Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/January 6, 2010

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What's a Write-a-Thon?

It's a bunch of people getting together on a wiki at a particular time to do a bunch of writing. It's like an online party! Heck no, it is an online party! It's also an excuse for infrequent wikiers to show up and party hardy; to exchange ideas with people we might not "meet" otherwise.

But hey, why not show up in between the write-ins, too!


Write-a-Thons happen the first Wednesday of every month. The next Write-a-Thon is Wednesday, January 6th, 2009. Starts on January 5th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Wednesday in New Zealand, and ends on January 7th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Wednesday in Hawaii. Save The Date! Put it on your calendar! Set yourself a reminder!

Any new article you create, and any edit you make to somebody else's Write-a-Thon article during that time period will count, though to be a bona fide partier, you have to write your new articles when it's that day in your part of the world.

Our first Write-a-Thon took place Wednesday, August 1, 2007 and was considered a roaring good time--we had about 30 partiers creating something like 50 articles, and editing lots.

Read all about it!! Let's try this again

By popular request, we'll be trialling Write-a-Thon II, a Sunday session of the Write-a-Thon to accommodate those who work all week and have trouble making it in to the party room on Wednesdays.

Soooo--if you worked Wednesday, if you had a bad day Wednesday and didn't get to come to the party or didn't get to do as much as you would have liked, or if you would just like another opportunity to join in the fun, come on along. Starts on January 9th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Sunday in New Zealand, and ends on January 11th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Sunday in Hawaii.

What are the rules?

Rules? This is a party! There are no rules!

Well, OK, maybe there are a couple rules:

  • We'll have a Write-a-Thon the first Wednesday of every month.
  • To participate, you only have to do two things: (1) start a new article (even just a stub will qualify, if not too short - and please remember to include the subpages template!), and (2) make a substantive edit (not just a copyedit) to somebody else's new article. Then you can list your name here as a partier. Until then, sign in as a porch-sitter, party-crasher, or total party poop.

This month's Party Theme

Create a stub, any stub--what could be easier?

The Partiers

I should remind you of the relatively high-technology Polynesian society that learned to build virtual skyscrapers of grass. Unfortunately, their monarch tended to push his engineers to go beyond their conservative approach to structural safety.
On the anniversary of his coronation, he threw a great feast in the grass palace, and, to get more room for celebration, ordered that his throne be moved into storage upstairs. Unfortunately, the drumming was such that it caused the floor to fail, and the throne fell, crushing the king. This proves that people who live in grass houses should not stow thrones. --Howard C. Berkowitz 05:08, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Peter thought that it is still almost New Year's Day and started New Year's Concert as a stub with some links that could lead to more (if time and energy permit). --Peter Schmitt 11:37, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
One more related stub: Musikverein. --Peter Schmitt 14:31, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Added Wiener Philharmoniker - there should be more, but unfortunately that will be the last for today. --Peter Schmitt 00:55, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, stub network now done as a base article. There can be lots more development, such as stub area in hierarchical dynamic routing. --Howard C. Berkowitz 00:28, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, praise the Lord! Someone's going explain 'twitter' to me, I'm still trying to figure out what computers have to do with birds' songs. Thanks, Tom! Will make hot toddies to help out with all that cold!Aleta Curry 08:48, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I would really like to understand, using the information disciplines of "push" and "pull", why Twitter is more useful that an alphanumeric two-way pager with multicast groups. Or, in fact, is that all it is under the hype? --Howard C. Berkowitz 17:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, sort of. It's that, but it conforms to RESTful principles as any good Web citizen should. It's really not that bad - see my account, the CZ account, Larry's account, Dan's account. It's a lot less annoying than Facebook or MySpace, for instance. –Tom Morris 07:11, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but I'm not familiar with RESTful principles, and I consider myself an Internet citizen, not a Web citizen. I do use LinkedIn, but not MySpace or Facebook; I do make extensive use of mailing lists but routinely refuse invitations to create connections to social networks. I use content specific blogs and sign my real name; I have stopped using some restricted social networks when my friends basically stopped using them as well. In 40 years or so of Internet and pre-Internet experience, I'm eager to adopt technologies that improve my productivity, and firm on not using technologies that interrupt it. Instant messenger/chat services are great for back-channels during a teleconference, but I have found instant messaging incoherent -- my email client is always open, and it's trivially easy even to send a brief message there. While I have colleagues that want instant interruptions, I find them a desire for instant gratification that reflects the "Hive Mind" and interferes with thought.
Would you explain this to me 'I consider myself an Internet citizen, not a Web citizen.'
I'm not being funny at all; I have no idea what you mean.
Go slowly. Speak English. Use small words. (And be concise, Howard, you know how you get!)
Aleta Curry 23:17, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Multicast texting has had enormous benefit in organizing real-time activities, such as the Phillipines political protests. Nevertheless, when there is opportunity for ambiguity, as in medical or military information passing, there are short messages, but they are always structured. --Howard C. Berkowitz 13:36, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Stubs... well, I've created a few of those in my time. Perhaps I could do something on Broadway actor Stubby Kaye ( a stubby stub) or the infamous brown stubby, the standard Canadian beer bottle back when I first came of age. Meanwhile, I've started in on telegraph -Derek Hodges 01:37, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
In a most stubby way, I started stub network within the deadline, but need to add graphics, and then extend the concepts to other, more general ideas in routing, such as stub areas in OSPF and Type 1 areas in IS-IS. --Howard C. Berkowitz 17:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Done. --Howard C. Berkowitz 00:28, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
And our newest Citizen is doing superconductor, so the orchestra can have a really good one. --Howard C. Berkowitz 00:29, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Does it really matter what other people think? (Paging Dr. Feynman) --Howard C. Berkowitz 00:29, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Hayford had taken a brief sabbatical of not much more than a year to drink martinis, kibbitz other Authors, and play at being a Constable. Finally, however, he laid down his martini shaker and other childish toys, picked up his quill pen, and wrote a brief article about a long-forgotten gentleman named Mercer Beasley (no, NOT the 1890 Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, you dummies, his *grandson*!) Now he'll go and find some other Partiers' new articles and do a little copyediting (just enough) to qualify himself as a full-time Partier for this festive month of January. Hayford Peirce 04:05, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, now I've made a major edit to the lede of Skull stripping -- I hope Daniel doesn't try to strip *my* skull as a consequence! Hayford Peirce 04:16, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
PS -- it's hard to find a subject that ain't in WP, but we've now got an exclusive on old Mercer.... Hayford Peirce 04:34, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

  • Colonel Mustard had no challenges here. The gun was found in the ballroom. Meg Ireland 03:30, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Really? I hadn't a clue! Aleta Curry 04:18, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
For you two, shouldn't it be as keen as Marmite? --Howard C. Berkowitz 04:23, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Groaaaaan! Aleta Curry 04:45, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
More like turned off as iSnack 2.0 Meg Ireland 02:53, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Porch sitters--article creators who didn't edit a new article

Daniel started off with skull stripping. --Daniel Mietchen 11:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I really had to read that; I wasn't sure if it was a really far-out Goth erotic dance or Vlad the Impaler starting from the other end. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:17, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, that sounds really freaky--dare I read this article? Aleta Curry 08:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Party crashers--article contributors who didn't create a new article

Rather late and missed the boat!

The shy ones, absent-minded profs, and other modest creatures

The total party poops

Special Requests

Charter and constitution

Please take a look at Charter and Constitution and help to get them into shape for the drafting period.

That was not what I had in mind — rather, I thought that we should start/ improve the charter and constitution articles to provide background for the above. --Daniel Mietchen 10:29, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Related pages

We had a special request for people to start stubs from the Related Pages of existing articles. A good idea which will help us to complete clusters.


Please take a look at Category:Need def and help to bring the number of items on that list down.

You can also go for this by Workgroups:

Natural Sciences

Category:Astronomy need def · Category:Biology need def · Category:Chemistry need def · Category:Earth Sciences need def · Category:Mathematics need def · Category:Physics need def

Social Sciences

Category:Anthropology need def · Category:Archaeology need def · Category:Economics need def · Category:Education need def · Category:Geography need def · Category:Law need def · Category:Linguistics need def · Category:Politics need def · Category:Psychology need def · Category:Sociology need def


Category:Classics need def · Category:History need def · Category:Literature need def · Category:Philosophy need def · Category:Religion need def


Category:Architecture need def · Category:Music need def · Category:Theater need def · Category:Visual Arts need def

Applied Arts and Sciences

Category:Agriculture need def · Category:Business need def · Category:Computers need def · Category:Engineering need def · Category:Food Science need def · Category:Healing Arts need def · Category:Health Sciences need def · Category:Journalism need def · Category:Library and Information Science need def · Category:Media need def · Category:Military need def · Category:Robotics need def


Category:Games need def · Category:Hobbies need def · Category:Sports need def


Category:Eduzendium need def · Category:Topic Informant need def · Category:Technical Team need def


  • Okay, apropos of nothing: it's still Wednesday in Honolulu and Anchorage. How can that be? Aleta Curry 08:53, 7 January 2010 (UTC) I should add that the reason I don't get it is because it's almost Friday in Suva. Where's Phineas Fogg when you need him? It really *is* a mad, mad world. Aleta Curry 08:57, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

It's a wrap!

Alas, it's no longer Sunday anywhere! Time to wrap it up for another month. Thanks, everyone! Aleta Curry 21:08, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

empty form

Official libations


  • Inaugural - beer!
  • September - champagne
  • October - we were refurbishing the bar and only had coffee!
  • November - made up for last month with more vodka than was good for us and plenty of rum.
  • December - eggnog and wine


  • January - Whisky and the Cocktail of the Month, a pharisee
  • February - schnapps and the Cocktail of the Month, the caipirinha (considered the national drink of Brazil)
  • March - port wine (which should probably live at port (wine), no? (Someone put that on their list, please....Oh, *someone* did--thanks, Ro) and the Cocktail of the Month, a Dead Aunt
  • April - Akpeteshie hot and fresh from Ghana. And cool shandies and spritzers if that took your fancy. Lotsa staggering around the bar after this party!
  • May - Was it champagne? No, we were dry, I think.
  • June - Were we abstaining yet again?
  • July - Sherry
  • August - pineapple juice Well, that's all right, I guess!
  • September - Given the music theme, i assume it was pop?
  • October - Cranberry juice. Some nut who shall remain nameless but whose initials are HP suggested Drano, (i.e. what cleans better than Drano?) but....
  • November - Spring water (Now Bruce just has to write it! Aleta Curry 04:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC))
  • December - Piña colada - get some light rum, mix it with pineapple and coconut cream. Instantly warp back to the eighties.


  • January - Bloody Mary - because, as Nietzsche said, we should only love that which is written with blood. Controversial enough?
  • February - Absinthe - updates last month, but doesn't it make one forget? (No. Urban legend, except that 50-percent-plus alcohol does do its mite)
  • March - Energy Drink - pump that caffeine into your system so you can burn through all those pesky definition subpages!


  • January - Hot toddy - for our friends in the Northern Hemisphere.
Is there such a thing as a cold toddy? Just wondering... --Howard C. Berkowitz 21:06, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Another thing that makes you go: 'hmmm...?' Aleta Curry 23:20, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Bonus point winners

  • I'm awarding 15,312 bonus points to Howard for his superlative efforts in keeping the Write a Thons going. Aleta Curry 05:02, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  • 2,112 points to the archivist, 'cause I was getting desperate. (Still not sure whether that's Chris or Peter, though.) Aleta Curry 05:02, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Write-a-Thon Theme Suggestions

New Suggestions and Discussion

  • "Hometown Heroes" - write about someone famous from your part of the world (either where you're from, or where you are now).
  • "Poles Apart" - find the spot directly on the other side of Earth from you, and write about someone or something in the vicinity. (Contributors on other planets, follow a similar procedure for whatever planet you're on. Contributors not on planetary bodies permitted to write about whatever they feel like.)
  • Fill in an item from this interesting list of natural objects. Or this interesting list of people.
  • All articles must start with the same letter of the alphabet, allowing for diacritics and transliteration (so Å, Á, and あ would all count if A were the letter, for instance).
  • Photo stubs - no minimum word length, no theme requirement, but must contain an image.
  • Choose a random number from 1 to 500, then go to Special:WantedPages and start an article on the topic currently at that rank.
  • How about an alternate weekend date, say the Sunday after the official Write-a-Thon, for those of us who spend our Wednesdays working at places that frown on extensive personal use of company computers? --Petréa Mitchell 19:15, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
There's a current forum thread on this-the proposal was to move the WaT to the weekend. Your suggestion might pose a good compromise. Aleta Curry 21:33, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I would be a lot more able to participate on weekends. My weekday workdays are 11+ hours.Pat Palmer 02:51, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
  • What will people most enjoy writing that could lead many different contributors to a short, but complete and interesting article that links to larger articles? Maybe "Events" could be a theme - pen-portraits of memorable sporting moments (see try, or notable historical events - including tsunamis, eruption of Krakatoa, comet collision with Jupiter, the birth of Dolly the sheep, freeing of Nelson Mandela, the sinking of the Titanic, assassination of Martin Luther King, the Mutiny on the Bounty, the discovery of the Americas? Can I suggest asking that every new article should have at least one external link and links to other articles here?Gareth Leng 12:31, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I like this idea. Further, definitions and other subpages are preferable, even for stubs. Chris Day 17:01, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Dare I suggest that even stubs can and should be non-orphans? Basic criteria: Howard C. Berkowitz 18:00, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Reachable from the front page or a core article/workgroup page
  • Link to at least three other articles, even if they are redlinks in a Related Articles subpages
  • Have at least three other articles link to them
  • I propose "childish things" as a topic. --Larry Sanger 15:51, 6 May 2009 (UTC) talkin' 'bout me again??? You can always tell who's got a toddler at home, huh, Larry? Aleta Curry 02:57, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Myths and mythology. Every culture and every field of study has them! --Joe Quick 15:36, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • School. Institutions at any level, government and non-government organizations, desk supplies, anything at or about school. --Joe Quick 20:42, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
See Drew for schools of fish. I've been working on madrassa. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:06, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Please take a look at Category:Developed Articles and help to improve items on that list.

You can also go for this by Workgroups:

Natural Sciences

Category:Astronomy Developed Articles · Category:Biology Developed Articles · Category:Chemistry Developed Articles · Category:Earth Sciences Developed Articles · Category:Mathematics Developed Articles · Category:Physics Developed Articles

Social Sciences

Category:Anthropology Developed Articles · Category:Archaeology Developed Articles · Category:Economics Developed Articles · Category:Education Developed Articles · Category:Geography Developed Articles · Category:Law Developed Articles · Category:Linguistics Developed Articles · Category:Politics Developed Articles · Category:Psychology Developed Articles · Category:Sociology Developed Articles


Category:Classics Developed Articles · Category:History Developed Articles · Category:Literature Developed Articles · Category:Philosophy Developed Articles · Category:Religion Developed Articles


Category:Architecture Developed Articles · Category:Music Developed Articles · Category:Theater Developed Articles · Category:Visual Arts Developed Articles

Applied Arts and Sciences

Category:Agriculture Developed Articles · Category:Business Developed Articles · Category:Computers Developed Articles · Category:Engineering Developed Articles · Category:Food Science Developed Articles · Category:Healing Arts Developed Articles · Category:Health Sciences Developed Articles · Category:Journalism Developed Articles · Category:Library and Information Science Developed Articles · Category:Media Developed Articles · Category:Military Developed Articles · Category:Robotics Developed Articles


Category:Games Developed Articles · Category:Hobbies Developed Articles · Category:Sports Developed Articles


Category:Eduzendium Developed Articles · Category:Topic Informant Developed Articles · Category:Technical Team Developed Articles

Future Theme Schedule

  • February - The Play's the Thing - both the ones you act in, and the ones in sports.

See also

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