Gather 'round, young ones, and listen to a tale: Once upon a time, before the Internet dominated every moment of our waking lives, research required actual legwork.
When students had reports to write about 18th century Chinese history, say, or Brown v. the Board of Education, they had to go to the library (a physical structure that contains lots of books) and try to find pertinent information in volumes of printed material; some of these volumes were called encyclopedias.
Luckily, those days are long gone. On Jan. 15, 2001, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched Wikipedia, a website that contains a lot of the same information as encyclopedias, with the benefit of the user not even having to leave bed or get off the toilet in order to punch around at it on his or her phone. What was the name of the actress who played the school chancellor's daughter who aggressively pursued Brandon but then wound up dating Steve in the later seasons of Beverly Hills 90210, you wonder? Why, Kathleen Robertson, of course, playing the beautiful yet tempestuous Clare Arnold.
Technology's great, innit?
In any event, Wired has a great story on the 15th anniversary of the often controversial beast that is Wikipedia -- the whole thing's worth a read if you want some history. As for us? We thought it'd be apt to celebrate with a spin through some of our favorite pages. Happy time-wastin'!
1. The Dyatlov Pass Incident. On Feb. 2, 1959, nine experienced hikers died in a mysterious accident (or was it?) that left some victims barefoot and buried under snow, one woman missing her tongue, and more. Maybe don't read this one before bed.