This page contains material which is considered humorous. It may also contain advice.


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A message for visitors: For performance reasons some of the more image-heavy exhibits have been moved to User:EEng/Museum Annex. The Annex is free and open to the public.

Candle.jpgJE SUIS
Hierarchy of editor subservience by nagualdesign

Your season tickets to The Museums are valid at WP:AE. Userbox by Ritchie333[6].

If only it were so...

From a discussion at AN:

"This episode, to my mind highlights a very big flaw in the functioning of wikipedia. Namely, that certain users who have an elevated status: 'admins' are able to act without impunity."

A tip for the historically ignorant
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

Theodore Roosevelt (1918)

Welcome to the Museums!
Please click here
to sign our guestbook.
HarvardCollegeLibrary HardLaborBookplate.jpg
John Harvard Statue right side of head.jpg
LioneldeJerseyHarvard Civilian.png
The Sacred Cod of Massachusetts.jpg
DrYoungsIdealRectalDilators Advertisement DetroitMedicalJournal August1905.jpg
GleasonAndrewMattei Berlin1959.jpg

We thank Thee, O Lord, for another day without whining from someone who doesn't get the joke.
A Note to the Humor-Impaired
One should beware of those who cannot or will not laugh when others are merry, for if not mentally defective they are spiteful, selfish or abnormally conceited ... Great men of all nations and of all times have possessed a keen appreciation of the ridiculous, as wisdom and wit are closely allied.

Leander Hamilton McCormick, Characterology; an exact science embracing physiognomy, phrenology and pathognomy, reconstructed, amplified and amalgamated ... (1920)

Another Note to the Humor-Impaired
Dourness is repulsive both to the healthy and the sick.


D-W003 Warnung vor giftigen Stoffen ty nuvola.svg
This page is under destruction.
ZAP!No user-serviceable parts inside.
This userbox unintentionally left blank.
No not.pngThis user has opted out of revert notifications. You should, too!
Octagon-warning.svg This user has been blocked several times, and isn't embarrassed about it - (admire my block log here!).
ipaThe IPA pronunciation of this username is apparently /ˈŋ/
An ANI Limerick
Wikipedia's not for the meek.
You need a de-stress technique.
Sip tea with biscotti,
go fish – try karate.
But edit war? Blocked for a week!

Levivich (adapted)

This editor is a cheque-user.

Resources offered:

  • I will be happy to supply, for use in developing articles, materials cataloged here (digital materials are easy, scans of hardcopies may take some time).

Because some have asked...

  • The material on this page is meant to increase other editors' pleasure in contributing (by providing modest amusement they can enjoy during breaks from editing) or to assist them in becoming more effective editors (by illustrating various aspects of Wikipedia as a social environment e.g. [7])
  • In humor based on political events, Democratic figures are featured as well as Republican (e.g. [8]) though unfortunately the former opportunities don't arise very often, because e.g. Clinton and Obama just aren't as amusing as the Republican nominee. Note: This wing of the Museums temporarily closed pending approval by the castigatores of such material as is conducive to the regimen morum.
WikiProject Department of Fun (Rated NA-class, Bottom-importance)
WikiProject iconThis page is supported by the Department of Fun WikiProject, which aims to provide Wikipedians with fun so that they stay on Wikipedia and keep on improving articles. If you have any ideas, do not hesitate to post them to the discussion page or access our home page to join the Department of Fun.
 NA  This page does not require a rating on the quality scale.
 Bottom  This page has been rated as Bottom-importance on the importance scale.
For more information about Bottom-importance, see also the top of User talk:EEng. The top, not the bottom.

Museum of Distorted Quotations Taken Out Of Context[edit]

Superman S symbol.svg                                                    Superman S symbol.svg
EEng [is] a general force for good.


Under construction svg.svg
"Editors such as EEng are very constructive."


A reminder to visitors
EEng is correct. There are not many exceptions to this nearly universal rule.


EEng, per usual, is correct.


Emojione 1F60B.svg                      Where Angels Fear to Tread                      Emoticon tongue.svg
No one dare criticize EEng.


Face-angel.svg                      So there!                      Face-devil-grin.svg
EEng (despite his block log, which is not as bad as it looks at first glance if you understand it) ...

Doug Weller[14]

A wise, compassionate, magical authority (both temporal and spiritual); mysterious and benevolent guide... guardian and saviour... despite his gentle and loving nature, he is powerful and can be dangerous....

Primergrey (via C.S. Lewis)[15]

My personal opinion of your value to the project had been "on the fence", but I'm back on two feet.

FlightTime[16], see also [17]

We have a lot of mental health problems.

—Donald Trump[18]

EEng, for those playing at home, is unique in Wikipedia.

Randy Kryn[19]

Wise and mature


Experienced and respected


One of Wikipedia's less friendly and more volatile users ... an incurably rude and disruptive personality whose idea of good manners is most definitely not within the mainstream.


A Holden Caufield-esque cynical iconoclast


I tend to agree with EEng.


Monumental dick … Yes, it can be hard.


Sylvie and Bruno illustration scan 19.png                                                  Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2009 - Clown.jpg
You play the role of Wiki-jester quite well ... good for the sanity of the community.


In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
EEng is a wise voice – listening to what he says is generally a very good plan.


EEng is well known for his good humour.-Legacypac[2]
It's always nice to be not totally unappreciated
You have transformed shooting off your mouth into a not totally unappreciated artform


EEng who, and I'm fairly confident that he would agree with me on this, seems pretty much flameproof, and who is quite capable of breathing hilarious-but-scorching flame himself when the need arises.

Girth Summit[30]

What the Critics Are Saying[edit]

"EEng's talk page"[3]
Editor's note: Though easily mis­taken for a roll of toilet paper, the above is in fact an ancient and pre­cious parch­ment bearing great wisdom.[citation needed]
Your user page is truly epic


One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure
One of the treasures of Wikipedia

Randy Kryn[32]

The greatest talk page on Wikipedia


"Less boring"


"Fun but dangerous!"


Wikipedia Must Be The Saddest Place on Earth
I have had EEng's talk and userpage on my Watchlist for two months because they are the most fun places on Wikipedia.


Wikipedia's Bearability Hangs by a Thread
I'm not a professor of neuroscience (but apparently I play one on Wikipedia)
EEng is a funny guy. If it weren't for the odd joker like him, WP would be utterly unbearable.... He's a professor of neuroscience at Harvard and pretty much singlehandedly wrote one of the best articles on the 'pedia (Phineas Gage)

"krakenawakes" at WikiInAction

I think a lot of folks from the @Wikimedia & @Wikipedia communities think this is funny but the editor working on Phineas Gage has severe mental health issues.

"Erika Herzog" (and see [37])

Some masterful baiting... by Wikipedia's many master baiters.


A puerile jokester ...


I prefer having a good-natured jokester around instead of a joyless and dried-up everyman.


... like going to a good museum ... humorous but intelligent ... interesting, entertaining, and educational

Randy Kryn[38]

Highly appreciated, and extraordinarily valuable.


His userpage is possibly unique in that it pisses you off, makes you laugh, and shocked, sometimes all at once


Barnstar of Humour Hires.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
I haven't checked out your userpage in a long while, but I laughed so hard (I particularly liked the "head in the sand" picture) I nearly snorted coffee out of my nose. PS: I would like to apologise for being tempted to go to the dark side.... Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 12:30, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

St Lawrence Market in Toronto.jpg The Rather Unusual User Page Award
Not sure what my definition of a "rather usual" userpage would be, but it wouldn't be that.[41]

"This is a very long page."[42]

Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
For your medicine against chronic wikidespair.
Consult your doctor before trying this medicine. Symptoms include: a systemic allergic reaction, a worsening
of withdrawal symptoms for not placing {{ANI-notice}} in months, and casting the first stone.

"childish and irresponsible"[44]

No barnstar is better than this barnstar, believe me!

Donald Trump Barnstar.png The Donald Trump Barnstar
Your userpage is hilarious. MB298 (talk) 00:17, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Barnstar of Humour Hires.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
Your new gallery made me laugh even harder than the admittedly rambunctious Trump Museums. Astonishing, flabbergasting, yyuuuge!!! — JFG talk 20:14, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Ultra-Cool User Page... After looking again at this work of art ....... I'm speechless. What a man! And might the gentleman's first name be Albert? EE=ng2

I'm ashamed to say

An untidy user page may signify an untidy mind and careless work.


A Note to Readers
We have concluded to publish this work, though it falls short of what it ought to be, and would have been, if circumstances had permitted us to devote more time to its completion. We are well aware of its imperfections and defects. But, with all its faults, we flatter ourselves the it contains much interesting and hitherto unpublished information ...
Our object has been to condense this matter within the smallest space, well knowing that, in this age of instantaneous electric communication, very few have the patience to read large volumes.
We have followed no particular author, servilely, but formed our own conclusions by comparing the opinions of the different authors, more than one hundred in number ... We may have fallen in to some mistakes regarding dates of events, or names of persons or parties, but such errors are hardly avoidable in a work of such wide scope.

— Hugh Quigley, The Irish race in California and on the Pacific Coast: with an introductory historical dissertation on the principal races of mankind, and a vocabulary of ancient and modern Irish family names (1878)

A strange cross between the drill [sergeant] and Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket.

Mrs. Pace Owl

In offering a work to the public, it is customary to preface it with a few remarks, which are generally considered in the light of an apology by the public... but, as we have done nothing of which we are ashamed, we have nothing to apologize for.

Great Trans-Continental Railway Guide (Crofutt & Eaton, 1870)

Everyone knows the risk they take by visiting your talk page.


EEng's humor can be like drinking gin. The first time, you may say, "Ugh! Horrid! Disgusting!" After a few more times, you may say, "Ugh! Revolting! Disgusting!"


User essays worth reading[edit]


Ode to ANI[edit]

One fine day in the middle of the night, / Two dead boys got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other, / Drew their swords and shot each other,
One was blind and the other couldn’t, see / So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play, / A dumb man went to shout “hooray!”
A paralysed donkey passing by, / Kicked the blind man in the eye,
Knocked him through a nine inch wall, / Into a dry ditch and drowned them all,
A deaf policeman heard the noise, / And came to arrest the two dead boys,
If you don’t believe this story’s true, / Ask the blind man he saw it too!

Some Entertaining Diversions[edit]

See also this burst of creativity.

Welcome, new editors![edit]

Draw near, new editor, that you may learn from these WP policies conveniently arrayed about me!
A newbie (brown) offers his stub to a New Page Patroller (green). If it fails to satisfy her she'll bite his head off.
Now manning the help desk

You have been warned: typical humor on this page
Caribbean parakeets (Aratinga pertinax).jpg
How To Avoid Pricks

When you land in a place that is prickly at best,
And feathers get ruffled – you've disturbed someone's nest;
Be cautious when offering friendly advice,
Lest you suddenly find your two orbs in a vise.
Lessons are learned, but to do so takes practice,

To avoid getting pricked when you land on a cactus.

Face-grin.svg Atsme📞📧 (reflecting on [45])


Devised by Ian.thomson

Below you will find a randomly generated Wikipedia bingo card, and a key explaining the behaviors behind each entry. While handling one or more users, mark off which behaviors are displayed. If you get five in a row horizontally, diagonally (from corner to corner), or vertically, you've won! During a talk-page discussion you can use the {{Bingo-win}} template to announce you've won.

Refresh card as often as desired:



Nutty professor[2]



In the closet[5]

To the lions![6]

Focks News[7]





I'm an alien[12]

Free space[13]




Intelligent design[16]

Steel beams[17]

Focks News[7]


[citation needed][19]


Sympathy for

the devil[21]



Galileo was

a jerk[23]




  1. ^ User is a sockpuppet
  2. ^ User claims to be a college professor
  3. ^ User admits that they were drunk
  4. ^ Oh Goddammit, not more of them
  5. ^ User makes homophobic statements
  6. ^ User accuses you of being Christian
  7. ^ a b User claims Wikipedia has a liberal bias
  8. ^ User just wants to chat
  9. ^ User doesn't understand why they were blocked
  10. ^ User edit wars
  11. ^ User is a shill or paid editor
  12. ^ User is an alien or alien abductee
  13. ^ As befits the Free Encyclopedia
  14. ^ User recommends Scientology and/or Dianetics lessons
  15. ^ a b User thinks Wikipedia accepts that their religious or irreligious beliefs are proven facts
  16. ^ User claims Wikipedia is biased towards "evolutionism"
  17. ^ User claims anyone other than Al-Qaeda was involved in the September 11 attacks
  18. ^ User makes a personal attack
  19. ^ User claims to not need a citation for their obvious fact
  20. ^ Blocked user promises to reform
  21. ^ User accuses you of being a Satanist
  22. ^ User does not communicate in English
  23. ^ User compares their unsourced material to the work of Galileo

A Little History[edit]

First they came for the userboxes...
The ANI pileon juggernaut rolls on, heedless
Keep smiling, or this could be you!
Block! Unblock! Block! Unblock! Rabbit Season! Duck Season! FIRE!!!
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
When users do something that administrators don't like, but when the users not only disagree but have the temerity to object to the sanctions levied against them by administrators, is this an unacceptable dissent against the powers-that-be that must, always, be quashed by any means necessary?
I'm probably hyperbolizing here, but I think this is how the issue appears to the EEng's of the world. And some, at least, of the EEng's of the world are here to help build the encyclopedia. We say "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", not "The benevolent dictatorship encyclopedia that docile and compliant rule-followers can edit as long as they remember their place and are always properly respectful towards ADMINISTRATORS." So, please, if that's not the message you want to send, just let these userboxes go. And if you want to boot a user off the project for not being here to help build the encyclopedia, please do it for a more substantive reason than that the user refuses to say "Uncle" when confronted by admins.
Steve Summit (talk) 19:46, 6 February 2015 (UTC) [46]
An admin upholds one of the five pillars without throwing his weight around.
And finally, to each admin who says, "Well, I wouldn't have blocked, but I don't feel like overturning it": what you're condoning is a situation in which every editor is at the mercy of the least restrained, most trigger-happy admin who happens to stumble into any given situation. Don't you see how corrosive that is? It's like all these recent US police shootings: no matter how blatantly revolting an officer's actions were, the monolithic reply is "It was by the book. Case closed." This [admin] was way out of line from the beginning in deleting multiple editors' posts (as someone suggested, hatting would have made complete sense, and troubled me not at all) and when called on it above, he gives a middle-finger-raised LOL. No wonder so many see haughty arrogance in much of the admin corps around here.
—EEng 05:38, 16 January 2015 (UTC) [47]

And let me be clear: I have no problem with 97% of admins, who do noble work in return for (generally) either no recognition or shitloads of grief, only occasionally punctuated by thanks. But the other 3%‍—‌whoa, boy, watch out!

—EEng 20:02, 6 February 2015 (UTC) [48]

First annual caption contest[edit]

Click here and contribute your own.

  • "Shit! I left the tub running!" EEng 05:09, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

EEng's half-serious list of topics on which WP should just drop all coverage as not worth the drama[edit]

  • Footy players
  • Beauty pageants
  • Music genres
  • Pornstars
  • Anything related to Ru Paul
  • Video games
  • Japanese comics and animation
  • Snooker
  • Cricket
  • Catalan separatism

Dopey words that should never appear in articles[edit]

  • Hail, as in All the victims appeared to hail from the lower class of society or Music historian Bob Gulla hailed it as an "iconoclastic funk-rock" record. God, that sounds stupid.
  • Accolades, as in List of accolades received by The Avengers (2012 film).
  • Garner, as in garnered worldwide recognition for her portrayal. (The same article goes on to make us vomit by saying a bunch of people were awarded the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series accolade.)
  • Berth (except on ships), as in garnered a playoff berth.

Violators will be subject to initial 24-hour blocks, with escalating blocks for subsequent infractions.


Attaque nocturne.jpg
Stooges malice palace curly scene.jpg
When I figure out which of those little shits has the peashooter, there's gonna be hell to pay

Carp per diem[edit]

Newcomers' guide to AN/I
 – SemiHypercube
Another day of editing.
Discussion proceeds
His favorite color was maroon
Tennel Cheshire proof.png
Dispute resolution process...
... or if you prefer, try ANI.
Arbcom, step by step
ArbCom, the final phase.
Required orientation for new arbs: "This could happen to you."
At Wikimedia SF
Retiring Arbcom member passes the torch
We appreciate your work on category cleanup
"When technically minded folk with a penchant for order, consistency, and control get caught up in the zeal of a systematization crusade, un­pleas­ant­ness can result." – A Fellow Editor
After six months as an oversighter
Draft namespace
Stare not too long, young one... for he who fights with admins should look to it that he himself does not become an admin. And if you gaze long into ANI, ANI also gazes into you.

Some poetry from Atsme:

Frog smile.jpg
"Don't croak, SMILE!"

A satirist I'm not,
A satirist I'd like to be;
I seem to have forgot,
What in hell prevented me.
It might have been my style,
It might have been my prose;
But I'd like to make you smile,
And even happy, I suppose,
For teaching me to jump,
From the bottom to the top,
Of a page with so much clump,
We're all worried it might pop!
Atsme📞📧 20:07, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Phineas Gage: The later years
If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have wasted my life editing Wikipedia. I would have wasted my life doing something else.
Some scientists claim that hydro­gen, because it is so plen­ti­ful, is the basic building block of the uni­verse. I dispute that. I say there are more AWB edits tinkering with whitespace and categories and wiki­proj­ect import­ance ratings than hydro­gen, and that is the basic build­ing block of the uni­verse.Frank Zappa
AN Morons bad ANI edict.gif
Arbitration Committe Motto Recriminate a bit.gif
Sisyphus, the patron saint of New Page Patrollers.
New Page Patrol official anagram
New page patrol
After a few weeks "helping out" at DYK
DYK reviews underway. Original title: A group of mentally ill patients sitting around and staring.
DYK drove him to it.
"I'd rather cut off all my toes with a pair of scissors than spend one minute at ANI." Testimonial from an actual customer
There is currently a discussion at ANI...
WP:ERRORS. Original title: A group of mentally ill patients dashing about a burning room
This editor is a mem­ber of Wiki­proj­ect Dis­mem­bered Hands
Did you know Rover had a girlfriend?
DYK nominations in the pipeline
Flow is being revived...
... Ha! Ha! Just kidding!
... And Visual Editor is now required! ...
When good faith is exhausted
"Deletion" discussion underway at the Ancient Greek Wikipedia
Checkusers working an SPI. Horns give direct links to Arbcom, Jimbo
Edit (A) triggers watchlist item (B), causing undo (C) and revert notification (D), leading admin (E) to fly off the handle, tilting talkpage balance of power (F), causing diffs to be dumped on ANI (H). ANI thread (I) opens Pandora's Box (J), leading to fireworks (K) at Arbcom. Boomerang (L) gives editor WP:ROPE (M), ending in 12-hour block and smack with trout-infused napkin.[1]
Oops! Missing Beef!
Some random Ned Kelly wannabe stole your Cow joke and added it to his herd for his personal gain. Watchagonadoboutit?
April Fools at WP: Fucking hilarious


Revert me and I will CURRRSE you!
What they secretly long for
What editors are traditionally offered at ANI
Sensory distortion after a day at ANI
Ahem. You got consensus for that edit?
WP:COI editor risks topic ban – WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS, WP:IDHT, WP:OR, etc. etc.
Luckily the pajamas are flame-retardant.
Uh-oh. The baby's radioactive.
Editors maintain citation templates
RfA reform again? You don't say!
Just another day at ANI
Before ANI: "Are you hot and sticky, mentally fagged?"
During ANI
It's ANI whether you like it or not!
Oops! Boomerang!
Checkuser sees all!

Heads on spikes.png Biplane crash in South Texas.jpg
                                                       After ANI

Untangling template syntax
On the alert for hyphen/endash confusion
<- - - - - Travails of the copyeditor - - - - ->
Articles for Deletion
Arbcom: Conception
Arbitration enforcement
Arbcom: Reality
I'll show you! I'm taking it to Arbcom!
Emergency relief program for editors
Arbcom deliberates

Editors eagerly prepare statements for Arbcom
Block appeal tableau
Tell me again‍—‌we're using Visual Editor why?
Model: Wikipedia editor "A Man Inverts"
Awaiting DYK review
Normal editing resumes

Wikipedia (vision, 2001)
Congratulations! Your DYK has been approved!
They with the fancy user signatures
Wikipedia (reality, 2015)
BLP-sniffing dog at work
Hanging out at WP:CFD
RfA in progress
Template editor
This sock was in one edit war too many
Goddam offline sources!
Editor about to put head up ass
"There are a few issues with your GA submission"
Tempted into meatpuppetry
We get it – your FA passed. Can you take it down a notch?
Fighting vandals

One cat who'd like less feedback, if you don't mind!
If you want to take on metric vs. Imperial in articles, that's your business. I've got a more pleasant appointment to keep.
What some editors think good writing should feel like to the reader: "It was tedious to write, it should be tedious to read."
Reverted good faith edits by....
FA Review (original title: "Monkeys as Judges of Art")
People who forget that guidelines are to be applied with common sense
Sock and master caught together in rare photo
Well, I'm nominating for AfD – your move!
You're getting the hang of this DYK thing!
ANI on a quiet night
Capitalization wars – see [4]
Arbitrator resigns: "The people in these cases – meshugana!"
I'll never understand fixing cut-and-paste moves
Actual fix-cut-and-paste-move diagram
Even though I'm an Arbcom member, I'm just commenting here as an average, everyday editor.
Simplified guide to categories
Checkuser X-ray specs
Ha - ha! Blocked!
These socks are a confirmed match.
Admins maintain order while editors wrestle the wheel in random directions
"Let's edit Wikipedia", you said. "It'll be fun", you said. Don't look now, but here come our mentors.
...makes the heart grow...
The next three images gratefully stolen from Catherine de Burgh
Jimbo in a private moment
Meats at the ready!
Strong oppose
Strong oppose   Strong oppose
Strong oppose   Strong oppose
I shot the Sheriff
Wistfully recalling life before Wikipedia
Eau no!
I'm turning your talk page access off
WP:PERENNIAL proposals

First patty
Second patty
Third patty
Wikipedia-related caption invited
Eh? Whad'ya think of that?
The dashing young Ned Kelly wannabe has challenged you to a round of back alley fisticuffs. Unsurprisingly, you never stood a chance. The Australian collected his prize money and stole one of your funny pictures before running off into the outback.
Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are not sure that we are doubly sure.

Reinhold Niebuhr

A video clip for use at ANI someday.

Desirable and undesirable kinds of editors:

Acute (desirable)
Obtuse (undesirable)
Women in Red: Highlighting insufficiently covered women
From top: Jimbo; Arbcom; Oversighters; Admins; The Autoconfirmed; IPs

Wikipedia is not about whining[edit]

Wikipedia is not about whining. Complaining about editor behavior is appropriate – at a relevant noticeboard when that behavior is contrary to Wikipedia policies and guidelines and harms the project. But editors should not complain just for the sake of complaining, nor as therapy or catharsis, but to get help in guiding an errant editor back on track with the project's fundamental principles.

If you find yourself complaining more than contributing, it might be time for a short wikibreak to clear your mind, rethink your approach, and help you come back ready to resume building the encyclopedia.

Incidentally, Wikipedia is also not about wining. A glass of Lambrusco is not a reliable source, too much original research in this area may lead to habitually editing under the influence, and indefinite bocks could lead to an indefinite block. That doesn't mean, however, that the occasional pint can't help reduce wikistress, as long as editors don't become a wikiholic. This can lead to serious problems including wikihomelessness, which is of course the opposite of being a Wikipedian in residence.

Principle of Some Astonishment[edit]

Can we get you on Mastermind, Sybil? "Next contestant, Sybil Fawlty from Torquay; specialist subject: the bleedin' obvious! " Basil Fawlty
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

— Strunk, The Elements of Style (1918)

In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigour it will give your style.

Sydney Smith

Most first drafts can be cut by 50% without losing any information ... Look for clutter in your writing and prune it ruthlessly. Be grateful for everything you can throw away ... Writing improves in direct ratio to the number of things we can keep out of it that shouldn't be there.

William Zinsser, On Writing Well

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.

— Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars (tr. Lewis Galantière)

Some writers tend to overuse quotations.

Somebody or other

Portions of this page are best viewed in desktop mode. Mobile readers, click here.

Sometimes editors clutter their prose with pedestrian details that the reader likely already knows or would naturally assume. Rather than informing readers, this wastes their time and saps their attention. The following are examples of articles belaboring the routine and obvious, at times painfully:

You mean the game pieces can be stored for later use? I'm astonished!
In the article Pick-up sticks:
Each piece in the game also has a point value, with more challenging pieces being worth more. At the end of play, points are tallied up and the pieces can be thrown again or stored in a container for another use.
Comment: Of course the points are tallied up at the end of play. Of course we can either play again or put the game away "in a container". (If the rules said to ignore the score sheet at the end, then called for players to burn the game pieces or use them to commit ritual suicide, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.)

In the article Notre-Dame de Paris fire:
Some lead joints in stained glass windows melted in the heat of the fire.
Comment: DUH.

In the article Live-line working
Electricity is hazardous
Comment: I'm shocked.

In the lead of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft:
Once inside, the pair revealed their true intentions, tied up the guards, and spent over an hour stealing art from the museum's collection, which they loaded into their vehicle.
Comment: The guards probably sensed their visitors' "true intentions" around the time they got tied up, and our readers will make the same inference vicariously. Furthermore, in this modern age most readers will envision art thieves as having a vehicle at the ready. (Had they absconded via public transport, or summoned an Uber, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.)

In the article San Francisco Zoo tiger attacks:
They created a distraction which caused the tiger to turn towards the officers, who shot and killed it. After the shooting, officials removed Tatiana's head, paws, tail and gastric contents for examination.
Comment: Removing the tiger's head before shooting it, assuming you could somehow manage that, would no doubt have rendered the shooting superfluous.

In the article US Airways Flight 1549:
The weather recorded at 2:51 p.m. was 10 miles visibility with broken clouds at 3,700 feet, wind 8 knots from 290°, temperature -6° C.
Comment: Of course it was recorded, otherwise how would we know it?
Sullenberger asked if they could attempt an emergency landing in New Jersey, mentioning Teterboro Airport ... air traffic controllers quickly contacted Teterboro and gained permission for a landing on Runway 1.
Comment: The word quickly is superfluous, because our readers' innate cunning will inform them that controllers generally act with dispatch in such situations. (Had they instead been lackadaisical, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.)
However, Sullenberger told controllers that "We can't do it," and "We're gonna be in the Hudson," signaling his intention to bring the plane down on the Hudson River because he was too low to glide to any airport.
Comment: The part from "signalling his intention ..." on is probably unnecessary, because our readers aren't mentally defective. They will conclude without being told that when Sullenberger said "We can't do it ... We're gonna be in the Hudson", he's hinting that (a) he's going to land on the Hudson and (b) he's taking this unconventional step because more orthodox landing sites are out of reach. (Had he instead done it because he wanted a bath, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.)
Immediately after the A320 had been ditched, Sullenberger opened the cockpit door and gave the "evacuate" order.
Comment: The immediately bit seems unnecessary. (Had the captain made a cup of tea before ordering "Evacuate!", THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.)
The first fire chief on scene transmitted a "10-60" to confirm a major emergency.
Comment: If the fire chief, seeing people crowded onto the wings of a sinking airliner, had radioed, "False alarm – no big deal", THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

In the article University of Texas Tower Shooting:
He then drove to a hardware store, where he purchased a Universal M1 carbine, two additional ammunition magazines and eight boxes of ammunition, telling the cashier he planned to hunt wild hogs. At a gun shop he purchased four further carbine magazines, six additional boxes of ammunition, and a can of gun cleaning solvent. He then drove to Sears, where he purchased a Sears Model 60 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun before returning home with his purchases.
Comment: If he'd bought all that stuff and then left it at the store, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

In the article Charles Whitman:
Whitman was reportedly the youngest person in the world ever to become an Eagle Scout at that time.
Comment: Are people becoming Eagle Scouts elsewhere than "in the world"? Perhaps on Mars?

In the article Club of Rome:
The Club of Rome raised considerable public attention with its report Limits to Growth, which has sold 30 million copies in more than 30 translations, making it the best-selling environmental book in world history.
Comment: I think you see where I'm going with this.

In some proposed text for the article Apollo 11:
On July 23, the last night before splashdown on Earth, the three astronauts made a television broadcast
Comment: Ditto.

In the article Saving Private Ryan:
In Washington, D.C, General George Marshall is informed that three of the four Ryan brothers have been killed within the last week, and that their mother is about to be notified of their deaths.
Comment: Lest readers imagine they were notifying her that she'd won the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Caution: May contain babies.
Caution: May contain oranges.
In the article Citrus juice:
The most commonly consumed type of citrus juice is orange juice, which as the name implies, is extracted from oranges.
Comment: But then baby powder isn't extracted from babies, I suppose.

In the article Stone's representation theorem for Boolean algebras:
The theorem was first proved by Marshall H. Stone (1936), and thus named in his honor.
Comment: And here I thought it was proved by Marshall H. Stone but named for some other Stone.

In the article Murder of Jo Cox:
Murder of Jo Cox
LocationMarket Street, Birstall, West Yorkshire, England
Date16 June 2016
Attack type
Shooting, stabbing
WeaponsFirearm, knife
PerpetratorThomas Mair
He witnessed the assailant stab Cox, who fell to the ground, before shooting her and stabbing her again shoot her, then stab her again. The attacker left the scene, but was pursued by an eyewitness who followed him and telephoned police to describe his location identified him to police. Armed police officers attended the incident, and arrested a suspect.
Comment: There's a lot to say about this one.
  • who fell to the ground: Persons stabbed and shot, then stabbed again, usually go down. (Extra points for the ambiguous suggestion that the witness shot and stabbed the victim.)
  • left the scene: If the shooter/stabber had stuck around, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.
  • was pursued by an eyewitness who followed him: That's what pursuers do.
  • telephoned police to describe his location: Usually people calling for help give the location.
  • Armed police officers attended the incident: Even in law-abiding, Queensberry-Rules, you-got-me-copper-fair-and-square England, readers will imagine that amongst officers dispatched to the shooting/stabbing of a Member of Parliament, at least some will be armed with more than their charming accents and unfailing courtesy.
  • and arrested a suspect: That's what happens when an eyewitness points out the gunman. Had police let him off with just a stern talking-to, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.
As for the infobox, unless told otherwise readers will assume that a shooting/stabbing will have involved a gun and a knife.

In the article Death of Elisa Lam:
On the morning of February 19, an employee went to the roof, where four 1,000-gallon water tanks provided water pumped from the city's supply, to the guest rooms, a kitchen, and a coffee shop downstairs. In one of them, he found Lam's body, floating face up a foot below the water surface. Police responded.
Comment: [Left as an exercise for the reader]

New York City
City of New York
Clockwise, from top: Midtown Manhattan, Times Square, the Unisphere, the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan with One World Trade Center, Central Park, the headquarters of the United Nations, and the Statue of Liberty
Multiple choice: In what article does the infobox at right appear?
(A) New York State
(B) New York County
(C) New York CITY <== hint
(D) New York University

In the article Rodney Alcala
Her murder would remain unsolved until it was connected to Alcala in 2011.
Comment: Murders usually remain unsolved until they're solved.

In the article Glenn Miller:
On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to make arrangements to move his band there.
Comment: Oh, THAT Paris!

In the article Ted Bundy:
He broke through the ceiling into the apartment of the chief jailer—who was out for the evening with his wife—changed into street clothes from the jailer's closet, and walked out the front door to freedom.
Comment: While it's nice to know a busy chief jailer still has time for his spouse, absent mention of a confrontation the reader's common sense will tell him that no one was home. (Had Mrs. Turnkey helped Bundy pick out a tie, or had Bundy walked out the door then gone back to the jail to turn himself in, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.)

In the article Seth Black (serial killer):
At the request of Scottish detectives, the Metropolitan Police conducted a search of searched Black's Stamford Hill lodgings to determine whether any incriminating evidence existed at Black's address.
Comment: Yes, well, that's usually what they're trying to determine. (And click the link for a surprise.)

In the article Eric Muenter:
Morgan lunged at his attacker and tackled Muenter to the ground as he fired two rounds into Morgan's groin and thigh. Morgan's butler finished subduing Muenter, beating him senseless with a lump of coal. Morgan quickly summoned a doctor and recovered, returning to work on August 14.
Comment: If financier J.P. Morgan got shot in the groin and didn't summon a doctor, or summoned him other than "quickly", THAT would be worth mentioning in the article. (Kudos to the butler for his skill with the coal.)

In the article Irish Boundary Commission:
The Irish Boundary Commission was a commission which met in 1924–25 to decide on the precise delineation of the border between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland.
Comment: So ... the commission was a commission?

In the article Donald Trump:
He signed tax cut legislation which cut tax rates for individuals and businesses.
Comment: A sax player who plays saxes, a fax machine that sends faxes, a tax cut that cuts taxes. (Just whose taxes is another question.)

In the article Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry:
The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry is a society devoted to the history of alchemy and chemistry. The Society was founded as the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry in 1935.
Comment: Surprise!

In the article Hardcore Henry:
After she replaces a missing arm and leg with hi-tech cybernetic prostheses, mercenaries led by the psychokinetic Akan raid the ship.
Comment: Are there low-tech cybernetic prostheses?

In the article Bunk bed:
The bunk or bunks above the lowest one may have rails to keep the user from rolling out and falling to the floor while sleeping.
Comment: For those innocent of the workings of gravity.

In the article 1257 Samalas eruption
Very large volcanic eruptions can cause destruction close to the volcano ...
Comment: For those innocent of the workings of volcanoes. (This is the least of what's wrong with this passage. Follow the link – if you dare!)

In the article Truth or Consequences, New Mexico:
Hot Springs officially changed its name on March 31, 1950, and the program was broadcast from there the following evening, April 1
Comment: For those innocent of the workings of the calendar.

In the article Battle of Tali-Ihantala:
On June 28, air activity was high on both sides as Finnish bombers and German Stukas pounded the Soviet formations. The Soviet Air Force also attacked from the air and hit the staff of the Finnish Armored Division hard with bombers from the Soviet 276th Bomber Division. and the Soviet 276th Bomber Division hit the Finnish troops hard.
Comment: These bombers attacked from the air, you say?

On the dabpage Horváth

The surname "Horvat", without the "h" still exists and is the most common surname in Croatia or the Croatian diaspora.

Comment: No comment.

In the article Chloe:
Chloe (also Chloë, Chloé) is a feminine name for girls.
Comment: There really should be more feminine names for boys and masculine names for girls.

In the article Henry Riggs Rathbone:
Rathbone successfully graduated from Phillips Academy in 1888, from Yale University in 1892, and from the Law Department at the University of Wisconsin in 1894.
Comment: Graduations are usually successful (except of course a graduation from Yale, which by definition is the first in a lifelong string of degradations).

In the article Stokes Croft:
Stokes Croft is the name of a road in Bristol, England.
Comment: An earlier version read Stokes Croft is what the name of a road in Bristol, England is called.

In the article Distomo
The aluminum producing company Aluminium of Greece has its production facilities in the coastal village Agios Nikolaos.
Comment: Ha! Obviously these people don't know the difference between aluminum and aluminium.

In the article Caribou, Maine
The Caribou Public Library is a Carnegie library. Designed in the Romanesque Revival style by local architect Schuyler C. Page, it was built in 1911-1912 with a $10,000 grant from industrialist Andrew Carnegie.
Comment: Is there a Carnegie library that Andrew Carnegie did not finance? Or was there some other heretofore unknown Carnegie financing American libraries with whom he might be confused?

In the article Alice Herz-Sommer
She lived for 40 years in Israel, before migrating to London in 1986, where she resided until her death, and at the age of 110 was the world's oldest known Holocaust survivor until Yisrael Kristal was recognized as such. Kristal was also a Holocaust survivor, and was born two months before Herz-Sommer.
Comment: For readers with short-term memory deficits.

In the article Soyuz-FG
... resulted in the destruction of the rocket. The crew, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, escaped safely and successfully.
Comment: Whatever that means.

In the article Trinity Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
About four hours after the blaze broke out, one of the three remaining cupolas had been damaged but the fire was contained. A department spokesman later confirmed that the fire had been extinguished.
Comment: Lest the reader imagine it burns to this day.

In the article M25 motorway
By 1993 the motorway, which was designed for a maximum of 88,000 vehicles per day, was carrying 200,000 vehicles per day.
Comment: Now if they'd put the Tour de France on the M25 and you could see 200,000 bicycles, that would be worth watching.

In the article Adele Spitzeder
Officially founded shortly afterwards in 1869, the "Spitzedersche Privatbank" (English: Spitzeder Private Bank) quickly grew from an insider tip to a large company.
Comment: Thank you. I was completely at sea.

In the article Assassination of John F. Kennedy
President Kennedy's blood-stained jacket, shirt and tie worn during the assassination are stored in the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland.
So not from that time he cut himself shaving.
The gun with which Ruby shot and killed Oswald, which came into the possession of Ruby's brother Earl, was sold in 1991 for $220,000.
Comment: The reader will assume, unless told otherwise, that the gun was not used to bludgeon Oswald to death.

In the article The Owl and the Pussycat
Portions of an unfinished sequel, "The Children of the Owl and the Pussycat" were published first posthumously, during 1938. How the pair procreated is unspecified.
Comment: Had that specification been made, children's literature might have taken quite a different direction.

In the article Earthquake weather
Aristotle proposed in the 4th century BC that earthquakes were caused by winds trapped in subterranean caves.
Comment: Extraterrestrial caves would have made for a more surprising theory.

Capacious captions for unerring identification[edit]

In the article
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln:
In the article
Horst Wessel:
In the article
The Wizard of Oz (1939 film):
From left to right: assassin John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Harris, and Henry Rathbone
Wessel as an infant with his mother and father, 1907
The film's main characters (left to right): the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, Scarecrow, and the Tin Man
Bert Lahr, in costume as The Cowardly Lion
It's a common misconception that the
man with the gun is Mrs. Lincoln.
You don't say!
The word "unnecessary"
hardly does justice.
Not a bad case
of hirsutism?

Various views from Donald Trump: In the article The Pentagon:
A view of the Turnberry Hotel, in Ayrshire, Scotland
View of the crowd attending a Trump rally in the U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio on October 13, 2016
Southwesterly view of the Pentagon in 1998, with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in background
The reader will know without being told that
this is a "view".
We're safe in assuming that the reader
will intuit that this "view" shows a "crowd".
Thus not some other five-sided
megastructure for some reason being
shown us in the article
The Pentagon.

Honoring James Agee: In the article Theta waves: Meanwhile, back in Cambridge:
James Agee Park in the Fort Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee is named after the author.
Example of an EEG theta wave
Woodcut representing a view of Gore Hall at Harvard University
Who would have guessed? Could have been worse – it could have said
"Picture representing an example of an EEG
theta wave"?

The lead (and only) image in Twist tie: The lead image for Icebox: In the article The Desire of Ages:
Twist ties of different colors.
Labeled black-and-white image of an icebox
A picture of the book
Great example of an image
that doesn't need a caption.
We can see it's labeled, we can see it's black-
and-white, we can see it's an image, and the
discerning reader will realize, given that this is
the article
Icebox, that it's an icebox.
Recently inducted into the Principle
of Some Astonishment Hall of Fame –
caption and image both.

In the article
Boston Consolidated TRACON
(whatever that is):
The lead image for
CNN International:
The lead image for Earth:
The Boston Consolidated TRACON from the outside
CNN International
Cnn logo red background.png
CNN International logo
LaunchedSeptember 1, 1985 (1985-09-01)
Owned byTurner Broadcasting System country = United States
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg
The Blue Marble photograph of Earth, taken during the Apollo 17 lunar mission in 1972
No shit, Sherlock. (Turns out this is the logo
all CNN brands, not just CNN International –
an example of the impulse to add the obvious
leading, instead, to addition of the inaccurate.)
And here I thought they had a giant indoor
lawn, miniature building-within-a-building,
and artificial sky
Earth. Yes, Earth. Planet Earth.
The lead image in the article Earth.

In the article
Elizabeth II:
In the article
Senghenydd colliery disaster:
In the article
Harry Elkins Widener:
The Queen with Edward Heath (left) and First Lady Pat Nixon, 1970
Because we weren't sure which one is
Edward Heath. (Apparently we're on
our own for Pat Nixon vs. the Queen.)
The funeral of one of the dead miners, miner E Gilbert, a colour sergeant in The Salvation Army
Funerals are for dead people.
Harry Elkins Widener
Harry E. Widener.jpg
Harry Elkins Widener
Born(1885-01-03)January 3, 1885
DiedApril 15, 1912(1912-04-15) (aged 27)
Known forNamesake of Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library
Harry E. Widener signature.png
Did we mention that it's Harry Elkins Widener?
Crowds wait for news at the Universal Colliery after the disaster
Yes, since they're not clairvoyant.

In the article
Chuck Connors:
In the article
Scottish National Antarctic Expedition:
Chuck Connors (right) filming a 1961 episode of The Rifleman.
Man on right in Scots highland costume, playing bagpipes, while on the left a lone penguin stands. The ground is covered in ice, with a high ice ridge in the background.
Expedition member Gilbert Kerr (left) playing the bagpipes beside a penguin, March 1904
The one with the breasts and the hairdo
is Edward Heath.
Bearing in mind that left and right are reversed south of the equator.

Special section on modes of exit and ancillary details of death[edit]

In the article Coniston Water:
Campbell was killed instantly on impact when decapitated by the K7's windscreen.
Comment: For those innocent of the workings of decapitations.

In the article Murder of Deborah Linsley:
She sustained eleven stab wounds to the face, neck and abdomen, of which at least five were to the area around the heart ... The coroner highlighted that, although passengers reported hearing "a commotion", nobody investigated. A verdict of unlawful killing was returned.
Comment: If the verdict had been suicide, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

In the article Lyndon B. Johnson:
At approximately 3:39 p.m. Central Time on January 22, 1973, Johnson suffered a massive heart attack in his bedroom. He managed to telephone the Secret Service agents on the ranch, who found him still holding the telephone receiver in his hand.
Comment: I'm trying to imagine the alternatives.

In the article Grace Kelly:
Rainier, who did not remarry, was buried alongside her following his death in 2005.
Comment: Had Prince Rainier of Monaco been buried alive, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

In the article Simon Meyer Kuper:
On the evening of 8 March 1963, Kuper, who was at home with his wife and daughter, was shot through a window by an unknown assailant. He died of his injuries twelve days later.
Comment: If he was shot by an unknown assailant but died twelve days later on being surprised by a train, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

In the article James Sisnett:
Sisnett died in his sleep of natural causes on 23 May 2013, at the age of 113 years, 90 days.
Comment: Had the 113-year-old man died in his sleep not of natural causes, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

In the article Murder of Kristine Fitzhugh:
Music teacher Kristine Fitzhugh (born 1947–2000) was murdered on May 5, 2000 in her home in Palo Alto, California.
Comment: Obviously.

In the article Karen Carpenter:
Paramedics found her heart beating once every 10 seconds. She was taken to nearby Downey Community Hospital for treatment.
Comment: Thanks for clarifying.

In the article Faylaka Island attack:
he was ultimately mortally wounded and subsequently died.
Comment: Quelle surprise.

In the article Gary M. Heidnik:
Heidnik was executed by lethal injection on July 6, 1999, at State Correctional Institution – Rockview in Centre County, Pennsylvania. His body was later cremated.
Comment: Gosh, I hope so.

In the article Roy L. Dennis:
His body was donated to UCLA Medical Center after he died.
Comment: Ditto.

In the article Miguel Serrano
He remained in contact with neo-Nazis elsewhere in the world and gave interviews to various foreign far-right publications prior to his death.
Comment: Ditto.

In the article Jean de Florette
The film starred three of France's most prominent actors – Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, who won a BAFTA award for his performance, and Yves Montand in one of his last roles before his death.
Comment: Let's see. Um... Ditto?

In the article Wiley Post
Post with Will Rogers before their deaths, August 1935

Comment: Ditto. Or maybe they'd already died and Dr. Frankenstein reanimated them.

From List of inventors killed by their own inventions:
Franz Reichelt (d. 1912) attempted to use this contraption as a parachute. Reichelt died after he jumped off the Eiffel Tower wearing his invention, which failed to operate as he had expected.

Comment: If death had been a consequence of his invention operating as expected, THAT would be worth mentioning in the article.

Principle of Complete Puzzlement[edit]

The opposite of the Principle of Some Astonishment is the Principle of Complete Puzzlement: some details don't belong because, though neither obvious nor even predictable, they're completely irrelevant and will puzzle the reader as to the reason for their inclusion.

In the article Chuck Schumer:
In March 2009, Schumer announced his support for same-sex marriage, noting that it "was time". Schumer previously supported civil unions. At a private risotto dinner with gay leaders ...
Comment: Evidently we're to conclude that gay risotto is especially persuasive.

In the article Trayvon Martin:
On the evening of February 26, Martin was walking back alone to the fiancée's house after purchasing a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea at from a nearby convenience store.
Comment: Somewhat awkward product placements. As The Washington Post put it, "Skittles can't seem to escape political controversies."[1]

In the article 2015 Thalys train attack:
The remaining passengers were taken to a gym in Arras, where they were searched and identified before being allowed to proceed to Paris.
Comment: Good to know they could get in some cardio while waiting.

In the article on courageous flight attendant Barbara Jane Harrison:
On the day of the accident, as was often her practice when on duty, Harrison was wearing a black wig.
Comment: Even in death a girl should always look her best, I guess. (Personal note: give the article a read; she was truly a hero.)

In the article Lightning strike:
Sixty-eight dairy cows, all full of milk, died on a farm at Fernbrook on the Waterfall Way near Dorrigo, New South Wales, after being involved in a lightning incident.
Comment: Perhaps they used all that boiled milk to make cocoa.

In the article James F. Blake
James Fred Blake (April 14, 1912 – March 21, 2002) was the bus driver whom Rosa Parks defied in 1955, prompting the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Born on Apri1 14, 1912, the same day that the British passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg ...
Comment: A bad day all around then.

In the article Myra (painting)
After witnessing the first attack, Jacques Rolé left the exhibition to buy six eggs from Fortnum & Mason, on the other side of Piccadilly close to the Royal Academy, and threw three or four at the painting before being stopped.
Comment: Only the best eggs may be thrown at the Royal Academy.

Michael Kinsley's "Department of Amplification: William Shawn and the temple of facts" (The New Republic, 1984 – and well worth a read in full) is a pitch-perfect sendup of The New Yorker as "a weekly monument to the proposition that journalism consists of the endless accretion of tiny details":

The June 18 New Yorker has an article about corn. It's the first in what appears to be a series, no less, discussing the major grains. What about corn? Who knows? Only The New Yorker would have the lofty disdain for its readers to expect them to plow through 22,000 words about corn (warning: only an estimate; the TNR fact checkers are still counting) without giving them the slightest hint why. Here is how it starts (after a short introductory poem):

When the New England farmer and botanist Edward Sturtevant retired, in 1887, as head of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, in Geneva, he left behind a bulky manuscript that was published in 1919, twenty-one years after his death, as "Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants." Dr. Sturtevant, who was also a graduate of the Harvard Medical School, but never practiced medicine, had scoured the world’s botanical literature for mentions of all the plants that human beings were known to have eaten (he did not count tree bark, which in times of famine was often one of them), and had come up with among more than three hundred thousand known plant species, two thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven edibles. (Latter-day scientists believe he may have missed as many more.) But, of all these, only a hundred and fifty or so have ever been widely enough consumed to figure in commerce, and of those a mere handful have been of any real consequence.

Now, there are some facts for you. No doubt every single one of them has been checked. You stand in awe as they tumble toward you, magnificently irrelevant, surrounded by mighty commas, mere numbers swollen into giant phrases ("two thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven"), all finally crashing over you with the bravura announcement that nothing you have just read is "of any real consequence." How true this is! From the end of the paragraph, you gaze back on the receding vistas of inconsequence, as far as the eye can see. Even supposing we would like a bit more information about corn, and even supposing we might be relieved to know how many other plants, edible and otherwise, are not going to be discussed in this article, why are we being told about a man whose count apparently was off by half? Even supposing we need to know about Dr. Sturtevant’s book, when it was published, and when the good doctor died, why do we need to know when he retired? Even—stretching it—supposing that we need to know that this gentleman "was also a graduate of the Harvard Medical School," why, oh why, do we have to learn that he "never practiced medicine"? As for the business about tree bark, that has just got to be conscious self-parody.

Remind you of any Wikipedia articles?

Diffusing Conflict[edit]

Smoke can be seen diffusing at left. Next time, call the bomb defusing team.
Avoid blow-ups

Now and then someone undertakes to "diffuse" a conflict budding somewhere in the project. Probably they really mean they want to defuse the problem, as in "remove its fuse" – like from a bomb – to avoid blow-ups. Diffusing a conflict would be to spread it over a wide area, which is presumably not the intention.

Sometimes people write lengthy posts at WP:ANI, or propose Arbcom cases, in hopes of defusing a situation; however, the ensuing drama means it is diffused instead.

Casting dispersions, inciteful comments, and so on[edit]

A civil and constructive manor.
She's going to work weather or not.

Closely related concepts include:

Making inciteful comments.
An effluent neighborhood
Breeches of civility
Casting of ass
Sewing chaos
The right to bare arms
We can't support you in good conscious

External links[edit]

Univalved administrators[edit]

As everyone knows, Wikipedia highly prizes its univalved admins[5] This one's "running" for Arbcom.
Then, of course, there are the unevolved admins ...

Updated DYK query Did You Know ...[edit]

The Sacred Cod in its natural habitat
  • ... that John Harvard (left) does not look like John Harvard?
  • ... that Massachusetts officials were "shocked into a condition bordering on speech­less­ness" by the theft of their Sacred Cod (right)?
  • ... that the four miles of stacks aisles in Harvard's 3.5-million-volume Widener Library are so labyrinthine that one student felt she ought to carry "a compass, a sandwich, and a whistle" when entering?
  • ... that problems with a brutalist gray elephant were "like a five-car accident at an intersection. You just can't tell what caused it"?
  • ... that mathematician Andrew Gleason (right) liked to say that proofs "really aren't there to convince you that something is true—they're there to show you why it is true"?
LBJ (of all people) at the helm of an Amphicar
  • ... that quirky dogs and plural wugs helped Jean Berko Gleason (left) show that young children extract linguistic rules from what they hear, rather than just memorizing words?
  • ... that warden's wife Kate Soffel, who fled with condemned brothers Jack and Ed Biddle after supplying guns and saws for their 1902 escape from the Allegheny County Jail, later took up dressmaking?
  • ... that while testifying in a 2004 lawsuit involving the meaning of the word steakburger, a corporate CEO was grilled on the witness stand?
  • ... that the Vicar of Brighton got shot in the twitten?
  • ... that after he died, daredevil Larry Donovan's mother said, "I told him that jumping off bridges was a poor way of earning a living"?
A sitting young man holds a microphone in his left hand while manipulating the console of an apparatus with his right. To his left a large television camera is trained on a large, circular cathode ray tube display.
Harry Lewis with some gizmo he invented
  • ... that Japanese Emperor Hirohito had a Liverpudlian cousin named Paddy Murphy?
  • ... that Edwin Stevens, while in a missionary position, said that erections indicated apprehension and penetration was difficult?
  • ... that Barthélemy Prosper Enfantin planned to penetrate the feminine Orient with the masculine Occident in a consummation of progression?
  • ... that the website "Six Degrees to Harry Lewis" (left) was a precursor to Facebook?
  • ... that the Get Out and Push Railroad (right) required passengers to help its trains over the steeper bits of the route?
  • ... that Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee engaged in self-flagellation?
  • ... that Harvard University's Newell Boathouse stands on public land for which Harvard pays $1 per year under a lease lasting 1000 years‍—‌at the end of which Harvard can renew for another 1000 years?
  • ... that "sorcery for your vagina" can result in second-degree burns?
  • ... that donaldtrumpi has a scaly yellowish head and small genitalia?
  • ... that swarms of dykes have intruded into Uruguay?
  • ... that erection engineer Mark Barr had a business making rubbers, said bicycles stimulated ball development, and was elected to the screw committee?
  • ... that J. J. Stiffler's (right) "unparalleled ... landmark" Theory of Synchronous Communications (1971) sprang from NASA's need for power-efficient synchronization of data transmission for its space probes?
  • ... that Trump is directly connected to Russia?
  • ... that Hillary's portrait is now being printed on the $5 bill?
  • ... that Obama was born in Japan?
  • ... that the US National Gallery of Art has a picture of Trump urinating?
  • ... that police found a corpse in Bernie's freezer?

Prosaic Prelude: Strike order for atomic bombing of Nagasaki. "BOMBS: Special. RELIGIOUS SERVICES: Catholic 1830, Protestant 2300." Nagasaki was the alternate target.
Authorial Vanity
Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1931). Afterthoughts.

Fates to Avoid
Although he did not lack friends, they were weary of coming to his defense, so endless a process it had become.

Rider, Fremont (1944). Melvil Dewey.

In composing...
In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigour it will give your style.

Sydney Smith

That his style was ver­bose is some­thing on which both friend and foe agreed. Jack­son was a writer who, hav­ing em­barked on a sen­tence, was almost imme­di­ately seized by a new asso­ci­a­tion, which was promptly parked between dashes. Shortly after he embarked on the par­en­thet­i­cal phrase, another asso­ci­a­tion pre­sented itself, and was duly ensconced between paren­the­ses, thereby ex­haust­ing the con­ven­tion­al punc­tu­a­tion marks de­signed for em­bed­ded phrases. When anoth­er asso­ci­a­tion arose during the writing of the phrase in paren­the­ses‍—‌which was invar­i­a­bly the case‍—‌it was pre­sented in the form of a foot­note. But shortly after the begin­ning of the foot­note ... etc., etc.

Douwe Draaisma. "Sparks from a Leyden jar: Jackson's epilepsy". Disturbances of the Mind. (Tr. by Barbara Fasting.)

Titular characters[edit]

A discussion at Wikipedia talk:The problem with elegant variation:

The page currently [49] says

There's rarely any use in pointing out when something is titular. For example:
Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the titular DC Comics character.

For reasons that surely must be obvious, I would think that Batgirl or Catwoman would be better examples of titular characters than is Batman, unless of course we take Groucho Marx's famous comment into account. EEng 13:02, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

Adding: when following the Groucho link, look at the very bottom of the page. EEng 02:25, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

Good suggestion. I actually implemented it but reverted it for the moment because I want to find an example of a film or work that dosn't just have the character name as its title (as Catwoman does). Otherwise it just brings up other arguments of repetitive prose which isn't meant to be the point of the section (see the "Of the same name" debate). I'm sure good examples exist, but it's time for bed for me now... Popcornduff (talk) 14:14, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm trying to decide if you're turning the titular tables on me. EEng 16:46, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
You know, I sometimes think this place is just awash with complete tits. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:57, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
The linked article suggests so many winking puns that it's positively dazzling. This could keep us in business for years. EEng 22:55, 24 November 2018 (UTC)

Museum Rules

Visitors to The Museums are encouraged to add droll codas, possibly with evocative yet enigmatic double-entrendre wikilinks, to the items on display (though these will of course be subject to the discretion of The Curator).

Curator's note: Before you lecture me about BLP or NPOV or any of that, ask yourself which fucking side of history you plan to be on, because this isn't about tax cuts or tariffs or Confederate statues anymore.
In honor of Donald Trump's impending impeachment, The Curator of The Museums has assembled this special retrospective of sociopathy, demagoguery, and criminality.

Museum of John Adams Weeps[edit]

Museum of John of Salisbury[edit]

From [50]:
To confer honor on the unwise is to subvert the life of the republic. And it is impossible that one governs usefully when one is subverted by one's own errors ... An unwise king is the ruin of his people.

Museum of 1984[edit]

This exhibit has been returned to the top of the pile today in honor of the departure of Chief Assistant Presidential Liar Sarah Sanders:

Museum of Liars, Cheats, Thieves, Traitors, and Murderers[edit]

Political language ... is designed to make lies* sound truthful and murder** respectable. Orwell

"By their smirks ye shall know them." —Matthew 7:16

Museum of Demagogues[edit]

Adapted from our article "Demagogue":
First they came for the Mueller report ...

A demagogue gains and holds power by exciting the passions of the lower classes and less-educated people in a democracy toward rash or violent action, breaking established democratic institutions such as the rule of law. James Fenimore Cooper in 1838 identified four fundamental characteristics of demagogues:

  1. They fashion themselves as a man or woman of the common people, opposed to the elites.
  2. Their politics depends on a visceral connection with the people, which greatly exceeds ordinary political popularity.
  3. They manipulate this connection, and the raging popularity it affords, for their own benefit and ambition.
  4. They threaten or outright break established rules of conduct, institutions, and even the law.

The central feature of the practice of demagoguery is persuasion by means of passion, shutting down reasoned deliberation and consideration of alternatives. While many politicians in a democracy make occasional small sacrifices of truth, subtlety, or long-term concerns to maintain popular support, demagogues do these things relentlessly and without self-restraint. Demagogues "pander to passion, prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance, rather than reason."

Demagogues have arisen in democracies from Athens to the present day, but their psychological tactics have remained the same throughout history:

  • Scapegoating
  • Fearmongering
  • Lying
  • Emotional oratory and personal charisma
  • Accusing opponents of weakness and disloyalty
  • Promising the impossible
  • Violence and physical intimidation
  • Personal insults and ridicule
  • Vulgarity and outrageous behavior
  • Folksy posturing
  • Gross oversimplification
  • Attacking the news media

Museum of The Walls Closing In[edit]

There's a wall like this in your future, Mr. President, and no need for Mexico to pay for it!
Sieg heil!

The beautiful laws and substances of the world persecute and whip the traitor. He finds that things are arranged for truth and benefit, but there is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole. You cannot recall the spoken word, you cannot wipe out the foot-track, you cannot draw up the ladder, so as to leave no inlet or clew. Some damning circumstance always transpires.


Unsurprising followup: "Trump announces support for bipartisan prison reform."

Museum of Delusional Alternative Realities[edit]

Followup: You can say that again![edit]

"President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves."

Museum of the Divine Right of Kings[edit]

Before "zero-tolerance", families of future criminals remained together.
Under "zero tolerance" children are sep­a­rat­ed from their parents for their own good.
In this still from a home video by First Lady Melania Trump, presidential advisor Steven Miller (center), Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and sometime advisor Steve Bannon discuss "zero tolerance" policy. Trump was on the crapper tweeting.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

–Probably some stupid Democrat
Not to brag, but I just finished this jigsaw puzzle in only one week. The box said 2–4 years![2]
Protest Against ICE in DC (cropped).jpg
"A degenerate imbecile and child-abducting sadist"[3]


  1. ^ McGregor, Jena (September 22, 2016). "Skittles can't seem to escape political controversies". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  2. ^ I stole this from somewhere on the net.
  3. ^ David Bentley Hart, NYT Sunday Review, July 15, 2018, pp. 1,4–5

Meet the Family[edit]

"The hothead"
"Nice college boy"
"Give him a living but never discuss the family business with him."
"Married badly"
Tom Hagan
"Not a wartime consigliere"

Back to where you came from[edit]

Back to where you came from, Donald Trump.

Don't worry, Mike Pence (seen here visiting border camps with race theorist Stephen Miller) will handle things while you're gone.

Museum of Foreign Exchange Rates[edit]

Mike Pence speaking in Fayetteville, NC
Mike Pence giving a speech
In the end, Congress will trade the President for less than two pence.

Museum of Cause and Effect[edit]

From Morey Amsterdam:

After being caught in the middle of a gunfight, Amsterdam moved to California and worked writing jokes.

The Tragedy of the Commas[edit]

From Indian Rebellion of 1857:

Violence, which sometimes betrayed exceptional cruelty, was inflicted on both sides, on British officers, and civilians, including women and children, by the rebels, and on the rebels, and their supporters, including sometimes entire villages, by British reprisals.

Museum of Refreshing Candor[edit]

From the recorded announcement one hears when calling a major electric utility:

For your convenience, our website now has even more self-serving features.

Museum of The Shocking Truth Can Finally Be Told[edit]

From Lost in Space:

Lost in Space was the favorite show of John F. Kennedy, Jr. while growing up in the 1960s.

Museum of brilliant strategies[edit]

From "The Preacher's Secret", an episode of the true-crime series Murder Board:

Talking head: This was not a suicide. Amy Allwine died by someone else's hand, and this in fact was murder.

Narrator: The investigators quickly focused on who could have killed her.

Museum of Lives Well Lived[edit]

Edith Rosenbaum Russell
Edith Rosenbaum (later Russell), shortly after her rescue from the Titanic, carrying the toy pig with which she escaped the ship
BornJune 12, 1879
DiedApril 4, 1975 (aged 95)
OccupationFashion journalist, stylist and buyer
Known forSurviving the sinking of the Titanic with a toy pig
From our article Edith Rosenbaum:

Edith Louise Rosenbaum Russell (June 12, 1879 – April 4, 1975) was an American fashion buyer, stylist and correspondent for Women's Wear Daily, best remembered for surviving the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic with a music box in the shape of a pig.

Museum of Defying Aristotle[edit]

The results of a recent poll:

The ideas expressed in Trump's tweets were:

Racist – 48%
Not racist – 34%
Neither – 18%

There will always be an England[edit]

From our article on Hindhead Tunnel, "part of the 6.5 km (4.0 miles) dual-carriageway Hindhead bypass":

A tree carved with the image of a naked lady in its bark in 1943 was preserved with a small adjustment to the tunnel access boundary.

And their buffet is to die for![edit]

From our list of "Notable people who left suicide notes":

John Noble—Las Vegas resident who left a 270-page note with a table of contents and a 2-hour DVD before shooting himself at the M Resort buffet after having a "free buffet for life" prize rescinded by the resort due to his subsequent behavior there. [51]

Museum of Demagogues Pt. 2[edit]

[A] dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

Federalist Papers 1

Museum of Dr. Seuss Meets the WMF[edit]


Museum of Creative Cruelties[edit]

From John Hervey, 7th Marquess of Bristol:

The Marquess, who had been jailed for jewel theft in his youth, was harsh towards his eldest son, according to friends of the latter. He did not show John any love or affection, and was emotionally distant to the extent that John was required to wear long white gloves during dinner.

Followup from the same article:

While accompanying his secretary Angela Barry, he crash-landed the helicopter in a field, and walked to the nearest farmhouse, demanding to use the phone while leaving mud everywhere.

Museum of Trump is So Fucking Stupid He Inhabits a Special Galaxy of Fucking Stupid All His Own[edit]

From Donald Trump's celebration (July 4, 2019) of American patriots' triumph in their struggle to throw off the British yoke:

The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis at Yorktown. Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over airports, it did everything it had to do and at Ft. McHenry under the rocket’s red glare had nothing but victory. When dawn came, the star-spangled banner waved defiant.

Of course, Ft. McHenry was the War of 1812, but what you expect from the Dumbfuck-in-Chief? Readers may want to try spotting other minor anachronisms for themselves.

The number of historical errors is just extraordinary. The White House has an office of speechwriting, with lots of researchers and interns, and they fact-check things, and there are only three possibilities for that level of transcendental stupidity to take place. One is that that office is completely filled with people with room-temperature IQs; another is that all the procedures have fallen apart and they don't exist anymore; and the third possibility is it sprang from the brain of Donald Trump, and that is deeply, deeply disturbing.

Craig Unger

Museum of Life Imitates Art[edit]

From "Park Service diverts $2.5 million in fees for Trump’s Fourth of July extravaganza" (Washington Post, July 2, 2019):

The Pentagon has referred virtually all questions about the celebration and the military’s involvement to the White House — a function, officials said, of the president’s desire to have some surprises during the event.

Museum of Trump Family Values[edit]

Excerpted from [52]:

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn himself from the confirmation process, effectively stepping down from the role. His confirmation was delayed by a lengthy FBI investigation into a decade-old domestic abuse allegation, according to reports.

In 2010, Shanahan’s now former wife Kimberley Jordinson was arrested for allegedly punching him in the face. At the time, she reportedly told police that Shanahan had punched her. In a separate incident, Shanahan’s son was arrested for allegedly hitting his mother with a baseball bat.

President Trump made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday, writing: “Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family.”

Museum of That's What We Call a "Clue"[edit]

From "Evil in the House of the Lord", an episode of the true-crime program A Stranger in My Home:

Narrator: As firefighters enter the burning church, they make an alarming discovery.

District attorney: They clearly suspected arson, because of the gas cans stacked by the front door.

Followup, from "The Bad Apple", an episode of Fatal Vows:

Narrator: The police go straight to the orchard, just a quarter mile from the house.

Detective: Once they removed the carpet from him, and there were five bullet holes in his torso, we believed it was a homicide investigation.

Museum of The Mysterious East[edit]

The precise and exact wording found in the training materials for a major airline's international flight crews:

JAPAN ... Gestures: A waving hand from side to side in front of the face usually means "No, thank you". Remember that laughter does not always mean joy or amusement; it can also be a sign of embarrassment or distress. Japanese women often cover their moths when laughing, giggling, or smiling.

See also: List of moths of Japan

Museum of Well In That Case, He's the Man For You[edit]

MSNBC reporter Mike Memoli, May 13, 2019:

And so what we're seeing here is Joe Biden in New Hampshire, a state that really likes to touch and feel its candidates.

Museum of Great Teachers[edit]

From "Theodore Baird, Amherst professor of composition for 42 years; at 95", The Boston Globe, December 24, 1996:

Each September, he explained his philosophy to his students: "Your teacher does not exist to give you the answers. His function is to ask questions, and if by inadvertence he should ever chance to tell you something, you should immediately turn the questioning on him. Whatever answers you reach in this course, they will be your own."

Followup tweet[edit]

Terrible about Notre Dame but hopefully football program will continue. Use exhibition games to raise repair money! #GoIrish
Museum visitor reactions

Not a Moment Too Soon, Apparently[edit]

A Lesson for Our Time[edit]

Most of you will have heard of this, at some time or another, in summary form, but this video brings it home much more effectively. I urge you all to watch it in its entirety: [53].

Four seconds before 12:34, the "1234" stops for the third time since starting thirty seconds before 12:34. That's my synopsis and my review. Thanks for recommending this "fine" Yale film. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:14, March 31, 2019 (UTC)
I'm not following you but I'm sure we can agree it's electrifying. EEng 04:15, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

The Plot Thickens[edit]

Emu War
Deceased emu during Emu War.jpg
Date2 November – 10 December 1932
LocationCampion district, Western Australia
Sir George Pearce
Major G.P.W. Meredith
Royal Australian Artillery
From our article Emu War:

With the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, these farmers were encouraged to increase their wheat crops, with the government promising—and failing to deliver—assistance in the form of subsidies. In spite of the recommendations and the promised subsidies, wheat prices continued to fall, and by October 1932 matters were becoming intense, with the farmers preparing to harvest the season's crop while simultaneously threatening to refuse to deliver the wheat.

The difficulties facing farmers were increased by the arrival of as many as 20,000 emus.

Also note the article's Template:Infobox historical event (shown here) which includes the datum: "Participants – Emus"

Museum of Devin Nunes is an Idiot a Dumb Asshole[edit]

Sorry your feelings were hurt, snowflake.

Headline: "Devin Nunes Sues Twitter for Allowing Accounts to Insult Him"

Just to repeat: Devin Nunes is truly an idiot a dumb asshole.
Please note: in response to feedback from other editors, and in keeping with our Biographies of Living Persons policy, which requires the highest standards of accuracy and quality sourcing, the word idiot above has been changed to dumb asshole.

Museum of No Kidding, I'm Serious This Time[edit]

From "The Sniffing Revenge", an episode of the true-crime series Forensic Files. Tests have confirmed that the funny-smelling milk in Dorothy's fridge has been poisoned:
Narrator: Dorothy accused Richard of placing the selenium in her milk during his visit. When confronted with the evidence, Richard confessed. In return, Dorothy refused to press charges against Richard.
Talking head: He had to admit, "Yes I did do this." And he was sent into anger counseling. When he came out of anger counseling he made another attempt, which he denied. And that was when Dorothy confronted him and just told him, "You make any more attempts on me, or anybody in my family, and I'm gonna have you taken away in handcuffs."

Museum of Lessons Unlearned[edit]

The words of a President have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately.

— "Silent Cal"

Museum of Maybe Wikipedia Should be Censored After All[edit]

Not for the faint of heart
From our article on (AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP) Anal bleaching:

As Brazilian waxing became popular, due to the popularity of smaller swimsuits and lingerie, the spread of pornography into the mainstream, and endorsement of the procedure by celebrities, women began noticing that their anuses were darker than the rest of their skin.

Museum of I Guess He Missed That Particular Lecture[edit]

From "Two in a Million", an episode of the true-crime series Forensic Files. Detectives are narrowing down the field of suspects:

And investigators learned that Dana had some character flaws. Apparently, he had plagiarized a term paper in his business ethics class.

Today on Capitol Hill[edit]

Rudy Giuliani observes from the gallery.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler questions the witness.

Museum of Adjustments[edit]

From 55 Broadway:

Halfway along the north and east facades are a matched pair of sculptures, Day and Night by Jacob Epstein. The modernism and graphic nakedness of these sculptures created public outrage on their unveiling ... In the end, Epstein agreed to remove 1.5 inches from the penis of the smaller figure on Day and ultimately the furore died down.


A wall
A cave

Museum of the only person on the planet not painfully aware that Donald J. Trump is such a dumbfuck moron that truly world-beating dumbfuck morons want to be near him so they can seem intelligent by comparison[edit]

World-beating dumbfuck morons gather to bask in the glow of Donald J. Trump's unparalleled dumbfuckery.

Museum of Laughter is the Best Medicine[edit]

Medical mirth from the New England Journal of Medicine (With thanks to User:Tryptofish):

Mediastinal Emphysema after a Sax Orgy

To the Editor: We recently cared for a 24-year-old man admitted to the emergency room with symptoms of substernal chest discomfort, breathlessness, difficulty swallowing, and change in speech. The patient stated that he had been well until the evening before admission, when he first noticed these symptoms after three hours of vigorous saxophone playing.

Museum of You Raise a Good Point[edit]

From a 1990 (?) letter to The Straight Dope:

Dear Cecil:

In reading through your column "Vegetarians Go Ape," I noticed an unusual fact that you seemed to expose with great confidence. You stated that "Jane Goodall established more than twenty years ago that wild chimpanzees kill other animals once in a while and eat the meat with relish." I question the accuracy of this. Where would wild chimpanzees obtain relish?

— Guru Singh Khalsa, Los Angeles

Museum of Mantras[edit]

Click for cheap pun:
These are the Times
that dry men's soles.

Pun credit: Safire, 1970s, can't find where though.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

Museum of National Emergencies[edit]

C'mon Donald, light my fire!
From the article Reichstag Fire Decree:

Seizing on the burning of the Reichstag building as the supposed opening salvo in a communist uprising, the Nazis were able to throw millions of Germans into a convulsion of fear at the threat of Communist terror ... Within hours of the fire, dozens of Communists had been thrown into jail. The next day, officials in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, which was led by Hermann Göring, discussed ways to provide legal cover for the arrests. Ludwig Grauert, the chief of the Prussian state police, proposed an emergency presidential decree under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which gave the president the power to take any measure necessary to protect public safety without the consent of the Reichstag.

Enemas of the State[edit]

Giving new meaning to the phrase "Stalinist purge":

A 365-kilogram (805-pound) brass statue of a syringe enema bulb held aloft by three angels stands in front of the "Mashuk" spa in the settlement of Zheleznovodsk in Russia. It is the only known monument to the enema.

Museum of John Stuart Mill[edit]

As quoted by Cody Fenwick in "This 19th-century philosopher perfectly explained the phenomenon that keeps Trump fans so devoted to the disastrous president":

So long as opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses instability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it. For if it were accepted as a result of argument, the refutation of the argument might shake the solidity of the conviction; but when it rests solely on feeling, worse it fares in argumentative contest, the more persuaded adherents are that their feeling must have some deeper ground, which the arguments do not reach; and while the feeling remains, it is always throwing up fresh intrenchments of argument to repair any breach made in the old.

Museum of Little Liar Working for the Big Liar[edit]

Character counts, Matt!
Headline: "Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker falsely claimed on his resume and on government documents that he was named an Academic All-American when he played football at the University of Iowa..."

To what purpose then require [confirmation by] the Senate? ... It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters ... He would be both ashamed and afraid to bring forward ... candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure. – Hamilton

Museum of Abrupt and Intrusive Visitors[edit]

A Yuletide poem for the cognoscenti:

The children were nestled
All snug in their beds
While visions of tamping irons
Went through their heads.

<Poet bows, acknowledges applause>

Museum of Eloquence in the Age of Trump[edit]

A recent message left on The Curator's talk page:
Anti-American socialist vermin like you should have their balls cut off and forced down their throat.
Commie fag — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pilesabuse (talkcontribs) 13:04, 23 December 2018 (UTC)

Museum of History Repeats Itself[edit]

The Teflon "Don" on his way to prison
The man who sent him there

Museum of Damsels in Distress[edit]

From "CITY NEWS IN BRIEF", The Washington Post, September 12, 1915, p. 19:

Blanks have been sent out by F. J. Brunner, member of the harbor squad of the police force, who has been instructing policemen and others in life-saving in the water, for a special series of contests in lifesaving to be held at the municipal bathing beach, near the Monument, September 15. The contests will be by teams, who must demonstrate the breaking of holds and the towing of supposedly drowning persons to safety by various methods. A feature of the contests will be the rescuing of women completely dressed.

Museum of What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (Part 3)[edit]

From an episode of the true-crime series Forensic Files:

Ward and Diana Maracle were respected members of the community. Ward's Gas Bar, the Maracle's business – a gas station with a restaurant attached – had always been a prosperous business. At night, they also operated a check-cashing business out of their home.

Museum of Behind Closed Doors[edit]

From our surprisingly PG article on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch:

On 9 December 1869, Sacher-Masoch and his mistress Baroness Fanny Pistor signed a contract making him her slave for a period of six months, with the stipulation that the Baroness wear furs as often as possible, especially when she was in a cruel mood.

For further information, consult such sources as Tawdry Knickers and Other Unfortunate Ways to Be Remembered.

Museum of Yale, eat your heart out![edit]

Curator's note: This film, Mystery Street: Murder at Harvard (1950, dir. John Sturges – not his best by any means) is remarkable for having (a) no mysterious street, and (b) no murder at Harvard (though Harvard's "Dr. McAdoo" helps solve it). It does, however, feature Ricardo Montalban as (AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP) "Detective Morales" of the Barnstable Police Department.
The trailer [54] is well worth watching from the beginning. "Here, in this room, is the answer!", the narrator bellows as the young Montalban withdraws his arm from a birdcage where Elsa Lanchester, who chews up the scenery as a scheming landlady, has hidden the crucial clue. The "exciting scenes" filmed "in and around Harvard University" include – sorry, these aren't in the trailer – an impossible shot of a car pulling up to a vacant parking meter – in Harvard Square! – directly in front of Johnston Gate!! Then for several minutes "Detective Morales" and his partner, lugging a box of bones, seek in vain the "Department of Forensic Medicine", fashion-plate Harvard men misdirecting them first to Harvard Hall, then Sever, then Widener, then Austin. When they finally realize they're in entierly the wrong city, and head over to Harvard Medical School in Boston, as luck would have it there's parking available right there on Longwood Avenue as well.
Historical note: In the brief shot at 0m30s, Montalban is chasing the bad guy along the platform of Trinity Place Station into the Boston and Albany Railroad's Back Bay railyard, which is now the site of the Prudential Center.

Museum of Unfortunate Cognates[edit]

Lies-IMG 7967.jpg
At right, an image from our article on Proselytism. ("Lies!" is German for "Read!"):

Curator's note: My favorite cognate is "Gift". Do not ever offer a German visitor a gift ("Here, have some tea. I have a little gift for you") because "Gift" is German for "poison".

Museum of Duty and Remembrance[edit]

"American Marines in Belleau Wood" (Georges Scott, 1918)
Americans who died at Belleau Wood are buried at nearby Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.

Bone-spur sufferer Donald Trump did not attend the ceremonies at Belleau Wood marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, because it was raining. Oh wait! He also didn't attend Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. Too busy tweeting, no doubt.

LioneldeJerseyHarvard InUniformStanding.png
KennethO'GormanHarvard InUniform.jpg

Visitors to the Museum are asked to take a moment to read the story of Lionel de Jersey Harvard (left) and his younger brother Kenneth O'Gorman Harvard (right).

Bonus fact: Trump is so stupid that he confuses the Baltics with the Balkans. His wife, of course, was born in Slovenia but in fairness it's possible there was no return address on the crate she came in. Not that he knows where Slovenia is anyway.

Museum of Unexpected Citations[edit]

Principal investigators of the Desperate Housewives Research Institute
A citation added by one of our finest editors, David Eppstein, to our article on Rounding:

Isaiah Lankham, Bruno Nachtergaele, Desperate Housewives (season 5): Linear Algebra as an Introduction to Abstract Mathematics. World Scientific, Singapur 2016, ISBN 978-981-4730-35-8, S. 186.

Museum of Misplaced Modifiers[edit]

From the article Richard Feynman (with thanks to Atsme):

He noted that Feynman's eccentricities included a refusal to brush his teeth, which he advised others not to do on national television.

In other news ...[edit]

From the article Hugo Black:

Shortly after Black's appointment to the Supreme Court, Ray Sprigle of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote a series of articles revealing Black's involvement in the Klan, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.

Museum of Learned Hand[edit]

From a 1944 speech:

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it ... What is this liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not the freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check on their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few — as we have learned to our sorrow. ... The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded ...

Museum of Stable Geniuses[edit]

A story for our times...

A priest, a college student, and Donald Trump are in a small plane flying through a storm. Suddenly the pilot rushes from the cockpit. "We're going down," he cries, "and we only have three parachutes!" He puts on a parachute and jumps out.

Donald Trump says, "Well, I'm a stable genius so I must be saved!" He grabs a parachute and jumps.

The priest turns to the college student. "Young man," he says, "I've had a long life and am ready to meet my maker. Please, take the last parachute and save yourself."

The college student says, "Don't sweat it, Father. The stable genius jumped out with my backpack."

The stable genius has friends[edit]

The anatomically confused edit summary to a recent edit to my talk page [55]:

You are a fucking faggot. Kill yourself you stupid cunt.

Vote November 6.

Museum of Jobs With Unusual Duties[edit]

From an episode of the true-crime program 48 Hours. An old murder case has taken a surprising turn when an evidence swab appears to have semen belonging to a San Diego Police Department crime-lab technician. But attorneys defending the technician have an explanation ...

Defense attorney 1: The swab itself was put to dry in the open air ...

Defense attorney 2: ... without a cap ...

Defense attorney 1: ... on a table near where [the technician] worked. Everything that was able to be airborne could have gone and touched that swab.

Interviewer: The problem, though, with this case is, seems to me, that the allegation is that this isn't sweat or spit – it's his semen. How would his semen get on a swab?

Defense attorney 2: You can still have cross-contamination of semen because they had to have fresh samples of semen in the San Diego lab.

Interviewer (voiceover): At the time of [the] murder, criminalists would often bring their own seminal fluid to the lab and use it to ensure the chemicals used to detect semen were working correctly.

Museum of First Things First[edit]

The capsule summary for an episode of the television program Call 911:

"Wisconsin Standoff" Reality. (2009) A 15-hour standoff with a man who will only negotiate during commercials.

Museum of Logical Names[edit]

From a recent television news report:

All passengers are safe this morning after a plane landed in a lagoon in the tiny nation of Micronesia.

Museum of An Illiterate Assisted by Incompetents[edit]

The precise and exact wording of a tweet posted September 24, 2018 by the Idiot-in-Chief, regarding the rough patch recently hit by his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavenaugh:

The Democrats are working hard to destroy a wonderful man, and a man who has the potential to be one of our greatest Supreme Court Justices ever, with an array of False Acquisitions the likes of which have never been seen before!

Followup: The Idiot All on his Own[edit]

From the Idiot-in-Chief's remarks at the 2017 Values Voter Summit. The teleprompter text read: "They sacrifice every day for the future of their children."

We see this spirit in the men and women who selflessly enlist in our armed forces and, really, who go out and risk their lives for God and for country. And we see it in the mothers and the fathers who get up at the crack of dawn; they work two jobs and sometimes three jobs. They sacrifice every day for the furniture and – future of their children.

Tip: next time try reading the speech at least once in advance before you have to deliver it. Idiot.

Museum of So Then What's the Point?[edit]

Caption on video clip in our fine article on Le Pétomane, "the French flatulist (professional farter)":

Le Pétomane du Moulin Rouge, 1900 (silent film clip)

Museum of Not Exactly Employee of the Month[edit]

From Raymond Chandler:

Chandler was by 1931 a highly paid vice president of the Dabney Oil Syndicate, but his alcoholism, absenteeism, promiscuity with female employees, and threatened suicides contributed to his dismissal a year later.

Museum of Modern Times[edit]

Things were simpler in the old days.

Museum of the Liberal Deep-State Swamp[edit]

Angled Saxaphone


With thanks to Kliban. [56]

Museum of Thanks for Clearing That Up[edit]

From Wikipedia's plot summary for the 1968 Italian film Be Sick... It's Free:

But the mother planned for him a great future as a doctor, and taught him to play dirty hospital where Guido worked to gain more customers can be borrowed. Mutual is an association that gave the Italians the State contribution for care by doctors, in Italy the period of maximum growth was precisely that of the sixties in which doctors and primary clinics trying to accumulate for their many customers who had to scrape together more money mutual. Tersilli from a simple pediatrician starts to become a real doctor raking here and there with mutual customers. The turning point occurs when Guido is called by a rich lady to visit her husband. Guido takes just a chance to woo the woman, although he was already engaged to another girl to bring her into his list of patients borrowed. So Guido, under the envy of colleagues, start earning with the rich lady countless customers borrowed touching the 2000 patients.

Museum of the Apocolypse[edit]

1957: Eleanor Roosevelt appears on Meet the Press
1968: RFK appears on Meet the Press
1960: MLK appears on Meet the Press
1980: Jimmy Carter appears on Meet the Press
2007: Barack Obama appears on Meet the Press
1997: Bill Clinton appears on Meet the Press

And now, this week's sign the that apocalypse is upon us ...

Museum of Think of It This Way[edit]

Thought-provoking passage from the article Intrauterine device:

Imagine the sperm as drivers who want to make it to their destination, the egg, as fast as possible. Without an IUD, they can see where they are headed. However, with an IUD, it's hard for them to figure out how to get to their final destination.

Museum of Crime Really Doesn't Pay[edit]

From Charles Ingram:

Charles William Ingram (born 6 August 1963) is an English former British Army major known for cheating on the television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2001. He was convicted at Southwark Crown Court on a single count of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception. He was convicted of an unrelated insurance fraud in 2003, and ordered to resign his commission as a major by the Army Board ...

Ingram and his wife were declared bankrupt in November 2004 and November 2005 respectively ... In September 2010 Ingram slipped on a rotten apple while mowing the lawn and sliced off three of his toes.

Museum of Juxtapositions[edit]

Puts children in classrooms
Puts children in cages

Museum of Donald Trump is a Lying Traitor and His White House is Staffed by Lying Traitors Covering For Him[edit]

On the left below, a true transcript of the Helsinki press conference, in which Vladimir Putin openly stated that he instructed Russian officials to help Trump become president of the United States.

On the right, what the official White House video makes it appear was said – edited (and I am not making this up) to delete the reporter's words President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election, thus making it appear as if Putin is responding to a question about Special Counsel Robert Mueller instead of about Trump's election. Let me repeat that: the White House's official video of the Trump-Putin news conference is falsified to hide the fact that Putin said that he directed Russian officials to help Trump become president.

The video links are given below so you can hear for yourself. Putin is discussing his bizarre proposal that the United States send certain of its diplomats and intelligence officials to Russia for questioning...

Putin (through translator): So we have an interest of questioning them. We can all – that could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Reporter Jeff Mason: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

C-SPAN uneditied video [57] (start at 32:40)

Putin (through translator): So we have an interest of questioning them. We can all – that could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Reporter Jeff Mason: And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?                                                                                             

Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

The White House's falsified video [58]

As of July 26, the White House's transcript of the press conference has been corrected to reflect what really transpired [59], but the falsified video (linked above right) has not been corrected.

Anagrams don't lie[edit]

Trump is a malignant narcissist = Mr Putin's a smiling satanic tsar
"Trump Derangement Syndrome" = Grumpy demented man errs not
Anagrams don't lie = damnation lagers

Museum of If Trump Was a Screenwriter[edit]

"I'll not be back."
"I shouldn't have known better with a girl like you"

Museum of Machine Intelligence and Human Idiocy[edit]

No kidding, I typed Trump into the Google search box and it autocompleted Trump idiot.

Museum of Doesn't Seem So Funny Anymore[edit]

How prescient turned out be this [60] conversation at ANI in June 2017. The underlined bits were removed by an admin as BLP violations – ha!
  • I do not think Putin would be interested at all, but right now there are a lot of cases in Russia when people are jailed for twits etc. The signals typically come from, um, unstable whistleblowers. I am not currently in Russia, but still...--Ymblanter (talk) 16:02, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Good thing for Trump we don't jail people for twits here in the US. EEng 17:41, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Putin is too busy running the White House to be bothered with these editors. Legacypac (talk) 16:39, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Content note: Article contains the passage: Three dolphins applauded the president for feeding them fish, while the walruses even shook his hand. EEng 17:41, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I prefer Adorned in white overalls to resemble a bird, Putin did manage to get some cranes to fly. ‑ Iridescent 17:51, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a shame the title of this thread isn't something like BITEy behavior at Pets of Vladimir Putin. EEng 18:05, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

[... Irrelevant intervening posts omitted...]

  • I voted to keep the article since it is as good as the other similar pages, some of which I was already aware of. Who knew Putin's dog is tracked by Russian GPS? Legacypac (talk) 18:20, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Wait... Donald Trump is tracked by Russian GPS??? EEng 19:40, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Remember kids, kneeling for the national anthem is worse than treason, but kneeling for Putin is diplomacy.

Museum of legal, regulated, and taxed[edit]

From the article Seatrade:

Seatrade is the largest specialized refrigerated shipping company in the world, operating a fleet of near 100 specialised reefer vessels.

Museum of Stop touching Samuel Johnson![edit]

From the article Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis (as pointed out to me by a pal years ago):

Queen Anne touched the infant Samuel Johnson in 1712, but King George I put an end to the practice as being "too Catholic".

Museum of Washed-Up Has-Beens[edit]


Museum of Peace for Our Time[edit]

Museum of Those Greeks Sure Were Perverted[edit]

From the article Hercules' Dog Discovers Purple Dye:

Hercules and his dog were walking on the beach on their way to court a nymph named Tyro.

You're a Big Help, AWB[edit]

An edit summary in the article Jim Gray (computer scientist):

Typo fixing, replaced: using using → using using AWB

Museum of Sexual Entitlement[edit]

From a comment at a GA review:

Do people expect bangs?

Museum of Metaphor[edit]

An MSNBC correspondent commenting (May 24, 2018) on the cancellation of aspiring dictator Donald Trump's meet with North Korea's actual dictator and fellow fatso, Kim Jong Un:

There was also this sense that he put the cart before the horse and gave away the farm by not doing the legwork.

Museum of Who Tweeted It? (Pt. 2)[edit]

We should renegotiate the International Date Line, which is another bad Deal made by Democrats. When an American goes to China, he loses a day. But when a China person goes to America, he gains a day. Unfair![1]

Museum of I Didn't Know That Was Possible[edit]

From the article on the film Bad Biology:

When they finally meet, they bond over their social and personal difficulties and lack of sexual fulfillment. However, they must somehow tame Batz' increasingly erratic penis before it can go on a murder spree.

Museum of The Watchers[edit]

The words of Congressman James Mann during debate on the impeachment of Richard Nixon:

If there be no accountability, another president will feel free to do as he chooses. The next time there may be no watchman in the night.

(The flaw in that reasoning being, of course, that if this hypothetical "another president" is an idiot who knows no history, he will profit not from the lesson.)

Museum of Maimonides of Hydrophobia[edit]

A recent correction to the article Tiberias:

In the late 12th century Tiberias' Jewish community numbered 50 Jewish families, headed by rabies rabbis

Museum of What Noticeboard Do I Report That At?[edit]

From someone's talk page:

You reported my giant penls in your vergina in the same minute it was created

Museum of Who Tweeted It?[edit]

Hint #1: The misplaced capital W. Hint #2: "genius". 

We need a President who isn't a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning.

Museum of Unflappable Game Show Hosts[edit]

"Uh, no N."

Museum of Really Upset Viewers[edit]


(Read about what actually happened here: [62].)

Museum of In Case You Hadn't Realized[edit]

From the website of something called The Mountain Academy [63]:

Things have really gone wrong when multiple members of your group have been caught in an avalanche.

Museum of Man In Conflict With Himself[edit]

Cheddar Man: "Oof! I can't wait for Lactaid to be invented!"
From our article on the fossil Cheddar Man:

Analysis of his nuclear DNA indicates that he was a typical member of the western European population at the time, with lactose intolerance ...

Museum of Method Acting[edit]

From List of conspiracy theories:

These theories variously allege that she is a Western spy, or that her attempted murder by the Taliban in 2012 was a secret operation to further discredit the Taliban, and was organized by her father and the CIA and carried out by actor Robert de Niro disguised as an Uzbek homeopath.

Museum of Please, Dear God, I'm Begging You, No![edit]

From Harley F. Holden, "Student Records: The Harvard Experience" (The American Archivist, v. 39 n. 4, October 1976):

I suppose it could be argued, at least facetiously, that since our scientific community does not hesitate to publish photographs of scantily clad native chiefs from New Guinea or South American jungles, that community should not hesitate to feature photographs in the National Geographic or Natural History Magazine of [those] who became our chiefs of state.

Museum of Avoid These Common Mistakes[edit]

From WikiHow's "How to Run Away With the Circus":

1. Get into shape. To be a part of any circus, you should be highly capable physically. Before you join in the clowning about, practice your flexibility for a few months.

2. Choose an act. Circuses usually require auditions, and you should build a repertoire. Look into things like acrobatics, diabolo, unicycle, and trampolining.

3. Find a good costume. Make sure you have the right costume for you, and that it fits your act. For example, you wouldn't want long, flowing sleeves for fire dancing.

Museum of Always Good Advice[edit]

From Farrow's Manual of Military Training (1920, p. 886):

Association with lewd women is dangerous.

Museum of Doing The Best I Can Under The Circumstances[edit]

From a post at AN:

Sorry for the partial legibility of the previous note; my new computer's "a" and "q" keys are malfunctioning (intermittently...ugg) so I have to copy/paste the letter "a" if I want to type it, and I forgot.

Museum of 50 years later[edit]

My college advisor is teaching Classics of Computer Science, so for old times' sake I'm sitting in to make a pest of myself. Last week we discussed Claude Shannon's "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits" (1938), which has been called "possibly the most important, and also the most famous, master's thesis of the century." One hurdle: apparently computer science students at major universities today aren't taught what a relay is ...

My dad (1968): How does a computer work?
Me: Well, it's like your brain ...

Me (2016, to 6-year old nephew): Riding your scooter, you wear a helmet to protect your brain.
Nephew: What's my brain?
Me: Well, it's like a computer ...


My dad (1968): What's a transistor?
Me: Well, it's like a relay ...

"Classics of Computer Science" student (2018): What's a relay?
Me: A relay is [draws diagram and explains].
Student: So it's like a transistor?

Museum of Good to Know[edit]

Headline in the September 7, 1949 issue of the Klamath Falls, Oregon Herald and News (p. 5): 

KF Community College Has Competent Faculty



Museum of Temperamental Artists[edit]

From the article Roderick Maclean:

Roderick Maclean (died 9 June 1921) attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria on 2 March 1882, at Windsor, England, with a pistol. This was the last of eight attempts by separate people to kill or assault Victoria over a period of forty years. Maclean's motive was purportedly a curt reply to some poetry that he had mailed to the Queen.

Museum of I Was Wondering About That[edit]


Museum of Abstracts of One Syllable[edit]

Do Large (Magnitude ≥8) Global Earthquakes Occur on Preferred Days of the Calendar Year or Lunar Cycle? (with thanks to Guy Macon).

Museum of Multitasking Militant Muslims[edit]

Presumably a violation of the Five Pillars.

Museum of Polly Wants a Zipper[edit]

The entirety of an item in the Oakland Tribune for September 13, 1945 (p. 8):

Zippers and Parrot Are Hospital Wants – An appeal was issued today by the Oakland Chapter, American Red Cross, for nine 10 and 12 inch zippers and a parrot, for men in local military hospitals. Anyone wishing to donate these contributions should call HIghgate 7680, extension 15.

Museum of Any Serious Questions?[edit]

From the talk page for the article on The Clapper, the "Clap On, Clap Off" remote control device:
Can you get it from kissing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Museum of Quantitatives[edit]

The Disagree/Neutral/Agree questions asked at to evaluate a subject's match to "the Dark Triad ... three closely related yet independent personality traits that all have a somewhat malevolent connotation. The three traits are machiavellianism (a manipulative attitude), narcissism (excessive self-love), and psychopathy (lack of empathy)." I answered on behalf of US President Donald Trump, and received the following results:
Machiavellianism: 4/4
Narcissism: 4/4
Psychopathy: 3.8/4 (so there's at least some good news, I guess)
  • It's not wise to tell your secrets.
  • People see me as a natural leader.
  • I like to get revenge on authorities.
  • I like to use clever manipulation to get my way.
  • I hate being the center of attention.
  • I avoid dangerous situations.
  • Whatever it takes, you must get the important people on your side.
  • Many group activities tend to be dull without me.
  • Payback needs to be quick and nasty.
  • Avoid direct conflict with others because they may be useful in the future.
  • I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so.
  • People often say I'm out of control.
  • It's wise to keep track of information that you can use against people later.
  • I like to get acquainted with important people.
  • It's true that I can be mean to others.
  • You should wait for the right time to get back at people.
  • I feel embarrassed if someone compliments me.
  • People who mess with me always regret it.
  • There are things you should hide from other people because they don't need to know.
  • I have been compared to famous people.
  • I have never gotten into trouble with the law.
  • Make sure your plans benefit you, not others.
  • I am an average person.
  • I enjoy having sex with people I hardly know.
  • Most people can be manipulated.
  • I insist on getting the respect I deserve.
  • I'll say anything to get what I want.

Museum of Whatever Are You Implying?[edit]

From Gately's Universal Educator: An Educational Cyclopaedia and Business Guide (1883):

A woman should not usually form acquaintances upon the street, or seek to attract the attention or admiration of the other sex, as to do so might render false her claims to ladyhood, if it did not make her liable to charges of a more severe nature.

Museum of Cantabrigians, Stop Sniggering[edit]

From a recent edit summary:

Oxford coma for clarity

Museum of Legal Eagles[edit]

The latest idiocy from Alabama's Unreconstructed Cracker-in-Chief:

Alabama election officials declared Democrat Doug Jones the winner of a special Senate election held earlier this month... Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick on Thursday denied Moore's attempt to delay the certification of votes while Moore's claims of voter fraud are investigated. Hardwick said he lacked jurisdiction to decide the case – meaning that Moore, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, may have filed the lawsuit in the wrong court.

Museum of Everything's about Me, Me, Me![edit]

President Donald J. Trump's initial reaction to a fatal train derailment:

The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!

Ten minutes later, an afterthought:

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington.

Museum of Bad Starts[edit]

The Dairy of Anne Frank
Anne Frank
The Veggies of Anne Frank

Museum of Thank You, Jesus![edit]

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
"God is always in control." – You got that right, you stupid cracker.
When you lie with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Museum of Publish or Perish[edit]

From the article Roy Shaw – and be sure to click the link:

Shaw routinely stabbed police informers and even slashed the throat of a former best friend while incarcerated owing to his strong belief in an honour code amongst criminals which must not be broken.

Museum of Wrong Line of Work[edit]

From "Murder by the Book", an episode of the uplifting crime series The Perfect Murder:

Narrator: As a young adult, Dan decides to rob a bank, but makes a serious mistake.

Retired D.A.: He passed a note to the bank teller, ya know, give me the money or I'll shoot you – whathaveyou. And, uh... he left the bank... and he left the note... and on the other side of the note was his deposit slip... with his name and address and phone number.

Museum of Naughty, Naughty Advertising Copywriters[edit]

Erector Set Ad 1922.JPG

====> Captions invited <====

An Admin showing a group of new editors how to write a featured article. - L293D ( • ) 19:18, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Museum of Arbs on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown[edit]

[67][68] [69]

Museum of Afflictions[edit]

From our friends at National Geographic:

Minor strokes that killed off cells in one small area on the right side of the brain seemed to trigger "gourmand syndrome" in 34 patients reported in a 1997 Neurology journal study. They lost interest in their careers – as a tennis pro or political writer, for example – and devoted themselves instead to fine dining.

Museum of Just Kidding![edit]


Museum of The Show Must Go On[edit]

An incident on the set of a 1958 edition of Armchair Theatre illustrates the perverse extremes of professionalism that television actors were expected to exhibit. The... cast included Warren Mitchell, Donald Houston, Peter Bowles, and a young Welsh actor named Gareth Jones. "During transmission," recalls Bowles, "a little group of us was talking on camera while awaiting the arrival of Gareth Jones's character, who had some information for us. We could see him coming up towards us, and he was going to arrive on cue, but we saw him drop, we saw him fall. We had no idea what had happened, but he certainly wasn't coming our way. The actors, including me, started making up lines: 'I'm sure if So-and-so were here he would say...'" Jones had suffered a fatal heart attack – but rather than informing the actors of their colleague's death and ceasing transmission of the play, the producers decided to let them stumble on to the end. [71]

Museum of Rock Bottom[edit]

From the article on Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, former star of The Jersey Shore: 

On June 17, 2014, Sorrentino was arrested for assault after a fight at a tanning salon in Middletown Township, New Jersey ... In August of [2011], Sorrentino was offered a "substantial" sum of money by fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch not to wear the company's clothes.

Museum of Bad Acid Trips[edit]

From the article on Xenu, who in the cosmology of Scientology was "the dictator of the 'Galactic Confederacy' who 75 million years ago brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as 'Teegeeack') in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs." Scientologists actually believe this – at least those willing to pay the $100,000 required to get to the "level" at which you're allowed to learn such esoterica. Please note that this passage has been placed in the Museums in admiration of its rococo creativity, not to imply that it's any more outlandish than a talking snake, a guy nailed to a cross coming back from the dead, or the ideas that what God really wants you to do is cut off a bit of your son's penis and/or bundle up your women from head to toe like the Elephant Man:

Xenu was about to be deposed from power, so he devised a plot to eliminate the excess population from his dominions. With the assistance of psychiatrists, he gathered billions of his citizens under the pretense of income tax inspections, then paralyzed them and froze them in a mixture of alcohol and glycol to capture their souls. The kidnapped populace was loaded into spacecraft for transport to the site of extermination, the planet of Teegeeack (Earth). The appearance of these spacecraft would later be subconsciously expressed in the design of the Douglas DC-8, the only difference being that "the DC8 had fans, propellers on it and the space plane didn't". When they had reached Teegeeack, the paralyzed citizens were unloaded around the bases of volcanoes across the planet. Hydrogen bombs were then lowered into the volcanoes and detonated simultaneously, killing all but a few aliens.

Hubbard described the scene in his film script, Revolt in the Stars:

Simultaneously, the planted charges erupted. Atomic blasts ballooned from the craters of Loa, Vesuvius, Shasta, Washington, Fujiyama, Etna, and many, many others. Arching higher and higher, up and outwards, towering clouds mushroomed, shot through with flashes of flame, waste and fission. Great winds raced tumultuously across the face of Earth, spreading tales of destruction...

The now-disembodied victims' souls, which Hubbard called thetans, were blown into the air by the blast. They were captured by Xenu's forces using an "electronic ribbon" ("which also was a type of standing wave") and sucked into "vacuum zones" around the world. The hundreds of billions of captured thetans were taken to a type of cinema, where they were forced to watch a "three-D, super colossal motion picture" for thirty-six days. This implanted what Hubbard termed "various misleading data"' (collectively termed the R6 implant) into the memories of the hapless thetans, "which has to do with God, the Devil, space opera, etcetera". This included all world religions; Hubbard specifically attributed Roman Catholicism and the image of the Crucifixion to the influence of Xenu. The two "implant stations" cited by Hubbard were said to have been located on Hawaii and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

In addition to implanting new beliefs in the thetans, the images deprived them of their sense of personal identity. When the thetans left the projection areas, they started to cluster together in groups of a few thousand, having lost the ability to differentiate between each other. Each cluster of thetans gathered into one of the few remaining bodies that survived the explosion. These became what are known as body thetans, which are said to be still clinging to and adversely affecting everyone except Scientologists who have performed the necessary steps to remove them.

A government faction known as the Loyal Officers finally overthrew Xenu and his renegades, and locked him away in "an electronic mountain trap" from which he has not escaped. Although the location of Xenu is sometimes said to be the Pyrenees on Earth, this is actually the location Hubbard gave elsewhere for an ancient "Martian report station". Teegeeack was subsequently abandoned by the Galactic Confederacy and remains a pariah "prison planet" to this day, although it has suffered repeatedly from incursions by alien "Invader Forces" since that time.

Followup: Museum of Ouch! That Must Have Stung![edit]

From a rear admiral's fitness report on US Navy Lieutenant Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, who during WWII had managed to wander his ship into Mexican waters and fire on islands where Mexican troops were garrisoned. In later life Hubbard liked to style himself the "Commodore" of Scientology's "Sea Org":

Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation. He acts without forethought as to probable results. He is believed to have been sincere in his efforts to make his ship efficient and ready. Not considered qualified for command or promotion at this time. Recommend duty on a large vessel where he can be properly supervised.

Museum of Probably Safe to Say[edit]

From "The Dating Game Killer", an episode of the enlightening television series Murder Made Me Famous:

Cheryl has just picked Rodney Alcala as her date on The Dating Game. She has no idea that she has selected a serial killer, and that she may be his next potential victim.

Museum of Artful Idling[edit]

From Tom Hodgkinson, "Idleness and Industry":

A characteristic of the idler's work is that it looks suspiciously like play. This, again, makes the non-idler feel uncomfortable. Victims of the Protestant wo