Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/June 4, 2008

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Bonus points this month for combining this month's theme with next month's "Biography". But you'll have to do a super good job, because after all, that's an easy ask.

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, July 2nd, 2008. July 2nd starts on July 1st, 1200 UTC, in New Zealand, and ends on July 2nd, 1200 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 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.

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


Bonus points this month for combining this month's theme with next month's "Biography". But you'll have to do a super good job, because after all, that's an easy ask.

(You can also be inspired by some of the theme suggestions, below. Or propose one yourself--just scroll down. Or write about something that takes your fancy--or the first thing that comes into your head--JUST DO IT!)

Special Note from the M.C. regarding this month's theme

In many places, emotions are running high regarding this year's Olympics. I hasten to point out that our Write-a-Thon is about The Olympics in general, from the Ancient Greeks to now. Winter, Summer, new sports, old sports, heroes and villains. Write about any aspect you want, (bonus points this month for combining Olympics with biographies, but not too many since that's an easy ask for this theme!)

There's no need to shy away from controversy, so if you're having strong feelings about Beijing, by all means write about it (professionally, of course)!

Everyone should have something to say about some aspect of the Olympics, so let's make it a good one!

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's here, but she's not the first. Go, guys, go! Started out with one of my all-time favourite Olympic Cinderella stories, John Akii-Bua. The day is young and I'll be back! Aleta Curry 18:39, 3 June 2008 (CDT) Okay, added a stub on Leni Riefenstahl, disingenuous and brilliant. Aleta Curry 04:18, 4 June 2008 (CDT) Aleta's back, and wanted to start a stub on the butt of many an Olympic joke, curling, but you know what? We've already got one! Will think of something else. Went to see biathlon instead, in a chariot gallantly provided by Derek. Aleta Curry 18:40, 4 June 2008 (CDT) Also talked a bit more about The Flying Scotsman.
  • JFPerry, fresh from video work at the state high school fastpitch softball championships, wants to let everyone know that: 1) the softball is not soft, and 2) never, ever, call it baseball.
Excellent, James, I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Aleta Curry 03:21, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Aleta came back to ponder the caprice of a system where softball's out, but dancesport's in. Maybe that's just me? Must make sense in some corner of someone's universe..... Aleta Curry 15:59, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
Supten definitely gets bonus points!!! Plus an extra one for not having to be reminded of the Write-a-Thon this month!  :) Aleta Curry 03:21, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Supten thanks Aleta but the extra bonus point should be awarded to Larry whose mail - calling for Write-a-thon - was the first one to be read by Supten after logging into the Net!
  • Noel wasn't logical about it at all - this was purely an accident, filling in a red link from something an old message I was dealing with led me to. J. Noel Chiappa 09:04, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
See, no one would've known, Noel, we'd have thought it was an advised choice! Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
Drugs are bad. Articles about drugs are good. Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
That's amazing. Bonus points to you, too! Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Derek Harkness thinks that working till 10pm sucks big time. However late, he did write a short article about Eric Liddell — the Scottish guy from the film Chariots of fire. Derek can't help noticing some comparisons with his own life, excepting that Derek doesn't have a 400 metres gold medal (yet). He then did a little wikitidy at Olympic theme song.
Working till 10 p.m. *does* suck big time. You get another bonus point for efforts above and beyond the call of duty. Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Tom is certainly not feeling the Olympic spirit at all, so quickly ducks in, writes a stub on Iraq and thinks about whether an article on Falun Gong (see [1]) or maybe Jesse Owens would be suitable. Despite his political protestations, he's in a jolly mood, and slurps down some cool lemonade, mixed with a little hint of vodka, then munches on a cheese straw.
--Tom Morris 15:33, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Er.. so you're trying to say that vodka is your idea of the "Olympic spirit"? Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
Aleta admits that the other Derek confused her again. I was thinking about the Olympic Hymn and trying to figure out how you got "ba baa ba ba da baaa..." I'm on the right (musical) page now, suddenly. Okay, then. Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
Hi, Michael! Yes, of course host cities count, say I. Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Joe helped John Akii-Bua gain some momentum then he ruined the Olympic mood by reminding everyone about the Tlatelolco massacre. He needs to spend some time on term papers, but will try to come back later.
Cool, Joe. Yes, term papers come first, of course. Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Larry Sanger underestimated the amount of time needed to recover from back-to-back trips! But he won't be a total party poop. Expect a little article about cross-country skiing, my favorite sport from high school! --Larry Sanger 15:56, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Is that the same as Nordic skiing or Skiing (Nordic)? Remember the great brouhaha over the term soccer. Just trying to be helpful. James F. Perry 18:27, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
aaaarrrrrrggghhh!!!!!!!! Aleta Curry 18:41, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
ROTFL... Well, FWIW, Wikipedia seems to think nordic skiing is the broader term, encompassing x-c skiing. We'll have to do some research. --Larry Sanger 19:02, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Sanger finally stumbles into the party, having done a small general clean-up of Pierre de Coubertin‎...
"Stumbles", huh? Did somebody actually bring a bottle of somethin' with him? Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Anthony.Sebastian adapted and modified an open-access article from PLoS Biology, entitling it Biology's next microscope: Mathematics, close to the original much longer title. Properly attributed to source. Eager to hear from biology and mathematics. It needs clean-up work, especially on the references. Needs uploading of image. Group editing encouraged. --Anthony.Sebastian 23:00, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Intruiging title, Anthony! Heading over to see what it means! Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Hayford, as usual, waited until the last possible moment of Wed-ness-day in the States, when it was probably already Friday or Saturday in 'Strya, but nevertheless managed to eke out a smallish article about the great old film Vertigo -- he'll add more references, etc., later on. He also did some nitpicking editing of the new John Akii-Bua article, so he definitely qualifies as a full-fledged Partier. Cheers, mytes! Hayford Peirce 23:51, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Oh, very funny, Hayford. And yes, you're a partier extraordinaire. Aleta Curry 00:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
I remember him -- I was livin' in Tahiti at the time. The only French gold went to a *horse* -- so there were a gazillion covers on Paris Match and the other French mags of the horse. Plus lotsa articles and attention paid to the judo guy -- European solidarity, I guess, even those King Charles de Gaulle still reigned.... Hayford Peirce 13:47, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

John's excuse is that his time it's not far off Wednesday, so arrived early to pin an English Only sign on the front door. John Stephenson 06:25, 3 June 2008 (CDT)

Another winner. I didn't realise that things had gotten to the point where the movement actually had a name! Aleta Curry 03:27, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

I jumped the gun with Olympic theme song, fitting both the Olympics and the music suggestions! David E. Volk 09:03, 3 June 2008 (CDT). Do "steroid" articles count towards the Olympic theme? LOL David E. Volk 18:44, 3 June 2008 (CDT)

Nandrolone and Stanozolol should certainly qualify! Supten
This would be funny if it weren't so blasted serious. Heck, no, it is, too, funny. Aleta Curry 03:27, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

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

  • Ian's work meant he made only a short 25 metre dash in the Gay Games but unfortunately simply had to keep running right out of the stadium...
Oh, but I'm so glaaaad to see you regardless of how short the dash is! Aleta Curry 00:29, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

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

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

Alas! My wiki time was limited, and I couldn't chase up the 'recent changes' and note all those who were working.

On the other hand, we've now got so many edits that if I don't do that right away, I can't tell, and that's a good thing!

Aleta Curry 18:13, 13 June 2008 (CDT)

The total party poops

  • Denis had to sit this one out as he has a U.S. History exam at two o clock. Its his last so he doesn't expect to be in a fit state to contribute as the evening goes on! Good luck with this month, but may he also suggest that something be written for Euro 2010 that starts in the next few weeks?
Ohboyohboy--here with go with the quadrennial disruptions to my sleep patterns, again! Thanks for the reminder! Irishmen--sheesh! (Although to tell the truth, every member of my family of whatever nationality goes in for this insanity--so I'll just have to take that back!) Aleta Curry 00:51, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
  • Pat Palmer worked all day at the Academy, then played for a contra-dance in the evening, and thus missed all the fun (big frown). Still, she enjoyed reading about the missed party.Pat Palmer 12:57, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

Special Requests

I have one big special request. I want to kick CZ:Workgroup Weeks into high gear this month, as it will have to be if we're really going to organize our first workgroup weeks for either July or September. And, if you know me, you know that when I am determined, I roll up my sleeves...well, I am very determined indeed in this case, and so Workgroup Weeks are going to happen! So here is my request: Please think about how you can help, and if you can make any sort of commitment at all, please put your name on CZ:Workgroup Weeks or one of the associated pages. TIA! --Larry Sanger 22:02, 1 June 2008 (CDT)


Since the Olympics are going to be in China this year, here's a teaser with a Chinese theme. How many peanuts can you pick up, simultaneously, side by side, with only a pair of chop sticks. No cheating by using the other hand. Derek Harkness 13:14, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

In the shell or out? --Joe Quick 13:53, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
It's easier if they're soggy from food left in a take-away container overnight. And is that wooden chopsticks or plastic ones? I've an idea that would change things. Aleta Curry 17:31, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
My wife and I had a couple of meals in Tahiti with a v. rafeened Chinese lady who had *incredibly* dainty and sharply pointed and highly polished ivory chopsticks. It was impossible to eat *anything* with them, and I'm a pretty accomplished chopsticker.... Well, I guess we could have stabbed each grain of rice, one by one by one, with the sticks, using them like knives. Garhhh! Hayford Peirce 17:47, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

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.

Bonus point winners

Extra! Extra! By my count, Derek Harkness is winning the bonus point competition, for a stunning coup back in March combining three theme suggestions in one.

You can make note of your bonus point accomplishments here, to make sure I notice. (I can be bribed!)

Write-a-Thon Theme Suggestions

New Suggestions and Discussion

Go ahead and propose one!

Re: Olympics

  • If we do Olympics in May, how do we handle the passionate and possibly justifiable views of those who regard them as the 'Genocide Olympics' (thinking of Darfur) or the 'Cultural Genocide Olympics' (thinking of Tibet) or the 'Pulmonicide Olympics' (thinking of air pollution)? Suggest we adopt theme(s) from Charles Darwin's works, to get ahead of the crowd planning activities etc. to celebrate the bicenntenial of Darwin's birth, Feb 12, 2009, less than a year away. CZ knows a good idea when it sees it. --Anthony.Sebastian 18:58, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
We don't even have an article on Tibet yet! We know China has blocked Wikipedia. Has China blocked Citizendium? Meg Ireland 19:15, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
Citizendium is not blocked in China. Also, the English Wikipedia is not blocked at the moment either. We don't have articles about most places yet. We don't even have a completed article about China let alone smaller places. Derek Harkness 20:16, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
I'm happy to add a Darwinian theme to a future write-a-thon--but...but...Anthony, are you nay-saying The Olympics?? Surely not!
Meg and Derek--yes, but that's all right. I think it'll make people want to get rid of red links!
Aleta Curry 21:50, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
Another good one, Daniel! We need a blurb on how this "wanted" page is created--is it simply an ordered list of redlinks? How about if in October we do CZ housekeeping, or some such, and include both your suggestions? The write-a-thon always seems to work best when people have lots of options.
Aleta Curry 18:11, 13 June 2008 (CDT)

Future Theme Schedule

  • June - The Olympics! (Need Olympic Rings here) (and a sub-theme for July and August too, I would think)
  • July - Biographies! The Good, the bad, and the altogether ugly. Also: The Olympics, because I will well and truly have Olympic fever by then!
  • August - Attractions - Someplace you always wanted to go/something you always wanted to see. And/or a local attraction--go ahead and plug something wonderful about your city, county or village. guessed it...The Olympics!!!
  • September - My Favorite Band! - Or your favourite Music Genre...your favourite orchestra...recording artist--their best song (I may shudder, but hey, it's up to you!) If it's musical, and it's your fave, write about it!

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