Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/December 5, 2007

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What's a Write-a-Thon?

It's a bunch of people getting together on a wiki at a particular time to do a bunch of writing. It's like an online party! Heck no, it is an online party! It's also an excuse for infrequent wikiers to show up and party hardy.

But hey, why not show up in between the write-ins, too!


Write-a-Thons happen the first Wednesday of every month. The next Write-a-Thon is Wednesday, December 5. December 5 starts on December 4, 1200 UTC, in New Zealand, and ends on December 6, 1000 UTC, in Hawaii. Save The Date! Put it on your calendar! Set yourself a reminder!

Any new article you create, and any edit you make to somebody else's Write-a-Thon article, when it's that day in your part of the world, will count.

Our first Write-a-Thon took place Wednesday, August 1, 2007 and was considered a roaring good time--we had about 30 partiers creating something like 50 articles, and editing lots.

What are the rules?

Rules? This is a party! There are no rules!

Well, OK, maybe there are a couple rules:

  • We'll have a Write-a-Thon the first Wednesday of every month.
  • To participate, you only have to do two things: (1) start a new article (even just a stub will qualify, if not too short - and please remember to include the CZ:The Article Checklist!), and (2) make a substantive edit (not just a copyedit) to somebody else's new article. Then you can list your name here as a partier. Until then, you're just a porch-sitter, party-crasher, or total party poop.

Create an article, already!

Check it out: Start an article!

Now (this time anyway) easier than ever! Stubs are not only permitted they are encouraged!

The Partiers

  • Aleta was pleasantly surprised to find she wasn't alone, as eager beavers in other parts of the world jump the gun. She borrowed a trench coat from Denis to go do the weeding, since the Calla Lillies and wild roses are getting out of hand. Leaving to have breakfast, but I'll be back--bwah, ha, ha.... Aleta Curry 16:53, 4 December 2007 (CST) Having too much fun and haven't left yet, maybe I'll only make it to morning tea. Aleta Curry 17:21, 4 December 2007 (CST) Had to go to town; just got back, reading the questions and p*ing myself laughing! I made eggnog, but since so many of you are still sleeping, I'm drinking it all myself. Seems to be causing hallucinations; there are jackaroos and Crested Cranes in my garden! Better go lie down--see you all in the morning!
  • Aleta went to the user page of Supten and dragged him in here. Before he could start a new article, he'd rather have some breakfast, albeit it is rather the time to have lunch at his place! Larry's fourth question in the designated section gave him a cue to create a stub on akrasia and take leave from the party on the basis of that (akratic to write-a-thon)!
  • Derek Harkness received a message form Aleta asking him to bring a bottle. He wonders why Aussies never by a round as he swills down a nice shiraz wine. Added some pictures form his holiday snaps to Hong Kong, edited his current place of abode - Anshan, and then, because the Beatles are in the course book for tomorrows lesson and he has to prep the lesson plan, he corrected a very minor grammar mistake on Ringo Starr. He then relaxed and watched a US Discovery channel program about the Great Wall of China. This was so inaccurate and missleading that he decided that CZ should do better. Which explains why he wrote Hadrian's Wall instead. He then remembered that he now lives in China, not the UK, so edited the Great Wall of China a bit. More to follow on that one. Before heading for bed, he wonders why nobody is dinking the wine.
'No one's wining the drink??! Ya don't say! Aleta Curry 13:55, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Louise thinks that's probably a hint to break out the beer, especially as this month's beverage of choice hasn't been decided yet. Also, she has made a mental note to check this page more often now that she knows how this write-a-thon lark works! Aleta seems to be asleep and the Australian day has an hour and twenty minutes left, so Louise is breaking out the cognac.--Louise Valmoria 05:42, 5 December 2007 (CST) (... but reckons wine is better. Happy Write-A-Thon all, Wednesday is almost over here!--Louise Valmoria 06:43, 5 December 2007 (CST))
Pssst! Louise! Nereo, Derek and I decided ages ago that editing would count when it was Wednesday anywhere, otherwise we would always get left out. We seem to have won by default; must've been all the booze. Aleta Curry 13:55, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Really? Awesome. I'm back in the party, then! And wine it is! Cheers--literally. Heh.--Louise Valmoria 16:00, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Derek know this, however his students don't. They still think it's Thursday morning and demand that he should be teaching class. By the time he gets home form work at five to eight in the evening in China, he realises that there is only 4 minutes left before the end of party time hits the international date line. Derek Harkness 06:01, 6 December 2007 (CST)
  • Todd emerged from his cave to write a stub about the Jamestown Colony and a pretty minor edit to False start. Hope to be back for more later! --Todd Coles 08:40, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • As Regina was in a dark mood because of the grey German December sky, she wrote down the sad story of Catherine Quaque. Then she turned to another tragic figure, Lord Byron. That’s enough sadness today, maybe too much for a party. She promises to be more cheerful next time.

To Aleta: Thanks a lot to the Mistress of Ceremonies for the reminder.

Any time, mon amie! Aleta Curry 13:55, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Hey, welcome to the party, Stephan!--Louise Valmoria 20:10, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • After taking a catnap to sleep off the wine, and mightly pleased at Russ's excellent contribution to Antoni Gaudi, Louise has added a bit about Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory in Developmental psychology. That's not going to stop her from asking silly questions, though ... --Louise Valmoria 20:07, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • Anthony.Sebastian, with characteristic over-ambition, started a new article on Oxidative stress, hoping to reach a high-school or undergraduate college readership without boring the real experts. A bit of resveratrol-rich red wine helped him relieve some of his own oxidative stress in making the attempt. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 21:55, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • Joe read Aleta's comment about jackaroos and thought she had said "jackalope," then decided to write a stub about a hoax (which might not be a hoax) from his own state: the Kensington Runestone. Then he added a shot of a whole bunch of stones, which Hadrian had made into a wall to keep out the Scots, who were very fond of hoaxes.

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

Aleta compares Denis's first statement with his last, decides it's none of her business.
Anton ROFLs!
Denny blushes!
  • Louise is reading the above statements and just beginning to realise the fun she missed out on last time by working on the write-a-thon without stopping by this page. She has started an article on the Montcada family (currently a stub, but she will extend it), intends on working further on Albrecht Dürer, and continuing on the medieval / art area will be working on Peter Parler and Adam Kraft. --Louise Valmoria 15:59, 4 December 2007 (CST)
Blending in with the Write-a-thon crowd in a trench coat, Louise is now getting the idea of this (and enjoying it!) and has continued on with her art history theme with Dieric Bouts.--Louise Valmoria 00:23, 5 December 2007 (CST)
After checking out the Core Articles for the Arts and still rather much on a Catalan bent, Louise is going to work on Antoni Gaudí. Also, there isn't any beer in the house and Derek is wondering where the drinks are, so is offering cognac 'cause that's the only thing she has at the moment! --Louise Valmoria 05:49, 5 December 2007 (CST)

Waking the dead

  • Pierre-Alain was considering the idea of honouring a few medical pioneers when he received an invitation from Aleta for the Write-a-thon. An epic battle against the forces of death and oblivion is about to take place. --Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 19:57, 4 December 2007 (CST)
Dear Catherine!
"Catherine Kousmine (September 17, 1904 in Hvalynsky, Russia - August 24, 1992]] in Lutry, Switzerland) was a scientist, physician and thinker who devoted her entire life to understand and treat diseases of civilization..." as editing advances, she's coming back to life!! --Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 20:21, 4 December 2007 (CST)
I did not edit another author's article!! OOOps. I'll take care of this manu militari... --Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 20:33, 4 December 2007 (CST)
Done. Added the French touch to the breakfast article. --Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 23:28, 4 December 2007 (CST)
  • Roger did his best one-trick write-a-thon pony routine this month, and concentrated exclusively on the development of a major new article on Hull House which no longer automatically redirects to the still-wonderful article on Ms. Jane Addams.

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

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

Steve is busy behind the scenes getting some fab photos for your new starts! Stephen Ewen 03:05, 5 December 2007 (CST)

Again, Chris has been editing other peoples articles Calla Lily and Ascorbic acid. So others know, User:Alexander_N._Alexandrov is making a start on the latter. He's a new kid on the block, so old hands feel free to help him find his feet. Chris Day (talk) 03:06, 5 December 2007 (CST)

Russ finally got to add an image to Antoni Gaudi and a little note on Modernisme.

Bruce just came for the wine, bringing a bunch of Norwegian party-crashers with him. He also seems to be confused about which holiday season it is: Hanukkah (for which the fluid du jour is oil), not Passover! Bruce M.Tindall 13:20, 6 December 2007 (CST)

Shy Boys

If you notice(d) any, please add them in so they can get credit--and we can invite them to next month's party!

The total party poops

Go ahead, admit it!
  • I will be a party poop until this evening, because I'm about to leave for Graceland (no, really!) and then the airport. But Elvis Presley and I will be with you, drinking wine (or other beverage, in spirit (so to speak). --Larry Sanger 07:45, 5 December 2007 (CST)
"In spirit" ha! You really think there's gonna be wine left by the time you get here?
  • Argh! ergh! dog ate invitation, looking after sick girlfriend, work commitments until early evening.......but then! woohoo Mumtaz Mahal away.......--Russ McGinn 11:01, 5 December 2007 (CST)
I heartily approve of looking after sick girlfriends. We'll see you when we see you. Aleta Curry 15:47, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • Nereo today was submerged by boureauocracy and the likes. Shees... thanks Aleta for your kind invitation, but today I can't really do it. So sorry! But I am with you all. Please forgive me... --Nereo Preto 11:05, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Apology accepted. There's always next month!  :) Aleta Curry 15:47, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • Zach had a major league excuse involving schoolwork, so we'll see him next time.
  • Hendra also sends apologies.
  • Hayford Peirce returned from two weeks away from his desk to discover that his @#$%^&* motherboard had died during his absence (from lack of its daily ration of Navy Grog most likely) and it was only within the last half hour that he has been able to get back online after an absence of one entire week. Believe me, being without an Internet-connected computer for a week is like having your right arm cut off....Hayford Peirce 16:25, 9 December 2007 (CST)


You ask--we answer. Ask anything. Keep it clean, now.

Why is the South's food so good? Is it mainly the spices, or is it the fat? --Larry Sanger 19:32, 4 December 2007 (CST)

Both. --Robert W King 21:08, 4 December 2007 (CST)

If you could tell a rich old guy the best way to spend his millions to improve American public education, what would you tell him? --Larry Sanger 19:32, 4 December 2007 (CST)

Stop granting tenure to bad teachers and fire the ones that can't perform and teach acceptance of differences, not hate. --Robert W King 21:08, 4 December 2007 (CST)
Bring back uniforms and learning by rote. Also, the millionaire can't do it without societal changes: put the teaching of ethics back in the home, not the school, and stop expecting teachers to be baby-sitters and social workers with all the responsibility and no authority. Overhaul the welfare system. Stop graduating illiterate people. And parent's first question in response to "teacher did such and such to me" should be "what did you do to upset teacher?" not "how *dare* s/he?!"

Progress isn't really inevitable, is it? --Larry Sanger 19:32, 4 December 2007 (CST)

Impoverished nations might argue otherwise. --Robert W King 21:08, 4 December 2007 (CST)

Is weakness of will, or what the ancient Greeks (and pretentious contemporary philosophers) call(ed) akrasia, really possible? Is it possible to do the wrong thing knowingly, or is every wrong act explainable in part in terms of a failure to understand what is right (as Socrates seems to have thought)? In short, is knowledge virtue, and is vice always an indicator of some special kind of ignorance? --Larry Sanger 20:01, 4 December 2007 (CST) [P.S. maybe you should move me to the party poops right now just for asking that question.  :-)  :-) ]

You can do the wrong thing on purpose for some certain means; you can also do the wrong thing because you don't know the difference between right and wrong (it was never ingrained in you as a child). --Robert W King 21:08, 4 December 2007 (CST)

What is it with the Write-a-Thon and Australian women? Ah, well, it's because they get to go first (it's Wednesday there before anywhere else!). --Larry Sanger 20:05, 4 December 2007 (CST)

Loaded question. --Robert W King 21:08, 4 December 2007 (CST)
I think 'getting to go first' might have been a loaded answer! --Louise Valmoria 22:57, 4 December 2007 (CST)
[snorting I'm laughing so hard] I would say something, but dashed if I can think of a good comeback! Aleta Curry 01:30, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • Where is everyone? Isn't it Wednesday in the U.S. yet??!! Oh, yes, all gone sleepy sleepy and I'll have to wait till you wakey wakey. Better go send out some more invitations, just in case....Aleta Curry 01:30, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • What's the official alcohol this time round?? Aleta Curry 01:30, 5 December 2007 (CST)
We've done beer, and I think Derek has got the right idea with starting his writing day with wine ... mmm, shiraz.--Louise Valmoria 06:26, 5 December 2007 (CST)

How much wood could a woodchop chop if a woodchop could chop wood? I theorise that it relies on several factors: among these, bulk and strength of the woodchop, sharpness of the blade, the grain of the wood, and precipitation levels in the air (does humidity affect the ease of woodcutting?)--Louise Valmoria 06:31, 5 December 2007 (CST)

Methinks Louise has already started hitting the wine. That's woodchuck, right? Size of the axe, too. Couldn't be a very big axe, or else it would have to be a very big woodchuck. We clearly need to have reference articles on these important topics --Larry Sanger 07:42, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Excellent point, Larry. Slept on it for a bit and realised that we also need to factor in the material of the axe--steel? iron? Some kind of alloy? And, experimentally, one would also need to give a time duration in which to determine how much would a woodchuck could chop. Otherwise, lifespan notwithstanding, this amount could actually be infinite. And are we looking at one individual woodchuck, or could one effect experimental control and work from statistics of a population of woodchucks? Also, is the pun actually 'how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?' because if he's chucking, that's a completely different story.--Louise Valmoria 15:58, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Louise swears to drunk she's not God. I learned it as how many chucks, in school and at home, but if you think I'm writing an article on chucking...! Aleta Curry 16:06, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Haha! Probably! So if it's a woodchuck chucking wood that would make it a whole different experiment to a woodchop chopping wood, wouldn't it? That's a whole other bag of chips ... wood chips at that ...--Louise Valmoria 20:20, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Ouch! You know what's really cool about woodchop? It's a sport that one can enjoy right away, you don't have to know a whole bunch of mad rules to get it! Aleta Curry 20:52, 5 December 2007 (CST)
  • Which is correct: "Is either of your parents studying Chinese?" or "Are either of your parents studying Chinese?" or both or neither. Also why? After that, tell me to you say either and neither or either and neither. (the first sounding like 'eye there' the second sounding like 'Eee there') or do you mix and match as the mood takes you. Derek Harkness 08:09, 5 December 2007 (CST)
    • I say "are either." And I switch back and forth on the pronunciation of either/neither. I use whichever sounds better, which is usually determined by the first syllable of the next word, though I'd have to think about it to figure out which pronunciation goes with which syllables. --Joe Quick 13:12, 5 December 2007 (CST)
I would say "are either", too. But I think that would be incorrect. So on a test, I would write "is either". Where are the grammarians? Need to know the answer to this one! I usually rhyme to 'eye-thur', but I do switch. Aleta Curry 14:38, 5 December 2007 (CST)
I would say "are either", because it sounds right, parents being plural, but if we're selecting from one or the other I've a feeling it would "is either" because we're focusing on one. (I'm not a grammarian, I'm just particular). AlsoI say 'eye-thur' ... ingrained habit, I can't think of a time when I've switched.--Louise Valmoria 15:58, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Do either of your parents study Chinese? No, neither does. Yes, both do. Yes, one does. --Larry Sanger 21:59, 5 December 2007 (CST)
Answer, both are wrong. While it is normal for English speakers to use 'Are' here because 'your' and 'parents' are or may be plural, The error is actually in the use of 'either'. The word either requires the choice between two separate answers. This one or that one or neither. Both is not acceptable with 'either'. Since one possible answer is 'Yes, both...' the word 'either' shouldn't really be used. A different word such as 'Are any of...' or 'Is one or more of...' should have been used. Derek Harkness 06:10, 6 December 2007 (CST)
Eliminate forms of the verb 'to be'. "Do your parents, or does one of them, study Chinese?" --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 16:30, 6 December 2007 (CST)
Changing the verb 'to be' into the verb 'to do' doesn't solve the problem or subject verb agreement. You are still left with the question of 'Do' or 'Does' instead of 'Are' or 'Is'. Derek Harkness 19:30, 6 December 2007 (CST)
Are any of your parents fluent in the Chinese language? Are any of your parents studying chinese? Yes, one of them is. No, none of them are. Neither of them are studying chinese. Do both of your parents study Chinese? Does one of your parents speak chinese? Yes, One does. Yes, they both do. --Robert W King 22:34, 6 December 2007 (CST)
  • What would Rousseau think about Citizendium's take on the wiki model? I thought at first that he would be slightly disapproving (préférences and all that - the sort of stuff that Wikipedians tend to dislike about how we organize the community) but now I'm not so sure because I think he would quite like the real names policy... Can you tell I'm knee deep in finals papers? --Joe Quick 13:12, 5 December 2007 (CST)
    • Been a long time since I read Rousseau so I can't really tell you there, Joe.  :-) He was a crazy, vain, radical egalitarian. --Larry Sanger 21:59, 5 December 2007 (CST)

It's a wrap!

I call upon the Editor-in-chief to declare the December write-a-thon a success. And the official drink was, without a doubt, wine! Aleta Curry 21:14, 7 December 2007 (CST)

Other Shindigs

empty form

Official libations

  • Inaugural - beer!
  • September - champagne
  • October - we were refurbishing the bar and only had coffee!
  • November - made up for last month with more vodka than was good for us and plenty of rum.

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