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Happy 15th Birthday, Wikipedia! Here Are 15 of Our Favorite Entries

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If the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't real, what is he doing on the Sistine Chapel ceiling?  (via Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster)

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'!

Investigators at the site of the Dyatlov Pass Incident.
Investigators at the site of the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

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.


2. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Especially useful if you know grammar/syntax nerds, or 12-year-olds.

3. List of Kim Jong-Il's  special titles. When the North Korean media refers to the former leader of North Korea, at least one special title must preface his name. But which one to choose?

This is a puppet named Dustin the Turkey who allegedly came in 5th during Ireland's 1997 presidential election.
This is a puppet named Dustin the Turkey who allegedly came in 5th during Ireland's 1997 presidential election.

4. Non-human electoral candidates.

5. Spontaneous human combustion.

6. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Pastafarians, it's been a good 10 years since you were in the news, but we still salute you.

7. List of fictional magazines. The Simpsons section is worth a page in and of itself. Meddling Today, anyone? Or perhaps the latest issue of Food Hider?

8. Phantom Time Hyphothesis. TIME IS A LIE (?).

9. Demon Cat. This is a cat purportedly spotted around the White House the nights before both Lincoln and JFK's assassinations. Coincidence? That's what they want you to think.

10. Olestra. Trying to kick the new year off with a diet? Reading about the side effects behind the biggest failure in the history of the snack industry's "low-fat" movement should help.

Wow is right!
Wow is right!

11. Inherently funny words. It's important to distinguish, you see, between words "described as funny" (duck and kidney, apparently), and "funny nonsense words" that were invented to be funny (needle-nardle-noo).

12. Kentucky meat shower. Somehow, not a euphemism for a sexual act. Just meat, raining from the sky. In Kentucky.

13. List of lists of lists. "This article is a list of articles that are themselves lists of articles that are also lists" on Wikipedia.

14. "I Wish" (Skee-Lo Song). "According to Skee-Lo, he first became obsessed with wishes as a young boy, when he wished that his mother would bring home a 20-piece Chicken McNugget meal from McDonald's and then she did."

15. Scientology. 

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