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Introduction [ edit ]
I very much welcome comments on any of my contributions (naming, format, style, contents, usefulness etc etc) - post a message at
As for myself ... I am
British so I enjoy :
Articles [ edit ]
Articles that I have started or made a substantial contribution to include :
Abstraction (mathematics) - link from abstract structure
Riemann hypothesis - added history section
St. Elsewhere - new article
Modular group - expanded existing article
Fractal - added history section
Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture - added background section and expanded rest of article
Julia set - amended general definition of Julia set
Fatou set - new article, link from Julia set
Lucas sequence - new article, link from Fibonacci pseudoprime
Disquisitiones Arithmeticae - new article, link from Carl Friedrich Gauss and number theory
Vorlesungen über Zahlentheorie - new article, link from number theory
Mathematical beauty - re-write of existing article
Mathematics and art - split out from mathematical beauty
How Long Is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension - new article, link from fractal
Voronoi diagram - added history section
Project Excelsior - new article, link from Joseph Kittinger
Pendine Sands - new article, written because I went there on holiday
K'nex - expanded previous stub
Rare Earth hypothesis - made existing article less rhetorical, more NPOV
Evolving the Alien: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life - new article, book by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart
Moving average (finance) - a family of common technical analysis techniques that deserved their own article
Lyapunov fractal - expanded previous stub
Apollonian gasket - new article on a very beautiful fractal
Benoît Mandelbrot - expanded existing article
Lévy C curve - new article, link from fractal
Lévy flight - expanded previous stub
Lévy's constant - new article
Paul Pierre Lévy - expanded previous stub
Ruth Lawrence - expanded previous stub Notes & Queries - new article celebrating 15th anniversary of column in The Guardian
Things I Have Learned From Wikipedia [ edit ]
To help me remember why I contribute to Wikipedia, this is a list (in no particular order) of things that I did not know until I read about them here.
concrete canoe can resurface even after it is submerged. The
unknown soldier is not always unknown. The
Perpetual virginity of Mary is a doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The 3D equivalent of a Koch snowflake fills a cube.
Pica is a unit of measure in typography; the genus of the magpie; and the medical term for an appetite for non-foods. An unpopped
popcorn kernel is known as an "old maid". The
M96 motorway is not open to the public, but has appeared in a television documentary. The
Triangulum Galaxy is probably the furtherest object visible with the naked eye. It is about 400,000 light years further away than the Andromeda Galaxy. A
square wheel can give a smooth ride on a bumpy road.
Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, read mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated with honours. The gravitational sphere of influence of one body that is in orbit around another larger body is known as its
Hill sphere. In addition to
Charon, Pluto has at least four other moons ( Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx). A crime commited by an astronaut on the
International Space Station would fall under the jurisdiction of the home country of the alleged perpetrator.
Salvador Dali's last painting, The Swallow's Tail, is about catastrophe theory. The
Danjon scale is used to measure the visbility of the Moon during a total lunar eclipse. In medieval Europe, the
barnacle goose was believed to be born from a barnacle. This allowed Catholics to eat it during Lent, as it was classified as a fish. Ingesting silver or silver compounds can turn your skin blue - a condition known as
Mountbatten pink, used as naval camouflage paint by Louis Mountbatten in World War II, is a mixture of medium gray with a small amount of Venetian red. The inventor of mass-produced instant coffee was called
Harriet Quimby, the first woman to earn a US pilot's certificate, became the first woman to fly across the English Channel less than a year later. A
desire line is a path created by people repeatedly taking the same route across an open space such as a field or lawn. Bulwarks built around the piers of a bridge to ease the flow of water and reduce erosion are called
Bismuth and silicon each has the unusual property that its liquid phase is denser than its solid phase (like water).
Keraunomedicine is the medical study of lightning casualties; keraunos is Greek for "thunder" or "thunderbolt". In her 2005 album
, Aerial Kate Bush sings the first 137 digits of the decimal expansion of π (omitting digits 79 to 100). The study of flags is called
vexillology, from , a type of flag carried by Roman legions. vexillum Despite having a very similar diet to cows,
kangaroos produce virtually no methane from digestion.
Cummingtonite, named after Cummington, Massachusetts, is a mineral composed of magnesium iron silicate hydroxide. The
Boomerang Nebula has a temperature of 1K (i.e. colder than the CMB) and is the coldest known natural environment. September 19th is
International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Bicycle Day (April 19th, 1943) is the day when Dr Albert Hofmann first intentionally ingested LSD in a self-experiment. The
Toast of Botswana is a naturally-occuring sheep-goat hybrid. In American slang, "
going postal" means "to suddenly become extremely and uncontrollably angry, possibly to the point of violence".
Charles Osborne hiccupped continuously for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990. The
Feynman Point is the sequence of six 9s which begins at the 762nd decimal place of π.
Stigler's law of eponymy states that "No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer". Stephen Stigler first published the law, but attributed its discovery to Robert K. Merton. The highest unclimbed mountain in the world is
Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan. At present, mountaineering is prohibited in Bhutan. In 1907
Dr. Duncan MacDougall weighed six of his patients while they were dying in order to determine the weight of the human soul, which he estimated to be 21 grams. A
spite house is an American term for an often impractical building constructed to annoy or aggravate the owner of a neighbouring property.
February had 30 days in 1712 in Sweden, when two leap days were introduced to re-align the Swedish calendar with the Julian calendar. Sweden did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1753.
Exoteric is the opposite of esoteric - so public or common knowledge is exoteric knowledge. The word
coach comes from the Hungarian village of Kocs, where steel-sprung horse-drawn carriages were first built in the 15th century. A
trompe is a water-powered air compressor commonly used before electric-powered compressors became available. Dr.
William Moulton Marston, inventor of the polygraph, also created Wonder Woman.
Velology is the study and collection of vehicle licence discs. The
Kingdom of Lovely is a partly Internet-based micronation founded by comedy writer Danny Wallace. The
cubewano 58534 Logos has a satellite called Zoe, which is the only non-asteroid body in the Solar System whose name begins with the letter Z. A
cephalophore (from the Greek for "head-carrier") is a saint depicted carrying their head in their hands, signifying that they were martyred by beheading. At its peak,
Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, occupied a larger area than Paris - 120 km 2 v. 105 km 2. A
cordwainer makes shoes - a cobbler, strictly speaking, only mends shoes. The place on Earth farthest from the Earth's centre is the summit of
Chimborazo (or possibly the summit of Huascarán). The "paragraph sign" ¶ is more formally called a
pilcrow; the "division sign" ÷ is more formally called a obelus, which has the same Greek root as obelisk. Writer
Roald Dahl was named after polar explorer Roald Amundsen by his Norwegian parents. According to John Lennon, the title of
came from a drawing made by Lennon's young son Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Julian of his nursery school classmate Lucy Vodden.
March 0 is the last day of February.
Truck nuts are a uniquely American vehicle accessory.
Lobster Thermidor is named after the 11th month of the French Republican Calendar. Shells fired by the
Paris Gun in 1918 were the first man-made objects to enter the stratosphere.
Borborygmus is the medical term for stomach rumbling.
Troll and Tor are Norwegian Polar Institute research stations in Antarctica. The
Stout Scarab is an innovative US automobile manufactured in small numbers in the 1930s and considered by some to be the world's first production minivan.
St Piran's Day is the national day of Cornwall.
Anastrophe the natural word order inverts, a sentence more interesting to make.
Molinology is the study of miils and other water or wind powered mechanisms.
Tillamook Cheddar was an American canine artist named after a cheese. The
Local Bubble may have been blown by Geminga.
Petrichor (from the Greek petra + ichor) is the scientific term for the scent of rain on dry earth. A
rastrum is a five-pointed pen used to draw musical staves. A
hail cannon is an unlikely device that is supposed to prevent the formation of hailstones. Before the publication of Charlotte Brontë's
novel in 1849, Shirley was an uncommon - but distinctly male - name and would have been an unusual name for a woman. There are two
Floozies in the Jacuzzi; one in Birmingham, and one in Dublin.
Starbucks coffehouse chain was named after the first mate of the in Melville's Pequod . Moby-Dick
Philip K. Dick's middle name was Kindred. A
cinderella stamp is virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration.
Mavis is a dialect name for the song thrush, but was first used as a woman's name in the 1895 novel . The Sorrows of Satan The
Kirkwood gaps are caused by Jupiter. In meteorology
virga ( Latin: twig or branch) is precipitation that falls from a cloud but evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground. The
Sacred Cod and the Holy Mackerel hang in the Massachusetts State House in Boston. The notion that
duct tape was originally "duck tape" made from cotton duck is probably an urban myth.
Ground rollers are a small family of non-migratory near-passerine birds restricted to Madagascar. A
hypernucleus contains at least one hyperon (a baryon carrying the strangeness quantum number) in addition to protons and neutrons. "
In like Flynn" is a slang phrase meaning "having quickly or easily achieved a goal". The eponymous Flynn may be actor Errol Flynn or American politician Edward J. Flynn.
Goldfish swallowing was a fad in American colleges in the 1930s.
Mount St. Helens was named after Alleyne FitzHerbert, 1st Baron St Helens. The title was named after the village of St Helens on the Ise of Wight.
Soylent is an off-white powder - and definitely not green.
Jimi Heselden, British millionaire and owner of Segway Inc., died as a result of falling off cliff while riding a Segway.
Ovaltine was originally called Ovomaltine but its name was shortened due to a misspelling in its British trademark application.
Dogfooding - when a company uses its own products in order to test them in real-life scenarios. The
saxophone is made of brass, but is a woodwind instrument, not a brass instrument.
Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 46 of the 50 states of the USA. The
NICO Clean Tobacco Card irradiated cigarettes to "enhance the smoking experience".
Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated by chemists on 23rd October each year. Anthimeria is using one part of speech as another part of speech. Verbification is a type of anthimeria - you can Wikipedia it.
Create/expand history sections in following articles :
hyperbolic geometry, quadratic reciprocity, prime number theorem, Euler-Mascheroni constant ...
Write articles on
world water speed record, Bluebird (car) and Bluebird (boat)
BarnStars [ edit ]
The Working Man's Barnstar
For your tireless and helpful work in the Reference desks. Jones2 10:55, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
The Reference Desk Barnstar
Thank you for your reply to my query at the Science Reference Desk regarding the History of Quantum Mechanics. Your contribution to the discussion was insightful, and helped me find the answers I was looking for. Thanks! FusionKnight ( talk) 19:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The E=mc² Barnstar
I make it a habit to scroll through RD/MA every once in a while, and I've seen you offer intelligent insight on multiple occasions. Hence, a barnstar. :) — Anonymous Dissident 11:46, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Dear Gandalf61, thank you for the kindness that you've shown towards me. I do not believe that we've ever interacted on Wikipedia before but nevertheless, you stood up for me. I really appreciate this act of charity and hope that God will bless you and your family in abundance. The image in this barnstar has a smile in it, which you brought to my face today. I hope that this barnstar will do the same to you. Your new friend, Anupam 03:41, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
My subpages [ edit ]