Talk:Scottish National Antarctic Expedition

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WikiProject Scotland (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
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Featured articleScottish National Antarctic Expedition 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 trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 17, 2015.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
May 26, 2008Good article nomineeListed
July 24, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
August 6, 2008Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article

Article development[edit]

This is now under way. Lead section posted today. Brianboulton (talk) 18:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

More details added. Brianboulton (talk) 17:13, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Lots more added. Time to remove the stub? Brianboulton (talk) 09:12, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Article completed. Brianboulton (talk) 22:21, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

/Archive 1[edit]

GA review discussion archived

Dogs?[edit]

Did SNAE have dogs hauling sledges? I see no mention in Speak and even a picture (pp 106 - 7) of man-hauling, albeit in Spitsbergen. Finavon (talk) 17:51, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Speak doesn't mention dogs but they were there. Page 76 of The Voyage of the Scotia (Rudmose Brown et al), reads: "We set out on July 8, a bright cold day, with the temperature just about zero. The surface of the ice was excellent, and the dogs took the sledge out to the camp in style". This is in reference to the sledging trips mentioned in the First voyage section. I have now cited this mention to the Rudmose Brown book. Brianboulton (talk) 18:33, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Finavon (talk) 18:52, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Dates[edit]

A trivial point, but the photo of Kerr and the penguin probably dates to c. 10-12 March, not 25 March, 1904 - see here. I'll drop the specific day from the caption. Andrew Gray (talk) 00:07, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Scotia[edit]

I've created an article on Scotia. Editors with access to sources used in this article may be in a position to expand the article. As always, improvements and corrections are welcome too. Mjroots (talk) 08:51, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Omond House[edit]

Is Omond House still standing? Has it been preserved as a historical relic? PhilUK (talk) 22:34, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 December 2016[edit]

I recommend that the caption on the picture depicting Gilbert Kerr playing bagpipes to a penguin be edited to either correctly describe the penguin as captive, as attested to here http://sites.scran.ac.uk/voyage_of_the_scotia/scotia/vs031-042.htm, or else at least have the "indifferent" modifier removed. The blatant foolishness of the left/right edits does not alter the existence of actual evidence that the penguin was being held against its will. DecimaTech (talk) 04:46, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

The source seems to check out, my apologies for reverting this change as vandalism. The caption should be modified, but if the pot/captive thing is left in a reference to the scran.ac.uk page should be included. DaRkAgE7[Talk] 04:55, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Agreed, "indifferent" isn't really an appropriate word to use here, and the source linked above suggests it's inaccurate. Finally, this wording was not present at all at the time of the article's promotion [1] MusikAnimal talk 05:29, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
This source would seem to suggest the penguin was either reluctant or indifferent. Brycehughes (talk) 01:55, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
The penguin's personal feelings aren't really relevant, and only add to the subtle humour which is attracting vandalism. The penguin surely didn't say they were reluctant or indifferent, and they could just as easily be deaf MusikAnimal talk 20:00, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Do you guys also hate sunshine and puppies?--Plank (talk) 21:27, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Welcome to Wikipedia. In any case, if the penguin were deaf, then one would expect the source to describe it as deaf. Instead, the source describes it as reluctant, and, in general, indifferent. But.. I really don't care. I was just pointing this out. I am aware that blandness alway beats cuteness on Wikipedia. Brycehughes (talk) 21:30, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Humorous or not, the "indifferent" claim is backed by the same reference (Rudmose Brown, pp. 120–23) as cited in the main text. While the references use a recent reissue of Rudmose Brown that have a different page numbering from the 1906 public domain edition, the text of the public domain edition explicitly describes the penguin's reaction as "sleepy indifference". taion (talk) 01:12, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

The reference also explicitly states that Kerr was playing for the penguin, instead of just beside the penguin by coincidence. taion (talk) 01:16, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
If you want to expand the article text with good sources, I have no problem with that, but the penguin's reaction is too much detail for what is already a long photo caption. Jonathunder (talk) 01:57, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
@Taion: It appears we're a bit divided here. Please refrain from adding adjectives for the penguin's personal feelings until we achieve a consensus. I have a hard time believing you and others' persistence to add this is not related to humour. Please also note this was not there at the time of the article's promotion to featured article [2], and I have my doubts this sort of thing would have flown at WP:FAC. Put the humour aside, and please explain why the feelings of the penguin and the species are at all relevant to the subject – which in the case of the photo is Gilbert Kerr MusikAnimal talk 02:13, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
And if we do decide the information is relevant (which is OK), I have to beg we not add it until the hype dies down. It has become a magnet for vandalism, and I hope we can collectively decide to put the interests of a stable featured article first. The article was just fully protected for edit warring (full disclosure – I did ask for help but full protection was the admin's own decision), so maybe once it expires the widespread public interest will have moved on. From there I'm happy with however much consensus wants to describe the penguin – except I agree with Jonathunder that it should probably go in the body of the article rather than crammed in the photo caption. The unnecessary and admittedly comical distinction of the penguin from the human – the original source of disruption – should not be re-added, which I hope we can all agree on MusikAnimal talk 02:40, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
@Jonathunder: The source noted is already present in the text. It's currently reference 35c. It'd be straightforward to shorten the caption by abbreviating "Scottish National Antarctic Expedition" as "SNAE" as with the other captions. taion (talk) 02:55, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: It's untenable to read the subject of the photo as Kerr as an individual – the photo rather refers to the episode detailed in the previously noted reference, the relevant part of which reads in full (as you can see from the link): To test the effect of music on them, Piper Kerr played to one on his pipes,—we had no Orpheus to warble sweetly on a lute,—but neither rousing marches, lively reels, nor melancholy laments seemed to have any effect on these lethargic, phlegmatic birds; there was no excitement, no sign of appreciation or disapproval, only sleepy indifference. Given the text of the cited reference, the subject of the photo is not Kerr who just happens to be posed next to a penguin – it is instead exactly "Kerr playing for the penguin". Note the FAC version of the caption is actually Piper Kerr serenading a penguin, 25 March 1904, which is both factually incorrect/inconsistent on the date relative to the sources, and reads to me as a much worse description of Kerr's actions – and this bad legacy wording is preserved in the main text. That's not to its credit. taion (talk) 02:55, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: Also, did you look at my second edit before you reverted it? It's orthogonal to how we want to describe Kerr's relation to the penguin. The alt text was missing factual detail that was relevant for accessibility. taion (talk) 03:01, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
To take a slightly different tack, the inclusion of "indifferent" in the caption improves the article, and moreover vandalism should not bear any weight on our decision here, lest the vandals win. Is the "indifferent" description supported by sources? Yes. Is it unequivocally necessary? No. Does it improve the article? Yes. There is room for levity in Wikipedia, however slight, and if a particular turn of phrase improves the reading experience, then the encyclopedia as a whole is improves as well. Brycehughes (talk) 03:07, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
The point isn't levity. The description of the episode in the reference already noted above suggests that the observed indifference of the penguin to the bagpipe playing was significant. In light of that, the most appropriate reading of the photograph is that the subject is Kerr's playing to the penguin's indifference. taion (talk) 03:16, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Sure. But one needn't go so deep, nor necessarily agree with your point, to find a reason for inclusion. Brycehughes (talk) 03:22, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
I may be misunderstanding you, but I don't think I can agree with the conclusions of your argument. It's evidently (literally) also funny to point out that Kerr was on the right, but I think we have consensus that "(right)" does not belong in the article. The claimed indifference of the penguin is quite significantly to me not in that category. taion (talk) 03:31, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
That is not funny. Actually that is funny (didn't really work for me without the visual). In any case, don't focus on me. You'll have plenty of debate here with others if you want it. Brycehughes (talk) 03:34, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Given the valid concerns over the caption length above, my current preferred wording for the caption is Gilbert Kerr, SNAE member, plays the bagpipes for an indifferent penguin, March 1904. Obviously noting which is the penguin and which is the man is silly and unnecessary. In any event we should restore the more specific description of the species of the penguin to the image alt text. taion (talk) 03:22, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
I will agree with this wording, given the circumstances. Note there was other opposition to usage of "indifferent" because the penguin was actually held against its will [3]. One therefore may not be able to consider the penguin indifferent so much as completely uninterested. Sources conflict... honestly I'm also indifferent! My involvement was solely about preventing disruption, and I still believe any superfluous descriptions of the penguin is going to attract more, but as I've said I'm hopeful this will be less of an issue in the coming days MusikAnimal talk 03:56, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
I support this wording also. Shortens the caption, sticks to the facts, preserves the wit. Brycehughes (talk) 04:19, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
The sources are in agreement that the penguin was captive – Rudmose Brown notes that the expedition caught a number of penguins, and that in the event of wintering, they would have served as food, but as it turned out it was only their skins that had to do duty. The penguin in the anecdote was one of that number. But frankly the odd juxtaposition of the words in "plays the bagpipes for a captive penguin" just sounds silly to me. I'd elaborate in the article text with During this time, the expedition captured a number of emperor penguins for their skins, and bagpiper Gilbert Kerr was photographed playing to one of the penguins. taion (talk) 04:20, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Penguin is captive. Penguin is indifferent. Both can be true. Indifferent makes for the better read. Brycehughes (talk) 04:31, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
As one who is not an active Wikipedia editor and was only driven here out of curiosity, you may take this suggestion with whatever grains of salt are due. I think there is a possible compromise here, which is to focus the caption more on the purpose of playing the bagpipes rather than the act itself, which is evident from the photo. An example: Gilbert Kerr tests the indifference of a captive penguin to bagpipe music, March 1904. That's descriptive of the motives of Kerr, says nothing about the penguin's actual level of indifference but retains the linguistic allusion to the source, and retains a modicum of levity without coming off as a joke. IvanhoeIvanhoe (talk) 06:32, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Catpive and tethered have a different meaning. There is no good reason to change that. The source being referenced clearly says tethered. --Jeffmcneill (talk) HH:MM DD-M-YY 04:26, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Guys, the joke with "(right)" is a nice small joke in an article nobody cared about before. Now lots of people came to read and learn something about this Antarctic Expedition. Why not to leave this tiny joke in the article? There should be some place in Wikipedia for jokes! Don't be so boring!87.69.39.98 (talk) 13:18, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

"(right)" is a bit over the top. At least with "indifferent" (or "captive"?) we have supporting sources and are avoiding blatant silliness. Besides, the "(right)" joke is funny in this context because the caption already made people smile by labeling the penguin indifferent; there is nothing unique about two different things appearing beside each other in an image, and indeed this joke could be applied to hundreds if not thousands of image captions on Wikipedia. Its hilarity would wear pretty thin. Brycehughes (talk) 15:51, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
I think that "(right)" bit got added because someone tweeted about the earlier version of the caption, incidentally: [4]. I think "indifferent penguin" has a nice ring just on its own, and the agree that the caption doesn't need the extraneous direction label. taion (talk) 01:33, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
OK, let's then at least leave the "indifferent penguin" in the caption. Don't be so serious! Wikipedia should be fun, not boring!132.68.162.212 (talk) 14:09, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think the discussion's leaning that way. Brycehughes (talk) 16:06, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

If the length of the caption is an important reason for dropping "indifferent" (which is supported by the source), why not remove the expedition's name entirely, since it is given by the context. So instead of "Gilbert Kerr, a member of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, plays the bagpipes beside a penguin, March 1904", why not write "Gilbert Kerr (right), an expedition member, plays the bagpipes beside an indifferent penguin, March 1904". This contains three fewer words and conveys the additional (sourced) information. While the caption doesn't need the direction label, it certainly raises a smile (something we all need at the moment). TraceyR (talk) 11:00, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

In the absence of any discussion of my preceding suggestion, would there be any objection to a reversion to the previous version, i.e. with "(right)" and "indifferent"? To be truer to the sentiment of the original source, "indifferent" could be replaced by "sleepily indifferent". Thanks TraceyR (talk) 12:33, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
This isn't a joke site and we don't take too kindly to such nonsense in article space. Especially on a featured article. Sorry, but I wholeheartedly object to such a revision and I'm sure you will find a lot of people that do as well. Including the admin that protected the page to stop such things from happening. --Majora (talk) 21:22, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
The consensus here seems to be to leave it in. --Darth Borehd (talk) 17:25, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
"Sleepily indifferent" is not a joke, but is a direct reflection of the primary source. The "(right)" is, admittedly drily humorous (but very mildly so), but it has done very positive public relations work for the project's otherwise rather stuffy, nerdy image. If mild humour, which does not in any way detract from the article's quality (but indeed enhances it), is, for some arcane reason, non grata, so be it. Rest assured, there is absolutely no risk of Wikipedia being deemed a "joke site". But what could possible speak against the other change? TraceyR (talk) 21:17, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Disappointed[edit]

Very disappointed in the reversion of what had been an excellent photo caption. To describe the penguin as "indifferent" is harmless - it is not in any meaningful sense vandalism - and appears to be accurate, based on the photo. That caption demonstrated a level of writing quality all too infrequently found on Wikipedia, and indeed, it attracted great attention to this page. A pity we apparently prefer to settle for bland mediocrity. 2602:306:CFEA:170:2104:FBF6:B52F:4712 (talk) 02:47, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

I second that. The caption was accurate and witty - so much so that it was remarked upon in facebook with the comment ""Who would have believed that the perfect Wikipedia photo caption could have been improved upon?". It is sad that this gem has been removed. The revert was no doubt done in good faith, but this article is the poorer for it. Please reconsider. Thanks.TraceyR (talk) 23:29, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
I have tried to just add clarification to the caption by indicating "(right)" but was bullied into stopping by being banned for 24 hours. --Darth Borehd (talk) 17:52, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I vote to include '(right)' at the very least, and 'indifferent' too, for preference. As with the Chambers definition of an eclair as "a cake long in length but short in duration", there's no reason for a serious reference work not to have a couple of light-hearted flourishes here and there. It's also good for the encyclopedia, since the meme around this caption makes people like us and want to be involved. If we constantly dump cold water on it, we advertise ourselves as humorless and uninviting, which helps no-one. Mortee (talk) 23:58, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Unfriendly User[edit]

Another user is threatening me due to my edits and I don't appreciate it. I don't think this is what Wikipedia is supposed to be like. It's supposed to be the encyclopedia anybody can edit, not one that a certain group can edit. --Darth Borehd (talk) 15:58, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Offer of compromise on caption[edit]

I would like to extend an olive branch about the caption. I agree to leave "indifferent" off if the other side agrees to leave "(right)" in the caption. I think this is a reasonable compromise and would like to know who else is with me. --Darth Borehd (talk) 17:22, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

As this was already discussed above, no. This is a featured article. We aren't going to do that here. --Majora (talk) 21:30, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
The above discussion seemed to indicate the majority wanted it left in. --Darth Borehd (talk) 22:59, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Nope. Jonathunder (talk) 16:56, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Just another reminder of how wikipedia has become a clique of killjoys bludgeoning literatre culture with banal formulations.
Coincidentally, "clique of killjoys bludgeoning literatre" is the name of my postmodern rock band. Jonathunder (talk) 15:12, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
'(right)' should be included. It's entirely harmless and does a good deal to advertise Wikipedia as a place people might want to join in. Mortee (talk) 23:59, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

(right)[edit]

If the facebook jerks would have real sense they'd quote the debate about this caption in an image containing text instead of the boring caption. This 4-pages-long recurring debate of an oneliner below an otherwise mildly offtopic image is truly entertaining, along the amount of people involved. (I like the debate about "captive", and the quoting unimportant parts of sources.) As for the specific question: I don't care, it's truly irrelevant. And the joke was good, and this is not the proper place to have it (it's already have been imagized by facebook mass, no need to keep it here), but it's possibly not against any real policy, apart from hurt feelings or failed leadership behaviour. (right)? :) --grin 06:41, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

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Photo caption: (right)[edit]

I reinstated '(right)' to the photo caption because:

  1. it's accurate
  2. it's amusing
  3. I see no consensus to leave it out
  4. this page has a lot of attention because of it. Seeing this constantly removed will propagate the idea that Wikipedia is humorless and bullying. Including this makes the encyclopedia no less accurate or informative and does a lot to advertise us as a community worth getting involved with.

Since I was reverted by User:Majora with the message "The burden is on you to get consensus to include it. If you continue to disrupt this page after protection has been applied I will seek sanctions. Enough.", I am reopening discussion per WP:BRD. What is the current !vote on including this one word in the photo caption? Mortee (talk) 01:08, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

Strong oppose (obviously). One, accurate really doesn't mean anything we could say (two and a half feet tall standing a foot to the right of the bagpipe player) and still be accurate. Two, this is a featured article. It is supposed to showcase the very best that Wikipedia has to offer. We are not a humor site. We are not here to provide humor. We are here to build an encyclopedia. Three, as I mentioned in my edit summary the burden is always on the person wanting to including something contentious to show a consensus. Else the status quo ante remains. Fourth, if you want to make new editors feel welcome there are plenty of new editor retention groups. I myself spend a huge amount of time helping newbies through the IRC help channel. This is not the way to do this and constantly disrupting a featured article for that purpose is incredibly POINTY. --Majora's Incarnation (talk) 01:43, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
'Constantly disrupting' doesn't apply, of course, since this is the first time I've touched the article. I'll look forward to hearing other people's views. Mortee (talk) 01:54, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Herostratus made some good points in a sympathetic and well-reasoned argument for leaving out the humour on Majora's page. A couple of notes - I don't want to argue for including humour in general. I think that would be very difficult to police. All I'm arguing for is this one case, which I think is unusually valuable for its visibility and harmlessness. On the BRD point, it's true that I didn't go back through the history to find out what counts as the status quo. If I caused unnecessary stress by picking an old scab then I'm sorry for that. Still, I think '(right)' is well worth having and I hope others will weigh in on that side. Mortee (talk) 17:05, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes I will say "I will seek sanctions" is a bit over the top. We do not bring out 75mm cannon for shoplifting of a pocket comb. People don't realize how chilling this is... I have poured many years of effort into this project which is an important hobby for me, and I would take the idea of "sanctions" being applied to me with some alarm. So as hoi polloi might say, cool your jets Ace.
That being said, I am OK with the "(right)" (no so much the "indifferent", but maybe) -- on the merits. It's somewhat hilarious in a dry way, does zero harm to the reader, and, by bringing a certain Joie de vivre to the matter probably gives a net increase in the well-being of humanity. Yes of course a tiny tiny tiny increase, but so does picking up a scrap of litter, which we still do on the basis that millions of small benign actions by millions of people add together to a non-trivial improvement in the human condition.
It's important to enjoy life and bring enjoyment to others. I believe the latter is considered a "moral good" all things being equal, although I don't have the ethics background to prove it. I think it can be proved to the extent any ethical postulate can be proved although I'm not sure.
But anyway that is us acting as human beings. Us acting as Wikipedia editors is a different matter.
And on policy and good-practice grounds, I would say that we want to be leery of humor on various grounds, one being slippery-slope concerns and one being that if it becomes contentious -- which if does if anyone objects and there is pushback -- it is not worth us expending effort on debating it. Just delete it.
After all, "(right)" is not an actual addition of useful data. I would say that if a reader actually requires the "(right)" to correctly interpret the photograph she will probably not gain much of value from the rest of the article (or any work not written in crayon) anyway.
Now, I have argued at other times that our obligations as human beings overrides our obligations as Wikipedia editors, for instance on the question of whether to include the phone number for the national suicide prevention hotline on the Suicide page even though it's not strictly within policy to do so, and at several other times and places.
However, IMO the moral good of adding "(right) is not sufficiently beneficial to override out policies and good practices. We have to draw the line somewhere, and I would draw it above that. Herostratus (talk) 22:02, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
I apologize, Mortee. What I said was said in frustration. This has been going on for a long time and I was a little upset after getting protection applied just to have someone come by and do the same exact thing that caused the protection in the first place. That being said, I am going to bring up this article's featured status again. That caption was not there when it was going through FA review and I can tell you just from my very little experience in that ring that they would not have appreciated it. I'm not saying that it would have failed FA if it was there but it would have been a sticking point. I'm sure of that. You also brought up a tweet. That is more than a little concerning. We really shouldn't be bending to what social media wants us to do. It is a different set of circumstances but the same thing happened when John Oliver called Diane Wiest, Diane "frosted-mini" Wiest and now that article has been a target ever since. I don't think we should be adding things into our articles just because of a tweet or the publicity that it garners. It just causes so many more issues. Again, I am sorry about the whole "sanctions" thing but I really do believe that that caption should remain the way it is. Without the humor. --Majora (talk) 02:15, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Right, for my part, I was probably too harsh on you, and while I can't speak for Mortee, I'm confident he agrees that offhand remark about sanctions is not a big deal and is entirely understandable and excusable. It's a big website, huge inputs every hour, things move fast, riding herd on all this a tough job and hats off to you for volunteering to do it, we are all grateful for our admin corps which is almost all good people whom nobody expects to be precisely perfect all the time. Apology shows your quality. Herostratus (talk) 21:29, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Caption[edit]

C'mon guys humor is the answer to almost everything, specially when it is harmless and clever.

Actually, that's 42. More seriously, because this is an encyclopedia, we have a style manual which says succinctness is a consideration in image captions, not humor. Jonathunder (talk) 22:15, 23 August 2018 (UTC)