Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/November 5, 2008

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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, November 5, 2008. Starts on October 4th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Wednesday in New Zealand, and ends on October 6th, 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.

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 --

National Parks

... most countries have them but Citizendium doesn't...yet.

The Partiers

Woo-hoo! Larry Sanger is the first partier! Because he edited Volga Tatar language, a language he's heard spoken some. He has been to Kazan! Then he went around the world to Denali National Park and Preserve...which he visited as a kid but never since...  :-(

Louise is joining Larry as the partiers, because she finds the Volga Tatar language fascinating. Louise Valmoria 22:49, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Anthony.Sebastian, "to make a start more swift than weighty" (—Vikram Seth, The Golden Gate (1986)), started a new Biology Workgroup and Health Sciences Workgroup article, Allostasis and allostatic load. He wrote it initially in the Volga Tatar language, then machine translated it to AE. Added image to Denali National Park and Preserve, hoping Larry can provide better description. --Anthony.Sebastian 04:19, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Tres peu de partiers here! Does everyone have a post-election hangover?! Hayford didn't have a hangover, although he was certainly pleased by the results of the election itself but was feeling grouchy about the bottle of what should have been a superb Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle that he had put on ice for the victory celebration -- it was bland and not very bubbly. Grrr. All the earlier bottles from the same case had been terrific. So, eventually, he made himself a martini for the victory lap. And today, sans gueule de bois and feeling fresh, he wrote the article about Sir Henry Merrivale and did a tiny bit of editing on Volga Tatar language, just so that he could meet all the qualifications of being a full-blown partier. Tomorrow he'll finish polishing the H.M. article... Hayford Peirce 04:28, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

I think post-election this-or-that probably has a lot to do with it! --Larry Sanger 05:00, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

Rather late and missed the boat!

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

Louise is starting off the day by ... attempting to archive the last month's work. Oooh. Hope I succeeded. As today's theme is national parks, she'll kick off the day with the Grampians National Park in Australia and Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic. For some collaborative work for others to contribute to, she is still chipping away at writing some articles for chemical elements; among them, uranium, iodine and zinc (yes, soon those links will no longer be redlinks; she has to start work in a minute). Have a great write-a-thon everyone; see you at the party! Louise Valmoria 19:59, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Still porch-sitting after a hectic day at work, did indulge in a bit of geology by beginning a biography of Alfred Wegener. I guess continental drift doesn't have much to do with national parks, but it's all about the shaping of the earth in the end, isn't it? Louise Valmoria 15:57, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
It's an excellent tie in, now we need James Hutton (def)and Charles Lyell. A little closer to National Parks, John Muir (a famous drop out from University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I happen to work. There is a bust of him in the Botany Department) would be a good one with his pioneering work in getting Yosemite to national park status. Chris Day 16:05, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Notice all these Scottish connections

Gareth chipped in with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park on a busy day, sorry can't join in more.Gareth Leng 12:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

No worries, Gareth, good to see you here and thanks for coming! Louise Valmoria 15:57, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm feeling rather ill today - not at all related to good news from America - but I managed to summon up a few words on Web 2.0. No national parks for me, I'm afraid. --Tom Morris 23:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

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

Bobby Driscoll and Connie Stevens in The Party Crashers - 1958

Chris crashed into Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park in the northern hemisphere and the ‎Grampians National Park in the southern hemisphere.

Thanks for 'crashing' in with my contributions, Chris, and filling in a lot of the gaps that I missed--when write-a-thonning in breaks at the office it can often be hours before I can check back on my own work and make sufficient edits. Really appreciate it :) Louise Valmoria 15:40, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Just a note about the above heading "Party crashers--article contributors who didn't create a new article".
I majorly authored the article on Bobby Driscoll on Wikipedia (from a stub/start up to the present content and only imported it to Citizendium. The same with the articles on Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce. A few days ago I started the article on deceased actress Luana Patten (introductive header and metadata-box), and on my user page you can find a list of actors/actresses/artists etc. for whom I intend to write articles. But before that, I first wanted to take the opportunity to extend my article on Bobby. So let's say: I didn't create articles yet, but will definitely in the future. Your recent edit, concerning the info-box and the headshot is rather messing up the layout. The version before looked better. --Oliver Renye 18:22, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
What info box? What headshot? What layout? Let's fix it. Aleta Curry 20:27, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
He's talking about his article called Bobby Driscoll, about the child actor. Hayford Peirce 20:35, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

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

The total party poops

  • Supten could not join this month's party due to various reasons but hopes to atone that in December!
No probs, Supten; I think it's a busy day for most people. Looking forward to seeing you next time! Louise Valmoria 15:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Daniel has to get offline now and probably won't make it back before the end of this Wednesday, but envisions to return to the subject of National parks on another occasion. --Daniel Mietchen 16:54, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for checking in regardless Daniel! See you next time around, we hope. Louise Valmoria 23:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Aleta was prevented from joining by a family emergency, and is extremely grateful to Larry for getting the party going and to Louise for emceeing. I feel more bonus points in Louise's future!
Meanwhile, where are all the Americans??? You can't all be drained and exhausted after hours of participating in the democratic process and heavy political analysis...?
Aleta Curry 00:49, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Special Requests

While you're here and partying (or somewhere out there--I guess it's the elections?), please consider adding your testimony to CZ:Why I contribute to CZ. Louise Valmoria 08:37, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


What workgroups should national parks articles go in??? --Larry Sanger 21:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Oooh. Good one. Geography, perhaps? Do we have a workgroup for recreation? (I should know the answer to this one, but ...) Any other WAT attendees have any suggestions? Louise Valmoria 23:44, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Obviously recreation, but hobbies or sports might be in the eyes of the beholder. Biology for the ecologically important parks, Earth Sciences for many, especially places like Yellowstone or Yosemite. Even anthropology or archeology for fossil or cultural artifacts. History for parks with a historical importance, civil war sites etc. Most of these are too specific to be generalised. Chris Day 00:04, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, there isn't a Recreation Workgroup. That's a "supercategory" that apparently broader than the sum of its subcategories (Games, Hobbies, and Sports)! Geography is a good idea though obviously. --Larry Sanger 05:04, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

It's a wrap!

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 -

Bonus point winners

Write-a-Thon Theme Suggestions

New Suggestions and Discussion

Go ahead and propose one!

  • National Parks - most countries have them but Citizendium doesn't...yet.
  • I had a thought the other day - why don't we have a Subpages day - either separate or as a Write-A-Thon theme? There's tons of them Bibliographies, Related Articles and Definitions that need writing. --Tom Morris 11:48, 4 July 2008 (CDT)
It's a good thought, Tom, and I can see where the subpages need doing. Trouble is, whenever the Write-a-Thon has been too narrowly restricted, particularly when the suggested 'theme' is really a codename for 'work', it doesn't go over well. The WaT's great success is the fun, write-what-you-want atmosphere.
Maybe a separate subpages initiative?
Aleta Curry 18:25, 4 July 2008 (CDT)
Edited to add: Actually, why don't I add this in to October's spring clean? The more options, the more likely people will find something they like doing. Aleta Curry 18:33, 4 July 2008 (CDT)
  • Could fall under the category of 'Attractions', and 'National Parks' also covers some of these too. Most countries also have at least one UNESCO Heritage Listed location--could well be worth a shot, as these locations would have a rich history as well as artistic/cultural significance. Louise Valmoria 20:16, 6 August 2008 (CDT)
  • May I suggest a separate theme for each workgroup, and a campaign to obtain a commitment from each member of each workgroup to start a new article, however stubby, but thoughtfully and excellently stubby. A rhetorical question. Incidentally, CZ has no article on Rhetoric, a fascinating subject with roots in antiquity and above-ground branches and fruit in the 21st century. --Anthony.Sebastian 19:31, 19 August 2008 (CDT)
I really like this one. Does anyone have an idea how to make it work? Does anyone think it would conflict with workgroup weeks? Speak now! Aleta Curry 19:06, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
Should be pretty easy - we get Larry to send an e-mail out to everyone asking someone from each workgroup - an editor or author - to submit the name of an article to collaborate on, and then we put the list up on the Write-a-Thon page, and go to work. --Tom Morris 19:08, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
It has been suggested that if you were old enough to remember the sixties, the drugs made you forget. Alas, I seemed to be allergic or immune to everything...Howard C. Berkowitz 19:10, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
I think a retro theme is a great idea, but I also think most CZers would expect that to be a little more than 10 years, Tom, at least for our first one! I'll allow the 90s later, if you promise not to refer to that lady as "Princess Diana". Aleta Curry 18:47, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
My original suggestion was going to be the 1860s, or perhaps the 1780s, but we could go for the 1980s. I'm surprised we haven't had a naming policy thread yet about royalty and names - technically, post-divorce she was "Diana Windsor, Princess of Wales", although what the Royals have done since, I couldn't say (or, as a republican, care). --Tom Morris 19:04, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
AAARRRRGH!!!! (Tom said, 'I'm surprised we haven't had a naming policy thread yet about royalty and names....' [gasps for breath] You kidding???
We have a whole proposal about that floating around here someplace. Hmmm...didn't it make it into policy? Guys? Better ask The Other Anthony.
Aleta Curry 19:12, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
  • How about another Spring cleaning in March 2009? Daniel Mietchen 08:20, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
Not a bad idea at all, unless I get swamped with new, untried requests in the mean time. Aleta Curry 18:47, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
Possibly the theme could be subpages. Some of them need a lot of housekeeping. Or getting some decent images for the articles we do have. Chris Day 19:17, 6 October 2008 (CDT)
  • I've picked "Controversies". Not just because it's an opportunity to show how we handle current ones, though that's an idea, too. No, I was musing over how things can be controversial in one era, and not even raise an eyebrow in another. Or how one can think a controversy is over, and then the social cycle changes, and all of a sudden it's controversial again. In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now God knows, anything goes!. Aleta Curry 19:06, 6 October 2008 (CDT)

Future Theme Schedule

  • December - Retro! - I have to pick a decade....
  • January - Controversies

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