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November 23, 2009 7:11 AM   Subscribe

The 50 most interesting articles on Wikipedia. | 50 more of Wikipedia's most interesting articles.
posted by aldurtregi (57 comments total) 189 users marked this as a favorite

 
I haven't checked out all the articles but I feel I must praise this one for being especially intriguing and informative.
posted by aldurtregi at 7:12 AM on November 23, 2009 [12 favorites]


Deep in the bowels of the internet, I came across an exhaustive list of interesting Wikipedia articles by Ray Cadaster.

Ray Cadaster is the goatse guy?!

Joking aside, theres some interesting stuff here...thanks.
posted by i_cola at 7:20 AM on November 23, 2009


Deep in the bowels of the internet, I came across an exhaustive list of interesting Wikipedia articles by Ray Cadaster

Well... I don't think any list of prominent wikipedia articles is complete without a link to the Bristol Stool Scale.
posted by afu at 7:23 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this - I love trivia :D
Check this out too: Best of Wikipedia blog.
posted by Monkeymoo at 7:33 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I happened to click on #9 (the Back To the Future timeline) first, and I'm struggling to find it interesting in any way. Can someone explain?
posted by TG_Plackenfatz at 7:37 AM on November 23, 2009


This one about the Mojave phone booth makes me sort of sad.
posted by jquinby at 7:40 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


The list in the first link was put together back in april, so I guess some of the articles have been edited or changed since then. The Back to the future one seems to link to a non-existent section on the page.
posted by aldurtregi at 7:41 AM on November 23, 2009


The Taman Shud Case

Oh come on, this is easier than Kaycee Nicole or Givewell. Let's crack this before noon.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:41 AM on November 23, 2009



Oh come on, this is easier than Kaycee Nicole or Givewell. Let's crack this before noon.

"If you killed somebody, how would you dispose of the body without getting caught and you had access to a Time Machine?"
posted by The Whelk at 7:45 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised that using people as live targets for stage shows has not been outlawed by now.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 AM on November 23, 2009


The list in the first link was put together back in april, so I guess some of the articles have been edited or changed since then. The Back to the future one seems to link to a non-existent section on the page.

Uh yeah, but even at the April 6th, 2009 archived version there's no Time Travel Theory section for the anchor link. Leading me to believe this blogger didn't look at half the list that was posted. Boo urns.

Wikipedia lists should always, always use archive links.

posted by tybeet at 7:48 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


If wouldn't be wikipedia if some of the articles hadn't been deleted for being too interesting.
posted by Artw at 7:48 AM on November 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


self-link warning: another best of wikipedia blog. I'm unmotivated to update it, but I have a bookmark folder of like 200 awesome wikipedia pages waiting to go in there.

Three recent cool ones:
Legend tripping (ostension)
Ibn Battuta
Meinong's jungle
posted by ageispolis at 7:49 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


For anyone actually interested in the Time Travel Theory section, I did find it in this February 14th archive version. (again: a serious wag of the finger to this blogger).
posted by tybeet at 7:50 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


> I feel I must praise this one for being especially intriguing and informative.

Wow, thanks very much for that. One of the most fascinating things I've ever seen on Wikipedia — if it didn't have all those references, I'd suspect it of being an elaborate hoax!
posted by languagehat at 7:51 AM on November 23, 2009


I'd include the entry for Emmett Till, murdered at 19 for being black. Warning: includes a disturbing black and white photo of his corpse (a few screens down, under "funeral").
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:55 AM on November 23, 2009


Now somebody cross-link all of the relevant metafilter posts...

K Foundation burn a million quid - 64941
Traumatic insemination - 81300
posted by mrgrimm at 8:03 AM on November 23, 2009


The Taman Shud Case

Judging from the picture, I've solved it. It's Harvey Keitel.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:08 AM on November 23, 2009


I'd include the entry for Emmett Till...

The story of Emmett Till is central to the excellent novel The Time of Our Singing.

posted by mrgrimm at 8:09 AM on November 23, 2009


Wow, those actually were pretty interesting.
posted by delmoi at 8:13 AM on November 23, 2009


Ah, thanks for the pointer. I originally read the Emmett Till entry because John McWhorter used it as a reference point in his book Winning the Race.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2009


Tube Bar Prank Calls at #7 - right on!

Bill Loney? Sal Lommi? Pepe Rhoni? Al Kaseltzer? (noisily drops phone on the bar counter)
posted by porn in the woods at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2009


Pretty neat, but I wish he had included a short blurb about each one. Fun nonetheless.
posted by caddis at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2009


I, uh... made that list. (the person who blogged it was a real stand-up guy/gal... asked permission [which I freely gave, of course] and everything. I wouldn't have cared, honestly, if s/he hadn't asked for permission and just gone ahead and did it, but still, credit where it's due, it was a classy thing to do, and I remember thinking "good on you, for that".)

If you want to see the whole thing, I posted it to reddit a while ago. Here's the link:
Wikipedia's 372 most interesting articles and 140 most useful categories
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 8:17 AM on November 23, 2009 [24 favorites]


I see what's going on now. Thank you, Tybeet et al.
posted by TG_Plackenfatz at 8:18 AM on November 23, 2009


It's interesting how many of the linked articles are gone from Wikipedia, or replaced with stubs with little information. Is there a published measure of the attrition rate of Wikipedia articles?
posted by Nelson at 8:21 AM on November 23, 2009


the man, of "Britisher" appearance,

was he whinging?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:47 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, I just lost about 30 minutes of my morning on the Taman Shud Case.

The rest of the afternoon isn't looking good, either.

Really compelling stuff!
posted by generichuman at 8:52 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's interesting how many of the linked articles are gone from Wikipedia, or replaced with stubs with little information.

Sad, like the Mojave phone booth.

The "Mojave phone booth phenomenon" would be a name for the feeling one gets on seeing content destroyed on Wikipedia. As in, "That article was cool, until it got Mojave'd".
posted by stbalbach at 8:52 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Demon Core = Don't fuck with physics.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:56 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dear Productivity,

it sure has been nice knowing you today, maybe I'll see you tomorrow or later in the week.

hugs,
dnesan
posted by dnesan at 9:01 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Not to Treaty of Whestphalia the discussion in this thread... but just to reassert that I love MetaFilter above all other online communities, I'll post the full list here for y'all to pick over at your lesiure. Backstory to the creation of the list, and a description of methods, etc. can be found in the header of this Reddit thread. Hope you enjoy it.

Originally List, posted May, 2008

ARTICLES
001 Marree Man
002 War Plan Red
003 Vela Incident
004 Tybee Bomb
005 United States Numbered Highways
006 Wow! Signal
007 Tube Bar Prank Calls
008 Kola Superdeep Borehole
009 Back to the Future Timeline
010 Year Without a Summer
011 K Foundation Burn a Million Quid
012 Sokal Affair
013 Blue Peacock
014 Veerappan
015 Person From Porlock
016 Eternal Flame
017 U.S. Color-Coded War Plans
018 The Wedge (Border)
019 Mohave Phone Booth
020 Stanislav Petrov
021 Valery Sablin
022 The Man on the Clapham Omnibus
023 Special Atomic Demolition Munition
024 Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
025 Prometheus (tree)
026 Zone of Alienation
027 Fan Death
028 Outlawries Bill
029 Raymond Robinson (Green Man)
030 Scoville Scale
031 Kardashev Scale
032 Larry Walters
033 Joshua A. Norton
034 Fabergé egg
035 Issei Sagawa
036 Joseph Jagger
037 Traumatic Insemination
038 James Joseph Dresnok
039 Ivy League Nude Posture Photos
040 Jim Corbett (Hunter)
041 Just-World Phenomenon
042 Nicholas Bourbaki
043 Humanzee
044 Old Man of the Lake
045 Alexamenos Graffito
046 Fairy Chess Piece
047 Michael Fagan Incident
048 ETAOIN SHRDLU
049 Palomares Hydrogen Bomb Incident
050 As Slow as Possible
051 Bouvet Island
052 Joshua Milton Blahyi
053 Centralia, Pennsylvania
054 The Black Book
055 Tehachapi Loop
056 Arbre du Ténéré
057 Hiroo Onoda
058 If by Whisky
059 Peaceful Nuclear Explosions
060 Planned Shrinkage
061 Predictions of Soviet Collapse
062 Clause IV
063 Marvin Heemeyer
064 Two Cunts in a Kitchen
065 Octopus Wrestling
066 Cliff Young
067 Sylvestre Matuschka
068 Gustave (Crocodile)
069 Leatherman (vagabond)
070 Saddam Hussein39;s Novels
071 Battle cry
072 Doomsday Argument
073 Egg of Columbus
074 Technical Tap
075 Martial Races Theory
076 Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
077 Cherubina de Gabriak
078 Hapax Legomenon
079 Descent From Antiquity
080 Graham39;s Number
081 Laconia Incident
082 Margaret Hogg
083 Richard C. Weaver
084 Casu Marzu
085 Bummer and Lazarus
086 Rochom P39;ngieng
087 Russell39;s Teapot
088 Bloody Island (Mississippi River)
089 Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den
090 Oak Island
091 Norwegian Rocket Incident
092 Brian Douglas Wells
093 Flag of Bikini Atoll
094 Iron Pillar of Delhi
095 Shades of Death Road
096 Caste-Related Violence in India
097 Wild Bill Hickok-Davis Tutt shootout
098 Higest Unclimbed Mountain
099 Lady Be Good (aircraft)
100 Ideal German Campaign
101 Leck Mich Im Arsch
102 Atomic Bomb Go Game
103 Paris 1968
104 Dioxippus
105 Fleet in Being
106 Frontier Thesis
107 Gaëtan Dugas
108 Color of the Bikeshed
109 Burst of Joy
110 Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight
111 Cymothoa exigua
112 Harry K. Daghlian Jr.
113 Kinetic Bombardment
114 Vasili Arkhipov
115 Jerimoth Hill
116 Yukio Mishima
117 Tom and Eileen Lonergan
118 Royal Fish
119 George P. Burdell
120 Cincinnati Subway
121 Dugway Sheep Incident
122 Lichtenberg39;s Avertissement
123 Drake39;s Plate of Brass
124 Hansa Carrier
125 Lace Card
126 Atari Video Game Burial
127 Blood in the Water Match
128 Cowboy
129 Degree Confluence Project
130 Lp 0 on Fire
131 1973 National Archives Fire
132 Baldwin Street, Dunedin
133 Blood-Vomiting Game
134 P = NP Problem
135 Tree That Owns Itself
136 Cadaver Synod
137 Stagger Lee
138 Three Whom God Should Not Have Created
139 Lake Woebegon Effect
140 Champawat Tiger
141 Minor Scale
142 Dunning-Kruger effect
143 Gaslighting
144 Lead Masks Case
145 Perfidious Albion
146 Aokigahara
147 Height of Land Portage
148 Martha Mitchell Effect
149 Ashley39;s Hundred
150 Dead Hand (nuclear war)
151 Man Singh (dacoit)
152 And you are lynching Negros
153 Brfxxccxxmnpcccc....
154 Locus Amoenus
155 Lloyds Bank Coprolite
156 David A. Johnston
157 Leopard of Rudraprayag
158 Adolf Lu Hitler Marak
159 Aron Ralston
160 Boot Monument
161 Mise En Abyme
162 Larry Mattlage
163 Mel39;s Hole
164 Eric Moussambani
165 Baghdad Battery
166 Corinthian Leather
167 Mount Yamantaw
168 Atacama Desert
169 Anaconda Smelter Stack
170 Air New Zealand Flight 9 01
171 Bear JJ1

CATEGORIES
001 Category:Design for X
002 Category:Engineering Failures
003 Category:Mountaineering deaths
004 Category:Race Riots in the United States
005 Category:Road Junction Types
006 Category:Satellites
007 Category:Scales
008 Comparison of Heavy Lift Launch Systems
009 Gallup39;s List of Widely Admired People
010 List of American Old West Outlaws
011 List of Artificial Radiation Belts
012 List of Cities in the Americas with Alternative Names
013 List of College Fight Songs
014 List of Discredited Substances
015 List of Frivolous Political Parties
016 List of Giant Sequoia Groves
017 List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks
018 List of Merritt Island Launch Sites
019 List of Nuclear Tests
020 List of People Pardoned by a U.S. President
021 List of Roman Gladiator Types
022 List of System Quality Attributes
023 List of Tallest Chimneys in the World
024 List of World39;s Fairs
025 Patron Saints of Ailments, Illness and Dangers
026 Patron Saints of Occupations and Activities

CATEGORIES
001 Category:Water towers
002 List of leaning towers
003 List of tallest buildings and structures in the world by country
004 List of lost artworks
005 List of lost works
006 List of lost films
007 List of belief systems
008 List of areas disputed by Canada and the United States
009 Category:Self-immolations
010 List of modern pretenders to the throne
011 List of the last monarchs in the Americas
012 Category:Delusional disorder
013 List of Amtrak routes
014 Category:Shipwrecks of the United States
015 Extreme points of Earth
016 List of micronations
017 List of cattle breeds


SET 2
ARTICLES
001 Anthropodermic bibliopegy
002 Elm Farm Ollie
003 EURion constellation
004 (the) Demon core
005 Pole of inaccessibility
006 Globster
007 Hoba meteorite
008 Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic
009 GRB 971214
010 "Resolute" desk
011 Candace Newmaker
012 Cryptomnesia
013 Hans Island
014 Harrowing of Hell
015 Semantic satiation
016 Dempster Highway
017 Dalton Highway
018 Paul Felix Armand-Delille
019 Herschel Island
020 Stone spheres of Costa Rica
021 Paternoster
022 Self-immolation
023 Narco submarine
024 Louis Slotin
025 Language deprivation experiments
026 London Stone
027 Cité Soleil
028 Blood chit
029 Parsley Massacre
030 Ribbon Creek Incident
031 Art intervention
032 Impostor
033 Bata LoBagola
034 Cheating at the Paralympic Games
035 David Hempleman-Adams
036 The Kafka Machine
037 Park Young Seok
038 Houston Riot (1917)
039 Albert Pierrepoint
040 Discoveries of human feet on British Columbia beaches
041 Taman Shud Case
042 Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
043 First flying machine
044 Defeat in Detail
045 Peppered moth evolution
046 Resource holding potential
047 Saint Dismas
048 Target girl
049 Longevity myths
050 SL-1

CATEGORIES

001 List of Cognative Biases
002 Narratology
003 Military Strategy
004 Stock Characters
005 List of People Who Have Disappeared
006 List of Military Nuclear Accidents
007 Mysterious People
008 List of Fatal Bear Attacks in North America by Decade
009 List of Military Tactics
010 List of Massacres
011 Cognative Biases
012 Stock Characters
013 Hoaxes
014 List of Numbered Highways in the United States
015 List of Extremely Hazardous Substances
016 List of Famous Trees
017 The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations
018 List of Heroic Stock Characters
019 List of Paradoxes
020 List of the Largest Artificial Non-Nuclear Explosions
021 List of Places Blurred Out On Google Maps
022 Plot Devices
023 Exploration
024 Paradoxes
025 List of Memory Biases
026 Ship Types
027 Rhetorical Techniques
028 Logical Fallacies
029 List of Fatal Wolf Attacks
030 Rules of Thumb
031 Extreme Points of the World
032 Gestures
033 List of Rainbow Codes
034 Semantics
035 List of Poisonings
036 List of American Defectors in the Korean War
037 List of Statues of Lenin
038 Controversies
039 List of Explorers
040 List of Self-Contradicting Words in English
041 Nuclear Tests
042 Motif of Harmful Sensation
043 Word Play
044 List of Deaths on Eight Thousanders
045 Phantom Islands
046 List of Camouflage Patterns
047 Indian Castes
048 Modern Street Gangs
049 Phrases
050 Bible Errata
051 English Words With Uncommon Properties
052 List of Unusual Personal Names
053 Unsolved Problems

posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:11 AM on November 23, 2009 [128 favorites]


The Prometheus Tree story depresses me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


(ah, the list above cut off mid-stream, that's only about a third of them. Probably for the best, anyway... it's rather long. Mods, please feel free to SMALL it or format it or abridge it or whatever you'd like to do... If the ones listed suit your tastes, you can find the full list in the reddit link..)
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:22 AM on November 23, 2009


Back to the Future timeline on Futurepedia, the Back to the Future wiki.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:33 AM on November 23, 2009


While we're at it, wikidumper carries the "best" wiki rejects.
posted by dabitch at 9:42 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia maintains its own list of unusual articles. I just spent a half hour browsing it trying to find a couple of the best ones to post here, but was overwhelmed by the interestingness.
posted by groar at 9:50 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, that's a bit of synchronicity. I was reading about the Kola Superdeep Borehole just last night on Wikipedia.
posted by gimonca at 11:04 AM on November 23, 2009


I own a copy of the Atlas of Men, evidently a rather rare book which is the culmination of William H. Sheldon's Ivy League nude posture photo work. More generalized posts about those photos have appeared here on Metafilter before.

This is a great post! Thanks to jjjjjjjijjjjjjj for putting it together in the first place!
posted by Tube at 11:11 AM on November 23, 2009


Seriously, I just lost about 30 minutes of my morning on the Taman Shud Case.

Yeah, me too. Whoa.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:20 AM on November 23, 2009


Man, actually reading all those pages would be akin to the K Foundation burning a million Quid. That is, would the world somehow, strangely, be a better place?

I'm guessing, yes. And sadly because I'm not about to do it (all the reading that is), I guess that makes me officially part of the problem. For this, I apologize.
posted by philip-random at 11:46 AM on November 23, 2009


Some of those are not so interesting, depending on where you live, but there are also some great articles. I just learned about Stanislav Petrov the other day - I thought it was an amazing story and I'd never even heard of it before. Stories involving 'mysterious' or missing people always interest me...I think because we don't really expect to be surprised by people. It's comforting to know there are still mysteries in the world. Or maybe I watched too much Unsolved Mysteries as a kid.
posted by ghost dance beat at 12:00 PM on November 23, 2009


I've been putting together a Wikipedia list of my own lately, a collection of the most unflattering and random public domain celebrity photos: Not My Best Side.

Feel free to MeMail any suggestions.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:25 PM on November 23, 2009


You could make at least a couple of new seasons of The X-Files out of this list. I hope you're reading, Chris Carter. Just try and leave the aliens out of this one.
posted by hnnrs at 12:48 PM on November 23, 2009


I've not watched it myself, but I beleive that is called "Fringe".
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on November 23, 2009


The clarity of the lake's water allows one to see far down The Old Man's length.
posted by meech at 1:30 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's interesting how many of the linked articles are gone from Wikipedia, or replaced with stubs with little information.

Alas, many really interesting little articles have no sources, or are impossible to source. I bet a lot of the Mojave phone booth article pointed to personal web pages, which aside from very limited circumstances are not considered kosher as references, as they fail verifiability.

Once upon a time when I had time to edit Wikipedia, I enjoyed sourcing articles like this as a challenge.

As for the BTTF timeline, a lot of that neat pop culture stuff has migrated to Wikia. It hasn't gone away, it's just found a more appropriate home.
posted by dhartung at 3:15 PM on November 23, 2009


The Kafka Machine has been deleted.
posted by ovvl at 4:03 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


jjjjjjjijjjjjjj, you are a poet and a scholar, and I salute you.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:37 PM on November 23, 2009


I love that "Person from Porlock" is one of the most interesting articles.

I was reading that one two days ago.
posted by jayder at 4:46 PM on November 23, 2009


Competitors without disabilities have also competed in some Paralympic Games, with the Spanish entry in the intellectually disabled basketball tournament at the 2000 Summer Paralympics being the most controversial.
posted by pravit at 7:57 PM on November 23, 2009


Needs more 1960s style nuclear propusion.
posted by thecaddy at 8:08 PM on November 23, 2009


And by the way jjjjjjjijjjjjjj, thank you for compiling this awesome list. There's just so much stuff out there I've never heard about.
posted by pravit at 8:50 PM on November 23, 2009


The Kafka Machine has been deleted

sounds like a song lyric circa 1971, Peter Hammill or someone else suitably disconnected
posted by philip-random at 9:53 PM on November 23, 2009


The U.S. Color-Coded War Plan included contingencies to conduct war all over the globe. Except for the Middle-East, and Africa.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2009


Research shows that the number of Wikipedia editors is plunging at an alarming rate. Are you one of the drop-outs, and will it make any difference to Wikipedia's future?"

I suspect the first comment might have the answer: I used to spend ages adding things to Wikipedia, but you can't do anything these days without someone just deleting what you do for spurious reasons.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on November 25, 2009


The Taman Shud Case...

A case that is certainly far from being open and shud.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:41 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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