Friday, August 18, 2006


Wikipedia Withdrawl


As a kid, I always had this need to know random facts and hence was glued to my encyclopedia. But now they have Wikipedia. If my parents' World Book was my opiate, Wikipedia is that heroin laced with synthetic narcotic about which NPR tried to frighten us a few days ago.

And now Wikipedia seems to be slow or down or something ... and I am going through major withdrawls!

Wikipedia's back up -- withdrawl symptoms are diminishing ... whew ...

I was a World Book kid too. Picked up random volumes and read random pages to avoid boredom. It's surprising because my Elementary School principal sold the set to my parents and I loathed him.

I loved the World Book.

A lot of the stuff in Wikipedia is quite good. Wasn't there a study done and it compared well for accuracy with the Britanica? Which Mort Adler ruined.
I love my 1961 Britannica set.
Actually the origin of the World Book in our house was my parents got tired of me asking them questions. I would just curl up in front of the book case with the World Book and read for hours on end.

Between that and the medical text books we had hanging around, that's how I learned about "the birds and the bees". At some point, my parents got puzzled by my lack of questions on "where babies come from" and tried to breech the subject with me ... only to find out I had already learned about sex from all the books my parents had around the house.
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Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

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