Happy froggin’ new year!

It’s a New Year edition of the WikiAnswers Contributor Corner. Today, we’ll take a look at LauraFrog, who hails from the land down under. Out where she is…it’s already 2008! The rest of us still have a few hours to go…

LauraFrog is one of our youngest Supervisors and so we just HAD to find out what she’s all about…besides her affinity for frogs.

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

Doing homework. I got frustrated and typed basically an entire question into Google – and somebody had already asked it on WikiAnswers. I hit the link, used some of the keywords in the answer to find the info I needed and went straight back to WikiAnswers because I thought it was interesting. There were a few REALLY STUPID questions in there that I could possibly have answered at age four. So I answered them. For about an hour. Suffice it to say, I got hooked — like everyone else who ended up a supervisor!

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?

Search me! Ok ok…it’s probably because ignorance is the single most irritating thing to me. I go to school where people constantly diss me because I don’t care that last weekend [popular girl] split up with [hot boy] and called him [profanity] in [chat room] and [school gossip] saw the screen and told [tart] who spread notes around [class] in [subject] and pissed off [hot boy's mate]. I missed the conversation because at the time I was practicing with the choir in the music block, ignoring [popular boys] playing electric guitars with the amps on full volume, barely visible through the crowd of females. Not including me.

I get sick of the rumours, and people who think they know me because they put a label on me and say they know all there is to know about nerds. There’s always something more to learn, something hiding, something to find out. I like helping other people to find out more instead of sitting around saying ‘why do I care anyway?’ I love the way that everybody adds to the answer, so you might write down a few sentences and come back a month later and learn more than you gave to the person who asked the question.

What is your area of expertise?

I love animals. I live in a rural area of Australia so I’ve grown up with them. My landlord’s bull is as much my pet as my cat is. If I call out ‘Henry!’ he sidles up to the fence, rubs his head on me and eats mangoes out of my hand. The possums that live in our roof are tame, and we used to have a kangaroo rat that hopped inside every night, often with her offspring, to eat oats out of a dish that we always left in the kitchen for her. I spend most of my WikiAnswers time on Animal Life because I have a science brain and lots of practical experience with animals.

So what about your screenname?

Frogs are my favourites. I trained my frog, Gargantua, based on his instincts – he would move away from pressure, towards food etc. Frogs instinctively climb up, so I would put him on my hand and aim my elbow at the roof, and he would climb along my arm. He would also jump if I touched him in the right place. I’ve dedicated a fair bit of my life to ‘frog activism’. It annoys me that people stick up for anything cute and cuddly but are scared or revolted by frogs. At age 10 I was emailing local politicians demanding that they reinstate funding to frog-related conservation projects. I’ve also appeared on the TV quiz show The Einstein Factor – special subject Wet Tropics Frogs.

What is the funniest question/funniest experience as a Supervisor on WikiAnswers?

There are a few. Before I became a supervisor, I was trawling the Computers topic and I came across a question: “What does the new function do?” (I refrained from answering ‘you tell me since you presumably know what it is!’)

Next…I was online when I got a message on my board from somebody saying they loved my contribs, so I was really flattered and I replied. Then one of their friends came online and started having a real time conversation about one of their boyfriends on MY MESSAGE BOARD! I didn’t know what to do so I waited until one of them logged off and deleted the posts…

Share a random fact about yourself.

Random? I am random…Standard issue answer to this one, I was born six weeks premature, got operated on when I was 2 days old, and was given a 60% chance of surviving.

…I did!

Cleaning Up After A Vandal Strikes WikiAnswers

At one time or another, we’ve all caught a vandal on WikiAnswers – you know the guy that stops by to post “Up yours” as the answer to 50 or so questions. Unlike other contributors who make honest mistakes, these types are usually not candidates for ‘reform’ and unfortunately need to be blocked in order to stop their wake of destruction.

But once gone, what do you do about the mess they left behind? They’ve destroyed perfectly good answers and caused many previously unanswered questions to be removed from the list. Each and every one is now screaming, “Up yours.” To quickly clean-up the nonsense, select one of the vandalized questions and utilize the Revert tool located on the blue menu bar. Reversion enables us to undo the damage done by a vandal without editing line-by-line.

Typically you should only revert back to the last version (highest numbered on the list). If you’re uncertain, click to view a side-by-side comparison between the one you have selected and the current version. The answer on the left that appears in yellow under “Reversion as of X” will be what you end up with after a reversion. Follow these steps for each vandalized question.

Oh… Coming soon… the Vandal Zapper! Guaranteed to stop goofballs in their tracks! (Not really, but a girl can dream…)

Why are Kuwaiti dinars the highest valued currency?

Today I’d like to introduce you to our special WikiAnswers Wednesday guest blogger: Jim.

Jim will be taking care of today’s Money and Credit question. Give it up for Jim, everybody:

Why are Kuwaiti dinars the highest valued currency?

The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest valued currency for three both important yet different reasons.

1. In 1679 the war between Latvia and France waged on into it’s 43rd year. People from all over the globe were placing bets on who would win, how long the war would last, and on how awful Latvian food could become given time to truly develop as a country. The result of this drove up speculation in the Yen market causing essentially the process of reverse osmosis to occur in Kuwait.

2. Green beans are really tasty if cooked correctly. I suggest sauteing with white wine, a little soy sauce and some tomatoes. delicious. The Kuwaitis do this well.

3. Have you ever seen Zoolander. If you have than all I have to say is “snap!” . The snap Zoolander sensation also helps explain Kuwait’s teenage pregnancy epidemic.

I hope this helps.

Jim

My all-time favorite Christmas questions.

For years, as I watch the Christmas specials on TV and sing along to the carols on the radio, I’ve pondered and wondered about certain things the holiday season brings. Since today is the culmination of that intense questioning, I have compiled a list of my most burning queries hoping that someone – if not Santa himself – will present me with answers:

Merry holidays, WikiAnswerers!

apples in porks mouths

(I’m not suggesting we’re pigs or anything…)

2007 News in Review: The flip side.

Last week we brought you the WikiAnswers Year in Review: The questions behind the news of 2007.

But what about the news we didn’t necessarily hear about in the mainstream? What about… the flip side?

Like elves around the North in December, our staff at Answers has been busy running around collecting bits of odd, bizarre news from the past year to bring you: 2007 News in Review: The flip side.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve learned at Answers.com this crazy year:

  • Anger helps you make better decisions…
  • The appendix does have a purpose!
  • Chinese researchers have (finally!) created fluorescent green pigs, using jellyfish DNA.
  • A photographer created art from 18,000 naked people at a plaza in Mexico City.

Read the rest of the year’s wacky news reviewed: 2007 News in Review: The flip side

Help Grow Our Community!

Nominate your favorite contributors!

We have many new and existing contributors helping to grow our community. Some pop in every now and then to ask a question or two, while others take a more proactive approach – visiting regularly to improve upon things, sending messages via the discussion boards and so on. These are the folks that might turn out to be great Supervisors, a status given to only the most trustworthy, experienced WikiAnswers contributors.

Super Badge

Who have you noticed that would be a possibility? Nominate your favorite contributors!


WikiAnswers Year in Review 2007

The year 2007 brought us twelve months of gadgets, celebrities, boy wizards, and plenty of nature’s wrath. We took the liberty of reviewing the past year on WikiAnswers in the form of Q&A inspired by the biggest – and sometimes quite bizarre – news stories of the year.

We were curious what questions were asked throughout the year’s events and how the community answered them. For the full list, see the WikiAnswers Year in Review.

WikiAnswers Year in Review

What are your questions from this past year?

Does smoking a cockroach give a high?

It’s winter. It’s holiday season. We’re seeing more of Santa ’round these parts. He’s being spotted in malls. He’s testing chimneys for sliding-ease. Getting those reindeer in shape for the Big Day.

Santa makes me think of bearded, wise men who smoke pipes. You know the type. They always have answers. I think it has something to do with the pipes. Hence, today’s WikiAnswers Wednesday question:

Does smoking a cockroach give a high?

Cockroach? I think you might be confused…

Allow me to explain what you really meant: Does eating a live cockroach give you visions of God? And the answer is, yes. Eat a live cockroach – it must be longer than your thumb, wider than a quarter. Feel it creep down your throat, close your eyes, lay back, and wait for God to begin giving you instructions.*

No, I’ve never done it myself… I don’t think I’m worthy of God appearing in my visions. I prefer to stick with smoking pipes with bearded Santas.

*Disclaimer: Don’t eat live cockroaches if you love yourself. Don’t eat them if you hate yourself, either. Just stay away from them. Thanks.

Get WikiAnswers YOUR Way

Under My Pages on the left-hand menu, there is a poor, ole’ misunderstood link called My Settings. Hidden within here is your control panel. In this area, you can pick and choose how you use and view WikiAnswers. For example, you can let others know where you are from, change your password and select your e-mail preferences. The only thing you can’t do is order pizza!

control panel

There are also some advanced settings that you might want to check out. A handy one is the mark answer edits as minor by default. When this is selected, the simple spelling and grammar improvements that you make will not be included in the ‘First answer by, Last edit by’ contributions area. This allows credit to stay with the last contributor who added or improved an answer. You also have an option to ignore your own changes from appearing on your Watchlist, making it easier to see other people’s changes.

Get in the driver’s seat of your wikimobile! And get WikiAnswers YOUR way…

Jonesin’ for Joncey!

Meet Joncey. He’s an active contributor in the WikiAnswers community. WikiAnswers reaches across borders and oceans, over mountains and through valleys — Joncey joins us from across the pond in the UK — England, to be exact — a hop, skip and a jump from the North Sea. He’s a normal guy just like you and you and you over there…well except that he adds a “U” to words like color and favorite. He can’t help it though, that’s what they do over there in the Queen’s country.

We wanted to get to know Joncey better…find out what makes him tick. Here’s what he had to say…

How did you hear about WikiAnswers?

Ages ago I stumbled on FaqFarm (as it then was) quite by chance. From what I remember, the colours then were red and white. It wasn’t ‘love at first sight.’ It so happened that the questions on the topics that interested me had been answered by crazy conspiracy theorists. I didn’t return for over a year. So it was all something of a saga for me.

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?

I think that in some ways I’m a natural teacher, and I enjoy explaining things and answering questions… What’s more, I have the time to do so. I try to provide fairly short but adequate answers as often as possible. (It can be tricky as one has to make a guess at how much detail people want).

I was very tickled by some of the comments in Neila222’s interview — I’m also very particular about accuracy, especially factual but also grammatical. So, if Neila is ‘incredibly anal’ (lol) I wonder what people would call me. It points to my being… oops. I mustn’t get too explicit…

What is your area of expertise?

German studies, especially German history since about 1815 – and the language. Obviously, that requires a good knowledge of European history. I also have a reasonable knowledge of the French language though I’ve rather neglected it.

I’ve also traveled quite widely in Europe and have the visited the US five times as an adult, so I have picked up some knowledge of countries and places.

What is the funniest question you’ve seen on WikiAnswers?

The number of questions that give insufficient information for an answer will never cease to amaze me, questions like Which castle burned down? and Does he have a name? Then there are questions How long has English been around?

Funnies include:

Is eating chocolate when depressed a sign that you may be gay? (My answer would be: You may some day be gay in the chocolate way!)

The growing tendency of people who post questions to get into a muddle with the persons of pronouns has produced some very bizarre questions, but without doubt the funniest I’ve seen is:How do you reach my wife’s g-spot?Wow! The mind boggles!

Share a random fact about yourself.

Random facts? Coffee: I adore really strong filter coffee and get through about 1.5lb of high grade Ethiopian coffee a week.

Travel: About 50 visits to Germany (ranging in length from about five days to three months +). And yes, also five visits to the U.S., though mainly to popular tourist destinations like NYC, DC, San Francisco and New Orleans (pre-Katrina). Since the early 1990s, I’ve enjoyed myself exploring parts of the former Eastern Bloc – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania (especially Transylvania) and Bulgaria. I’ve always enjoyed foreign travel.

How old is she today?

There are no stupid answers, which is why I feel comfortable answering this question:

How old is she today?Jennifer Connelly

She is 37-years-old! She is also Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly, in case you weren’t sure. It says so in Today’s Highlights, which are updated everyday on the Answers.com homepage.

Another famous birthday for today includes the lovable, huggable Bob Barker, former host of The Price is Right, who turns 84 today.

Then there are these two dead guys whose birthdays were today also… Hell, let’s list them; they may be dead but their legacies live on in the form of art: Gustave Flaubert, French author of Madame Bovary and Edvard Munch, Norwegian artist who painted The Scream.

Happy birthday, famous people, some of whom are already dead! And happy birthday to non-famous people, too!

 

Gift-giving with all the answers.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a last-minute shopper. And, while there may be no such thing as a stupid answer, there are stupid gift ideas…

The art of gift giving is to focus on the person receiving the gift as opposed to… yourself. Keep the age, background and interests of your generosity’s target in the forefront of your mind. Would you give your teenage daughter a fancy pen? Your boss a pair of sneakers?I've Got All the Answers sweatshirt

Since the start of the ‘season of giving’ (or is it ‘season of buying?’), we’ve been receiving Santa-sized sackfuls of questions on WikiAnswers concerning what are appropriate gifts for seniors/toddlers/workmates and everyone else in our lives.

Here are some samples:

Feeling generous? Give answers to the Holiday Gift Giving Q&A on WikiAnswers.

And for gifts that work for anyone in your life – from baby to professor to granddad – be sure to check out the online store with all the answers!

Answers.com CEO on the Sherif Show!

Sherif Hedayat, a comedian from Dayton, Ohio, came out halfway across the world to visit the head honcho at Answers Corp and get an interview.

Ok, maybe he didn’t venture here just to meet with Bob Rosenschein… But Sherif did make Bob the centerpiece in his sixth webisode of The Sherif Show. Check it out:

Hey, it was a tough question, alright? We just provide the answers, we don’t make ‘em up… well, most of the time.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I’m often asked by new Supervisors, “What types of questions should I trash?” As a rule of thumb, we try not to delete too much from WikiAnswers. It’s always better to move, edit and salvage questions. Deleting disrupts our database history, preserved search engine results and pages that folks have bookmarked.

But there are times when the garbage needs to be brought out. Here are the guidelines for using the Trash feature:

* Questions of a sexual nature should be rephrased to adhere to our Stylebook rules with proper ‘anatomy’ terms used. Any sexually graphic or explicit questions should be trashed.

* Questions that ask about how to perform an illegal activity (such as hacking into a computer network or stealing a car) should automatically be tossed in the trash can next to the smelly empty tuna cans and green, three-week old bread.

* Questions that ask for or reference personal information (such as cell phone numbers or street addresses) need to go to the round file.

* Questions that are otherwise dangerous, or asked to provoke, titillate or advertise are also candidates for being obliterated.

To send a question on its way out the door, simply select ‘Trash’ from the menu on the left. Remember, on WikiAnswers we go against the grain… When in doubt, don’t throw out!

What is a 6 letter word with e as the fifth letter?

In life, sometimes you don’t always get the answers you want. Here is an example:

What is a 6-letter word with ‘e’ as the fifth letter?

Stop trying to cheat in Scrabble, punk! Cheating in games is for losers… sore losers, that is. And young children with low self esteem. Come on: think of the word on your own, get those extra bonus points and feel good about it, or suck it up.

There’s your answer. You disgust me.

*The answer is “letter.” Duh. Six letters. E. Go away.

Answers.com Creative Writing Challenge brings ataraxia…

The entries are rolling in for the 3rd Answers.com Creative Writing Challenge. What’s the Challenge? Write an original composition (poetry, prose, fiction, essays or any other form of creatively written expression) using no more than 750 words and post it in your blog or on your web site. Each submission must contain each of the words or phrases below used correctly and hyperlinked to the corresponding Answers.com entry.

Can you meet the Challenge? Lots of folks already have! Give it a shot…you could win an Amazon.com gift certificate or Answers.com link love!

Check out some of your competition:

 

 

Announcing our #1 contributor: Neila222

To continue the tradition of honoring our lovely contributors, we’re going to put the spotlight on someone neila222who ISN’T my father this time.

Rather, this week’s Contributor corner highlights the #1 WikiAnswers Contributor: Give it up for Neila222! Not only is she our #1 Contributor, she also happens to be the Supervisor of the fabulous Relationships topic.

I recently interviewed Neila222, to get a better idea of who she is…what makes her tick…how she got so smart. Here’s what she had to say…

How did you hear about WikiAnswers?

I’ve been with WikiAnswers for about three years (!!) now. I started back when it was still FAQ Farm, and we were all FAQ Farmers! My father-in-law (Roy, who is also a supervisor) was an avid WikiAnswers contributor, and turned me on to the growing excitement. The rest is history!

How do you feel about being the #1 WikiAnswers contributor?

Considering the only thing I’m consistently first in is the line at Starbucks every morning, I hold this as a very high honor.

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?

Honestly, I’m just incredibly anal, and this gives me a great outlet! For the longest time, I was changing questions that had the tiniest grammatical errors. (Imagine my chagrin that you can’t use commas in questions – it kills me!) Now that WikiAnswers has grown to astronomical proportions, I don’t have time to grammatically correct each and every question, but I do my best to make sure that there is some small sense of order to the chaos, and make things a little easier for contributors.

What is your area of expertise?

You mean other than being a grammar geek? :) I am actually a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan! I love Hitchcock movies and have seen almost all of them multiple times (except for a couple of the early ones). I have so much Hitchcock trivia in my head, I’m surprised there is room for much else!

What is the funniest question you’ve seen on WikiAnswers?

I see some real doozies in the Relationships and Sex categories! Not that this is really funny ha ha, but it’s definitely one that stood out. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something to the effect of “What type of glue do you have to use on a condom to make sure it sticks to your penis?”

Oh yes – seriously! After my initial gasp, I was really wishing I had this person’s phone number so I could call them up and scream, “NOOOO!” Luckily, it wasn’t long (seconds I think) before there were several answers screaming “NOOOO!” for me.

Most recently, I had a question that said, “What do you do if Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers asks you out but you’re not allowed to date yet?” I wondered if this is really a problem this girl has to worry about. Hmmm . . .

Share a random fact about yourself.

Besides my coffee addiction (my husband recently added it up and discovered that I spend the equivalent of half a car payment each month on coffee), I have some guilty pleasures. The biggest of those is that I love the Wiggles, and I like to listen to my son’s Wiggles CD even when I’m alone in the car. And I know I’m not the only one – I mean who doesn’t have a crush on Anthony, the Blue Wiggle?! Come on!

Thanks for all your contributions, Nelia222!

Does the Easter Bunny get to celebrate Christmas?

The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time for reflecting on all those important things in life like families and friends…making your lists and checking them twice. You know the drill.

But it’s also a time to ponder really meaningful things like those in our latest WikiAnswers featured topics: Gift Giving and Holidays/Traditions. I mean, who HASN’T wondered what that crazy old grinch wanted with Christmas once he stole it!?

Kick off the holiday season by answering Gift Giving or Holiday questions like the following:

Happy holidays!