Saturday, 26 April 2008

Wikipedia: Factural Fiction or Vice Versa

This week in Germany....they announced that an actual printed copy of Wikipedia....will be published in Germany. For those who are from Ripley.....Wikipedia is based on someone simply opening up a document on the internet to explain the facts on an item. For example....if your word was Teddy Roosevelt then there might be a three pages of written word on Teddy....of which six different folks wrote the original version.....twenty-two folks wrote bits and pieces onto what the six wrote....and then eighty-eight folks wrote even more bits and pieces onto what the twenty-two and the six wrote.

Wikipedia on the computer is nice because you dig quickly into a topic....like the episodes of Lost....and its up to date....something that real encyclopedias can't do. You can also break a topic off and do an entire entry on some minor item, with pictures included.

What makes all of this Wikipedia stuff interesting....is that on any given day...there are intense fights going on over content. I might write some very rough stuff on Scientology, and by tomorrow morning....its been wiped out and rewritten by a pro-Scientology fellow. Then tonight, I write my rough comments back into Scientology and then later in the evening....the Scientology fellow returns to rewrite my parts back out again.

So to be accurate....Wikipedia is NOT fact....nor is even close to be truthful. So here are the Germans....who are the pretenders of anything that is written....IS FACT.....and they've taken Wikipedia, in German, and published it as a true document. Its fairly amusing that they'd actually do this and figure to make some money off of it.

Germans are a unique crowd. Anything a TV commentator says....IS fact....without any question. A German would presume that no person would show up on TV and tell a fib. The same is true for written words in newspapers or in book form. For actual research....this is the dead zone of society where no one is quiet capable of asking stupid questions and demanding analysis.

My curiosity over this entire mess....with Wiki in German...is the column on Bigfoot, Loch Nessie, and aliens.....will the Germans admit the truth or will they simply say "bogus"?

Not the Standard for Piggily Wiggily

I usually shop each week at the commissary on base.....well.....actually at the base or over at the Army post nearby, here in Germany.

Its a short trip...usually 45 minutes and I'm out of there.

In the last two weeks...I've come to notice something that bothers me. It started last week....over at the Army post commissary....where I noted two women walking around the place....in pajamas. Yep.....here was gal number one.....with flip flops, pajamas and some t-shirt on. I stood there for a minute looking at this image....thinking it just can't be. But yep.....she had on pajamas. So at some point....because she in the pickle department....she bent over....and then I realized that she wasn't wearing underwear either (oh, I can tell).

I moved out of this row....thinking it's just going to bother me....and then two rows over.....here was another gal.....pajamas on, with some kind of rubber garden shoes on, and some weird doctor's shirt. I started thinking.....maybe I've entered the twilight zone and just not realized it. It just ain't right...to wander around a store in your pajamas. I wanted to confront these women....but then they'd likely get all upset and start bawling and then create another entirely different event.

This weekend.....I had the gal in front of me who was dressed in some pair of shorts that were a size too small....and wearing a tube top for a 42DD situation. This kind of ensemble might be ok for a dance place or some club to pick up guys.....but this isn't shopping attire. The term "slut" came to my mind at least three or four times. I stood there.....half looking at salad dressing and half looking at this "tube-lady".

As I proceeded through the store....there was another gal wearing high heels, skimpy skirt and some kind of very tight blouse. With the blond hair....I summarized that she was a Russian.....I've become good at this analysis of shoppers. She was more suited to picking up guys than picking up Campbell's Soup.

This kinda bothers me.....maybe I'm too old to be out and shopping but it seems wrong that you've got women dressing primarily as sluts...while shopping. I mentioned to a guy this week at work, and he could remember when a front-desk person was at every commissary....not so much to check ID's but to check clothing of shoppers. And yes....some folks used to be denied entry to the commissary in the old days. Today.....you can't say much to women....because they think they can wear just about anything.

So....I'm quietly making my commissary shopping plans for next week.....and I might extend out the trip to last two hours instead of 45 minutes....and just stand to watch the hot babes.

Worth Reading or Not

I am a reader of sorts. I can consume twenty or thirty magazines a month and three or four newspapers per day....if you left me with no limits. In recent years.....I've come to realize that some magazines and papers are worthless...and some are worth millions. So my porch today settles on what to read or not to read.

Time and Newsweek. Basically, worthless. They simply cover what happened a week or two ago with seventy percent of the magazine. There is a article or two tossed in....which might make it worth reading....but the real accuracy or slant view of both leave one to question why even bother reading them.

Weekly Standard. An odd magazine that I picked up four years ago and still continue to read. It has a slant...that I will admit....but there are short reports that one can consume in fifteen minutes and provide a wealth of detail. Oh....and if you are a pure-blooded democrat....just pass over and forget this one.

New Republic. Probably worth reading although you can toss forty percent of the summary out of each magazine.

National Geographic. Crap. Crap. Crap. I read it as a kid and loved the magazine. It was unlimited with details on geography and travel. Somewhere in the 1990s....they moved in new management and became some environmental cover story for the world. Ninety percent of the magazine each month is a joke to read and even the pictures make fools out of the journalists.

Wired. A new magazine dedicated to technology and the geeky stuff you might want to buy in the next year. Its worth picking up and reading, although you probably won't read more than fifty percent of it.

Money and Kiplingers. For the amautur finance expert, who'd like to know the best credit card to have or the the angle to whip those terrible travel agents....then they both do the job. Both chat at the level of a normal guy and introduce you to various things that you never thought about.

National Enquirer. Well....yeah....if you want to know what happened to Britney last week....you gotta buy it. I don't necessarily think its required....if you can read the copy in the office bathroom....thats good enough.

Forbes. Its for geeky finance guys who want to impress their neighbors or their relatives. There is usually one article written at the normal guy's level, which might be interesting. Otherwise, pass on this one.

People. Its a bathroom magazine that is basically worthless. Sorry to offend anyone....but its pretty lame.

China Today. An odd and new magazine which introduces you to China. For $34 a year....its not worth buying but if you are in the airport and need reading material for a flight....buy a copy. The pictures and the short 1-page stories are worth reading. Course, you gotta have an interest in China. and remember....its pro-China and they don't dare discuss Tibet.

Mother Jones. I will read four copies of it a year. The neat thing about the magazine is that they will introduce you to simpler lifestyles and keep you updated on heating alternatives.

Readers Digest. Years ago....for about three years....I subscribed to the magazine. Its all human interest, with no negativity, and to be honest....sometimes the facts are stewed a bit to make the story come out "nice".

The Wall Street Journal. Four stars. Its hefty and costly. But there are numerous things you pick up from each copy you read. But you have to be a news fanatic to pick this up religiously.

The American Prospect. Well....it could be a great magazine...but then you'd have to tear out 60 percent of the stories, which are dull or slanted in a serious way.

American Spectator. Worth reading....interesting prospectives and easily comprehended.

Foreign Policy. As deep as you'd ever want to read. Recommended for those who consume vast amounts of coffee and overdose on CNN International News. Not for wussies.

American Heritage. Probably not for 80 percent of all readers. Its pro-US entirely. So if you got no problem with an absolute slant...go for it.

American Cattlemen. For $9.95 a year....its a damn good magainze for beef receipes and bar-b-q ideas. You'd best be pro-beef and not a vegetarian.

Asimov's Science Fiction. Best read at the libarary on a boring day. For $32, its hefty, and only for science fiction wackos. But if you look science fiction....its 4-stars.

Entertainment Weekly. Crap. Don't buy it....don't read it....and if your neighbor gives you their copy...burn it.

ESPN Magazine. Whichever idiot dreamed this up....was smoking crack. Other than full-page ad's with beefy guys or slinky women....there is little else to get updated on in this magazine. The nice part....its dirt cheap and perfect for a dental office.

Globe magazine. Ok, at the very last point at Piggly Wiggly....it will be on the shelf. FORCE yourself to buy it...to stay connected on Lisa Marie Presley, Howard Hughes (though he's been dead for twenty years), and some diet plan that uses 22 pounds of chocolate a day as its main ingredient.

Going Bonkers. The sad thing is that they only publish four times a year. So, you won't get much on a yearly basis. But if you in a constant state of stress.....buy it.

Playboy. They have a nice column on stereo equipment and how to mix cocktails. Skip the rest and pull out all the nude pictures (these aren't real women....just imaginary graphically enhanced women).

Penthouse. They have one 4-star article per month. The rest of the magazine is crap and its best if you just rip that article out and read it alone.

Hustler. A 4-star magazine worth every penny. The best part....all of the women in it....are the type you'd meet at Piggly Wiggly, and they all barely graduated from high school. Forget about cocktail tips, stereo tips, financial advice, or GQ men's clothing ads.

In Touch. Crap. Negative four stars.

MAD. Worth every penny and should be read page by page, with nothing skipped.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Costly at $39 a year, but if you'd really like to know who the masked avenger is or why Tommy "Wildfire" Rich lost his groove, then this is it.

Rolling Stone. Twenty years ago....it was mandatory reading....today....its washed up and barely five minutes of real reading in each magazine. Luckily, its only $15 a year still.

Catholic Digest. Well....if you are into Pope chat or you got 45 minutes free at the dentist office....feel free....otherwise, don't waste your money.

The Watchtower. Strictly for the Jehovah's folks....if they try to hand you one...just smile and hand it back.....and then say that this coming Armageddon stuff....is a bit dopey.

Men of Integrity. I came across this one day at a medical waiting room. Basically....its for guys to reaffirm your manly and religious convictions. You ladies would be best not to read it or gain the secrets of men from it.

Popular Science. It used to be fairly good. Strangely enough...like the fellows who changed Nat'l Geographic and spoiled the magazine.....you get that same impression here. Its nice to read on a flight but thats just about it.

Prehistoric Times. Sadly, its only printed four times a year. Its worth reading though. Note: you better be fascinated with ancient history, or you might miss some important stuff.

Scientific American. If you only comprehend high school science....forget about this one. Its a step above the regular level of most folks.

Arizona Highways. Before the 1990s....it was one of the best magazines in America. At least one major article in each monthly edition....is about global warming or some environmental issue. The picture summary, which used to be 100 percent nature....now on occasion feature urban areas....which just doesn't fit.

In Britain. Worth reading but then they only publish six times a year...and its a hefty price of $29 for six lousy editions.

The New Yorker. You need to think and act like a liberal....or at least fake it....if you are to read this weekly magazine (at $48 a year).

New York. Basically....a damn good magazine....for a weekly. Only $45 a year. Every issue has four 4-star articles worth reading. Sadly....its about New York mostly, and for southerners...its best to use for dreaming rather than planning a trip.

Alabama Game and Fish. You gotta be pretty low and with no hobbies to read this monthly.

For newspapers....stick to the British press and any paper published out of St Louis or Dallas. You can't go wrong.