Gas siphoning on WikiAnswers…. hmm.

Sure, life’s getting more expensive these days, especially in the petrol department. Gas prices rise, wallets get thinner.

Over at the LA Times’ Bottleneck Blog, Steve Hymon is “pleased to see the ever-resourceful WikiAnswers has a how-to…”

…save money by gas siphoning, that is:

How do you siphon gas from a common passenger vehicle?

Wikiholics: Mike 2 to the rescue!

If you’re looking for a dedicated WikiAnswers contributor, you really needn’t look very far.

If you’re looking for a dedicated WikiAnswers contributor with over 35 years of experience as a car mechanic, more than 10,000 contributions and a true love of WikiAnswers, you have a friend in Mike 2.

As a Supervisor of European cars and Asian automobiles, Mike 2 has a lot to say about his vast (and expanding!) WikiAnswers experience.

In fact, he’s a self-proclaimed Wikiholic. Which makes us wonder… should he really be running the Wikiholic rescue service?

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I was looking at a question about how to enter a radio code on a Volkswagen, over on Yahoo! Answers, and someone had posted a link to WikiAnswers with the correct answer. I stayed a while, answered a few questions, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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

My motivation comes from the community spirit on WikiAnswers. All the Supers try to help each other it is not a “them and us” situation. The WikiAnswers atmosphere creates it’s own motivation for users. It is a very friendly site.

What is your area of expertise?

My area of expertise is vehicle repair. I have 35 years experience as a car mechanic and breakdown recovery operator but due to arthritis I no longer turn spanners, so to offer advise on WikiAnswers makes me feel useful again. I have a wealth of data at my disposal which I am only too pleased to share with others.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

I can’t say I have a single favorite WikiAnswers feature, but I like the fact that you can edit questions and answers. I really like the recategorizing of questions. And last but not least, the Super’s Forum is very informative.

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

Check this one out, Goldenoldie sent it to me and I could not resist the answer…

Share a random fact about yourself.

My better half and I share our home with a rabbit, three cats and a dog. I’m also included in the 1997 and 1998 editions of the Guinness Book of World Records for catching the smallest recorded fish to be included at 1/5 of an ounce – the Stickleback.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

Dear Litterbug…

Hey you! Yea, you on 35th Street who casually dropped your napkins. And you, Mr. Crush-your-can-and-leave-it-on-the-subway-guy!

Do you know what you’re actually doing?

Did you know…

Littering can get expensive!“Litter can end up in rivers and canals, polluting the water supply.”

“Paper cups and beverage cans can hold rainwater, providing breeding locations for mosquitoes – which have been known to cause disease like the West Nile Virus.”

“It is also a road hazard and can occasionally contribute to accidents.”

(source: Answers.com)

This is New York City, man. Manhattan, The Big Apple.
No one wants to see it littered with a bunch of garbage.

FYI – your careless act of indifference did not go unnoticed. I am silently (ok, maybe not so silently) waiting for karma (the environment’s super BFF) to do its thing.

Should you slip and fall by way of a discarded banana peel, or forget to mind the gap on the train and stub your toe… this will be natures way of saying “right back atcha”.

Does littering make you just as mad? Help out by answering these Littering questions on WikiAnswers, and let’s spread the message that it is not ok!

Public service announcement: Get the %$@# off our site!

I’m talking to you, vandals. What the &^$@, anyway? Why do you have to come on to WikiAnswers with your &$@% words and waste our precious time having to revert answers?

Not that we’re going to let you spoil our fun. We’ve got Supervisors working ’round the clock to make sure everyone who comes to the site for answers gets them… And not any, well, y’know – %@$#*^%$&…

Vandals, go find a wall.

Popsicle meltdown

Sometimes it’s so hot that popsicles melt faster than you can lick them. Before you know it, blue juice has decorated your elbow and is racing gravity to the ground.

So why do they melt so quickly? Is there a way to stop them from melting? How about putting them back in the freezer? It turns out there is a way to slow down the speed at which ice melts, but I wouldn’t recommend trying it with something you’re planning to eat.

If popsicles are getting you down, try ice cream instead. Popsicles (and sherbet, too) have a high sugar content, and sugar melts fast. Ice cream has less sugar and more fat, so it holds together for longer (not that long, though). Here’s something to try at home:

The Awesome Ice Cream Experiment

Materials:

1 chocolate ice cream cone

1 vanilla ice cream cone

1 strawberry ice cream cone

2 faithful friends who like ice cream (but not so much that they’ll eat your experiment)

bare feet

Method:

Stand in the sun with your friends, holding the three ice cream cones (no licking!). See which one melts first. Alternatively, lick the drips and whoever finishes first is the winner. When you have a champion, document your scientific discovery on WikiAnswers. Good luck!

Feed the Wiki Addiction…

We really should talk about your Wiki addiction. We’re here to help you, you know. We want to make it easier for you…accessing information should be a seamless process!

That’s why we, over here at Answers.com, are proud to introduce a brand new tool bar that toolbar enables you to quickly look up terms in the search box or browse the library with one click. Now you can search Answers.com and WikiAnswers directly from your browser. It’s even pimped out with a radio and weather forecasting!

Can you imagine such a delight!? An instant Wiki-fix!? Right from your browser!?

Click here to check it out now…

Wiki-fix for Wiki addicts

Who said that only a Kennedy could make Dora the Explorer rhyme?

All we hear about these days is Dora the Explorer. You know what I’m talking about. Dora the Explorer backpacks. Dora the Explorer pencils. Dora the Explorer shoes.

And then, I stumble upon this question in WikiAnswers:

Who said that only a Kennedy could make Dora the Explorer rhyme?

Why are we bringing Kennedys into this? Leave the poor family alone!

But wait – shhh – someone’s coming…

Oh. My. God.

It’s… her. Anybody have any chicken? We gotta get out of here…

Don't mess with Dora's chicken.

When does it end? Oh holy presence above, when does it end?

Not until all the questions are answered, good citizens of the internet community. Not until all the questions are answered.

This post is dedicated to the Morning Show, which would like you to know finding/making 8-bit chicken was not easy.

We’re not just thinkin’ about ourselves, folks!

Flex your intellectual muscles, promote worldwide knowledge-sharing and win cash for your favorite charity! Help a good cause by sharing what you know.

The latest and greatest WikiAnswers AnswerThon will be held at the end of July and we’re so excited about this one because we’re banding together to raise money for some fantastic causes. YOU can help!

Upon registration for the AnswerThon, you will be able to choose from a list of participating charitable organizations. Each participant then becomes part of a global team competing against other teams to win a donation for the charity of their choice.

***

The participating organizations include:

ArtWorks

ArtWorks provides children and young adults suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses, and their siblings, access to creative and performing arts programming which encourages the use of the creative process as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression, and personal development. ArtWorks seeks to empower, validate, and honor these children by offering them the hands-on experience and materials with which to create, as well as the opportunity to publicly share their artistic accomplishments.

***

CaringBridge

CaringBridge® offers free, personalized websites that allow people to stay in touch with family and friends during a health crisis, treatment and recovery. The goal of the service is to ease the burden of keeping friends and family updated, while also providing a way for them to send their love, support and encouragement.

With a few keystrokes, CaringBridge authors quickly and easily create private and personalized websites that display personal journal entries and photographs. Family and friends visit the site to read updates and leave messages of support in the guestbook.

***


The Global AIDS Alliance seeks to mobilize a comprehensive and compassionate response to the global AIDS crisis, while addressing the epidemic’s fundamental links to social justice issues such as poverty and gender in equity. They demand faster, bolder action and concrete results for people living with HIV/AIDS and at risk of HIV infection.

***

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Founded in 1949, they are relentless in pursuit of their mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

***

World of Good

World of Good is focused on building strategies to substantially improve economic and social conditions for millions of artisans and their families living on less than $4 per day. Their organization promotes fair trade practices and invests in fair trade artisan communities around the world. They strive to educate US consumers and corporations about the benefits of engaging in ethical trade practices to bridge the gap between the global north and south. Key initiatives include catalyzing the development of transparent fair trade craft standards, promoting fair trade among craft trading companies and other community development projects.

***

Click here to register for the WikiAnswers Charity AnswerThon now!

Stuck On You: Parasites with degrees.

Everywhere we turn there they are; in the food we eat, the air we breathe and even on our cute pet pugs; no, I am not talking about the cast from High School Musical. I speak of parasites. As long as nature has evolved, parasites have evolved along with it.

So exactly what is a parasite, asks a WikiAnswers user.

A parasite is an organism that benefits from a close, prolonged relationship with another organism – its host – while the host organism is harmed. Examples include tapeworms in the human intestine, mites on a parrot or fungus infesting a maple tree. In all these cases, one species is sucking the life force out of another species.

So, are there any instances where this negative relationship occurs within the same species?

The answer, my fellow humans, is yes. Scientifically referred to as direct intraspecific kleptoparasitism, this type of parasitism is rare in nature but an all too common phenomenon amongst our own kind. Think about those hardworking parents, waiting with outstretched arms, to embrace their Xbox-playing, beer-chugging, Tila-Tequila-quoting, recent college graduates. These parents are so happy and giving, only to find, five years down the line, that their child has no intention of leaving the house with the couch, free laundry service and magical fridge that autofills each week.

What can we do to remedy this problem?

In nature, the rule is kill or be killed: the host or parasite will eventually die. Luckily, tapeworms are destroyed by one prescribed pill from the doctor, parrots get treated with a lethal-mite shampoo and fungus on a maple tree is attacked by toxins in the leaves.

People parasites are, however, different. There is no shampoo that gets your son a job interview or special toxin that oozes out of the Xbox controller when it’s been handled too long.

Perhaps communication is the key? Words are powerful, motivational and life-changing! Like one WikiAnswers user dared ask:

Can you tell your daughter and her children to move out of your house?

Change the locks. Sometimes locks speak louder than words and are a lot healthier than pesticide.

Stupid little genius: Nothing to sneeze at

This is how I got all the answersWhat do you get when you combine a strong spirit, boundless creativity and a generous personality? Stupid little genius! No, that’s not an insult – it’s quite the compliment (read on to find out why). Stupid little genius has averaged 10,000 contributions a month since she joined just over 6 months ago, and one gets the feeling she’s only just begun.

Stupid little genius is a senior supervisor. She keeps an eye on dozens of categories inside Animal Life, among them (to mention a few obscure ones) Cryptids and Legendary Creatures, Jellyfish and Lemurs, Bushbabies and Aye-Ayes. I could go on… but I’ll let her introduce herself in her own words.

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I actually found WikiAnswers through Google. Quite boring, I know, but I had just come out of hospital after having surgery on my hip and wasn’t able walk about or get a job or anything.  WikiAnswers gave me the chance to do something constructive with my time. I love to learn and read and such, so it was the perfect place to spend my months of recovery. After a few weeks of playing around I was lucky enough to become a supervisor and ever since then I’ve been addicted!!

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

It’s just a great community! The people just make it so much fun to contribute. Plus, I can’t bear to see vandalism, incorrect answers, or mis-categorized questions!! I just HAVE to fix them!!

What is your area of expertise?

My main area of expertise has got to be art. Painting, drawing, modeling, animating, I love it all!! I completed a BA(hons) in Fine Art last year, and am looking to get a job somewhere in this area.

When I'm not wikiing, I'm an artistI can use all kinds of media, like acrylic, watercolour, pencil, charcoal, pastel, plasticine etc.  I also do a lot of stop-frame animation and this became my final year project at uni! I made little plasticine animals and animated them with Lego men to create stories about man’s effects on the environment. And when I got bored in the middle, I made a little Lego Darth Vader use a light saber to chop off the head of a hippo. Sadly, the tutors wouldn’t let me use this as a look into the future and it got left out of the final film…

On WikiAnswers, I specialize in the animal questions. I know it seems odd at first, but I love to draw and paint animals more than anything else, and as I do, I love to find out all about my subjects! So although I specialize in art, I know a lot about animals too.

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

There are so many questions that have made me laugh! Others just make you cringe… Here are a few that just made me laugh:

But out of all the questions there is one that bugs me, simply because I cannot find an answer! And that is:

Do bees sneeze?

I really want to know if they can sneeze and the reason why! I’m not really sure why I want to know but I do!

Share a random fact about yourself.I'm not as crazy as I look!

I think the most random thing about me is my username. And it’s got a cute story behind it too!  It was a nickname given to me by my brother many moons ago. We were on holiday by the sea and killing time. I’d just bought a lovely glass chess set and so we set up a game. I’d only played a few times before and my brother is four years older, so naturally he had the upper hand and liked to let you know it. After six moves, I moved my queen into a place where he could take it.  He did this saying “stupid…”. I made my next move while he said “little…”, and then looking at the board, pausing in disbelief he uttered “GENIUS!” as he realised he was in checkmate after only seven moves!

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

Rest in peace, mother*&%#$!

I was shocked out of my &%#$ mind to find out that George Carlin, 71, passed away last night from heart failure after being taken to the hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Of course, George Carlin is the comedian known for his “seven words you can never use on television” bit among countless other funnies revolving around language, society and more.

George Carlin, RIP

Paying our respects to one of the funniest potty mouths of all time, here are some George Carlin Q&As to make you smile:

Check out more of George Carlin’s biography.

Rest in peace, funny man.


In case you’ve never heard of it yet…

Just received word that Answers.com was mentioned in the top 100 useful niche – well, I’ll let the title do the rest of the talking:

100 Useful Niche Search Engines You’ve Never Heard Of

“…college students sometimes need more specific tools to help them uncover quality information on the Web that they can use for class projects, research papers, and even job and apartment searches.” (College@Home)

Well, what an honor to be included on a list of 100 alternative online tools for college students. Answers.com is great for class research, quick look ups during study groups, familiarizing with summer internships, and loads more.

I just hope you didn’t really never hear of it yet…

Questions and Answers: The musical.

You know when a song gets stuck in your head and you just have to share it with everyone, just so it’ll leave you and dump on someone else? (Do you want to be my someone else?)

Brave3, one of the most awesome contributors around, shared the following music video with me, which was shared with him by Ksmail, the proclaimed Youtube King. It’s… well, let’s just say it’s somewhat relevant if you listen to the chorus:

Artist: British band Biffy Clyro

Hmmm… A WikiAnswers theme song, you say? Interesting. Anyone want to take a stab?

Filtering your search results

Now it’s even easier to search on WikiAnswers.

Let’s say you did a search for questions about gerbils… you would get a page like this, with a little line of text at the top:

Searching for gerbils

Use this little tool to filter the results right here on the page, without doing a new search from scratch. For instance…

Limit your search to questions in the Gerbils category:

Choosing categories

A little window will pop up so you can choose which categories to search in:

Category window

Choose whether you want to see answered, unanswered or all questions:

Answered or unanswered, that is the question

Done looking at questions about gerbils in general? Time to look up something more specific. Look up “food” instead – your results will still be from the Gerbils category.

New search, same old filter

And of course, you can always click on New Search or Advanced Search to start from scratch!

New search from scratch

Happy searching!

Piano keys and French lessons

You never really have the answers about love until you have them. And even then, they can’t really be put into words. But oh, the questions! The burning questions! For example:

Seriously? But why?!

It’s not surprising that there are so many unexplainables when it comes to love. I doubt we ourselves know why we do the zany – sometimes desperate – things we do. And we’re endlessly curious about the love aberrations of others, whether they be celebrities or former lovers. For instance, I gotta know: When Rihanna and Chris had a fight, did Rihanna throw piano pieces at him? And Why is my ex still texting me?

SOS

Sometimes we’re just at a loss, fearing we will never be loved (or loved back) or wondering how far to go to preserve the love we do have. Worse yet, we don’t even know HOW we feel.

A rose by any other name…

Sometimes we do know exactly how we feel. And we know just how to say it. But… not in the right language. Wikiers asked this week:

Until next time…Tell me everything

If you’re still hungry for questions, grab your laptop (and maybe some popcorn), lie back on your favorite Freudian settee, and follow this column as I delve deeper into the woes of wooing, the subtexts of texting, foreign amore and, of course, the lovestyles of the rich and famous.

A Hot New Tool: Flag for Improvement

As you know, WikiAnswers is based on the wiki concept (anyone from anywhere can add to or edit answers) and answers are grown collaboratively over time by the community. This is the cool new world of user-generated content – where you are the writer, editor and publisher!

But we’re all human – at least most of us – and we do make mistakes. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. When was the last time you spelled definitely as definately or used their instead of they’re? It happens.

There are also those lurking among us who enjoy nothing better than having a good time at the expense of others. On WikiAnswers, that often comes in the form of posting useless, offensive or inflammatory answers or remarks.

So what happens when you come across a question whose answer leaves little to be desired?

You can edit it directly or Flag for Improvement! This handy new link located on the left in the menu area allows you to mark a Q&A as one that could use some TLC. This is especially useful when you are in a hurry or simply don’t have the knowledge required to improve an answer.

When you click on the link, you are presented with the following pop-up:

I love this new feature. Maybe more than I love ice cream.

You can choose one or more of the options listed and even place a detailed comment as to why you are marking an answer as needing improvement. These flagged Q&As (little outlaws!) can be accessed here or you can Browse by Category and see only those Q&As in a particular topic area.

See something you want to clean up?Simply click on the Q&A, select Improve Answer and make your improvements. When you are done editing, remove the flags and comments related to the changes you made by clicking off the little checked boxes or selecting Edit Flags.

So the next time you come across something questionable or in need of some help, don’t turn a blind eye – remember to Flag for Improvement.

Every edit goes a looooong way… ;-)

Do mosquitoes have tails?

Remember Jim? Of course you do!

He’s managed to make contact with me from the depths of Africa, where he is currently hiding from assassins researching banana leaves. He sent this WikiAnswers Wednesday question via Morse code and after decoding it, I realized there is something very important to be said for vaccination research.

Do mosquitoes have tails?

I don’t know if mosquitoes have tails, but I can tell what they do have: malaria.

Malaria’s a bitch, and I know first hand after having gone through some pretty miserable days with it a few weeks back. I was all set to get on a boat on Lake Tanganyika, when I felt like dying. The first day is pretty awful, in part because the medicine you take in helping you get rid of the disease also goes ballistic on your body. The next day was bad, but I didn’t feel like dying. After that I felt a lot better.

Still, I hate mosquitoes, and I don’t think your question is the right one in this case. The correct question should be how do we get rid of all mosquitoes forever, regardless of any negative consequences this might have on the natural balance of the world or whatever. Does this help?

Why do you even care if they have tails? Does it matter? Yes, they do have tails… Do you feel better now? Or… No, they don’t; has your life significantly changed?

Anyways, have a nice day and I hope you don’t get malaria.

Jim

Firefox 3 has been released – and guess who’s featured!

Mozilla just released the latest Firefox into the wild, and it’s supposed to be 3 times the fun. While I’m playing around with the new toy, I’m noticing something even cooler:

Howdy partner!

The Answers.com add-on for Firefox is featured on the Firefox start page in the Learn tab. The add-on is basically a version of 1-Click Answers for your browser. It’s cool for a lot of reasons which I will now list:

  • No matter what page you’re browsing in Firefox, you can Alt-click any word and get an instant pop up with the definition or additional facts. Kind of like the way you can double-click anywhere on this blog – you’d get the same AnswerTip. The AnswerTip is easy to close and non-invasive, in case you’re creeped out by pop ups.
  • This will totally help you out when you don’t feel like leaving the web page you are viewing to find out what a weird word means.
  • Eventually, you will start to Alt-click real things in your life, like a bizarre vegetable or fancy statue, in order to find out more… and you’ll be sad when you realize that there is life away from the computer screen.

If you just want to add it right now, go ahead. If you want to learn more about accessing Answers.com from Firefox, you can do that too.

Tuloy! Tuloy!

Kumusta ka? Ako si Shara.

Kumain ka na ba?

Confused? Yeah…that’s not English. That’s a shout out to all my Filipino peeps…out there in the land of WikiAnswers.

What up, Filipinos!? Thanks for stoppin’ by and keeping me company!

Did you know that there’s a whole WikiAnswers category for questions in Tagalog!? Yeah there is! Not only is it there…but it’s one of the fastest growing categories we’ve got. It makes me proud.

So proud. My boss came in the other day and asked how my Tagalog was…he was wondering if I wanted to help supervise and edit some of the questions that had come in recently. Unfortunately, I’m not much help; my Tagalog is pretty rusty…but I make a MEAN batch of adobo and I’ve been known to kick off my shoes for a good old fashioned tinikling every now and then.

I got curious and started checking out the questions about the Philippines…the questions that are in English so I can read them too. I found out some really interesting stuff I never knew about the place where 1/2 my roots lie.

Like what the stars on the flag represent and what the national bird is. Other things people are wondering about the Philippines:

I’m just so happy to see such great Filipino representation! So…Tuloy! Tuloy! (Come in! Come in!) We hope you’ll stay awhile!

Maraming salamat.