Talk:Grand Coulee Dam

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Featured article Grand Coulee Dam is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 15, 2011.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 2, 2011 Peer review Reviewed
February 19, 2011 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Public Works Administration[edit]

From the text on 9/29/11 In late 1928, the Public Works Administration began clearing the reservoir zone of trees and other plants. The PWA did not exist until 1933.

Randy Golden (talk) 10:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Nice catch, I re-checked the source and made the necessary corrections. Thanks.--NortyNort (Holla) 15:03, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Quotes[edit]

The Woody Guthrie quote should probably be trans-wikied to Wikiquote. Icelight July 7, 2005 18:57 (UTC)

In addition to Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan mentioned the Grand Coulee Dam in "Idiot Wind," a well-known song of his. Not sure if this, combined with Guthrie's songs, merits a "trivia/references in popular culture" section.

Reversion of new edits[edit]

I just reverted a long series of edits. I recognize that they represent a great deal of work, and that there's probably a lot of value in there; much of it should probably be restored.

But the main flag for me was that the 3rd edit in the article removed a full citation to a newspaper article, and replaced it with a link citation to a privately-maintained web site. This is a significant problem, see the policy on verifiability and the guideline on reliable sources for a fuller explanation. -Pete (talk) 16:59, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Corrections[edit]

I just changed the source for the 3rd edit back to what it had been, plus made a few other changes to promote verifiability as much as possible. No harm intended. Djrdavid (talk) 21:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your quick attention to that. But I'm seeing other citations that got removed as well, for instance here. I just reverted again, because your edits are so extensive it's very hard to find individual omissions like that.
I can see that much of what you're putting in comes from a very informed perspective, which is excellent. If you can just be more careful about preserving existing citations, and use the edit summaries to make it clearer what you're changing in each edit, that would make this all much easier. I've been following this article for a while, and I'm really happy to see someone working on it who obviously knows its history well. -Pete (talk) 02:28, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I understand the need to be impartial in articles, but as currently, it's as if there were no politics involved in creating Grand Coulee dam at all. I am going to take a whack at the background section, and see if I can add more information and still be fair. (I also noticed that the first paragraph of the background section is identical to the first para of the History section of the Columbia Basic Project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Basin_Project). I will try to cite early and often, and use my edit summaries. I'm still new at this, so feel free to give advice. <g> Sherrold (talk) 21:02, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Ft[edit]

Template:Ft has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. — pete 14:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

WHere does the name Grand Coulee come from?[edit]

what is the origin of the name Grand Coulee?

The Grand Coulee (a truly grand coulee) is located immediately to the south of the dam. The granite which kept the Grand Coulee from cutting deeper also serves as the anchor for the dam. Williamborg (Bill) 01:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Mile long inconsistency[edit]

The Expansion section says that the dam is more than a mile long. The introduction says that the dam is almost (meaning "less than") a mile long. This ought to be reconciled. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.112.25.123 (talk) 06:29, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

All of the Pyramids of Giza could fit within its base?[edit]

The Grand Coulee Dam is 500 feet wide at the base while the Great pyramid is 756 ft by 756 ft along one side of its base. It is also not true that all of other pyramids would fit within its base as the Pyramid of Khafre is 706 ft by 706 ft. The Pyramids are only worth mentioning for volume comparisons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.112.118.248 (talk) 01:11, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

The dam is also 5223 ft. long, so it creates a massive total area. If the great pyramid's base is about 1/4 the size of of the Coulee's, then one could say that the two other smaller pyramids would fit within that area. That factoid in the article is based off of a total area. (5223 x 500) compared to (756 x 756). Will make a few changes though.--NortyNort (talk) 03:56, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good, my point was simply that no matter how you turned the pyramids of Khufu and Khafre they wouldn't fit in the base of the dam.
I thought this was a famous claim made by the Bureau of Reclamation, but I don't see it on their website. This site makes the claim for just the "Great Pyramid of Giza" (not a great source in any case). Pfly (talk) 02:41, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Gotcha, it needed to be reworded; good catch. Theoretically, the factoid is true but based off of numbers, you can probably throw the Sphinx and a few more landmarks in there too. I have no qualms of whether it is in the article or not. --NortyNort (talk) 02:46, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Amphetamines for Workers[edit]

My grandfather worked on building the dam during the depression, lived in a tent with a gasoline powered washing machine and lit by an attached electrical generator. According to my grandmother a physician would issue amphetamines (benzadrine?) when workers arrived and again at lunch to make them work harder. She claimed this lead to a nervous breakdown. I have not yet been able to find a published source for the drugging of workers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.67.35.35 (talk) 16:19, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Prescribing amphetamines to tired workers was not uncommon then, and Benzadrine was one of the most widely used. A source for the generic statement probably shouldn't be too hard to find, but finding one specific to Grand Coulee Dam workers may be a taller order. Joefromrandb (talk) 22:45, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Future FA[edit]

I have been working on this article with the goal of getting it to peer review than FA status here in the future. If anyone would like to help, feel free. I am going to add more information but wanted to open a discussion here for anyone interested. If anything, this can be a to-do list. Some areas currently needing expansion are:

  • Construction:
  • Cofferdams and their immense size.
  • Powerhouses; how they were constructed.
  • Pumping station, after all this was a big reason the dam was built. Energy was a priority after construction and the pumps took a backseat but their construction, before the pump-generators were added, is important. The information shouldn't overlap much into the "Irrigation"/Columbia Basin Project section.
  • Other gaps in construction
  • Impacts: the Native American aspect to the story is interesting and important to the projects history. Some info is in there now, but may be expanded.
  • Expansions: more on the Third Powerplant and pump-generators.
  • Spillway: the spillway took a lot of abuse prior to the Columbia River Treaty and Canada building dams upstream. This caused structural problems in the dam.

There are a lot pictures already but some resources are here at BOR, here and here at LOC. All literary resources I have are linked in the bibliography/references already. The article is looking good IMO and needs some work but is getting there. Any help would be appreciated.--NortyNort (Holla) 09:41, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

As a veteran with NortyNort of the Hoover Dam FA project, I will be helping out here too. I have a couple of books.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:40, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Does one happen to be Grand Coulee: Harnessing a Dream? I don't have the full book and it along with its author appear to be the expert on the subject.--NortyNort (Holla) 16:44, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, haven't read it yet. In California before going to that seminar in Vegas late in the week, I brought it with me. The other is mostly pictures, but seems to have some useful background info.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:17, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Neat, there are a lot of areas cited to Harnessing a Dream but w/ no page numbers. The other one I assume is Images of America:Grand Coulee Dam which is used and already cited as well. I used Harvard citations throughout the article. I am going to work on the Third Powerplant and the pumping station probably this week. The flow of the construction section may be awkward, I have been placing sub-sections and info here and there.--NortyNort (Holla) 11:40, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Correct, I read that one on Sunday. The Harnessing book I have just started and what with other things it may take me several days to read.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:19, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, the article looks in decent shape. I don't think it will take as much work as with Hoover Dam to get it moving towards good or featured status.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:42, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Good to hear and Hoover didn't require an immense amount of work either. I am still working on getting some more literary sources to fill/clarify some gaps.--NortyNort (Holla) 22:48, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, keep me posted on that.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:31, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
In the background section and possible elsewhere, I cited the book you are currently reading but I didn't have page numbers. Sort of a long story but I know the info came from the book. Are there any areas other than above where you think attention is needed?--NortyNort (Holla) 03:58, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Dunno, I'll do a copyedit as I go along and look to add detail in the areas you mention need bulking up.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:52, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Grand Coulee Plateau[edit]

A minor point: The term "Grand Coulee Plateau" is not one I had heard before. It is not listed in the USGS's GNIS database. I'd be more inclined to use a term like Columbia Plateau or Columbia Basin, even though the irrigated region is but a small portion of either (and the term "basin" has multiple meanings). But instead of trying to change it, I thought I'd ask here first. Are there sources that use of the term "Grand Coulee Plateau"? I also find the shorter "Coulee plateau" usage odd, as in ...proposal to irrigate the Coulee plateau... It sounds odd not just because the coulee and the plateau are opposites in a way--the coulee being a gap in the plateau--but also because the plateau immediately around the coulee was never irrigated nor, as far as I know, ever intended to be irrigated by the dam--rather the plateau lands to the south of the south end of Grand Coulee, yes? Anyway, I'll try to look over the article more carefully for places to improve things. Pfly (talk) 03:40, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Good point. Not sure where I got that from, maybe because it is above the river and I saw it somewhere. From what I read now, the Grand Coulee "Plateau" is the Grand Coulee, part of the Columbia Plateau. I will make the need changes. Thanks for pointing that out!--NortyNort (Holla) 03:56, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
It's an odd landscape, alright. Weird driving across it, all rather flat and not seeming much like a "plateau", then you come to a coulee and the road switchbacks down a near cliff into a dry canyon and back out. Very odd. Of course Grand Coulee itself is now filled with water, but there are other striking coulees still dry. The whole region's terrain is pretty weird. I'll help as I can with the FAC! Pfly (talk) 06:50, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. If you didn't point that out, I would've indicated the mostly wrong reason in the article as to how the Coulee was created. Hopefully all else goes well. I want to go out to the Northwest one of these days. Stuff like that must be nice to visit and see.--NortyNort (Holla) 08:43, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
It is the most beautiful part of the country, you know! Though the winters get a bit old after a while, sigh. Pfly (talk) 10:52, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Possible source[edit]

I wonder if you all might be interested in an article about the dam in DGER Information Circular 86. Also has maps and diagrams. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:16, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Woody Guthrie[edit]

The article is in Category:Woody Guthrie, but as far as I can see there's no mention of the Woody Guthrie song in the article. As much as Wikipedia discourages "in popular culture" sections, I'd think that the song would be sufficiently noteworthy to merit a mention, perhaps in the context of the planned and abandoned PR film discussed at Woodie Guthrie#Pacific Northwest. I'm sure that many people outside the Pacific Northwest know of this dam primarily via Guthrie's music; his absence from this article seems a glaring omission. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:41, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

When I overhauled the article, the "Popular culture" section was removed. I think Guthrie was about all that was in there and I didn't re-add it later. That's probably because I didn't see him much in particular sources. I can't think of a spot to stick it now other than a link in the See also. I don't know how much of an impact he had on the specific dam's construction or planning. I have an RS here. Maybe the dam had more of an impact on his career?--NortyNort (Holla) 09:31, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd remove the category. I think that despite the popularity of Guthrie's song, it really has no place in the article. If there were some sort of official recognition of Guthrie at the dam, say a monument or something, I might feel differently. This is a historical and engineering article.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:52, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I've now created a stub at Grand Coulee Dam (song). Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:17, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Ok, I will add that stub to the See also and remove the cat. I agree, Guthrie is isn't mentioned much in references on the dam which indicates he isn't a notable part of the project. Maybe he was for the Columbia Basin Project but specifically the dam, I don't think so.--NortyNort (Holla) 13:19, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Nevermind, the hatnote suffices.--NortyNort (Holla) 13:20, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I suppose so. The stub is a very good start, establishing notability for the song, and the hatnote will direct interested readers there. An argument could still be made that although Guthrie's involvement in the dam was itself minimal, the song helped spread the dam's fame worldwide; but I won't push it. :) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:24, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I will research him more to get a better idea. I am still looking for more on tourism as well.--NortyNort (Holla) 22:08, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, the dam was pretty famous before Guthrie got his hands on it. If we're playing Family Feud, this is going to be the #2 answer with Hoover #1 to "Name a dam."--Wehwalt (talk) 22:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The song was written in 1941 to boost the federal power regulation image and the dam was just about complete by then. The debate surrounding the federal takeover of Grand Coulee Dam was in 1934/35 and the decision final by August 1935. So, the song couldn't have had a direct impact on that debate and was meant to on the basin's power production. In addition to the various debates before construction, the size of the dam, difficulty building it, the Third Powerplant made it more famous in the 1970s. I don't think the song had a due enough effect on the dam's fame for inclusion in the article, especially with no good spots to place it and no references stating that the song was significant with the image of the dam.--NortyNort (Holla) 02:05, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

WP:MOS[edit]

In the opening sentence, I changed "U.S." to "United States", as "U.S." goes against WP:MOS. However, "in the United States state of Washington" doesn't seem to read very well. Would simply, "in the state of Washington" be acceptable? Joefromrandb (talk) 18:10, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I changed it to U.S. state of Washington. There are many other FA pages that use U.S. state (eg, Columbia River). The MOS is a guide and need not be strictly adhered to in every case. This seems like a reasonable exception to me. Pfly (talk) 19:35, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not thrilled with that, but it's better than the way it was. I don't really agree with the statement about the other FA's, which, with all due respect, sounds like WP:OTHERSTUFF, and a reason to fix up those articles. However, this is an argument for another day, as I'm not about to re-revert on the featured article of the day. Joefromrandb (talk) 21:16, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Pfly in this case; it works best. This article just went through FAC and it wasn't changed or brought up. I assume no changes like that to the first sentence mean it is acceptable. Hanford Site uses it as well.--NortyNort (Holla) 21:41, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I do understand what both of you are saying. Your points are certainly valid, and I'm sure you will find plenty of company in others who feel it's just fine to use "U.S.". Even though I disagree, I do so respectfully, and if I do decide to pursue a discussion about this, it will not be today. It's a pet peeve of mine; certainly nothing that detracts from a fine article. Consider my objection for all intents and purposes, dropped. Joefromrandb (talk) 21:57, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I can see your point too, Joefromrandb. Maybe something for Talk:U.S. state? That page is used a lot, often in opening sentences. I like it because it not only says what the country in question is (the U.S.) but also explains what it means to be a state. As I see it, this issue is part of the legacy we've inherited by the founders of the U.S. deciding to give the country one of the most awkward names possible! Sometimes I wish they had gone with something like Columbia instead. Unfortunately, of the two founders most interested in names, Franklin was too old during the Constitutional draft era, and Jefferson was in France. Pfly (talk) 01:19, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
It's pretty consistent with Washington state FAs as well. I think a similar problem is the usage of "America" to refer to the U.S. instead of the continents.--NortyNort (Holla) 03:56, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The more I think about it, "U.S. state" seems fine. My earlier objection was ill-thought out. I get a bit irked when i see articles littered with "US" and "UK", but as you correctly pointed out, this is a reasonable exception. "U.S. state" is a good choice, for the reasons you noted. While I didn't care for the way it was presented before the changes we made, my original thoughts were, roughly: "Your version is acceptable, but mine is better." Allow me to correct that: Mine was acceptable. Yours is better. Joefromrandb (talk) 05:11, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Blacklisted Links Found on the Main Page[edit]

Cyberbot II has detected that page contains external links that have either been globally or locally blacklisted. Links tend to be blacklisted because they have a history of being spammed, or are highly innappropriate for Wikipedia. This, however, doesn't necessarily mean it's spam, or not a good link. If the link is a good link, you may wish to request whitelisting by going to the request page for whitelisting. If you feel the link being caught by the blacklist is a false positive, or no longer needed on the blacklist, you may request the regex be removed or altered at the blacklist request page. If the link is blacklisted globally and you feel the above applies you may request to whitelist it using the before mentioned request page, or request its removal, or alteration, at the request page on meta. When requesting whitelisting, be sure to supply the link to be whitelisted and wrap the link in nowiki tags. The whitelisting process can take its time so once a request has been filled out, you may set the invisible parameter on the tag to true. Please be aware that the bot will replace removed tags, and will remove misplaced tags regularly.

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Ranking of US and World Dams[edit]

In the infobox (or article) it would be nice to know how the power generation, height, etc compare to dams in the US and/or the world. This is what we do with major mountains of the world: rank them by height above sea-level. It would offer a quick sense of perspective.--Lucas559 (talk) 23:02, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Checked the link and it's working.Scotteaton92 (talk) 13:39, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

References on WP:BLACKLIST[edit]

@NortyNort: recently reverted my edit which added a link which is on the MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. NortyNort said "source is reliable, not spam." I think that this reversion was unwarranted. The correct action would be to request de-blacklisting.Scotteaton92 (talk) 14:43, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Looking through the history of that URL, it seems unlikely that an attempt to de-list it would succeed. It was already delisted once and then relisted because someone was still spamming it all over the place. Might have to find a new source. --Laser brain (talk) 13:55, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
I remember an old discussion from years back about some person or company associated with the website being the reason. Editors that work engineering articles found the black list a bit silly and I think we can use a little common sense here. It's a reliable source I have worked with a lot.--NortyNort (Holla) 17:57, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Works for me. Can we just remove the hyperlink and solve the blacklist problem that way? I don't know how these things work. --Laser brain (talk) 18:12, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
@Laser brain:, in order to remove a link from WP:BLACKLIST first discuss it at MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist. Scotteaton92 (talk) 02:14, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
@NortyNort:, I think that we should avoid the "___-technology.com" websites, as they are essentially encyclopedia articles with no sources or authors listed. Scotteaton92 (talk) 02:14, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
I have yet to find an issue with the website's reliability. Do you know who writes them? The website's ["About us" doesn't indicate it is an encyclopedia. Not ever article has sources and authors.--NortyNort (Holla) 13:22, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

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