Thursday, July 10, 2008

The truth is in there

Like Nicholson Baker, I love Wikipedia. I know, I know, it's full of mistakes, but that's probably part of the attraction. Here are five things I've learned recently from that vast, sprawling Borg of fact. Unless they turn out not to be facts. Although, in that case, I've still learned them.

1. The Indian football team withdrew from the 1950 World Cup after FIFA insisted that all players must wear boots.

2. TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright has the middle names Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda.

3. Among the indigenous people of south-east Queensland, the word 'daughter' refers to women of one's great-grandmother's generation.

4. French rugby league player Puig Aubert was nicknamed Pipette, because of his habit of smoking on the field during matches.

5. Zero is the only number that is both real and imaginary.

This could be a meme, if you're so inclined.

(And if you're not a Wiki-fan, you can always try one of its rivals; perhaps the extraordinary Conservapedia. Here's the entry on atheism. Utterly jawdropping.)


garfer said...

Having briefly met the formidable Clarissa I regret that I did not address her by her full array of names.

She's been declared bankrupt almost as many times as she has names, which is a notable and admirable achievement.

Billy said...

Wikipedia through random browsing introduced me to Mitch Hedberg and TISM

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Yay - Conservapedia!

Whenever I want a good laugh, I know I can rely on Conservapedia....


Unknown said...

Ha! That Conservapedia article reminds me of a postcard my mum has on her bathroom wall:

"Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
Pat Robertson

More astoundingly bonkers stuff here:

Rimshot said...

Ironically, when I want a good laugh, I read Dawkins or PZ Meyers (or Sam Harris...etc)

Vicus Scurra said...

In the 1970's the British people elected Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister.
Later, the good folks of the USA elected George W Bush.
It's true. Check it out on Wikipedia.

Tim F said...

Garfer: In her drinking days, she consumed so much gin and tonic, she suffered from a sort of reverse malaria, as a result of the quinine.

Billy: TISM are now my favourite band, and I've never heard a note. Thanks for that.

'Twits', 9/10? Very restrained of you.

Dear old Pat, Marsha. With Jerry and Jesse gone, surely he can't be far behind.

Rimshot: At least Dawkins didn't argue that Wikipedia was anti-American because it allows UK-English spellings.

It may be true, Vicus, but that doesn't make it pleasurable.

I, Like The View said...

surely there is a more comprehensive way to define Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright* than "TV chef". . .

*or is it Clarissa Dickson Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Wright?


Tim F said...

ILTV: I was trying not to use the phrase 'fat lady'.

I, Like The View said...

thought you were a writer. . .


. . .and maybe your vocabulary would be a tad more expansive than just "tv chef" or "fat lady"

(have used "a tad" on purpose, given that it's only four letters, and you managed to restrict yourself to 6/7)

(*thinks* perhaps that is a very good writing skill)

(I obviously exist quite precariously on the other end of a very amateurish writing scale. . .)