Friday, March 4, 2011

New Discovery

I've always been a fan of Wikipedia.  Ever since I found it, I wanted to learn about everything in the world, and I routinely use Wikipedia's Random Article feature, and then walk around in the archives like I'm in the Louvre, browsing the articles like they're fine pieces of art to be appreciated.  I'll find ones I enjoy reading about, usually about literature, authors, the lives of people in ancient times (or rather history) and geography.  Notice the link for Geography was to Lahore, a personal favorite because it sounds like Pepe Le Pew finally got fed up with the cat he was chasing and started calling her names.

I've fallen so deeply in love with Wikipedia that I started to find myself going from String Theory to Einstein to Munich then to Weisswurst, Parsley, and finally ending on Old English.

Then, I sit back and look at the path I've just taken with satisfaction.

It's not unlike the path your brain takes when you're in one of those moods where your brain function goes a million miles a second, and you realize that in the middle of a conversation with someone they triggered a chain reaction of tangents that lead you from your present conversation about Libya, to Back to the Future, Christopher Lloyd, Modern Family (even though it's a different Christopher Lloyd), and Sofia Vergara's breasts. (didn't know her'd i figure it out?  .....Wikipedia!)

Maybe it's just because I'm a guy, but most of the tangents I go on usually end up somewhere in the breast-al region.

Back to more civilized things...

So the point of this is that I recently began trying to challenge myself by coming up with two of the most incredibly distant topics and seeing how few steps it would take me to bridge the gap between the two.  For example, I'd go with the Laws of thermodynamics and Lady Gaga. (i can only get 8 jumps between the two - it's a hard one).  And then i thought that I was some kind of pioneer, playing with Wikipedia as if I were a geeky Lewis and Clark.

Then I found the Wikipedia Game.  And it was a weird combination of excitement and disappointment, because I was excited to not have to come up with random pages to jump between, but i was disappointed because someone else had thought of it first.  Also, i guess i didn't realize how frequently religion came up in these sorts of things until the game created a sub-game called "5 Clicks to Jesus".  I can routinely get under 4 clicks.

Long story short - this could be the best discovery I've ever come across on the web, and I've been on here all day racing around going between pages like Joseph Kennedy and Gene.  ONE DOWNSIDE - you're timed on the website - so you are encouraged to click around like an idiot, and you don't get the chance to read the pages you're coming across, which, in my humble opinion, is one of the great aspects of going between the different pages.

Try it out!

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