The Encyclopedia

These days, when you say “the encyclopedia,” everyone knows you mean The Wikipedia of internet fame. I think it’s a great resource. Do it have some issues? Sure, it does. Is it “as good” as, say the Britannica? No, speaking strictly of quality it doesn’t even come close.

First and foremost though, it’s free, and the others are not. I like that. Secondly, it’s much larger that the other encyclopedias. Try looking up “The Morrison Observatory” in a regular encyclopedia. It’s just not there. And, probably shouldn’t be. But, in today’s internet world, isn’t it great that there is a place where I can find such things?
Read this article…

WIKIPEDIA and other online research sources were yesterday blamed for Scotland’s falling exam pass rates.The Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) said pupils are turning to websites and internet resources that contain inaccurate or deliberately misleading information before passing it off as their own work. (read the rest…)

So, what to make of this? Well, you have watch out for accuracy. But, first, one must ask, how does this accuracy matter? I think this is where the internet generation may be weak. I bring a healthy dose of skepticism to the table when I read anything, anywhere. I don’t care if it’s in the daily newspaper or it’s on the internet. I want to know who wrote it, why they wrote it and what’s their angle? So, it’s not shocking when I learn that an article or even an encyclopedia entry is a bit biased. But, biased is different than inaccurate isn’t it?

The Wikipedia deals with “inaccuracies” by having hundreds or more people looking and editing the same article. Click on the Discussion tab of a large article sometime to see all the wrangling. But, having said that, it couldn’t possibly be accurate across the whole body of articles. A better word would by consistency. Now, if you’re the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica, you can understand an attitude where inconsistency equals inaccuracy; plain and simple. I agree with that.

However, one should enlighten and encourage young researchers to look out for any “inaccuracies,” for they lay in wait in all sorts of source material. Secondly, you, yourself, may log on to Wikipedia and fix any inaccuracies that you find.

I have written one small entry on Bernice Morrison. I have added to and edited two others. One on the Morrison Observatory (including the photo) and another on Carr Waller Pritchett.

The other day I took a gander at the entry for Dwight D. Eisenhower and about cried. It was horrible. Horribly written. I would assign a letter grade of F to it. I am in the process of completely re-writing it.

You got to time to breath; you got time for music

I was talking to an old friend from church the other day about Allison Krauss and bluegrass music. I asked her if she remembered The Darlings from the Andy Griffith Show. I was explaining to her how¬†Bluegrass bands are always so serious or expressionless while they play. The Darlings (The Dillards in real life) made a joke of it in the show. I don’t claim to understand it; but I could listen to Bluegrass all day.

First the Darling Family:

And then a very young Allison singing Heaven’s Bright Shore:

Have we been keeping up with our reading?

Camille Paglia’s latest: (read all three pages)

June 11, 2008 | Shuddering, lurching and stumbling, the 2008 general election has finally, mercifully begun. For a year and a half, U.S. voters have been flogged like a prison gang through the nine circles of media hell. The two dazed survivors of the primary process, John McCain and Barack Obama, are now warily circling each other, looking for an opening even as they try to shed the already hardened public perception of their character and motivation. – read the rest….

The Cruise

I figure I’d better post some pictures at least before my family disowns me.

First, a couple of shots while we’re waiting to embark:

Annette Jim & JudyRich Jim & Judy

A view from the shady deck:

View from the shade

Our dinner table on formal night:

The dinner table

Our Servers:

Our servers

Us later on Formal Night:

Rich & Annete

Ready to power snorkel!

Power Snorkeling

A really big ship that pulled in next to us:

A much larger boat

Us in Cozumel:

In Cozumel

It’s official; we are both born hams. With all the highlights of a Caribbean Cruise what was the best part for us? Why, singing on stage, of course! With a live band backing us up. The crowd roared, I tell you.

Stars of the stage

Oh, yeah, there was some other talent there too:

The talent show gang

Ralph & Sam’s House in Mobile, AL:

Ralph & Sam's house