Six Degrees of Wikipedia

August 27, 2010 § 2 Comments

Wikipedia. I’ve mentioned it a few times in previous posts, but I can’t tell you enough: I love it. True, it’s not always the most accurate of sources, but you can get some basic information about completely random stuff. Haven’t we all read some sort of article online where one word confuses us, and then wikipedia to the rescue? I’m sure we all have. What I like best about this is that Wikipedia becomes like a mall: once you’re in for something specific, you might as well browse around. I’m sure this is somewhere on the internet already, but if it isn’t, I’m here to put it out there officially. The Six Degrees of Wikipedia game.

Go to Wikipedia, and click on your preferred language. On the Welcome to Wikipedia page, there is a plethora of random information just waiting to be picked, and so pick the link that most strikes your fancy. The point of this random time waster is to click to six different subjects and see how far you get from your original search. Allow me to illustrate.

On the Welcome to Wikipedia page, under Today’s Feature Article is a link to Recently Featured articles. The first, in my case, is Allosaurus (the others are Ethan Hawke, and Joy Division). Let me break briefly to say that how often do you see those three subjects juxtaposed? Not often. Ergo, awesome. Back to Allosaurus. As all dinosaur-sounding/related words are awesome, I’m choosing that one. 

Best sentence of the article: “Some paleontologists interpret Allosaurus as having had a cooperative social behavior, and hunting in packs…” Clearly popular animals.

Next I click on Gilmore (Charles), who is a paleontologist who referred to the Allosauridae as Megalosauridae. There isn’t much to see in this entry, so I click on Cretaceous, which I’m sure has something to do with a shell-like substance… like a crustacean maybe? Let’s see.

So apparently someone *pointing to self* has forgotten her geological periods. It’s the period right after the Jurassic period and followed by the Paleogene period – and yes, I’ll admit, I have no idea what the Paleogene period is (but look at this engineer learning about paleontology and geology!). Skimming through the article, I find something related to Mexico (my most recent trip and love) called the Chicxulub crater. And on we go to our fourth degree.

Chicxulub is a crater created by an impact to the earth in the Yucatan Peninsula. The impact of that created the Chicxulub crater went further inland to create sinkholes – otherwise known as cenotes (also known as why I fell in love with Mexico), and therefore the fifth degree.

A cenote is a sinkhole filled with groundwater. In my opinion, a cenote is heaven on earth. There are open cenotes, with vertical walls and the sun shining in, and closed cenotes, where you are in an underground cave system. Ahh the memories. Peaceful, quiet, clear water, bats (um wait, maybe not the awesome bit), heaven.

So what’s the sixth degree of Wikipedia in this case? Cave divers. The people who explore cenotes and other caves.

Allosaurus – Charles Gilmore – Cretaceous – Chicxulub crater – Cenote – Cave Divers. Dinosaurs to scuba enthusiasts. All in a day’s wiki.

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