Proud to be in the company of 5thvalley.

Blue 809Never a day goes by when I don’t pause for a moment to reflect upon our good fortune as a site and community; that we are truly graced with the most amazing individuals participating on Answers.com. Unfortunately, a casual visit does not reveal the level of member dedication and sheer awesomeness throughout. And sometimes, even the most seasoned participants miss a thing or two – including moi, admittedly.

Although I have seen this name and been in contact a few times, I had no idea just how brilliant, how awe-inspiring, how giving to this world a certain Supervisor was. I’m glad this interview made it my way, because I am very proud to be in the company of this week’s Featured Contributor, 5thvalley. Here’s a bit more on this mom, volunteer and extraordinary member of the human race:

What is your Answers.com user name and the history behind it?

My user name is 5thvalley. In the writings of my Faith there is something describing the “Seven Valleys” (stages) in life that man must go through to attain nearness to God. At this age in life, I’m hopeful that I’ve reached the 5th Valley.

Are you a Floating or Category Supervisor?

I’m a Category Supervisor of the Baha’i Faith.

What is your first name?

Susan.

What is your age?

66.

Would you like to tell us about your family?

I have two married daughters and four grandchildren, three of whom live in South Africa with my older daughter and her husband.

Do you have any pets?

Blue 209“Penny” is a two year old white Eskimo Spitz and “Lucky” is an older mutt who recently, literally, just walked into my home one day when I opened the door after having followed Penny and me on one of our walks. He’s been with us since. Lucky came by his name because he was “lucky” to find me. :-)

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

I’ve been living in Alabama for 23 years. Life is more laid back and the pace slower than up North. It’s a joy to inhale the scent of honeysuckle rather than gas fumes, and I can actually see the stars at night.

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

I was born in England but grew up in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One special memory as a child was taking the trolley all by myself to center city for ballet lessons and feeling so proud that my mother trusted me that way. It’s a sad sign of the times that children can’t venture anywhere alone now.

What educational information would you like to share?

Although circumstances prevented my getting a degree (majored in English), I was proud of the fact that I consistently made the Dean’s List while I did attend.

What are your past and/or present occupations?

Inside sales rep of switchgear mfr; administrative assistant in a medical center; longhaul trucker; administrative assistant at local Red Cross chapter; legal assistant; presently retired

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I’ve been a collector of Native American art for many years and much of my home is Southwest decor. I used to love etching on glass and wood with diamond and carbide drill bits until I developed emphysema from breathing in too much glass dust and had to give it up.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I’m an avid reader of mysteries. In addition to my time at Answers.com, I also moderate a few discussion boards on the Internet, and have to admit that I’m addicted to playing Tetris online.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

  1. Born in a London air-raid shelter during a WW II bombing raid.
  2. Became an American citizen when I was 19.
  3. Survived a 50-foot fall off a cliff when I was seven.
  4. Married in America’s first/oldest Catholic church (Old St. Joe’s) in Philadelphia.
  5. Regularly deliver Meals-on-Wheels to invalids and the aged.
  6. For almost three decades I’ve been rescuing dogs, getting them back to health and training/socializing them, then finding them good homes. My most recent success story was an emaciated Timberwolf/husky mix that had heartworms. She now lives with a family on 16 acres (before/after photos attached).

What accomplishments are you proud of?

  1. That I raised my children to be responsible adults.
  2. In the early 1970’s, I was the first woman inside sales rep nationwide for an international electrical manufacturer.
  3. In the 1980’s only 9% of all tractor-trailer drivers were women and, of that 9%, only 3% drove solo. At 5 foot, 107 lbs, I was one of that 3% driving a big rig 48 states and Canada for eight years.

What are your special goals or dreams?

Not in particular order: 1) to visit the Taj Mahal and Baha’i Lotus Temple in India; 2) to make another pilgrimage to the Holy Land; 3) to return at least once again to England before I leave this earth.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

Outgoing – seldom meet someone I can’t get along with.

What brought you to Answers.com?

I found the site while hunting for something else and decided to stay.

What kept you coming back to Answers.com?

I wanted to be sure answers regarding the Baha’i Faith were accurate. It was also interesting to contribute some of my knowledge about dogs.

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

Editing / correcting spelling and grammar / categorizing

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

Courtney and Jen together again? Five fun facts about… Friends.

Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston recently reunited on Cougar Town, Cox’s aptly-named new sitcom, going into its second season (see the PopSugar interview on Answers.com Video). I can’t decide if it is strange or comforting to see Monica and Rachel together again… But either way, it is sweet that the friends are still at it.

So six years later, here are some Friends facts for all of us, from fans to fanatics:

  1. Before settling on the name “Friends,” the series’ creators considered the titles “Insomnia Cafe,” “Six of One,” and “Friends Like Us.”
  2. During the first season of the show, cast members earned $22,500 per episode. By the final season, each raked in a cool one million a show.
  3. Producers wanted Courteney Cox to play Rachel, but she insisted on auditioning for Monica.
  4. The series was nominated for 63 Primetime Emmy Awards – and won many of them.
  5. Despite being set in New York City, no episodes were ever shot there. Nearly all the episodes were filmed in Burbank, California, including the opening credits fountain scene.

Get more Friends trivia from Holy Kaw and, of course, Answers.com.

Diets, literature and counties: New reference content on Answers.com.

We’re pleased and proud to announce three new collections of information that are now live on Answers.com, each of which can feed a particular type of craving.

  1. Encyclopedia of Diets. Learn the pros and cons of the Chocolate Diet, the Kidney Diet and the Warrior Diet.
  2. Literature and Its Times. From Hamlet through The Little Prince to Angels in America, here are literary classics discussed and analyzed in context.
  3. United States Counties. For lovers of stats, here’s where you can find out the population of Queens County, New York; the average income in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma; and where Coffee County, Alabama got its name.

We aim to answer. Happy reading!

New features, big and small, from Answers.com this week.

Answers.com released a bunch of new features yesterday – from the itty-bitty to the visually-stimulating. All make contributing that much easier, and none should be taken for granted!

Let’s run through the list and then I invite you to check ‘em out on the site.

Homepage

There’s been a mini redesign of the Answers.com homepage with a new addition to the daily-updated front page content: Video of the Day from Answers.com Videos.

You can scroll down further to see the newly revamped section towards the bottom of the homepage:

Supervisor feature

The ‘trash can functionality’ or blanking tool for vandalized answers is now available on the category index pages and Related answers section of all answered question pages. This is an addictive one, so trash responsibly!

Mobile

All users can now edit Q&A categories from the mobile version of Answers.com. If recategorization is your pastime – and I know it is for so many of you – no reason to stop when you step away from the computer.

International communities

The German, Italian, French, Tagalog and Spanish communities on Answers.com now have access to the new, more effective catchall system. So Supervisors in any of those languages can now get organized. By the way, you’ll notice that the German, Italian, French, and Spanish communities have their own language-friendly Facebook and Twitter accounts listed on their respective homepages – so now you can get fast facts and fun trivia in four other languages!

Simplemary: Flying High in the Wiki Skies.

Sometimes around Answers.com, we just like to wing it. You know, totally use a pair of movable organs to fly. Wait a minute. That’s the wrong winging it.

In this case, and for this Contributor Corner post, we’re sort of improvising on the fly (oh boy) as we catch up with one of Answers.com’s wonderful Senior Supervisors, Simplemary. A member since February 2007, Mary has 60k+ contributions, over 2k Trust Points, is a Vandal Patrol Senior Site Guardian and has brilliantly answered nearly 6k questions on the site. She’s known by just about everyone in the community and often looked to for guidance and support.

Here’s more of our unscripted catch-up with the wiki eagle herself, Simplemary:

Back in the day, I suggested Educational Methods and Theories. The biggest change I’ve seen is that the lists in each category are enormous. I used to come in and straighten them out for spelling and duplicates in one sitting. As LauraFrog said then, my category is in a shambles. The funniest thing (to me) was deleting the Supervisor’s Forum and then using our chat room to find someone who could restore it. I’ve made some good friends and have learned to be conciliatory to the others.

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

Tell us: What’s the first thing you do on Answers.com?

New day, new answers. Or maybe it’s: new day, new questions. Then again, it might be: new day, new category.

Hey, I don’t know what the first thing you do is when you get to Answers.com – that’s why I’m asking it here!

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Let us know more of your thoughts in the comments. It helps us to know what your experience is like – so we can make it even better.

Thanks for sharing!

Five things to know about the Chicken Dance!

The Chicken Dance.

It may be blacklisted from wedding tracks… It may be eye-roll worthy… It may make your grandparents happy… but the fact is, the Chicken Dance is a classic, and face it, we all know how to do it.

So you might as well learn some fun facts about the Chicken Dance! Flap your arms and here we go:

  1. The Chicken Dance is an Oom-pah song! In plain English, it’s the rhythmical sound of a deep brass instrument in a band.
  2. Swiss accordian player Werner Thomas created the song and corresponding dance in the 1950s, while working as a restaurant musician.
  3. The name of the original Swiss song was “Der Ententanz,” or “The Duck Dance.”
  4. The dance first came to the United States in 1981 during Oktoberfest celebrations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A German band wanted to demonstrate the dance in costume for a local TV station, but a duck costume could not be located, so a chicken costume was used. Hence, chicken dance instead of duck dance.
  5. In 2004, Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil served as Grand Marshall of the World’s Largest Chicken Dance in Cinncinati. VH1 called the appearance “the single least metal moment in history.”

Check out more facts at Holy Kaw and get the bird’s eye view at Answers.com. Don’t forget to brush up on the moves!