More Wikipedia Contrails

I’m a full-blown Wikipedia addict, though not a “Wikipedian”—I don’t have the time to contribute much, but I can’t go long without instant access to Wikipedia for answers to every other question that pops into my head. Thus, it doesn’t take much to get me to tell you what I’ve been reading on there lately. So in deference to Jason Kottke and Matt Webb, an annotated record of my habit:

  • William Blackstone: The first white settler in Rhode Island. He had the biggest library in North America at one time and used to ride a bull into town to talk religion and hand out apples to young children. No one had ever seen apples before.
  • Egg cream: Had my first taste of this old-time New York beverage a while back; was disappointed to learn that it contained neither egg nor cream
  • The Sandbaggers: Highly addictive British espionage TV series that’s been filling up my Netflix queue
  • John McLaughlin: Didn’t know the mouth behind The McLaughlin Group was a Jesuit priest who once ran for U.S. Senate representing Rhode Island
  • Athanasius Kircher: Another crazy Jesuit
  • Monosodium Glutamate: Better known as MSG
  • Umami: One of the five basic tastes; see above
  • Co-op City: Ian Frazier’s recent piece in The New Yorker (“Utopia, The Bronx”) led me here.
  • Oulipo: I think potential literature has potential.
  • Cartogram: Numeric maps
  • Chinglish: Burnt meat biscuits and more