tales from urban dilettantia

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301 Days of Wikipedia

In 2011, I posted 300 Days of Wikipedia.  Subsequently, friends commented that this action was likely to get them fired, citing a sudden and overwhelming urge to spend all day reading Wikipedia.  No-one was, to my knowledge fired.  And so, in the spirit of trying ever harder, I have compiled a sequel.

As per last year’s post, a warning.  While many of the articles on this list are work-friendly and generally inoffensive, do be aware that my interests sometimes stray into the gory, morbid and pornographic, and click accordingly.  (This batch contains an article on the war photographer who helped break the My Lai Massacre news, cruel and unusual experimentation, sport, and a giant spider sculpture.)  If you come across any broken links or other errors, leave me a comment and I’ll fix them up.

001 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak
002 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack
003 555 (telephone number)
004 A moron in a hurry
005 Aerogel
006 AFL siren controversy
007 Alder Hey organs scandal
008 Ali Dia (footballer)
009 American Mustache Institute
010 Andreas Grassl
011 Anglo-Zanzibar War
012 Ant mill
013 Barbados v Grenada (1994)
014 Barometer question
015 Bear JJ1
016 Bed burial
017 Bedford Level experiment
018 Benford’s Law
019 Betteridge’s Law of Headlines
020 Bicycle infantry
021 Black fax
022 Blood in the Water match
023 Blood-vomiting game
024 Body snatching
025 Bootstrap paradox
026 Boston Corbett
027 Breaker boy
028 Bugchasing
029 Bummer and Lazarus
030 Burke and Hare
031 Burst of Joy
032 Bus bunching
033 Business speak
034 Bystander effect
035 Camping (game)
036 Canadian Parliamentary Cats
037 Candy desk
038 Cargo cult
039 Casper (cat)
040 Cat piano
041 Cecil Jacobson
042 Cecil Kelley criticality accident
043 Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge’s Taxonomy
044 Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler story
045 Cher Ami
046 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus
047 Chess boxing
048 Chicago Tunnel Company
049 Chicken eyeglasses
050 Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
051 Christian side hug
052 Cliff Young (athlete)
053 Coal hoal
054 Cocktail party effect
055 Coffin birth
056 ComBat
057 Conflict of interest editing on Wikipedia
058 Contaminated currency
059 Copycat suicide
060 Coral Castle
061 Corpse road
062 Cow magnet
063 Crypt of Civilization
064 Cryptomnesia
065 Cultural cringe
066 Curse of the Colonel
067 Cute cat theory of digital activism
068 Dabbawala
069 Darius McCollum
070 Dead mall
071 Deep-sea gigantism
072 Descent from antiquity
073 Digital dark age
074 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
075 Disappearance of Rebecca Coriam
076 Dog whipper
077 Domino Day 2005 sparrow
078 Doomsday argument
079 Drunkard’s cloak
080 Dunwich
081 Early flying machines
082 Early world maps
083 Eddie’s House
084 Elem Farm Ollie
085 Elevator paradox
086 Elisha Gray and Alexander Bell telephone controversy
087 Ellen A. Martin
088 English As She Is Spoke
089 Euthanasia Coaster
090 Exquisite corpse
091 Falling on a grenade
092 Flirty fishing
093 Floater
094 Florence Y’All Water Tower
095 Four-dimensional space
096 Fox tossing
097 Fred the Undercover Kitty
098 Gaëtan Dugas
099 General Butt Naked
100 George P. Burdell
101 Ghost army
102 Goose pulling
103 Gravity Research Foundation
104 Great Stink
105 Greg Packer
106 Greyfriars Bobby
107 Guess 2/3 of the average
108 H. H. Holmes
109 H. Rochester Sneath
110 Hairy Frog
111 Handlebar Club
112 Hansa Carrier
113 Hard problem of consciousness
114 Harold Hering
115 Hart Island (New York)
116 Hashima Island
117 Helike
118 Helikopter Streichquartett
119 Henry Box Brown
120 Here be dragons
121 Hiroo Onoda
122 History of longitude
123 Hobo
124 Hockney-Falco thesis
125 Hollywood Freeway chickens
126 Hotel toilet paper folding
127 Hubble Ultra-Deep Field
128 Hugh Thompson Jr.
129 Human experimentation in the United States
130 Human flesh search engine
131 Ice-hotel
132 Illusory superiority
133 Imber
134 Impossible colours
135 Inattentional blindness
136 Incident pit
137 Inherited accessory nail of the fifth toe
138 Internet vigilantism
139 James Joseph Dresnok
140 Jedi census phenomenon
141 JetBlue flight attendant incident
142 Joseph Jagger
143 Karl Bushby
144 Kattenstoet
145 Kepler 22b
146 Ketchup as a vegetable
147 Kjærlighetskarusellen
148 Klerksdorp sphere
149 Kowloon Walled City
150 Kuleshov Effect
151 La Princesse
152 Laika
153 Lal Bihari
154 Language of flowers
155 Larry Walters
156 Laser harp
157 Letters of the last resort
158 Lion’s Mane Jellyfish
159 List of company name etymologies
160 List of confidence tricks
161 List of inventors killed by their own inventions
162 Littlewood’s law
163 London matchgirls strike of 1888
164 London Post Office Railway
165 London Underground mosquito
166 Lost in the mall technique
167 Lunokhod 1
168 Magic Roundabout (Swindon)
169 Marvin Heemeyer
170 Mary Ellis Grave
171 Mary Mallon
172 Matthew Robinson, 2nd Baron Rokeby
173 Mayerling Incident
174 Mercy Brown vampire incident
175 Method of loci
176 Miasma theory
177 Mike the Headless Chicken
178 Mill Ends Park
179 Miraculin
180 MissingNo.
181 Missionary Church of Kopimism
182 Moberly-Jourdain incident
183 Mobile Bay Jubilee
184 Montpelier Hill
185 Montreal-Philippines cutlery controversy
186 Moon treaty
187 Motorized recliner incident
188 Mummy brown
189 Murder of Tim McLean
190 My Way killings
191 Myrtle Corbin
192 Nail house
193 Net cafe refugee
194 New York City Subway chaining
195 Nix v. Hedden
196 Nixon’s Enemies List
197 Non-apology
198 Norwegian butter crisis
199 Octopus wrestling
200 On Bullshit
201 Operation Cornflakes
202 Orphan Train
203 Oxford Electric Bell
204 Panelák
205 Parahawking
206 Parking chair
207 Paternoster
208 Paul Erdos
209 Paul is dead
210 Peel P50
211 Pencil test (South Africa)
212 Pepper’s ghost
213 Perpetual traveler
214 Phantom ringing
215 Pink slime
216 Pit of despair
217 Pollen basket
218 Polybius (video game)
219 Portsmouth Sinfonia
220 Powers and abilities of Superman
221 Pranknet
222 Prediction market
223 Premature burial
224 Preview of the War We Do Not Want
225 Principle of least astonishment
226 Project Steve
227 Pruit-Igoe
228 Pulgarsi
229 Quine (computing)
230 Radium Girls
231 Raising of Chicago
232 Realistic conflict theory
233 Roadkill cuisine
234 Ronald L. Haeberle
235 Room 39
236 Rotten and pocket boroughs
237 RP FLIP
238 Russian Woodpecker
239 Sankebetsu brown bear incident
240 Sarajevo Rose
241 Scold’s bridle
242 Season 6B
243 Seasteading
244 Sehnsucht
245 Semaphore line
246 Sexuality of Abraham Lincoln
247 Shaun Greenhaigh
248 Ship of Theseus
249 Shoe-banging incident
250 Shower-curtain effect
251 Silk Road (anonymous marketplace)
252 Sledging (cricket)
253 Smart mob
254 Sockpuppet (Internet)
255 Solving chess
256 Song-plugger
257 Sonjourner Truth
258 St Scholastica Day Riot
259 Stack Interchange
260 Stanislav Petrov
261 Strange loop
262 Sudanese goat marriage incident
263 Sugar glass
264 Svalbard Global Seed Vault
265 Tank man
266 Telegony (pregnancy)
267 Ten Pound Poms
268 The Boy in the Box (Philadelphia)
269 The Day the Music Died
270 The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever
271 Tim Tam Slam
272 Time discipline
273 Timeline of the Future
274 Tip of the tongue
275 Tired and emotional
276 Toilet paper orientation
277 Tower of Wooden Pallets
278 Tri-State Crematory
279 Triboluminescence
280 Troy Hurtubise
281 Tube Challenge
282 Two envelopes problem
283 Unauthorized Apple Stores in China
284 Underground restaurant
285 United States Capitol subway system
286 Unsinkable Sam
287 Venus effect
288 Villejuif leaflet
289 Vinland map
290 Wanda Tinasky
291 War pigeon
292 Waterspout
293 We Can Do It!
294 Weasel program
295 Weather Station Kurt
296 Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan
297 Witzelsucht
298 Wookey Hole Caves
299 Wreck of the RMS Titanic
300 Zero stroke
301 Zorbing

300 Days of Wikipedia

For years, I have been bookmarking articles of interest on Wikipedia.  There are several lengthy lists of Wikipedia articles floating around the web, but most of them have padded out the interesting articles with an assortment of conspiracies, UFOs and supposedly haunted houses.  And so, I thought I’d share the things that interest me – notably alien-encounter and ghost free.

While many of the articles on this list are work-friendly and generally inoffensive, do be aware that my interests sometimes stray into the gory, morbid and pornographic, and click accordingly.  If you come across any broken links, leave me a comment and I’ll fix them up.

001    2006 Mumbai sweet seawater incident
002    Acoustic Kitty
003    Acoustic Mirror
004    Action Park
005    Alexander Litvinenko Poisoning
006    Alternate reality game
007    Amber Room
008    Amelia Dyer
009    Ampelmännchen
010    Anna Anderson
011    Anscombe’s quartet
012    Ant on a rubber rope
013    Anthropic principle
014    Antikythera mechanism
015    Anti-pattern
016    Aokigahara
017    Aptostichus stephencolberti
018    Arbre du Ténéré
019    Argleton
020    As Slow As Possible
021    Assassin
022    Atari video game burial
023    Baby hatch
024    Bacon mania
025    Ballooning (spiders)
026    Battle of Los Angeles
027    Beale Ciphers
028    Committee to End Pay Toilets in America
029    Beaumont children disappearance
030    Benjaman Kyle
031    Berlin Wall
032    Berners Street Hoax
033    Bible errata
034    Bielefeld Conspiracy
035    Bigfin squid
036    Black Dahlia suspects
037    Black Swan Theory
038    Bloop
039    Bodil Joensen
040    Bogle-Chandler Case
041    Boston Molasses Disaster
042    Brainfuck (programming language)
043    Brian Wells (bank robber)
044    Bubbly Creek
045    Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
046    Burning Man
047    Cadaver Synod
048    Carl Tanzler
049    Centralia, Pennsylvania
050    Chappaquiddick incident
051    Checkpoint Charlie
052    Christine Chubbuck
053    Cincinnati Subway
054    Cleveland Torso Murders
055    Closed London Underground stations
056    Closed New York City Subway stations
057    Coastline paradox
058    Collinwood school fire
059    Collyer Brothers
060    Colonial Street
061    Color of water
062    Conspiracy 58
063    Corrupted Blood incident
064    Cosmic latte
065    Cross Bones
066    Crush, Texas
067    D. B. Cooper
068    D’Agapeyeff cipher
069    Dagen H
070    Dancing Mania
071    Dancing Plague of 1518
072    David Bain
073    Defeat in Detail
074    Defenestrations of Prague
075    Degree Confluence Project
076    Demon Core
077    Dérive
078    Digesting Duck
079    Distinguishing blue from green in language
080    Dollar Auction
081    Dorabella Ciper
082    Drake’s Plate of Brass
083    Dyatlov Pass Incident
084    Ebenezer Place
085    Eigengrau
086    Eltanin Antenna
087    Elvis taxon
088    Emperor Norton
089    Encounter
090    Enigma
091    ETAOIN SHRDLU
092    Eton wall game
093    Eugenia Falleni
094    Evolutionary psychology of religion
095    Fan Death
096    Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat
097    Fermi paradox
098    Fine Cotton
099    Flannan Isles
100    Forest swastika
101    Brown_Dog_affair
102    Friendly Floatees
103    Frost flower
104    Georgi Markov
105    Ghost stations of the Paris Métro
106    Glasgow Ice Cream Wars
107    Gloria Ramirez
108    GoldenPalace.com Monkey
109    Gravitational lensing
110    Great Fire of London
111    Great Pacific Garbage Patch
112    Green Belt Europe
113    Green Boots
114    Green Children of Woolpit
115    Gropecunt Lane
116    Guerrilla gardening
117    Guess 2/3 of the average
118    Hampton-on-Sea
119    Hannah Twynnoy
120    Harold Shipman
121    Hartford circus fire
122    Henry Darger
123    Herd instinct
124    HeroRAT
125    Hinterkaifeck
126    History of the World Wide Web
127    If-by-whiskey
128    Illegal prime
129    Information Cascade
130    IP over Avian Carriers
131    I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
132    Ivory-billed Woodpecker
133    Jandek
134    Jeanne Calment
135    Jimmy Carter rabbit incident
136    John Murray Spear
137    John Titor
138    Joseph Force Crater
139    Joybubbles
140    June 1962 Alcatraz escape
141    June and Jennifer Gibbons
142    Kasper Hauser
143    Keron Thomas
144    Kilroy Was Here
145    Kitty Genovese
146    Kryptos
147    La choutte d’or
148    Lazarus taxon
149    Le_Rêve_(painting)
150    Lead Masks Case
151    Lech mich in Arsch
152    Let’s trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle
153    Limerence
154    Lina Medina
155    L’Inconnue de la Seine
156    Lizzie Borden
157    London Beer Flood
158    London Necropolis Company
159    London Pneumatic Despatch Company
160    Lord Lucan
161    Lost Doctor Who Episodes
162    Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine
163    Louis Slotin
164    lp0 on fire
165    Mad Gasser of Mattoon
166    Magdalene asylum
167    Manhattanhenge
168    Manor of Northstead
169    Mary Toft
170    Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion
171    Maze solving algorithm
172    McMartin preschool trial
173    Metal umlaut
174    Michael Larson
175    Michael Malloy
176    Milgram Experiment
177    Mir diamond pipe
178    Mitochondrial Eve
179    MKULTRA
180    Mobro 4000
181    Mojave phone booth
182    MONIAC Computer
183    Monty Hall Problem
184    Mornington Crescent (game)
185    Mortsafe
186    Moscow Metro 2
187    Münchausen by Internet
188    Nannie Doss
189    Nash equilibrium
190    National Hotel Disease
191    Nemesis (hypothetical star)
192    No soap radio
193    Nuclear football
194    Numbers Station
195    Oak island
196    Oliver Cromwell’s Head
197    One red paperclip
198    Onion Futures Act
199    Open source religion
200    Operation Mincemeat
201    Original Spanish Kitchen
202    Our Lady of the Angels school fire
203    Oxford English Dictionary
204    Parkinson’s Law of Triviality
205    Patent medicine
206    Patricia Pulling
207    Percussive Maintenance
208    Phineas Gage
209    Pigeon photography
210    Pirate loot problem
211    Pitch drop experiment
212    Poe Toaster
213    Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko
214    Pole of inaccessibility
215    Post-mortem photography
216    Presecutor’s fallacy
217    Prisoner’s dilemma
218    Psychogeography
219    Publius Enigma
220    Quantum suicide thought experiment
221    R. Budd Dwyer
222    Raymond Robinson (Green Man)
223    Red Barn Murder
224    Red Rain in Kerala
225    Republic of Indian Stream
226    Resignation from the British House of Commons
227    Richey Edwards
228    Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes
229    RKO Forty Acres
230    Roanoke Colony
231    Robert Shields (diarist)
232    Rogue wave
233    Rongorongo
234    Rosenhan Experiment
235    S. A. Andrée’s Arctic balloon expedition of 1897
236    Safety coffin
237    Sailing Stones
238    Salish Sea human foot discoveries
239    Sedlec Ossuary
240    Semantic satiation
241    Seven Bridges of Königsberg
242    Shape of the Universe
243    Shugborough inscription
244    Slow Down (unidentified sound)
245    Snuff film
246    Snuffy’s Parents Get a Divorce
247    Social engineering
248    Social traps
249    Solved game
250    Spite House
251    Spring Heeled Jack
252    Stanford Prison Experiment
253    Subterranean Rivers of London
254    Taman Shud
255    Tamworth Two
256    Tanganyika laughter epidemic
257    The Aristocrats (joke)
258    The Bottle Imp
259    The Hum
260    The Incident at Petrich
261    The Third Wave
262    Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War –
263    Tidal locking
264    Tower Subway
265    Toynbee tiles
266    Tragedy of the commons
267    Trap street
268    Traveling salesman problem
269    Trepanning
270    Treva Throneberry
271    Trolley problem
272    Tube Map
273    Tulip mania
274    Tupper’s self-referential formula
275    Turritopsis nutricula
276    Tyche (hypothetical planet)
277    Tyranny of small decisions
278    Ultimatum game
279    Uncanny valley
280    Underarm bowling incident of 1981
281    Underground City, Montreal
282    Unexpected hanging paradox
283    Utah teapot
284    UVB-76
285    Valentich Disappearance
286    Verona
287    Voynich manuscript
288    Wardriving
289    Watermelon Snow
290    Whitechapel Murders
291    Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
292    Wick Effect
293    Wicked Bible
294    Wife Selling
295    William Herbert Wallace
296    Williamson Tunnels
297    Winchester Mystery House
298    Wittenoom
299    Wow! Signal
300    Zero-sum game

Mystery Man

Over the past few weeks I’ve managed to read far more random Wikipedia pages than anyone needs to read, and as a result, have become a little obsessed with a most peculiar mystery.

In December 1948, the body of a man was found on Somerton Beach in Adelaide, South Australia. The identity of the man remains unknown. The investigation encompassed a code, two copies of a rare copy of a book of poetry, an unnamed nurse and the paternity of her child, a mysterious poison, spies, wild speculation, a stored suitcase, and ultimately many more questions than answers.

If you wish to appreciate this baffling time-drain with me, here are some good places to start:

1. The Wikipedia article on the Tanam Shud case.

2. A fascinating set of pages from Honours students at The University of Adelaide, focusing on students’ attempts to understand and crack the code associated with the mystery. They also include a great timeline, a list of common misconceptions about the case, and a list of known facts about the dead man.

3. 2009 and 2010 videos from the University of Adelaide students relating to the case.

4. Parts 1, 2 and 3 from an ABC Inside Story documentary on the case produced in 1978. (Includes footage of the suitcase and clothing discovered in storage, which were subsequently lost by police.)

5. Some clarification and amended statements from a witness originally interviewed for the 1978 documentary.

6. Parts 1 and 2 from an ABC Stateline report on the case in 2009.

I have no further insights to add to the content linked above, but I hope you enjoy puzzling over this very strange tale as much as I have!

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About

@dilettantiquity is interested in an unreasonable number of things, including the wide and wonderful universe, happiness, well-being, wine, optimal human experience, non-violent communication, complex systems, existential nihilism, rationality, technology, grassroots organising, cacophony, music, creativity, learning and love.