Episode 138: Wikipedia

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura talk about the history and reliability of Wikipedia and its many controversies, then end the episode with some of our favourite Wikipedia finds. Also on this episode: Lauren and Gem disagree about punctuation, and Laura does a lot of yelling about buffalo.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

History: History of Wikipedia (Wikipedia) | Nupedia (Wikipedia) | Bomis (Wikipedia) | h2g2: The Guide to Life | h2g2 (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia (h2g2)

Skepticism: List of common misconceptions (Wikipedia) | List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events (Wikipedia) | Perverse incentive (Wikipedia)

Reliability: Reliability of Wikipedia (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia is not a reliable source (Wikipedia) | How Accurate Is Wikipedia? (Live Science) | Is Wikipedia trustworthy when it comes to science? (The Washington Post) | How reliable is Wikipedia as a source of information, and why? (Quora) | Study shows Wikipedia Accuracy is 99.5% (ZME Science) | List of Wikipedias (Wikipedia)

Editors: WikiProject Women in Red (Wikipedia) | Women in Red (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia Editors Study Report (Wikipedia Meta) | Wikimedia Conference 2011 Editor Trends Study (Wikipedia Meta) | Wikipedia's 15 Anniversary: The Site Is in Trouble (Time) | Inside the Fight to Change Wikipedia’s Gender Problem (Inverse) | Women through the glass ceiling: gender asymmetries in Wikipedia (EPJ Data Science)

Edit Wars: Top 10 Strangest Wikipedia Edit Wars (Listverse) | CongressEdits (Wikipedia) | Judiciary Committee Members Doxxed During Kavanaugh Testimony (Huffington Post) | Edit war (Wikipedia Meta) | Edit warring (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia Wars: 10 Biggest Edit Battles (PCWorld) | Wikipedia’s lamest edit wars show why the site is amazing and infuriating (Vox) | 6 Wikipedia edits made from Capitol Hill (Columbia Journalism Review)

Controversies: List of Wikipedia controversies (Wikipedia)

Amusements: List of lists of lists (Wikipedia) | Illegal number (Wikipedia) | List of predictions (Wikipedia) | List of sexually active popes (Wikipedia) | Fictitious entry (Wikipedia) | Garden hermit (Wikipedia) | List of vampire traits in folklore and fiction (Wikipedia) | Great Molasses Flood (Wikipedia) | List of animals with fraudulent diplomas (Wikipedia) | List of unusual units of measurement (Wikipedia)

Lauren and Gem’s Punctuation Dustup: How to Use Quotation Marks Correctly (Grammar Girl)

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funny-pictures-physicist-cat-tries-to-understand-string-theory

Poor kitty, string theory is hard. You know what else is hard? Putting together and presenting a successful TEDx talk! Congratulations on pulling it off, Gem!

Skeptical News Roundup

Some quick hits!

Steve Thoms from Skeptic North has posted an excellent summary of the WiFi scare, detailing why you shouldn’t worry too much about EMF.

This wonderful Pharyngula post was recently nominated for the 2011 edition of The Open Laboratory. This provides me with an excuse to link to it, which I’ve been meaning to do for months. Give it a read. Seriously, it’s excellent.

Diana Goods of the Humanist Association of Manitoba wrote a nice letter to the editor explaining why Steinbach’s newest megachurch isn’t anything to get excited about. Hat tip to Jeff Olsson.

Also from Pharyngula comes the tale of this new lunacy from Orson Scott Card. Apparently Card’s 2008 rewrite of Hamlet depicts the ghostly king as an evil paedophile who turns everyone gay. I’m not making this up.

And finally, on a lighter note, Felicia Day linked to this on Google+:

Also, these watches are awesomely geeky. That is all.