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Wikipedia's Greatest Hits Oddities

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First it must be asked...Why would they put that in the article to begin with?"
 

 

This series of articles, Wikipedia’s Greatest Hits, was designed to point out inaccuracies, turmoil, ill-advised opinion, and plain old faux pas committed on TOW. To pull this sort of thing off, a smattering of various topics would have to be used, as the shear amount of blunders and gaffes found on that most venerable and esteemed website might literally take years to document in full. No sane person, with job, family, and semblance of life, would ever attempt to fully catalog such tomfoolery. However, by reading thousands of broad pages, drilling down to sub pages, and finally finding the lulz, a pleasant picture can be painted of TOW.

Sadly, some subjects are just too small to warrant a whole page on their own within this miniseries. But just because they lack the impressive size and ostentatious word count of something such as body modification does not mean they should be overlooked. Thus, the formation of this page: Oddities and other extraneous phenomena. So while this article may, at first peek, appear to be all over the place, linking to pages that, it would seem, have no ties to one another, it must be read with the same frame of mind as any “miscellaneous” category.

Contents

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo

  • "Buffalo buffalo...is a grammatically valid sentence in the English language..."
  • "...the sentence can be translated into first order logic as follows: [math equation]"

Ediot's note: [math equation] replaces the actual equation, see wikipedia for the actual equation

Beachy Head

The white cliffs of Beachy Head...where you can watch suicidal people jump to their deaths, while enjoying some ice cream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beachy_Head

  • West from Belle Tout, the cliffs drop down to Birling Gap, and beyond that the Seven Sisters. The area is a popular tourist attraction. Birling Gap has a restaurant and, in the summer, multiple ice cream vans serve the area.
  • Since the 1600s, Beachy Head has been notorious as a location for people to attempt suicide, estimated at 20 each year. The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team conducts regular day and evening patrols of the area in attempts to locate and stop potential jumpers. It has been considered the third most popular place in the world to commit suicide.

Hudson River Monster

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_River_Monster

  • The Hudson River Monster or Kipsy is the name given to a reputed lake monster living in the Hudson River. There is currently no scientific evidence for the cryptid's existence, although an unusually large Manatee was spotted in the river at various locations between Manhattan and Poughkeepsie in 2006.

The Jersey Devil

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil

  • The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League.
  • It was said that Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after giving birth to her 12th child, stated that if she had another, it would be the Devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the Devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a horse's head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, then killed the midwife before flying up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exorcised the demon for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890.
  • In 2002, an episode of Scariest Places on Earth aired, where a group of Jersey Devil hunters searched for the creature. It ended with the lead investigator Laura Leuter running in horror from what is supposedly the Jersey Devil but actually was a fellow Devil Hunter returning from his investigation.

Area 51

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_51

  • The base does not appear on public U.S. government maps; the USGS topographic map for the area only shows the long-disused Groom Mine. A civil aviation chart published by the Nevada Department of Transportation shows a large restricted area, but defines it as part of the Nellis restricted airspace. The official aeronautical navigation charts for the area show Groom Lake but omit the airport facilities. Similarly the National Atlas page showing federal lands in Nevada[29] does not distinguish between the Groom block and other parts of the Nellis range. Although officially declassified, the original film taken by U.S. Corona spy satellite in the 1960s has been altered prior to declassification; in answer to freedom of information queries, the government responds that these exposures (which map to Groom and the entire NAFR) appear to have been destroyed.

Cerne Abbas giant

LOLDONGS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerne_Abbas_giant

  • In the past locals would erect a maypole on the earthwork, around which childless couples would dance to promote fertility. According to folk belief, a woman who sleeps on the figure will be blessed with fecundity, and infertility may be cured through sexual intercourse on top of the figure, especially the phallus.
  • It has also been suggested that his large erection is, in fact, the result of merging a circle representing his navel with a smaller penis during a Victorian re-cut.
  • In modern times the Giant has been used for several publicity stunts and as an advertisement for "...condoms"
  • As a publicity stunt for the opening of The Simpsons Movie on the 16 July 2007, a giant Homer Simpson brandishing a doughnut was outlined in water-based biodegradable paint to the left of the Cerne Abbas giant. This act angered local neopagans, who pledged to perform rain magic to wash the figure away.
  • However, in 2008 a lack of sheep, coupled with a wet spring causing extra plant growth, forced a re-chalking of the giant, with 17 tonnes of new chalk being poured in and tamped down by hand.

Skull and Bones

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skull_and_Bones

  • Skull and Bones has a reputation for stealing, often from each other or from campus buildings; society members reportedly call the practice "crooking" and strive to outdo each other's "crooks."
  • Skull and Bones members supposedly stole the bones of Geronimo from Fort Sill, Oklahoma during World War I. In 1986, former San Carlos Apache Chairman Ned Anderson received an anonymous letter with a photograph and a copy of a log book claiming that Skull & Bones held the skull. He met with Skull & Bones officials about the rumor; the group's attorney, Endicott P. Davidson, denied that the group held the skull, and said that the 1918 ledger saying otherwise was a hoax. The group offered Anderson a glass case with a skull of a ten-year-old boy, but Anderson refused it.

Aokigahara Forest

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aokigahara_Forest

  • Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides, with approximately 30 counted yearly.[4] In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs in the forest, urging those who have gone there in order to commit suicide to seek help and not kill themselves.

Scalping

One good thing about being scalped is that you never have to worry about dandruff ever again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalping

  • The standard Native American technique for scalping was to place a knee between the shoulders while the body was on the ground, to cut a long arc in the front of the scalp, and then to pull back on the hair. If the person survived, the person's facial features drooped. Women would sometimes make a tight braid to pull the skin back up.
  • Famously, General Custer supposedly was not scalped after the Battle of Little Big Horn because he was deemed filthy in the eyes of the Sioux - to lay hands on him would sully the hands of the warrior.
  • In Canada, a 1756 British proclamation issued by Governor Charles Lawrence offering a reward for scalps has yet to be officially repealed.

Pitchcapping

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitchcapping

  • The process involved pouring hot pitch, or tar (mainly used at the time for lighting purposes), into a conical shaped paper "cap", which was forced onto a bound suspect's head and then allowed to cool. Less elaborate versions included smearing a cloth or piece of paper with pitch and pressing onto the head of the intended victim. The "pitchcap" was then torn off, taking lumps of skin and flesh with it, which usually left the victim disfigured for life.
  • The torture was usually preceded by the crude shearing of the victim's hair, and many accounts report that ears were often partly or fully severed during the cutting. Refinements to the torture included unbinding the victim's feet to allow the spectacle of them running about in agony and in some cases, deliberately smashing their own heads in an attempt to end the torment. Another variation involved adding turpentine or gunpowder to the "pitchcap" when cooled then setting it alight.

EDiot's note - maybe this should have been included in the Body Modification page?

Stone Mountain

The world's largest bas relief sculpture is dedicated to slave owners.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Mountain

  • The largest bas relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (and their favorite horses, "Blackjack," "Traveller," and "Old Sorrel," respectively). The entire carved surface measures 3 acres (12,000 m2), about the size of three football fields. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet (120 m) above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet (58 m), and is recessed 42 feet (13 m) into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet (3.7 m) to the mountain's surface.

Shrunken Head

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrunken_head

  • The process of creating a shrunken head begins with removing the skull from the head. An incision is made on the back of the neck and all the skin and flesh is removed from the cranium. Red seeds are placed underneath the eyelids and the eyelids are sewn shut. The mouth is held together with three palm pins. Fat from the flesh of the head is removed. The flesh is then boiled in water that has been steeped with a number of herbs containing tannins. It is then dried with hot rocks and sand, while molding it to retain its human feature. The skin is then rubbed down with charcoal ash. The lips are sewn shut, and various decorative beads are added to the head.

Saint Valentine's Day massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Valentine%27s_Day_Massacre

  • The garage, which stood at 2122 N. Clark Street, was demolished in 1967; the site is now a landscaped parking lot for a nursing home. There is still controversy over the actual bricks used to build the north inside wall of the building where the mobsters were lined up and shot. They were claimed to be responsible, according to stories, for bringing financial ruin, illness, bad luck and death to anyone who bought them.
  • The bricks from the bullet-marked inside North wall were purchased and saved by Canadian businessman George Patey in 1967. His original intention was to use them in a restaurant that he represented, but the restaurant's owner did not like the idea. Patey ended up buying the bricks himself, outbidding three or four others. Patey had the wall painstakingly taken apart and had each of the 414 bricks numbered, then shipped them back to Canada.
  • The bricks were placed in storage until 1997 when Patey tried to auction them off on a website called Jet Set On The Net. The deal fell through after a hard time with the auction company. In 1999, Patey tried to sell them brick by brick on his own website. The last known substantial offer for the entire wall was made by a Las Vegas casino but Patey refused the $175,000 offer.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore, carved by a cross burning KKK Grand Dragon, as it was originally intended.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rushmore

  • Congress authorized the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission on March 3, 1925. President Coolidge insisted that along with Washington, two Republicans and one Democrat be portrayed.
  • In 1937, a bill was introduced in Congress to add the head of civil-rights leader Susan B. Anthony, but a rider was passed on an appropriations bill requiring that federal funds be used to finish only those heads that had already been started at that time.
  • Members of the American Indian Movement led an occupation of the monument in 1971, naming it "Mount Crazy Horse". Among the participants were young activists, grandparents, children and Lakota holy man John Fire Lame Deer, who planted a prayer staff atop the mountain. Lame Deer said the staff formed a symbolic shroud over the presidents' faces "which shall remain dirty until the treaties concerning the Black Hills are fulfilled."
  • Gutzon Borglum himself excites controversy because he was an active member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Sedlec Ossuary

It's only a matter of time when somebody suggests DNA testing and then the butthurt begins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedlec_Ossuary

  • The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, many of whom have had their bones artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel.
  • In 1870, František Rint, a woodcarver, was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to put the bone heaps into order. The macabre result of his effort speaks for itself. Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a large Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, and the signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.

Crop circles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_circles

  • It has been claimed that evidence suggesting these formations are caused by some force other than humans is found in hundreds of photographs of bent or warped growth nodes. Biophysicist W. C. Levengood's Crop Circle Reports are an example of claimed evidence and research gathered that attempts to show that these types of crop circles with these type of node-warping are clearly not man-made, and that they are not simply snapped and broken from impact or crushing, but by some intense focus of energy such as microwaves or spinning plasma vortex as concluded by Levengood.

List of reportedly haunted locations

Old people look like lonely ghosts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_reportedly_haunted_locations

EDiot's note - no UK entries have been added to this article due to the fact that the whole of the British Isles are haunted.

  • Manila Film Center - When the construction of Film Center at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex was rushed in the early 1980s for a film festival, the ceiling scaffolding collapsed killing several workmen who fell to the orchestra below. Rather than halt construction to rescue survivors and retrieve the bodies of dead workmen, Imelda Marcos, the First Lady and the main financier of the project, ordered cement poured into the orchestra, entombing the fallen workmen. Some of them were buried alive in the orchestra.
  • Ozone Disco - Once there was a disco in Quezon City and it caught on fire. People tried to get out, but due to panicking, no one got out. Some people near the location hear ghostly disco music in their houses at night and see faint people dancing.
  • Bobby Mackey's Music World, a country-western nightclub in Wilder, Kentucky (in the Cincinnati, Ohio metro area) is reputed to be "a gateway to Hell."
  • Hollywood, California, has numerous sites that are believed to be inhabited by the spirits of deceased celebrities. For example, the ghost of actress Peg Entwistle, who committed suicide by jumping off the Hollywood Sign, has reportedly been seen near the sign.
  • Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City is said to be haunted by multiple ghosts; Dylan Thomas, Eugene O'Neill, Thomas Wolfe, and former Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious supposedly haunts the elevator.
  • Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri - There are said to be sightings, sounds, and lights flickering on and off in the arena late at night from a former WWF wrestler named Owen Hart who died in 1999 by falling 78 feet (24 m) to his death from the ceiling of the arena. There are also said to be sightings of him still in his Blue Blazer suit at the top of the arena looking down with the cable hooked up to him.
  • In Sunnyvale, California many Toys "R" Us employees have reported seeing unusual rearranging of toys in the aisles, and reported sightings of a man in his thirties dressed in old clothing. His name is believed to be Johan, and is believed to be a farmer who used to live on the site of the Toys "R" Us and is just keeping "an eye on the old place".

Summation

While every effort has been used to bring you these quirks and missteps perpetrated by Wikipedia, it must be stressed that this article by no means can attempt to describe the full broadness and width of scope afforded by Wikipedia's tens of thousands of pages on this particular subject. Any additions within context will be warmly welcomed.

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