I can't express how much I love wikipedia. There's nothing I enjoy more than interesting facts and if I'm craving a big tasty bowl of Knowledge Pops, all I need to do is hit that 'random article' button to find out that the study of neuroscience and free will is totally interesting or that Rufus Wainwright parties like a motherfreakin' rockstar. Then I follow the links from those pages and it's all one big learning adventure.
I particularly like the lists on Wikipedia. Mainly because they're usually well organised collections of relevant links, but sometimes because, well, they're just... amazing. Over the last few months I've been collecting a few of my favourites in a list of my own. The one that inspired me to start taking note of these lists was their category of Fictional Characters who Can Duplicate Themselves, a surprisingly long list that includes the likes of Gumby, Shredder and the T-1000. It wasn't the content of the list that amazed me so much as the fact that at least one person cares about this subject enough to compile a detailed list for the internet. I couldn't help but wonder what purpose this could possibly serve, why anyone would find themselves thinking 'Quick! I need the names of at least ten fictional characters who can duplicate themselves and I need them NOW!' without then waking up and realising that it was all a dream.
Then I remembered that this is the internet, where "purpose" is an irrelevant concept. If you ever ask 'Why?' the only necessary answer is 'Who cares why? Check it out!', one of the many things I love about this wacky world wide web.
Following the duplicators on my list were another few that were just plain old interesting, such as the lists of Messiah Claimants or Sole Survivors. I wish I could say I was surprised to see how many people are claiming to be the Messiah, but gee whiz, Christianity really did leave itself wide open for that one. I also found the list of Feral Children notable for only having eleven entries. I guess Wikipedia has a much narrower definition of 'Feral' than I do.
Of course, the real joy comes when you get down to the really oddly specific ones. I could barely contain myself when I discovered that some wonderful human being/robot had created a list of Ships Named The S.S. Lesbian. I know there's only three on the list, but that's enough for me. The list of Eponymous Laws provided me with a bunch of great new phrases to use, among them the wonderful 'Hanlon's Razor' ("Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice") as well as something to do with physics which I liked because it appear to be named after someone with the same last name as me, along with another guy with the last name 'Beer'. I don't care what the actual law is, I now use it when I need to answer the ever-present question of 'Should I have a beer?'. Just FYI the answer, according to the law, is yes.
But possibly the most entertaining list of them all is the List of Ice Hockey Nicknames. The list eases you in with the type of name you'd expect, but I guess somewhere along the line they realised that they can't all be named Ace. So then you start seeing names like Dipsy-Doodle-Dandy and the very confusing Baby Dominator, who I 'm assuming was a roller derby player who wandered into the wrong building and went along with it. Then, a few names that are actually a bit clever such as 'The Puck Goes Inski' (Steve Buzinski) and 'Net Detective' (Jim Carey). Well, when I say 'clever', you have to take into account that these are people who basically get hit in the head for a living. You need to cut them a little slack. On top of that are the ones I find simply baffling, such as Cheesy, Grapes and Darryl, which I found confusing as a nickname for a guy whose name was actually Sidney Crosby. And those are just my highlights: the list itself is longer than your attention span could possibly be.
P.S. I have decided to use my polls to name the band that I am eventually going to form. I have a list of adequate names, the only hard part is narrowing it down, which I will be doing in heats because there is just SO MUCH GOLD. In Heat One, you fine folk will be choosing between Goddamn the Rhythm!, The Sentient Entities, The Sexy Fenders (GEDDIT), and Parsley Disaster.