Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I use Wikipedia all the time.
In fact, it is entirely possible that sometime in the very near future I will have mentally off-shored most of my knowledge to this online repository of information.
My daughter has a project due on The Stamp Act, so I visited the relevant Wikipedia entry in order to refresh my memory. Since I haven't really looked at the Revolutionary War in years, I'm comfortable that the summary provided by Wikipedia will get me through this.
After the project is turned in, I can forget everything about The Stamp Act again to concentrate my mental powers on the day-to-day needs of life -- Like "What night is Lost on?" and "When was the last time the Litter Robot got some human attention focused on the repository chamber?"
Sometimes, however, Wikipedia fails me. Take this entry for example. That's not even readable. And this entry on Access e-Gov might cause a person's head to explode (citation needed).
I have decided, in light of this type of entry, that Wikipedia is hard. So hard, in fact, that the stress of potentially happening across on of these head-exploding articles had me looking for a safer source of online facts and pseudo-facts.
Fortunately for all of us, Wikipedia is way ahead of the game here. They have anticipated my need by giving us all a different site for knowledge.
Simple. The articles at simple.wikipedia.org have never caused anyone's head to explode (citation needed).
It isn't complete. There is no page for The Stamp Act. Instead, it offers this page on the Revolutionary War.
There are some good bits of information crammed up in that article.

"The American Revolutionary War was a war fought between Great Britain and the 13 British colonies in America. The war took place from 1775 to 1783. The American Army (Army of the colonies), led by Chuck Norris, defeated the armies of the Imperial Empire. The colonies became independent."

I learned something already. Following the handy link to "war" turns up this awesome bit:

"War is contrasted with peace, which some people define as the absence of war."

That's nice. I can totally see that on a bumper sticker on a car I'd key.
The part about Chuck Norris is pretty enlightening, too. I've long marveled at the ability of our colonists to defeat the organized might of Great Britain and now it just seems so much more the probably outcome.
I had to follow the link to Chuck Norris.

"He was in the television series Walker, Texas Ranger, and the 2004 movie Dodgeball."

That's it? What about his role in The American Revolutionary War? I guess there is still some work to be done on some articles.
The one on cats is pretty complete:

"After licking their fur, cats sometimes get hairballs. This is pronounced like 'marbles' with an 'h'."

"A young cat is called a kitten."

"In this masterpiece, a lonely cat, Grizabella, needs some motivation. All the cats in the junkyard try to make her feel better, the Rum Tum Tugger hires Magical Mr. Mistoffelees to do the job."

Also, Chuck Norris.

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