Rootin’ Tootin’ Rudiful!

This woodworking, motorcycling racing, contributor extraordinaire has been called Rudalicious and Ruderific – but around the site we like to call he’s appropriately known as Rudiful2! Fueled by his love of helping others, Rudy enjoys sharing his knowledge with the community and taking an active role in the various programs on the site. A Senior Supervisor, Mentor, WikiGuide and Site Investigator – this Double Platinum contributor is a rootin’ tootin’ Rudiful!


Here’s more from Rudiful2 himself:

How did you originally hear about

I was researching camera information and after many hours I still didn’t have the answers I was looking for. That’s when I came across I discovered that I could ask my question and someone would give me the answer. So after posting, I began roaming around the site out of curiosity, and that’s when I came across the Wood Crafts category. Woodworking is one of my passions so I started answering questions that I knew something about and did research for the questions where I had limited knowledge. I was eventually asked to Supervise that category. At first I declined, but finally accepted with some coaxing from some very wonderful people at I will forever be grateful.

Explain your user name.

Rudy is a nickname the people I worked with gave me, because I like to have fun, joke around and make light of most anything. For me “Humor, a smile and laughter make up the Nectar of Life” and from that my workmates started giving or adding to my name such as Rotorudy, Rudedog, Rudalicious, Ruderific and, of course, the least offensive Rudiful. I added the # 2.

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the community?

I have several passions in life including helping, teaching and/or sharing what I know. is somewhat or in part like Christmas (gift giving) because knowledge shared or given is a gift. WikiAnswers allows me to fulfill this passion by helping and giving the gift of knowledge. Also the people that I have come to know are like-minded and have the same passion as I do. They have become my brothers and sisters on WikiAnswers, in which I hold them in high regard. They are an amazing group of people and I can only hope to aspire to inspire as they do.

What are your areas of expertise?

Actually nothing. I know a lot about a little and a little about a lot. >>LOL<< I have been an artist most of my life in no specific medium. I do try to create or make most anything and have paintings, carvings and wood-turnings all over the US. I have raced motorcycles, automobiles (stock cars) and have or had family in Nascar and the top levels of Motocross. I have three journeyman cards with many other job exposures. From these experiences I have the honor of Supervising Hobbies and Collectibles and most of the Racing categories.

What is your favorite feature?

This question is a hard one to answer. I guess you could say it’s the basic principal of WikiAnswers – being able to help someone with the knowledge or life experiences you have had. However, Vandal Patrol is very gratifying because you can eliminate those people who are only there to soil the purity of the site. Meeting like-minded people ranks way up there, but in the end it would have to be helping people.

What is the funniest question/funniest experience on

I learned that the most dedicated actually have a sense of humor. My Mentor taught me this important fact. I always thought the dedicated were too serious and lacked the fun side of life, but he proved this to be a fallacy. He is a multi-talented individual with many facets to his personality, the best of which is his humor. When WikiAnswers appointed him to train/teach me my world opened up. He has this innate ability to know when to be serious and when to be funny and through him I have met a bevy of people who make this site tons of fun.

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

I can, at times, be obsessive. When I first became a Supervisor I purposed to have the best kept category on WikiAnswers. For awhile I answered all questions by way of knowledge or research in Wood Crafts. I was quite proud of myself until I learned there were Wood Craft questions all over the site. They were simply categorized incorrectly or not categorized at all. So my little category went from a few hundred to several thousand. This coupled with being a Vandal Patrol Site Investigator, WikiGuide, Mentor, Senior Supervisor, a multi-category Supervisor and greeting new people for WikiGuides – my obsession has now become the purity and quality of WikiAnswers. As far as my artwork, I like making or creating one-of-a-kind things that are different than most things you see. I like to stretch the norm, so to speak.

HisPowr4U Passes a Mega Milestone

May 22, 2009 is a date that will be forever etched in WikiAnswers history.  At 5:32 am ET on that date a supervisor by the name of HisPowr4U became the first person to join the million contributions club.  Wow!  1,000,000 contributions since she joined the site on October 11, 2007.

2008 WAmmy Award for Most ContributionsI’ll recount her varied accomplishments here for those who are not yet familiar.  She stormed onto the WikiAnswers scene in late 2007 and still garnered two WAmmy awards (Honorable Mentions for “Best Contributions by a New Supervisor” and “Most Active New Supervisor”) for her earnest contributing those last few months.  From there her passion for organization enabled her to nab 3rd place in the Mission: Recategorization competition in mid-2008.  Her Spanish translation acumen paid dividends later in the year when she earned top honors in the How-To AnswerThon.  Last, but not least, that year she took home four 2008 WAmmy awards including “The Good Samaritan Award” for most contributions during the year! She also threw in a 3rd place finish in this year’s AnswerThon for good measure.

What else can I say about this bug-catching, uncategorized-loving Wikiholic?  Just that we’re grateful to have HER Power For US!

A Cheap Date Can Cost You- A lesson in Animal Etiquette

The Other Day, a friend of mine came back from the movies, taking pride in the fact that he beat the movie theater system.  Instead of paying $10 for soda and a tub of popcorn, he managed to  successfully sneak in a 2 Liter bottle of Coke, Doritos and a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza, which he hid vertically under his jacket. Of course, he got numerous grease stains and had to peel the melted cheese off the cardboard cover; But for some reason, he swelled up with pride, noting that these were marks of valor. “That’s terrible,” I said, “all to save a few bucks… what do you do when you take a girl to the movies?”  “What do you mean,” he replied brashly,  “I’d do the same thing, I’m not paying 6 bucks for a tub of popcorn!  And she’d be impressed with my cleverness, anyhow.”

So here we have the question, “What is considered a cheap date?” asks a WikiAnswers user. The above scenario is a perfect example. Here are a few others:

  • Going to low end or fast food places
  • not tipping
  • asking your date for money
  • parking blocks away so you don’t have to pay for parking
  • claiming the free bread is too filling for appetizers

What is so hard to understand about treating a woman to a pampered night with a little generosity? Is it that ludicrous to spend some extra money on overpriced air filled corn if it means impressing a girl with your overwhelmingly giving nature? Choosing to let go of minute details and demonstrating an ability to please is a favorable quality! Perhaps men should look to animals for the answers.

CichlidThe cichlid is a species of fish that spends a great deal of time for his woman. He not only checks out the real estate to find a suitable nest environment but then goes about building the nest himself. And, just when he’s finished- exhausted, ready to relax and have a nice meal- the female lays her eggs in the nest. The male immediately takes all the eggs into his mouth, a spawning behavior known as mouth brooding, and keeps them there until the eggs hatch. His actions speak louder than words (or bubbly gurgles). Only once the female and the eggs are safe and happy does he go forage for a meal.
Barn owls are just as great. They feed the female as part of courtship and don’t stop once she says, ‘I do.’ The male flies out each morning to find the juiciest choicest worms, small mammals and any other rich sources of protein he can find.  He then feeds the female owl during incubation.  If he’s left with the scrawny, crunchy grasshoppers he just makes do.
But what happens in nature when the male doesn’t take care of the female, When he’s just plain cheap? This can best be observed in the WA question, ”Why does the female praying mantis bite off the male’s head and eat him?” Praying Mantis

Sexual cannibalism is the answer, my friends. This is the act where one mate eats another. In scientific studies (Birkhead et al-1988) females that have a depleted nutritional states are much more likely to devour  males than those that are well fed.  Think about it, the male praying mantis hunts and feeds on his own. When he’s ready to mate, he doesn’t share the insects he’s caught or offer some help in the hunt, so what else is the hungry female left to do but eat what’s right in front of her.

So next time you are debating offering a girl a nasty smushed pizza instead of a $7 bag of Milk Duds, just remember we might bite off your head.

Woo Hoo! We’re a Webware 100 Winner

We were a Webware 100 winner once again! Webware, we thank you! And we thank all of you who voted for us, and everybody who helped make the site so great. The winners were “voted to be the best of the best by Webware readers and users of the apps themselves.” According to Webware’s announcement, “Nearly 630,000 votes were cast during the voting this year to pick the best Web 2.0 sites and services.” won in the Search & Reference category, where we were listed ahead of Google and Wikipedia, though we might have been helped by the fact that the list was sorted alphabetically.

From their write-up:

“Want to find out more about something? Check The service pulls information from several different reference sites to provide answers to your questions. … Users are also able to register, and answer questions that have been asked by other users. … There’s also a Facebook daily trivia application and a plug-in for blog owners that will highlight keywords with small pop-up links to content on pages.”

This is our third straight year as a Webware 100 winner. Thank you for your support!

Three Cheers for the Catch-All King: Mezzra

SupervisorHip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! There’s no denying that’s has a lot of dedicated contributors. But sometimes there are those who shine so brightly, they could be mistaken for royalty! One person who really, honestly and truly deserves more than three cheers is our fantabulous Mezzra. On the site since only December 2008, this force to be reckoned with has already accomplished the impossible: just under 90,000 contributions, 50 hours as a Vandal Patrol Site Guardian and winning a 2008 Honorable Mention WAmmy. All this, while simultaneously volunteering as a mentor, WIT Adult Advisor and Wikiguide. And if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he’s also an avid Category Supervisor – carefully watching over the dire and dangerous Catch-Alls.

What can I say? All hail Mezzra! Here’s more from the Wiki-King himself: How did you originally hear about

Hmm…Well, it’s nothing as exciting as I have seen others post on this blog. It’s not even very complicated. Basically, one day whilst Googling something (“what” totally evades my memory), I saw a link. Upon opening the link, I was faced with two things; a good answer, but terrible grammar. So I got stuck right in and signed up! Checking grammar (my personal pet peeve) soon earned by around 1,000 Contribution Points in a period of a few days, and on Christmas Eve, I had the Super powers!

Explain your username.

My username is just something I saw one day on another site and nicked. Don’t know the origins or if it actually means anything, but thought it had a pretty awesome sound. :-)

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the community?

Basically, helping others out. It really gives me a kick and brings me back here day-after-day. That and the fact there are tons of questions that are just…urgh. So I fix those up!

What are your areas of expertise?

Without wanting to sound big-headed, the Catch-alls. I spend 90 percent of my time in there, and it’s my true love on site. Without the category I would go absolutely mad!

What is your favorite feature?

Reverting has always been of interest to me. I just love the fact that the system remembers all of the previous answers and with two clicks you can have an old, excellent answer that has been vandalized. I can’t wait until we get the batch-revert feature…

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

The question “What is Governmentium?” made me totally LOL. Even a few days after I was still laughing at the thought :-P

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

Well, there isn’t much of interest about me. Other than the fact that I love English, both language and literature. As you may have known by reading this all, grammar is my absolute “thing.”

Why does a curve ball curve?

beakersThe American Heritage Dictionary defines science as: The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. Cool. There are so many interesting things out there that went out and got a whole collection of Q&As to explain your scientific conundrums. 

Riffle through The Handy Science Answer Book. There are loads of questions to stimulate your scientific mind. Fascinating!

For the Love of Answers

What do you call a genuinely all-around extraordinary human being who has a sincere love for all things ANSWERS? Delltechie – who had this to say about our beloved and

“This is what makes them unique: they appreciate the people on their site(s),
which is a definite unique selling proposition.”


Thanks DT! We love you, too!

Falling for a Different Species- Just the Same

You are sitting on the bus, minding your own business when suddenly the most beautiful girl  in the world walks by.   She has grace, class and even the sun seems to shine just on her- reflecting beams of light  offshy boy her angelic face (which is odd because you’re on a shaded bus and it’s raining). The perfect songs ring out of her iPod and the scent of French perfume fills the air- but all you can do is stare. You contemplate walking up to her and asking the time, But then realize she is way out of your league,  so you slouch down and look at your sneakers instead. ‘How can a poor guy from the slums win over a high class girl,’ you wonder.  Your backgrounds are so different in terms of  money, education and physical appearance that  you might as well be members of  different species! Forget about love, would it even be possible to be her friend, can animals of different species be friends?

According to many zoological accounts the answer is yes.

Let’s start with the most famous case- Koko and the kittens.   Koko,  the Gorilla, was born on July 4th 1971 in San Francisco, CA to a proud primate mom, along with a group of well learned scientists. Over the years Koko managed to master sign language and a good chunk of spoken English.  She hung out with a silverback named Michael, who scored high up on his IQ test, as well as her zoologist buddies. You’d think that such a well educated gorilla would be a tier above simple land mammals, such as the  housecat.  But no, something about  a certain kitten named ‘All Ball’ struck a chord in Koko; and as odd and improbable as it may seem, they became the best of friends. The two played, ate and even cuddled together. Koko soon became friends with  many other felines. Although she would learn and study with her trainers  each day, and although the material was too complex for her friends, she was eager to communicate with the kittens- even if that meant teaching them herself.

tortoiseNext we have Owen and Mizee. A tortoise and hippo who currently reside in Haller Park in  Mombasa, Kenya.  It all started one ill fated day when the devastating 2004 Tsunami hit. Mizee the Hippo was separated from his family and left stranded on the shore. He came across a century old Tortoise named Owen, who took Mizee under his wing. The crinkled, old, Navy green tortoise showed wear and tear from the years. Mizee, the young, curvaceous, beautiful, leather-skinned hippo didn’t care. He looked into Mizee’s wrinkled eyes but all he could see was warmth.  The bond was instant! Where Owen goes, Mizee goes! They bathe in mud together, sleep by eachother’s side and even swim together- although Owen is not as Mizeeamphibious or energetic as Mizee, it doesn’t seem to bother the hippo.  They look physically alien together but the two are just happy chillin on the coast as BFFs.

Last off we have Baxter and Miss Dog. A set of friends who live on a farm in the Midwest. Correction- Miss Dog, who is actually a chicken, lives on the farm in a simple wooden shed while Baxter, the Golden retriever, lives in a comfortable house, equipped with heating, clean blankets, and electrical lighting.  According to Baxter’s owner, he gives up the comforts of luxury each night to lay by the side of his chicken friend and snuggle with her by the metal heater near the coup. He might just be a dog but he understands that a warm expensive bed and a cold heart can’t compare to a cold bed warmed by the bond of his soulmate.

So, here comes the question. If gorillas, reptiles and poultry can  coexist and disregard differences in intelligence, physical beauty and wealth, why can’t we get past this as humans. No one can tell if the connection between the animals  in the previous scenarios was true love or deep friendship, but they did form a pair bond. And for animlas to do so puts their survival and genes at risk. So why can’t we do the same within our own species, when we have a lot less to lose?
It seems that our highly developed brains, the same organ that allows us complicated reasoning, also tends to cloud our judgment. Will the boy on the bus be able to put his insecurities and fears aside in order to ask out the pretty girl?
If my zoological proof isn’t good enough let’s look at a more reliable and factual source –Hollywood.
Billy Joel says Uptown girls can fall in love with backstreet guys and backstreet girls, according to the movies,  can fall in love with Richard Gere. Heck, pretty women can even fall for guys with scissorhands.   So, before the bus stops and you lose the opportunity to meet a great human girl- think of how much harder it would be to ask  a moose for coffee.moose

Zenballwizard: Supervisor and Poet Extraordinaire

Who knew there were so many poets spread amongst our ever-growing community of WikiAnswers supervisors?  We didn’t until we asked!  We’ll share some of their work with you in the coming weeks.

We’re kicking things off with none other than Zenballwizard, a Silver Contributor who studies Eastern philosophy in his spare time.  He explains that the following piece symbolizes how our quest for knowledge can cut both ways as we live our lives.

Learn the difference between a sonnet and a haiku in our Poetry Q&A on!

“Meteorology Lesson” by Zenballwizard

Well, I could spin you tales of troughs aloft
How masses move between the poles and doldrums
Regale you with the intricacies of
The Polar High, La Niña and El Niño
And you’d be fascinated by the way
The air flows along isobars and boundaries
And how the cold fronts form when air slides under
The humid masses moving from the tropics
Or we could step outside and close our eyes
And be the wind

RoibeairdWA: Top o’ the WikiAnswers!

Okay, we need to set the record straight – once and for all. RoibeairdWA is not the return on investment you’ll get from growing fuzzy facial hair in Washington. RoibeairdWA, or Rob, is actually one of’s stellar contributors and all-around amazing Supervisors. Rob uses his diverse and in-depth legal experience to carefully watch over areas such as Lawsuits, Probate, Consumer Liability, Declaration of Independence and US Government. A true Irish gentleman, when he is not busy wiki-ing in his favorite categories, you can find him actively helping the community at-large via the forums and boards. He is truly the Top o’ the WikiAnswers!


Here’s more from our very own, RoibeairdWA:

How did you originally hear about

I had a question about fixing a car problem and had been through several sites before coming across It had an automobile category, which gave me some good ideas on fixing the problem. The problem was very specific and even the true automotive sites had no answer. While there was no answer relating to this particular car, there were answers to the problem with other cars so I did get the help I needed. This indirect answer also convinced me that I did not have to keep looking for the exact answer for the exact car. WA confirmed that it had my answer and that no further looking was needed. And that is just as good as getting the answer itself.

Explain your username.

RoibeairdWA is Irish for “Robert’s WA”. Since my first name is Robert and I am Irish, the name felt like a natural, because it linked me, my heritage and all at the same time. The name is a bit hard to pronounce and sometimes even harder to type in when signing on. The first few times I signed in with that name, I got a “user unknown” message because I mistyped it.

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the community?

Someone at WA knew what to do to hook people into contributing time. There is a phrase on an opening page that says something like “Show us your smarts and see if you can help by answering questions”. Everyone has something to offer, so when I got help on the car problem, I looked at some other categories, realized I could contribute some answers and help someone just as I was helped. After enjoying answering some questions, WA invited me to join the volunteer Supervisor team and I was very flattered. At that point, I no longer felt like an individual answering random questions, but more like part of a family of other Supervisors all dedicated to making the site more than just a warehouse of knowledge. Being part of that common purpose keeps me coming back.

What are your areas of expertise?

Law and legal matters, especially wills, estates and probate, are my main areas. I had served as the legal advisor in a probate court in New Jersey and was involved in all aspects, contested and uncontested, of every type of probate matter. After that my practice was devoted strictly to that area. I now prefer municipal legal matters, but the probate experiences will always be with me. I love the game of chess and love to answer basic questions on strategy and history, hoping that I am encouraging someone to take up the game seriously.

What is your favorite feature?

The Supervisors Forum. It is like the evening dinner table where we all discuss our experiences both in WA and in our private lives. Without it, the site would not keep improving and the other Supervisors would not form a community.

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

My favorite and most fun experience on was writing a Christmas story in which I hid as many fellow Supervisors as I could as elves at the North Pole all through out the story. If you would like to read it, you can find it at this location. I hope you enjoy it if you do read it.

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

I am part of a committee that produces one of several Saint Patrick’s Day Parades in New Jersey. We put what we like to call a people parade on the street, because we mostly feature marchers from civic groups, schools and Irish organizations. Plus we have about 25 Pipe and Drum bands that come from all parts of New Jersey and New York. While we do keep vehicles to a minimum, we have had a truly unique feature, which is a NJ State Police helicopter flying over the State Police Blue and Gold Pipe and Drum band in time with the band as it marched down the street. The best part is I get to be the parade announcer at the mid-point grandstand. Someday I hope to graduate to the main Grandstand.

Measuring Creeps and Other Stuff from On the Lighter Side

Hidden amongst the serious, definitive posts found on is a little thing we like to call On the Lighter Side. While humor in some forms can be considered minor (or major!) vandalism, many of our site’s best contributors like to inject a bit of lightheartedness into their posts. To ensure that readers understand that the vivacious answers are not meant to be harmful, rude or belittling, they appropriately label them “On the Lighter Side.” This has created a world of fun for those of us who like to peruse the underground >>bah ha ha<< on

Here’s a sampling of some of the chucklers from On the Lighter Side:

What is a creep meter?

A creep meter is not a tool used by girls at bars to see if you are a suitable date!

How do you creep cucumbers?

Wink at them and ask them if they would like to see your pickle!

Do chickens really have fingers?

They used to, but some fella’ named Sanders took em’ all and made a fortune selling them – even bought an honorary military title with the earnings.

Is a termite a decomposer?

If it gets its teeth stuck into a Beethoven symphony, then yes it’s definitely a decomposer!

What is superclifragalisticexpialidosious?

A holy man, who walks barefoot all his life, eats little and may suffer from a frail body and bad breath, could be called a “super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis!”

How do you make a girlfriend melt?

Is she the Wicked Witch of the West? Throw water on her. Warning: Do not try this at home. Serious back injuries may occur as a result of repeatedly sleeping on the couch.

Where are the serious answers you ask? This post was not about truth, fact and actuality. For the more definitive answers, click the links above.

Newest Category Additions on

The other day I was talking to someone about a medical procedure that I was interested in learning more about. I was shocked when she informed me that we had an entire category on devoted to this rather obscure test! So I decided to dig around a bit and see what other categories have slipped by my watchful eye in recent days. Another stunner! We are now just shy of 5,000 categories – with new areas being added every single day. There truly is something for everyone – whether you’re an expert on Numerical Analysis and Simulation, a hobbyist who enjoys Weaving or just a diehard lover of the Goo Goo Dolls, you will find a niche to call your own on


Here are just a few of the other categories added in recent days:

Don’t see the category you were looking for? No problem! Have it added today by writing to WikiAnswers @ (no spaces).

Zandkey: giving back, online and off…

Zandkey, or Jamie, is a friendly, here-to-help type WikiAnswers contributor, and we couldn’t be more happy to have him around. As a Supervisor, Zandkey supervises these topics: Music, Teen Idols, Jonas Brothers, Avatar The Last Airbender, and iPod. He is also a Mentor, WikiGuide,  and Vandal Patrol Generalist.

One thing I really like about Zandkey? He plans to give back to the community when offline, too. He wants to join the Fire Fighter Training Program when he reaches the age of 18. He is already involved in many organizations, including the Winnipeg Fire Fighters Burn Fund, Mamingwey Burn Survivor Society (also known as the Phoenix Society), and the Winnipeg Burn Survivor Society. As Jamie says:

We meet every so often and provide our input on videos that the Society has made, these videos are made as a help reference for families and children that are recent burn victims, the videos provide information for the children on how to cope with school, what to say if people ask about their burns, and that sort of thing. I usually speak at annual conferences they have to remind people and promote fire safety, a sort of Good Will Ambassador, but not quite. They’re all really great organizations that help little by little making the lives of burn victims of all ages that much easier to cope with.

Learn more about this awesome contributor:

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

Well, I originally heard about WikiAnswers around late 2007. I believe I was searching up relationship advice for a girl I liked.

Explain your username.

My username is a combination of my nickname some people have for me, and the first three letters of my best friend. “Z” is for my nickname “Zany” and “Key” are the first three letters of my best friends name, the “and” in between is there to separate the two, thus creating “ZandKey”.

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

I do it because I like helping out. I think for a lot of people, the satisfaction of answering a question, and knowing that someone out there in the world is looking for that same answer, and being able to find it on WikiAnswers thanks to you – is motivation enough. Also, it’s hard not to want to get involved with WikiAnswers when you see first hand the kind people its community houses, we all work together to help make WikiAnswers the Internets largest knowledge base.

What are your areas of expertise?

I would say Celebrities/Teen Idols. Music is something that I hold very close to my heart, so when I like an artist enough, I tend to pull OCD on them, finding everything there is to know about them, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it lets me pour all my newly found Celeb knowledge into WikiAnswers. :)

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

I would have to say the Merge Feature. I completely love it, it really helps clean up WikiAnswers. I have OCD with organization (shhh…).

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

Hmm… Well can’t remember anything to recent, BUT I did have a laugh after seeing the question “How does someone use the toilet?”. Please note, that after serious consideration that question has been merged into a catch-all. LOL.

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

Lets see.. OH, well, I do have an obsession with 7-11 Slurpees. I don’t go one day where I don’t consume at least two of them. And, I can do no handed-cartwheels.

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

WikiAnswers Release Update

You may have noticed some small changes to the site today – and if you did, well, you’ve got sharp eyes. Much of today’s release was focused on bug fixes and performance improvements, and if your answers load faster than usual, feel free to tip your mental hat to our engineering team.

Meanwhile, we’ve added a few handy tools to the menu on the left-hand side of the page. (To access the full version of the menu pictured here, sign up/log in and it will appear immediately.) The new tools are:

  • browse categories (takes you to category HQ, where you can search for a topic or browse our category list)
  • random page (jumps you to a randomly-picked question on WikiAnswers)
  • WikiAnswers email (direct link to WA inbox – supervisors only)

So, what else is new in this release?

Browse unanswered questions

We’ve made it even easier to answer new questions on your favorite topic by adding a FAYT (find-as-you-type) search box to the unanswered question page. Just start typing and related categories will appear.

Who’s on the Community Forum?

The Community Forum also saw a small but significant change today. Scroll down to the bottom of the forum, and you’ll see a new section called “Viewing this forum.” Listed there are all the other members and community assistants who are currently browsing the forum. If you need help with the site, or just advice from another WikiAnswerer, you can turn to these folks for help.

Category page design tweaks

The category page was treated to a modest makeover to improve readability and flexibility. See if you can spot the differences between the old and the new designs!

That’s a wrap! Until next time… onward and upward!

UPDATE: Thanks to Matthew for pointing out that a fix for the missing bio pages didn’t, in fact, make this release. We apologize, and it’s on the way.

Pandemic pandemonium’s top 1-click search term this week is pandemic (if you don’t know what 1-click is, check here; it’s incredibly handy for looking things up without leaving the web page you’re looking at). And no wonder: the WHO set the influenza pandemic alert at 5 out of a possible 6.

Pandemic is from pan, meaning all, and demos, meaning people (both from ancient Greek). So a pandemic is something (well, not just something; it’s a disease) that affects all (well, not all, but lots of) people. It differs from an epidemic (a widespread outbreak of a contagious disease) in that it is, well, more widespread. Demos gives us democracy, government by the people; demographics, characteristics of populations; and demagogue, a leader who appeals to popular prejudice. Pan gives us words like panorama, a view of an entire area, and pantheism, the belief that God is in everything.

So, pandemic is clearly word of the week. The Pandora’s box has been opened and it will take plenty of time and effort till we can declare it closed again. We can’t be Panglossian about this crisis, but on the other hand panic won’t help matters. Let’s just be prepared.