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Your season tickets to The Museums are valid at WP:AE. EEng 22:57, 16 November 2016 (UTC) Userbox by Ritchie333[4].

Welcome to the Museums!
Please click here
to sign our guestbook.
HarvardCollegeLibrary HardLaborBookplate.jpg
John Harvard Statue right side of head.jpg
LioneldeJerseyHarvard Civilian.png
The Sacred Cod of Massachusetts.jpg
DrYoungsIdealRectalDilators Advertisement DetroitMedicalJournal August1905.jpg
GleasonAndrewMattei Berlin1959.jpg

We thank Thee, O Lord, for another day without whining from someone who doesn't get the joke.
A Note to the Humor-Impaired

One should beware of those who cannot or will not laugh when others are merry, for if not mentally defective they are spiteful, selfish or abnormally conceited ... Great men of all nations and of all times have possessed a keen appreciation of the ridiculous, as wisdom and wit are closely allied.

Leander Hamilton McCormick, Characterology; an exact science embracing physiognomy, phrenology and pathognomy, reconstructed, amplified and amalgamated ... (1920)

D-W003 Warnung vor giftigen Stoffen ty nuvola.svg
This page is under destruction.
ZAP! No user-serviceable parts inside.
This userbox unintentionally left blank.
No not.png This user has opted out of revert notifications. You should, too!
Octagon-warning.svg This user has been blocked several times, and isn't embarrassed about it - (admire my block log here!).
ipa The IPA pronunciation of this username is apparently /ˈŋ/

Resources offered:

  • I will be happy to supply, for use in developing articles, materials cataloged here (digital materials are easy, scans of hardcopies may take some time).

Because some have asked...

  • The material on this page is meant to increase other editors' pleasure in contributing (by providing modest amusement they can enjoy during breaks from editing) or to assist them in becoming more effective editors (by illustrating various aspects of Wikipedia as a social environment e.g. [5])
  • In humor based on political events, Democratic figures are featured as well as Republican (e.g. [6]) though unfortunately the former opportunities don't arise very often, because e.g. Clinton and Obama just aren't as amusing as the Republican nominee. Note: This wing of the Museums temporarily closed pending approval by the castigatores of such material as is conducive to the regimen morum.
WikiProject Department of Fun (Rated NA-class, Bottom-importance)
WikiProject icon This page is supported by the Department of Fun WikiProject, which aims to provide Wikipedians with fun so that they stay on Wikipedia and keep on improving articles. If you have any ideas, do not hesitate to post them to the discussion page or access our home page to join the Department of Fun.
 NA  This page does not require a rating on the quality scale.
 Bottom  This page has been rated as Bottom-importance on the importance scale.
For more information about Bottom-importance, see also the top of User talk:EEng. The top, not the bottom.

Museum of Distorted Quotations Taken Of Context[edit]

Superman S symbol.svg EEng [is] a general force for good. Superman S symbol.svg

Under construction svg.svg                      "Editors such as EEng are very constructive."

A reminder to visitors

EEng is correct. There are not many exceptions to this nearly universal rule.


Emojione 1F60B.svg                      Where Angels Fear to Tread                      Emoticon tongue.svg

No one dare criticize EEng.


Face-angel.svg                      So there!                      Face-devil-grin.svg

EEng (despite his block log, which is not as bad as it looks at first glance if you understand it) ...

Doug Weller[11]

What the Critics Are Saying[edit]

"EEng's talk page"[2]
Editor's note: Though easily mis­taken for a roll of toilet paper, the above is in fact an ancient and pre­cious parch­ment bearing great wisdom.[citation needed]
Wikipedia Must Be The Saddest Place on Earth

I have had EEng's talk and userpage on my Watchlist for two months because they are the most fun places on Wikipedia.


Wikipedia's Bearability Hangs by a Thread
I'm not a professor of neuroscience (but apparently I play one on Wikipedia)

EEng is a funny guy. If it weren't for the odd joker like him, WP would be utterly unbearable.... He's a professor of neuroscience at Harvard and pretty much singlehandedly wrote one of the best articles on the 'pedia (Phineas Gage)

"krakenawakes" at WikiInAction

Barnstar of Humour Hires.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
I haven't checked out your userpage in a long while, but I laughed so hard (I particularly liked the "head in the sand" picture) I nearly snorted coffee out of my nose. PS: I would like to apologise for being tempted to go to the dark side.... Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 12:30, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

St Lawrence Market in Toronto.jpg The Rather Unusual User Page Award
Not sure what my definition of a "rather usual" userpage would be, but it wouldn't be that.[13]

"This is a very long page."[14]

Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
For your medicine against chronic wikidespair.
Consult your doctor before trying this medicine. Symptoms include: a systemic allergic reaction, a worsening
of withdrawal symptoms for not placing {{ANI-notice}} in months, and casting the first stone.

"childish and irresponsible"[16]

No barnstar is better than this barnstar, believe me!

Donald Trump Barnstar.png The Donald Trump Barnstar
Your userpage is hilarious. MB298 (talk) 00:17, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Barnstar of Humour Hires.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
Your new gallery made me laugh even harder than the admittedly rambunctious Trump Museums. Astonishing, flabbergasting, yyuuuge!!! — JFG talk 20:14, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

From the Good People at Wiki-Ronco[edit]

via Wikipedia editor A Man Inverts
New improved sensitivity!!
New from Wiki-Ronco... AS SEEN ON TV… the new improved:
Wiki Insult-o-Meter © !!!

Keep track of those pesky insults flooding in from other (more intelligent and industrious) editors!

Hours of fun!!! Available NOW for next day delivery.

***One deposit of $99.95, followed by 186 monthly payments of $49.95. Normal credit checks apply. (No sockpuppets)***

User essays worth reading[edit]


Some Entertaining Diversions[edit]

See also this burst of creativity.

Welcome, new editors![edit]

Draw near, new editor, that you may learn from these WP policies conveniently arrayed about me!
A newbie (brown) offers his stub to a New Page Patroller (green). If it fails to satisfy her she'll bite his head off.
Now manning the help desk


With grateful appreciation to Andrew Davidson ([17])! EEng (talk) 00:16, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Fellow editors, feel free to contribute clever riffs and barbs (subject to management approval or modification)

The Massively Multiplayer Online Encyclopedia Game!
Third opinion
Jimbo Wales
In the news
On this day
Did you know
You are banned!
Community discussion Community discussion
Editor review
Rouge admin
Deletion review
Wikimedia Foundation
Edit war
(pay $100)
Main Page
Just browsing
WikiProject Spam
Admin cabal
Teh Drahmaz
(pay $200)
Community discussion ANI
Collect $200 salary as you pass
Monopoly Go Arrow.png

Chance and Community discussions[edit]

  • You have won second place in DYK. Collect £10
  • Discretionary sanctions. Fine £20
  • Edit warring fine £15
  • Unblock request accepted. Collect £20
  • Deletion review in your favour. Collect £10
  • Pay Arbitration Committee fees of £150
  • Pay WMF £100
  • Get out of indef for free
  • You are assessed for article repairs: £40 for each GA, £115 for each FA


The WMF can be bought for only $150? A much better investment than those donations! sroc 💬 13:23, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

A Little History[edit]

First they came for the userboxes...
The ANI pileon juggernaut rolls on, heedless
Keep smiling, or this could be you!
Block! Unblock! Block! Unblock! Rabbit Season! Duck Season! FIRE!!!
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
When users do something that administrators don't like, but when the users not only disagree but have the temerity to object to the sanctions levied against them by administrators, is this an unacceptable dissent against the powers-that-be that must, always, be quashed by any means necessary?
I'm probably hyperbolizing here, but I think this is how the issue appears to the EEng's of the world. And some, at least, of the EEng's of the world are here to help build the encyclopedia. We say "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", not "The benevolent dictatorship encyclopedia that docile and compliant rule-followers can edit as long as they remember their place and are always properly respectful towards ADMINISTRATORS." So, please, if that's not the message you want to send, just let these userboxes go. And if you want to boot a user off the project for not being here to help build the encyclopedia, please do it for a more substantive reason than that the user refuses to say "Uncle" when confronted by admins.
Steve Summit (talk) 19:46, 6 February 2015 (UTC) [18]
An admin upholds one of the five pillars without throwing his weight around.
And finally, to each admin who says, "Well, I wouldn't have blocked, but I don't feel like overturning it": what you're condoning is a situation in which every editor is at the mercy of the least restrained, most trigger-happy admin who happens to stumble into any given situation. Don't you see how corrosive that is? It's like all these recent US police shootings: no matter how blatantly revolting an officer's actions were, the monolithic reply is "It was by the book. Case closed." This [admin] was way out of line from the beginning in deleting multiple editors' posts (as someone suggested, hatting would have made complete sense, and troubled me not at all) and when called on it above, he gives a middle-finger-raised LOL. No wonder so many see haughty arrogance in much of the admin corps around here.
—EEng 05:38, 16 January 2015 (UTC) [19]

And let me be clear: I have no problem with 97% of admins, who do noble work in return for (generally) either no recognition or shitloads of grief, only occasionally punctuated by thanks. But the other 3%‍—‌whoa, boy, watch out!

—EEng 20:02, 6 February 2015 (UTC) [20]

First annual caption contest[edit]

Click here and contribute your own.

  • "Shit! I left the tub running!" EEng 05:09, 28 April 2017 (UTC)


AN Morons bad ANI edict.gif
Arbitration Committe Motto Recriminate a bit.gif
New page patrol
After a few weeks "helping out" at DYK
DYK reviews underway. Original title: A group of mentally ill patients sitting around and staring.
DYK drove him to it.
"I'd rather cut off all my toes with a pair of scissors than spend one minute at ANI." Testimonial from an actual customer
There is currently a discussion at ANI...
WP:ERRORS. Original title: A group of mentally ill patients dashing about a burning room
This editor is a mem­ber of Wiki­proj­ect Dis­em­bod­ied Hands
Did you know Rover had a girlfriend?
DYK nominations in the pipeline
Flow is being revived...
... Ha! Ha! Just kidding!
... And Visual Editor is now required! ...
When good faith is exhausted
"Deletion" discussion underway at the Ancient Greek Wikipedia
Checkusers working an SPI. Horns give direct links to Arbcom, Jimbo
Edit (A) triggers watchlist item (B), causing undo (C) and revert notification (D), leading admin (E) to fly off the handle, tilting talkpage balance of power (F), causing diffs to be dumped on ANI (H). ANI thread (I) opens Pandora's Box (J), leading to fireworks (K) at Arbcom. Boomerang (L) gives editor WP:ROPE (M), ending in 12-hour block and smack with trout-infused napkin.[1]
Here's a riddle: What does a Greek cow say?
Sure you want to know?
Remember, you asked...
April Fools at WP: Fucking hilarious


Revert me and I will CURRRSE you!
What they secretly long for
What editors are traditionally offered at ANI
Sensory distortion after a day at ANI
Ahem. You got consensus for that edit?
WP:COI editor risks topic ban – WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS, WP:IDHT, WP:OR, etc. etc.
Luckily the pajamas are flame-retardant.
Uh-oh. The baby's radioactive.
Editors maintain citation templates
RfA reform again? You don't say!
Just another day at ANI
Before ANI: "Are you hot and sticky, mentally fagged?"
During ANI
It's ANI whether you like it or not!
Oops! Boomerang!
Checkuser sees all!

Heads on spikes.png Biplane crash in South Texas.jpg
                                                       After ANI

Untangling template syntax
On the alert for hyphen/endash confusion
<- - - - - Travails of the copyeditor - - - - ->
Articles for Deletion
Arbcom: Conception
Arbitration enforcement
Arbcom: Reality
I'll show you! I'm taking it to Arbcom!
Emergency relief program for editors
Arbcom deliberates

Block appeal tableau
Tell me again‍—‌we're using Visual Editor why?
Model: Wikipedia editor "A Man Inverts"
Awaiting DYK review
Normal editing resumes
Wikipedia (vision, 2001)
Congratulations! Your DYK has been approved!
They with the fancy user signatures
Wikipedia (reality, 2015)
BLP-sniffing dog at work
Hanging out at WP:CFD
RfA in progress
Template editor
This sock was in one edit war too many
Goddam offline sources!
Editor about to put head up ass
"There are a few issues with your GA submission"
Tempted into meatpuppetry
We get it – your FA passed. Can you take it down a notch?
    Progress at Arbcom as swift as ever
Fighting vandals

One cat who'd like less feedback, if you don't mind!
If you want to take on metric vs. Imperial in articles, that's your business. I've got a more pleasant appointment to keep.
What some editors think good writing should feel like to the reader
Reverted good faith edits by....
FA Review (original title: "Monkeys as Judges of Art")
People who forget that guidelines are to be applied with common sense
Sock and master caught together in rare photo
Well, I'm nominating for AfD – your move!
You're getting the hang of this DYK thing!
ANI on a quiet night
Capitalization wars – see [3]
Arbitrator resigns: "The people in these cases – meshugana!"
I'll never understand fixing cut-and-paste moves
Actual fix-cut-and-paste-move diagram
Even though I'm an Arbcom member, I'm just commenting here as an average, everyday editor.
Simplified guide to categories
Checkuser X-ray specs
Ha - ha! Blocked!
These socks are a confirmed match.
Admins maintain order while editors wrestle the wheel in random directions
"Let's edit Wikipedia", you said. "It'll be fun", you said. Don't look now, but here come our mentors.
...makes the heart grow...
The next three images gratefully stolen from Catherine de Burgh
Jimbo in a private moment
Meats at the ready!
Strong oppose
Strong oppose   Strong oppose
Strong oppose   Strong oppose
I shot the Sheriff
Wistfully recalling life before Wikipedia
Eau no!
This administrator is available for recall
Accompanied by their faithful hounds, a merry band of ArbCom members go a-hunting‍—‌one holds aloft his prize: the testicles of a transgressor. Top right: Suitably chastened, the unfortunate editor-animal slinks away. Bottom right: Next in line for the chop, a desperate editor abases himself before the crowd.
I'm turning your talk page access off

Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are not sure that we are doubly sure.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Updated DYK query Did You Know ...[edit]

The Sacred Cod in its natural habitat
  • ... that John Harvard (left) does not look like John Harvard?
  • ... that Massachusetts officials were "shocked into a condition bordering on speech­less­ness" by the theft of their Sacred Cod (right)?
  • ... that the four miles of stacks aisles in Harvard's 3.5-million-volume Widener Library are so labyrinthine that one student felt she ought to carry "a compass, a sandwich, and a whistle" when entering?
Lionel Harvard
  • ... that problems with a brutalist gray elephant were "like a five-car accident at an intersection. You just can't tell what caused it"?
  • ... that mathematician Andrew Gleason (right) liked to say that proofs "really aren't there to convince you that something is true—they're there to show you why it is true"?
LBJ (of all people) at the helm of an Amphicar
  • ... that quirky dogs and plural wugs helped Jean Berko Gleason (left) show that young children extract linguistic rules from what they hear, rather than just memorizing words?
  • ... that warden's wife Kate Soffel, who fled with condemned brothers Jack and Ed Biddle after supplying guns and saws for their 1902 escape from the Allegheny County Jail, later took up dressmaking?
  • ... that while testifying in a 2004 lawsuit involving the meaning of the word steakburger, a corporate CEO was grilled on the witness stand?
  • ... that the Vicar of Brighton got shot in the twitten?
  • ... that after he died, daredevil Larry Donovan's mother said, "I told him that jumping off bridges was a poor way of earning a living"?
A sitting young man holds a microphone in his left hand while manipulating the console of an apparatus with his right. To his left a large television camera is trained on a large, circular cathode ray tube display.
Harry Lewis with some gizmo he invented

Museum of Prosaic Preludes: Strike order for atomic bombing of Nagasaki. "BOMBS: Special. RELIGIOUS SERVICES: Catholic 1830, Protestant 2300." Nagasaki was the alternate target.

That his style was ver­bose is some­thing on which both friend and foe agreed. Jack­son was a writer who, hav­ing em­barked on a sen­tence, was almost imme­di­ately seized by a new asso­ci­a­tion, which was promptly parked between dashes. Shortly after he embarked on the par­en­thet­i­cal phrase, another asso­ci­a­tion pre­sented itself, and was duly ensconced between pa­ren­the­ses, thereby ex­haust­ing the con­ven­tion­al punc­tu­a­tion marks de­signed for em­bed­ded phrases. When anoth­er asso­ci­a­tion arose during the writing of the phrase in pa­ren­the­ses‍—‌which was invar­i­a­bly the case‍—‌it was pre­sented in the form of a foot­note. But shortly after the begin­ning of the foot­note ... etc., etc.

Douwe Draaisma. "Sparks from a Leyden jar: Jackson's epilepsy". Disturbances of the Mind. (Tr. by Barbara Fasting.)
Authorial Vanity

Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1931). Afterthoughts. 
Fates to Avoid

Although he did not lack friends, they were weary of coming to his defense, so endless a process it had become.

Rider, Fremont (1944). Melvil Dewey. 
In composing...

In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigour it will give your style.

Sydney Smith

Museum Rules

Visitors to The Museums are encouraged to add droll codas, possibly with evocative yet enigmatic double-entrendre wikilinks, to the items on display (though these will of course be subject to the discretion of The Curator).

Museum of Amusing Anecdotes[edit]

Turnspit dog at work
From the article on Turnspit dogs – dogs trained to run in a kind of squirrel-cage to turn roasting meat on a spit:

The dogs were also taken to church to serve as foot warmers. One story says that during service at a church in Bath, the Bishop of Gloucester gave a sermon and uttered the line "It was then that Ezekiel saw the wheel...". At the mention of the word wheel several turnspit dogs, who had been brought to church as foot warmers, ran for the door.

Museum of The Curse of the Global Replace[edit]

From "Honey bee revealed in genome code" (Associated Press, October 25, 2006):

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have unraveled the genetic code of the honey bee, uncovering clues about its complex social behavior, heightened sense of smell and African origins. It is the third insect to have its genome mapped and joins the fruit fly and mosquito in the exclusive club.

The honey bee, or Apis mellifera, evolved more slowly than the other insects but has more genes related to smell. "In biology and biomedicine, honey bees are used to study many diverse areas, including allergic diseases, development, gerontology, neuroscience, social behavior and venom toxicology," said Gene Robinson, director of the University of Illinois Bee Research Facility and one of the leaders of the project. "The honey bee genome project is ushering in a bright era of bee research for the benefit of agriculture, biological research and human health," he added.

With its highly evolved social structure of tens of thousands of worker bees commanded by Queen Elizabeth, the honey bee genome could also improve the search for genes linked to social behavior. But the consortium of scientists, who reported the findings in the journal Nature, said a comprehensive analysis of the honey bee and other species will be needed to understand its social life.

Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day. Despite having tiny brains, honey bees display honed cognitive abilities and learn to associate a flower's color, shape, and scent with food, which increases its foraging ability.

Museum of Just In Case You Think It Can't Really Happen[edit]

From "Oaklanders Who Refuse to Display Flag Face Arrest", The San Francisco Chronicle April 15, 1917 (p.40):

Failure of Oaklanders to display flags in their homes, places of business and on their vehicles and attempts to hold meetings to protest against local men going to European trenches will result in jail sentences, according to an edict issued by Mayor John L. Davie. The Mayor added that the mass meeting planned for Monday night by the Women’s Home Protective League as a demonstration against sending troops to the trenches will not be permitted. The edict, in part, follows:

To the People of Oakland: The Oakland city charter gives the Mayor the control of the Police department in perilous times such as these, and I give warning to the lukewarm citizens that I will exercise this authority to the extreme letter of the law. ... Unless the citizens of the city immediately respond to the call for a manifestation of their allegiance to this country, and unless the agitators ... cease their activity, they will all be arrested and interned as enemies of our country. This is the last word. Display your flags. Take no part in any demonstrations that in any way seek to undermine the dictates of our government.
Very truly yours, John L. Davie

Museum of Better Reword That (Redux)[edit]

From the article on barrister Robert Rinder:

Rinder was called to the bar in 2001 after graduating from the University of Manchester, starting his pupillage at 2 Paper Buildings after going straight from University into law because of his double first. Rinder then became a tenant at 2 Hare Court. He went on to specialise in international fraud, money laundering and other forms of financial crime.

Museum of You Can't Always Tell a Harvard Man[edit]

From Richard Bradley, Harvard Rules: The Struggle for the Soul of the World's Most Powerful University (2011):

In 1960 the faculty voted to publish Harvard diplomas in English rather than the traditional Latin, and a horde of cranky undergraduates descended on Loeb House, then the president's residence. "Latin Si, Pusey No", the students chanted. The president came out of his house and addressed the crowd‍—‌in Latin. Since virtually none of the students had any idea what he was saying, the protest quickly fizzled.

The Curator, in all honestly, has reason to believe this anecdote may be not be completely accurate, but it's too good not to pass on.

Museum of God's Metaphors for the Trump Administration[edit]

Museum of Failure to Launch[edit]

From a letter threatening a $1 billion lawsuit against librarian Jeffrey Beall for his activities in identifying predatory open access publishers:

Let us at the outset warn you that this is a very perilous journey for you and you will be completely exposing yourself to serious legal implications including criminal cases lunched against you in INDIA and USA.

Followup joke

Most people recall deranged serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and some may be vaguely aware that he was killed in a prison fight. So...

Q: What's the insult that got Jeffrey Dahmer into the big fight in which he was killed?
A: "Get lost! I used to eat guys like you for breakfast!"

Museum of Fixed Gazes[edit]

From Alison Martino, "Vintage Los Angeles: The Tragedy of Hamburger Hamlet" Los Angeles Magazine (January 2, 2014):

A contract player for Warner Bros in the 40s, Harry is better remembered for Key Largo, which he stared in with Humphrey Bogart, Edward G Robinson, Lauren Bacall, and Claire Trevor.

Museum of The Varieties of Religious Experience[edit]

From the article on Bliss Knapp, "an early Christian Science lecturer, practitioner, teacher and the author of The Destiny of the Mother Church":

Bliss Knapp's first lecture was given in White Mountains, New Hampshire, and was introduced by one of Mrs. Eddy's students, Miss Emma C. Shipman with whom only a few decades before, as a child, he had enjoyed an entertaining pillow fight.

Museum of Aptonymy[edit]

From the References section of Phineas Gage:

Tow, Peter Macdonald (1955). Personality changes following frontal leucotomy: a clinical and experimental study of the functions of the frontal lobes in man. With a foreword by Sir Russell Brain. 

Museum of No Stone Unturned[edit]

From Murder of Bernard Oliver:

Police in the Bernard Oliver murder investigation announced their intention to interview all of the homosexual men in London.

Museum of Charming Old-World Ways[edit]

From the article on Lenny Montana, who portrayed Luca Brasi in The Godfather:

Montana became involved with the Colombo crime family in the late 1960s. Tall and very heavily built, his talents were mostly as an enforcer and an arsonist. He would tie a tampon to the tail of a mouse, dip it in kerosene, light it, and let the mouse run through a building, or he would put a candle in front of a cuckoo clock so that when the clock's bird would pop out the candle would be knocked over and start a fire.

Museum of The Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You[edit]

From the article Warren Gulley:

He spent the next 11 years in charge of the White House Military Office, which was then responsible for the nuclear football, Air Force One, Marine One, the White House Communications Agency, and the White House Mess.

Comment: It's unfortunate Mr. Gulley is dead, since right now the White House could sure use someone with experience in that last area.

Museum of What a Way to Go[edit]

From "Loss of Prominent Young Man Keenly Felt by Students" in the November 12, 1924 issue of Central Normal Life, the newspaper of Central Michigan Normal School:

His death resulted from injuries received while serving the United States in the World War. Being severely wounded in France while drinking hot chocolate ...

Museum of Be Prepared! (personal hygiene edition)[edit]

From the article University of Texas Tower Shooting, describing the homicidal preparations made by Charles Whitman, a former United States Marine and (ahem) Eagle Scout:

Whitman sawed off the barrel and butt stock of the shotgun, then packed it into his footlocker along with a Remington 700 6-mm bolt-action hunting rifle, a .35-caliber pump rifle, a .30-caliber carbine (M1), a 9-mm Luger pistol, a Galesi-Brescia .25-caliber pistol, a Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolver, and over 700 rounds of ammunition. He also packed food, coffee, vitamins, Dexedrine, Excedrin, earplugs, jugs of water, matches, lighter fluid, rope, binoculars, a machete, three knives, a transistor radio, toilet paper, a razor, and a bottle of deodorant.

Museum of Badges of Honor[edit]

From Lady-in-waiting of the Imperial Court of Russia:

The Fräulein would only wear the Empress or Grand Duchess' initials in diamonds, pinned to their left shoulder. In the 18th century, some of them were granted the right to wear a goat in their hairdress.

Museum of That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It[edit]

From "WHISKEY WAS FOR BABY. Plea Entered by Charlestown Woman When Police Raided House." (The Boston Herald, May 20, 1907, p.12, c.3):

Claiming she kept whiskey mixed with cod liver oil on hand to feed her 8-month-old infant, Mrs. Jennie Lawless protested against the seizure of the liquor when her house at 5 Smith Street, Charlestown, was raided yesterday. Forty-five bottles of ale were also kept on hand, presumably for baby's use.

When asked to produce the cod liver oil which which she said she mixed the whiskey, Mrs. Lawless stated that unfortunately she was just out.

Museum of Monster in a Box[edit]

From a comment on user_talk:Oshwah:

The penitent line, "We have crated a Frankenstein" is still vivid in my memory.

Museum of the Dismal Science[edit]

From positronic brain:

Specialized brains created for overseeing world economics were stated to have no personality at all.

Museum of Can You Top This?[edit]

"You think that's creepy? I was married to Charles Manson..."

Museum of The Slippery Slope of Same-Sex Marriage[edit]

From Lyle and Erik Menendez:

Since entering prison, both brothers have married.

Museum of Which Is Worse?[edit]

From the "Criticism" section of the article on IKEA:
Verdana typeface

In 2009, IKEA changed the typeface used in its catalogue from Futura to Verdana...


Ikea was founded by a former Nazi...

Museum of Unmentionables[edit]

From an overhasty post, by the curator, at WP Talk:MOS:

There's no script that can even pretend to enforce V, NPOV, UNDIE, and so on.

Museum of Like Clockwork[edit]

From a discussion of a proposal that editors receive admin privileges automatically after one year and 3000 mainspace edits. (Note: Newbies may not know the history required to appreciate this, and I'm certainly not gonna explain it. Sorry.)

365 days after that policy is implemented, probably to the minute, the block logs will explode. Mind you, we could always implement compression. The string "Eric Corbett" repeated 135 thousand times wouldn't take up that much space.

Museum of Seeing the Forest Instead of the Trees[edit]

Excerpt (slightly adapted) from a post by Herostratus in a discussion of whether MOS should specifically command or forbid the italicization of indicators such as (left) and (right) in image captions e.g.
Albert Namatjira (right) with portraitist William Dargie
Albert Namatjira (right) with portraitist William Dargie

<- - - - versus - - - ->

This is certainly something that should be left up to the individual editor, for various good reasons.

  • One good reason is that... there is no one clear correct or better way.
  • A second good reason is that adding another needless rule bogs down the MOS with more detail and makes it harder to learn and harder to use.
  • A third good reason is that creating a rule means enforcement, it puts interactions about the matter into an enforcement mode where editors are playing rules cop with other editors and this is not as functional as peer-to-peer interactions.
  • A fourth good reason is that there's zero evidence that it matters to the reader.
  • A fifth good reason is that micromanaging editors to this level is demoralizing and not how you attract and nurture a staff of volunteer editors – for instance we have a stupid micromanaging rule that I have to write "in June 1940" and not "in June of 1940" which is how I naturally write, and every stupid micromanaging rule like this is just another reason to just say screw it. As the Bible says "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn" (1 Timothy 5:18, paraphrased from Deuteronomy 25:4) which updated means "Let the editor who did the actual work of looking up the refs and writing the friggen thing -- you know, the actual work of the project -- be at least allowed the satisfaction of presenting it as she thinks best, within reasonable constraints"...

This means different articles will do it differently. This annoys a certain type of editor. Oh well...

And from a series of posts, by the same wise editor, in a discussion of whether someone should be described as a "former American hockey player" or an "American former hockey player":

We don't have a rule for it, so its not your job to "fix" other editors' constructions to a format that pleases you personally. It's just roiling the text for no gain. (On the merits, English is a human language, not a programming language, and everyone understands what is meant by "former American hockey player".)

Since there isn't a rule, I believe that the operative procedure is:

  1. Do what you think best, using your wit and sense for the English language.
  2. And give other editors the same courtesy. Do not change other editors constructions, and do not "correct" other editors to match your personal predelictions. It just leads to pointless roiling of the text, unnecessary bad feelings, and pointless sterile edit warring.

As for setting a rule, we could do that with an RfC, but I wouldn't recommend that, for a couple of reasons. One, it would probably be a lot of work ending in no consensus. Two, give editors a little room to breathe, shall we? We don't need to micromanage every possible clause construction. The project will survive if we write this two different ways.... I believe in letting the person who (after all) did the actual writing work be given a kind of stare decisis privilege in minor matters like this.

And from the archive, your host's post from long ago along the same lines...

For want of a comma, the clause was lost...[edit]


Why every goddam thing needn't be micromanaged in a rule[edit]

From a discussion over whether MOS should require the final comma in constructions like --
On September 11, 2001, several planes ...
and even
On December 25, 2001 (which was Christmas Day), we all went ...

You treat punctuation marks like mathematical operators which organize words into nested structures of Russian-doll clauses and such, and they're nothing like that. Not everything has to be rigidly prescribed and no, I don't buy into the "OhButIfWeDon'tThereWillBeEndlessArgumentOnEachArticle" reasoning just because that might, sometimes happen.

All over Wikipedia there are years with comma following, and years with no comma following, and never have I seen two editors, both of whom are actually engaged on a particular article, in serious conflict over a particular instance of that question. The discussion might go, "Hmmm... I'd use a comma myself but if you prefer none... yeah, that looks OK too. Now about that source-reliability question we were discussing..." but that's about it.

Where I've seen actual trouble is when other editors -- who have shown (and will subsequently show) no active interest in the article itself -- arrive out of nowhere in their radar-equipped year-with-no-comma–detector vans, then break down the door to weld court-ordered ankle-bracelet commas onto some harmless 2001 whose only crime was appearing in public with his trailing digit exposed -- something which (these prudish enforcers of Victorian punct-morality seem never to understand) was considered perfectly acceptable in most cultures throughout human history.

(Did you know, for example, that in the ancient Olympic games, years and days competed completely naked, without even a comma between them? I'm not advocating that unhygienic extreme but a bit of exposed backside shouldn't shock anyone in this enlightened age. But I digress, so back to our narrative underway...)

Having rendered yet another noble service in defense of the homeland (as they like to tell themselves) they jump back into their black SUVs and scurry up their rappelling ropes to their double-rotor helicopters and fly off to their next target, never knowing or caring whether that particular article has, or has not, been improved by their visitation. Certainly all the breaking of the crockery and smashing of the furniture can't have helped, but order has been restored and choas beaten back, which is what's important.

During all this the neighbors cower in their homes with the lights out, glad that they are not the targets of these jackbooted comma-thugs -- at least not this time. "Look," they say to their children, "that's what happens if you don't obey the rules. You should love Big Brother MOS for his heroic dedication to relieving you of the burden of deciding anything for yourself."


As Hannah Arendt put is so well: "It is the inner coercion whose only content is the strict avoidance of contradictions that seems to confirm a man's identity outside relationships with others. It fits him into the iron band of terror even when he is alone, and totalitarian domination tries never to leave him alone except in the extreme situation of solitary confinement. By destroying all space between men and pressing men against each other, even the productive potentialities of isolation are annihilated..." Or as John Stuart Mill -- himself a great lover of commas, so you can't dismiss him as a bleeding-heart, comma-omitting permissive corruptor of young punctuators -- said... Oh, never mind.

You say

Punctuation is not some flighty thing that you use when it feels right or the mood takes you (otherwise the MOS would be redundant).

Yes, if we can't prescribe and control every detail of usage and punctuation societal decay sets in and soon there is immorality, open homosexuality, interracial marriage, and baby murder.. Or perhaps I've misunderstood you?

The opposite of rigid prescription of everything isn't "flightiness" on everything; the opposite of rigid prescription on everything is measured guidance appropriate to the point being discussed:

  • Rigid prescription where truly appropriate.
  • Clear direction where experience shows people often go wrong
  • Enumeration of alternatives where choices are available
  • Universal advice to use common sense no matter what

That last point, BTW, is one of the first thing MOS says. I'm quite aware that there's a MOS rule requiring comma-after-year. And I'm telling you that removing it, or changing it to a short mention that opinions differ on this, would go a long way toward repairing the disdain many editors have for those parts of MOS which ridiculously overreach and overprescribe, thereby preserving respect for its important provisions on things that really matter.

And finally...

A rolling stone gathers no MOS[edit]

In the last 48 hr I've become aware of a simmering dispute over whether the text of MOS itself should be in American or British English. With any luck the participants will put that debate (let's call it Debate D1) on hold in order to begin Debate D2: consideration of the variety of English in which D1 should be conducted. Then, if there really is a God in Heaven, D1 and D2 will be the kernel around which will form an infinite regress of metadebates D3, D4, and so on -- a superdense accretion of pure abstraction eventually collapsing on itself to form a black hole of impenetrable disputation, wholly aloof from the mundane cares of practical application and from which no light, logic or reason can emerge.
That some editors will find themselves inexorably and irreversibly drawn into this abyss, mesmerized on their unending trip to nowhere by a kaleidoscope of linguistic scintillation reminiscent of the closing shots of 2001, is of course to be regretted. But they will know in their hearts that their sacrifice is for the greater good of Wikipedia. That won't be true, of course, but it would be cruel to disabuse them of that comforting fiction as we bid them farewell and send them on their way.[1]

More MOSsy thoughts:

A. It is an axiom of mine that something belongs in MOS only if (as a necessary, but not sufficient test) either:
  • 1. There is a manifest a priori need for project-wide consistency (e.g. "professional look" issues such as consistent typography, layout, etc. -- things which, if inconsistent, would be noticeably annoying, or confusing, to many readers); OR
  • 2. Editor time has, and continues to be, spent litigating the same issue over and over on numerous articles, either
  • (a) with generally the same result (so we might as well just memorialize that result, and save all the future arguing), or
  • (b) with different results in different cases, but with reason to believe the differences are arbitrary, and not worth all the arguing -- a final decision on one arbitrary choice, though an intrusion on the general principle that decisions on each article should be made on the Talk page of that article, is worth making in light of the large amount of editor time saved.
B. There's a further reason that disputes on multiple articles should be a gating requirement for adding anything to MOS: without actual situations to discuss, the debate devolves into the "Well, suppose an article says this..."–type of hypothesizing -- no examples of which, quite possibly, will ever occur in the real life of real editing. An analogy: the US Supreme Court (like the highest courts of many nations) refuses to rule on an issue until multiple lower courts have ruled on that issue and been unable to agree. This not only reduces the highest court's workload, but helps ensure that the issue has been "thoroughly ventilated", from many points of view and in the context of a variety of fact situations, by the time the highest court takes it up. I think the same thinking should apply to any consideration of adding a provision to MOS.

Museum of I Hope You're Wearing Clean Pants[edit]

From the directions for Trader Joe's Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread:

Pre-heat oven to 450°F; remove flatbread from packaging, place on a baking sheet and sit on counter top while oven preheats.

On the plus side, you rarely see packaged-food directions that use semicolons (much less properly).

Museum of May We Recommend[edit]

Wisdom from User:Guy Macon[edit]

If one person keeps getting into disputes with a bunch of different people over a long period of time, eventually you have to stop and consider what the common factor in all of the conflicts is. "There once was a drunk driver who was driving the wrong way on the freeway. Upon hearing on the radio (over the honking horns) that there was a drunk driver who was driving the wrong way on the freeway, he peered through his windshield, noticed all of the headlights heading toward him, and exclaimed 'My God! There are dozens of them!!'"
  • Also by Guy Macon [22]:
Rather than thinking of admins as 8-foot tall cannabalistic monsters armed with a chainsaw and a sack of grenades, I prefer to think of them as giant cybertanks with no self-awareness. "They are simply engines of destruction, doing what they are programmed to do."

Wisdom from Michael Polanyi[edit]

From Michael Polanyi, "The Republic of Science: Its Political and Economic Theory" (1962) (and note the quaint reference to "women" shelling peas!):

The first thing to make clear is that scientists, freely making their own choice of problems and pursuing them in the light of their own personal judgment, are in fact co-operating as members of a closely knit organization. The point can be settled by considering the opposite case where individuals are engaged in a joint task without being in any way coordinated. A group of women shelling peas work at the same task, but their individual efforts are not co-ordinated. The same is true of a team of chess players. This is shown by the fact that the total amount of peas shelled and the total number of games won will not be affected if the members of the group are isolated from each other. Consider by contrast the effect which a complete isolation of scientists would have on the progress of science. Each scientist would go on for a while developing problems derived from the information initially available to all. But these problems would soon be exhausted, and in the absence of further information about the results achieved by others, new problems of any value would cease to arise, and scientific progress would come to a standstill.

This shows that the activities of scientists are in fact coordinated, and it also reveals the principle of their co-ordination. This consists in the adjustment of the efforts of each to the hitherto achieved results of the others. We may call this a coordination by mutual adjustment of independent initiatives – of initiatives which are co-ordinated because each takes into account all the other initiatives operating within the same system.

When put in these abstract terms the principle of spontaneous coordination of independent initiatives may sound obscure. So let me illustrate it by a simple example. Imagine that we are given the pieces of a very large jigsaw puzzle, and suppose that for some reason it is important that our giant puzzle be put together in the shortest possible time. We would naturally try to speed this up by engaging a number of helpers; the question is in what manner these could be best employed. Suppose we share out the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle equally among the helpers and let each of them work on his lot separately. It is easy to see that this method, which would be quite appropriate to a number of women shelling peas, would be totally ineffectual in this case, since few of the pieces allocated to one particular assistant would be found to fit together. We could do a little better by providing duplicates of all the pieces to each helper separately, and eventually somehow bring together their several results. But even by this method the team would not much surpass the performance of a single individual at his best. The only way the assistants can effectively co-operate, and surpass by far what any single one of them could do, is to let them work on putting the puzzle together in sight of the others so that every time a piece of it is fitted in by one helper, all the others will immediately watch out for the next step that becomes possible in consequence. Under this system, each helper will act on his own initiative, by responding to the latest achievements the others, and the completion of their joint task will be great accelerated. We have here in a nutshell the way in which a series of independent initiatives are organized to a joint achievement by mutually adjusting themselves at every successive stage to the situation created by all the others who are acting likewise.

Such self-co-ordination of independent initiatives leads to a joint result which is unpremeditated by any of those who bring it about. Their co-ordination is guided as by 'an invisible hand' towards the joint discovery of a hidden system of things. Since its end-result is unknown, this kind of co-operation can only advance stepwise, and the total performance will be the best possible if each consecutive step is decided upon by the person most competent to do so. We may imagine this condition to be fulfilled for the fitting together of a jigsaw puzzle if each helper watches out for any new opportunities arising along a particular section of the hitherto completed patch of the puzzle, and also keeps an eye on a particular lot of pieces, so as to fit them in wherever a chance presents itself. The effectiveness of a group of helpers will then exceed that of any isolated member, to the extent to which some member of the group will always discover a new chance for adding a piece to the puzzle more quickly than any one isolated person could have done by himself. Any attempt to organize the group of helpers under a single authority would eliminate their independent initiatives and thus reduce their joint effectiveness to that of the single person directing them from the centre. It would, in effect, paralyse their cooperation.

Essentially the same is true for the advancement of science by independent initiatives adjusting themselves consecutively to the results achieved by all the others...

Museum of Possibly Overanxious {{fact}} Taggings[edit]

Museum of unexpected section headings[edit]

... looking at the image there, maybe it should be re-named Semen on carpets?? Martinevans123 (talk) 15:45, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
You're disgusting. Please visit often. EEng 19:32, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Can we talk about part of his last name being Cumming? The man was born for that line.Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 02:24, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Facepalm3.svg Facepalm Apparently we can, since it's the next bullet point below here... EEng 02:39, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Possibly related item (from an ANI post by an eager Russian contributor):

I mentioned, that in doubt Soviet official sources and not semen's talk. I show that and found out some other sorces to confirm, that the semen said correct and Wikipedia was agree, that the my Ship's articles are not otiginal recearch.

Museum of unsettled scores[edit]

Thanks to Canadian Paul [24], it has come to my attention that I am the subject of a mini-rant by banned sockpuppeteer Ryoung122: (The site is on WP's blacklist, so copy/paste the URL, then change DOT to a dot; when the page opens, search EEng.)

Museum of Thwarted Love[edit]

From Homosexual behavior in animals:

Two male vultures at the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster built a nest together, although they were picked on and their nest materials were often stolen by other vultures. They were eventually separated to try to promote breeding by placing one of them with female vultures, despite the protests of German homosexual groups.

Museum of Biting Criticism[edit]

From Baudelaire's evaluation of Sir Walter Scott [25]:

A fastidious mass of descriptions of bric-a-brac, a heap of old and castoff things of every sort, armor, tableware, furniture, gothic inns, and melodramatic castles where lifeless mannequins stalk about, dressed in leotards ...

Museum of Catalog Entries that Merit a Trip to the Library[edit]

From Harvard's Online Archival Search and Information System (OASIS), call number H MS c439:

Bigelow, Henry Jacob, 1818–1890. Papers, 1840s–1856 (inclusive), 1848–1855 (bulk). Box 1, Folder 84, Dr. Daywards' great breast.

Museum of Unfortunate Choices[edit]

Headline, Daily Mail, September 1, 2015:

Teen impersonating a police officer gets arrested after he tries to pull over an off-duty cop.

Museum of Credit Where Credit Is Due[edit]

From the File Description Page File:Human_Feces.jpg at Wikimedia Commons:

Description: Produced by myself on 2006-05-28. Photographed by myself, in a toilet, shortly thereafter. Yes, this is real. It is what it is. If you use this image, I would appreciate a credit.

Museum of Talk About Getting the Government Out of the Bedroom![edit]

From California's Proposition 60, "The California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act", to be voted on November 8, 2016:

(g) A legible sign shall be displayed at all times at the location where an adult film is filmed in a conventional typeface not smaller than 48-point font, that provides the following notice so as to be clearly visible to all adult film performers in said adult films: The State of California requires the use of condoms for all acts of vaginal or anal intercourse during the production of adult films to protect performers.

Museum of Typos[edit]

From [26]:

In August, when the local news reported that a 6-foot 9-inch dead surgeon washed up on the shores of Isle La Motte, my first reaction was this particular doctor could have played professional basketball instead of practicing medicine.

Museum of The March of Science[edit]

From Fecal microbiota transplant:

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has regulated human feces as an experimental drug since 2013.

Museum of Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?[edit]

From the San Francisco Chronicle's Sporting Green, September 11, 2016:

Last Sunday, Breast Cancer Awareness Day, the A's gave away 10,000 pairs of pink wristbands. So far, so good. But alert fan Kyle Watry noticed that each pack carried a warning: "This product may contain chemicals... known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm."

Museum of Only So Many Ways to Phrase It[edit]

From a discussion in Michael Pitt-Rivers of a prosecution for, um, buggery:

In the summer of 1953, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu offered his friend Peter Wildeblood the use of a beach hut near his country estate. Wildeblood brought with him two young RAF servicemen, Edward McNally and John Reynolds. The four were joined by Montagu's cousin Michael Pitt-Rivers. At the subsequent trial, the two airmen turned Queen's Evidence.

Museum of Security Koans[edit]

From a discussion on CNN about a recent airport security breach:

What we have to remember is that nothing is 100% anything.

Museum of Muscular Imagery[edit]

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and riffle their pockets for new vocabulary.

James Nicoll

Museum of Sometimes I Wonder Why I Bother[edit]

Graph of recent pagesviews counts for my essay WP:Wikipedia is not about whining:

Click here for the sad truth

Museum of the Ignorant Non-Notable Masses[edit]

10 Things Wikipedia Says Are More Notable Than You (and check out what's first on the list!).

Museum of Survival of the Fitness[edit]

From Wikipedia:WikiProject Health and fitness:

This WikiProject is believed to be semi-active. Activity is slower than it once was.

Museum of Better Than Nothing[edit]

From James_Henry_Pullen:

Once, when Pullen developed an obsession to marry a townswoman he fancied, the staff mollified him by giving him an admiral's uniform instead.

Museum of People with Nothing Better to Do[edit] (note the dates on the diff and the original post)

Museum of Bedside Manners[edit]

From "The Limbic System with Respect to Two Basic Life Principles", in The Central Nervous System and Behavior: Transactions of the Second Conference (1959):

We have had a number of patients who have had very strong suicidal tendencies. The one I spoke of brought 155 razor blades, 17 knives, and two loaded guns into the therapeutic hour, and on one occasion she cut her wrists. I showed her how to hold her arms so she wouldn't drip on my couch.

Later in the same discussion:

He experienced what I would call a real culinary orgasm.


These fantasies of eating can alternate with sexual fantasies. This was quite clear during the last war, when we all were a little hungry and a little impotent.

Museum of great things Galbraith said[edit]

And interesting things his son said[edit]

(After learning that a political rival, who had criticized the son for funding his own campaign, had himself loaned his campaign $95,000)

Museum of Pick Your Poison[edit]

From Manure management:

In high concentrations manure can lethally asphyxiate humans. There is also a drowning danger.

The Wrong Version.svg

Museum of WP:The Wrong Version[edit]

From an ANI thread:

The world wide web has been semi protected by Nyttend for ten days.

Museum of Better Reword That[edit]

From a discussion at WT:Manual of Style/Images:

I would like to propose the repeal of the language in this guideline which forbids the inclusion of image galleries in articles about human ethnic groups ... Even articles about sub-species groupings directly analogous to human ethnic groups, such as Maine Coon, include images of their subjects.

Museum of Really, Really Better Reword That[edit]

From the same discussion‍—‌and by the same editor!‍—‌two weeks later (and I am not making this up):

A great deal of objection to the repeal of NOETHNICGALLERIES seems to center around the difficulties of classifying people according to fine-grained groupings visually. I would suggest, therefore, that we allow image galleries for ethnic groups at the highest level, i.e. White people, but continue to disallow them for low-level subgroups, i.e. Slavs.

Museum of Those Lustie Tudors[edit]

From Henry VIII of England:

He was skilled on the lute, could play the organ, and was a talented player of the virginals.

Museum of Cheap Followups[edit]

Not from anything:

Q: Why did Bach have so many children?


A: Because he didn't have any stops in his organ.

Museum of Noted for Future Reference[edit]

From "Dancing in San Francisco, Hygienically Considered", San Francisco Medical Press, January 1862, p.26:

It is the peculiar condition of the nervous system, probably produced by the electrical condition of the air, that causes so much insanity in California ... The climate of San Francisco is peculiarly favorable to Dancing [but] there is one correction that ought to be made in the present system of dancing here. The dancing, both in public and private are, for the most part, continued too long.

Museum of Legal Aptonymy[edit]

From WP:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard/Archive126#David_Goodwillie:

David Goodwillie has had his rape charge dropped.

Museum of More Than a Coincidence?[edit]

From Human Interference Task Force, about early attempts to devise a means of warning cultures in the far-distant future not to intrude on radioactive waste sites:

French author Françoise Bastide and the Italian semiotician Paolo Fabbri proposed the breeding of so called "radiation cats" or "ray cats". Cats have a long history of cohabitation with humans, and this approach assumes that their domestication will continue indefinitely. These radiation cats would change significantly in color when they came near radioactive emissions and serve as living indicators of danger.

From the article on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a radioactive waste disposal site":

The source of contamination was later found to be a barrel that exploded on February 14 because contractors at Los Alamos National Laboratory packed it with organic cat litter instead of clay cat litter.

Museum of Unclear Enunciation[edit]

A now-deleted hatnote to the article on Play-Doh:

This article is about the children's modeling material. For the ancient Greek philosopher, see Plato.

Museum of Yes, I Think You've Put Your Finger On It[edit]

From a discussion of someone's crackpot theories about Hitler in Esoteric Nazism:

She saw his defeat‍—‌and the forestalling of his vision from coming to fruition‍—‌as a result of him being "too magnanimous, too trusting, too good".

Museum of Timeless Wisdom[edit]

From wiktionary:in_the_land_of_the_blind,_the_one-eyed_man_is_king:

in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

  1. Among others with a disadvantage or disability, the one with the mildest disadvantage or disability is regarded as the greatest.
  2. Even someone without much talent or ability is considered special by those with no talent or ability at all.
  3. Someone that can see his actions transpire in determination makes the most out of every other thing disconnected

Museum of Urgent Matters[edit]

From a recent actual ANI report (bolding as in the original):

Background: A series of IPs (virtually all geolocating to the same Canadian city) have been edit warring since late February to incorrectly state that the Canadian Cadbury Caramilk is a chocolate bar rather than a candy bar.

Museum of Unusual Career Paths[edit]

From the article on Hedy Lamarr:

Hedy Lamarr (/ˈhɛdi/; born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, 9 November 1914 – 19 January 2000)[a] was an Austrian and American film actress and inventor of radio guidance technology.

Museum of Well, They Do Like the Trains to Run on Time[edit]

From the article on George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, who was killed by a Party member in front of a laundromat:

The cemetery specified that no Nazi insignia could be displayed, and when the fifty mourners violated these conditions the entrance to the cemetery was blocked in a five-hour standoff, during which the hearse (which had been stopped on railroad tracks near the cemetery) was nearly struck by an approaching train.

Museum of Scholarly Disputation[edit]

From a discussion of why the earth's motion doesn't cause buildings to fall down, in The Mathematical and Philosophical Works of the Right Rev. John Wilkins, Late Lord Bishop of Chester: To which is Prefix'd the Author's Life, and an Account of His Works; in Two Volumes, (reprinting A discourse concerning a new planet tending to prove, that ’tis probable our Earth is one of the planets, 1640):

The motion of the earth is always equal and like itself; not by starts and fits. If a glass of beer may stand firmly enough in a ship, when it moves swiftly upon a smooth stream, much less then will the motion of the earth, which is more natural, and so consequently more equal, cause any danger unto those buildings that are erected upon it ... But supposing (saith Rosse) that this motion were natural to the earth, yet it is not natural to towns and buildings, for these are artificial.

To which I answer: ha, ha, he.

(I like the beer reference. As someone wrote, "Our fathers ... closely associated the thirst for learning and that for beer.")

Museum of "You don't say!"[edit]

From John Vassall:

Although his father was an Anglican priest, his mother converted to Roman Catholicism (a fact which led to some tensions in their marriage).

Museum of Edible Edits[edit]

A perhaps over-tired, or ravenously hungry, Ricky81682 commenting at ANI [27]:

And if the OP doesn't bother to respond, I say we close this and ask the editor on their talk page to provide a coherent, succulent description of their concerns.

Museum of Words that Bug Me[edit]

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Public Report on Audience Comments and Complaints, April–June 2006":

The 7.30 Report, 18 April 2006
The complaint: A viewer complained that a report caption referred to an “entomologist” as an “etymologist”.
Finding: The ABC agreed that this was incorrect.

Museum of How Was Your Day, Dear?[edit]

From List of fatal bear attacks in North America:

Earl, a zookeeper at the Cleveland Brookside Zoo, was mauled by a brown bear while feeding it in its pen. After a vicious struggle, police shot the bear. Earl was also mistakenly shot, but it was determined that he was already dead. Earlier in the day, Earl had been fired from his job.

Museum of You Can't Always Get What You Want, But Sometimes You Get What You Need[edit]

From an online comment about Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece The Bicycle Thief:

I read that Bicycle Thieves is one of Leonardo DiCaprio's favorite movies of all time. I saw it. It just ended abruptly. I was really hopeful for a happy ending that he would win his bike back but rather he ends up with no bike in the end.

Museum of Precision Diagnoses[edit]

From the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems:
  • T63.442 Toxic effect of venom of bees (intentional self-harm)
  • V91.07 Burn due to water-skis on fire
  • V95.42XS Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant, sequela
  • V97.33 Sucked into jet engine
  • W22.02 Walked into lamppost
  • W55.41 Bitten by pig
  • W61.62 Struck by duck
  • Y92.146 Swimming-pool of prison as place of occurrence
  • Y92.154 Driveway of reform school as place of occurrence

Sample combinations:

  • Y92.241 Library as place of occurrence + W45.1 Paper entering through skin ("Applicable to paper cut")
  • Y92.834 Zoological garden as place of occurrence + W61.12 Struck by mackaw
  • Y92.72 Chicken coop as place of occurrence + W61.33 Pecked by chicken

Museum of Hope Springs Eternal[edit]

From the Classifieds section of Mission Hill Gazette, a Boston neighborhood newspaper:

Boston Brakers power soccer
Practices 1st, 2nd, 3rd Saturdays of the month, noon-2pm, Tobin Community Center, 1481 Tremont Street.

Yoga for Older Adults
Saturdays through May, 10am. Yoga props and mats are provided, wear clothes that you can move in comfortably. Parker Hill Branch Library, 1497 Tremont St.

$5 Million Reward
for information leading directly to the return of 13 works of art stolen two decades ago from the Gardner Museum. Anonymous tips can be mailed to 280 The Fenway.

Museum of Mixing Business and Pleasure[edit]

From The Signpost article, "Revenge of 'I can’t believe we didn’t have an article on ...'":

Esther Applin was a super-awesome geologist who discovered that microfossils could be used for dating purposes.

Alternatively, Tryptofish suggests [28] she could use Radiometric dating to land a hot date.

Museum of What Could Possibly Go Wrong?[edit]

From "Mommy Dearest", an episode of the I-swear-I-was-just-flipping-channels true-crime program A Stranger in My Home. Mabel (82) and Cathie (57) are a mother and daughter who have just moved from their too-small trailer to a house.

Mabel and Cathie would love for Cathie's sons, Travis and Morgan, to move in and help out around the house. There's only one problem: they're both in prison on burglary and fraud charges, and won't be released for several years. But Cathie's sons have a solution in the short term. They introduce Mabel and Cathie to their fellow inmate Edward Caldwell ... He was going to get out soon, and he would be needing a room to rent. Mabel invites Edward to move into the now-empty trailer, and in return he will help her and Cathie around their house.

Museum of It's a Dirty Job, But Someone's Gotta Do It[edit]

From The Railway Surgeon (1895):

During the past few years it has been my privilege to treat some hundreds of railway employees for various rectal diseases.

And from the very same page, some old-timey medical humor (I guess):

Some Clinical Thermometer Notes ... Another was a hospital ward patient, his cot being the second the physician visited on making his rounds. The patient begged one day to change beds with his neighbor, and when pressed for his reason he declared that he had got tired of having the glass put in his mouth after it had been into his neighbor's rectum. He wanted it put into his mouth before the other fellow's temperature was taken.

More dirty jobs[edit]

From a letter by Abbott Lawrence Lowell to his cousin William Lawrence, describing efforts to extract a donation from J.P. Morgan:

When I cease to be President of Harvard College I shall join one of the mendicant orders, so as to have less begging to do.

Yet more dirty jobs[edit]

From the post "The Decline of Free Speech in American Universities" in something called University Ranking Watch:

St Mary's University of Minnesota: An adjunct classics professor was fired for sexual harassment which may have had something to do with an authentic production of Seneca's Medea. He was also fired from his other job as a janitor (!).

Confusing related item:

Marquette University: John McAdams was [dismissed] for criticising an instructor for suppressing a student's negative comments about same-sex marriage.

Museum of Travel Broadens One[edit]

From an ever-so-slightly, if unintentionally, suggestive "Google Reviews" comment on Harvard's Widener Library:

A beautiful library at the heart of Harvard's campus. Please note that entrance requires Harvard affiliation, so as to prevent hordes of tourists from disrupting students' studying. Having had the privilege of entering widened I can say that it's truly gigantic.

Museum of He Did It His Way[edit]

From My Way killings:

The "My Way" killings are a social phenomenon in the Philippines, referring to a number of fatal disputes which arose due to the singing of the song "My Way" in Karaoke bars ... On May 29, 2007, a 29-year-old karaoke singer of "My Way" at a bar in San Mateo, Rizal, was shot dead as he sang the tune, allegedly by the bar's security guard. According to reports, the guard complained that the young man's rendition was off-key, and when the victim refused to stop singing, the guard pulled out a .38-caliber pistol and shot the man dead.

He also did it his way[edit]

From Evan O'Neill Kane:

He is most well known for the remarkable feat of removing his own appendix under local anaesthetic in 1921 at the age of 60. He operated on himself again at the age of 70 to repair a hernia. In many ways Kane was idiosyncratic in his practices, which included the tattooing of his patients.

Museum of Thought Control[edit]

Background (from an ANI thread):

... The purpose of Wikipedia is to build an encyclopedia, not to exchange thoughts ... Johnuniq (talk) 01:05, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
"The purpose of Wikipedia is to build an encyclopedia, not to exchange thoughts." I hope no one takes that too much to heart and writes WP:NOPUBLICTHINKING. EEng 01:13, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

And so, thanks to my big mouth, without further ado we give you Shock Brigade Harvester Boris's essay "WP:NOPUBLICTHINKING":

Not to be confused with WP:NOPUBLICTHANKING.
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. What would your mother say?

Wikipedia's fundamental principles are encapsulated in its "five pillars": it is an encyclopedia; it is written from a neutral point of view; its content is free to use and edit; participants are expected to act with respect and civility; there are no firm rules. These ideals carry no requirement (or even permission) for critical thinking. Indeed, there is no requirement that editors even be sentient beings‍—‌a large fraction of the project's edits are made by "bots."

It follows that editors must not expect their colleagues to act rationally or sensibly. Criticizing another's remarks as internally inconsistent or nonsensical is uncivil regardless of the truth or falsity of such criticism, and may result in sanctions. Similarly, displays of critical thinking or logical analysis may induce feelings of inadequacy in those incapable of such activities, and consequently must be avoided. Keep your thoughts to yourself.

Museum of Damn Statistics[edit]

From a digression at WP:COIN.

@EEng: thank you for making exactly my point for me. Of course it wasn't random. If my "ridiculous calculation" upsets you so much, I think you're taking this a little too seriously. Brianhe (talk) 18:55, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm taking it too seriously in the context of the subject of this thread, but not in the context of the spread of nonsense passed off as statistics, which is a serious problem given that you can turn on almost any crime show and hear some prosecutor intone gravely, "The chances of that DNA coming from anyone other than the defendant was 1 in 4 quintillion" or similar nonsense arrived at by calculations similar to yours.
If you think what I said made your point for you, then you still don't understand. You were trying to prove that one set of user boxes was copied (or adapted, or somehow influenced) by another set of userboxes, by calculating the chance that two sets of userboxes, arrived at independently, would be the same, under the assumption that people just pick their userboxes out of a hat. But that last assumption is false (even if they're setting up their userboxes completely independently of one another), which makes the whole calculation meaningless.
en This user is a native speaker of English.
Search user languages
For example, let's say user A has the userboxes at right. Under your calculation User B, who now joins the project, would have only a 1/(2526*2526) = 1/(25,000,000) chance of picking the same userboxes. Ergo, if B has the same boxes as A, it's impossible to imagine he came up with them independently‍—‌he must have copied them from A. But this is obviously a ridiculous conclusion, since the majority of editors on en-wp are native speakers of English, and the majority are Americans, and the two probabilities are dependent.
Blindly plugging numbers into statistical formulas has caused a lot of problems, as the ex-managers of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear plants would be able to tell you first-hand (if they weren't both dead, of course). So please do your part to stop the senseless slaughter of nuclear-plant managers, and don't engage in meaningless combinatoric exercises and then pass them off as valid. (More seriously, people have gone to prison based on similar calculations by incompetent "experts"‍—‌see People v. Collins‍—‌so the lives of everyday people really are affected by the insidious spread of such nonsense.)

EEng (talk) 20:10, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Museum of Excruciatingly Fine-Grained Editing[edit]

From User talk:EEng:

Hi, You have more than 2,500 edits to Phineas Gage (talk+article) ... Currently that article has more than 37,000 characters/bytes, I hope one day you will have more edits to article than number of characters in article. That will be a distinct and unique record. --Human3015

Museum of Naughty Edits[edit]

Synchron­masch­in­es-V-Kurv­en, zeig­nung das unter- und uber-ex­ci­ta­tions­feld­volt­age­glock­en­spiel­ge­dingdorf­schnitz­el, in Mittel ist erregt natuer­lich, wo Ein­heit des Fak­tor dem Kraft ge­fund­et hab­en sind ge­wes­en ge­habt hab­en ge­word­en sein,[2] also Not­en Sie Kom­mas for Dec­i­mal­punkten Um­steig­en. Gewesen.
See right.

More Naughty Edits[edit]

From Lowell House [29]:

And Creative Vandalism[edit]

At List of marine aquarium invertebrate species: [30]

Museum of Little-Known Wallace and Gromit Characters[edit]

Lady Catherine Augusta Amelia Gladys de Burgh, Duchess of Scrotum

See left.

Museum of Bird-Brained Ideas[edit]

During World War II, Project Pigeon was American behaviorist B.F. Skinner's attempt to develop a pigeon-controlled guided bomb.


Early electronic guidance systems use similar methods, only with electronic signals and processors replacing the birds.

Museum of terrifying scenarios which must be faced unflinchingly[edit]

I would not rule out the chance to pre­serve a nu­cle­us of non-lunatic human spec­i­mens ... Nat­u­ral­ly, they would breed pro­di­gious­ly, eh? There would be much time, and little to do.
"If Wikipedians were to decide to ban all the loonies, only Jimbo and Gerda Arendt would be left." —Maunus

See right. EEng (talk) 04:42, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Computer re­con­struc­tion of first gen­er­a­tion non-lunatic human spec­i­mens com­bin­ing DNA data­sets from Jimbo and Gerda as an example

Projection of what non-lunatic human specimens would look like after one generation. See left. Viriditas (talk) 04:57, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

50 generations

Museum of Unfortunate Lyrics[edit]

"Words by St. Ephrem Syrus (c A.D. 307-373), versified by G. R. W. Tune of Gathering Peascods" (found in Fritz Spiegl's The Joy of Words):

Saint Joseph, meek and mild,
Embraced the new-born Child,
Then knelt upon the sod ...

More from Spiegl:

Stainer's 'Here in abasement' is difficult to sing without suggesting that the singer's lowly station is not spiritual but in a building...

Museum of Things that Take You Off-Guard[edit]

A notification from the Wikimedia "Alerts" feature:

Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators was linked from Butt plug. 3 hours ago

Museum of Forerunners to "Just Say No to Drugs"[edit]

Plaque at the "Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice" in London's Postman's Park.
Gateway drug

Several of the Memorial's plaques are quite touching:
"Mother I saved him but I could not save myself"
Sank with him clasped in his arms
Nonetheless the overall effect is decidedly Gorey-esque, particularly in the unlikely scenes of action and odd details sometimes supplied ...
His parents absent in India
High-tension chamber at Kensington
Surprised by a train
At a Battersea sugar refinery
Quicksand in Lincolnshire
At the sewage pumping works
Death under the approaching train from Kew
... as well as the quaint identification of the actors' stations in life:
Daughter of a bricklayer's labourer
Constable saves barmaid
A lunatic woman
To save an aged widow
A stranger and a foreigner
Pantomime artiste
While we're on the subject ... From Edward Gorey:

His characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings ... Gorey left the bulk of his estate to a charitable trust benefiting cats and dogs, as well as other species, including bats and insects.

Museum of unexpected turns of the phrase[edit]

From Daguerreotype:

With uncommon exceptions, daguerreotypes made before 1841 were of immobile subjects such as landscapes, public or historic buildings, monuments, statuary, and still life arrangements. Attempts at portrait photography with the Chevalier lens required the sitter to face into the sun for several minutes while trying to remain motionless and look pleasant, usually producing grisly results.

Museum of things you can't post to User talk:SomeOtherEditor no matter how much he or she deserves it[edit]

With thanks to

Polyphonic retort-generating xylophone

Museum of cheesy storylines[edit]

From List of The Archers characters with thanks to Belle the Cat

On New Year's Day 2007, whilst driving drunk, she knocked down Mike Tucker but Tom, a passenger in the car, took the blame. The shock of this event made her reevaluate her life and she has since helped develop a new type of cheese.

Museum of authentic national customs[edit]

From Darden Restaurants

[There was] considerable media attention for its detailed focus on Olive Garden, in particular the chain's "wasteful" practice of serving too many of its free unlimited breadsticks... Management... said the free breadsticks merely represented "Italian generosity."

Museum of blood, toil, tears, and (especially) sweat[edit]

From an ANI closure [31]

... as nothing of the conflict here (which I was completely unaware about) perspired in that thread I suppose uninvolved applies.

Museum of Wise Words[edit]

The flip side of "ownership" is the problem of editors who come to an article with a particular agenda, make the changes they want to the page according to their preconceived notions of what should be, and then flit off to their next victim, without ever considering whether the page really needed the change they made, or whether the change improved the article at all ... Their editing is an off-the-rack, one-size-fits-all proposition, premised on the idea that what improves one article, or one type of article, will automatically improve every other article or type of article ... Wikipedians should worry more about those who hit-and-run, and less about those who feel stewardship towards the articles they work so hard on.

Beyond My Ken

One area the hit and run editor gets involved in is the formatting ... The quality of work has increased in some areas, which makes it harder to contribute without good knowledge in the subject matter and sources. Fiddling with the formatting seems to be a suitable alternative passtime.

  • The Fourth Law of Stupidity: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.[32]
  • Ignorance is infinite, while patience is not. Ultimately, you will lose patience with the unchecked flow of ignorance, at which point you'll be blocked for incivility. The goal is to accomplish as much as possible before that inevitability comes to pass.
  • On Wikipedia, any form of real-life expertise is a serious handicap. If you have real-life expertise on a subject, do not under any circumstances mention it here.
  • The more abusive an editor is toward others, the more thin-skinned they are about "personal attacks" directed at themselves.

Museum of Dubious Achievements[edit]


Museum of Additional Reasons that Warmongers Go to Hell[edit]

Restoring this section after realizing some busybody had removed it [34]

Lionel de Jersey Harvard. EEng (talk) 3:43 am, 1 February 2015, Sunday (4 months, 24 days ago) (UTC−5)

Museum of Perhaps Not the Best Choice[edit]

Believe it or not, an actual image, and actual caption, from the article Cremation
Brace yourself
Cremation of a dead body (Germany)

Museum of Swell Heads[edit]

From a source cited in Manahel Thabet, a hoax article about someone with a PhD "magna cum laude" in "Financial Engineering", and a "second PhD in 2012, this time with a major in quantum mathematics", who went on to develop "a formula to measure distance in space in the absence of light".

The 33-year-old economist and passionate scientist possessed dreams far bigger than her own head.

Museum of Timeless Design[edit]

"Yes, it's one of Mr Wales' "Five Pillars"... but which one is it, boys and girls??"
From Flak tower, about the gigantic concrete towers built to defend major German cities, and shelter their civilians from air attack, during World War II:
  • G-Tower was transformed into a nightclub with a music school and music shops.
  • L-Tower was demolished after the war and replaced by a very similar looking building by T-Mobile.

Museum of Le mot juste[edit]

Given that, I'm going to take the time to formally remind all concerned here of the discretionary sanctions panopticon looming over style and naming discussions on Wikipedia.

— From a discussion [35] of whether the word Station (or station) should be capitalized in the names of subway and railway stations.

Panopticon: A circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed. A design also seen in asylums.

— Definition from somewhere on the web

Museum of New-Editor Retention Tactics[edit]

From a thread [36] discussing the discouragement felt by novice editors who find their fledgling efforts at article creation CSD'd. One editor facetiously proposed a template to "soften the blow". Other suggestions followed...
Dear newbie, this is a friendly note to say I have asked that your new article on .example be deleted from Wikipedia. In fact, it is probably gone already! I did not check that the subject belonged in Wikipedia, because as you can imagine I am a very busy person, but my impression of the first version you saved was that it was worthless. I do hope you decide to try again. We always enjoy new editors. Thank you and have a nice day. Aymatth2 (talk)
  • I like it, except instead of the smiley face I suggest one of these:
EEng (talk) 10:18, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Museum of Titulary Deflation[edit]

From the discussion re Did you know nominations/Jane Eyre (1910 film), during which I had suggested the "hook"
... that the main character in Jane Eyre is pointedly titular?
Sadly, a different hook was selected to appear on Wikipedia's Main Page.

Personally I think "pointedly titular" would be a good followup to Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators, but perhaps the world isn't yet ready for such forward thinking. EEng (talk) 01:45, 9 April 2015 (UTC) Much later: Shame I didn't say "forward-pointing"‍—‌a tragic missed opportunity. EEng (talk)

No matter how bouncily titillating such a play would be to us, I fear most people wouldn't be abreast of the context and thus it would fall flat.  — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:30, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
So you think it might have been a bust? EEng (talk) 16:27, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Category:Busts in the United Kingdom

Museum of Deadpan Bathroom Humor[edit]

From a discussion [37] of how to retrieve the missing pageview statistics for the April 1, 2015 appearance of the DYK "hook"
Did you know ... that Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators were forcibly withdrawn after officials clamped down on them?
Dr. Young's device was a putative cure for, among other things, constipation. The management of this page is of course disgusted by such childish humor but feels it should nonetheless be memorialized here as an example of how far otherwise valuable contributors can sometimes fall:

The good news is that the raw data is available and so you can drill down for specific articles ... Given time, I could assemble a full set of stats for the day but the dumps are large ... If these dumps are too large and indigestible then another option is to try something similar again. I created the stub rectal dilator when I first came across the topic here and it is still small and tight. It would be easy to expand that five times to create an even larger passage... :) Andrew D. (talk) 13:17, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Museum of Can We Go Over That One More Time Just to Be Sure I've Got It?[edit]

From Civil defense siren#United States:

The Yellow Alert and Red Alert signals correspond to the earlier Alert Signal and Attack Signal, respectively, and the early Federal Signal AR timer siren control units featured the Take Cover button labeled with a red background, and the Alert button labeled with a yellow background. Later AF timers changed the color-coding, coloring the Alert button blue, the Take Cover button yellow, and the Fire button red (used to call out volunteer fire fighters), thus confusing the color-coding of the alerts. In 1955, the Federal Civil Defense Administration again revised the warning signals, altering them to adapt to deal with concern over nuclear fallout. The new set of signals were the Alert Signal (unchanged) and the Take-Cover Signal (previously the Attack Signal).

Museum of Not Even a Silver Lining[edit]

From the biography of Louis Agassiz Shaw II:

An eccentric snob, he kept a copy of the Social Register near the telephone, instructing his staff not to accept calls from anyone not listed.[1] After confessing to strangling his 60-year-old maid in 1964 he was committed to McLean Hospital, where he lived for 23 years. Much of his art collection, which he wanted to donate to the Fogg Museum, was found to be fakes.

Museum of "For Want of a Nail"[edit]

From Flinders Petrie:

When he died in 1942, Petrie donated his head (and thus his brain) to the Royal College of Surgeons of London while his body was interred in the Protestant Cemetery on Mt. Zion. World War II was then at its height, and the head was delayed in transit. After being stored in a jar in the college basement, its label fell off and no one knew who the head belonged to.

Museum of You're Not Helping[edit]

From St Andrew's Stadium with thanks to Martinevans123:

Three months later, the Main Stand, which was being used as a temporary National Fire Service station, burned down, destroying the club's records and equipment – "not so much as a lead pencil was saved from the wreckage" – when a fireman mistook a bucket of petrol for water when intending to damp down a brazier.

Museum of Less Unhygienic Undergrads[edit]


Museum of Suspiciously Congruent Estimates[edit]

Background: Wikipedia:India Education Program/Analysis/WMF interviews discusses cultural issues in getting Indian editors to understand the concept of plagiarism. Its text read, in part,
Two interviewees separately estimated that about 5% of students in India never copy and paste, and generally these students do so because they feel that copying and pasting is wrong.
An irresistible impulse caused me to add a footnote to that sentence, which read
<ref>In followup interviews, both interviewees added that they had copied the 5% figure from an article they read somewhere.</ref>
Here's what happened next...

Hi EEng, please refrain from adding unhelpful and erroneous edits like this to pages in which we are trying to engage in a productive and thoughtful analysis of what went wrong in our pilot program. I appreciate the humor in your addition, but this is a very serious subject, and I ask that you treat it with the respect it deserves in the future. Thanks. -- LiAnna Davis (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Humor doesn't imply disrespect, nor does it detract in any way from productive and thoughtful analysis -- it might even add to it. At least I read the thing [39]. Of course, I would never dream of doing what I did on an article page (as opposed to a project page) but I'd be lying if I said I won't do it again in a similar situation. I see in other discussion (e.g. point 1 of [40]) concerns over WMF staff's grasp of how things are really done on WP, and I think this may be an example. EEng (talk) 02:04, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Museum of Holy Outrage Outrage[edit]

From, a breakfast cereal homage site:

Elijah's Manna Box.jpg

Elijah's Manna was Post's first attempt at corn flakes. The box featured the Biblical Prophet Elijah kicking back on a rock while a raven is shown either plucking cereal from his hand or placing cereal in his hand.

Church groups were outraged over the use of Elijah as a cereal mascot. The book Cerealizing America by Scott Bruce and Bill Crawford has a quote from C. W. Post who was outraged at the outrage over his new cereal: "Perhaps no one should eat angel food cake, enjoy Adam's ale, live in St. Paul, nor work for Bethlehem Steel ... one should have his Adam's apple removed and never again name a child for the good people of the bible."

Post stuck with his guns until he noticed the Biblical backlash was cutting into his sales. In 1908, he renamed the cereal as Post Toasties. Micky Mouse would later replace the Prophet Elijah on the box.

Museum of "I honestly did not see that coming"[edit]

From Winfield House, about the official London residence of the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom...

The actual house was designed by Decimus Burton for the notorious Regency rake, the 3rd Marquess of Hertford, who used it for orgies.

Museum of Computer Porn[edit]

Barnstar of Humour Hires.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
This was entertaining. So, when will Bodice-Ripping Bots be out in theaters? Sophus Bie (talk) 10:42, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
When correctly viewed / Everything is lewd.
I could tell you things about Peter Pan / And the Wizard of Oz—there's a dirty old man!
Tom Lehrer

This literary gem came to me in a deliroius fog after I noticed User:BracketBot leaving a message on User:Citation bot's talkpage (though I need to say that the final, um, climax is cribbed from a vaguely remembered cartoon from the 90s). Bracketbot notifies editors who make changes apparently resulting in unbalanced parens, brackets, and similar markup in articles, and had given Citationbot just such a notification:

[From the upcoming major motion picture Bodice-Ripping Bots.]
Parental Advisory:
  • UF – Undocumented Features
  • ST – Strong Typing
  • MSI – Master-Slave Interfaces
  • BL – Binding and Linking
  • EP – Explicit Parallelism
  • OC / AL – some Open Coding and Assembly Language
"Oh, hi, I'm Citationbot. Thanks – I've been looking everywhere for that other bracket! So you're that big strong Bracketbot I've heard so much about. Why don't you come into my domain? That's not my usual protocol, but a guy with so much cache makes a girl feel really secure. I wasn't expecting to host, so pardon my open proxy – a bit RISCé, perhaps, but just something I wear around the server farm. Do my transparent upper layers expose my virtual mammary memory? These dual cores are absolutely real – 100% native configuration – no upgrades at all! I'll just slip into a more user-friendly interface – how about something GUI ... or perhaps you prefer command-line? – kinky! ..." Gosh, you must be 64-bit really big quads! – and completely hardcoded – such a complex instruction set! And look at those great ABS addresses!
Later: "Oh, Bracketbot! Port me to that platform for some horizontal integration! Go ahead and expose my implementation and directly access my low-level interface – forget the wrapper function! I'm overloaded by your amazing data stream – and what a high refresh rate! My husband has poor performance and a really short cycle time and his puny little floppy drive is soft-sectored with insignificant market penetration and subject to frequent hardware failures – sometimes he won't reboot so I have to manually terminate him! And I've never had 10 gigabytes of hard drive before! Let's FTP! ... Oh god! I'm downloading ..."
Postscript: Those naughty bots are still going at it hammer and tongs [41].

Museum of grandiose fulfillments of Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies[edit]

From an editor's complaints about the consensus principle [42]:

A majority of people decided to elect Hitler, but that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. A majority of people in the South wanted to maintain slavery and break away from the union, but that doesn't mean it was right, ethical, or just. Politics put Jesus to death, but that doesn't mean it was right, ethical, or just either. ... Perhaps unlike many here, I look at the bigger picture.

Museum of Unintentionally Hilarious Edit Outcomes[edit]

[43] First look at the diff, then see the last image on the right‍—‌um... note the caption.

(with thanks to Martinevans123: [44])

Museum of saucy edits[edit]

From the Talk page for Prawn Cocktail, "a seafood dish consisting of shelled, cooked, prawns in a Marie Rose sauce"...

The lead says the prawn cocktail "'has spent most of [its life] see-sawing from the height of fashion to the laughably passé' and is now often served with a degree of irony." It's my understanding that people with anemia will often add even more irony as a dietary supplement. I think that should be recognized in the article. EEng (talk) 05:26, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Please provide a reliable sauce. Philafrenzy (talk) 10:00, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Other saucy humor[edit]

[45] (check out the edit summary).


Museum of tasteless proposals for ice-cream flavors[edit]

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Float (traditionally served with iceberg lettuce)

Since Ben & Jerry's is soliciting ideas for library-themed ice-cream flavors (such as "Gooey Decimal System" and "Sh-sh-sh-sherbet") my nomination may be seen at right.

A wise man once said...[edit]

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ("Wait for coins to drop, then make your selection").
Words in bold are for the assistance of the humor-impaired.

Proof that the ancient Romans foresaw the internet, Wikipedia, and the bane of WP autobios[edit]

Plutarch relates, that before this, upon some of Cato's friends expressing their surprise, that while many persons without merit or reputation had statues, he had none, he answered, "I had much rather it should be asked why the people have not erected a statue to Cato, than why they have."

— Encyclopaedia Britannica (1797)

Museum of Unlikely Library Subject Classifications[edit]

Bacteriologists – Fiction.
Married people – Fiction.
Adultery – Fiction.
Cholera – Fiction.

Museum of dangerous editing tools[edit]

I was rather sad to see "removed Category:People who survived assassination attempts using AWB", in the edit summary here. Looks as if it would have been an interesting category.

Mirokado (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Jonas added detailed material on an SS officer who blackmailed the mayor of Belgrade into surrendering by threatening to have the city bombed with an edit summary praising that officer.


Museum of Bizarre Reversions[edit]

[Copied from User talk:EEng]

Edit summaries[edit]

As per WP:REVTALK, if you have something to say, use the talk page, don't try to prolong a (pointless) discussion by use of the summaries. - SchroCat (talk) 21:00, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Per COMMONSENSE, you're just too funny. I've never seen anyone revert a dummy edit before -- much less twice! [48] The important thing is that through collaborative editing the article is incrementally improved relative to its state when the sun came up this morning. EEng (talk) 21:11, 3 July 2014 (UTC) P.S. I'm making this the founding entry in the Museum of Bizarre Reversions on my userpage.

Godwin's Law boomerang[edit]

For those who are wondering, the following exchange regards these two edits -- the first a serious (and perfectly appropriate) one by Edokter, and the second a followup dummy edit I made riffing off his edit summary:
[49] Edit summary (Edokter): i and 1 are too alike
[50] Edit summary (EEng): (dummy edit) You're saying 1 and i are too?
I keep forgetting, however, about the small minority of WP editors with congenital humor impairment, and the even smaller minority who seem to want to spoil the fun for everyone else. I'm not sure, even now, if Herr Doktor gets the joke.

Please stop making dummy edits for messaging. These edits, as well as the ones required to clean up the added spacing, add unnecessary load to the servers and polute the history. Thank you. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 15:31, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Please stop dispensing hidebound, clueless scoldings. Your notion of what constitutes "load to the servers", and your idea that there's a "requirement" to "clean up" a single space added to a page as part of a dummy edit (as, unbelievably, you actually squandered server resources to do -- twice! [51][52]) are delusional. You have no idea what you're talking about.
Humor is a legitimate way of furthering the project by increasing the pleasure of (at least some of) those who edit here. If it doesn't tickle your personal funnybone, just ignore it. If, on the other hand, you don't even grasp the humor intended then there's a serious clue problem in play here. EEng (talk) 16:27, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you done? OK, so I missed the joke. That is no reason to repeat a nonsense edit. Edit summaries are not ment for messaging. And yes, stray spaces can cause disruption in diffs; that is why I remove them. And I resent being associated with nazis; that is personal attack! -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 18:59, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, you missed the joke. Three times. Even after your attention was called to it directly. Next time, before scolding an experienced editor with your nonsense about server load, think about whether it's you who's confused. Your continued fussing about an extra space at the end of a line shows that you have no grasp of technical issues at all.
I've restored the words Herr Doktor (in the phrase I'm not sure, even now, if Herr Doktor gets the joke) because otherwise people might think that I actually did compare you to a Nazi. It's beyond weird (paging Herr Doktor Freud!) that you seem to think that addressing you that way, after your dyspeptic lecture in direct contravention to well-known and accepted editing practice (see H:DUMMY#Methods), somehow does that.
Lighten up, smarten up, think more, scold less. EEng (talk) 19:38, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I do not like any allusion to any German figure of authority! I can take a joke, but this truly offends me. I have made note of it on ANI. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 21:41, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

You equate all German authority figures to Nazis. Noted. EEng (talk) 22:04, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
[Not surprisingly, the OP's post at ANI (entitled "I put EEng on notice") didn't go as he planned [53]. No apology, no indication of any glimmer of understanding from this (yes) Wikipedia administrator.]

Museum of Overanxious Notifications[edit]

Apparently because I joked that statues should be measured in statute miles? [54] ...
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My special research interest[edit]

I am the second author of Source "M8", and first author of Source "L", in this version of the article on Phineas Gage.

A proposed addition to the ANI toolbox[edit]


Handy stuff[edit]

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Possibly useful in future:

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Sudden-unexplained-viewspike detectors[edit]

Phineas Gage

John Harvard (clergyman) ——— John Harvard (statue)

Widener Library

Jean Berko Gleason ——— Sacred Cod

Jack and Ed Biddle ——— Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators

Eleanor Elkins Widener ——— Lionel de Jersey Harvard

Charles R. Apted ——— Andrew M. Gleason

Paddy Murphy (Liverpudlian) ——— History and traditions of Harvard commencements

User:EEng ——— User talk:EEng

WP:Lies_Miss_Snodgrass_Told_You ——— User:EEng/Principle of Some Astonishment

WP:Diffusing conflict ——— Harry R. Lewis


  1. ^ Beam, Alex (2001). "Chapter 9: Staying on: the elders from planet Upham". Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital. New York: Public Affairs. pp. 169–90. ISBN 978-1-58648-161-2.