Like a Quiet Storm Shadowfox Emerges

Fox eyesThere is a fascinating paradigm on WikiAnswers that I often think about when I am busy recruiting new Supervisors to the ranks. It is the incredible number of Contributors who are doing many good things (literally on a mass scale) – quietly below the radar. They are the quiet storms that help make WikiAnswers an incredible knowledge resource. Like invisible troops, they wiki day in and day out in virtual silence – asking nothing in return. Our Featured Contributor of the Week happens to be an important part of this paradigm – this secret society of sorts – a magnificent Supervisor who has and continues to do great things…like a quiet storm. Introducing Shadowfox

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I discovered first, a few years ago and used it regularly to search for information I needed. Over time, I noticed a link to WikiAnswers. I wasn’t quite sure how the site operated, so I took a look around. I was impressed with the neat organisation of the site and was intrigued with the sorts of questions asked. After browsing around for a little while, I found my calling – the Pokemon category! Finding a place where I could detail the knowledge I had built up on Pokemon over the years had me hooked. I signed up right away.

Explain your user name.

My user name can be interpreted a few ways and this has caused some confusion with a few people. It’s great I can clear this up! When I signed up on WikiAnswers, I had no idea as what to put down as a user name. I mulled over it for awhile and eventually concluded that I should put down something which expressed my personality. I immediately found two words which described me quite well – shadow and fox. ‘Shadow’ as I am a very quiet girl but also quite mysterious. I don’t give much about myself away. I also am more of a night person (although one can argue that shadows don’t exist at night; poetic license is a wonderful thing). I chose ‘fox’ as my other personality-describing word, as I have been interested in the animal symbol of the fox for awhile now. Doing some research, I have come to realise that the fox stands for walking in between two worlds and patience, among the more usual images that come to mind of a cunning or sly natured person. I have these traits so the name suits me well.
Shadowfox, I also found, was a type of Zoid. At the time I made my user name I didn’t know this. There’s no double meaning to my user name, I just created it by looking at my personality.

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

I think it’s that the more questions I answer, the better my writing becomes and the more I remember about Pokemon. Some answers do require some flicking through notes on my part, but after an hour of answering, I start to remember things better which not only helps me but WikiAnswers, too. I also use it as a sort of practice for exams. It’s really strange to say that Pokemon helped improved my writing skills! Over time, I developed my method of answering questions (most notably addressing all possibilities in a question) which helped me when I had to write essays for my subjects. Being a person who wants to start a career in writing, this is important to me.

There is a sense of accomplishment or at least contentment when I look at all the answers I have given. It is nice to know that I have helped someone and that I have shared my knowledge. This, combined with the fact that my writing is improved through contributions, keeps me coming back to WikiAnswers again and again.

What are your areas of expertise?

My area of expertise is anything Pokemon. Particularly, I have an extensive knowledge of the Pokemon RPGs for handheld consoles – for example Pokemon Diamond or Pokemon Crystal. I know quite a bit about the Pokemon anime as well, not to mention the mechanics of the other games although I haven’t played them fully. Most of my expertise lies in the later generation games (although if you were to ask me about Red version, I could still answer with complete confidance). I supervise the Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Ranger FAQs. However, I can answer on every Pokemon category except for Pokemon XD and Colosseum and Battle Revolution.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

Sometimes you can’t give all the information necessary for a question or there is a way of explaining something which can’t be included due to site restrictions. For this reason my favourite WikiAnswers feature is the related questions and related links functions. There is a much better flow in navigation when relevant questions are linked to each other. There is also a greater way of providing resources in a neat and clean way instead of pasting a URL in or as an answer. These options are immensly useful.

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

The Harmless Nonsense category (which does not exist anymore) offered so many hilarious answers to incomplete questions. The funniest answer was to a question along the lines of “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The user who answered it included a very long list of absolutely funny possibilities from religious motives to answers with puns.

My funniest experience on WikiAnswers would be my first encounter with alternate wordings for questions. There was a Pokemon question which had a lot of alternate wordings which were actually different questions. I spent a lot of time splitting these questions and then merging them only to find hours later that there was a split AND merge option.

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

I enjoy playing the piano although, since I have not been taught and have no grasp of musical notation, I find that I play by ear and have learnt many pieces by listening to someone play and mimicking their sound. I have also read a lot into ancient mythology (particularly Greek and Roman beliefs) including gods and mythical creatures. It is interesting to see all the intertwined stories and how they have influenced modern times – from characters in novels to brand names.

Mike 2: Why WikiAnswers is so Compelling

Mike 2 is an affable mate of ours.  He happens to be a Senior Supervisor of the Humor & Amusement Corner on WikiAnswers.  That’s when he’s not guarding the site and playing Whack-a-mole with pesky vandals!  For those who won’t be able to meet him at the Answers Summit next month he offers up this lighthearted poem about the greatness of WikiAnswers for this week’s Poetry Cafe.

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

Untitled, by Mike 2

WikiAnswers is so compelling,
Let your friends know just by yelling.

More members means a better site,
Ask your friends to swell the might.

For answers to questions, it is the best,
Say to your friends “give Wiki a test.”

They won’t be sorry, I’ll bet they come back,
Another one joins the Wikiholics pack.

Yes WikiAnswers is so very addictive,
But time spent on site is not constrictive.

Here on the site is the place to be,
Look at the subjects on our category tree.

A question you might answer, a question you might ask,
But I’m sure it won’t be a boring old task.

A pleasure is assured when being on site,
Come join us here and see the light.

Mike 2 wrote this quite late at night.
He’s hoping to see you here on the site.

Turkey is more than meets the eye.

Oh, turkey – a glorious word.

Sometimes you’re a country, others – a bird.

short story as well. Two cities to like.

A Native American…  and a bowling strike.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Keep in mind where to go if you need a video on how to roast a turkey, historical trivia to share at your dinner table, or if you want the final answer as to why eating turkey makes you sleepy.

What’s hot in the world of answers.

Hot Topic: Not just a store I used to shop at 10 years ago.

Hot topics are the Q&A categories everyone’s dying to get involved in… So where are you?

I’m sharing a sampling below – but make sure to check out the rest at

Holiday Gift GivingTwilightTwitterJustin BieberHerbal MedicineShakiraMafia WarsFantasy Football

The Conundrum Known as Mr. Mystery

Growing up I was addicted to the Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mystery series. I loved all of the clues and trying to figure out the who done it, with what and where before it was spelled out for you – literally. But regardless of whether or not you were a cunning sleuth or a failed miserably detective, in the end you’d always know exactly what was behind the ambiguous plots. Nancy, Frank and Joe would cleverly solve the mysteries at hand. If you didn’t see the twists and turns coming, you’d feel better knowing. You wouldn’t obsess over the unknown and you could sleep better at night. I wish I could say the same about the baffling nature of this week’s Featured Contributor. Introducing Mr. Mystery. Who is this masked wiki-er, you ask? I wish I could tell you. I have tried – to no avail – to solve this…(ahem)…mystery. But he’s just not budging. He remains an enigma, a riddle, a puzzle in awesome contributor form. So I’ll continue to ask…to search for clues…to pester to no end…and just maybe..on a bright and sunny day…the conundrum known as Mr. Mystery will be solved.

I wasn’t able to pick up on any, but see if you can discover any clues below!

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I’m pretty sure that I was searching for something on Google, and one of the links they provided me was to WikiAnswers. I used the site for awhile before becoming a member, and one day I finally decided to join. 1. Because I was hooked, and 2. Because of those dang Captchas

Explain your user name.

Let’s leave that… a mystery.

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

Part of the reason I think I come back to WikiAnswers is because of the community itself. There are so many great members on this site that I have had the honor of meeting and becoming friends with. I also like to answer questions where I can, but my main interest lies in editing and organizing things.

What are your areas of expertise?

When it comes to answering questions, the Relationships category is where you’ll probably find me most – although many people I know would probably not believe me when I say that. I think that for the most part I am pretty good at giving advice, so what better place to give advice then in Relationships?

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

One of my favorite features of the site would have to be categorizing questions. There are many questions around the site that don’t have a category to call their own, until I find one for them. There are also questions that have a category, but it’s not the proper one, and I enjoy taking them out of there and putting them where they really belong.

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

The funniest or maybe just the saddest question I was ever ask by a contributor would have to have been, “Where is the ask bar?”

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

When it comes to math I stink to the second power.

If you drop the y and add an i, then drop the t in mystery, my user name would be Mr. Misery.
It’s really hard to come up with a random fact about myself.

I also have this poem that I wrote a long time ago:

I am a mystery that will never be solved
My heart and soul are surrounded by walls
Although you might try to figure me out
The walls make sure that you will stay out
If I decide to take my walls down
You’ll be closer to solving me now
But know that if you lose my trust
The walls that went down will go right back up
And although you’d be closer to solving me
The answer to me will never be seen

Workshops fit for Wikiholics.

The Answers Summit is going to be no work and all play… Since even the work(shops) will be fun!

As part of the exciting conference schedule, three workshops will be given by three different parties making for a diverse list of speakers. It’s going to be a chance for community members to speak up and share the lessons they’ve learned, too.

You can check out the workshops on the Answers Summit site or skim them below:

Communicating Effectively Online
Presented by: Fred Polirer, Performance Specialist, Administaff
How do you approach a misguided new contributor? What should you do when you don’t see eye-to-eye with another contributor? We’ll have a communications expert share some tips with you. This is an opportunity to brainstorm best practices.

The Fight Against Cyberbullying
Presented by: Cyberbullying Research Center
This discussion provides an overview of adolescent technological concerns related to interactive websites and cyberbullying. Learn from a cyberbullying expert how we can make WikiAnswers an even safer place to share knowledge!

Wikiholics ‘R’ Us: Confessions, Funny Stories and Strategies from True Wikiholics
Presented by: WikiAnswers Community Leadership
This is the support group you’ve been waiting for! Did you call in sick because you were reverting vandalism? Or bump into your cousin on the Community Forum? You can reveal you secrets in this session. You’re among friends!

So will you be joining us in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 5-6? Make sure to RSVP on the Answers Summit registration form!

The ninjas versus pirates debate.

It’s an age-old question. Seriously, this question has been around for as long as the subjects themselves.

Who is more powerful – ninjas or pirates?

Now, wait a second, you think you know the answer. You’re probably even pretty sure of yourself. But hold on. There are some very compelling arguments for both sides in the WikiAnswer.

I will say this – no matter which is the more powerful, they would each be even more powerful in large groups of their own. Which is why you might want to consider this:

That’s all I’m saying.

Oh, and today is the last day to apply for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the Answers Summit. Better move fast, ninja. Or pirate.

Stupid Little Genius: A Serious Joke of a User Name?

DrawingofmesmallestOne of our most dedicated and passionate contributors – not to mention our awesome volunteer Special Project Assistant (SPA) leader extraordinaire (say that ten times fast!) – has a user name that reads like a quirky oxymoron. It’s Stupid Little Genius. What – you ask yourself?!!? You read right… It’s Stupid Little Genius. Dying to know more? Well read on to learn about how this most eyebrow raising user name came to be and get the inside scoop on one of WikiAnswers’ best and brightest.

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

My user name is Stupid Little Genius. It’s actually a nickname that my brother gave me when we were littler. I once bought a chess set while on holiday and, with some time to kill, 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. After six moves, I moved my queen into a place where he could obviously take it, which he did, 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! The name just kind of stuck!

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

I’m a Category Super and look after these categories: Wild Animals, Service Animals, Insects, Butterflies and Moths, Spiders, Ants, Jokes and Riddles, Waterfowl, Animal Life, Amphibians, Salamanders and Newts, Birds, Flightless Birds, Birdwatching, Birds of Prey, Songbirds, Fish, Freshwater Fish, Saltwater Fish, Invertebrates, Crustaceans, Mollusks, Crabs, Lobster, Shrimp, Clams Oysters and Scallops, Octopus and Squid, Slugs and Snails, Bats, Reptiles, Alligators and Crocodiles, Lizards, Snakes, Wild Cats, Wild Dogs, Dodos, Emus, Ostriches, Penguins, Sharks, Prehistoric Animals, Dinosaurs, Microbiology, Arachnids, Scorpions, Ticks and Mites, Wild Turtles and Tortoises, Worms and Centipedes, Cryptids and Legendary Creatures, Jellyfish, Lemurs Bushbabies and Aye-Ayes, Geese, Swans, Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Owls, Vultures, Beetles, Crickets, Locusts, Grasshoppers, Caterpillars, Alpacas, Sloths, Hedgehogs, Gazelles, Anteaters, Jaguars, Feral Cats, Cockroaches, Flies, African Wild Dogs, Mosquitoes, Extinct Animals, Boas, Cobras, Pythons, Rattlesnakes, Iguanas, Chameleons, Geckos, Rays, Wombats, Starfish, Seahorses, Dragonflies, Seabirds, Ocelots, Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book.

What other badges do you hold on WikiAnswers?

Senior Supervisor, Mentor, Category Supervisor, WikiGuide, Bug Catcher, Green Thumb, Alternates Specialist, WIT Adult Advisor, Double Platinum Contributor

What is your first name?


What is your age?


Do you have any pets?

Yeppy^^ A dog called Lucky, a budgie called Bertie, two mice called Tinker and Snowball and five fish called Jaws, Chopsticks, Sushi, Ketchup and Salad Cream.

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

I have lived in the south of England since I was born. I like it here because it’s nice and quiet with loads of wildlife but I’m a stone’s throw from two cities!

What educational information would you like to share?

I went to school in St Anne’s Convent School in Southampton. Then I attended Itchen College in Bittern, where I studied Maths, Music, Psychology and Art at A-level. Then I went on to Portsmouth University where I earned a 2:1 for BA(hons) in Fine Art.

What are some your past and/or present occupations?

I’ve worked in a Pharmacy and as a home tutor in maths and English. Now though, I’m unemployed and not able to work, although I take the odd commission for art work when the opportunity presents itself.

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

I love to draw animals, and as I draw, I like to find out things about them, so animals have become a real interest for me. It’s great to find out a little more about what your drawings as it helps give a little character to the animals! So as well as knowing all about art I know a lot about animals, too. ^^

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I collect antiquarian books. I’ve a real passion for reading and love the books that are older volumes. Although I never intended it to become a hobby or collection, I have far too many books to count! Among the groaning book shelves I have large amounts of Wells, Dickens and Kipling, as well as books on folk law and fairy tales from around the world.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I love to read, and draw/paint and Wiki of course ;) I also play piano and guitar and am learning the sax, too.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I have a habit of typing ^^ when chatting. It’s an old habit picked up from a friend from Korea. Many people ask me what it means, apparently I confuse them with it! It’s just a different way of doing :). It’s a shortened form of (^-^) and basically just means happy or smiling. I’m happy a lot so I ^^ a lot, too!

Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?

Just my art work. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved to draw, but it wasn’t until I was about 15 that I really saw it as a future.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I’m proud of all my studies. Being dyslexic meant that a lot of people told me that studying was a waste of my time and that I’d never go to college or Uni or anything like that. Being the stubborn person that I am, it only made me more determined to do the things they told me I could not. It was hard work fighting for my place of courses, partially in Maths, so I’m proud that I proved them wrong and got the grades! I hope I showed a few people along the way that you can’t judge a person by labels that are placed upon them! ;)

milliesmallestWhat are your special goals or dreams?

I would love to start a little side business one day selling Pet Portraits, with a little web site and the like where people could submit their photos for me to draw. ^^ But that’s probably a pipe dream. ;)

What brought you to WikiAnswers?

LOL I was asked how many kids the Queen had, so typed it into Google. WikiAnswers was the first hit and of course had a great answer! The next time I had a question to ask, I thought I’d give it another go and ever since then I’ve been hooked!

What keeps you coming back to WikiAnswers?

The community and all the great people! Everyone is just so nice and friendly! It’s a real pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful and caring group of people! I’ve met some of the nicest people I’ve ever known on this site and would love to thank everyone there for making it such a lovely place to come to everyday. ^^

What is your favorite WikiAnswers activity?

The thing I love doing the most on WikiAnswers is helping all the SPAs! They are just such a great team of people and they all work so hard to help out! Everyone is different, and it’s just wonderful to see so many going on to do great things on the site! It’s a pleasure wiki-ing with them all! ^^

It’s Sunday – save four trees!

Did you know? Just by recycling your Sunday paper every week for a year, you can save four trees!

Today is America Recycles Day, “the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products,” as highlighted on Today’s Highlights.

More on the topic:

How does recycling help to prevent global warming? When solid waste is recycled, there is a vastly reduced release of  into the air. Concern for the environment has created a greater demand for recycling. With more garbage created than ever before, landfills are growing and there is increased pressure on our natural resources. Each day, Americans throw away enough office paper to build a wall of paper twelve feet high from New York to Seattle.

Check out the complete edition of Today’s Highlights for more fun facts.

JoyceP: A mother is missed

You may remember JoyceP, our 2008 WAmmy Award Winner in two different Best Answer categories.  Yes, that JoyceP!  She had been writing long before she became a supervisor at WikiAnswers.

She endured a troubled childhood marred by the loss of her beloved mother.  Even though it’s been many years since her mother died she still thinks about her every single day and still has days when she cries for her.  On a particularly bad day, when she missed her terribly, she decided to grab a pad and pencil and began scribbling down her thoughts.  Within about ten minutes she had written this week’s featured poem in the “Poetry Cafe.”

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

Untitled, by JoyceP

Mama, can your hear us
Can you hear our cries?
Mama, can you see us
Can you see our pain?
Oh, what we wouldn’t give
To be with you again.

You never should have left us
But now we’re all alone,
You were all we had
In our humble home.

We know that you were hurting
And now we share your pain.
It seems like all life’s problems
Come back ’round again.

How ninjas and pirates do conferences.

Pop quiz: Where do Knowledge Ninjas and Punctuation Pirates converge?

At the Answers Summit 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 5th and 6th. And all Wikiholics are invited to attend!

This is the conference focused on community, Q&A, and everything in between. Highlights of the weekend include:

  • Meet & Greet with the staff
  • Visit to the Georgia Aquarium with our own special dinner provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering
  • Games & contests

Several workshops will be given with topics like:

  • Communicating Effectively Online
  • The Fight Against Cyberbullying
  • Wikiholics ‘R’ Us: Confessions, Funny Stories and Strategies from True Wikiholics

Admittance to the conference will be free with advanced registration using the form. Here are two Q&As set up for coordinating the sharing of rides and rooms.

Keep up with the latest news on the forum post.

Celebrate veterans by learning.

It’s Veterans Day, so we’re presenting a few ways to get involved from where you are sitting right now: get educated!

Veterans Day is observed on November 11th in the United States to honor all veterans of the armed services. It is also a worldwide day of commemoration of the armistice that ended World War I on November 11, 1918 (which is why it is alternatively called Armistice Day).

Aside from the great pages of information you can find by searching ReferenceAnswers, there are a few relevant Q&A categories you can read through from the community at WikiAnswers, like Veterans Day Holiday Q&AWars and Military History Q&A and Veterans Affairs and Issues Q&A.

Feel free to start with these questions:

JayKay Makes WikiAnswers Look Good

If you’re a movie buff like I am, you’ll no doubt remember the outrageously funny flick Men in Black and Agents J and K. It is one of my all-time favorite movies and it happens to be one of this week’s featured contributor’s favorites as well. In fact, he even paid tribute to the film when first registering to use WikiAnswers. JayKay gave us the history behind his user name explaining, “It is simply the pronunciation of my initials, as well as a small nod to one of my favorite movies – Men in Black.” This is one contributor that definitely rates a 10.0 on our Awesome Wiki-O-Meter.

Are you a Floating or Category Supervisor?

I supervise Coins and Paper Money.

What other accomplishments do you have on WikiAnswers?

I’m a Gold Contributor with over 1000 Trust Points.

Would you care to tell us about your family?

I’m married with two adult daughters.

Do you have any pets?

Many years ago I had a pug dog, then a couple of cats. For about 15 years we raised gerbils but stopped last winter because we weren’t able to devote as much time to them as we should to be good “gerbil parents.”

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

I’ve lived most of my life in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. We chose to stay here to be near other family members, to have access to good school districts and many cultural activities. The cost of living is lower than some other areas, but it’s still easy to go to New York or Washington if we want.

Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?

I grew up about 20 miles from where we now live and have very fond memories of being able to bicycle to most of the places I wanted to visit or take the local trolley into Philadelphia when we visited “the big city”. My favorite times, though, were the summers when we’d stay at my grandparents’ house on the New Jersey shore. When you’re six, a month seems to last forever.

What educational information would you like to share?

I attended three local colleges and universities. My undergraduate degree is in mathematics with minors in languages, economics and philosophy. Strange enough? I also have a master’s degree in math and did additional studies post-master’s.

What are some of your past and/or present occupations?

I taught college math and physics for 10 years; then I used that economics minor to go into the financial industry where I write software for a major bank in the northeast US.

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

My wiki area is numismatics; I started collecting when I was about 8 years old and it just took off from there. What fascinated me was that there were so many different kinds of coins and paper money and many of them had stories behind them. It’s both a challenge and a thrill because you never really stop learning. I also have a very strong interest in old jazz (1930s and 1940s), primarily because not only did my parents play a lot of old records but also the father of my best friend in high school had been a trumpeter with some of the big-name dance bands and had an enormous collection of recordings. Again, there’s the same thread of collecting and learning. (You might see my user name attached to more than a few answers in the Jazz thread, too.)

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

Numismatics, of course; collecting jazz and classical music; carpentry.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

As a teenager, I went camping as far north as James Bay, Ontario. I crossed the Atlantic on the QE2. Also hosted a college radio show for 3 1/2 years, featuring both classical and jazz.

Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?

Speak near-fluent French; have done voices and accents for radio (Dracula, Jimmy Stewart, even Sir Winston Churchill)

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Having raised two daughters whose abilities exceed my own in many areas.

What are your special goals or dreams?

To be healthy into my retirement (assuming the economy turns around, of course!) and once again travel to many of the places I visited when I was younger. I’d also like to get back into model railroading, which I pursued until I was in graduate school. If my Indian friends are right and my soul gets another chance in this world, I’d like to come back as a musician and play tenor sax in a dance band!

How would you describe yourself or personality?

Not really a “type A”, but maybe “A-minus”. My work as a financial software developer requires me to “get it right the first time”, which carries over into other aspects of my life. I take pride in my work and apply that same sense to my contributions to WA. On the other hand, I always try to keep some degree of perspective because unlike, say a doctor or airline pilot, no one’s lives depend on my skills.

What brought you to WikiAnswers?

I just stumbled on the site when I was researching some numismatic information for a co-worker who inherited a large coin collection.

What keeps you coming back to WikiAnswers?

The feeling that I am contributing something to a large number of people and helping them learn, and that I am respected for the knowledge that I’ve built up over the years.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers activity?

Two, actually. First is answering a question where I have to go out and do some of my own research rather than just quoting a stock response. The second is finding a gentle way to humorously respond to those posters who’ve gotten all tangled up in their attempts to describe a coin or bill, such as the people who ask about “a dime dated 1658″ or “Confederate money from WW2″.

Steven Keyman is the Million Contribution Man

ruby contributorYou may remember back in May that HisPowr4U passed the million contribution milestone.  She now has some company in the 1,000,000 contrib club… Steven Keyman!  Steven has been an active contributor since June, 2006 (when WikiAnswers was known as FAQ Farm!).

Along the way he’s helped countless memorabilia collectors with their questions about sports collectibles and sports cards.  He also walked away with three WAmmy Awards earlier this year.  Even more, he finished in 2nd place in our first AnswerThon, 1st place in the April edition and 3rd place in our most recent (October) installment of the question-answering contest!  Be sure to take a moment and congratulate the Key Man today!

On cycles, growth, pirates and speed.

The question-answering process is actually a cycle of growth: You ask a question, and get an answer, but that leaves you with so many new questions. Which grow into a new cycle. Of growth. And so on.

Like, for instance: Who is more powerful, ninjas or pirates?

Obviously the answer is ninjas, but why? Some say speed, others say the slick black outfits. But then why black? Why not green? And how speedy is speedy enough to defeat a pirate, what with his parrot and funky accent?

Photo credit and Foto Friday support from the spectacular SarahI.

Win a t-shirt, Wednesday-style.

It’s WikiAnswers Wednesday, so I would love to feature your homemade video answer here on no.stupid.answers. In fact, I would love to give you a free t-shirt even more.

So create a video answer to any question on WikiAnswers*, upload it to YouTube, leave it in the comments, watch it be posted here on a Wednesday, and win a free t-shirt. Extra points for extra creativity.


*No harming animals in the making of your film. And keep it family-friendly.

Oh, that annual elections thing.

Hello American citizens! Hope you have voted/will vote/are standing in the elections booth right now on this fine Election Day.

Just because it hasn’t been preceded by a heated and sometimes ridiculous and always lengthy presidential campaign four years in advance doesn’t mean it’s not important!

If you need the details (for any state), you know where to turn: What time do the election day polls close in 2009?

And of course, check out the Elections Q&A category for questions related to the candidates and polls.

Be heard!

Tweet goes the @AnswersDotCom.

Tweet tweet!Tweet tweet!

I’m assuming you’ve been following @Answersdotcom on Twitter, so I just thought I’d fill y’all in on how the magic happens:’s answers on Twitter are powered by ObjectiveMarketer

Ta da! ObjectiveMarketer is a social media application designed to give great feedback about who likes what your tweeting… and lots more.

So I hope you like what @AnswersDotCom is tweeting these days… And if you don’t, speak up and suggest!

License to Wiki: Invigilator-007

What do you get when you combine the famous number behind the ever so awesome James Bond with a watchful, analyzing eye? The name’s Invigilator, Invigilator-007 – our featured Contributor of the Week here on No Stupid Answers. I have to admit. I thought invigilator was an invented word. So I looked it up on ReferenceAnswers and was surprised to find this definition: “someone who watches examination candidates to prevent cheating.” No kidding! Thinking I must have missed something somewhere along the way, I dug a little deeper and found that invigilators are also referred to as proctors, scrutineers and verifiers. Well, whatever you want to call them – it’s hard not to see that Invigilator-007 is one heck of a contributor. Oh the things he does for WikiAnswers! Here’s more:

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

Invigilator-007. That’s my job and number at work.

Would you like to tell us about your family?

I have an ex-girlfriend and two adopted grown-up children who are 17 and 19-years-old.
The older one has just had his first child, a boy, and the younger one recently told me she is pregnant with her first. He wants to join the Army and she is studying at college in drama and wants to go to uni next year. With a baby on the way I am not so certain.

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

I live in Kent, South-East England and been here 41 years. I loved the area when I arrived in 1968 as a child but over the years it has changed. I stay put though.

Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?

I suppose I grew up here, but remember my previous life before moving by the river Thames near London. I loved that because we played in the river and went for rides up and down in our boat. We had a field at the bottom of our garden where we played during summer. Everything was great there. I also remember looking up into the sky one afternoon and seeing a passenger aeroplane’s engine on fire. It did an emergency turn back towards London airport, and I saw the engine fall from the plane. Luckily It crashed into a gravel pit across the river from our house. The plane made it safely back to the airport. It was big news back then, and my father, who worked at the airport, saw it land.

What educational information would you like to share?

I was not an academic in school and, like most kids, couldn’t wait to leave. I was 15-years-old when I left with just a few GCEs to my name. Later in life I took a college course on Law which I enjoyed and helped me get better work.

What are some of your past and/or present occupations?

I have done various things over the years. Shop work when I was young and we had our own shop, selling newspapers, tobacco, greeting cards, confectionaries, etc. Seasonal work when I first left school. Factory work on a production line for Hornby Railways. Caretaker, carer, painter, detective, councellor, school staff and invigilation officer.

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

Young people, counceling, some law. I think one thing followed the other, and I just fell into it from taking law at college. I always wanted to be knowlegable on law issues. That was when I became a detective on the commercial side of things. This gave me the capacity to do things I was not qualified to do before. Eventually I was asked If I wanted to work in a school. I have a good relationship with youngsters and ended up counceling. I have left full-time employment through ill health now but continue to do as much as I can when I can. I now invigilate at school which can be hectic at times for me but I will not give this up as I love all the kids and there is no better satisfaction than one coming back and saying “Thank you for the help you gave me.”

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

Stamps, coins, bank notes, DVDs – you name it in fact. The trouble is I have no order to any of it and stuff is lying around instead of being filed away in neat order.

What do you like to do for recreation?

As above really or helping out in my church. Have always been a bit of a volunteer. I have looked after the church tower clock and bell for 18 years keeping it going. It has become a lot harder for me now though.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I am church sidesman, I am disabled, I am one of four siblings (second eldest), have two damaged vertebrae in my lower spine from lifting a piano upstairs with three other guys and straining to get it around a corner halfway up! Have heart problems also.

Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?

Listening and giving advice.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Helping people, winning a Barclays Volunteer of the Year award.

What are your special goals or dreams?

To live to 100.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

Friendly, approachable, giving, warm, volunteer.

What brought you to WikiAnswers?

Looking for the answer to “How do you stop your reindeer rug from moulting/losing it’s hair?”

What keeps you coming back to WikiAnswers?

Fascinated by how it all works and the friendliness of the users.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers activity?

I like to answer questions best, then correct the categories of misplaced questions and trashing rubbish.

Become a Green Thumb (without the thorns).

Green Thumbs on

Green Thumbs are not just for gardeners anymore!

Actually, the Green Thumb is a new members badge on’s Q&A community. The goal for the verbal gardeners is in developing the category tree by writing descriptions for categories. Like growing flowers to accentuate a property, the descriptions provide helpful explanations and further details to what the Q&As in that category will be about.

How do you do it? Email new category descriptions to categories @ (no spaces). In the subject line please specify your username and the number of category descriptions included in your e-mail.

Currently Aggie80 and XwizardgodX are Green Thumbs – but there are more waiting in the wings to earn the honor.

Props to Wayoffline81 who inspired the making of this designation.