User talk:Iridescent

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An administrator "assuming good faith" with an editor with whom they have disagreed.

If I start a conversation on your talk page, I'm watching it; reply on your talk page.

If you start a conversation here, I'll reply here
, so make sure you watch this page.

How Arbcom Works: part 1


Pig-faced women[edit]

I changed to "Oppose" at WP:TFAR, respectfully deferring to your judgment as FA nominator.

Did you have a more ideal date in mind for the article's future Main Page appearance?

Thank you for your numerous high quality WP:FA contributions to Wikipedia,

Cirt (talk) 06:05, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I know you know, but for the benefit of anyone else reading this, replied at WP:TFAR. If you're looking for peculiar FAs which haven't run yet, Charles Domery is still floating about (although it doesn't have the eye-catching images PFW has). To some extent, Domery has the same problem, that some people will consider showcasing it an attack on a particular group (in this case, the Poles and to a lesser extent people with eating disorders), but it doesn't have the same element of simultaneously being offensive to the Irish, French, Dutch, women, animal-lovers and the disabled which PFW brings with it. (Domery is part of a trio on 18th-century eating disorders, all of which have a high WTF-factor; I'd prefer Tarrare not run for the moment, and Daniel Lambert has already run.) Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway could be dressed up for the occasion also—from the title it sounds dull as ditchwater, but it's actually an extraordinary story of a showpiece event that went so disastrously wrong, the government and courts seriously considered banning locomotives. George Stephenson had a standing offer from the Tsar to take his newfangled steam engine to Russia and if he'd been banned from making or using them in the UK would presumably have done so, which would in turn have kept the United States a thin coastal strip (the locomotives which opened up the interior were imported from Newcastle) and made Imperial Russia an unstoppable force, able to use their new industrial power to swat aside any hapless Turks and Prussians trying to stop them. The OOTLMR is a turning-point that (outside of Liverpool and Manchester themselves) doesn't get the credit it deserves.
If the "never repeat a TFA" rule is ever relaxed*, Biddenden Maids, Halkett boat and the aforementioned Daniel Lambert would all be workable as April Fools TFAs. I have a soft spot for Halkett boat in particular, which really is a case of the truth being stranger than fiction.
Per my outburst at TFAR, in my opinion the April Fools/Halloween tradition is an embarrassing relic of Raul's tendency on occasion to presume that whichever idea he'd happened to have embodied The Will Of The Community, and should be shown the door. With the possible exception of that film last year, to the best of my knowledge every April Fools TFA (Pigeon photography, Cock Lane ghost, Wife selling, Museum of Bad Art, Ima Hogg, George Washington (inventor), Spoo) has led to a wave of lunatics hijacking the article, generally followed by the author of the article being blocked for edit-warring when they try to restore it to something approaching stability; ask Eric Corbett or Parrot of Doom just how well the system works. – iridescent 22:15, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
*I'd personally support a change to "never repeat a TFA within five years". The argument that it gives undue prominence to the topic is hooey, since nobody except die-hard wiki-obsessives will even realise the article has run before. The argument that "it prevents other TFAs having their day in the sun" is also baloney—many if not most of Featured articles that haven't been on the Main Page are either old FAs of embarrassingly poor quality, articles which their authors would prefer not run, or arcane articles like Quainton Road railway station which would be pointless to run since the only people who would find them interesting are people with enough of an interest in the topic that they've already read them.
Yes I think alot of mine are in the last category....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:13, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I will concur that Banksias did flit through my mind as I wrote that (along with extinct bat species), but it seemed a little churlish to pick somebody else's as an example, especially given that I have Wandsworth Bridge (which may hold the record for the highest significance/interesting-things-to-say-about-it ratio of anything ever built*) to my name—it even had DYK that there's nothing interesting to say about it on the main page. At some point I ought to ask Bencherlite to run it as TFA (it is eligible…) and see if it makes the usual suspects who whinge about boring content on the main page** self-destruct with indignation. – iridescent 11:45, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Spot the bridge
*As HJ Mitchell and Julia W had the pleasure of hearing me drunkenly trying to explain at great length recently, Wandsworth Bridge's single interesting feature is also a damn nuisance; it retains its remarkably effective wartime camouflage. This is a major piece of ironmongery—as of about five years ago the second busiest road bridge in the UK—but it's astonishingly difficult to take a photograph in which the bridge doesn't either blend into the background or appear to be much smaller than it is.
**Special mention to the guy who nominated Norwich Market for deletion on the grounds of "non-notability".
Just imagine it is Stephen Fry chatting about it on QI...it'll seem more worthwhile then - just been watching a couple of episodes of this with my kids....dunno, must have more intrinsic merit than Miley Cyrus or a Kardashian....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:38, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Since QI's research team's methodology appears to be "go through the contribution history of myself, Eric Corbett and Parrot of Doom, share out the results between Fry's scripted questions and the guests' scripted answers, and pad it out with whatever happens to be on TIL that day without ever bothering to check its accuracy or credit the author", my opinion of it is not high. I've caught them previously passing off blocks of Wikipedia text verbatim (and uncredited, natch) as their own content. See this episode, where the chat about Tarrare is literally taken verbatim from Wikipedia, right down to the slightly awkward phrasing about "a toddler" I used to avoid close paraphrasing issues with "a child between one and two" which appears in every source other than Wikipedia. (Not as odd as it sounds that they'd all use the same wording, as they've all drawing from Percy's paper as a primary source.) While I'm on this tirade, if you're ever in Manchester then visit MOSI's new Revolution Manchester Gallery and see if there's something oddly familiar sounding about their showpiece exhibits on the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine and the Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. (I'm amazed QI haven't picked up on Eilley Bowers yet—possibly the single most peculiar biographical article I've ever written, and one which I keep hoping someone will find the sources for to flesh out and take to FAC. Given that she's "one of the most researched, written and talked about women in Nevada history"—and that's the University of Nevada Department of Women's Studies saying that, who presumably ought to know—I find it singularly difficult to find any of said research, writing or talking other than what I already used. @Dr. Blofeld, Rosiestep, did you find anything when you were writing Sandy Bowers?) – iridescent 16:37, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
I was on a game show once where Amanita muscaria was described as the quintessential toadstool and I could say, "haahahaaaaahaaaa" wonder where that came from! (chuckle) ...now I am depressed about QI....oh well....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:11, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm trying to think of what game show could possibly have included the phrase "Amanita muscaria is the quintessential toadstool", and failing miserably. I think every assumption I have about Aussie TV must be seriously wrong.
That particular "Illness" episode of QI had Ben Goldacre, self-appointed arch-scourge of uncited statements and misuse of sources (incidentally his talk archive is the history of Wikipedia in miniature, complete with people demanding to include The Truth I Read On A Website Somewhere, a conspiracy theory about SlimVirgin, sarcastic comments from Andy Mabbett and interminable ramblings about reliable sourcing), as one of the panelists. Cut from the original broadcast, but retained in the extended QI XL version included on Dave's endless loop of repeats, is an impressively uncomfortable scene in which Goldacre says that in his opinion the QI franchise is the single worst offender for giving spurious legitimacy to untrue claims. (Personally I think that's an unfair statement in a world in which the Daily Mail and the laughably-named Independent exist, albeit the BBC is theoretically meant to be held to a higher standard.) The cringe on Stephen Fry's face is worth the licence fee alone. My personal opinion of QI books and programmes as a source is identical to my opinion of the Mail—if what they claim is true, then a genuine reliable source somewhere will have covered it, but they have far too much of a history of reprinting press releases, cut-and-pasting from dubious websites without fact-checking, and cherry-picking data to suit the story they want to tell (yes, I can give examples if someone wants to argue this particular toss—the reporting as undisputed fact of Klar's 2004 Excess of counterclockwise scalp hair-whorl rotation in homosexual men paper, which 'proves' that gay men and straight men are physically different, and whose results AFAIK no other researcher has managed to replicate in the subsequent 10 years, for instance) to be reliable in their own right. – iridescent 17:44, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) Since you mention the Mail, it's currently enjoying one of its perennial appearances on WP:RS/N, where it's being defended with the usual combination of "but the BBC makes errors too!" and "you just don't like it 'cos of your liberal bias". In my view, the evolution of these Mail reliability threads is indicative of the steady decline in aggregate cluefulness of our editor corps. Last time around, a prominent editor who's sometimes mistaken for a voice of reason told us that "most medical reporting is actually reasonably good" in the Mail. I was inspired to add #21 to the cynic's guide to Wikipedia as a result. MastCell Talk 19:17, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
@iridescent - The Einstein Factor - one had to pick and esoteric subject to be on. I was on three times - first time I chose horned dinosaurs, which is why alot my early edits were on these - I figured actively editing to buff up for a game show was better than passive learning. Second time I went on I chose poisonous mushrooms....(first time was banksias but that was before I edited here)Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:11, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
@Mastcell - aaah yes good medical research. I just checked - this article cites this paper (hint - look at the prerandomization bit). Now via the newer article it will end up in Review literature. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:21, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Last year, someone else who shall remain nameless (but rhymes with "Bealdgyth") was defending the Mail, and literally within two minutes "Flying saucer sighted in Shipley" popped up as "breaking news". Sometimes, the Mail is beyond parody. (As I write, this fine piece of journalism is one of their "Editor's six of the best" for the day.) President Eisenhower had three secret meetings with aliens, former Pentagon consultant claims is my personal favourite piece of recent Mail nonsense. Well, if "a former consultant" said it on a comedy show, it must be true! – iridescent 21:25, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I used to struggle to articulate why the Daily Mail is hopeless as a source beyond "well obviously". That was until they plagiarised a Wikipedia article and still managed to introduce errors. Nev1 (talk) 17:49, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but the Mail is ever with us, so long as WP:RS/N threads on its reliability are dominated (or at least filibustered) by the same small but vocal set of clueless editors. (It's not that the Mail is the only bad source we use. It's just that if we can't even agree that the Mail is unsuitable, what chance do we have of dealing seriously with more borderline cases?) MastCell Talk 19:38, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Human-faced pig[edit]

In another piece of perfect synchronicity, the bastion of scientific accuracy which is the Daily Mail has today splashed with the story of a human-faced pig. – iridescent 11:39, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

I guess there are some really horrible looking humans at the Daily Mail. --Dweller (talk) 13:18, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Jaap Stam met fan cropped.jpg
I see a striking resemblance to Jaap Stam. – iridescent 13:31, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
How uncommonly unkind to deformed piglets. --Dweller (talk) 13:37, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
One spends its life running around a field grunting and covered in mud, while stuffed with illegal chemicals to make it grow faster—the other is a pig. – iridescent 11:33, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Ba-doom, cha! --Dweller (talk) 11:35, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Undeletion of "Lingwa de planeta" page[edit]

My request is about Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Lingwa_de_Planeta. Tha conlang has progressed a lot since 2007, and now there are not less than 50 real speakers (that is, writers) of the language, the (relatively) huge amount of texts and songs and a few good references. I've prepared the new article here: Draft:Lingwa_de_planeta. That is the translation of Russian article, and there still are some things I can't get (like template for citing an artice as a source). English is not my native language, so the text may not be perfect, but I hope to get some help.

In 2007 the article wasn't deleted by you personally, but all the other administrators participating in discussion are either retired or not active more. Waiting for your answer, Sunnynai (talk) 09:04, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

The new draft is certainly a much better article than the version that was deleted, but I'm afraid that because it's a topic on which I know little, I'm not well placed to judge its validity. The best place to ask for advice would be Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Linguistics as they'll know which sources are reliable in this context. – iridescent 08:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the answer! The fact is that User:Evertype put the artice into the mainspace and added the template in the talk page. So I hope it's OK now just to wait for any discussion to arise. --Sunnynai (talk) 09:11, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I did that in part because Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is about to be published (this week) in Lidepla, and that puts it firmly in the field of "notable" in terms of conlangs. -- Evertype· 11:33, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Precious again[edit]

Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg

quality standards
Thank you for quality articles such as today's Aylesbury duck, for patiently trying to reach the best possible quality, for understanding the difference between "ownership" of an article and responsibility for it ("People familiar with the topic are more likely to know of problems regarding it" isn't a blasphemy against the spirit ...), for presenting yourself not in userboxes but in dialogue, - repeating: you are an awesome Wikipedian (7 February 2009, 29 January 2010)!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

A year ago, you were the 517th recipient of my PumpkinSky Prize,

Thanks, although if I'm going to be remembered for something I'm not sure Aylesbury duck would be the one I'd choose. That one's so boring, even the vandals didn't bother with it. – iridescent 10:57, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Same for BWV 172 ;) - What would you want to be remembered for? - I put mine in my user's infobox, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:03, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
In terms of articles, Biddenden Maids, Daniel Lambert and Pig-faced women for (I hope) showing that it's possible to treat really peculiar topics sensitively without engaging in "hey, look at this weird thing!" posturing; Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway for (I hope) explaining why something 99% of readers will never have heard of was a genuinely world-shaking event with consequences that are still affecting all our readers' daily lives today; Battersea Bridge and Hellingly Hospital Railway for showing that it's possible to write on a dry technical topic without going into "the 4-4-2 Manning Wardle tank engine was fitted with twin reciprocating camshafts" nerdiness; and Halkett boat for bringing those wonderful drawings to a wider audience.
In terms of Wikipedia meta-issues, as one of those who fought to show that there isn't a clear dichotomy between Good Wikipedia editors who toil tirelessly for the greater good, and Evil banned users who circle the project like a pack of wolves (or if you prefer, Evil drones who slave for Jimbo's self-aggrandizing machine, and Good fearless rebels who dare to challenge the established order and are blocked by the evil cabal), back when the us-and-them mentality was far more entrenched than it is now.
In practice, I know damned well that my Wikipedia tombstone will read 'Coiner of the phrases "Indefinite means undefined not infinite" and "Without content Wikipedia is just Facebook for ugly people" ', with a brief footnote of 'only person ever to be expelled from Arbcom'. – iridescent 11:29, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, for explaining and for treating really peculiar topics sensitively! - I wish you were on arbcom! Some seem to wait for me to appeal my sanctions, - but how can I appeal to people who didn't look and understand in the first place? - In practise: I'm in the info-box, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:52, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I've been sanctioned by ArbCom as well Gerda but it bothers me not at all. I've never even considered appealing, and I very much doubt I ever will. Where's the fun in prostrating yourself before a bunch of sanctimonious windbags? Eric Corbett 12:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't bother me too much, the restriction to 2 comments in a discussion is even a true blessing, which should be handed out more generously. I only said that I seem to be expected to appeal. No, I won't. My sanction is so ridiculous, example: I wrote more than 90% of Richard Adeney, but I am restricted not to add an infobox because I didn't literally "create" it = turn red link to blue. I had simply forgotten that I hadn't done that, this was in 2009, I only remembered the work I put in. Even more ridiculous is that my police bothers to follow me, revert me, and write a warning. Could some merciful soul perhaps restore the infobox? This is not a composer, there's no controversy on musical artists, - it's just ridiculous. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:03, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually there is, but that's beside the point: you're expected to either appeal or stick to the restriction - doing neither is not an option, and helping you to do neither is no mercy. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:32, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Did you hear today's music, lonely hearts club? When I started the article on Neill Sanders I had no idea that he played the famous horn calls. I gave him an infobox recently, and also several of his colleagues. One was reverted, per my restriction. Does it make sense? (The restriction leading to inconsistent treatment of articles, I mean.) Would it make sense to appeal a restriction that doesn't make sense with the very same people who passed it? No. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:07, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Break: tunnels and civility[edit]

LambananasOM (cropped3).jpg

Thank you for the tunnel, - hoping for light at the end ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:41, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you... I will put my hand up and admit that Tunnel Railway is not the most exciting article on Wikipedia, but it's as interesting as a barely-used hole in the ground is ever going to be. (What's the significance of the lambananas? With the greatest of respect to that fine city, as symbols of hope go Liverpool city centre wouldn't be top of most people's lists. Except for Hope Street, I suppose.) – incredibly toxic personality 10:11, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the signature. Great idea! - The lambananas are my signature: picture taken by a missing admired editor. You may remember reading in the Signpost that I translate for editors not wanted here, - in this case I took the picture and send it around the world, a little effort fighting toxic atmosphere. --incredibly toxic personality --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:28, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Unless you've done something to earn his wrath, I don't think "incredibly toxic personality" was aimed at you. Although he's very carefully avoided naming names this time round (understandable, in light of what happened last time he started attacking people he disliked by name), to the best of my knowledge Jimmy Wales's "toxic personalities who allegedly produce good content" are, in roughly descending order, Bishonen (undoubtedly top of his list), Giano, Eric Corbett, Thekohser, Wehwalt, every person listed here, Alison, Rlevse and myself, and I'm not sure the latter two are significant enough to make it onto the list any more.
As regards the issue at the root of this, my thoughts haven't changed since I proposed this rewritten civility policy back Before The Dawn of Time (my bolding of the key points):

The civility policy Wikipedia ought to have doesn't need a novel; it needs three short paragraphs:

  • "Wikipedia's editors are expected to avoid, unless necessary for editorial reasons, the use of language which can be reasonably expected to offend a significant number of Wikipedia's readers. Wikipedia's editors are also expected to avoid the use of language which can reasonably be construed as belittling another user, unless such language is necessary for editorial reasons (e.g. warning an editor who is repeatedly introducing serious errors and refuses to accept reasonable explanations as to why their changes are inappropriate). Once an editor has had it drawn to their attention that another editor considers their conduct unacceptable, that editor should either cease the behavior in question or explain to the complaining editor why they consider the conduct reasonable; if the editors are unable to agree on what constitutes reasonable conduct, wider community input should be requested to determine consensus on the issue. If an editor continues unnecessarily to use language which has been determined to be offensive to significant numbers of Wikipedia's readers, or which is widely considered to constitute the unnecessary belittling of another Wikipedia editor, sanctions may be imposed upon the editor in question.
  • Likewise, if an editor repeatedly accuses another editor of inappropriate conduct after such conduct has been deemed appropriate by the broader community, and continues to make such accusations after the fact of it being considered acceptable has been drawn to their attention, sanctions may be imposed to prevent the editor in question from continuing to make vexations complaints.
  • Other than in exceptional cases in which a given editor's continued activity has a realistic potential to cause serious damage to the English language Wikipedia or serious damage to public perception of the English language Wikipedia, blocks and other sanctions will not be applied for breaches of this policy, both in the case of users using language considered to be uncivil and in the case of users considered to be making vexatious complaints, prior to community discussion about the appropriateness of such sanctions."
While I'm sure there are excellent reasons why this wouldn't work, I've yet to hear one—this is basically a Bradspeak description of the way people interact in the real world.
@Newyorkbrad, Risker, Roger Davies, Jimbo Wales: why and how has WP:FIVE somehow been elevated with no apparent discussion to some kind of Wikipedia Constitution, rather than an intentionally vague personal essay for people trying to explain Wikipedia to outsiders who disliked the word "dick" in the original WP:TRIFECTA? It still has the prominent "This is a non-binding description of some of the fundamental principles, begun by User:Neutrality in 2005 as a simple introduction for new users" disclaimer on the talk-page, but people who should know better (including Arbcom, Jimmy Wales and the WMF) have taken to quoting it as if Larry Sanger had brought it down on stone tablets from Mount Nupedia. (Presumably the Bomis Babe Engine provided the burning bush) – incredibly toxic personality 16:26, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Your remark inspired me to add an {{essay}} template; surprised it lasted nearly an hour.[1] Aren't people watching closely? Apparently it's "long established as policy". Hmmm. No {{policy}} template, I see. I should perhaps add one. Bishonen | talk 21:22, 13 August 2014 (UTC).
Surely "...to make vexatious complaints"? Ben MacDui 17:21, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
'tever. You're probably the first person ever to read it that far. – incredibly toxic personality 18:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)


Apparently, Jimbo's ill-informed and fatuous comments were met with:

  • [prolonged applause]
  • Wow. [applause continues]
  • Okay. [continuing applause]
  • Wow. Um, I thought I was going to be pushing an agenda here. [laughter] Apparently I'm fulfilling my role as symbolic monarch by speaking the thoughts that bubble up through the community."

I find this most revealing: I always thought those that attended such functions as Wikimania were slightly odd, at best geeky (who else would choose to stay in a chain hotel Clerkenwell); however, now we know, they are not just odd, but a troop of trained performing, clapping seals. Living in Britain must be a complete ordeal for poor Jimbo; one can't help wondering if he ever mixes outside of his charmed circle of Wikipedians, but yes, of course he does, he's tres chummy with that well known paragon of good manners Alastair Campbell. Enough said. Giano (talk) 20:23, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps those shrinking violets who claim to work in a perfectly civil and harmonious workplace that I certainly don't recognise would find it instructive to spend some time observing Campbell in his: "Campbell admitted to his liberal use of profanities in the workplace". Eric Corbett 21:27, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm quite sure, Eric, that we are both mistaken. Surely Jimmy would never be friendly with anyone known for their profanities; no matter how influential they may be. Jimbo would publicly deplore such a person.........wouldn't he? Giano (talk) 21:59, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

(outdent) I'm not sure why your "Five Pillars" question was aimed at me specifically. When I ran for ArbCom last time, which incidentally was the last time, I was asked about it, I said that it was a good essay that summarizes goals and aspirations, but spoke in broad generalities. I don't think I've ever personally cited it or based a decision on it, though I've voted for principles in which it was cited. The idea that we can resolve complex disputes by pointing to what is a "pillar" or not is an oversimplification. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:28, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

  • I don't know why you pinged me, either. In fact, I'm a bit annoyed that you did. You and I spoke (in person) some years ago about the phenomenon of people who have essentially divorced themselves from the project but occasionally show up being snarky to those who stick it out; back then, you didn't have very high regard for this sort of nonsense. You could well have taken advantage of the fact I was within a brief trip to whine at me in person over this past weekend - a couple of hundred other people did, in some form or another, although I'll admit some had nice things to say as well - but instead you take a sideswipe at me, and several others, for something I had nothing to do with. I have no idea why you're going around naming names that nobody else named, and I think you owe some people an apology. Risker (talk) 02:34, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
(To Brad, Risker and Roger) I wasn't pinging the three of you as holding you responsible for the change (although I can see in hindsight how it would look that way), but in your capacity as Wikipedia's institutional memory. The decision to formalise WP:FIVE must have been taken somewhere.
(To Risker specifically) I still agree on the topic of people who leave Wikipedia but still hang around bitching from the sidelines. (You may have noticed my complete absence from Wikipediacracy et al.) I was briefly back yesterday because Bencherlite emailed me to let me know Tunnel Railway was scheduled for the main page, and the long post above was a reply to Gerda's post. It's hardly a secret that I've believed for a long time that Jimmy Wales's opinions have become divorced from the broad mass of editors to an unhealthy degree. – incredibly toxic personality 08:51, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
We-ell, let's have an RfC hug-fest. I've set one up at Wikipedia_talk:Five_pillars#What_is_this_page.3F and asked neutrality. Let's ask Jimbo too. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:58, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Cas, given recent events involving RFCs that have been created at the spur of the moment to "answer questions" that only a few people have asked, and with the expectation that the outcome would be binding on the entire community, if not the entire Wikimedia global community, I'm going to say this isn't a good idea. In fact, I'm going to say that using an RFC in this way is pretty much a terrible idea. Having looked at the RFC you've started, frankly I can see no good outcome for it. People who treat those pages as guiding principles, policy or just some thoughts that were drafted in ancient times are going to continue to do so. There will be insufficient response to the RFC to consider its outcome binding. RFCs for project-wide issues have been largely ineffective since about 2008. Risker (talk) 15:15, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Risker disagree - to fob it off as Set in Stone comes across as patronising. Leaving these things open for a month or more and advertising. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:39, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying anything is set in stone. I'm saying that the recent history of RFCs to determine policy and similar site-wide issues has been ineffective; they're no longer discussions but instead have become votes that are then supposedly considered "consensus". Iridescent answered his own question in his link; it was rhetorical, not really an actual question, and I think it somewhat presumptuous to act as though this is a burning issue that requires resolution with a full-scale community-wide RFC. Not even Iridescent thought it was a big enough deal to raise the matter on the talk page there. Moving to an RFC when there really wasn't anything being disputed is rather absurd. Risker (talk) 04:13, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
What is the page then? People throw it around like the ten commandments and yet the page obsequiously says it's not a policy. It goes without saying that once there are more than about four editors one has to review quantitative rather than qualitative aspects of consensus. Folks over there are using some words...and if the discussion ratifies what people want then all well and good. The RfC is then acting like a bit of introspection. No harm in that I think. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:41, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I do admit to cheering from the sidelines when I heard the rapturous applause that the Daily Mail was a very untrustworthy source of news. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 14:41, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
What could Jimmy possibly have against the Daily Mail? Don't get me wrong, I agree with him that the Mail is only a reliable source for stories about itself, but he's hardly an impartial observer—and that's quite aside from the barrage of abuse the Mail has subjected his BFF Lily Cole to.[2][3][4] (Cole obviously has a soft spot for unusual characters with beards. Although the painting appears to be of Lion-O from Thundercats.) – incredibly toxic personality 15:20, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

(outdent) In my capacity as "Wikipedia's institutional memory" ... I don't remember. (I probably didn't notice it was happening at the time; I've always focused, however ineffectually, on problem-solving, rather than "policy" in the abstract.) Make of that what you will. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:43, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Possibly explains why you've voted more than once at ArbCom to have me banned. Policy be damned, let's get rid of the "problem". But the real problem is that you've never actually recognised what the real problem is. Eric Corbett 23:17, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
(ec, I'm too slow) I believe, that if "incredibly toxic personalities" is used in the name of kindness, generosity, forgiveness and compassion, we do have a major problem to solve. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:19, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
ps: I agree that the term was likely not meant for me, but I don't want to see it applied to any editor or group, - I love my recent label "Fräulein Kriminelle" (my talk). --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:22, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
In a general sense, one could quite easily make the case that the most toxic personality on WP is Jimmy Wales. Eric Corbett 23:26, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Eric Corbett, I've never voted to ban you. More than once I've voted against banning you. I did, regretfully, vote to exclude you from one aspect of project governance (RfA), for reasons discussed in findings in that case. You would at liberty to seek modification of that restriction if you were prepared to participate in that process in a less acid-tongued fashion in the future (and I use the subjunctive because I anticipate you would have no such intention). Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:42, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I apologize to everyone. That last sentence contained far too many consecutive prepositional phrases. I cringe when I reread it myself. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:03, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
As you correctly anticipate, I have absolutely no intention of appealing anything, ever; in fact I've never even bothered to appeal a block. The RfA process is what it is, and nothing I nor anyone else can say would be likely to improve it now. Eric Corbett 00:35, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
"The optimist feels we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is so." And with regard to RfA we have few remaining optimists. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:42, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
That sums it up nicely for me. Eric Corbett 00:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to see the term applied to any editor, which includes JW. --Fräulein Kriminelle --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:58, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Neither do I, but he who lives by the sword dies by the sword ... what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander ... and all that jazz. Eric Corbett 00:42, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Iridescent, for today's Quainton Road railway station, with a lot of background. - As for "optimist": "hope" is the first word I kept on my talk, placed there by a user who is now a candidate for arbitration ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:04, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

And thank you—given that when that one's sister article ran it prompted a huge burst of shouting from someone who appeared to think I was part of some huge unspecified conspiracy to get undeserving articles featured, it went remarkably smoothly. (Possibly because it's such a specialist topic, all those with an interest in it had already read it.) – iridescent 11:28, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Tunnel Railway[edit]

Hi Iridescent,

I found a better image for the lead and main page blurb for the Tunnel Railway article. I hope you like it. Congratulations on getting the article featured and up on the main page! I am concerned about the statement that the railway was opened "to connect tourist attractions and shops near Ramsgate harbour with the new railway main line at Dumpton Park." This statement appears in the lead and on the main page, but not in the body of the article, and there is no source for this statement. Tourist attractions and shops near Ramsgate harbour are not mentioned in the article beyond the lead, at least not in connection with the opening of the railway. Do you know of a source that can be added for this statement?

Neelix (talk) 18:27, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

It's all in the body text and cited: By 1933 Merrie England, now under the ownership of Ramsgate Olympia, had become extremely popular, and Ramsgate Olympia began to lobby the Southern Railway to reopen the line through the tunnel, with a new junction station between Dumpton Park and Broadstairs. However, the Southern Railway rejected the proposal as too costly and impractical. Ramsgate Olympia and the Southern Railway were keen to make the attractions near the harbour accessible from the railway main line and to provide a service from the seafront to the greyhound stadium at Dumpton Park. The two companies eventually agreed on a scheme by which a new line would use the 780 yards (710 m) of the tunnel nearest the beach, before branching off into a new 364-yard (333 m) tunnel to emerge at a new station at Hereson Road, a 250-yard (230 m) walk from Dumpton Park station. I'd need to dig out a copy of Harding if you need the exact source wording (I do have it around somewhere, but I'd have to hunt for it.) None of this is contentious (I hope)—a passenger railway isn't built for any reason other than that the builder assumes there will be passengers. This passed FAC back in the days of "cite at the end of the chunk of information being referenced", rather than "cite every sentence"—you can safely assume that every fact in the version which passed FAC is cited to the first reference to follow it. (You can also very safely assume that given the number of vultures circling me, if I had made an untrue claim anywhere someone would gleefully have jumped on it long ago.)
Thanks for digging out the image of the opening. (I'm not sure who thought the plastic horse was a good idea, it has to be said.) – incredibly toxic personality 18:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
@Neelix: OK, found it: exact wording of the original:
By 1933, "Merrie England" was becoming very popular and Ramsgate Olympia, Ltd., was founded as a private company to take over the running of the enterprise from Thanet Amusements Ltd. The new company decided that the disused tunnel which had been sealed up after the track was removed should now be put to good use. […] The company finally decided that some form of 'light' rail connection via the tunnel would provide a good link with the Dumpton Park area where the greyhound track was proving prey popular plus also providing a service with Dumpton Park Station. (Harding, Peter A. (2005). The Ramsgate Tunnel Railway. Woking: Peter A. Harding. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0952345897. ) "Merrie England" has already been defined (and sourced) as a collection of tourist attractions earlier in the article. – iridescent 18:12, 21 August 2014 (UTC)


Today's Featured Article: Notification[edit]

This is to inform you that Quainton Road railway station, which you nominated at WP:FAC, will appear on the Wikipedia Main Page as Today's Featured Article on 14 December 2014. The proposed main page blurb is here; you may amend if necessary. Please check for dead links and other possible faults before the appearance date. Brianboulton (talk) 21:41, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

The Brill Tramway followed by Fuck - I take it Bencherlite has decided to go out in a fireball rather than a fizzle. – iridescent 15:56, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
P.S. 54321, I see what you did there. .. – iridescent 20:28, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Who, sir? Me, sir? <innocent face> BencherliteTalk 20:40, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Happy Holidays[edit]

074 Frontal d'altar de Mosoll, els Reis d'Orient.jpg Happy Holidays
Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, from the horse and bishop person. May the year ahead be productive and troll-free. - Ealdgyth - Talk 15:04, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Happy New Year[edit]

Wikipedia logo new year sk.png Happy New Year !!!
Michael Q. Schmidt talkback is wishing you Season's Greetings! This message celebrates the holiday season, promotes WikiLove, and hopefully makes your day a little better. Spread the seasonal good cheer by wishing another user a Merry Christmas and aHappy New Year, whether it be someone with whom you had disagreements in the past, a good friend, or just some random person. Share the good feelings. - MQS
Thanks to both – iridescent 17:32, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Texas Revolution[edit]

Splitting this into subsections as it's getting a bit unwieldy

Comments from Carcharoth and replies[edit]

Monuments and memorials[edit]

Thanks for the notification about this. I'm probably not going to be able to help with that (digging into archives is something I have ambivalent feelings about), but I will keep an eye on the discussion in case something crops up and I can help after all.

While I am here, I know you are not around much these days, but could I ask for your opinion on a couple of articles I've been editing and/or reviewing recently (or in some cases thinking about editing)? Carcharoth (talk) 06:45, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Sure, ask away.
As regards Texas Revolution, go with Karanacs rather than myself. I'm looking at this very much as an outsider. (I still feel that it currently presupposes too much background knowledge for a general audience, but it's certainly not something I'll argue over.) – iridescent 06:14, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Heh. Where do I start? :-)
  • My interest got caught by Arcul de Triumf, and I left the following queries on the talk page: [5]. I'm kind of wondering where to go from there. I tried WikiProject Romania and MILHIST, but nothing yet. I could ask the article creator (who is still around - I always forget to do that) or work from the Romanian Wikipedia (ro-wiki) article and ask the creator of that article (who speaks English according to their user page). But I'm pondering how much effort that would be...
  • Another arch that caught my attention was Arch of the Sergii (mainly because I was actually in Croatia in 2014 and visited Pula and saw and photographed it for myself). I did this, but again am not sure where to go from there. It feels like lots more is possible, but quite what I'm not sure.
  • I then did stuff over on Commons relating to WWI memorial images in France. That is a story going back years, but if you look at this it should give you an idea. I'm going to come back to that later, but it needs a goodly chunk of time to pull links together.
  • I then added pictures of graves to articles: [6]. It reminded me of the discussion we had about photography in a certain cemetery... I may visit more cemeteries and do more photography, so I'm pondering how useful this sort of thing is.
  • I then added pics I took at Villers–Bretonneux Australian National Memorial (the annoying thing about that trip is I made a basic error and had the [new] camera on the lowest resolution setting and didn't realise that until the end of the trip). From that, I stumbled across Cross of Sacrifice which has had a really nice upgrade (but see next point).
  • If you have views on the discussion on the talk page (see Talk:Cross of Sacrifice#Excessive background?), that would be great. It kind of ties into what you said above about background for the Texas Revolution article. I did an edit here (on a different article) that is the sort of 'removing excess background' that I was talking about. It is something I've not seen much of before, where editors new or new-ish to a topic write lots of background and duplicate what is in other articles. Trying to get the balance right there is harder than I realised.
  • There is a very minor thing at Talk:Gibraltar Cross of Sacrifice#Error regarding original location, but that shouldn't be a huge problem. I just need to be more patient for replies (I had forgotten how slow things can be on Wikipedia sometimes).
That was more than I had intended to write... Feel free to ignore the bits that don't catch your interest and/or split out to sections with proper headers. Carcharoth (talk) 09:11, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm. If only Wikipedia had some kind of mailing list where one could go to canvass all the East European editors…
Romania and Croatia[edit]
  • On Arcul de Triumf, you're on your own—I know virtually nothing about Romania. You might want to try asking WikiProject Ottoman Empire as well, given that anything built pre-1878 would have been Ottoman in origin. I know this is heresy against the Wikipedia ideal, but I'd question whether expanding this on en-wiki would be worth the time and effort, since people with an interest in the topic will overwhelmingly be Romanian-speakers, and the ro.wiki article looks in fairly good shape.

    Statement of the obvious: Romanians in Britain get a lot of (mainly undeserved) bad press, and if you pop in to The Romanian Cultural Centre in London andThe Romanian Cultural Institute London (they share a building) or write to them I imagine they'd fall over themselves to help once you explained that what you were doing could get something positive about Romanian culture on the front page of English Wikipedia.

  • On balance, you are probably right here. I will likely let this gather dust on the back burner. Carcharoth (talk) 00:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Don't take my words as gospel on this; there's a reasonable argument (indeed, one I've made myself many times) that Wikipedia's key strength is its ability to highlight material which is of limited interest. Besides, one never knows what's going to suddenly become of public interest—Broadwater Farm was a spectacularly low-traffic page (it even had the distinction of being sneered at on Wikipedia Review for its obscurity at one point), until it suddenly came to public notice in 2011 (and those viewing figures don't count all the newspapers and websites which ripped it off verbatim in their "background" sections). – iridescent 16:27, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't know who to speak to about Roman ruins in Croatia, but I agree there ought to be a lot out there. It might be worth asking the authors of Diocletian's Palace if they know of anything.
  • Maybe. I suspect there is less out there than you might expect. Carcharoth (talk) 00:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • It may be worth asking people with an interest in Italian history and architecture, if you haven't already. At least some of them are presumably going to take an interest in Roman architecture in general. – iridescent 16:27, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Commons and images[edit]
  • At the risk of sounding like a Wikipedia Reviewer, I long ago came to the conclusion that Commons and their over-zealous admins cause far more problems than they solve and strongly agree with the statement at the top of Giano's user page. There is zero possibility that the CWGC (or its American, Russian etc equivalents) will object to Wikipedia hosting images of war graves and memorials, unless you're planning to rearrange them into the shape of a giant cock-and-balls or something—the party line of both CWGC and the War Graves Photographic Project is that hosting photographs of war graves online helps preserve the memory of those who served should the cemetery be damaged or fall into disrepair.

    You might want to consider asking WMF or WMUK to consider a formal partnership with the WGPP—it would be a popular (and publicity-generating) cause, would hopefully give the money to hire locals to photograph the graves in cemeteries abroad, and would have no obvious downside for either party. (The WGPP would benefit from Wikipedia's ability to rustle up a legion of enthusiastic amateurs and to deal with the technical issues of hosting huge quantities of high-resolution photographs and making them available on a worldwide scale, the WMF would have the chance to get its name associated with something respectable for once, and riding the current poppy-tinged tide of popular sentiment couldn't do Jimmy's angling for an honorary KBE any harm.) If it hasn't been done already, this is probably also an area where that bot that hoovers up free-use images from Flickr on a given topic would be useful.

  • Interesting. Commons is OK if you know how to approach it. My basic thesis is that they apply the precautionary principle too readily (mostly when they are unsure or don't know what is really going on) and they should in those cases defer to WMF-paid copyright lawyers to say whether the precautionary principle should be applied or not. The way the precautionary principle is currently applied actively works against building encyclopedic content.

    As for making contact with/partnering with the CWGC and the WGPP, I've considered contacting both but not done so yet. I met CWGC people twice - once at an editathon at the British Library (I never followed that up properly) and more recently (last year) at a lecture at the London School of Economics given by David Reynolds. I've not contacted anyone at the WGPP yet.

    I may, once I've summarised things a bit more, go that route of suggesting some form of partnership. Carcharoth (talk) 00:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

  • In my experience, which is admittedly four years out of date, Commons tends to be a game of roulette as to whether you get an ultra-cautious admin who deletes anything you can't prove you own the copyright to, or an information-wants-to-be-free True Believer who refuses to delete something even when that would obviously be appropriate. My feeling has been to upload everything on en-wiki, and if Commons want it as well they're free to make a copy.

    IIRC Johnbod, who's already reading this thread, is something big at WMUK so might be able to advise at how feasible the idea is. – iridescent 16:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Grave images[edit]
Grave of Alice Ayres, Isleworth Cemetery
  • My personal rule-of-thumb for gravestones is only to include them on Wikipedia articles when they illustrate something more than "this is where the subject of this article is buried". Alice Ayres's grave is a good example—the fact that a housemaid from Southwark gets a headstone four times the size of anyone else in the cemetery says far more clearly than words that the people of the time obviously considered this person A Big Deal. If you're photographing headstones, TWGPP will probably get better use from the photos than Wikipedia, as well as the obvious benefit of not having to deal with Commons admins; in my view, while I'm sure there are plenty of hard-working and dedicated yadda yadda, Commons has taken over from Wikiversity as en-wiki's penal colony.
  • Did you notice that I was in that cemetery taking photos? :-) I took one of the memorial over the grave of Alice Ayres (I had looked this up before going there and knew you had taken the photo and written the article), but didn't bother to upload it. Still in good condition. The grave picture I did upload was of the grave marker for George Manville Fenn. Carcharoth (talk) 00:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Tomb of Liliana Crociati de Szaszak
  • I imagine the Watts Gallery probably ensure Ayres's grave is kept tidy. If you've read Postman's Park or List of tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, you'll know George Frederic Watts had something of an obsession with Ayres. Isleworth is quite a nice cemetery, although it's position directly under the windows of the local hospital seems somewhat tactless. The East London Cemetery is also a good one, if you're grave-hunting—it doesn't get the visitors the Magnificent Seven cemeteries get, but has just as many of the great and good of Victoriana interred there. The greatest in the world for photogenic graves is undoubtedly Recoleta Cemetery, which includes my personal favourite "what the hell was the undertaker thinking?" monument, the Tomb of Liliana Crociati de Szaszak. – iridescent 16:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Back to the actual point: what is an appropriate level of background information?[edit]

  • As you can probably tell from the Texas Revolution page, my views on background information veer towards the hyper-inclusionist. My personal opinion is that every Wikipedia article, particularly on an individual landmark or building, should be understandable by an average reader without having to click a single hyperlink. A lot of people, particularly when they're abroad and don't want to use mobile data, will either print out the Wikipedia pages for the places they plan to visit or save them onto an iPad for offline viewing. My personal feeling is that people in this situation who've made a special trip to Ypres to visit the cemeteries, should be able to get at least a basic understanding of (for instance) the fact that the IWGC had only just been created so didn't have a standard set of monument designs. (To repeat a point I was trying to make—badly—on Talk:Texas Revolution, readers of Wikipedia pages are international and things which seem completely obvious to the author often need to be explained to readers. To Americans, in a country where the dedication of a 19th-century military cemetery is taught to every child and where United States national cemeteries have existed since 1867, that the concept of "military cemetery" was only introduced to Britain in the 20th century will seem wildly counterintuitive, given that Britain and its predecessors were fighting wars for fifteen centuries before the US existed.)

    Yes, including background means repetition between articles, but my view is that every Wikipedia page ought to be able to stand alone, even though it means in some cases like Chiswick Bridge there will actually be more material on the background than on the topic itself. The "it makes the articles too long!" argument doesn't wash with me; people on desktop PCs have no problem scrolling past material they're not interested in or clicking on the TOC, while the mobile app only shows one section at a time so people who don't care about the background can jump straight to the meat-and-two-veg.

    Note that my opinions of the appropriate amount of background are decidedly not reflective of policy; you probably remember that guy a few years ago who got most upset at how much repetition there was between Brill Tramway and Quainton Road railway station. You might want to canvass the views of other people with a Wikipedia background in writing articles on landmarks, monuments and tourist attractions to see what the current consensus among them is on how much background information should be included. In fact, given Wikipedia is ripping off Facebook, poorly has the new facility to "ping" editors, I can do it for you—Eric Corbett, SlimVirgin, Bencherlite, Giano, Victoriaearle, Bishonen, Julia W, Ceoil, Wehwalt, Jimfbleak, TonyTheTiger, Johnbod, Dr. Blofeld, and anyone else still watching this talkpage four years on, do you have any opinions?

  • That is, um, a lot of people you pinged. :-) I'm guessing half of them are glaring at you for doing that... I'm all for including background detail, but you have to get the balance right and also consider how broad a topic is. If you read in full through Cross of Sacrifice and Commonwealth War Graves Commission you will see the extent of repetition. Stone of Remembrance is an article that doesn't have the extensive background. Would you put something that is 6-7 paragraphs long explaining the IWGC in all the CWGC memorial and cemetery articles? There are hundreds of them. My rule of thumb is that you need a good reason to go beyond a paragraph or two of introductory material before starting the article proper. The other thing is that the more you repeat, the more the introductory texts in different articles will slowly diverge over time. It is best to keep it short and factual, giving basic background, and not over-complicating it. I can go into more detail on this, but I do fear that reading all the main CWGC histories (which was one reason I was able to write the review I did here) has made me a bit oblivious to what may or may not be obvious to people coming cold to the topic (see also the recent addition to Talk:Cross of Sacrifice). Anyway, enough of that. It is writing long replies like this that takes away time from other stuff! (which is not to say that I'm not grateful for your thoughts, it's much appreciated). Carcharoth (talk) 00:42, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • A lot, but a carefully selected lot; they all have a history of writing or photographing topics which people with little prior knowledge of the field are likely to want to look up, which is the issue at hand here. Besides, this talkpage was still one of the hundred most-watched user pages as of the shutdown of toolserver last year—most if not all of them would have seen this discussion pop up on their watchlist anyway.

    I still think the repetition is necessary, even if pruned back; someone visiting the military cemetery at Kohima will have no reason to have read the article on Ypres, and you can't presuppose that they're familiar with the IWGC, changing attitudes to the use of mass graves, the thinking behind standardisation of designs and so on. How about keeping it, but dumping it down into the footnote section? That way you get to explain the background for those who don't know, without cluttering the article for those who do? The article on The Morticians Who Must Not Be Named is a good example of this; the footnote section is a huge slab of background material on the reasons for the rise in the popularity of cremations, compostable coffins, Saint Edward the Martyr, separate burial traditions for Anglicans and Nonconformist churches and so on—this is all necessary to the narrative, but it's not reasonable to expect every reader either to know or to care. – iridescent 16:57, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Memorial tablets to the British Empire dead of the First World War[edit]
  • Jumping back up here (as the section below seems to have veered off into art history and iconography). I recently got round to going back to an article I wrote around this time last year. I'm not entirely sure about the way I've handled it (I added a whole load of transcriptions), and sorting out the layout for images and text drove me up the wall several times, but I'd be interested in your views on it. It is still WWI memorials, but a relatively obscure part of that topic: Memorial tablets to the British Empire dead of the First World War. There are still bits to do around the edges, though I may not take it much further than where it is at the moment. There are good examples in there of bits that could be explained a bit more, but I'll let you see what you think. If that is too long to digest at one sitting, and you have an interest in poetry, see what you think of "O Valiant Hearts" - not an article I wrote, but a poem/hymn that I only found out about from writing other articles. WWI poetry (a massive topic) is another area I'd like to get back to/more involved with. Finding the time is difficult, though, for both reading and writing (and photography!). Carcharoth (talk) 02:10, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • @Carcharoth: That's a whopper… I can see good reasons to keep it as one long article rather than four or five short ones, but if you go to FAC (or FLC, depending on how prose-y it ends up), then have your defence ready for the inevitable "each section needs to be its own article!" shrieking. On a topic like this, I don't think it's possible to go into too much background detail—sure, most readers will be military history buffs familiar with the background, but you're also going to get readers in France who've stumbled across them and want to know the significance of what they're looking at. This would be a good case, IMO, for shoving a big gobbett of "Dominions were quasi-independent countries which shared a monarch with Britain and fought alongside the British in WW1 suffering a lot of casualties" background down into the footnotes section, in the same way that Daniel Lambert uses the footnotes to explain the difference between a 19th-century English gaol and an modern American jail. (Is this table really complete? I get that the Westminster and Amiens memorials are the memorials for the entire Commonwealth, but it seems odd not to have local versions in Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand at the very least. It also seems odd for Vancouver to get one, but not Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto.) As a quick aside, you mention that the London and Vancouver ones were amended in 1945 to add WW2—in the case of those that didn't update the existing memorial, did they install a separate monument?

    Although it violates the MOS in pretty much every single way, I think List of tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice might be a good general model to follow—that big sortable table of images looks unwieldy, but means people can sort the images themselves by date, artist, location etc, and thus have an easier time if they want to compare the contrasting styles of the designers, or see how the design principles evolved over time.

    The first thing that strikes me on O Valiant Hearts is "if the author only died in 1954 than this is a cut-and-paste copyvio". It's not something I know much about, and the prose section is too sketchy to offer an opinion. WP:POETRY is moribund, but the classical musical project is quite active regarding religious music at the moment, if you can weather the inevitable 60 megabyte argument about how the article should be formatted.

    Of all Wikipedia's regulars, the two who are probably best placed to answer questions about English religious poetry are, for reasons with which you will be wearily familiar, not currently in a position to comment here, but you know well enough how to get hold of them should you want their input.

    Incidentally, the local council has finally lost patience with the LNC soap opera and nationalised Brookwood Cemetery. – iridescent 12:59, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Duplication of information & religious symbolism[edit]
I don't see anything wrong with relevant repetition. For example, I wrote three kinglet FAs which had sizeable overlaps in terms of taxonomy and behaviour, but each has to stand alone, so the repetition is not only warranted but essential. The amount of background is more difficult, just don't assume that readers share your interests or your nationality. You may need technical stuff later, but if the lead is too difficult, or assumes a national shared consciousness, you will lose your audience. And looking below, I've found several errors in the OED too Jimfbleak - talk to me? 16:30, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Don't necessarily assume the CWGC is correct and Prioryman is wrong. Even the most reliable of sources can make mistakes (I've spotted some glaring howlers in the ODNB in my time). I take it you're aware that any significant involvement in Gibraltar-related articles is liable to prompt a rabble of weirdos you thought you'd heard the last of when you left Arbcom to start following you around being annoying again. – iridescent 12:49, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
    I agree with Jim. Anyone who looks at the Pendle witches and the Samlesbury witches will see significant repetition, but without it the articles, especially the Samlesbury one, would make little sense. Eric Corbett 16:46, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
    Me too, and the OED is very iffy on art history terms, many recent imports in the 1880s, whose meanings had not settled and whose entries are yet to be revised -my favourite is this (last para). But you have to strike a balance, and lazyness plays a part. One could go nuts on the iconography of standard religious scenes in paintings, but I tend just to cover what is individually distinctive. Johnbod (talk) 10:00, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
    Heh, does the laziness extend to not signing your posts, Johnbod? :-) I'm just dropping back over here to say that having those standard designs of the Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance for the war graves cemeteries really makes for a constant distinctive look to those CWGC cemeteries, but each one looking different in its surroundings. I pulled together 40 examples at Crosses of Sacrifice (Commons page). The thought briefly flits through my mind as to whether it would be possible to do an (illustrated) list of the several hundred (over 400 after WWII) in the UK, or even of the 1000+ in France and Belgium. Then I realise that doing something like that would take a long, long time. Then I remember that they actually built 1000+ of the things... (not to mention the graves themselves). The way you do anything with large numbers involved is to get lots of people to do it, or to take a long time to do it. Carcharoth (talk) 03:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, just forgot. Johnbod (talk) 10:00, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I would imagine the WGPP has photos of all the Crosses of Sacrifice, even if they don't have all the individual graves yet, and might be willing to release them into the public domain if someone asked nicely. This might be one of those occasions where Jimbo Wales is actually useful for once—people who'd have no hesitation telling anonymous internet users to piss off might be more amenable when asked nicely by Saint Jimmy of Wales, star of stage and screen and patron saint of new media.

    @Johnbod, I'd say it depends on who's likely to be looking at the painting. Someone looking at the Wikipedia articles on Bartolomé Bermejo altarpieces can reasonably be assumed to know the basics of Christian iconography; someone looking up Beata Beatrix (my, that's a crappy article for such a significant painting) is much more likely to be someone who's attending a PRB exhibition or who thinks the poster would look nice on their wall, and thus more likely to need to be led by the hand through what the significance of each element is. Something like Guernica, where it will be of interest to a world-wide audience who can't be assumed to have even the vaguest knowledge of either the Spanish Civil War or cubism, literally needs to have every single element pointed out and explained. – iridescent 17:13, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

I was thinking more of say Fra Angelicos, Filippo Lippis or Giottos, which are very likely to be looked at by people who don't know much of "the basics of Christian iconography" (whatever that means for today's youf). For traditional stuff I prefer to write up the iconography by subject, though one knows few follow the links. Johnbod (talk) 01:27, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OR alert! I'd say the minimum a reader needs to know in order to interpret traditional Christian paintings are (a) the stories of the nativity and crucifixion, (b) the significance of the cross, (c) how to tell the infant Jesus from the infant John. It's reasonable to assume any reader will know (a) and (b); yes, there will be some readers who don't know even these basics (how many Brits couldn't describe the most basic tenets of Islam or Buddhism?) but it's not reasonable to include "the cross formed by the two sticks in the Madonna of the Yarnwinder is an allusion to the cross which Jesus was nailed to prior to his death and resurrection, providing the central miracle to the biblical narrative around which all other elements of the narrative of sin and redemption revolve" just to cater for this minority. The symbolism of flowers and animals, I'd leave out even though most people can no longer interpret them without help, as incidental to the main theme, other than in those cases like the early PRB where showing off the artist's understanding of symbolism is the purpose of the work, or something like The Ambassadors where the incidental symbolism is nowadays the part of most interest.

On a slightly broader note, I think the amount of required background varies according to the context in which people are likely to view the building/artwork/monument etc. Something like Statue of Liberty or Christ of Saint John of the Cross is going to be seen by a lot of people who know it's somehow significant but have no idea why (true confession; to this day I have no understanding of what the significance of the Liberty Bell is, despite having been told dozens of times). In these cases, it's reasonable to include more background information than would normally be expected IMO. – iridescent 14:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

I'd stick in the first bit of the Yarnwinder stuff at least. But even the most basic narrative scenes often have a good deal of complexity. I do a "wiki Christmas card" most years, for DYK on 25/12. This year Adoration of the Magi (Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi) which has plenty to chew on (and a little OR at the end) & I see now I diod more general explanation than I remembered. The Crucifixion, or the surrounding figures, need quite a lot of explanation. I've done Nativity of Jesus in art but the crucifixion will have to wait until I break both legs, although I've nibbled at the edges with Swoon of the Virgin and Ecclesia and Synagoga. Johnbod (talk) 23:30, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
@Johnbod: I may make a brief return to Wikipedia to tidy up some of the 19th century painting articles. I don't particularly like them either as artists or as people, but for something like The Mill (Burne-Jones painting) to be a redlink, or for The Last of England and Ecce Ancilla Domini to be a 500-word stub and a 330-word stub respectively does not reflect well on Wikipedia.

I know why Wikipedia's coverage of the 19th-century arts has such gaping gaps in it, but it doesn't make it any less of an embarrassment, given how thoroughly Wikipedia can cover Big Brother and Pokemon, that The Fighting Temeraire has a shorter article than USS Defiant, or that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is four times (!) longer than The Pickwick Papers. At the time of writing, the entire "plot" section of East Lynne—a three-volume behemoth which was one of the most popular works of the entire 19th century (and, until J K Rowling, probably the most successful work of fiction written by a woman) and which is notorious for having one of the most convoluted and complex plots of all time—is 54 words long. – iridescent 12:59, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Well that would be great. As usual on WP, the situation is much worse at the higher "topic" level: Victorian painting, Victorian poetry (2 paras in Victorian literature) - but then again Elizabethan literature. Aaargh! I touched up The Fighting Temeraire & I think it does an adequate job. Mind you, I've spent part of the afternoon at the Ashmolean's Blake exhibition, & Category:William Blake almost takes on the trains, boats & planes brigade. Johnbod (talk) 02:17, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
PS, of course HMS Temeraire (1798) is also far longer than the painting's article! Possibly it should be. Johnbod (talk) 02:44, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
My views on the "pages get worse the higher you go" issue are, I think, fairly well known. I don't generally see it as a problem that the high-level pages are fairly uniformly terrible on Wikipedia (Crop, Speech, Prose and Adult, take a bow); where Wikipedia shines is its ability to cover the more obscure topics in detail. If I wanted to know about crops, the fact that the Wikipedia article is 112 words long (!!!) is just an inconvenience, as I can find out about the topic elsewhere without any trouble—but Britannica and co aren't going to tell me about urad beans, marula, tatsoi and other individual crop species other than the usual cabbages and wheat.

That seems reasonable—as a rule of thumb, I would think there to generally be more to say about the subject of a history painting than about the artwork itself, aside from a few biblical or classical themes where very little is actually known about the subjects so the story is how the artist chose to represent the theme.

The Sirens and Ulysses
In defence of the trains, planes and boats brigade (my first ever FA was Hellingly Hospital Railway, so I feel honour-bound to come to their defence), part of the reason for the bloat in the number of articles in these topics is the insistence of the small cliques that own WP:RAIL and WP:MILHIST upon taking an "every grain of sand" approach, insisting that every individual ship, railway station etc has its own article even when there's very little to say about it. As recounted somewhere in the morass of text above, when I wrote Infrastructure of the Brill Tramway, the trains people were shrieking that every tram stop needed to be a separate stand-alone article, even though it's far more use to any reader to see them all listed together for comparison, and it meant ridiculous articles like Wood Siding railway station where the most exciting thing in the history (literally) was the fact that the stationmaster propped a ladder against an oak tree. (And then, when I did concede and do it as six separate articles, someone else accused me of only doing it because I was a "star collector" looking to get the credit for multiple articles.) To be fair, planes, trains and boats are nowhere near the worst offenders for the "every grain of sand" approach—species articles win hands-down on that one (List of non-marine molluscs of El Hatillo Municipality, Miranda, Venezuela, anyone?), with cricketers running them a close second. (The MCC archives caught fire in the 19th century, so nothing is actually known about most early cricketers other than their names on scorecards—but they played at least one match at the highest level, so per WP:Notability (sports) their articles can't be deleted, leading to such informative articles as Smith (Cambridge University cricketer (1831)).)

Much as I dislike Etty and everything he stood for, I am sorely tempted to push The Sirens and Ulysses (redlink, natch) through DYK, FAC and TFAR just to see Eric's current tormentors' discomfort at having a giant slab of Manchester-based muscle-man/naked-teenager/rotting-corpse Victorian proto-pornography on the main page. Although I opposed Cirt's "Fuck" nominations at TFAR for reasons I still stand by—tripping the porn filters and getting Wikipedia blacked out in schools hits the people who need it most the hardest—I am coming to see why he's doing it. While Wikipedia's had its fair share of problematic editors and disputes over how to deal with them in the past, the current situation seems to me to be the first time that Wikipedia has explicitly embraced the language of suppressive persons and potential trouble sources – iridescent 17:29, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

I think those Scientology terms describe quite well what's going on here, but it's never seemed any different to me. Eric Corbett 18:13, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
I think what's different is the lack of any pretence at fairness. In previous cases of people being declared non-persons by the WMF (Ottawa, Kohs, Peter Damian etc) you might not have agreed with it, but if you asked Jimmy Wales or Sue Gardner their reasoning, they'd talk you through how the decision was made and why. In your case the WMF are explicitly giving "I don't like you" as their reasoning. The fact that on this occasion the charge against your "incivility" is being led by the man who gave us You should however have instead taken your pen, punched a hole in her windpipe and looked on as her attempts to wave for help got increasingly feeble., You're a lifeless, soulless, dickless, witless, spineless individual who makes up for his own lack of social life or integrity by treating the ridicule of others as the first port of call in correspondence, thereby ensuring that you remain a corpulent unwanted cancer on the scrotum of humanity, and We could have a Peter Damian one! as anatomically vacant as a ken doll "punching him in the face feels like punching the real thing!" is not lost on me. – iridescent 18:26, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
But it's lost on those two, and their boss. Ottava Rima ought to have been allowed back ages ago, as I've said repeatedly. I don't ever recall working with with Peter Damien or Kohs, but from what I've seen of their contributions elsewhere I can't see any justification for the continuation of their bans. Unless of course it's just to stifle free speech, which seems increasingly likely. Eric Corbett 19:06, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Victorian painting and anal bleaching[edit]
I'm not too bothered about very common concepts like adult (which on a quick look seems to do a decent job, and whose hilarious lead pic justifies the price of admission alone) but I very much believe we should be doing things like Victorian painting well - actually Prof Google doesn't have much that is easily digested. One front line of wiki-prudery at the moment is Anal bleaching, where pics are not allowed (see talk). Johnbod (talk) 21:17, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Give me a few days, and I'll put the shell of Victorian painting together; I have enough floating about the house to create at least a core. I suspect it will end up being virtually a disambiguation page—Edwin Landseer, George Richmond, Horatio McCulloch, James McNeill Whistler, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti are only linked by geography and time, and lumping them together because they were prominent during the reign of Queen Victoria makes no more sense than lumping Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Malcolm Morley and Tracey Emin together as prominent during the reign of Elizabeth II.* If I limit it to "paintings which viewers think of as typically Victorian", realistically it's going to be a prelude on Frederic Leighton, the PRB's greatest hits as the main body, and a postscript on Watts.

Victoria's birth and death aren't really good cut-offs in a more general art historical sense. Either one takes Turner, Constable and Blake as marking the start of the period, all of whom pre-date the period (and two of whom died before her coronation), or one takes the foundation of the PRB more than a decade into her reign; likewise, typically "Victorian" symbolist/romanticist art remained the predominant theme until vorticism and the War shook things up.

It comes as little surprise that the Shock And Disgust at anal bleaching turns out to be orchestrated by the GGTF. (The mind boggles at how this is covered by the "gender gap", since the article makes it clear the procedure is used on both male and female bumholes.) If it's not possible to source "before" and "after" pictures of the same person, I can kind of see the point that the images are potentially misleading, given that it's not possible for the viewer to know what effect is down to the bleaching and what is down to natural coloration. Given Wikipedia's connection to the International Penis Selfie Database, it would surely be possible to find something suitable. (If you're looking for pictures of unattractive arseholes with an unnatural level of whiteness, this page would be a good place to start.) – iridescent 18:48, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

*Even the Tate Gallery has belatedly recognised the stupidity of trying to categorise British art by date, and has finally re-curated their permanent collection by theme. By a happy coincidence, this re-hanging has led to the most poster-friendly works (Ophelia, The Painter and his Pug, Beata Beatrix, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, Flatford Mill) all being near the gift shops.

That would be great! I forgot that I (mostly) had done a section in Art of the United Kingdom - I've now redirected Victorian art there, though there's precious little on sculpture. Some of that fits your prospectus above. I'll leave Victorian painting in the hopes you take it. Johnbod (talk) 22:38, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The Sirens and Ulysses is now blue. It would be appreciated if you could look it over—this is my first significant mainspace edit for four years, and I have no great desire to read VAMOS to see how it's changed so it's probably in breach of something. I'll do Victorian painting when I get the chance. – iridescent 22:44, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Very nice - nothing much on a quick one-over. I've added a (no doubt ineffectual) Pharoah's Curse against an infobox; please remove if that doesn't convey your views. I notice that Manchester Art Gallery contains NO links to articles on specific works there, nor does it have a category! Pah. Johnbod (talk) 15:21, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
The lack of an infobox is as much to make a point as anything else—as RexxS once pointed out to me, my views on the box-or-no-box debate are actually more strongly in the pro camp than Andy Mabbett's. That said, I think this is a poster child for "article which is more appropriate without an infobox"; there is literally nothing an infobox would include that isn't already in the sentence "The Sirens and Ulysses is a large oil painting on canvas by the English artist William Etty, first exhibited in 1837", and keeping it box-less allows the lead image to be large enough that the viewer can actually see what it's a painting of.
I did notice the lack of a Manchester Art Gallery category when I was trying to find appropriate categories for this. I believe (but don't quote me) this may actually be the first Wikipedia article on a work in the MAG—at least, I can't think of any others. (The only really well-known work I can think of in the MAG collection is Leighton's Captive Andromache For its size and importance, the MAG actually has very few well-known works; back in the 19th century the Walker Gallery and even the deservedly-maligned Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery did a much better job at picking works that in hindsight were of lasting significance, whereas the MAG tends to be full of tat which mill owners thought would look nice on their bedroom wall. Plus, Manchester has never been a hotbed of painting so there's no local boy to fill the space; the one Manchester artist who actually is of major significance, Lowry, had all the important works poached to Salford. (I look forward to the irate post from someone at WP:GM about my slur on their great artistic tradition, to which I reply that the word "artist" only appears twice on List of people from Manchester, for Fee Plumley and Peter Saville respectively. No, me neither.) – iridescent 16:22, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Alfred Waterhouse was an artist with a drawing board and a set square. And he worked in Manchester. Does that count? Nev1 (talk) 17:23, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not dissing the creativity of Manchester—Manchester was where George Stephenson, Frederic C Williams, Metrovick and Marx & Engels between them designed and built the entire modern world (and where a provincial coroner in Eccles made the landmark ruling on liability for industrial accidents that made the modern world possible), has a musical heritage ranging from Barbirolli to Bez, and a remarkable architectural history in those places like Ancoats where neither the council nor the IRA managed to get at the buildings—but for whatever reason, virtually no tradition of the fine arts. This is probably not unconnected to the fact that for most of the nineteenth century the entire place was generally invisible under a blanket of smog. – iridescent 11:30, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
(adding) I was also astonished at how little Wikipedia has on the actual story—I was expecting to need to include a "this is about the painting, for the story of Ulysses and the Sirens see XXXXX" hatnote, but aside from two sentences at Siren (mythology) and one sentence in Odyssey it doesn't appear to be covered anywhere on Wikipedia. – iridescent 16:34, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
(ec)At the least there's Work (painting), The Hireling Shepherd, The Scapegoat (painting) (all waaaaaay better known than the Leighton, surely), Cromwell, Protector of the Vaudois, Manfred on the Jungfrau (Madox Brown), Stages of Cruelty. I bet there are a few more - some may not even be Pre-Raphaelite. I think Manchester was almost entirely reliant on gifts - Brum had Thomas Bodkin and a budget for a crucial period, when prices were cheap. According to Wikipedia, the Barber was only founded in 1932, and only had 7 paintings when Bodkin took over on 1935 - it's a collection formed in the Depression. Not that it has a frigging category either - there's at least The Harvest Wagon. Johnbod (talk) 16:45, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
I probably have an exaggerated impression of the significance of the Leighton, as last time I was in the MAG a lunatic attacked it with a knife, which is the kind of thing that leaves an impression. – iridescent 17:02, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
What, while you were in the building? Wow. I see I've been mixing up the Barber and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, not having been to either for a long time. The latter also has no category, but a gallery of top works with articles, just what Manchester needs. Johnbod (talk) 17:05, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
I imagine the people who write about Manchester have by and large had the drive kicked out of them by now, given the sustained assault they've been under. WP:WikiProject Greater Manchester#Participants reads like the Wikimedia Foundation's private death list. – iridescent 17:17, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Just noticed I never replied to your original question—yes, while I was in the building, although I was on another floor so all I knew of it was an alarm sounding and some flustered staff. Captive Andromache has form for being damaged; it also got attacked by suffragettes back in 1913. (Suffragette attacks on railway stations is another redlink I have a vague intention of turning blue at some point, as the suffragette anti-railway campaign is something that's completely forgotten nowadays—at least three stations—Saunderton, Blaby and Leuchars—were not just damaged but destroyed.) – iridescent 17:35, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Thoughts on the form of Sirens[edit]
The Disembarkation at Marseilles

Regarding [7], I think Etty was the first to show them in human form although it's not something I know a great deal about; certainly Robinson seems to think he was. All the sirens I can think of in art prior to Etty either had chicken feet, or fish scales. The fully human women in classical art are nymphs, nereids and sprites rather than true sirens—the Metamorphoses makes it very clear that the sirens were part-bird. Richard Green claims Etty's sirens were a lift from the nymphs in The Disembarkation at Marseilles, which seems eminently plausible—Etty certainly liked the work enough that he made his own copy while in France. – iridescent 18:31, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I thought so. A look at Commons shows vast numbers of artists following the top-shelf approach after him; I couldn't see any before. I've started Category:Collection of Manchester Art Gallery, now 10 strong. I'm sure there are more. Actually Category:Collections of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has 15. No Barber, Port Sunlight cats. See Category:Collections of museums in the United Kingdom. Johnbod (talk) 18:42, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Male Nude with Arms Up-Stretched
If you don't mind a bit of extreme OR, Etty was unschooled in both the literal and the figurative sense—he'd been an apprentice printer before he discovered he had a knack for illustration. Since he hadn't had either the training in Ancient Greek classics, nor the academic training in the 'correct' way to paint various subjects, he presumably didn't feel it necessary to follow the traditional approach.

I don't know if he sparked a revolution, or if it was just a change in fashion (presumably inspired by the PRB), but chimeras seem to disappear from English art altogether at about this time, not just in the case of sirens—aside from heraldic uses and a couple of mermaids I can't think of any more recent gryphon, minotaur, selkie etc in any significant work. Someone will no doubt pop up to correct me.

I may make another brief return to Etty, having come across the sheer what-the-hell-is-going-on-here factor of Male Nude with Arms Up-Stretched. If Sirens was considered obscene, I can't imagine what the Victorians must have made of this, which looks like the promotional poster for a gay sex club as painted by a Soviet Realist. – iridescent 19:03, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

@Johnbod, noticed your tidy-up of Manchester Art Gallery and categorisation of the paintings. Can you think of a way that isn't horribly clumsy to make it clear on Work (painting) that FMB painted this one twice; there's a large version of it in Manchester and a slightly different version in Birmingham; he finished them both at the same time, so one can't treat the first one finished as "the original" and relegate the other(s) to "replica" as Wikipedia does with Beata Beatrix. The Last of England (painting) (Cambridge and Birmingham) has the same problem; interestingly, in both cases it's the Brummies who get overlooked in the infobox. – iridescent 11:33, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Likewise The Derby Day and The Scapegoat. Aren't the articles clear enough? My preferred solution to all the many art infobox problems is to remove the infobox, but I think they can cope with 2 versions; . The Scapegoat just has two. Johnbod (talk) 02:43, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
TLOE yes, Work no—the article only discusses it as a single piece and makes no mention of there being multiple versions, so any reader would reasonably assume that only one version exists, and that if they want to see it, they need to go to Manchester. It's not something I'd lose sleep over—for something like Virgin of the Rocks with a high number of readers who are specifically interested in the differences between the versions it's necessary (although whoever thought the best solution to two copies of a painting existing is two infoboxes should be drowned like a kitten), but unless and until Dan Brown writes The Pre-Raphaelite Code there's not going to be the same stream of people wanting to know where and how they can make a pilgrimage to the original to search for the hidden clues every art historian in the world missed up to now. (3200 views in the past three months; for comparison Tarrare had 100,000.) Besides, anyone interested enough in FMB that they'd want to know where they could find Work would presumably have Birmingham Art Gallery on their to-do list anyway for TLOE and Pretty Baa Lambs so would find it when they got there. – iridescent 11:30, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually Andy Mabbett appeared to me in a vision last night, with a fiery sword, and I have added the Brum Work, with a 2nd infobox. The Brum ref you gave above has raised an issue as to whether we date the Manchester one correctly. Johnbod (talk) 18:49, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know, but I suspect both sources are "right" regarding the completion date. The PRB were notorious for tinkering and retouching; I can quite believe that FMB completed it in 1863, then came back and made some changes a couple of years later. – iridescent 19:09, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Almost 13,000 views. Sex and death is still a winning combination, it appears. – iridescent 20:16, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Texas Revolution peer review[edit]

Hi Iridescent. I've just opened a peer review for Texas Revolution as the final step before we try for FA status. I hope I've addressed all the concerns/comments that you made earlier, and I'd very much appreciate it if you could take another look and let us know what you think. Warning: it's really long now. Thanks! Karanacs (talk) 14:52, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Will do. All you people in the thread above, that goes for you as well, particularly Eric, since you're presumably the ones who'll be supporting or opposing at FAC. – iridescent 16:25, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Karanacs, I've not forgotten—will get to this when I get the chance. – iridescent 13:11, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

DYK:The Sirens and Ulysses[edit]

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of The Sirens and Ulysses at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! It is a really interesting article. Borsoka (talk) 06:54, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Replied there. – iridescent 19:07, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The Sirens and Ulysses[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of The Sirens and Ulysses[edit]

Hi there, I'm pleased to inform you that I've begun reviewing the article The Sirens and Ulysses you nominated for GA-status according to the criteria. Time2wait.svg This process may take up to 7 days. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have during this period. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Prhartcom -- Prhartcom (talk) 21:41, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Long-winded replies there. Johnbod, Victoriaearle, do feel free to comment there also if you have any points to make. – iridescent 21:58, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of The Sirens and Ulysses[edit]

The article The Sirens and Ulysses you nominated as a good article has passed Symbol support vote.svg; see Talk:The Sirens and Ulysses for comments about the article. Well done! If the article has not already been on the main page as an "In the news" or "Did you know" item, you can nominate it to appear in Did you know. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Prhartcom -- Prhartcom (talk) 22:21, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Belated responses[edit]

Hi Iri, just to let you know, that yes I have seen the pings, and meant to reply earlier. I did take a look at The Sirens and Ulysses, which is nicely done. The real reason I'm finally here is a very late response to the earlier comments about repetition across articles. I've been working on an article about a Hemingway collection of short stories and knew when I saw the initial comment (whenever that was) that I'd be copying quite a bit of text across the suite from article to article. I'm in the process of doing that now (because for some reason the library keeps sending email to return the book!) and I have a clearer sense of how to answer the question. It's useful to copy basic information rather than expecting the reader to click in and out of the parent article. The two articles I've recently created, "Out of Season" and "My Old Man" each share basic background info. Each has separate theme, style, lit crit. sections that might get fully developed at some point. Anyway, long-winded answer to a very old conversation. Not even sure why I'm answering now, except that the copying from article to article reminded me of that conversation. And since I've typed all this out, might as well hit save and force you (and others) to plow through it. Also, totally off-topic, but I've never forgotten your suggestion to work on Struwwelpeter. I just took a look at that page and was like, yikes, what a mess! Victoria (tk) 21:00, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

As I think I say somewhere in the morass above, my unofficial rule of thumb regarding the minimum amount of basic information is "if a reasonably bright 14-year-old were trying to find out about this topic using only a printout of the Wikipedia article, is there anything they'd need to look up elsewhere for the article to make sense?". Yes, it makes for articles like the much-maligned Wotton railway station or yesterdays TFA Afonso, Prince Imperial of Brazil, where the background dominates the article because it's necessary for the article to make sense, and there's not enough to say about the topic itself to balance it out, but that's IMO an acceptable tradeoff—comprehension is more important than aesthetics.
The odd thing about Struwwelpeter is that even de:Struwwelpeter, which one would expect to be a reasonably high-priority article there, looks in equally sorry condition. Someone, somewhere, must have written an in-depth academic study of the thing. – iridescent 17:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)