sleep schedules, physical activity, illness, external stimulation or lack thereof all have negligible effect on me. I'm down for whatever and rarely even notice my circumstances. As such it is important for me to put myself it good situations, otherwise I'll be content to wallow in my own filth in perpetuity. Once in a while wallowing in filth is fun and even healthy, but perpetuity seems a bit much.

This month I moved to Puerto Rico and had to get adjusted, but in March I should have my work, food, gym, beach, and other such things down to a science. Then I'll be free to over or underachieve in peripheral areas as much or as little as I please. I'm calling March to be my big wikipedia coming of age month.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Anexo:Rascacielos más altos

previously I had only been creating stub articles for dead links. I fixed bad links and created redirects. I was meek and timid and did nothing that could in any way be considered offensive. I never objected or did anything when someone edited one of my articles, even if they deleted a relevant link or something. After doing this for a while, I decided to make a decisive move and use all my acquired knowledge and internet stalking for good.

I basically rewrote the entire list of tallest skyscrapers on the Spanish wikipedia. Took me a while and there is plenty of room for improvement, but all in all I am quite proud of myself. I'ma have to update the list periodically to keep it fresh and I need to add some other stuff, but I was very pleased that no one objected to any of my deletions or additions. With my first major edit under my belt, I now feel like an official wiki dude.

Unfortunately that was all the interneting I did in January. Had a lot of loose ends to tie up as I was leaving the school at the end of the semester and moving to Puerto Rico, so my cyberproductivity was curtailed severely. I even killed off LEGOMAN, which hurt even more than I thought it would. Oh well, suppose I can only simultaneously half-ass on but so many fronts.

Think I'ma forgo the Portuguese and just get to work on the Simple English. Starting with the skyscrapers and then there are lots of potential projects.