- 5.06.08 - 4:00PM
- - by
- David Bernstein
Top Seven Wikipedia Lists and Categories
The internet brings so many special little time-sinks into our lives, but the most procrastinat-y of all might be Wikipedia, the open source encyclopedia that eats time like an educational Kobayashi. But while most of us will aimlessly follow links through the Wikipedia rabbit hole (Peter Jennings to Ayatollah Khomeni to 'The Satanic Verses' to Apostles) there is a less common, but just as interesting side of Wikipedia: Wikipedia Lists. Here is where all the internet's knowledge is compacted from articles into flat lists, providing you with months or years of potential reading material, but not all lists are created equal. So, for even more procrastination, I bring you the Top Seven Wikipedia Lists:
7. List of Living People
What you can learn: Who is actually alive.
What's so weird: Hey! A list of living people! I'll just scroll down and see...hmm, David Bernstein the law professor, David Bernstein the executive...wait a minute, where is David Bernstein the blogger?! Omigod...CAN ANYBODY SEE ME?? I'M STILL ALIVE, PLEASE, I SWEAR! I'M NOT THE SIXTH SENSE!
6. List of Fatal Bear Attacks by Decade in North America
What you can learn: Where and in what decade you are most likely to get attacked by a bear, what type of bear might attack.
What's so weird: All the modern bear attacks end with the bear getting killed, but why should the fittest, most powerful bears be purged (besides fears of an eventual bear uprising of course)? John Graham, 63. Killed March 4, 1912. Killed on Crevice Mountain, MT by a bear that escaped from his trap. The bear lost 3 toes and became known as "Old Two Toes." Why can't we just give them old-timey hobo nicknames? What would you want your ursine killer to be named? "Slack-jaw McGill?" "Glass-eyed Jack?" "Blind Smiling Petey?"
5. List of Anime and Manga Characters
What you can learn: How many different shows about giant robots/eyes there are.
What's so weird: Hey, what list do you think is longer, the list of Saints or List of Anime and Manga Characters? List of Ancient Philosophers or list of Anime and Manga Characters? Hey, do you think it even matters what the first choice is? Do you think the creators of Wikipedia ever thought "I hope this encyclopedia also becomes a warehouse for the collective knowledge of pasty, bespectacled Japanophiles, because how else will the layman ever be able to understand Aristotle's Teleology or why a Goku's hair turns blond when he goes SUPER-SAIYAN?"
4. List of Complete Lists
What you can learn: What lists we, as an internet, have managed to finish.
What's so weird: Even more disheartening, with all the knowledge of Aristotle and Dragonball Z and Quantum Mechanics and everything else in this world, with all the collective minds of the internet put together, we've managed to complete one list: List of Colleges and Universities in New Hampshire. The other entry, UKTV, isn't even a list! Wanna know all the Popes? Can't help you. Wanna know every for-profit school in New Jersey? Nope. Oh wait, New Hampshire? Yeah. I've got the list for you.
Curiously, this list does not include itself, leading me to believe that there might be other completed lists out there, but they aren't on the list of completed lists (leaving the list incomplete). Ponder that while you continue to shirk your assignments.
3. List of Keytars
Lands at #3 based on the picture alone. You can almost hear them thinking, "We're composing the greatest keytar pic ever. This will be what the world thinks of when they think of 'Lists of Keytars.'"
2. List of Fictitious Jews
What You Can Learn: Which of your favorite characters had their bar mitzvah.
What's so weird: If you look at my name, you can probably tell this one hits close to home, but it's a list I'm glad I didn't see until I was 22. If I had seen this at 14 it would have shaken me to my core. Just knowing that X-Man Kitty Pryde and The Joker's assistant Harley Quinn were Jewish would have pretty much ruined me for women forever. I'd have spent ages 14-18 watching episode after episode of Saturday morning cartoons, picturing our 3-way Jewish wedding (instead of my usual fantasy of being their on-again-off-again boyfriend). And then I'd find out that Lord Zedd, the evil alien villain from Power Rangers was Jewish! While I don't understand how he got the Torah in outer space (or circumcised without human anatomy), I have to admire his ability to combat stereotypes of the "nebbish Jew." Perhaps replacing them with the stereotypical "Evil outer space alien warlord sorcerer Jew."
1. List of Birds Displaying Homosexual Behavior
What You Can Learn: Gay birds
What's so weird: The greatest list of all of Wikipedia is this list, educating us on the birds who get down with other birds of their gender. Why? The Black-Rumped Flame Back. The Peach-Faced Love Bird. The Elegant Parrot. These birds are just happy being who they are, and their names leave no question about what that is.
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