User talk:DavidWBrooks

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User talk: DavidWBrooks/2003 archive

User talk: DavidWBrooks/2004 archive

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New England Wikipedia Day @ MIT: Saturday Jan 18[edit]

NE Meetup #4: January 18 at MIT Building 5
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Dear Fellow Wikimedian,

You have been invited to the New England Wikimedians 2014 kick-off party and Wikipedia Day Celebration at Building Five on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus on Saturday, January 18th, from 3-5 PM. Afterwards, we will be holding an informal dinner at a local restaurant. If you are curious to join us, please do so, as we are always looking for people to come and give their opinion! Finally, be sure to RSVP here if you're interested.

I hope to see you there! Kevin Rutherford (talk)

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Concurrency (road)[edit]

Thank you for removing the tags. I removed the one part, and I thought it was best to let someone else decide to remove the rest. As for the blank section, I had intended to make some updates to the article, but fell into a time constraint. However, I've now had the opportunity to work on the article, and I've completely reorganized the article, placing a number of sections as sub-sections under "Overview." I think the way I restructured the article helps further eliminate the concern of the article's POV.

Best wishes! --hmich176 18:26, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

You're invited: Women's History Edit-a-thons in Massachusetts this March[edit]

Women's History Edit-a-thons in Massachusetts this March - You are invited!
We Can Edit.jpg
New England Wikimedians is excited to announce a series of Wikipedia edit-a-thons that will be taking place at colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts as part of Wikiwomen's History Month from March 1 - March 31. We encourage you to join in an edit-a-thon near you, or to participate remotely if you are unable to attend in person (for the full list of articles, click here). Events are currently planned for the cities/towns of Boston, Northampton, South Hadley, and Cambridge. Further information on dates and locations can be found on our user group page.
Questions? Contact Girona7 (talk)

Machu Picchu and Aliens[edit]

Why did you remove some of the info regarding Machu Picchu and aliens? Wikipedia should display all beliefs regarding the origins of Machu Picchu. Especially, since there is a significant population in Peru that believes this. I'm not saying there beliefs are correct, but their views should be offered up to the public. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiDoctorRobert (talkcontribs) 13:25, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Just because you can't google search the Dalai Lama's comments about Machu Picchu doesn't mean its not true. Here read this seperate journal states clearly that the Dalai Lama has made this endorsement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiDoctorRobert (talkcontribs) 15:19, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

You also deleted the whole paragraph, not just the part that mentions the Dalai Lama. There was a lot of good stuff on mysticism in there. I encourage you to read these articles. The articles portray the beliefs of a prominent group in Peru. This doesn't mean that the beliefs are correct. I feel that Wikipedia should display these relevant beliefs about the origins of Machu Picchu. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiDoctorRobert (talkcontribs) 15:39, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

April 2014[edit]

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You're invited![edit]

NE Meetup #5: April 19th at Clover Food Lab in Kendall Square
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Dear Fellow Wikimedian,

New England Wikimedians would like to invite you to the April 2014 meeting, which will be a small-scale meetup of all interested Wikimedians from the New England area. We will socialize, review regional events from the beginning of the year, look ahead to regional events of 2014, and discuss other things of interest to the group. Be sure to RSVP here if you're interested.

Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up for our mailing list and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope to see you there!

Kevin Rutherford (talk) and Maia Weinstock (talk)

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Edit-a-thon invite[edit]

Adrianne Wadewitz Memorial edit-a-thons[edit]

Adrianne Wadewitz edit-a-thons in Southern New England
Wikimania 2012 portrait 102 by ragesoss, 2012-07-13.JPG

As you may have already heard, the Wikipedia community lost an invaluable member of the community last month. Adrianne Wadewitz was a feminist scholar of 18th-Century British literature, and a prolific editor of the site. As part of a worldwide series of tributes, New England Wikimedians, in conjunction with local institutions of higher learning, have created three edit-a-thons that will be occurring in May and June. The events are as follows:

We hope that you will be able to join us, whether you are an experienced editor or are using Wikipedia for the first time.

If you have any questions, please leave a message at Kevin Rutherford's talk page. You can unsubscribe from future notifications for Boston-area events by removing your name from this list.

New England Wikimedians summer events![edit]

Upcoming events hosted by New England Wikimedians!

After many months of doubt, nature has finally warmed up and summer is almost here! The New England Wikimedians user group have planned some upcoming events. This includes some unique and interesting events to those who are interested:

Although we also aren't hosting this year's Wikimania, we would like to let you know that Wikimania this year will be occurring in London in August:

If you have any questions, please leave a message at Kevin Rutherford's talk page. You can unsubscribe from future notifications for Boston-area events by removing your name from this list.

New England Wikimedians summer events![edit]

Upcoming events hosted by New England Wikimedians!

After many months of doubt, nature has finally warmed up and summer is almost here! The New England Wikimedians user group have planned some upcoming events. This includes some unique and interesting events to those who are interested:

Although we also aren't hosting this year's Wikimania, we would like to let you know that Wikimania this year will be occurring in London in August:

If you have any questions, please leave a message at Kevin Rutherford's talk page. You can unsubscribe from future notifications for Boston-area events by removing your name from this list.

Stephane Grappelli[edit]

Hello, DW. I found out, after I wished you "Happy Trails" on the Grappelli talk page, that you are an admin. This is a happy surprise as, in my experience, admins tend to either excuse Roscelese's POV-pushing behavior or actively aid and abet it. Thank you for jumping in there and slowing down "the agenda", even if only momentarily (we swim against the tide). If I were making the rules, I would require written self-identification before putting anyone in a "sexual preference" category, or, the considered, published (in a biography of the subject person) opinion of an experienced academic biographer having no known connection with "the agenda". As it stands now, all it takes to label someone is the printed gossip of his "friends", at which point it becomes what Roscelese calls "common knowledge". Oh, well. Water under the bridge. Happy trails! -- (talk) 02:23, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Disruptive editor and sock needs blocking[edit]

This shouldn't take more than a few minutes of your time. It's an easy decision. Here are some links to look at:

Brangifer (talk) 15:11, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Since no block has been forthcoming, even in the face of blatant sockpuppetry, the editor has returned with a vengeance and is creating more disruption. We're looking at severe cases of IDHT, tendentiousness, ownership, POV pushing, and lack of competence.
Wikipedia needs protection from this editor. We have more important things to do with our time. This is the type of thing which drives good editors away. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:04, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Reverted edit[edit]

I am not sure why you took such a heavy handed approach to reverting my edit today to Dihydrogen monoxide hoax. You state in the edit summary that you found the lead harder to read (to which I disagree), but instead of taking the time to fix it to something you could accept, you reverted the whole re-write, which I had spent a couple of hours on earlier this week, but sat on until the contentious editing passed.

Your revert removed several improvements I made to the article with my edit, including:

1) additional, fact correcting referencing per RS (the hoax was NOT created on the web);
2) chronological fixes to the "History" subsection per WMoS;
3) addition of the subsection, "Concept" explaining the underpinnings of the hoax, and removing that unique content away from the lede to where it belongs: in the actual body of the article (for instance, that regarding the material data sheet), as the lead is to be a summary of the article body per Lead;
4) the incorporation of the four "See also" links directly into the body of the article per See also section and WMoS;
5) the re-captioning of the pictures and graphics into the Scope of the article (and, for instance, away from the chemical composition, which is apparently confusing to some);
6) other cosmetic; grammar; and spelling errors that I fixed (such as webcite → website) per Copy edit.

I honestly think you threw the baby out with the bathwater here. I certainly don't want to edit-war over this article, as I've already spent way too much effort on it and its talk page this week. I will leave it to you to make any further corrections, as I don't really have the time right now due to the workload of my career and necessary travel in the coming weeks (which, by the way, includes the copy editing of technical written materials). I hope you can see where I am coming from and find some middle ground and at least partially add back some of my article improving changes. Regards, GenQuest "Talk to Me" 23:31, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

I favor restoring GenQuest's version and editing it. It's better than the previous version. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:13, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Sure, go ahead. Maybe my patience with this article has been frayed to the point that I didn't read the edits closely enough, but the new lede was, IMHO, pretty muddled and unnecessarily complicated, and bits of the old lede were scattered here and there and difficult to find with such a sweeping edit. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 11:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

chess-related deaths[edit]

As with most games that have a long history, chess has been associated with a number of anecdotes, and some relate to games that have resulted in the death of one of the players involved.[1] The reliability of many of these anecdotes is suspect, but some appear to be based on fact.

Chess and death are often linked in works of fiction.

Pre 20th Century[edit]

Rice and chessboard problem[edit]

This is one variation of a famous, and likely apocryphal, story of the origin of chess:

The King of Hind commissioned a peasant or minister to create a strategy game of surpassing quality. Pleased with the result, the king asked the inventor to name his price. The inventor gave the king a choice, his own weight in gold, or, the king could put one grain of rice on the first square of the board, two on the second, 4 on the third, and keep on doubling the number of grains for every one of the 64 squares. The king hastily chose the second option. Somewhere around square 32, he came to a realization that there was not enough rice in the kingdom. Upon realizing that he could not possibly pay the debt, the king chose to kill the inventor.

The first half of the chessboard would have represented some 100 tonnes of rice, while the second half would have required 1.2 trillion tons (short scale),[2] a value roughly comparable to the combined mass of all life on Earth.[3]

Earl Ulf[edit]

King Canute (c. 994–1035) of Denmark, England and Norway, is said to have ordered an earl killed after a disagreement about a chess game. By one account, the king made an illegal move that angered Earl Ulf, who knocked over the board and stormed off, after which the king sent someone to kill him.[4][5]

Bavarian prince[edit]

Possibly the anecdote with the most supporting evidence is given in the book Chess or the King's game (1616) by Augustus, Duke of Lüneburg, who claimed to have obtained it from an old Bavarian Chronicle, then in the library of Marcus Welsor but now lost. The anecdote states that Okarius (also spelled Okar or Otkar), the prince of Bavaria, had a son of great promise residing at the Court of King Pippin. One day Pippin's son was playing chess with the young Prince of Bavaria, and became so enraged at repeatedly losing that he hit the prince on the temple with one of his rooks and killed him on the spot. This anecdote is repeated in another Bavarian Chronicle, and in a work by Metellus of Tegernsee about Saint Quirin and other documents refer to his death while at Pippin's court.

20th Century[edit]

1959 Antarctica killing[edit]

After losing a chess game, a Russian at a Soviet Antarctic base murdered a colleague with an axe. Following this, the Soviet authorities prohibited those based in Antarctica from playing chess.[6][7]

Patrick McKenna 1980[edit]

According to the appeal court in the case of Nevada prisoner Patrick McKenna, "In March 1980, appellant Patrick Charles McKenna was convicted of one count of first degree murder for the killing of Jack Nobles on January 6, 1979, while both were incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center. After lockdown that day, Nobles and two other inmates were confined in a cell with appellant. Appellant and Nobles argued, after which appellant choked Nobles to death. One inmate testified that appellant and Nobles argued about a chess game and that appellant choked Nobles when Nobles was in bed. Another inmate testified that appellant and Nobles argued about sex and that appellant shoved Nobles against the bunk and choked him so that Nobles' knees buckled and he dropped to the ground. After a penalty hearing, the jury returned a verdict of death."[8]

21st Century[edit]

Michael Steward[edit]

In October 2009, Iowa City resident David Christian killed neighbor Michael Steward after the two got into a fight over a chess game. Christian was sentenced to ten years in prison as part of a plea bargain.[9][10]

"Chessboard killer"[edit]

Alexander Pichushkin, a Russian serial killer, once said he wanted to murder 64 people, the same number as squares on a chessboard – leading to the nickname "chessboard killer."

Tom O'Gorman[edit]

Tom O'Gorman of Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland was murdered by a Sicilian lodger in his home during a game of chess on January 12, 2014. Due to a dispute over a move, the Italian killed O'Gorman with a kitchen knife and dumbbell, allegedly cutting open his chest cavity and ingesting his lung. After the murder, the Sicilian confessed to the crime and was taken into custody.[11]

In fiction[edit]

  • In Ambrose Bierce's 1909 short story "Moxon's Master", a chess-playing robot murders its creator after losing a game.
  • In Agatha Christie's 1927 novel The Big Four, a chess master is murdered by a strong electrical shock dealt him in the third move of his Ruy Lopez opening. In anticipation of his opening, the electrical connection was rigged to the square on the board through the floor from the apartment below.
  • Vladimir Nabokov's novel The Defense (1930) is built around the protagonist's relationship to chess, and ends with his ambiguous death.
  • In Kurt Vonnegut's 1953 short story "All the King's Horses", a communist Chinese officer holds a U.S. ambassador, his family, and a number of enlisted men hostage, using them as chess pieces, ordering removed "pieces" to be executed.
  • In the 1957 film The Seventh Seal the protagonist plays chess with the personification of Death.
  • In John Brunner's 1965 science fiction novel The Squares of the City, the murderous events which take place are eventually shown to have the structure of a famous 1892 chess game between Wilhelm Steinitz and Mikhail Chigorin.
  • In the 1967 spy film Deadlier Than the Male, the chief hero and villain square off on a giant electronically controlled chess board manned by lethal pieces.
  • In Dorothy Dunnett's 1969 novel Pawn in Frankincense, a character is coerced into a life-size chess match with his son's life at stake.
  • In Columbo's 1972 TV EpisodeThe Most Dangerous Match, A chess player murders his opponent before a big match. Lt. Columbo must out-maneuver this crafty, but craven, killer
  • Katherine Neville's 1988 novel The Eight centers around an ancient chess set over which two opposing factions have battled for centuries, taking the roles of actual chess pieces.
  • In The Flanders Panel, a 1990 novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, a mysterious serial killer seems to be continuing the game of over 500 years back in time, where the pieces of chess are related to real-life characters from the past and present.
  • In the 1992 thriller film Knight Moves, a serial killer commits a series of murders across the city and a chess grandmaster helps catch him.
  • In the 1997 novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, characters become human chess pieces in a life-sized game of Wizard's Chess, risking their lives.
  • In a 2011 episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor plays a game of chess where the pieces are electrified, presumably killing a losing player.


In 1994, the supermarket tabloid newspaper Weekly World News featured a story about a chess player named "Nikolai Titov" whose head exploded during the Moscow Candidate Masters' Chess Championships due to the condition 'Hyper-Cerebral Electrosis'.[12] The same newspaper also had run the story of Nikolai Gudkov being electrocuted by his opponent after winning against a chess computer in 1989.[13]