Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wikipedia Articles on Concepts

In idle moments, I have been known to press the random article button on Wikipedia. What a mistake! Depressingly the Encyclopaedia is just packed with articles which in the broadest sense we might call topographical: albums, single, football players, rocks, plants, townships, high schools, shipping firms etc. etc. And it is only going to get worse. This detritus of the human existence knows no limits to its extent.

To counterbalance this trend, I thought that it would be fun to filter out articles which in the broadest sense we might call conceptual or treating of concepts. Here is the story of my journey:

21'46: Five minutes in using the Random Button and still nothing. It is clear that I am going to have to be a little forensic about digging out articles on concepts. Here is one user's experience of 250 pages and their multifarious contents:

21'58: Searching from 'concept*' in the Category field, I have begun to pull out one or two interesting terms:

Yawn. Sorry guys. A lot of hunting, and a reasonable trawl for the night, but at 10'36 and after many distractions, I'm away to bed (to read!)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Here's One We Made Earlier

Ephemera is born and not made. It must be an unconscious process, I suspect, to be ephemera in the truest sense of the word. With this in mind, here are two contributions by staff members, which were very much created with posterity very much an afterthought.

On the left is a bookmark, that I myself made when I guess I must have been about ten years old. Sweet as it is, I am a tad disappointed at the logical inconsistency of the book itself doing parachuting, which makes me wonder whether 'Parachute in a Book' would not perhaps have been a better slogan. Who's to argue with a ten-year-old!? If nothing else, at least I cannot be accused, seventeen years later, of being a jonny-come-lately to this bookselling business.

On the right, also scrawled with no thought of internet fame and fortune, is one of our interminable day-lists, this one by my colleague, Daniel. My interest was particularly caught by the note that read 'Guy might come in tomorrow to sell a dictionary'. Daniel appears to have written 'old' before the word 'guy', then thought better of it, and replaced it with 'older'.

Further Flower Identification Puzzle

Another flower identification puzzle for you, only this time the specimens in question come from a 1778 Eighth Edition of Paradise Lost. Nothing to indicate that the leaves are that old, of course. As ever on Utterly Engrossing Trivia, the ephemera suggests a question, and in this case, quite simply, can you identify the leaves in question. Answer to Comments, please.