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United States of America

Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2013 - 49 comments

What’s worse there, the sex or the pretending to be dead?

The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure [PDF, there is a Word file direct from the DoD] is 167 pages of stories of elaborate frauds, scams, and abuses of power in the US government. Interestingly, the sarcasm-filled document is also published by the US government, to help illustrate how government workers get in trouble. Freakonomics radio has a amusing and interesting discussion with the Encyclopedia's editor and founding editor [link goes to transcript]. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 18, 2013 - 12 comments

Compare and contrast, bits vs dead trees

As lexicographers revel in the capabilities of online dictionaries, one person notes the death of print encyclopedias.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 19, 2013 - 18 comments

At Her Feet

wikiFeet is the celebrity feet encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Its users post, rate and ogle the feet of notable women including Britney Spears (1270 photos), Yvonne de Carlo (26 photos), Eva Braun (7 photos) and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (1 photo).
posted by dontjumplarry on Jan 30, 2013 - 46 comments

Rule, Britannica

The Encyclopedia Britannica is going out of print.
posted by DoctorFedora on Mar 13, 2012 - 112 comments

Coachbuilt, an encyclopedia of American Coachbuilders

Coachbuilt is an encyclopedia of American coachbuilders, from Adam Black & Sons, makers of commercial coaches and co-designers of the iconic UPS P-600 package delivery truck, to the York-Hoover Body Company, who started out as a prolific supplier of wooden depot hack and station wagon bodies for the Ford Model T, later catering to the funeral home/furniture store marketplace by offering a combination motorized funeral coach/furniture delivery car using a stretched Model T chassis.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 5, 2012 - 2 comments

The Encyclopedia of 9/11.

New York Magazine's Encyclopedia of 9/11.
posted by Sticherbeast on Sep 6, 2011 - 195 comments

The Discrete Charm of the 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ...

Do you like integer sequences? Do you like poking around in the The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences? Do you think, whoa, wait, okay, actually I like integer sequences but the OEIS is a goddam intractable maze of numbers? Do you think, man, what I wish is that someone would make an accessible blog that discusses some of the interesting entries in the OEIS for the casual fan of integer sequences? Well, that's an amazing coincidence; you should take a look at The On-Line Blog of Integer Sequences, by our very own Plutor.
posted by cortex on May 5, 2011 - 26 comments

A notable issue with Wikipedia

Here’s what we think the Editor Trends Study tells us: Between 2005 and 2007, newbies started having real trouble successfully joining the Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the English Wikipedia, nearly 40% of new editors would still be active a year after their first edit. After 2007, only about 12-15% of new editors were still active a year after their first edit. Post-2007, lots of people were still trying to become Wikipedia editors. What had changed, though, is that they were increasingly failing to integrate into the Wikipedia community, and failing increasingly quickly. The Wikimedia community had become too hard to penetrate. - The Wikimedia Strategy March 2011 Update discusses wikipedia's declining ability to retain new editors. Meanwhile the case of the deletion (and restoration) of the article on the remarkably notable Old Man Murray highlights the bad decisions that can occur when insular admins and editors favor deletionist sentiment and bureaucratic rule-waving over the input of outsiders and a basic level of research.
posted by Artw on Mar 11, 2011 - 96 comments

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Humanity

Everybody knows TVTropes is the best and most time-killing-est way to learn about the clichés and archetypes that permeate modern media. But dear reader, there is so much more. Enter Useful Notes. Originally created as a place for tropers to pool factual information as a writing aid, the subsite has quietly grown into a small wiki of its own -- a compendium of crowdsourced wisdom on a staggering array of topics, all written in the site's signature brand of lighthearted snark. Though it reads like an irreverent and informal Wikipedia, its articles act as genuinely useful primers to complex and obscure topics alike, all in service of the project's five goals: "To debunk common media stereotypes; to help you understand some media better; to educate, inform and sometimes entertain; to promote peace and understanding (maybe); and... to facilitate world domination." Sounds about right. Click inside for bountiful highlights... if you dare. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 26, 2010 - 43 comments

The Authorized Guide and Companion to Dune

Snippets of poetry from the Imperium; a sample folk tale from the Oral History; brief biographies of over a dozen Duncan Idahos; two differing approaches to Paul Muad'Dib himself and to his son Leto II; Fremen recipes; Fremen history; secrets of the Bene Gesserit; the songs of Gurney Halleck -- these are just some of the treasures found when an earthmover fell into the God Emperor's no-room at Dar-es-Balat. Out of print for more than two decades, disavowed by Frank Herbert's estate, and highly sought-after by fans, the legendary Dune Encyclopedia is now available online as a fully illustrated and searchable PDF [direct link]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 1, 2010 - 55 comments

Encyclopedia Dramatica vs. the Commonwealth of Australia

In January, Google Australia agreed to take down links to the Encyclopedia Dramatica. The Australian Human Rights Commission has now written to the owner of the ED threatening legal action. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Mar 16, 2010 - 120 comments

Knowledge but bite sized, often surreal with lots of jokes

Ten Word Wiki is an Encyclopedia for the ADD generation.
We describe everything in ten words exactly. Here's the Index.
posted by finite on Feb 23, 2010 - 38 comments

The Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life [previously] is E.O. Wilson's dream become reality. It has been online since February of 2008, aiming to catalog the currently known 1.9 million species on our planet. You can also add text, images, video, comments, and tags. [ FAQVideo IntroductionTutorials ]
posted by not_on_display on Jan 30, 2010 - 10 comments

"The Categorical Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Industries"

The University of Michigan's collaborative translation of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encylopédie has completed some 650 selections from the Enlightenment keystone, including articles on California, vanilla, werewolves, the English language, beauty, and the complete structure of human knowledge. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 1, 2009 - 7 comments

"What we are seeing in this project is that all of Europe was a camp."

"What we are seeing in this project is that all of Europe was a camp." The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum just released the first volume of a projected seven-volume Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945. "They assumed the finished work would be massive, featuring a staggering 5,000 to 7,000 camps and ghettos. They underestimated by 15,000." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 3, 2009 - 23 comments

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences

Ever wondered what comes next, and why? The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences has the answers. (Previously.)
posted by parudox on Mar 10, 2009 - 33 comments

Expand Your Plant Knowledge

Whether you're a casual cultivator or gardening guru, PlantCare.com has a wealth of information about the care and feeding of indoor and outdoor plants. You can search the extensive plant database to find information on thousands of house plants, participate in and discuss your favorite gardening topics in the plant forum, and expand your plant knowledge with hundreds of gardening tips and guides.
posted by netbros on Feb 25, 2009 - 10 comments

Homework Helper

World of Science contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy, scientific biography, chemistry, and physics. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by internet encyclopedist Eric Weisstein with assistance from the internet community. MeFi visited Weisstein's Mathworld a couple years ago.
posted by netbros on Feb 18, 2009 - 6 comments

The Visual Telling of Stories

The Visual Telling of Stories
A lyrical encyclopedia of visual propositions;
a visually orientated taxonomy of the ways in which pictures are used to tell stories.
[more inside]
posted by carsonb on Feb 18, 2009 - 5 comments

Like many posts, this one starts with a Wikipedia link for general background.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyonetrusted users can edit. If the MediaWiki FlaggedRevisions extension is enabled, the general public will see changes to articles only after approval by a trusted editor. Wikipedians conducted a poll on whether Wikipedia should enable the feature for a limited trial. Almost 60 percent of voting editors answered in the affirmative. Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales's subsequent request to enable the feature anyway has been opposed by some, claiming that the margin of votes does not meet Wikipedia's consensus standard. While it might help avoid embarrassing incidents of vandalism, the proposed trial could lead to a big change in the Wikipedia way.
posted by grouse on Jan 27, 2009 - 120 comments

It's more free maths!

Online Encyclopedia of Mathematics Edited by Michiel Hazewinkel (CWI, Amsterdam), and originaly published in dead tree form in 2002, now free to browse and poke into. [more inside]
posted by Iosephus on Aug 2, 2008 - 7 comments

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an excellent resource for matters philosophical. There you can be enlightened on such diverse subjects as paradoxes existential or logical, Greek or American philosophers obscure to the wider world, philosophers whose names have resounded through the ages, both well-attested and possibly mythical, Buddhist thought and Western mysticism and definitions of thorny and difficult concepts. And that's just a small sampling of the letter P section. All articles are written by specialists on the subject and the editors of the IEP are all academic philosophers. The encyclopedia is far from complete, so if you think you can help out, they have a list of their 100 most desired articles.
posted by Kattullus on May 15, 2008 - 31 comments

Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology

Theoi Greek Mythology is an internet encyclopedia with over 1500 pages on various characters from classical myth, covering everything from famous gods and goddesses to obscure nymphs, titans and monsters. If the confusing familial relations of the Greek gods vex you, there are 10 different family trees to help you make sense of it all. There's also an extensive library of ancient works concerning classical mythology and a bibliography should you long for more to read. Last but not least, Theoi has a gallery of over 1200 artworks from antiquity, which I have been happily browsing for a good while.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 14, 2008 - 23 comments

Duh?

Have you noticed quite a number of stupid things lately? Perhaps now you will find them documented in the Encyclopedia of Stupid.
posted by washburn on Oct 2, 2007 - 48 comments

Scholarpedia

Worried about inaccuracies in Wikipedia? Try Scholarpedia, a peer-reviewed encyclopedia, with articles written by experts in their field. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Sep 27, 2007 - 26 comments

Life is complex: it has both real and imaginary components

More than fifty selected articles from The Princeton Companion of Mathematics (username: Guest, password: PCM) — a thematically-organized compendium of mathematics and mathematicians from Fields Medal-winner Tim Gowers. [via, previously]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 27, 2007 - 8 comments

Berkshire Encyclopedias online free

Berkshire Publishing has made available the full-text of some quality but little known reference works: Berkshire Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction (1-vol), Global Perspectives on the United States (1-vol), Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport (4-vol), Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (5-vol), Berkshire Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 25, 2007 - 10 comments

Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life project will create a compendium of every aspect of the biosphere. It aims to compile data on all of Earth's 1.8 million known species on one Web site, and will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. E. O. Wilson is getting his wish. [Via BB.]
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2007 - 31 comments

WiserEarth

WiserEarth is a user-editable relational database that aspires to list, categorize, and describe every non profit and civil society organization on Earth. It currently includes 104,304 organizations which can be viewed by name, location, or areas of focus. You can perform complex searches. You can post (or search) jobs, events, and resources. You can discuss areas of focus, such as Urban Forestry, Evolutionary Ecology, or government oversight and reform. You can also visualize the networks connecting these areas of focus and the various organizations.
posted by alms on May 9, 2007 - 6 comments

May Your Life Be Long And Useful, Like A Roll Of Toilet Paper

The Toilet Paper Encyclopedia from toiletpaperworld. Filled with fun facts about the history of toilet paper, including the results of various toilet paper surveys (more people chose toilet paper over food as a necessity if stranded on a deserted island), toilet paper stories, statistics about which kinds of toilet paper are most popular worldwide, and zingers (toilet paper jokes and observations). Previously on Metafilter, The Whole World Toilet Paper Museum.
posted by amyms on Mar 22, 2007 - 9 comments

You need to brush up your toes young Hobbit!

The Thain's Book is an online encyclopedia of Middle-earth in the Third Age. Oh, you're an expert? Take the Middle-earth Challenge and prove it!
posted by owhydididoit on Oct 8, 2006 - 11 comments

Left-footed Flotsam Jandal Phenomenon

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the article about the flatworm with 230 penises and one vagina referenced (but unfortunately not linked) in this article about the in the amazing Earth, Sea and Sky exhibit which opened today as part of New Zealand's beautiful Te Ara Encyclopedia.
posted by If I Had An Anus on Jun 12, 2006 - 24 comments

Digital Universe and ManyOne

Digital Universe, an alternative to Wikipedia, has been launched by wikipedia proposer Larry Sanger. Digital Universe will be powered by ManyOne, a new 3D browser, will include paid experts, a subscription option, and will require real names from contributors. This may or may not be connected to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' editing his own bio to remove reference to Sanger as co-founder.
posted by MetaMonkey on Dec 20, 2005 - 49 comments

Nature Magazine: Wikipedia almost as scientifically accurate as Britannica

The journal Nature: "Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries."
Nature had experts review articles from both encyclopedias. (Also, 10% of Nature authors contribute to Wikipedia.)
posted by Tlogmer on Dec 14, 2005 - 31 comments

Fun with old knowledge

Pliny's Natural History, the first encyclopedia. Featuring chapters like "Other wonderful things related to dolphins" and one mentioning the lynx and the sphinx in a single passage. Obviously he got a lot very wrong, but it launched a tradition of authoritative encyclopedias. More recently, you hopefully know that the forty-four million word eleventh (1911) edition of Encyclopedia Britannica is online, later volumes are not, but you can still find elsewhere Trotsky's article on Lenin, Freud's on psychoanalysis, Houdini on conjuring, or Lawrence of Arabia on guerillas. Britannica also offers a series of articles from its archives showing how views on Mars or the debate in 1768 over whether California was an island. Other fascinating encyclopedias online include the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia and the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia, and the Encyclopedia Mythica.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 5, 2005 - 16 comments

Encyclopedia of Chicago

The Encyclopedia of Chicago is now online and free, less than a year after being released in book form.
posted by me3dia on May 12, 2005 - 19 comments

Cellphedia

Cellphedia is a thesis project created by Limor Garcia (NYU). It's a cell phone application that allows to send and receive encyclopedia-type inquiries through Text messaging. A user will be able to get all the information they need – from “how old is the queen of England?” to “how many miles is the Brooklyn Bridge?” – through a real-time social network, while walking in the street.
posted by stbalbach on May 3, 2005 - 6 comments

Wikipedia anywhere

Wapedia is Wikipedia for your WAP phone or PDA. Alternatively, why not just download the whole thing and carry it with you?
posted by Mwongozi on Apr 23, 2005 - 13 comments

A Fistful of Metal (and then some)

Encyclopaedia Metallum. From Abortion Grenade to Zombie Holocaust.
posted by gwint on Sep 3, 2004 - 6 comments

The Jewish Encyclopaedia

The Jewish Encyclopaedia. 'This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. The Jewish Encyclopedia, which recently became part of the public domain, contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations.'
posted by plep on Jul 4, 2004 - 9 comments

a simple encyclopedia

Simple English Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia with simple words and grammar.
posted by reklaw on Apr 30, 2004 - 4 comments

Huge Art collection

The Art Millenium "The Encyclopedia was founded in May 1999. It contains more than 15,000 pictures and overviews of about 1000 artists. Total size is 2.5 Gigabytes" I was there in their Collections looking at Graphics (Dore, Beardsley, Cranach, Durer, Giger), specifically all of Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonte. I have not begun to scratch the surface.
posted by vacapinta on Apr 20, 2004 - 4 comments

Flies, Spiders and Pillbugs, oh my!

The Insectlopedia has proven to be a fun distraction from human-based work today. Not too many places keep so much info on bugs handy and updated. Mostly a page of links to off-site content, yet it keeps drawing me back for more. Everything from the Social Wasps of Siberia to Live Beecams can be found here.
posted by salsamander on Mar 1, 2004 - 3 comments

hobbits and wizards and orcs, oh my!

The Encyclopedia of Arda A reference guide to Tolkien-can't tell an orc from a Uruk-hai? Stumped at what the three kinds of hobbits are? This website has the answers. Nicely laid out site, too.
posted by konolia on Jan 4, 2004 - 7 comments

The 1911 Encyclopedia

The 1911 Encyclopedia, or the LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia, is advertised as "what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written. As a research tool, this 1911 encyclopedia edition is unparalleled - even today." But what about the definition for Negro? It reads in part: "A dark skin, varying from dark brown, reddish-brown, or chocolate to nearly black; dark tightly curled hair, flat in transverse section,1 of the 'woolly' or the 'frizzly' type; a greater or less tendency to prognathism; eyes dark brown with yellowish cornea; nose more or less broad and flat; and large teeth." Can an encyclopedia with definitions like these be considered useful at all?
posted by josephtate on Nov 24, 2003 - 40 comments

Polyhedra Polymath

Prof. George W. Hart, of the Computer Science Department at SUNY Stony Brook, has an enviable web presence. His Encyclopedia of Polyhedra alone is worth the visit, his geometric sculptures make the nerd in me weep at their beauty, and his trilobite recipe looks mighty yummy.
posted by ewagoner on Dec 19, 2002 - 12 comments

Biographical Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film

Gary Westfahl's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film is an attempt to do for SF film what David Thomson's brilliant "A Biographical Dictionary of Film" does for film in general - to provide a well informed and wholly subjective survey of the most important people who contributed to the field. The BESFF is very much a work in progress, and half the fun is seeing who author Gary Westfahl has chosen to include this month. His entries so far range from the obvious to the surprising to the deeply obscure. Always though, his witty and often compassionate pocket reviews of these carreers show how seriously he feels SF cinema should be taken, and by extension how betrayed he feels by those within the field who don't.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Dec 2, 2002 - 6 comments

Can you stump the Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences?

Can you stump the Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences? Every identifiable sequence known to man, including:

Name: Busy Beaver problem: maximal number of steps that an n-state Turing machine can make on an initially blank tape before eventually halting.
Comment: The sequence grows faster than any computable function of n, and so is non-computable.
Keywords: hard,huge,nice,nonn,bref


If your sequence does not appear there, you might want to try the Super Seeker.
posted by vacapinta on Apr 15, 2002 - 9 comments

"The gremlin in Falling Hare (who, let us reiterate, is *not* Wendell Willkie) has an elegant flying helmet/plane tail design and a Benny Rubin-like laugh."

"The gremlin in Falling Hare (who, let us reiterate, is *not* Wendell Willkie) has an elegant flying helmet/plane tail design and a Benny Rubin-like laugh." The Warner Bros. Cartoon Companion covers the heyday of Merrie Melodies and Loony Toons, with capsule biographies of Warner Brothers animators, explanations for no-longer-obvious cultural references, and brief notes on the characters. No design to speak of, but a wonderful resource for anyone searching for a list of WB cartoons that parody Cab Calloway, arguing about whether Elmer Fudd predates Yosemite Sam, or just wondering what the heck Marvin the Martian's given name was.
posted by snarkout on Aug 29, 2001 - 29 comments

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