Six degrees of Wikipedia

It’s been a while since I posted twice in one day – but I just had the awesomest idea…

I was reading wikipedia (as I do at 4.30 most afternoons when work has slowed down and I’m killing time until 5) and I had this cool thought – it turns out it’s not completely original. But I’ve devised the first weekly “Nathan Goes to Townsville Six Degrees of Wikipedia Challenge.”

Wikipedia is a great way to satisfy pangs of curiosity and also to learn bizarre new things. The challenge is to all start at the same page and link to six obscure wikipedia entries from that one point. The winner is the person who ends up the furthest away from the original topic.

For example – if I started at Wikipedia’s entry on the Watergate scandal I can go to a page on wiretaps, from there I can go to a page on Time Domain Reflectometers, from there to soil moisture, from there to evapotranspiration, from there to conifers, and from there to DNA Sequences (or molecular biology).

There’s a site that can find the shortest possible set of links between two articles on wikipedia which is very interesting and will possibly help you on your quest if you’d like to work in reverse.

Your first wikipedia challenge begins with Townsville

Post your findings and we’ll all be able to learn new and wonderful things – which would be very didactic.

13 thoughts on “Six degrees of Wikipedia”

  1. I went from Townsville to Tropical Cyclones, to Troposphere, to Greek Language, to Greek Literature, to Eratosthenes, to Ptolemy III Euergetes.

    The third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, he was the eldest son of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his first wife Arsinoe I. He came to power in 246 BC upon the death of his father. He is most noted for his invasions of the northern kingdom of Syria which he commenced upon the murder of his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus; during this war, the Third Syrian War, he occupied Antioch and -as a recent cuneiform discovery[1] proves- even reached Babylon.

    He married Berenice of Cyrene in the year corresponding to 244/243 BC; and they were parents of Arsinoe III and Ptolemy IV Philopator.

    Ptolemy III Euergetes had put up the first of the Rosetta Stone series, the bilingual inscriptions on massive stone blocks in three writing systems. Ptolemy III’s stone stela is the Canopus Stone of 238 B.C.E. His son, Ptolemy IV, is responsible for the Memphis Stele, or Memphis Stone, the second in the series, bearing the Decree of Memphis, about 218 B.C.E. The famous Rosetta Stone is the third, erected by Ptolemy V, in 196 BC.

    Ptolemy III’s stone contains decrees about priestly orders, and is a memorial for his daughter Berenice. But two of its 26 lines of hieroglyphs decree the use of a leap day added to the Egyptian calendar of 365 days, and the associated changes in festivals.

  2. How long do you think it will take you to get from there back to Townsville if you don’t use any of the links you used in getting there?

  3. Sounds like Fun: I went from
    Townsville to A-league to 2006 FIFA world cup to List of 2006 FIFA World Cup broadcast rights to TV2 (Norway) to List of programs broadcast by TV2 (Norway) to Bob the Builder
    Bob the Builder is a stop motion animated children’s television programme about the adventures of a construction contractor and his friends. The show is broadcast in many countries, but originates from the United Kingdom. It features Bob (voiced by actor Neil Morrissey in the original British version), his colleague Wendy, various neighbours and friends, and their gang of anthropomorphised work-vehicles and equipment. In each episode, they help with renovations, construction, and repairs, and with other projects as needed. The show emphasizes conflict resolution, co-operation, socialization, and various learning skills. Bob’s catchphrase is “Can we fix it?”, to which the other characters respond with “Yes we can!” This phrase is also the title of the show’s theme song.
    All the characters are adult humans, machines or animals, except for Spud, the scarecrow, who serves as the stand-in for a naïve child. It is Spud who must learn to be patient, not to eat all of the food, etc. Spud has a habit of trying to do work and with his limited intelligence getting it wrong and spoiling materials. The machines also often exhibit the behaviors of children, being impatient, not fully understanding the consequences of their actions, and generally acting like children. In these circumstances, Bob acts like their parent, patiently teaching them lessons and helping them fix the messes they’ve gotten themselves into.

    Some have complained about technical errors and lack of proper safety practices in the program, especially the absence of protective eye-wear.[1] However, in later episodes, Bob is seen wearing safety glasses.

  4. Townsville to 1 Wireless Unit to Kana to Priest to Ordination of women to List of Women priests.

    Regina Claas in Germany

  5. LOL Bob the Builder… that’s great…

    Townsville – HMS Pandora – frigate – stealth technology – indium tin oxide – sputtering – Molecular beam epitaxy.

    Molecular beam epitaxy: Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), is one of several methods of thin-film deposition. In solid-source MBE, ultra-pure elements such as gallium and arsenic are heated in separate quasi-knudsen effusion cells until they each slowly begin to evaporate. The evaporated elements then condense on the wafer, where they may react with each other.

    If you understood any of that, congratulations.

  6. Townsville – wool – Aran Islands – Lady Gregory – Aristotle – Lamian War – Battle of Cranon.

    Battle of Cranon: The Battle of Crannon (322 BC), fought between the Macedonian forces of Antipater and Craterus and rebellious Greek forces led by the Athenians, was the decisive battle of the Lamian war. A complete Macedonian victory, it marked the end of city-state freedom from Macedonian hegemony in Greece.

    (This is far too addictive.)

  7. My sister and I used to play a game a bit like this. She’d take a word out of the last sentence I said, and ask me what it means. Eg. “I hope it rains tomorrow.” She’d say “What’s ‘rain’ mean?” I’d explain- “It’s water that falls from the sky.” And she’d ask the definition of a word from THAT sentence- eg. “What’s ‘falls’ mean?” And we’d see how long it would take to get back to ‘rain’.

  8. Townsville – Thuringowa City Council – 1986 – Gregorian calendar – compute the date of Easter – Equinox

    Eqinox – An equinox in astronomy is the event when the Sun can be observed to be directly above the equator. The event occurs twice a year, around March 20 and September 23. More technically, the equinox happens when the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator and ecliptic intersect. In a wider sense, the equinoxes are the two days each year when the center of the Sun spends an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth. The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night).

    In practice, at the equinox, the day is longer than the night. Commonly the day is defined as the period that sunlight reaches the ground in the absence of local obstacles. This is firstly because the Sun is not a single point of light, but appears as a disc. So when the center of the Sun is still below the horizon, the upper edge is already visible and sheds light. Furthermore, the atmosphere refracts light downwards, so even when the upper limb of the Sun is still below the horizon, its rays already reach around the horizon to the ground. These effects together make the day about 14 minutes longer than the night (at the equator, and more towards the poles). The real equality of day and night happens a few days towards the winter side of the equinox.

    Note: Equal nights is an abstraction strictly speaking only true when Earth and Sun are considered particles, that is ignoring atmospheric effects, parallax, perturbations, et cetera, (as discussed below). It is not supposed to be exactly measurable.

  9. I went from Townsville to Ross River, to Ross Dam but that redirected me to an entry about a hydroelectric scheme in Washington state USA… rather than the dam the Ross River article was presumably referring to. I don’t know whether to continue or not

  10. Too late at night to do this now but I thought I would tell you a story instead. A lecturer I had spent the week before an assignment was due constantly changing wiki articles and adding wrong answers so his students would hand in wrong work if they used wiki. Mwa ha ha ha. positively eviiiiil

  11. Townsville- Cleveland Bay- Romans- Byzantine Empire- Attila- Norse Saga- Grettis saga.

    Grettis saga (also known as Grettla, Grettir’s Saga or The Saga of Grettir the Strong) is one of the Icelanders’ sagas. It details the life of (the possibly fictional) Grettir Ásmundarson, an Icelandic warrior who became an outlaw.

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