Many high-quality lists came through the featured list process in 2012, and I had the opportunity to review many of them. My personal favorite among 2012's promotions is Boden Professor of Sanskrit, a unique list on a University of Oxford position. The list is not one of the longest to be promoted last year, but the research behind it is impeccable and the backstory behind the creation of the position is interesting even to those who know nothing about the Sanskrit language, like myself. In addition, the work on this list led directly to the creation of a spin-off article that achieved featured article status. Boden Professor of Sanskrit shows that featured lists can be every bit as well-researched as longer articles, and that lists can be more than just a bunch of data-filled tables.
The Rambling Man
We have a very diverse set of subjects nominated at WP:FLC, but in 2012, within the nearly 240 promotions, I found a pair of lists that were just a little bit "more" diverse than our usual fare. Firstly, the list of chronometers on HMS Beagle, nominated by Spinningspark in May was a really engaging piece of work combining nice prose, with useful tables, great images and gave prominence to a really niche subject matter. My second choice, nominated by a group of enthusiastic editors led by Serendipodous, is the timeline of the far future, successful in August on its third attempt at FLC, just going to show that you should "try, try and try again". Another really unusual but very welcome subject for our featured lists.
It was with great difficulty that I tried to narrow all of the Featured List promotions of the year down to a bare few, and in the end rather than just one I came up with four that I found particularly interesting in their subject matter and impressive in their construction. These are: List of Olympic medalists in art competitions, for capturing a realm of competition I think most people do not know existed; List of chronometers on HMS Beagle, for a fascinating deep dive into a niche area that was of great importance at the time; List of battlecruisers, as one of the capstones of the incredibly massive and long-running Operation Majestic Titan project; and my personal favorite for the year, Timeline of the far future, for the sheer scope of the far-flung events it covers.
Neville Cardus (nom) by Brianboulton and Tim riley. Cardus (1888–1975) was an English writer and critic. Born to a poor family, the self-educated man became cricket correspondent of The Manchester Guardian in 1919; he would stay with that newspaper, as a cricket and music critic, until his death. He is credited with revolutionising cricket writing with his vivid description and criticism, although he considered music criticism his prime vocation.
Laevistrombus canarium (nom) by Daniel Cavallari. L. canarium, commonly known as the dog conch, is a commercially important, edible sea snail native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. First described in 1758, the snail lives on muddy and sandy bottoms, grazing on algae and detritus, and is preyed on by larger snails and vertebrates. Its heavy shell is valued as an ornament.
Lady Saigō (nom) by Boneyard90. Lady Saigō (1552–1589) was consort and confidante to the Japanese shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Born to a family which was vassal to the Tokugawa clan, she began a relationship with Ieyasu after being widowed. Lady Saigō influenced Ieyasu's policies and bore the shogun two children, one of whom went on to be shogun himself.
Sawtooth National Forest (nom) by Fredlyfish4. Sawtooth National Forest is a federally protected area in the US states of Idaho and Utah covering 2,102,461 acres (850,836 ha). Named for the Sawtooth Mountains, it was established in 1905 and contains several mountain ranges, sagebrush steppe, spruce-fir forests, alpine tundra, and over 1,100 lakes and 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of rivers and streams. The area is now a major tourist site, with more than a million visitors annually.
Air discography (nom) by Holiday56. The French duo Air have released twelve albums, twenty-two singles and sixteen music videos since their debut in 1995. Their biggest hit was Talkie Walkie in 2004, which topped out at number 3 on the French charts.
Theodore Sturgeon Award (nom) by PresN. The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is presented annually to the author of the best short science fiction story published in English in the preceding calendar year. Established in 1987, the award has had over 150 nominees.
List of Prime Ministers of Pakistan (nom) by Sahara4u. Pakistan has seen seventeen prime ministers since the position was established in 1947; an additional five people have held the position as caretakers. None have served longer than six years.
Vipera xanthina (nom; related article), created by Benny Trapp and nominated by Tomer T. V. xanthina is a venomous viper species found in northeastern Greece and Turkey. It can grow to over 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) long and prefers rocky areas with heavy vegetation.
Poster for Don Quichotte (nom; related article), created by Georges Rochegrosse, restored and nominated by Adam Cuerden. Don Quichotte is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Caïn. It was based on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
The Splatters (nom; related article), created by SpikySnail Games and nominated by Sven Manguard. The Splatters is a physics-based puzzle video game for the Xbox Live Arcade which was developed by SpikySnail Games and released in April 2012.
Ivory soap ad (nom; related article), created by Strobridge Lith. Co., restored and nominated by Adam Cuerden. Ivory is a brand of soap developed by Procter & Gamble in the late 1870s. Known for floating in the bath, the slogan "It floats!" gained currency beginning in 1891.
Painted Stork (nom; related article), by JJ Harrison. The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wading bird in the stork family found in parts of Asia. A wader which rarely migrates, it feeds on small fish it finds by touch.
Machu Picchu (nom; related article), created by S23678 and nominated by Hahc21. Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located in the Peruvian Andes. Although isolated, since its rediscovery in 1911 it has become a popular tourist destination.