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Wikipedia (i/ˌwɪkɨˈpiːdiə/ or i/ˌwɪkiˈpiːdiə/ wik-i-pee-dee-ə) is a free, collaboratively edited and multilingual Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 21 million articles (over 3.9 million in English alone) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site, and it has about 100,000 regularly active contributors. As of May 2012, there are editions of Wikipedia in 285 languages. It has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranking sixth globally among all websites on Alexa and having an estimated 365 million readers worldwide. It is estimated that Wikipedia receives 2.7 billion monthly pageviews from the United States alone. Wikipedia was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger coined the name Wikipedia, which is a portmanteau of wiki (a type of collaborative website, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia. Wikipedia's departure from the expert-driven style of encyclopedia building and the presence of a large body of unacademic content have received ample attention in print media. In its 2006 Person of the Year article, Time magazine recognized the rapid growth of online collaboration and interaction by millions of people around the world. It cited Wikipedia as an example, in addition to YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. Wikipedia has also been praised as a news source because of how quickly articles about recent events appear. Students have been assigned to write Wikipedia articles as an exercise in clearly and succinctly explaining difficult concepts to an uninitiated audience. Although the policies of Wikipedia strongly espouse verifiability and a neutral point of view, criticisms leveled at Wikipedia include allegations about quality of writing, inaccurate or inconsistent information, and explicit content. Various experts (including founder Jimmy Wales and Jonathan Zittrain, Oxford University) have expressed concern over possible (intentional or unintentional) biases. These allegations are variously addressed by Wikipedia policies. While not a criticism per se, other disparagers of Wikipedia simply point out vulnerabilities inherent to any wiki that may be edited by anyone. These critics observe that much weight is given to topics that more editors are likely to know about, like popular culture, and that the site is vulnerable to vandalism, though some studies indicate that vandalism is quickly deleted. Critics point out that some articles contain unverified or inconsistent information, though a 2005 investigation in Nature showed that the science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of "serious errors".
-------------------- “in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty"
A Connecticut man has called 911 to complain that a deli fouled up his sandwich order.
The man can be heard on a recording of Wednesday's call complaining that he "specifically asked for little turkey and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise," and the Grateful Deli in East Hartford got it wrong.
The dispatcher asked the man to verify that he was calling 911 because he didn't like the way they made his sandwich. The man replied, "Exactly."
The dispatcher advised him not to buy it.
Deli owner Tila Azinheira tells WVIT-TV that the man had placed an order for 14 sandwiches and the deli made them to his specifications.
Azinheira says the man called Thursday to apologize. No charges have been filed.
-------------------- I knew my eggs was headed for dat big omelette in da sky!
I'll never forget my last visit to lovely Hinesville, Georgia. For it was there that I learned a valuable lesson, one I shall never forget: in a police state, we're all criminals.
Think about it — how many laws have you broken today? This week? This month? Have you changed lanes without a turn signal? Exceeded the posted speed limit? Hired a neighborhood kid to cut your grass and then paid him under the table? Engaged in commerce with someone who is in the country illegally? Bought lemonade from an unlicensed "dealer" in the form of an innocent child?
In Hinesville, I was accosted for "animal cruelty." We were traveling to visit family in the southwestern part of the state. In the car were my wife, my two young daughters, and our two dogs, Methuselah and Garibaldi.
The older of my two daughters had a rash, so we stopped at Walmart to get her some antihistamine cream. We emerged from the store, just under 20 minutes later, to be greeted by an animal-control officer and the stereotypical police officer, complete with a Napoleon complex and cheesy mustache.
You see, we left the dogs in the car, with the windows down and a dish of water to drink. A noble citizen watched us emerge from the car and promptly called animal control. An agent was dispatched to rescue our persecuted beasts.
I was informed that I was being charged with criminal animal cruelty, subject to appear in court at a later date. Apparently, the fact that my dogs were panting was proof positive that they were at death's door. Never mind that they always pant, even in an air-conditioned house.
The officer informed me that I was going to have to take the dogs to the vet to be checked out before we were allowed to continue on our way. I am reasonably sure that such a request is outside of their official authority, but I agreed to comply upon the premise that they would drop all charges when the dogs were given a clean bill of health. As I suspected, they balked at this idea.
I tried another tactic. I calmly explained to the animal-control officer that we were not from the area, and asked if he could simply levy some kind of fine, rather than require a court appearance. This is when things got fun. "Animal cruelty is a warrant offense," I was told. It requires a court appearance and carries the threat of jail time. Then I made a crucial mistake; I asked a logical question to a law-enforcement officer.
"At what point," I asked, "was I in violation of the law?" "When I left the car? Five minutes later? Ten minutes?" I wanted a specific definition for the cruelty in which I was supposedly engaged.
He couldn't answer, but the heroic policeman — let's just call him "Vic Maldonado" — sprang into action. This innocent question left him no choice but to pull out both his baton and Taser and charge toward me. When I raised my hands as if to say, "I am unarmed, and that is an unnecessary show of force," I was ordered to turn around and place my hands on the police cruiser. I asked why; no answer was given, except to radio for backup and claim that an officer had been "assaulted."
To this day, I am glad that he didn't take the additional step of searching my car, wherein were two legal, loaded pistols. I shudder to think what might have happened.
I was cuffed and escorted to the back of the squad car. I sat in the car for half an hour, while my wife and children sat and watched. When the backup arrived, I watched and listened through the open front window as "Maldonado" reenacted the confrontation. I was particularly interested in the part where I physically slammed the officer against the car and he somehow found the restraint to not shoot or taser me.
Eventually, I was let out of the car and cited for disorderly conduct. The animal-control officer apologized for harassing me and promised to see to it that the judge dropped all animal-cruelty charges. He was clearly shell-shocked by the escalation he had witnessed. The fine for my "disorderly conduct" was $300, and the court date was set for 7:15 a.m.
This made it reasonably certain that, even if I chose to fight the charge, it would require an overnight stay, the hiring of a lawyer, and the incurrence of expenses far exceeding the cost of the fine. I think this was not a coincidence but rather a calculated way of raising funds.
I intended to pay the fine in legal-tender pennies, but was dissuaded by my father-in-law, who informed me that a Georgia judge had held someone in contempt of court, subject to another fine, for just such an offense.
Melodramatic prison movies always use corny lines like "prison has a way of changing a man." I didn't experience a prison visit, but my brush with the law certainly changed me. The last shred of the veil of naïveté was lifted; the myth of "Officer Friendly" was banished forever. What was once merely a vague sense of distrust has given way to a much stronger feeling: I hate the state.
The irony in all this? My family and dogs sat in a hot car for over an hour while the police harassed me. Apparently, animal cruelty can only be perpetrated by citizens, not the soldiers of the crown.
-------------------- With the tube, you are much more satisfied when it spits instead of swallows