29 votes

What is your favorite Wikipedia page?

It can be your favorite for any reason: interesting subject, extremely in depth and well written, funny details, “branching potential” (it links to a lot of interesting topics you can branch off to), etc.

35 comments

  1. [3]
    gpl
    Link
    One of my favorite offbeat articles is the page for the Buttered cat paradox. This has to do with the tongue-in-cheek observation that buttered toast always seems to land face down, whereas cat...

    One of my favorite offbeat articles is the page for the Buttered cat paradox. This has to do with the tongue-in-cheek observation that buttered toast always seems to land face down, whereas cat always land on their feet. So, if you strap buttered toast to a cat, on which side will it land?

    The page contains the following delightful excerpt under a section titled "In Reality":

    In reality, cats possess the ability to turn themselves right side up in mid-air if they should fall upside-down, known as the cat righting reflex. This enables them to land on their feet if dropped from sufficient height, about 30 cm (12 in).[18][not in citation given]
    Toast, being an inanimate object, lacks both the ability and the desire to right itself.

    I think the bolded sentence is one of the best out there.

    32 votes
    1. The_Fad
      Link Parent
      That line is straight out of a Douglas Adams novel.

      That line is straight out of a Douglas Adams novel.

      16 votes
    2. moonbathers
      Link Parent
      Wikipedia's dry tone is fantastic for those sort of sentences. The article for the Glasgow ice cream wars used to have the following:

      Wikipedia's dry tone is fantastic for those sort of sentences. The article for the Glasgow ice cream wars used to have the following:

      The conflicts, in which vendors raided one another's vans and fired shotguns into one another's windscreens, were more violent than might typically be expected between ice-cream salesmen. Superficially, the violence appeared disproportionate, and the situation appeared farcical.[4] However, more than just the sale of ice-cream was involved.

      8 votes
  2. Grawlix
    Link
    List of lists of lists Obviously it's not a particularly fun or interesting page to read, but it's so amusing that it exists.

    List of lists of lists

    Obviously it's not a particularly fun or interesting page to read, but it's so amusing that it exists.

    10 votes
  3. Neverland
    (edited )
    Link
    Overview Effect So why do I love this entry so much? Because NASA just opened up the US side of the ISS to tourism. This is only a baby step. There are multiple companies currently working on...

    Overview Effect

    The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space.

    It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, "hanging in the void", shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this "pale blue dot" becomes both obvious and imperative.

    Astronauts Ron Garan, Rusty Schweikart, Edgar Mitchell, Tom Jones, Scott Kelly, James Irwin, Mike Massimino and Chris Hadfield are all reported to have experienced the effect. Third-party observers of these individuals may also report a noticeable difference in attitude.

    The term and concept were coined in 1987 by Frank White, who explored the theme in his book The Overview Effect — Space Exploration and Human Evolution

    So why do I love this entry so much? Because NASA just opened up the US side of the ISS to tourism. This is only a baby step. There are multiple companies currently working on getting wealthy people into space.

    For once in recent times things are optimized for the wealthy, but will benefit us all:

    • Wealthy people control the world, since forever. (We don't have time to truly fix this right now)

    • Only wealthy people can afford space travel in the near future.

    • A significant portion of space travelers will experience the Overview Effect.

    • Even if only x.y% of these rich space tourists experience this phenomenon, they will still have an out-sized effect on saving our biosphere via their investments.

    • We need as many born-again hippies ASAP, to avoid this possible outcome of the anthropogenic CO2 in our tiny atmosphere.

    10 votes
  4. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. Cosmos
      Link Parent
      Along the same lines is this video discussing how chairs have been used in film. They may seem mundane, but when you think about them, chairs can be incredibly significant.

      Along the same lines is this video discussing how chairs have been used in film.

      They may seem mundane, but when you think about them, chairs can be incredibly significant.

      4 votes
  5. Eva
    Link
    This is an unconventional choice, maybe, but AaronSw's user page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:AaronSw It's incredible, to me.

    This is an unconventional choice, maybe, but AaronSw's user page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:AaronSw

    It's incredible, to me.

    8 votes
  6. [3]
    tunneljumper
    (edited )
    Link
    Impossible color Static electricity, mostly because of this picture Constructed language
    4 votes
    1. asoftbird
      Link Parent
      On a similar note, the McCollough Effect. It's an optical illusion with the special property that it can last months on end. You'll see green and pink colors (that aren't actually there) between...

      On a similar note, the McCollough Effect.

      It's an optical illusion with the special property that it can last months on end. You'll see green and pink colors (that aren't actually there) between black and white lines. I've tried it and still noticed the effects 8 months after.

      3 votes
    2. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Neat. I think I can see the reddish-green in the example. Although I don't know what it's supposed to look like.

      Neat. I think I can see the reddish-green in the example. Although I don't know what it's supposed to look like.

      1 vote
  7. alyaza
    Link
    i think my favorite featured article specifically has to be the article on Thaddeus McCotter's 2012 presidential campaign. by far (at least among the many featured political articles) it is the...

    i think my favorite featured article specifically has to be the article on Thaddeus McCotter's 2012 presidential campaign. by far (at least among the many featured political articles) it is the most random article to have featured status that i've seen specifically because of who mccotter is. he was a literal nobody in congress, a literal nobody when he ran for president, and a literal nobody who got disqualified from running in his congressional seat's primary after his campaign was found to have committed signature fraud on a ridiculous scale in 2012. in fact, his actual wikipedia page is legit only 2/3rds the length of the featured article on his relatively unnotable presidential campaign article (30k bytes to 45k bytes), because he is such an unremarkable person.

    3 votes
  8. wanda-seldon
    Link
    The Wikipedia page for Lev Landau (one of the most influential physicists of the previous century) has this gem:

    The Wikipedia page for Lev Landau (one of the most influential physicists of the previous century) has this gem:

    In 1937, Landau married Kora T. Drobanzeva from Kharkiv.[26] Their son Igor was born in 1946. Landau believed in "free love" rather than monogamy and encouraged his wife and his students to practise "free love". However, his wife was not enthusiastic.[17]

    3 votes
  9. yellow
    Link
    Probably Person from Porlock. It is surprisingly well made for such a simple idea, and I was surprised when I came across it as a link in another article.

    Probably Person from Porlock. It is surprisingly well made for such a simple idea, and I was surprised when I came across it as a link in another article.

    2 votes
  10. [2]
    ras
    Link
    I have a lot of favorites, but one is Numbers station.

    I have a lot of favorites, but one is Numbers station.

    2 votes
    1. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Numbers stations broke me for about a month. Nothing says "The cold wat isn't over" quite like encrypted, "nonexistent" radio stations sending codes to hidden operatives.

      Numbers stations broke me for about a month. Nothing says "The cold wat isn't over" quite like encrypted, "nonexistent" radio stations sending codes to hidden operatives.

      1 vote
  11. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    A meta-favorite: random featured article The plain ol' random article link on Wikipedia is interesting in its own right, but often turns up short / not terribly interesting pages. Featured...

    A meta-favorite: random featured article

    The plain ol' random article link on Wikipedia is interesting in its own right, but often turns up short / not terribly interesting pages. Featured articles are selected by Wikipedia editors as being notably in-depth / high-quality, so pulling up a random one tends to be much more interesting.

    1 vote
  12. [5]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    There's already a thread for posting interesting Wikipedia pages: Interesting Wikipedia page mega-thread (post Wikipedia links here).

    There's already a thread for posting interesting Wikipedia pages: Interesting Wikipedia page mega-thread (post Wikipedia links here).

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      gpl
      Link Parent
      Interesting, although I consider "favorite" to be a different question than "interesting".

      Interesting, although I consider "favorite" to be a different question than "interesting".

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        To me, they're both just asking for links to Wikipedia pages that people like.

        To me, they're both just asking for links to Wikipedia pages that people like.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          0d_billie
          Link Parent
          For comparison though, that post is 6 months old, and only has 7 comments on it. Does the standard Internet practice of avoiding necromancy not apply on Tildes?

          For comparison though, that post is 6 months old, and only has 7 comments on it. Does the standard Internet practice of avoiding necromancy not apply on Tildes?

          2 votes
          1. yellow
            Link Parent
            Unless there has been some change I'm unaware of, the official Tildes stance is that 'necromancy' is allowed and supported. The activity option (especially set to "all time") allows for old...

            Unless there has been some change I'm unaware of, the official Tildes stance is that 'necromancy' is allowed and supported. The activity option (especially set to "all time") allows for old threads to rise up when used, but also pushes them down when they are not.

            That said, I don't think there is any obligation for 'necromancy', and that it is perfectly fine to create a new thread. However, there may be exceptions when asking a question to find a particular answer (such as certain help threads on ~tildes).

            2 votes