Friday, January 7, 2011

Viva Wikipedia!

I'm a big fan of Wikipedia, and I'll be linking to it a lot on this blog. It's convenient, broad in its coverage, provides a good overview of a most topics, and while not totally reliable, is still dependable enough for general use. Nearly all vandalism is quickly removed, and a study in Nature found that Wikipedia is almost as accurate as Britannica. Its neutrality policy helps the information remain unbiased, while its fringe theories policy ensures that scientific articles focus on real, verified science. And if accuracy is especially crucial, you can use the references found at the bottom of most pages to verify the information.

The site also rates its articles according to the quality of their content. The ranking from worst to best goes: Stub, Start, C, B, Good, Featured (plus a rarely used A-class that's about equal to "Good"). The 10,000+ good articles (GAs) have been vetted by an impartial reviewer according to a fairly high set of standards, and the 3,000+ featured articles (FAs) have been picked apart by a whole group of reviewers using even stricter criteria. GAs are marked with a green "+" icon at the top right of the page, while FAs have a star icon. Articles in these two categories are generally of very high quality, and are often even the best source on the internet for their respective topics.

Here are some of the FAs and GAs that are relevant to the subject of this blog:

Old Earth

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