Congratulations to our 2011 Scholarship Winners!

At the beginning of the year we held our annual scholarship contest. In total, 325 undergraduate students entered the contest by answering at least 50 questions, which were judged for quality and accuracy. Among the applicants, the following 13 were crowned the winners:

 

$5,000
Etph0neh0me

$2,500
Katie Krueger
davidlecordier

$1,000
Infinitydlimit
Ngoc Doan
tkimryu
Answerer728
yenaffit
diandraw1990
crazzyammy
Xreier
Neolexi
Chipilina128

Here’s a great answer from our first place winner, Etphoneh0me:

Why was the Liberty Bell made or built?

The Liberty Bell was ordered in 1751 to commemorate William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges, which had been passed 50 years earlier. It was cast in 1752 in London and commissioned as the bell for the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall). The Liberty Bell represented the freedoms valued by the Pennsylvania colony. Its founder, William Penn, showed unique free thinking with his novel ideas on religious freedom, Native American rights, and citizen participation in government.

The bell’s first crack appeared during the test ringing. It was recast with more copper to make the metal alloy stronger. The bell cracked again when it was rang during John Marshall’s funeral in 1835. The Liberty Bell rang its last note in 1846 to honor George Washington’s birthday. After the bell was rung on Washington’s birthday, there appeared a distinct jagged line that prevented the bell from ever being rung again.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone for participating! Our next scholarship contest will be held in January 2012. Students who will be enrolled in undergraduate courses in the 2012-2013 academic year are eligible. Stay tuned for more information in January.

Announcing: AnswerHours winners!

 

On July 27th Answers.com held its first mini AnswerThon. In just three short hours our awesome contributors posted 1,018 answers to people’s questions.

We are proud to announce the eight top contributors:

First Place:

Second Place:

Third Place:

Fourth Place:

Stay tuned for future events like this one!

PianoWizzy – Music to Our Wiki Ears!


“Goodbye Norma Jean…Though I never knew you at all…”

“Sing us a song, you’re the piano man…Sing us a song tonight…”

Some of the most iconic and memorable songs were written and performed by artists such as Elton John and Billy Joel. I mean what isn’t more recognizable than Candle in the Wind or Piano Man? Makes me want to get up and dance! Like these great songs, this week’s Featured Contributor is also music to our wiki ears! Introducing PianoWizzy – an incredibly talented Answers.com Supervisor:

What is your user name and the history behind it?

I’m PianoWizzy, and let’s just say that it’s a long story of how this user name came about, but I’m sticking to it. It’s actually got a history of a few years under its belt. Also, I purposefully excluded a space between the two parts of the username and I’d like it to stay that way.

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

I’m a Category Supervisor of quite a few random categories, namely: Elton John, Billy Joel, 80’s Music, My Chemical Romance, Maya Angelou, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, Lily Allen, and Reba McEntire. I am, however, most proud to oversee Elton John, as I’m an expert and a fanatic. I’m also delighted to be the supervisor of Billy Joel. As for the others, I must say I took them over because I saw a need, and although with little interest in the subjects themselves, I’ve been willing to look up information to correct answers to questions where I saw error.

What is your age?

I’m approaching a square number less than 5 from 20. (Less than, pay attention!! I’m not that old!) Don’t judge me, however. I act, and apparently, look older than I am. I think I’m aging twice as quickly as I should be. I’m more intelligent than at least 99 percent of my peers. And I’m insanely wise due to my naturally logical disposition and rampant paranoia.

What educational information would you like to share?

I attend a (super-awesome, better-than-yours) cyber charter school, although I already hold a number of music diplomas from piano playing competitions. I’m going for a degree in Piano Performance when I go to university.

What are some of your past or present occupations?

I’m an occasionally-employed concert pianist, usually performing in nursing homes. Actually, being a concert pianist was a dream job when I was about 7 or 8, and an idea I quickly dismissed when I concluded that obtaining such a job would be highly unlikely. I was offered said dream job when I was 13 with what I will simply describe as very generous compensation for an hour long concert. Otherwise, while not being exactly paid occupations, I consider myself to also be an artist, a comedian, and apparently, a therapist/advisor (according to a number of depressed friends of mine, I am exceptionally good at this). I kind of wish I was a scientist or an engineer, though. Or an inventor. (My mind has always been scientifically oriented and highly theoretical.) I also seem to be becoming a writer of sorts, something I swore I’d never become.

What are your key areas of knowledge, interest or expertise?

My area of knowledge extends over anything that takes my interest, as I am a quick learner. However, I’m not an expert in chemistry, engineering, physics, or anything else I’d like to be an expert in, as I’d actually like to be an expert in, I’m only a student after all, and these are rather large fields of knowledge. And although I adore science and math, I am also exceptionally lazy. (Even though I apparently intimidated my Chemistry classmates with my expertise and enthusiasm in the subject. I go to a school full of nerds and geeks. So that’s saying something. This also applied to Geometry, but that’s because I took Algebra 2 first, by some time travel accident…) As far as Answers.com is concerned, though, I am one of the highest experts on the history of Elton John, as I’ve been very taken by his music, and as is the trend with any celebrity whose work I admire, I researched him viciously. I’m still exploring the Star Trek universe and I’m also taken by the work of Stephen Fry (so I’m becoming even more of a nerd and soon-to-be a trivia geek). I know nothing about actual classical musical history, however, no matter how good I am at actually performing it. I happen to be very good with computers as well.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I have collections of collections of various junk, both physical and digital. These include toy cars (yes, really), awards for piano playing (including aforementioned diplomas, numerous certificates, and exceptionally shiny medals), incredibly random and obscure knowledge (thank you Stephen Fry, David Mitchell, and more specifically, QI), various categories of pictures and art and fan art (derive from that what you will), and awesome songs. My hobbies include making people laugh, drawing/sketching/rendering art, watching TV (more often than not, focused around science or science fiction), and listening to almost all genres of music (with the exception of anything before Bach, and for some reason, most music between 1932-1954).

What do you like to do for recreation?

Err, I think I’ve mentioned that. But I do honestly love science, so I watch TV based on science. Certain TV dramas such as CSI and House MD I’ve honestly watched for the interest in science, not drama. I’m also prominently a Trekkie, but I cannot determine which is my favorite series until I’ve watched all of the series and movies (I refuse to judge without full knowledge). My music tastes are extremely diverse (as I’m extremely open-minded), and my only exceptions are in the answer to the previous question. I’m very quick to pick up video games (thank you piano-trained hand-eye coordination), although I do not actually own any gaming consoles or games myself.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

Well, contrary to popular belief, I am, in fact, female. This idea may be thrown off by the fact that I am an INTJ, and therefore excruciatingly logical and impossibly emotionally-detached, paired with my natural inclination to be nerdy and geeky, while never dorky. Also contrary to popular belief of those initially reading my username, I actually play piano (as I’m often met with incredulous question of, “Do you actually play piano?”). My humor is mostly based on my life as I narrate it, being 95 percent true (as my life is so strange that the truth is more bizarre than anything I could really make up), and is decidedly British due to my irony, sarcasm, and understatement. I hate literature but I seem to write a lot, generally for humor. My very existence is often self-contradictory and ironic, such as the fact that I’m rather hard-working, but extremely lazy at the same time. I procrastinate terribly despite being obsessed with order. Thank you, odd combination of ADHD, Asperger’s, and mild OCD. I also highly suspect that I am not of your species or from this world. At least, not from this time. I belong in the future. I run a comedic blog and a lazily (while neatly and perfectly) hand-coded website which I’m often too lazy to update (oh right, that’s why it’s lazy). I’m either very quick or very slow to ‘get’ things.

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

I don’t like to claim that I am a talented piano player, just an entertaining one, but everyone besides my mother disagrees (who believes I am not only talentless, but also fat, ugly, stupid, blind, and deaf. Well… pity). As previously mentioned, I seem to be good with people, which is ironic as I am anti-social, unable to read people, tactless, and emotionally-detached. I have a knack for making people laugh, which is good for feeding my odd craving of people laughing. Overall, I’m an entertainer. I consume knowledge faster than a sponge dropped in the ocean. I can see humor in anything.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

…Too many to list. Okay, I know that sounds conceited, and that would not be out-of-character for me, but I mean it.

What are your special goals or dreams?

Well. There are a few people I’d love to meet… other than that, I feel like I’m pretty accomplished. Actually, no, I want to perform in Carnegie Hall.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

Look up “INTJ”. That sums me up pretty well, as that is my personality type. Add to that, also, the fact that I have ADHD and Asperger’s. I’m a bit insane. My friends would all claim that that is a horrendous and dangerous understatement. I’m conceited, eccentric, logical, curious, knowledgeable, ironic, open-minded, paranoid, phobia-prone, manly, and self-contradictory just by the nature of my existence. I get very obsessive, and often fangirlish, although I’m always coherent (AKA, I do not speak fangirl speak).

What brought you to Answers.com?

I was blocked from Yahoo! Answers because I’ve been using it far too much at the time. I get easily obsessed to things. Anyway, I was trying to research and soon enough I came across this website and was very impressed. At first, I only used Answers.com because I was apprehensive to use a lot of my time on the site, but I succumbed, created an account, and looked around. I only started becoming active in August ’09 and I was hooked, then weaned myself off in the interests of school, and then just recently came back to rampant correcting activity. By the way, Answers.com completely, totally trumps Yahoo! Answers.

What kept you coming back to Answers.com?

Someone on the Internet is wrong. (Kudos to those who get the reference.) But really. It drove me nuts, how many people were being ignorant, incomplete, or downright inaccurate, especially under the Elton John topic.

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

Answering (and fixing answers), although I also thoroughly enjoy splitting alternatives. Answering is fun because I’m giving a straight answer or fixing a previous answer (often extremely vague, completely unrelated, thoroughly ignorant, or downright inaccurate). Splitting alternatives is great because a lot of times, I come across questions with completely unrelated alternatives and then there are people who are redirected to irrelevant questions and answers that just confuse people. I hope to be a helping hand in clearing up situations like that, at least in my little corner of the Internet. Oh! It seems I left out a few things. If you don’t mind just adding to the end of my answer of my random facts? I’m also quite short, have no ability to burp, and run around in school with a cape. In all seriousness.

Feeling stuck? Take some advice from our Answers.com supervisors

I recently finished reading the bestselling book, You Unstuck, from keynote speaker, branding expert and executive coach, Libby Gill. It was extremely insightful and helped me to better understand the ins and outs of risk taking as related to getting beyond fears and excuses through a process known as CSE – Clarify, Simplify and Execute. Having often received great advice and ideas from Answers.com, after reading the book I was inspired to ask our awesome Supervisor community, “What do you do when you are feeling stuck”?

Here is their wise advice. Enjoy the journey of getting unstuck Answers.com style!

Aggie80: “Start playing the ukulele!”

Luvhistory2010: “I pray that God would show me what I need to do to get unstuck.”

Blue: “My default is going to the bookshelf. And don’t go for one of those “bestsellers” that will be gone within the decade…go for literature that has stood the test of time.”

Jadeacres: “A change, no matter how small is always as good as a rest. Small changes can offer new perspective. Life can get mundane if you do the same thing(s) everyday. Sure, there are certain things you must do but shuffling the deck a bit will surprise you with how it can affect your mood.”

TheGiraffeNinja: “I listen to music and clean. Cleaning and rearranging a room gives you a new feel, not like it’s the same thing over and over.”

Dfoofnik: “Borrow a kitten from someone for a few days.”

Rudiful2: “I have two hobbies, when I feel like my life has become tedious, routine and monotonous, I find being creative focuses the mind away from the ho-hum feelings. I have a woodworking shop and I will make something I have never made before (which takes in-depth thought), or, with Answers.com being my second hobby [any hobby(ies) will work], I will answer questions that take a lot of research which focuses my mind away from my original issues, it’s like stepping away until you can refresh.”

Jo-bar: “I make playlists. ‘Peppy’ is one of my favorite collections for when I have tedious chores to do. It’s hard to get bored when your feet are dancing and your hips are swaying!”

Fuzzy Logic: “Take a class. It doesn’t matter if it’s academic or just for fun (or it could be both!) It’s hard to stay stuck when your mind is expanding.”

Doditov: “What works for this overachiever is to declare a “me” day. I appoint a day, hopefully within a week of my irritations, and devote the entire day to me.”

JoyceP: “While I realize different things work for different people, all I can say is what’s helped me, which is a lot of prayers, tears, and a lot of soul searching. I’ve learned that when life sometimes kicks me down, the best way for me to deal with it is to crawl inside my ‘shell’ and just let the emotions flow, sort of like draining pus from an infected area so it can heal.”

Mcgrumpy: “Just remember manana does not mean tomorrow it means not today. It takes the pressure off.”

Lily of the valley: “When I get like that, I try to do something completely new, that gives me a bit of a challenge. Something that is different to my normal routine, after doing that, I find that I can motivate myself again.”

Wildrosebeef: “If I feel stuck I like to get out of the house for a little while.”

AnswerAngel18: “You can turn it (being stuck) into a positive. Feeling stuck can be just part of life’s little pauses that surely won’t last forever or for long. It’s just life saying, “Here’s a pause, is there some things you want to think over and contemplate, reconsider, recognize, appreciate, etc?””

AnswerAngel18: A Deliverer of Goodness!

If there is one person in the Answers.com community who symbolizes what it means to be an angel, it has to be this week’s Featured Contributor – AnswerAngel18. She truly encompasses all the words used to describe angelic beings – guardian, kind, lovable, one who manifests goodness and selflessness. Simply, an angel!

We’re truly lucky to have her as an Answers.com Supervisor. She is an absolute deliver of goodness throughout the site. Here’s more…

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

My user name isn’t all that special, really. It’s a combination of what I planned to do for the site (answer questions), my age when I joined the site (18, I was so excited about that), and majority of my name (Angel). I put it all together and wound up with the most knowledgeable, Angelic, numeral user name in history; AnswerAngel18.

Do you have any pets?

No pets, although I really wish I had one.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

Some random facts about me include: Though I love horror, I scare easily from the silliest of things. I really want to learn how to whistle but can’t quite get it right. How embarrassing.

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

My special talent is my ability to grasp others with my words. I’m pretty good at telling stories that sway people’s emotions…in a good way!

What are your special goals and dreams?

My goals and dreams would include me being a well enough known author/poet to actually make it a career, and being able to care for my loved ones where they haven’t a care in the world. Writing the great American novel is a side dream of mine, though!

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I would describe myself as a very in touch with her surroundings and emotions type of gal. Sometimes I let them drive me a little too much, but I don’t ever forget them because they are a big part of who I am. I can also be a person who’s a bit sarcastic, nonsensical and oblivious, too. Altogether, it makes for a pretty fun person to be around!

What brought you to Answers.com?

I was brought to Answers.com because of a frivolous question I couldn’t find an answer to. I’d share it with you, but I can’t remember what it was; it was that silly!

Are you a Category or Floating Supervisor?

I’m a category Supervisor. I haven’t been for long, but it’s a pretty sweet deal. I supervise the category of Discrimination; ignorance of things as such is not in the least bit amusing, so keeping things tidy there helps to make the world a better place one question at a time.

Do you belong to other programs on Answers.com? Any special awards or badges?

I’m also a copy editor for WikiReviewers, a mentor for the Mentoring Program, a generalist for the Vandal Patrol and a Silver Contributor for the hell of it.

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

What keeps me coming back to Answers.com is the food. Have you tasted the wiki donuts? Fantastic! But the wonderful people ain’t half bad either.

A Freeform Interview with Supervisor Fowl1

One of many awesome things our Answers.com Supervisors are known for is their remarkable storytelling capabilities. Our Supervisors can turn any answer into a written work of art and have the skills to create stories that inspire, enlighten and entertain. This week’s Featured Contributor is no exception. Rather than a structured interview, Fowl1 told a great story about his life, faith and experiences on Answers.com. And we’ve kept that intact for you to enjoy. Happy reading!

My user name is fairly explained in my profile but my real world name is Dave Fowler [‘fowl1‘… get it?]

I’m 63 and still married for some reason [as obnoxious as I am... she still won't leave me, or kick me out, after 34 years]. We have three beautiful daughters, married; four wonderful sons-in-law [one of 'em didn't take, so we have to pray for him harder than the other three] and ten priceless grandchildren. Oh, and Pete the bird. My wife took him from one of the girls out of pity for the bird.

We live somewhere in the Ohio Valley [you can't get here from where you are]. We’ve been fortunate so far that everyone is near and able to gather together when we want to or need to. Many families don’t have that blessing.

My life isn’t as illustrious as many Answers.com Supervisors’ lives are. I’m just a plain old person — a dad and a “pap-pap.” Pretty boring, actually. And since I’m stuck with myself, I bore myself to sleep quite often. I recently discovered “wood burning” [the craft, not fireplaces]. I found what I thought would make a good “walking stick,” and my wife thought I should decorate it with some carving of vine and leaves. I started to carve it, but then thought to “burn” it in, instead. It’s a lot like pen and ink drawing that I used to do, except wood burning leaves a smoky residue in your nose. From there I attempted a picture of my daughter’s dog, Sadie. She likes it. I may stick with it for awhile (no pun intended?).

I discovered Answers.com quite by accident, when one day I was surfing for an answer to some mindless question that escapes me, now and which I don’t believe ever got answered. I stumbled into the wiki-world and kept coming back. Not with more questions but with answers. I discovered that anyone with any kind of talent or interest in anything at all can offer his opinion or expertise to others here, and maybe even make a difference to someone from time to time.

The Word of God has become an important part of my life over the course of my life and one of the responsibilities that goes with it is that whatever the Lord has revealed to us [albeit a grain of Truth or an abundance of it] we are to pass it along to others as the opportunity comes to us. Answers.com is an “opportunity.” Talk about the prophecy: “…knowledge shall be increased…” (Dan.12:4)! The Internet is scary in its fulfillment.

Early on in my Internet experience, back in the 1900s, I ignorantly went looking for “Bible-oriented” websites so that I might “share everything I knew about God with the rest of the world.” I was naive back then. Today, I’m just clueless. It was then that I experienced my first “cyberbullies” [who only tolerated those who cowed to them and agreed with everything they knew about God]. It was a lesson in human nature.

The ridicule and abuse they would put people through who visited their sites was disappointing to say the least. I understood what was going on with them, so I wasn’t bowing to them. But, I wondered how many young innocent people whose spirits “thirsted” for the Truth of God left there devastated, or at the very least, thinking God was as abusive as these “religious people” were or worse yet — gave in to them and stayed. That was back in the “olden days” when Windows 95 ruled, ’98 was up and coming to improve it, and it all froze up in the middle of an intense reply to your local cyberbully.

Then one day, Answers.com was thrown onto my lap [top] and I was pleasantly surprised with the cooperation and cordiality that lives here. People disagreed with one another without SCREAMING EPITHETS in caps [which I like to do from time to time, but for emphasis, not anger]. I’ve been accused of “screaming” in anger so I’ve tried to tone it down.

I’ve found Answers.com to be a rewarding place to be. I’ve been called out by some who disagree with my viewpoints — and I’ve been hurt from time to time because everyone doesn’t agree wholeheartedly with everything I believe [just kidding]. But, so far, even the “wiki-dissenters” have been cordial in their expressions.

Anyway, someone seemed to agree with some of what I have to say, as I was offered the position of “Floating Supervisor,” the power of which I’m trying not to abuse so that I don’t become corrupted. I just like to offer people whatever help I may be able to offer them in understanding whatever areas of God’s Word that He may have revealed to me [which I believe is more in prophecy than anything else].

The Bible is both the world’s most bestselling, and misunderstood, book in the world. Even some of the writers of its books didn’t get what they were inspired to write [see Dan.8:27; 12:8]. Yet, the prophecy states that understanding of the scriptures would come in the time of the end [of God's plan].

“…the Words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end… the wise shall understand” (Dan.12:9-10). The Bible reveals the “wise” as those who hold a certain “fear of God” in their hearts [Prov.9:10].

Jesus Christ speaks clearly to “His servants,” those who are His. It is He who has “stripped away” the “seals” that closed the scriptures to understanding [see Rev.5:5 & chapter 6].

I believe I might have been given a small ability to “explain” to some people some of what has always been hidden in scripture, that a smattering of understanding of the scriptures might be achieved simply by passing on to others some of the things Jesus says. Growing up, I was told things about Jesus that I later found out the Bible doesn’t say or support. I found out these things by “reading the Bible.” This is something that the majority of modern professing Christians don’t do.

Answers.com allows me this “opportunity” to share with others the tiny grain of Truth God has allowed me to see. I’m far from anyone’s “Bible expert,” but I must be helping a little. I’ve been encouraged by the “recommendations” of others from time to time, that lets me know someone out there is able to hear and understand.

The “time of the end” gets closer with each passing day, not further away. And a nuclear-armed world grows more dangerous as we speak [or write]. I look at the world through the prophecies of the Bible, watching the development of global trends and events. I’m seeing the prophesied “one-world government” [called "global governance" in modern parlance] being sold to the nations of the world… watching them in turn, promote it, themselves. It’s coming. A bankrupt world [spiritually and economically] is teetering and leaning into it.

Answers.com serves the world, and is a gracious, inviting source through which to get a certain amount of “understanding” beyond the Ohio Valley, whereby I might be able to play some small part in preaching the “good news” of the Kingdom of God to someone in the world who might be listening.

Alright… turn off the mike. Interview’s over.