The HistoryDork Address.

372px-Gettysburg.haydraftFifteen score and a few days more ago, our WikiAnswers brought forth on this community, a new contributor, conceived in 1992, and dedicated to the proposition that all questions and answers are created equal.

Let it be known, fair gentlemen and gentleladies, that the history of WikiAnswers will record one of its finest young contributors to be HistoryDork.

And here’s why:

What is your WikiAnswers user name and the history behind it?

My WikiAnswers user name is HistoryDork, because I’ve always liked history. It’s my favorite subject in school, and I always seem to be rattling off random historical facts to my family.

Are you a Floating or Category Supervisor (which categories)?

I am a Category Supervisor of the US Civil War, Founding Fathers, American Revolution, Colonial America and the Battle of Gettysburg.

What is your first name?

My first name is Justin, and I am 17 years old.

Do you have any pets?

Yes. I have three cats, named Salem, Sabrina and Simba.

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?

I live in Angola, New York, which is about an hour drive south of Buffalo. I moved to Angola from Buffalo when I was 9 years old. I like the area because the school district I’m in now offers more class opportunities such as Advanced Placement courses.

What educational information would you like to share?

I have received a variety of National Awards from the United States Achievement Academy which include the National Science Merit Award, All-American Scholar At-Large and the National Leadership and Service Award. I have been nominated to attend the National Student Leadership Conference, and I have been inducted into the National Honor Society. I also managed to get into a variety of courses at my high school early such as AP US History in my Sophomore year (which is typically reserved for Juniors and Seniors) and I took Government and Economics my Junior year which are both Senior courses. My Junior year I took AP Human Geography, and this year I’m going to be taking US History since 1945 and Sociology, which are courses offered through Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York.

What are your past and/or present occupations?

As of right now I am not working, preferring to devote most of my time and energy into my school work.

What is/are your key area(s) of knowledge, interests or expertise?

As you’ve probably guessed already my key area of knowledge and interests are in History, especially the Colonial and US Civil War time periods.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

Along with WikiAnswers, I also belong to The History Channel Club from which I have received a collection of American History Collectors Medallions. I also have a collection of pins I bought when I went to Disney World for Christmas and New Year in 2002 and 2003.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I like to play video games, board games, pinochle, reading and of course contributing anyway I can to WikiAnswers.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

All the awards I have won over the years, becoming a member of the National Honor Society and getting a 4 and 5 respectively on my AP US History and AP Human Geography exams with 5 being the highest score.

What are your special goals or dreams?

My ultimate goal at the moment is to graduate from college and get a job as a high school history teacher.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

In public I am a shy, quiet person and have been called pessimistic on more than one occasion, which I don’t entirely agree with.

What brought you to WikiAnswers?

Originally I found WikiAnswers when I was researching a question I was having difficulty with on my homework.

What kept you coming back to WikiAnswers

When I realized that I knew some of the answers to the questions I came across and found out I could become a member.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers activity?

I don’t have a specific favorite activity on WikiAnswers. I just help out anyway I can – but I guess I do spend a lot of time categorizing and fixing spelling errors in questions and answers.

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

Join the Town Halls (minus President Obama).

Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of the town hall meeting; President Obama has certainly updated the idea by posting his online town halls on YouTube.

One third of the WikiAnswers 9³ Experience is a series of Town Halls to be shared online on 9/9/09. Answers.com staff will be answering questions from WikiAnswers contributors – and those who submitted questions chosen or the Town Halls will win unique 9³ prizes.

Submit a question (or two or three!) to the team one or more of the ways listed below. However you decide to submit your question, make sure to include your WikiAnswers username and specify that your question is being submitted for the Town Hall sessions.

  1. On Twitter, reply to @AnswersDotCom with your question.
  2. On Facebook, post your question to the wall of the Answers.com Fan page or the 9³ Event page.
  3. Leave a comment on this blog post.
  4. Post it to the WikiAnswers Community Forum.
  5. Email your question to WikiAnswers @ answers.com (no spaces).

C.Hainsaw doesn’t know why.

C.Hainsaw has perhaps the most intimidating username of any supervisor on WikiAnswers.  But did you know after a hard day of blocking vandals he can still write some serious poetry?  He wrote the following poem about fifteen years ago for a creative writing class in college. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room after he finished reading it.

He explains, “I think this defined what poetry is for me, reaching people on that much deeper emotional level. It isn’t about the words, but what the words do to and for the audience.”

“I Don’t Know Why I Don’t Know Why,” by C.Hainsaw

My daughter asks why the sky
is not green says she.
“The grass is green.” to her I say
“God made it to match the trees.”

My daughter asked why cats don’t bark
and dogs don’t say, “Meow.”
I tell her, “Love, if dogs could speak
people would wonder how.”

My daughter asks why at night
the stars come out to play.
I tell my love, “The night for them
to you is like the day.”

My daughter asks why other kids
have mommies unlike she.
I look at her, tears fill my eyes,
I tell her, “You have me.”

My daughter loves this question game
her questions I love to try,
but sometimes even I don’t know
why I do not know why.

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your WikiAnswers username!]

Back Away from the Blonde: Animals with Warning Colors

ferrari‘Ooh I love it!’  My friend screamed in the middle of the car dealership. Although we all know they are a target for the cops, she was instantly taken by the  glitzy red Ferrari. ‘It’s so pretty and shiny and exciting, I want it!’

As we rolled down the block for a test drive,  pedestrians left and right turned their heads to the car. ‘This is ridiculous,’ I thought.  But, I couldn’t help stare at it myself. Humans are wired to be attracted to bright things.

Marilyn MonroeThe casinos in Vegas draw us in like a fly to a fluorescent light.  An ice cream cone doesn’t look quite the same without those colored sprinkles.  Take a walk down 5th Ave and watch the heads turn at the Tiffany’s window – diamonds and 14 karat gold sparkling everywhere (guys, don’t tell me that you don’t take a quick glance at the latest Rolex models). Rainbow Brite would not have been so popular if she were named ‘Rainbow shades of Black and Grey’.

And hey, let’s be honest- I’m not saying blondes have all the fun, but study after study shows they do get much more attention than the average brunette.

Yet, in the animal world, the exact opposite occurs. Bright colors are synonymous with danger. Animals are trained to stay away from pretty, shiny, glowing creatures. Phosphorescence is a clear warning sign ‘poison up ahead’. Spots and bold patterns mean ‘back off buddy.’

Blu ringed octopsTake the Blue ringed octopus of Australia for example: one bite can kill 26 humans. The Coral snake of North America has funky bands and stripes on its body to warn of it’s neurotoxic venom.

You know  that cute little  arrow dart frog that looks like porcelain and fits in your hand? It secretes a chemical, Homobatrachotoxin, 500 times more potent than morphine. Non-coincidentally,  scientists just discovered that a bright black and orange  bird from New Guinea, called the Hooded Pitohui, actually carries this same toxin in its feathers.

Need I even mention the infamous Monarch butterfly; How many innocent lizards have met an ill fate ingesting one of these flying candy canes? RIP, my little dinosaur friends.

monarch and mimic

Heck, it’s so effective to be obnoxiously beautiful, different species try to mimic the same aposematic color patterns of their toxic friends.  In the biological world this is known as Batesian Mimicry; blonde hair dye anyone?

So, If bright colors are dangerous, why are humans drawn to them while most species know to stay away? Maybe we should take a hint from our animal counterparts instead of learning it the hard way, as one WikiAnswers user asked:

Are blonde girls more likely to break your heart?

Yes they are.

Their yellow hair stands out in a crowd. Blondes pretty much know the power they have over men and women. Don’t be fooled.

So, there you have it, all you need in life to stay happy and safe is a brunette.brunette

How to put your hair in a messy bun.

[Here’s a good example of the kind of video you can submit for the Video Contest portion of the WikiAnswers 9³ Experience.]

Maybe you’re just running off to the gym. Maybe you have a date tonight. Maybe you just feel like experimenting with a new hair style.

Whatever it is you are looking to accomplish with your hair today, Neila222 is here to introduce us all to the art of stylin’ hair in a messy bun.

How do you put your hair up in a messy bun?

Learn more hair care tips and tricks in the Hair Q&A category.

Big thanks to Neila222 for participating in this video edition of WikiAnswers Wednesday!

If you’d like to submit a video for next week, leave a comment below.

An intro to 9³.

The folks at Answers.com are ready for the Q&A event of the year and now you can be, too: All the contest details are available on the official WikiAnswers 9³ Experience page (including the prizes).

In short, it’s a series of three events running from September 1-9, culminating on 9/9/09 (or 9³). You can participate in one, two or all three of the events (and win!):

  1. AnswerHunt: The ultimate Q&A scavenger hunt, taking place across the WikiAnswers website on Saturday, September 5th. It’s also the first-ever WikiAnswers team event – each team must consist of two contributors and one Supervisor. Find your wiki-friends and sign up… and if you think you need practice around the site, better brush up now!
  2. Town Halls: This is your chance to ask the WikiAnswers team-behind-the-scenes any questions you like! The best questions will be chosen and answered by Answers Corp staff; these video Town Halls will be shared on Wednesday, September 9th.
  3. Video Contest: For the entire duration of 9³, you can submit up to nine Q&A videos – that is, videos you film yourself presenting a question on WikiAnswers and a visual answer. The best will be displayed here – and the creators will win prizes. Get inspired by one of the WikiAnswers Wednesday videos featured on this blog.

There isn’t much time to lose! Start gearing up for the 9³ events now. If you have any questions, leave ‘em in a comment below.

How to enter the 9³ Video Contest.

Have you been paying attention to what goes on around here on Wednesdays?

The WikiAnswers Wednesday video Q&As we’ve been sharing around here are a great example of the kinds of video Q&As you can do for the WikiAnswers 9³ Experience Video Contest. The more creative you are, the better.

You can submit up to nine videos displaying your Q&A creativity from September 1st through September 9th.

Here are some tips from Xtriece on how to use YouTube for submitting your videos: