Jan 192013

You are walking in a beautiful sunlit meadow. Flowers turn their faces to the sun and butterflies flutter in the light breeze. A single dark cloud hunches on the horizon but that is probably totally not a portent of anything. To the east is a forest. To the north is a footpath through the meadow.


You go east. There is an ancient oak tree in front of you. At the base a door is affixed.


The door is wooden, about a foot tall. The fixtures are dark with age and strange runes are scratched on the surface.


As you crouch down and open the door, forest creatures fall silent and the sunlight dims. Inside is a swirling vortex of color and trivia. A reeking fog seeps up from the ground and envelops your legs. Low desperate whimpers can be heard from the vortex. You feel as though all hope has gone from your world.


The door leads to the wikipedia page for Optimus Prime.


Right? It is massive. There are over 200 citations.


Are you sure? It could take weeks. You might die before you finish.


Every bit of information about every incarnation of this transformer, including summaries of every cartoon episode he’s appeared in and lists of every Optimus Prime toy ever, is laid out awkwardly before you. None of the writing style is encyclopedic. Two hours in, you spot a typo.


Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit!


Nope! This page is protected because it has been vandalized many times. You can’t edit it.


You don’t want to do that. It is almost worse there.


Congratulations! You win this game!

Jan 112013

So I’ve been editing a little over at wikipedia (what, why else would I be stumbling across Jenny von Westphalen’s page?) and editors there get a userpage. One of the things people do is make and share userboxes. Here is a person I don’t know, who has a bunch of them (scroll down a little).

There are a bunch of fan-type userboxes (for instance) but there was something missing. So I started making Dragaeran cycle userboxes. Yes, I just spent the last several hours searching for heraldic animal pictures and making little colored boxes for wikipedia users instead of sleeping.

Because I am a fangirl.

Obviously I haven’t done all 17 yet (well, 18, since I did phoenixes at both ends, and maybe 19 since it might be nice to add one for Easterners, and if I do maybe I’ll use a little mustache picture). I wanted to use the little glyphs for the pictures, but they’re not on wikimedia commons so I contented myself with heraldry.


ETA: And I’m done! 🙂 All the houses, and yes, one for Easterners, with a handlebar.