What’s in a name?

Are you sitting down? We have some news.

The OG

It’s time to bid farewell to our beloved Orange Guy. He’s been with us through thick and thin… but he’s also been busy helping many others on the web, too, and it’s time for a champion of our very own. Never fear – he is leaving a cousin to care for the WikiAnswers.com community! Introducing… the stick dude.

Like WikiAnswers contributors, the stick dude – and his stick crew – are a curious, friendly group that love to hang around the community, sharing what they know. These are your go-to guys, a friendly right-hand man, helping you around the site. The stick crew wants to make sure everyone has the best experience on WA, whether it’s poking around the Help Center or applauding the best questions and answers.

One thing remains to be decided. What should we call our new caretaker? “Stick” is lacking in… shall we say… pizzazz. We could name him Twiggy, after his toothpick legs. Supertwig came to mind, Or simply Fred or Skip. How about Max (and his lady friend, Maxine)? We’ve also had some more sophisticated ideas: JACK (jocular assistant of community knowledge) and CAL (community art liaison).

We need your help, and more importantly, stick dude needs your help. What are your favorite names for our new guy and his crew?

Winners of the April 2009 AnswerThon announced!

A big thanks goes out to everyone who flexed their fingers and maxed out their minds in name of knowledge this past weekend! This was the fourth AnswerThon we’ve had at WikiAnswers but only the second one without the bells and whistles for you purists out there. Since the original AnswerThon we’ve had Charity and How-To editions of this answering extravaganza…

Without further ado, the April 2009 WikiAnswers AnswerThon champions are Steven Keyman (supervisor division) and Jordang123 (standard division). Steven smoked the competition with an amazing 1,231 answers!  Second-place finishers included Aggie80, Rimshakr27, Iluvcake94, and Ananddave. Check out the full list of prize winners.

First, second and third-place winners are receiving Amazon.com gift certificates worth $500, $200 and $100 respectively. Additionally, second-place winners will take home WikiAnswers laptop bags while third-place finishers will walk away with WikiAnswers blankets. Fifty runners-up will receive WikiAnswers t-shirts.

Congratulations to all the winners, both first-time contributors and seasoned veterans!  When’s the next AnswerThon? I’m glad you asked. Sign up for WikiAnswers e-mail announcements and follow us on Twitter to be notified when the next WikiAnswers challenge is launched!

Could You Bet on Your Pet’s Mood?

Susan FordYou come home, put away the groceries and walk up to your room. You take a shower and fold the laundry – the whole time he’s looking at you ready to hug you and comfort you. He knows something is wrong, he just does. You look into his eyes, his blonde messy hair and his wagging tail – and wonder, ‘How does he do it?’

No, your husband did not turn into a werewolf… you are sad, and your dog knows it. No words need be said or tears shed; no outward behavior – your dog just knows it.

Fluffy has now made it his goal to make you happy and restore your jovial nature. He jumps on your lap and licks your face. He stays by your side and slowly waits till your mood gets better; you giggle, and he knows its working. He brings you his chew-toy and when you refuse him he settles for sitting on the couch right by your side. It’s some special sixth sense he has; an inexplicable ability to gage your mood. And just by being happy you have made Fluffy’s day.

Basset HoundSo, I was not surprised when I saw the answer to this WA question, ‘When you’re sad do dogs see that you’re sad and come to you to see if you’re ok’.

The answer given was that it depends on your relationship with your dog.

If you are in a caring and giving relationship and your dog is mentally sane (no narcissistic tendencies) then you will be treated like a king.

But, does it work the other way around – can we tell when our dog, our bird, our cat or even our fish is sad? And if so, ‘How do you save animals from a sad life,’ asks a WA user.

Well, the way I see it, you can’t save a sad animal unless you can recognize that it’s sad in the first place. Unfortunately, people are not as attuned to animal moods as we’d like to be. It requires extra effort. When your dog pulls his ears back is he usually sad, or does he do this when he’s hungry too? Does your bird squawk at you when she wants attention, or does she do this when the neighbor flashes past the window? Do you even hear the difference between a squawk and a squack? Does your fish lay low at the bottom of the tank when you replace the aquarium plants, or does he do it because the amount of light in the room changes?

We need to pay attention to our animals and invest in the relationship in order to get the satisfaction of seeing Fluffy smile (in the way dogs smile). WA users suggest volunteering at shelters, donating money to organizations that research animals/animal behavior, and constantly reading up on current information relating to your pets.

All this effort will pay off when you see you can sense your pets’ moods and make them happy!

Hey, once you have that down you can begin working on the relationship with your husband…

Meet JRWaddy, WikiAnswers long-timer.

Here’s a WikiAnswers.com contributor who has been around the wiki-block many times since joining the community in December 2007: JRWaddy – or Jeff – is a dedicated Supervisor, Mentor, WikiGuide and Vandal Patrol Generalist who has reached Silver Contributor status as well.

JRWaddy’s love for history and geography has helped him supervise Bodies of Water, Lakes and Rivers, and Oceans and Seas.

Introducing the wonderful JRWaddy:

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I stumbled upon it quite by accident. A sister of mine does Quizzes & Crosswords. I was using the computer to help out with an answer or two. Soon I was replying on a regular basis. The offer to be a Supervisor came out of the blue; since I became one I have never looked back.

Explain your username.

Nothing to it really: It’s basically who I am…

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

Oh I want to do it. It is compelling. I wouldn’t actually say I am addicted, but it does drive me. I am passionate & committed. I think that is reflected in the way I operate. I think, indeed I am sure, that WikiAnswers is a good place which enables ordinary people to share what they know & help everyone who wants to share a bit of knowledge or to express an opinion.

What are your areas of expertise?

History & Geography: I was given Lakes & Rivers, Oceans & Seas and it suits me down to the ground. I couldn’t have chosen better, oh, except for Napoleon or World War 2. I do a bit of all sorts, though there are a great many places I simply do not go to at all. I know what I don’t know, if you see what I mean…. I do like to see a Quality reply though. Every now & then I do try to type one ! But in the main I do Military History, it is what I read most of. Basil Liddell-Hart’s History of the Second World War is as good a reference as anyone would ever need.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

Favourite feature ? Doing my Watchlist! Just being able to choose what I want to answer and what to leave well alone.

What has been the funniest question you’ve seen or your funniest experience on WikiAnswers?

I have to attribute this to Robbb:

Q: Can you give an example of a monosyllabic reply? A: Yup!

I do find my bestest pal James Joseph terrifically amusing & erudite. I do enjoy good humour. I find many of my fellow Supervisors delightful. Too many to mench….

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

Gosh, I don’t know what to say…. I feel like I am such an ordinary guy who is able to do what I do on here & take pleasure doing it. I suppose there is something to be said for the fact that I am a real life recipient of the kiss of life: I drowned when I was four… It once happened in a Cricket Test Match, a batsman was hit on the pocket of his trousers, setting alight to a box of red top matches: I have set alight a box of red topped matches (I used to smoke a pipe) in my pocket on three separate occasions! Twice at cricket, once batting & once fielding and once playing soccer ! And no, I never hurt myself!

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

‘Lest we forget': ANZAC Day.

Today is Anzac Day, a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand, honouring members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli, Turkey, during World War I. Both countries commemorate it on April 25th every year. It is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga, with a dawn service held in Gallipoli in Turkey.

Here are some more facts and Q&As about Anzac Day:

Lest we forget…