Did You Know: First Edition (?)

10 04 2010

I can't believe it's not Canada

Have I done one of these before?

Some miscellaneous facts that I have uncovered across Wikipedia:

My current “Did You Know” factbox is on my public Wikispace.

Image credit: Canada Bay by Just For Fun – Jason on Flickr (CC A-NC)

Give me back my test!!

28 08 2009
Hey dude, why did you paint a vagina on your face?

Hey dude, why did you paint a vagina on your face?

Congratulations! Wikipedia has managed to piss of another segment of society. Psychologists can now be added to a growing list that includes Encyclopedia Britannica, Scientologists, high school teachers, and UK censors.

via i09: Wikipedia now includes not only the questions, but potential answers and marking criteria, for the traditional Rorschach blot test (spoilers there). So you can study up to prove your sanity (or insanity if you’re after a section 8)

I did not realise that their was such a stock set of 10 images. I knew their had to be a stock (in order to have some level of objectivity in analysis), but did not realise that all subjects would get the same 10 images everytime. Isn’t this sort of exposé sort of inevitable. Surely someone sweating an upcoming test can find, at the very least, a psychology textbook that would have the exact same information that Wikipedia now contains. Or do they do a full background check on people purchasing such texts to ensure they are part of the inner circle of psychology?

Now why don’t we have some fun.

Have your own go looking at each of the images uploaded to Wikimedia: Image 1. Image 2. Image 3. Image 4. Image 5. Image 6. Image 7. Image 8. Image 9. Image 10.

(If you want to test yourself, write down your initial responses now, otherwise I might ‘prime’ you. Be as detailed or succinct as you like.)

Have a look at my jumbled responses below the fold. See if you can match them with right image (and your own responses). You can then go back to the Wikipedia page and look at the ‘official responses’ and feel free to play psychologist.

Read the rest of this entry »

Information from me and you

1 03 2009

In an effort to fight the looming competition from Wikipedia (remember the comparison back in 2005; Nature, BBC), Encyclopedia Britannica has decided to put some dramatic changes into action…

No, not quite that dramatic.

But they are  going to start to allow some user-driven content:

Readers and users will also be invited into an online community where they can work and publish at Britannica’s site under their own names. Interested users will be able to prepare articles, essays, and multimedia presentations on subjects in which they’re interested. Britannica will help them with research and publishing tools and by allowing them to easily use text and non-text material from Encyclopaedia Britannica in their work. We will publish the final products on our site for the benefit of all readers, with all due attribution and credit to the people who created them. The authors will have the option of collaborating with others on their work, but each author will retain control of his or her own work. – Britannica Blog

The main encyclopedia ” will continue to be edited according to the most rigorous standards” – but will now allow basic users”to suggest text changes, updates, photos, videos, bibliographies, Web links and other reference materials and improvements”. Most importantly, Britannica will recognise this content: “Anyone whose contributions are accepted for publication will be credited in detailed article-history pages in the encyclopedia.”

The core expert editor community, with user community advice, all by attribution is also the model being used by Medpedia. Which launched earlier in February.

The future of online user generated content?

I don’t believe in prom dates

18 02 2009

Wikipedia was founded by Prince Arthas?

Krazy Krow and Krakow Studies have unveiled a new webcomic project for 2009: CharlieHorse It has me all confused because the first chapter is entitled “September”. Start from the start. The latest panel is here.

Return of sexy succubi! (Though I will agree with Preston, what’s up with hooves…)

Preston and Charlotte do not look like they are going to get along like Case and Kia in the original Krakow. Maybe that will change, but Krakow is not always that predictable.

Can Charlie succeed as a demonic Henry Higgins to help Preston level up his charisma stats to land a prom date in time?

Check out the other stories from KrakowStudios:

The very original Krakow; skip forward to colour and panels; skip forward to the Demon Sisters

Krakow 2.0 is the tale of a sexy blonde (I mean blonde) bombshell of an assassin employed by a doublecrossing Jesus who kidnaps/rescues the daughter of Japanese magnate …

… and it didn’t end with that: Marilith is ongoing in an edgier new series (start at the start of Marilith).

Oh, if I had the internet monies…


20 01 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease (NITD) is a Singapore-based tropical disease research institute created through a public-private partnership between Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board. Research at NITD focuses primarily on developing novel small molecule therapies for tropical infectious diseases that are endemic to the developing world, particulary dengue fever, malaria and tuberculosis.[1][2]

History and mission

NITD was founded in 2002 as a public-private partnership between Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board.[1]

NITD states its goals are “to discover novel treatments and prevention methods for major tropical diseases.” Their website states they hope to have at least two drug candidates going through clinical trials in patients by the year 2012.[2]

Novartis has also stated that the NITD will seek to make treatments developed by the NITD available without profit to the poor in developing nations in which these diseases are endemic.[3]


NITD is a small molecule drug discovery research institute.[1]

Research is currently focused on three main diseases:[2]

NITD’s research model relies on global partnership with other research institutes.[1] In 2008, NITD announced a 5-year collaborative research effort would be conducted in cooperation with the TB Alliance to develop new medicines for tuberculosis, including drug resistant tuberculosis.[4]


In addition to research, NITD is engaged in educational activities. It runs a research-based Master of Science program in fields related to infectious diseases in cooperation with National University of Singapore, University of Basel and Swiss Tropical Institute.[5]

NITD also supports training opportunities for post-graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.[2]


External link

Kangaroo sequences, cocaininated bees and stupid robots

30 12 2008

Here’s a rapid fire dump of some stories that remain in my “to post” box.

Yes, one’s that are trying to get away.

facebook goatsex

8 10 2008

Okay. I am a fan of facebook (I think my facebook page even says so), but honestly some people just do not think before they put things up on there.

Case in point:

In case thats not loading right:

Interests: sex sex sex hair shoping horses sex goats cats and a shit load of fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH and i will bcome a Famous designer of cloths some day soon

Some words just aren’t meant to be used together to describe what you are into. Sex and farmyard animals. And “cloth” design. Oh My…

Hey did you know wikipedia has a (rather poor) article on the history of goat-human sexual relations.

Wikipedia snuggling up to big tobacco

7 10 2008

Tell the Wikitruth:

“If you are a smoker and something really irritates you on Wikipedia, don’t react to it — just grab your pack and have a smoke to calm down.” – Wikipedia:No angry mastodons

A wikipedians attempt to remove poor health advice was reverted with this excuse:

Place information back. The advice is geared for people who smoke so they do not become angry mastodons. Instead, they should go get a cigarette and cool off. Some smokers do this, but some do not. – Guroadrunner 09-07-08

The idea of beneficial nicotine is sourced to HowStuffWorks.com, does this mean the blame is off wikipedia? It still sounds like a breach of Wikipedia’s rules on Synthesising Original Research to me.

Miley Cyrus not dead yet

8 09 2008

via fracas.

I am definitely a bit worried at how easily wikipedia vandalism is re-reported as factual news by some outlets.

Wikipedia is not a reliable source folks. It’s a great resource, but in and of its own it is as useful as a class of 4th graders.

Not only was the hoax misspelled, the wikipedia editors didn’t even add the right date.

Oh dear…

A related item from tonight’s episode of Media Watch details how a simple Snopes search might have saved the Age some face by not regurgitating an old urban legend.

Russia tries not to be China

1 09 2008

Backlash is taking its time to accrue against Russia’s recent non-act of war (or was it act of non-war?) that occured during the Beijing games.

The Olympics are generally considered a time to show good sportsmanship, and part of good sportsmanship between foreign countries, is not driving tanks around and shelling villages.

This website hopes to show Russia that there are repercussions for its actions.

Skepticism does arise that it might just be a Yankee effort to show them Commie Russkies who won the Cold War. That’s certainly how I think Russians see it. Similarly the British-led effort to seek some sort of condemnation (or *gasp* action) by the EU.

Although one might conceivably be able to understand Russia’s motivation to protect it’s citizens (who make up the bulk of the populations in South Ossetia and Abkhazia), the recent military action, and now political action by officially recognising the autonomous states as independet sovreign entities, seems very, well interesting.

Russia would seem to be one of the last countries who would want to encourage breakaway regions to well, breakaway. Only country with possibly more interest in suppressing independence of nation-states would be China. Taken in this Russia’s move can seem schitzophrenically both modern and hypocritical.

International support for these two fledgelings is far from the unaminous voice echoed upon Kosovo’s announcement of independence. Apart from Russia, the only other positive responses have been from Venezuela (might as well be Kim Jong Il) – and Belarus, who have said they are gonna support the move, but maybe not just yet, procrastination on a national scale – I love it!

I’m actually inclined to side closely with Australia’s official statement as quoted on wikipedia:

“The declaration overnight by Russian President Medvedev [recognising the states' independence] I don’t believe is a helpful contribution. Indeed some may regard that as provocative. I don’t think it helps circumstances in Georgia and I don’t think it helps relationships generally between Russia and the rest of the world.” – Foreign Minister Stephen Smith

Sex, lies, and vomeronasal organs

20 08 2008

That seems to be the end of the MHC-smelling your mates and the recent pill “revelation”.

Already I was disappointed when erv used science (or, well high school statistics) to make a mockery the latest hot news item.

It is a very bad shame that people who are supposed to be competent to report on science don’t understand what error bars are for.

I’d heard of MHC-smell relatedness before back when I was in high school from the BBC and ABC. But by the time I got home from work, erv has gone a destroyed my trust in the whole idea, with real science (this time she actually goes and talks to a scientist*)

Humans do not have well developed vomeronasal organs. Ok, what what? That’s ~nasal as in nose, or, oh, just look at wikipedia. As human-like apes have become more reliant on colour-based vision, our sense of smell has diminished. We just don’t have the capacity for being able to strongly sense smell differences associated with MHC.

So why is research still being done with smell-based MHC detection in humans?

Could there be non-olfactory cues in MHC distinction in humans and human-like apes? Differences in sweat light refraction perhaps?

*yes erv is a scientist in her own right, but just to perfect, she goes and talks to a scientist with appropriate knowledge – it’s a machiavellian scheme alright

GeneWiki – overadventurous or unambitious

28 07 2008

Doesn’t it annoying you when you think “I thought of that first” when something is brought out in the spotlight. But then you realise, that hey, that’s probably been in the pipeline for some time, maybe they did think of it first.

That’s what I’m feeling about GeneWiki.

Read the rest of this entry »

Koala retrovirus

6 07 2008

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Koala retrovirus
Virus classification
Group: Group VI (ssRNA-RT)
Family: Retroviridae
Genus: Gammaretrovirus
unclassified Gammaretrovirus[1]

The Koala retrovirus (KoRv) is a retrovirus affecting many populations of koalas. It has been implicated as the agent of an AIDS-like immunodeficiency and a range of cancers in the native Australian marsupial. The virus is thought to be presently undergoing a transition between an active infective form and endogenous state within the koala genome.


Koala retrovirus was initially described as a novel endogenous retrovirus found within the koala genome in 2000. Sequence analysis strongly suggested a relationship with Gibbon Ape Leukemia Virus (GALV).[2]

New research however has shown that some populations of koalas, particularly an isolated colony on Kangaroo Island do not appear to have the provirus form of the retrovirus. This suggests that the gene sequence is a new acquisition for the koala genome. Studying the spread of the virus amongst Australian koala populations appears to show a trend spreading from the north down to the south of Australia. Northern populations are completely infected, while some southern populations (including Kangaroo Island) are free.[3]

It is thought that further studying KoRv will allow valuable insight into how endogenous retrovirus develop and incorporate themselves into mammalian genomes.[3]


  1. ^ Koala retroviurus Uniprot taxonomy
  2. ^ Hanger, Jon J.; Bromham, Lindell D.; McKee, Jeff J.; O’Brien, Tracy M. & Robinson, Wayne F. (May), “The Nucleotide Sequence of Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Retrovirus: a Novel Type C Endogenous Virus Related to Gibbon Ape Leukemia Virus”, Journal of Virology 74 (9): 4264–4272, <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=10756041>
  3. ^ a b Stoye, Jonathan P (21 Nov), “Koala retrovirus: a genome invasion in real time”, Genome Biology 7: 241, doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-11-24

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s wrong with a little destruction?

2 07 2008

Utilising the awesome power invested in me by the Wikimedia Foundation, I nominated some poor rpg fanboys work for deletion. (Actually I prod-ed which could be consider better or worse than an afd). The rpg/persistent world has been dead for quite some time. Probably another poor overadventurous utopian sandbox-style wannabe squashed by the likes of warcraft, anarchy and SL.

Not that exciting of a story, but decent enough excuse to throw out two other links to punic worlds I’ve stumbled on recently.


Planet Urf


Planet Irf.

This MILF hunts you…

27 06 2008

Forget about those WTF number plates, here’s some more acronym madness.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, otherwise known as MILF, is a Phillipino Muslim seperatist rebel group. Harking back to the early 80’s after splitting off from MNLF, MILF has been involved in terrorist shenanigans to force the creation of a Islamic state, Moroland. Probably not a shortening of Tomorrowland, and probably whole less fun and with less pork.

I’m really not surprised peace talk meetings with MILF don’t progress to well. It’s a bit hard to be taken seriously with a name associated with Stifler’s Mom.


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