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I'm Stephen. With a P-H. It's just like Steven with a V, but spelled right.
After editing (99% mechanical and grammar fixes) for years as a so-called "IP User" (and proud of being, apparently, a rare IP User to receive a Barnstar) I've broken down and set up a Wikipedia ID. I did it on Sadie Hawkins Day, February 29, 2012. Thus, I set it up exactly 220 years after the birth of Gioachino Rossini--or to put it another way, on Rossini's 55th birthday.
My user name is a play on my own real name--with which I've been signing my edits and comments here for several years now, while editing as an IP user. My signature is:
It's Polish, but it's not really; I've conflated two Polish words. There are several Polish words based on "Rząd" (pronounced, approximately, "zhond," but with a nasal "n" as in the French "En"). They have to do with order, government, authority.
- Uporządkować [oo-po-zhond-KO-vach] is the verb to rearrange or to re-order (in the sense of changing the order of things).
- Porządnicki [po-zhond-NEETS-kee] is someone (male, or else it's -icka) who's a stickler for detail.
Somebody thought that one of the photographs in one of my Userboxes--one of those to do with nudism, naturism or nude modeling--might be of me. While I can be found nude on the Internet (and have no problem with that fact), that is not me in the Userboxes. Nor is that me playing the bassoon.
My First Edit as Registered Wikipedian
In the article Felicia amelloides, I created links for "herbaceous," "perennial," "evergreen," and "shrub."
My IP editing activities
It's worth mentioning that I did my editing as an IP User from several different IP addresses. AT LEAST ONE OF THESE IS WIDELY SHARED BY OTHER PEOPLE (and there might be more). So at least from that one IP address, there are many, many, MANY edits that I had nothing to do with.
Uporządnicki--the Detail "Stickling"
In terms of numbers of edits, the overwhelming bulk of my editing as an IP User must certainly be reworking the sort order on Category pages. And it is on that basis that I chose my signature--a portmanteau of Polish words for re-ordering or rearranging, and for a nitpicker.
Most of those would have been categories of plant genera. There are a couple of ways these can be arranged; the easy (default) way typically has pretty much the entire category falling under one letter--not good, especially when a category is large. There is a better way, and it's been widely used. What's been particularly messy has been those categories in which some are sorted one way and some are sorted the other.
The first that I worked on was Pinus, the Pine trees. There have been many, many others. Category pages other than plant genera that I've reworked include Crotalus (the rattlesnakes), some genera of frogs and toads, a few of fungi, a handful of snails, and several noble or royal houses of Europe.
In the course of all that, I also populated the Category:Epiphytes.
I've been reluctant to get into a lot of editing actual content. Most of what I've done has been rearranging for clarity, or correcting grammar or usage. Probably my first substantial edit of content was to work on sorting previously jumbled material in two articles, Sarmatians (an ancient Iranian people inhabiting eastern Europe and western Asia) and Sarmatism (a notion in fashion among the nobility in Poland in the 16th through 19th centuries that supposed that they were the descendents of the ancient Sarmatians, along with the lifestyle, manner, and dress they adopted to reflect this notion); previously, one could not always be sure when reading the two articles whether one was reading about the ancient Sarmatians or the Sarmatism of Poland.
I wrote a substantial part of the history of Artomatic, a rather free-spirited art event that takes place in and around Washington, DC roughly every two years. That was my first effort at writing new stuff and providing sources for it. I've been to every Artomatic except the first (which I didn't know about). In addition, at those two Artomatics where the Figure Models Guild of Washington held public drawing sessions with live nude models, I was one of the live nude models. So this was kind of close to my heart.
Again relating to my work as an art model, I was pleased and delighted to do some fixes for style and clarity to the article on Angelo Musco. Angelo Musco is a photo artist; like the much better known Spencer Tunick, Musco also photographs large masses of naked volunteers. I have modeled in one of Spencer Tunick's "installations."  I have also modeled for Angelo Musco. I do hope that Angelo Musco will some day be at least as well known--at least in the art world--as Spencer Tunick. So I was delighted, as an IP user, to tidy up the Wikipedia entry on Angelo Musco. It seemed to me that it had been written by someone whose language is not English.
The article on Gunnison Beach, my favorite clothing optional beach, stated that New Jersey had outlawed nudity at beaches throughout the state. This was not correct; they granted municipalities in the state the authority to ban nudity. I corrected that and documented it.
The last substantial edit I did as an IP User was to write details on the delta of the Mekong River--details on how it divides and reaches the South China Sea. I provided a source, although I'm not sure how good it is. The topic is important to me for personal reasons.
A friend--the person who got me to sign up for Wikipedia and, to date, the only Wikipedian I know personally--is involved in a project to set up a Wikipedia in the Cheyenne native American language. She enthusiastically invited me to get in on it. I don't know a word of Cheyenne, but most of the articles so far are bare-boned stubs. She suggested I set up stub articles about countries, since an Infobox template for countries has been set up in the Cheyenne language Wikipedia.
So just today, June 21, 2012, I used the Infobox to set up a stub article for Poland. I'm not aware of a particular Cheyenne name for Poland, so I just called my new article "Poland." Names that I've heard for Poland all have one of two derivations: either they're similar to "Poland" (Polish "Polska") or they're some variant of "Lechistan."
Germany actually has a native Cheyenne name. I can't make head or tail of it, and I can't begin to see where it comes from. I've noticed that there seem to be a fair variety of names for Germany and the German people. Most readers here will have heard of "German" and "Deutsch" of course; the Slavic and Hungarian peoples tend to call them Niemiec. I guess the Cheyenne name is yet another.
- I've kind of gotten fed up with the Cheyenne Wikipedia project.
Favorite Myth Shot Down by Wikipedia
Some years ago, I read of an animal supposedly newly discovered in Antarctica. Reportedly, it preyed on penguins. It had a high body temperature, and a bulbous snout, richly supplied with blood vessels. It would use that hot snout to burrow tunnels under ice. When a pack of them would detect a penguin, they'd burrow around under it to undermine it; when the unsuspecting penguin would fall through, they'd devour it. Wherever it was that I read about the creature, there was even a picture.
I wanted to look it up here, but I couldn't remember what it was called. After some time looking up "Antarctica" to read about its wildlife, and looking up penguins, I finally asked on a Talk Page.
Most of the answers were along the lines of, "Are you serious?" People were surprised I was taken in.
It turns out, it's a fake. The creature is the Hotheaded Naked Ice Borer, and it was perpetrated as an April Fools joke by Discover Magazine. The picture was a doctored photo of a Naked mole rat (a genuine creature).
- That Wikipedia dates my account from March 1, I attribute either to the time it took for my account to take effect, or to some time zone difference.
- The Barnstar, however, received recently at that IP address WAS for me.
- Or, "with which I had nothing to do."
- The things one learns from Wikipedia!
- I should point out, I was not the only one.
- That led to one of my first big arguments on a talk page, with a devout and very vociferous Sarmatist. It also led to one of the first invitations I ever had to register.
- The similarity ends there. Spencer Tunick produces photographs of his throngs of naked humanity in situ--presented in whatever setting he has chosen to use. Angelo Musco photographs masses of naked bodies against green screen, then arranges bits of the photos into vast, more or less abstract compositions; the nude bodies are like bricks, or even--as when they seem to spiral off, ever smaller, to infinity--pixels.
- I was in one of Spencer Tunick's least noted works, in Miami Beach at the Hotel Sagamore in South Beach. The shoot was done in October 2007. The works were first shown at the Hotel Sagamore that December, in connection with the annual Art Basel event there.
- Through 2010 and 2011, I took part in three photo shoots in New York City for Angelo Musco's works Xylem, and Ovum. Both were first shown together in December 2011 in Miami (not Miami Beach) at the Pulse Art Miami art fair, one of many, many art fairs and exhibitions across the two cities, held in connection with Art Basel Miami.
- Not only are the two artists' works very different (beyond the point that they're both composed of nude bodies), posing for the two of them (at least for the projects I was in) is very different. For me, nudity is easy. Working for Angelo Musco required physical closeness, naked, with a lot of naked total strangers (at the end of my first shoot, one woman pointedly remarked that she was going home to take a shower). It really tried my boundaries and my comfort level; I think that's why I went through it several times.
- I can be spotted in a couple of Musco's videos of his shoots (yes, I'm nude) on Youtube and Vimeo, as well as some of the photos from the shoots he's posted to Facebook. When I directed a friend to the photos, she asked me, "Is that your face in her butt?" It is.
- Although, whoever wrote it writes English FAR better than I write any other language I've tried to learn.
- No, I've never been to Vietnam. During the war, I was too nearsighted to be drafted; I was a card-carrying 4-F. And as it turned out, I was a bit too young to have had any real chance of being sent.
- At least in Polish, pronounced NYE-myets. I understand it's a Slavic word meaning "people who can't talk."