Because I Can

Published 2007-07-17

3 am, suffering the usual insomnia. Out of idle boredom I’m browsing Wikipedia, entirely because I can. Although, as Wikipedia itself helpfully notes, as of “June 2007” I would, actually be able to do this from China. I’m trying to remember if I looked at Wikipedia at all the last month we were there...

What I’ve learned recently [with the usual disclaimer that this is stuff anonymous unqualified strangers assure me is true]:

  • The Earth’s Atmosphere has more Argon than Carbon Dioxide
  • China has partially unblocked Wikipedia
  • The Robustness Principle (also known as Postel’s Law) states “Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others.” (This has something to do with engineering Internet protocols, but seems like a good recipe for life, generally.)
  • Kelly Souders, one of only two Souders on Wikipedia, has written or co-written 17 episodes of Smallville. I’ve never seen Smallville.
  • On July 17, 1815, Napoléon made his formal surrender to British forces on board the HMS Bellerophon off the port of Rochefort, France, ending the Hundred Days.
  • At Waterloo, Napoléon did not, actually, surrender.
  • The tiny Polynesian nation of Niue has effectively outsourced its foreign relations to New Zealand which seems fricking brilliant given America’s performance over the last five years.
  • Famous Nebraskan Harold Edgerton, inventor of the photographic strobe, died in 1990.
  • Talk pages for the most unexpected subjects provide hours of schadenfreuderific entertainment.
  • Schadenfreuderific is not a real word.