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Wikipedia is Nuts

By Cornpone T. McGillicutty

I’m just a simple man, and one of the things I like to do is set a while on my back porch and watch the squirrels run up and down the maple tree. Maybe I’ll even whittle a bit while enjoying the little scamps. If they run up to me, sometimes I will even give them a treat or two.

Little did I know I was fostering terrorists. Terrorists, you say? Terrorists! I do declare. Whatever would I do without Wikipedia to lead me to the sum of the world’s knowledge? A picture here will save me nigh unto a thousand words:

Squirrel-Sponsored Cyberterrorism

Image from Wikipedia — where else?

It all began on June 6 of this year when Barbara F. Page, a Wikipedian Visiting Scholar and Wikipedian in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh *takes breath* committed an act of scholarship by creating this article as her original contribution to the world’s knowledge (a smackeral more of information about her here: link).  In the edit summary when she created the article she wrote this modest notice: “REVIEWERS PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A HOAX – SEE MY EDITING HISTORY”

Now remember it is important to sort information into categories to assist future scholars:
Categories: Start-Class Rodent articles | Low-importance Rodent articles
You’ve got to be precise in your placement of rodent articles on the carefully defined ‘importance’ scales.

Now don’t think that just any article can walk the hallowed halls of Wikipedia. There are other distinguished scholars and august experts who patrol and ensure that any article is of the highest quality and notability… or something that rhymes with all that I just said. To the Talk Page, Robin!

Quite sensibly, it begins with the author suggesting a mention of this vital article on Wikipedia’s front page. I mean why the hell not? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The mention suggested is in the form of another Wikipedia sideline called DYK, standing for ‘Did you know?’ It’s known for such recent gems as:

  • Did you know… … that Cephalotes caribicus worker ants had semitransparent expansions on their bodies, possibly for protection?
  • Did you know… … that Phil Lyne entered more than 100 rodeos in 1971 and 1972, winning the All-Around Cowboy championship in both years?
  • Did you know… … that tabletop game Beasts of Balance won the Technology Award at the 2015 Indiecade festival?

Shazaam, Sarge! I did not know those things! It is possible I might not even care, though.

Did you know… … that squirrels may be a major cybersecurity threat?

Y’know I used to think that June the 6th was noted for other important events, but hell, the disclosure of major cybersecurity threats with bushy tails edges that out.

Despite some polite and collegial banter, the article was nominated for deletion (sad beep sound here). But, driven by the steadfast optimism of the author and some truly deep-trawling for sources, the article emerged with a clear result:

“The result was Keep-ish but rename.”

Potential new titles:

  • Squirrel induced power outages
  • Squirrel damage to infrastructure
  • Accusations of terrorism aimed at squirrels
  • Gnawing into the grid
  • Oh the lights just went out-I hope it’s just the squirrels again

Keep the dream alive. Feed a squirrel today. It may be a Wikipedian in Residence.

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