Wikipedia talk:Did you know/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Red Mercury

There is no clear information on this 'substance'. This topic is too wooly to go on the front page without some kind of context. It certainly doesn't belong in Did You Know... -- surely a place for definite facts. Mr. Jones 11:19, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Dyk was for new content only. Where's the new article in J.J.'s edit? Hadal 17:19, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yes, exactly. DYK isn't for general trivia, it's for specific trivia. :) The items here should be taken from "New Pages" and should bold the new item. There are now guidelines on the edit page. Thanks for being alert. :) jengod 20:02, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)
P.S. In my brief experience with this section I've found that the best way to trawl for good additions is to look for new pages with large file sizes--usually over 1000K. jengod 20:06, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)
Oh, no.. thank you for your diligence in updating this section! I'm not quite bold enough to do it myself, just yet.. ;) Cheers, -- Hadal 22:04, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Why are we keeping an archive

What purpose does keeping an archive serve? To me, it seems like just one more thing to do. →Raul654 19:48, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)

It seemed like people started archiving, out of a reluctance to banish certain items, even if there was something good for the front door, and maybe it's one more thing to do, but it's also one more way to bring people into the site. It's only a cut-and-paste. Everything is archived, just not organized--if anybody skips the step, for whatever reason, it can always get "caught up with" by someone else... jengod 20:20, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)
I like the archive. It's like our own little trivia page... - Seth Ilys

Dyk protected?

I assume this page isn't protected... then doesn't that invite vandals? ugen64 15:35, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)

It's SecurityThroughObscurity. The idea is that most vandals won't go to the trouble of finding out how the mediawiki namespace works, and therefore won't find this page, even if they look at the source of the Main Page. Angela. 01:16, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
Exactly. But in this case, another effect kicks in. I can't remember the name, but basically - your house doesn't have to be Fort Knox, just a bit harder to get into than your neighbors. Would be vandals just graffitti the featured article, rather than figuring out how to attack the main page. →Raul654 01:20, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
If it was protected, doesn't it mean that only admins can make changes to it? Will that, then, not be depriving other users of a chance of editing it? whkoh [talk][[]] 06:14, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

Stubs appropriate?

Are stubs appropriate on Dyk? I notice that Jimmy Piersall is a stub. --Spikey 17:37, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What's worse, it doesn't mention the fact that's featured in DYK! For that reason, I'm going to remove it. I should note that I have no objection to stubs generally, but following the link should give us more information on the fact. (I want to know if the home run was legal!) -- Toby Bartels 18:51, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

stub avoidance

Street artist is a stub. I feel we should avoid dyk links to stub articles. Kingturtle 21:07, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I would like to see a page that tracks when the stub notice is removed from an article. A list of the most recent of those would then be good candidates for Dyk's. (I suppose that would take some interesting programming, but maybe it could be as simple as difference "What links here?" for a stub notice in the form of a MediaWiki page, MediaWiki:Stub, i.e., ? - Bevo 22:16, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps, but then we would have to change the fundamental purpose of DYK, which at the moment is to highlight NEW articles on Wikipedia. Articles that have grown into themselves are a different subject. jengod 00:16, Mar 14, 2004 (UTC)
Well, it is a little bit risky to immediately trust the assertions of a brand new page. It would be better to let it exist for a week and let the Wiki community fact-check it before it contributes to the Main page. - Bevo 05:20, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You know, people have been keeping a great eye on it so far. I think it's good--and it's part of a good quarter system: New news, new article, big features and little features. I think it contributes to a great spotlighting system that promotes Wikipedia. jengod 05:58, Mar 14, 2004 (UTC)

Number of items

Does anyone else have thoughts on the number of items that should be listed in Dyk? I know it'll have to vary a little depending upon the size of other items, but I feel like six or seven (as we've seen recently) is a bit much and makes that section look cluttered. Could we either figure out another way to format them or set general guidelines for the number of items so as to make the main page look more attractive? Any thoughts? - Seth Ilys 05:24, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think there should be three....or four tops. Kingturtle 16:03, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I also think the list is too long now. dave
Is there a style guide with particulars for Dyk ? - Bevo 16:30, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The closest thing we have is what's commented out on the page itself:

  • This section is only for items that have been listed on "NEW PAGES" since the last update of DYK
  • The new item should be BOLD and placed on TOP as the FIRST ITEM
  • Generally limited THREE items, but whatever the case--just make sure it fits whatever else is on the page at that time. Use your common sense.
  • Please ARCHIVE expired items in "featured new"
  • Try to pick articles that are ORIGINAL to Wikipedia--not 1911 or other data sources.
  • The "Did you know?" fact should be mentioned in the article.

Frequency of Dyk updates

How long should a Dyk item remain on the Main Page? Minimum and maximum. Are all the items replaced at the same time? - Bevo 19:16, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

  1. There's no set rule, but I've always felt six to 24 hours is good--it depends on how much good stuff there is, but I would definitely rather have them rotate more than less--I think it's one of the sections of the page that has the *change* to very vital and fresh. Any longer than 24 hours and people are all, "Yes, we know already! Stop asking!" And less than six and people don't really get a change. A lot of this is dependent on admins being interested in updating, although once something is added, people often scramble to get a pic added. Items that would warrant pictures are also a good choice. My rule of thumb is that if I go to bed and wake up to the same DYK? it's time for an update. You could say the same about the workday--if you start up and shut down to the same DYK, it could probably do with a freshening. :)
  2. Again there's no rule--but first in, first out is usually a good plan. If all three items were added at the same time, they can be removed at the same time. If they were added at diffent times, but there are three new things that would work well, it's okay to sacrifice the newest one in favor of an overall update.

IMHO, :) jengod 19:26, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

One other rule of thumb

This has never been codified, but I do it I make an effort not to be too country-centric or subject-centric. I think it's good if there's a mix of biology and pop culture and historical biography and so on, and, as with everything, it's better to not be Anglo-Amero-Auscentric, so I try to avoid provincial U.S. stuff (my POV) when possible, although sometimes articles are just solid enough (c.f. Naval War College) to warrant it. jengod 19:34, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

2004 FH could have inspired a good Dyk item yesterday. Apparently the whole planet would have noticed had it come much closer! - Bevo 19:41, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I question the propriety of including Poincaré duality here. It is an extremely specialized topic and I guess even among math grads only a small percentage would understand what its about. -- Arvindn 08:51, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well, I was an English major, so as far as I'm concerned the quadratic function (or whatever that thing is called) and the Poincaré duality are exactly the same. ;) I'll see if i can find something less complicated. jengod 16:10, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)


Is it wrong that I'm really happy about "chicken sexer" being on the main page? :) jengod 23:43, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)

Can I suggest a DYK? How about "DYK that Nellie Fox was rejected from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 after receiving 74.6 of the required 75% of the votes to gain entry?" Maybe I should reword that: he recieved 74.6 of the votes, he needed 75... Anyone want to help me out? Chicago 01:57, Apr 1, 2004 (UTC)

April 10: Octopuses

Isn't it supposed to be "octopi"? – Minh Nguyễn 16:03, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The word is derived from Greek, not Latin, so it isn't standard practice to use "octopi", which is a Latin plural. The proper way of doing it is to use the English plural, "octopuses", or the Greek plural, "octopodes", pronounced "awk-TAHP-uh-deez". The Greek plural, which I prefer because of its sheer coolness, is considered pedantic and is rarely used. Oh, well. Chris Roy 20:54, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Using div style... instead of |right

Yesterday I tried to add the message not to use the "|right" markup on the In The News and Did You Know templates to as many pages as I could find that were relevant. I know it seems rather unilateral of me, but for several weeks now I have found myself manually changing each image to the <div style="float:right"> system anyway. When you use the extended image markup "|right", an error in the software causes an unsymmetrical white border to be placed behind the image (in all browsers), as demonstrated by this link. Normally in articles this is not a problem, because the articles have white backgrounds anyway. However on the Main Page, the sections with these templates have coloured backgrounds, which results these images with their borders appearing very ugly to the end user. The use of the div system fixes this problem, without changing the positioning of the image itself (with the slight exception that the text padding around the image might be smaller). I placed these messages on these pages in the hope that the remainder of people who still use the "|right" markup will change back to the old system, and thus save me the effort of having to change it every couple of days. - Mark 04:06, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)


I think the article on the Soviet Navy that I just created could really benefit from being posted here. Right now it is probably a little too immature, but As soon as the history section has some content it might be good for this section.... Jacoplane 11:34, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'd like Pergamon Museum to be included. [[User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup❞]] 01:21, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The Pergamon Altar

...that the Pergamon Museum in Berlin hosts a reconstruction of a 113 meters long scupture frieze?

I'd like to include John Thrasher. I added the article hoping to make it into this section :) SSherris 15:06, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

...that John Thrasher, a 19th century entrepreneur was a founder of Atlanta, Georgia?

The page is not protected; just go ahead and add it. Remember to put what you removed into the archive. -- Kaihsu 17:05, 2004 Jul 2 (UTC)


Interesting: for a change, all the articles are about Europe (Kaihsu 13:21, 2004 Jul 2 (UTC)):

From Wikipedia's newest articles:
...that the political party at European level is a type of organization in the European Union eligible to receive funding from the Union, and is recognized in the Maastricht Treaty and the draft European Constitution?
...that the Frankfurt kitchen was the first built-in kitchen, and was designed with space efficiency in mind?
...that the Pergamon Museum in Berlin hosts a reconstruction of a 113 meter long sculptural frieze?
...that dramatic structure has been diagrammed by both Aristotle and Gustav Freytag?

Archive | All new articles...

Question: Is that supposed to be good or bad? When I'm editing I try to get a range of topics and also a range of material from the major geographic locations of most en.wikipedia users: USA, UK, A/NZ, Canada, Europe, etc. Do people think it should be another way? jengod 16:15, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)

A change in formatting?

Recently on Talk:Main Page, there has been complaint that this section of the main page doesn't explain that these articles are new and therefore may contain inaccurate information. What ought to be done about this to avoid embarassment? Johnleemk | Talk 10:48, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I thought Jengod's solution of actually letting people know that the did you know facts were from new articles (it wasn't obvious before as Talk:Main Page proves) was a good one. I propose to revert Eloquence's revert unless he lets us know why it is problematic. Pcb21| Pete 09:45, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Following at least two more separate incidents of confusion about what the purpose of dyk is, I put back a "newest articles" notice. Pcb21| Pete 11:14, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The double ellipsis in "Did you know... From Wikipedia's newest articles..." looked a bit clumsy to me, so I tweaked the punctuation. Comments? Harry R 09:58, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I actually think a better solution would be to have this template called "From Wikipedia's newest articles" and have the italic subheader saying "Did you know...". That would make it even clearer what the point of the section was, and (more importantly perhaps) would make it read more attractively. Harry R 10:22, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I STRONGLY second Harry's suggestion to rename this template to "From Wikipedia's newest articles", with a secondary title of "Did you know...". The current name just SCREAMS that it IS IS IS a general trivia section, totally contrary to what the rules (above) say. As this intended NOT to be and not to become a general trivia section, it urgently needs to be renamed to reflect that. Ropers 12:35, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I sense no urgency here. "Did you know" is already a trivia section. That rule up the top is to stop people trawling through random existing articles to find quirky facts to put on the Main Page. That would degenerate the section into a POV war space. - Mark 14:43, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Mark. In all the time we've had DYK we've only had one or two articles that were old-school and they were identified quite quickly. I think the currently "From wikipedia's newest articles blah blah" thingy is attractive and works well. I kind of would rather have the "All new articles" link back the bottom of the section as well, but I'm not very hung up about it. jengod 19:05, Aug 26, 2004 (UTC)

T-Mobile team looked too much like an ad. Two days on the front page was JTDM. Stevertigo 16:40, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Let's make sure the articles we're linking to are clean before listing them here

User:Jiang added the Flor Contemplacion article to dyk just after it had been created. The article had no formatting to match the requirements of Wikipedia:Manual of style. We really need to make sure that we have clean, mature articles before we start listing them on the templates that appear on the Main page. RickK 20:10, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that formatting etc should be normalized before posting here. But "mature" rather counteracts the idea that they are from new pages. Pcb21| Pete 11:29, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And, actually, I don't think they do have to be clean. Total newbies will be all "ew" but it's also an invitation to users who are learning to clean up a worthwhile article and make it extra-shiny. And the "ew" people will either never come back again, or they will and their user experience will equalize (some articles are super-shiny, others need buffing.) jengod 16:12, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)

Updating too fast?

Seems to be only an hour or so for most DYK's. The rules seem to hint at 6 hrs or so. Is that something we want to stick closer to? Personally I'd rather not have lots of people refrech the main page every hour for the extra strain on the servers. - Taxman 22:58, Jul 22, 2004 (UTC)

  • I think they're moving too fast. I'd prefer DYKs stayed for a day or so, much like the feature. blankfaze | (беседа!) 23:21, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

possible candidate

I posted this on User:Angelas page so she kindly directed me here.

Hi Angela, Don't think I've discussed anything with you before but just wondered how pages are chosen for the Did you know section on the front page. I've just written a brief rtcl on Anastasiya Kapachinskaya and find it bizarre that all three medallists from a major athletics event can all be suspended for failing drug tests and could that it could be an interesting did you know candidate. This along with Vita Pavlysh twice being stripped of the same title they are two of the most bizarre athletics stories that I have come across. I know they probably need some work or possibly need to be merged into a stupid athletes or suspended athletes rtcl. any comments appreciated. Scraggy4 23:23, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Same question. Where do I list a new article for consideration for Did you know? I sometimes create a article I think worthy, but feel that it would be too pushy to just feature it myself. -- Chris 73 | Talk 10:58, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
DYK candidates are picked by anyone who has time and inclination to pick them. PLEASE feel free to add something on there yourself. PLEASE. :) jengod 18:59, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)

Essay on criticism

Perhaps "essay" in the title more refers to it being an "attempt"? By that definition, it sounds as if it is an essay (an attempt). I fear the caption on the main page appears to ignore the older definition of essay. zoney  talk 22:58, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Random DYK

Would it be possible to have a feature similar to Special:randompage that provides random DYK?
SimonMayer 08:54, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

DYK suggestions

I've just wrote an (IMHO) nice article about communications with submarines, and now had for the first time a look at how the DYK section is organized. I hesistate to put to be so bold as to put my article right into the the DYK section appearing on the talk page, but I would like to notify those persons who usually maintains DYK of my new article. Maybe I'm not the only one thinking like that. So, why not put up section here on the Talk page for suggestions. I make a start by setting up such a list. Keep it or delete it: ;-) Simon A. 10:25, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Be bold! I wrote a nice new article on Leyton F.C., it had an interesting fact in it, I added it to DYK. And I'm not even a logged-in user - hopefully, no-one will judge it any the worse for that. Why not just do the same? -- 16:41, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Suggestions of new articles to be mentioned in DYK (add here if you have written an new article of interest or spotted one:)


  • This section is only for items that have been listed on "NEW PAGES" since the last update of DYK.
My bad. :) jengod 17:08, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

Rule change?

  • This section is only for items that have been listed on "NEW PAGES" since the last update of DYK.
Maybe we should change this to:This section is only for items that have been listed on "NEW PAGES" for less that 72 hours. to avoid nominations to not be allowed because of premature updating? [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 21:30, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)
Sure thing. jengod 22:05, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)

From rules to instructions

No, I'm not too skeered to add items myself, I'm just too bemused by the whole "template" thing. More after reading the Rules than before. Could the "Rules" please be complemented by a step-by-step "Instruction" on what actually to do? Aimed at the beginner? Not so much focused on what not to do?--[[User:Bishonen|Bishonen (talk)]] 15:20, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • I'll have a go at writing an instruction guide to updating the "Did you know" template. Hang in there! [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 15:34, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

New pages vs new content

I was hoping to list red triangle, for which I've essentially written entirely new content (diff) tonight, but I'm thwarted by the NEWPAGES criterion. Marginally relaxing "new page" to "page that is entirely new content" would recognise the stub slayers and those who rescue copyvios and craptastic VfD candidates too. -- John Fader 04:29, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I second that motion. I've done substantial work to formerly-pathetic ancient articles like Baltic languages, Kanklės and Concertina. Also, I'm sure a lot of us have thrown up a stub just to get things started and only fleshed out the article weeks later, as I did with Chemnitzer concertina. --Theodore Kloba 22:12, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)

DYK notification template

The DYK notification template links to the DYK template itself... should it link here instead? 10:14, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Notification template

I've made a template to notify users of the status of inclusion of an article they created. The template is at Template:UpdatedDYK, and the proper coding to use it is:{{subst:UpdatedDYK|[[test]]}}, which expands to:


Hi! Tom, the new indenting looks funny on Firefox. See: Image:Indent-sample-dyk-firefox.jpg. Would you mind reverting or recoding? jengod 21:32, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

Hmm, I haven't seen anything funny on my Firefox 1.0. See Image:Did you know Firefox 1.0 screenshot.png. ωhkoh [Т] 11:41, Dec 17, 2004 (UTC) was fixed and great for a while, and now it's back to being strange. See Image:Firefox-indent-screenshot-2.jpg. This revision had it fixed (at least in my browser), with the neat indenting, and then it got wonky again... jengod 22:12, Dec 17, 2004 (UTC)
Should be fixed again. Although I still can't replicate that problem at all in any version of Firefox. Tom- 22:33, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I'm having similar indenting problems on Mozilla 1.7 right now (took me a while to figure out it was browser-specific). - Nat Krause 09:29, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

72 hours

Should we adapt the 72 hour rule to allow for older facts that were suggested on time, but failed to be featured due to main page formatting or dicersitry issues? Mgm|(talk) 15:02, Dec 27, 2004 (UTC)

DYK fact incorrectly shortened

The DYK fact that I submitted for Matthias W. Baldwin was incorrectly shortened. The patent for gold plating wasn't developed in 1832, it was developed in the 1820s. His first steam locomotive was developed in 1832. slambo 15:27, Jan 10, 2005 (UTC)

L'Origine du monde

...that L'Origine du monde, Gustave Courbet's most provocative painting, remained in the privacy of its successive owners for almost 130 years before entering the musée d'Orsay? (created by Sam Hocevar)

Suggested:Image:Gustave_Courbet-Nadar.jpg -- Mgm|(talk) 10:45, Jan 19, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, Id very much prefer Image:L'Origine_du_monde.jpeg, since the line is about it mainly rather than Courbet. This picture is not "obscene", it is a very famous and classical painting. Rama 10:58, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(copied from Raul's talk page) Uh, I don't know if there's a specific policy against it, but common sense would say not to. I'm totally against censoring articles in any way (as my actions and comments on penis, clitories, vagina, 'etc have shown), but that doesn't mean we should go out of our way to put images we know will offend some people on our most visited page. →Raul654 18:03, Jan 19, 2005 (UTC)
Whatever the picture, nice it made it anyway ! :) Rama 08:47, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Gwethalyn Graham

"... that in 1944 Gwethalyn Graham was the first Canadian writer to reach number one on The New York Times bestseller list with a novel depicting an interfaith romance between a Protestant woman and a Jewish man? (User:Bearcat) 13:18, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)"

I think that this is a little unclear. I first read it as "the first Canadian writer to reach number one on NYT bestseller list with a novel depicting an interfaith...Jewish man" rather than, as I assume it was intended to be interpreted as, "the first Canadian writer to reach number one etc. The novel was about an interfaith etc." As if he's the first Canadian writer to reach number one writing about that subject matter, rather than the just being the first Canadian writer to reach number one, and then mentioning the subject matter of the book. I dunno. Maybe I'm just being a little anal. Cigarette 16:28, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Was bold. Fixed it with a comma.  :) Cigarette 16:41, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)


I have protected this template. I expect after the *major* vandalism yesterday (the goatse image was on the main page for 20 minutes), and that it's the 2nd time this has happened in 2 months, that this will be permanent - we're locking down the main page for good. See the discussion on talk:Main page →Raul654 20:39, Feb 4, 2005 (UTC)

Dalziel and Pascoe

This factoid is not correct according to the article. Rmhermen 15:00, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)

First buddhist convert?

shouldn't that be "the first person KNOWN to have converted to Buddhism in America" ? You can't really prove a negative. Doops 15:24, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Could someone with The Power please add "(pictured)" after Elmer Robinson? Thanks! — MikeX (talk) 05:24, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

Elmer Robinson

What kind of DNK is this ...that Elmer Robinson was the 33rd mayor of San Francisco?. Its too bland and nothing is mentioned on his page about his fame. Was ER someone famous before joining office? I hope future DYK entries have more spice to it rather than something which looks like a dry and useless statement to me. Nichalp 20:26, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

Alex Deakin

Could someone add

...that weatherman Alex Deakin has a masters degree in astrophysics

And could someone add BBC before weatherman? In the States, the weathermen were radical anti-government revolutionaries in the 60's and 70's. When I first read this item, that was who I thought of.

History of ophthalmology

History of ophthalmology is a copyvio of, and needs to be removed from the main page post-haste. —Korath (Talk) 13:18, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)