Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/June 3, 2009

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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; to exchange ideas with people we might not "meet" otherwise.

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, June 3, 2009. Starts on June 2nd, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Wednesday in New Zealand, and ends on June 4th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Wednesday 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 during that time period will count, though to be a bona fide partier, you have to write your new articles when it's that day in your part of the world.

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.

Read all about it!! Let's try this again

By popular request, we'll be trialling Write-a-Thon II, a Sunday session of the Write-a-Thon to accommodate those who work all week and have trouble making it in to the party room on Wednesdays.

Soooo--if you worked Wednesday, if you had a bad day Wednesday and didn't get to come to the party or didn't get to do as much as you would have liked, or if you would just like another opportunity to join in the fun, come on along. Starts on June 6th, 1200 UTC, when it starts being Sunday in New Zealand, and ends on June 8th, 1200 UTC, when it finishes being Sunday in Hawaii.

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 subpages template!), 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, sign in as a porch-sitter, party-crasher, or total party poop.

This month's Party Theme

It's a Wide World or: It's a Small World After All!

Something that involved the world. Something that affected the world. Something that focussed the world's attention on one place. Or just some place in this great, big world.

I am trying to think of something that doesn't fit under this topic. Aha...square circle. --Larry Sanger 15:52, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

The Partiers

Howard observes one must not miss the boat in Chatham, Massachusetts, or it will be much more difficult to fish. Yes, it is possible to rake for quahogs in shallow water, but a skiff is a very good idea.

He has been experimenting with restructuring some articles such as Taliban first, and then Iraq War and Afghanistan War (2001-), so there is a sensible and approvable core, from which subarticles can branch for continuing events.

His general challenge is for more engineering articles on tools and fasteners. Go ahead. Folksingers, if you had a hammer, write about it. There is drill besides Monty Python marching up and down the square. Even ignoring the idiomatic use of screw, there are multitudinous additions, if you won't be a nut and bolt. Howard C. Berkowitz

Daniel edited quahog and played around with ways to display its current state :

Developing Article Quahog: A North Atlantic coastal clam. [e]

Quahog is a clam species, Arctica islandica, a mollusk commercially harvested on both coasts of the North Atlantic Ocean. "Quahog" is more the New England term; it is called a "hard-shelled clam" in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. By either name, it is a slow-growing species, although not overfished; commercial fisheries are subject to Vessel Monitoring System tracking. While individuals over 200 years old have been found, growth slows after 20 years.[1] Even with the long history, the First Annual Cape Cod Quahog Day will take place in 2009.

Quahog in shell

In ocean waters, they are taken by dredging from the seafloor, although quahogs are also harvested by hand rakes in shallow coastal waters; the latter is a recreational fishery in New England. Ocean dredges, usually called New Bedford style, are hydraulic, using water jets to separate the shells from the ocean floor. They have a cutting bar which rides above the seafloor, pushing objects into the collecting bag. Arrangements of metal rings and chains keep rocks from being pulled into the bag. [2]

Fresh quahogs have an excellent flavor, but freshness is essential unless they are promptly frozen. They will, however, keep well for a week after harvesting, but need to be rinsed in cold water, and then refrigerated and kept on their sides. Discard any that stay open; they are dead. They can be eaten raw on the half shell, but are unpleasantly tough when steamed or fried, they are used in a variety of clam dishes, but aficionados all have a special recipe for baked, stuffed quahog. Chopped, they work well in chowders, sauces, and clam cakes.

To speak of "opening" a quahog marks one as a novice, for whom the task will be a challenge. The proper term is "shucking". Traditionally, it is easiest to shuck a quahog when it has been chilled for several hours. While purists are shocked by the idea, very brief microwaving will also relax the muscle, although it may toughen it slightly. Unless one is very experienced, or enjoys cut hands, a specific clam knife is appropriate. Slide the blade along the inside of one shell, which will cut one side of the two adductor muscles. Open the shell and release the meat by cutting the other side. (Read more...)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

Rather late and missed the boat!

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

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

The total party poops

Special Requests


It's a wrap!

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.
  • December - eggnog and wine


  • January - Whisky and the Cocktail of the Month, a pharisee
  • February - schnapps and the Cocktail of the Month, the caipirinha (considered the national drink of Brazil)
  • March - port wine (which should probably live at port (wine), no? (Someone put that on their list, please....Oh, *someone* did--thanks, Ro) and the Cocktail of the Month, a Dead Aunt
  • April - Akpeteshie hot and fresh from Ghana. And cool shandies and spritzers if that took your fancy. Lotsa staggering around the bar after this party!
  • May - Was it champagne? No, we were dry, I think.
  • June - Were we abstaining yet again?
  • July - Sherry
  • August - pineapple juice Well, that's all right, I guess!
  • September - Given the music theme, i assume it was pop?
  • October - Cranberry juice. Some nut who shall remain nameless but whose initials are HP suggested Drano, (i.e. what cleans better than Drano?) but....
  • November - Spring water (Now Bruce just has to write it! Aleta Curry 04:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC))
  • December - Piña colada - get some light rum, mix it with pineapple and coconut cream. Instantly warp back to the eighties.


  • January - Bloody Mary - because, as Nietzsche said, we should only love that which is written with blood. Controversial enough?
  • February - Absinthe - updates last month, but doesn't it make one forget? (No. Urban legend, except that 50-percent-plus alcohol does do its mite)
  • March - Energy Drink - pump that caffeine into your system so you can burn through all those pesky definition subpages!

Bonus point winners

Write-a-Thon Theme Suggestions

New Suggestions and Discussion

  • "Hometown Heroes" - write about someone famous from your part of the world (either where you're from, or where you are now).
  • "Poles Apart" - find the spot directly on the other side of Earth from you, and write about someone or something in the vicinity. (Contributors on other planets, follow a similar procedure for whatever planet you're on. Contributors not on planetary bodies permitted to write about whatever they feel like.)
  • Fill in an item from this interesting list of natural objects. Or this interesting list of people.
  • All articles must start with the same letter of the alphabet, allowing for diacritics and transliteration (so Å, Á, and あ would all count if A were the letter, for instance).
  • Photo stubs - no minimum word length, no theme requirement, but must contain an image.
  • Choose a random number from 1 to 500, then go to Special:WantedPages and start an article on the topic currently at that rank.
  • How about an alternate weekend date, say the Sunday after the official Write-a-Thon, for those of us who spend our Wednesdays working at places that frown on extensive personal use of company computers? --Petréa Mitchell 19:15, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
There's a current forum thread on this-the proposal was to move the WaT to the weekend. Your suggestion might pose a good compromise. Aleta Curry 21:33, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I would be a lot more able to participate on weekends. My weekday workdays are 11+ hours.Pat Palmer 02:51, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
  • What will people most enjoy writing that could lead many different contributors to a short, but complete and interesting article that links to larger articles? Maybe "Events" could be a theme - pen-portraits of memorable sporting moments (see try, or notable historical events - including tsunamis, eruption of Krakatoa, comet collision with Jupiter, the birth of Dolly the sheep, freeing of Nelson Mandela, the sinking of the Titanic, assassination of Martin Luther King, the Mutiny on the Bounty, the discovery of the Americas? Can I suggest asking that every new article should have at least one external link and links to other articles here?Gareth Leng 12:31, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I like this idea. Further, definitions and other subpages are preferable, even for stubs. Chris Day 17:01, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Dare I suggest that even stubs can and should be non-orphans? Basic criteria: Howard C. Berkowitz 18:00, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Reachable from the front page or a core article/workgroup page
  • Link to at least three other articles, even if they are redlinks in a Related Articles subpages
  • Have at least three other articles link to them
  • I propose "childish things" as a topic. --Larry Sanger 15:51, 6 May 2009 (UTC) talkin' 'bout me again??? You can always tell who's got a toddler at home, huh, Larry? Aleta Curry 02:57, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Future Theme Schedule

  • June - tbc
  • July - tbc
  • August - tbc

See also

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Welcome Page
  1. Larry Jacobson and James Weinberg (December 2006), Status of Fishery Resources off the Northeastern US: Ocean quahog (Arctica islandica), National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
  2. David Stevenson et al., 3. Fishing Gear and Practices used in the Northeast Region: Quahog Dredges, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS NE 181: Characterization of the Fishing Practices and Marine Benthic Ecosystems of the Northeast U.S. Shelf, and an Evaluation of the Potential Effects of Fishing on Essential Fish Habitat, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, p. 47