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Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/February 3, 2010

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Next month's party

February 3, 2010

The Play's the Thing
both the ones you act in, and the ones in sports

Write-a-Thon starts on February 2th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Wednesday in New Zealand, and ends on February 4th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Wednesday in Hawaii.
Write-a-Thon II starts on February 6th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Sunday in New Zealand, and ends on February 8th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Sunday in Hawaii.

The partiers

  • Aleta sends one thousand grateful thanks to this month's archivist and also thanks him/her for the formatting. She thought she had a hundred brilliant ideas, but seems brain dead and needs coffee first. Decided to start with a play on words. Who, exactly, *is* on First??? Aleta Curry 22:49, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Returned after the Yanks joined us to make sure I could qualify for bona fide partier status. Visited Derek's playhouse and started her own, only to find more playhouses. Then fed Supten's crickets.
    • Suggestion: This month's write-a-thon should have been devoted to the charter and citizens writing in comments, additions, and ideas to it. Then maybe we can make some headway on something which should have been up and running more than a year ago (according to the original CZ timeline at least). Meg Ireland 00:02, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
      • For the record, I strongly disagree. Projects are projects, and that's what we have committees for. Parties are parties. Never mix business with pleasure,; or at least, never confuse business with pleasure. Aleta Curry 01:08, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
        • I always write for pleasure. If CZ was business I would ask for money. Yes we do have committees but a charter written by a committee without any input from citizens is doomed to fail. PS. I didn't know you were in charge of these monthly write-a-thons - I must have wrongly assumed it was open to any citizen. Meg Ireland 02:13, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
      • Not sure what you mean by all of this, Meg. Everything at CZ is open to any citizen, excepting possibly positions you have to be appointed or elected to. I'm the M.C. for the write-a-thons, that's all. Re: the charter, as far as I knew, everyone was invited to have input. I thought that was the way we did things around here. In any case, I'd much rather this discussion was moved to the charter talk page or the forum threads and I'd ask a CZ cop to do that, please. Thanks! Aleta Curry 03:23, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
        • If that's the case, count me out of future write-a-thons. I disagree with one person only making decisions on what should be written each month here. Meg Ireland 03:30, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
          • I had always thought that we take the ideas from the bottom of the page, after a consensus is reached? As to the Charter, it is a good idea to get people to comment. i will make an effort to read it in full and add my comments tomorrow. Chris Day 04:28, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
What's the hoohah, cobber? I don't understand a thing about the complaints in this thread. I *know* that supposedly there *might* *possibly* be a stated thread to join contributions together, but, to my knowledge, from being here two and a half years, that has been observed totally in the breach. I don't think I have *ever* written a WAT article that fell within the suggested guideline for that particular month. In other words, Aleta, or whoever, might state, somewhere, "It would be nice if we had a bunch of articles about Shellfish or Lady Olympic Skaters." And *I* say, "If I'm gonna write an article this month, it's gonna be about what *I* want to write about. And this month it's gonna be "Dr. Samuel Johnson and the Concept of Blockheads". (see And if they don't like it, they can delete the article and throw me out of CZ. Which so far, in two and a half years, hasn't happened. Hayford Peirce 05:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
There are playhouses, and playhouses, and then there are playhouses! Aleta Curry 10:26, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
If we get a playhouse it should look good too. I managed to find some good pictures on Flickr. Chris Day
  • Supten thought of playing some Cricket but found that apart from the game of Cricket, the other meanings playable with the word are yet unexplored! So he created this stub and to earn the partier's status, played with Aleta's Playhouse.
  • Daniel played around with the disambiguations for play and cricket and started play (ethology) and ethogram. --Daniel Mietchen 16:17, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Peter started on Nim, a simple but illustrative mathematical game, but may not have enough time to continue now ... --Peter Schmitt 19:41, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Another start with uncertain continuation: Games People Play. --Peter Schmitt 20:01, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Hayford put down his martini long enough (actually he won't be making one for another half-hour or so) to write a playful, ie, short, article about a tennis player from Australia named Adrian Quist that no one in the world remembers today except, perhaps, 20 million or so Aussies. He was a really great doubles player. The Tennis Encyclopedia article about him frequently calls him "Quisty" -- Aleta, is that really the case with Aussies of the time? After writing the Quisty article, then fulfilled the other part of the Partiers' contract by doing some editing to Aleta's article Who's on First?. Hayford Peirce 00:32, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I'll bite: is what really the case with Aussies of the time? And what makes you think I'm old enough to remember? Pass me a martini, things are getting desperate! Aleta Curry 06:01, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I drank both of the two that I mixed (same as four Scotches, sigh). What I meant, was: "Do Aussies of today, or even of yesteryear, ever fondly speak of 'Old Quisty', or 'Young Quisty', or whatever? I did a Google for 'Quisty' and the only hits I get are *all* from the Tennis Encyclopedia, so I think it's something that the writer there invented." (For instance, Frank Sedgman really is called Sedge, and Rod Laver is called Rocket and Ken Rosewall is called Kenny.) Hayford Peirce 15:18, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Can't answer, because I'm not familiar with this person at all. However, Australians do abbreviate *everything* and nickname even more than the Brits. Aleta Curry 22:37, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's not *entirely* the question mark, Peter -- if you go back *two* edits, you'll see that in my original version I *did* have the question mark. I think it's gonna be the slanting vs. non-slanting apostrophe in the title. Hayford Peirce 00:52, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

Porch sitters--article creators who didn't edit a new article

John decided to start Macbeth, then head off... John Stephenson 07:35, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Apropos of nothing, Lady Macbeth has always been one of my favourite characters to play. She's just so horrible! Aleta Curry 10:28, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Party crashers--article contributors who didn't create a new article

Rather late and missed the boat!

The shy ones, absent-minded profs, and other modest creatures

The total party poops

Special requests

How informative should CZ articles on explosives be?

Some say I have a short fuse (disambiguation), but, when PeterPaul asked if it should be "proximity fuse" rather than proximity fuze, I went off and updated fuze, wrote fuse (pyrotechnic) and fuse (electrical). Looking at proximity fuze, I started updating Jensen Engineering concepts. Edward Teller led me to do some updating on fusion device. I can't resist smiling when PeterPaul quoted WP about fuse vs. fuze -- and got it wrong.

Actually, this raises some interesting questions: I was thinking about getting into more depth in the fusing of explosive systems, and asked myself "self, while the information is out there if one thinks to look for it, should there be concern about giving the details of explosive tradecraft?" For example, a fuse-with-an-s is a burning or exploding cord that sets off loud noises, directly or indirectly. Now, since it looks like string or rope, people who don't know the correct technique may extend the fuse by knotting it as they would a non-exploding string. Let me merely say that doing so can cause the extended part not to be ignited, or for the burning to jump suddenly beyond the time delay. The correct technique is quite simple, but not obvious (I don't think). There's technique even in something as seemingly simple as lighting a fuse with a match (although it's better to use a purpose-built fuse lighter). In the sixties, a lot of commercial and military explosives handbooks were freely available. They aren't any more.

Where is the line between letting knowledge be free, and reasonable caution? In explosives, where is it appropriate to have information available to debunk conspiracy theories? Some of the 9-11 conspiracy theory people clearly have never taken a close look at setting a controlled building implosion, which involves a great deal of skill, material, and preparation -- including quite large quantities of materials that would be quite hard to conceal. --Howard C. Berkowitz 20:32, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I think this is an important issue. I think also that there is a similar concern with health-related issues. Just as the articles on explosives, military equipment, guns and so on should probably be written in such a way to ensure that the next Timothy McVeigh-style incident cannot be blamed on us, we need to be careful about ensuring an approved Citizendium article is not a route to bad information about healthcare (medical disclaimers? HONcode?). This is one thing I have never understood about the Family Friendly policy - basically, how it is always sex organs people have a problem with and never nonsense. Lies, mistruths and male-cow-excrement are a much bigger problem than some nudey pics are, in my mind. Anyway, this seems like a Charter issue, which probably needs addressing in the forum. –Tom Morris 18:46, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Charter and constitution

Please take a look at Charter and Constitution and help to get them into shape for the drafting period. ...said Supten Sarbadhikari (talk) 10:20, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

That was not what I had in mind — rather, I thought that we should start/ improve the charter and constitution articles to provide background for the above. --Daniel Mietchen 10:29, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
But yes, comments on the charter are still much needed. --Daniel Mietchen 15:59, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Help wikify one article

Anthony has started Biology's next microscope: Mathematics as part of a previous W-a-t, and I would like to ask your help with getting it into a better shape, e.g. by adding wiki-links or wikifying the references. I also invite opinions on whether the article should be renamed and further developed or whether it should stand alone or on a subpage. My personal preference would be to turn it into an encyclopedic entry, and mathematical biology would be a good candidate. Thanks! --Daniel Mietchen 15:59, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I had a very brief and cursory look at that article. It seems to be an essay, not an article, and turning it into an encyclopedic article quite likely will destroy it. I do not see how it can be become an article on "Mathematical Biology" or "Biomathematics" (is there a difference?). --Peter Schmitt 23:07, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


It's a wrap!

Bonus point winners