Archive:Monthly Write-a-Thon/May 7, 2008

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Holidays, Festivals and Fetes
Anything having to do with a celebration. Or a commemoration (sometimes memories are sad, too).
Bonus points if it's an event that takes place in the month of May!

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, May 7th, 2008. May 7th starts on May 6th, 1200 UTC, in New Zealand, and ends on May 7th, 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

Holidays, Festivals and Fetes
Anything having to do with a celebration. Or a commemoration (sometimes memories are sad, too).
Bonus points if it's an event that takes place in the month of May!

(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!)

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 found her way into the party room, despite not feeling in the party mood due to intestinal upset. Oy! Where is everybody???!! [Searches for party hat] Decided to start at the beginning with New Year's Eve before moving on to my beloved shows. More--I *did* actually do my edit, to Cinco de Mayo so I count as a bona fide partier. I did some other stuff, too, but this was an awful internet connection week and I've forgotten what. Like Pat, I've jumped the gun on biographies. Probably gonna jump the gun on Olympics, too. Aleta Curry 03:49, 11 May 2008 (CDT)
Aleta, don't these things include tractor pulls? No American fair I've ever attended has failed to have one of those!Pat Palmer 21:30, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
You know, I don't think so. I think that *might* be an element at a field day, but I'm not entirely sure. Aleta Curry 03:49, 11 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Waves to Aleta. Louise Valmoria has wandered onto the porch outside, with lots of work in hand--busy day on the roads today. Still buzzed from some low-key Cinco de Mayo celebrations, she is wondering who else is around to join the masquerade ...
Hi Louise! Haven't stopped by the bottle shop yet, but I will! (Where's Derek when ya need him??)  ;) Aleta Curry 19:27, 6 May 2008 (CDT)
Ian's here! [punches air] Yessss!! Aleta Curry 20:09, 6 May 2008 (CDT)
In honour of Aleta's unbridled exuberance Ian got excited and went off to Mardi Gras.
  • Dave here, a bit early, but also leaving early, since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight... Mulled cider all around...and good night! David L Green 22:53, 6 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Chris noticed Auld Lang Syne mentioned in Aleta's New Year's Eve and thought an Ode to a Haggis was needed, so started on Burns supper.
  • Supten was late this time and decided to inform all about Rabindra Jayanti. However, he found that there wasn't any article on Rabindranath Tagore, so he created a stub and tried to find out which new articles to edit. Finally, he added an external link to New Year's Eve.
  • Derek Hodges (Guess I'm not going to be on a first name basis around here, not even Derek H.) just got back from a couple of days with family and the Canadian Tulip Festival. A festival! and in May.
[Edited to say--exactly *how* mixed up can one woman get?? See comment immediately below.] What on earth we're going to do with all these folks with the same first name...bunch of nicknames? Don't know why all your parents couldn't have named you something sensible, like Aleta....though I've been mixed up with other Aletas on the very rare occasion, believe it or not.... Aleta Curry 05:44, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Derek Harkness thinks Aleta's getting worked up over nothing. It's not that common a name. Just think of the problems if we were called John Smith. Thinking of which, do we have any Smiths here? Derek started earlier today with a new article at Inner Mongolia then added some history to Liaoning. He was going to do holidays but he'd already done Chinese New Year and Shrove Tuesday on a previous write-a-thon. was Derek! The other Derek! Well, first it was Robert, because we've got a lot of Roberts, as well. Okay, so I'm a twit and I responded to one Derek by talking to the other one. I'll leave, now. Aleta Curry 20:56, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Bruce Tindall started an article about Juneteenth, which, because it originated in Texas and occurs in the summer, may make very sweet iced tea eligible to become this Write-a-Thon's official libation. But, because Aleta started the day with New Year's Eve (to which I added a few sentences), it may be difficult to avoid enshrining champagne this month.
Australians don't make iced tea, more's the pity. Interesting you wrote about Juneteenth, because I was recently reading about the connection between Juneteeth, New Year's and Watchnight. African American slaves did not *invent* Watchnights, but the New Year's Eve of 1863 was so very important because the Emancipation Proclamation would take effect, that they participated in the Watchnight. There's an article in here somewhere.... Aleta Curry 21:06, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Larry Sanger added to the New Year's Eve revelry...and then lo, his mouth opened, and he spoke truth! Then he danced a reel--OK, no, he played a reel, the dancing you don't want to see. By the way, it sure would be nice to include a recording or two of a reel... Anyway, also started some Celtic music...appropriate for May Day as any, I'm sure...
  • Embarrassed by not turning up with anything more bountiful, Tom Morris rustles up a quick stub on Harvest Festival, a rather reserved and British version of Thanksgiving. Being an author in the realm of eternal, transcendent ideas makes it rather difficult to think about the day-to-day. --Tom Morris 17:13, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Pat has been meddling with Larry's Celtic music article. This is a milestone: my very first opportunity to participate in a WriteAThon. Whoopeeeeeeeeeee!Pat Palmer 21:28, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
    • Welcome, Pat! Thanks for the edits! --Larry Sanger 21:49, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
    • It's still Wednesday and I have yet to create an article. Well, here goes: in keeping with the theme, I'll create the World's Biggest Fish Fry.Pat Palmer 22:25, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
  • Hayford wandered into the party with a smug expression on his face as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, having already created Butter, homemade/Recipe; Clarified butter; and then, just for kicks, Clarified butter/Recipe. Then he remembered that supposedly, true Partiers were supposed to not only create an article, they were also supposed to edit someone else's newly created article. So he zoomed off to Larry's latest article and, in truth wrought a couple of edits. So at least he, with a glass of single-malt Scotch currently in hand, is a true partier. But is anyone else? Or is the Must Edit rule now being observed only in its abeyance? Not that that actually makes the other Partiers bad human beings, I suppose.... Hayford Peirce 21:32, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
Ha, ha--no, you're right. I suppose I should really move a whole lot of people over to the porch sitters list.... Aleta Curry 03:49, 11 May 2008 (CDT)
Very impressive, Hayford. I wasted 20 minutes trying to think of something useful to add to butter but then realized I was tired and needed to quit. Signing off soon, I really mean it this time.Pat Palmer 23:08, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Keen-as-mustard and jumped the gun

  • No way am I going to have time for the Write-A-Thon in July ("Biographies"), so I've gone ahead and started the article on Claude Shannon right now.Pat Palmer 11:00, 9 May 2008 (CDT)
Good on ya, girl! Accepted with pleasure. (Someone remind me to copy this to the July W-a-T! Aleta Curry 03:41, 11 May 2008 (CDT)

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

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

Its 2AM in Ireland and Denis was getting pretty tired of looking at a very short Jean-Jacques Rousseau page, so he made it a little bigger. Anyone else up for one of the most influential thinkers of European History? Denis Cavanagh 20:02, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

Rousseau area of my brain has cobwebs, I'm afraid. Go get some sleep. Come back. Wait--you're young--stay up, what the heck! Aleta Curry 20:11, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

David is still busy importing musician pics for the Stingaree Music Festival, but hey, its not quite Weds where I live, so I still have a chance to party tomorrow. David E. Volk 23:03, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

Learned something else new! Thanks! Aleta Curry 05:31, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Joe showed up to the Cinco de Mayo festivities two days late but felt compelled to expound on its history anyway.

Have been busy coding this afternoon (in Python (programming language)), and before that was getting an eye test at the opthalmologist after a week of severe computer monitor-induced headaches. Now too tired to put an article together, but glad to see others have been busy. Opts for a tall, cool glass of cloudy lemonade, pops some Big Beat tunes on and parties. --Tom Morris 16:43, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

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

The total party poops

Go ahead, admit it!

Special Requests

While every one is here. Does anyone have any opinions on the proposal at: CZ:Proposals/Should we allow article specific subpages? Chris Day 12:04, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

I'll reply on the page. --Larry Sanger 12:27, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

I have a special request of my own. Any feedback on the developing Workgroup Weeks plan? It's not entirely finished, but there's enough there that should make the general idea clear enough. --Larry Sanger 12:27, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Also, while everyone is here, can they have a look at my new proposal: CZ:Proposals/Should we remove the educational prequisites in place in order to be considered for the Constabulary? (P.S- Look at my main summary also.) Denis Cavanagh 16:50, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Okay, I'll go take a look. Aleta Curry 21:26, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
I came, I saw, I commented. I answered the question "no"... --Larry Sanger 21:47, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

OK, i have set up an experiment. There is now a definition subpage tab (Def) at the top of the page. Also talk pages will have instructions in the todo box. Feel free to play with it. Or complain, it might be buggy. Chris Day 17:13, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

I tried it accidentally. Seems to work fine. Here's a queston: when I start definitions, I've been just launching into it, rather than opening with the actual name. In other words, I write, Def. Tea: a drink with jam and bread. As opposed to Def. Tea: Tea is a drink with jam and bread. This work for everyone? Aleta Curry 21:26, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
That's what I do to, no need for redundancy. Just out of interest, how would you feel if we had the definition in the metadata template rather than on a subpage? Would that be more or less complicated/confusing? Chris Day 23:03, 7 May 2008 (CDT)


Test yourself, an be honest, no books. Can you name one country for each letter of the alphabet. Then, can you name the capital city of each of those countries? Derek Harkness 07:00, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Honest answer (tried this in the last 15 minutes): I'm stuck on 'W' and 'X' for countries. Oh, I am naff. Now I'm only stuck on X. I know the capital city for only about half of those. Of course, if I went back to my country list and filled it in with country names with capital cities that I know, instead of listing the first ones that come to mind, my hit rate might be higher (why do I think of 'Finland' immediately instead of 'France'? ... oh, I just remembered what the capital is, but still, not the first that comes to mind), but even then my capital city knowledge would probably be only be about 65%, max. Need to improve my knowledge on African and Middle Eastern countries. Nice challenge, Derek. Now, I wonder if we have articles on each of the ones we come up with? Louise Valmoria 09:16, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
Ohh, I think I cheated. I used whatever name I thought of first, either in English or in that country's language. You didn't say we had to stick to English. I used old names too. I also named the first country that came to mind and then if the capital didn't pop into my head I picked another country. Stuck on "W" and "X". Okay, okay, going back and eliminating foreign names and names of countries that no longer exist. Still stuck on "W" and "X". Thinking of cities, states, territories, districts, everything but a COUNTRY with those initials! Aaaargh!!! Not able to let this go--I HAVE to get it!!! Aaaargh!!! Aleta Curry 17:36, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
Hmm, are we allowed to use the pinyin romanization of the Chinese name for a formerly independent country now occupied by China that has been in the news a lot (re: Olympic torch, violent repression, etc.) recently? Oh. I didn't think so. Oh well, so much for my candidate for "X". Bruce M.Tindall 10:51, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
Can't come up with anything for X. Surprised myself with how well I did on capitals. Now here's another question: can you come up with a capital city for each letter of the alphabet and then name the country? --Joe Quick 11:49, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
Hungry? Is that a country? I thought Europe was a country. [1] --Tom Morris 16:56, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

It's a wrap!

May was a whirlwind, so I didn't wrap things up properly, sorry folks. Still, we had a success with informative new articles, as always. Thanks, folks! Aleta Curry 19:39, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Previous 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.
  • 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!

Write-a-Thon Theme Suggestions

New Suggestions and Discussion

Go ahead and propose one!

Great Men (and women too)

What do you say we get some biographies started. No matter what workgroup you belong to, there will be a Great Person for your group so this is one that everybody can work on. You might do a famous scientist, maybe an actor or actress, perhaps a national leader, or whatever takes your fancy. Derek Harkness 07:20, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

Ooh! Love this idea, moi! Aleta Curry 18:04, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

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)

Why not themes on holidays?

May Day is that week after all. We can getting cracking on Maypole and Moriss dancers and of course Fetes. Possibly tie in other pagan themes, stonehenge and such. Or even go with the obscure maritime connection and make a start on the Titanic, (may day may day). Of course there is the labor movement too and the Haymarket riot for those who want to stick to politics. Anyway, you get the idea. Chris Day 22:29, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

What a great idea, Chris! Cinco de Mayo, May sickness, St Joseph--I think we could work this.... Aleta Curry 22:45, 3 April 2008 (CDT)

Future Theme Schedule

  • May - Holidays
  • 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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