Sunday, December 25, 2011

Branching Out with Pictures

Today is Christmas 2011 and I thought I would add some pictures to various pages today.  All these pictures were taken in the last couple days while I'm spending the holiday with Mark Edward in LA.  Nothing is skeptical related, but the skills of uploading to Wikicommons and adding pictures onto pages is something to keep up on.

Tim Farley has often advised me to spread out my edits to not only skeptical issues, from time to time work on edits to your hometown, your school, books whatever interests you.  This makes other editors take your work seriously as you won't appear to be a one-trick-pony. 

This was a change of pace and quite fun.  Here is my Wikimedia Common's contribution page

I added pictures to...

Heritage Square Museum - actually I had uploaded most of the images on the page in January 2010.  Tonight I changed many images and added one or two more.  Heritage Square Before

Little Tokyo just added the friendship knot sculpture

Bradbury Building I added a few images (one was taken down already) and changed out some that I thought were dull.  Bradbury Building before.

Chinatown was a lot of fun, bright colors.  I got rid of a dull picture and added mine instead.  Chinatown before.

Added the close-up picture here of a shelf in a Botanica.  This was directly across the street from the Bradbury Building.  I didn't openly take this picture, but had my camera in my hands and snapped just whatever.  Got some great images this way.  I decided that I would only add the one image that I cropped in even further. 

The MOCA page you would think would have better images.  I added the night scene of the downtown buildings with the airplane sculpture.  The next time I visit this place I'm going to get better images of the building.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology badly needed images.  The mouse on toast picture they had was blurry.  This isn't a place for amateur photographers.  The museum is in near darkness except for the exhibits, and no flash photography is allowed.  I love my camera, the lens I purchased allows me to shoot in low light and I use the "sports" setting on my camera always.  This works great indoors and out.  If you click on the images you will see that mine are still a bit blurry, they are lucky they have images at all.  I must go back and shoot a better main image.  Here is the page when I found it this afternoon.  Extra points if you can find Mark Edward in one of the images.

Lastly I added a picture taken on Bunker Hill.  We took a ride on the Angles Flight tram.  According to the article there was a death on the tracks a few years ago, wonder if there is a ghost still lingering.  Bet we could get a local ghost hunting group out to use their little meters to tell us.

I know this isn't very guerrilla skeptic focused.  But editing Wikipedia should be fun, work on the pages you enjoy. Pull out your photo albums, I bet you already have a bunch of needed images.  Don't wait for your next vacation, look at the Wikipedia pages of places you pass every day, bet they need some updated pictures.   We really are trying to improve Wikipedia overall. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

William B. Davis ~ Page Makeover

Back in late October 2011 I wrote this article about improving William B. Davis's Wikipedia page.  I wouldn't really have cared about his stub page except for the fact that he is one of our skeptical spokespeople.  I hadn't known this before until I accidentally stumbled across an interview he gave where he credited skeptic Barry Beyerstein for introducing him to the skeptical community.  (I had Beyerstein on Google Alert which is how I discovered the interview) Once I discovered this fact, I knew I had to clean up his page.

So I looked around and added all the skeptical references I could find.  Then got my friend Brian Engler to upload a really nice image of Davis leaning on the CSICON podium.  I started making changes here and there and also contacted Davis on Facebook.

He was more than helpful.  I got all kinds of links from him as well as pictures.  Tonight I'm launching his page, along with the "before".  I think you will really be amazed at the changes.

Here is a bit of knowledge I picked up along the way.

One idea I had was to make his page a DYK page as they allow brand new pages as well as expanded stubs as candidates for the front page of Wikipedia.  What I didn't realize at the time was that by making changes to the "live" page and then waiting a few weeks and adding more and then a bit more I was taking the page out of the running.  The rule is that the page needs to expand "5 fold" and have at least 850 words (not counting citations, charts and captions).

If I had not made any changes to the page when I first approached it, and then did all the work on my user page (or sandbox) and then copied/paste/saved the page live I would have expanded the page 5-fold.  Adding bit by bit to the live page erased that condition.

Coping the page and pasting it on my user page enabled me to be able to work "off-line".  I was able to make changes to the page without having to give a reason for each change.  Also when I copy/paste/saved the page back "live" it will be with a fresh history.  Only showing the one edit where it is completely done.

Tim Farley looked the page over as well as Dustin and Lei and helped with some spelling and so on.  Tim changed the page from going to a redirect page for William Davis - Premier of Ontario page to a disambiguation page for William Davis people. 

Tim also wrote a code that kept my user page from being searchable whenever anyone typed in "William B. Davis" into a search engine.  Only people with the URL could now find the page.

I also wasn't familiar with IMDB, I looked at Martin Landau's WP page and discovered how that editor made a chart for all the film credits Landau had.  I went into "edit" and copied all the text on Landau, pasted them into Davis's page and through trial and error changed everything.  It took a long long time to type all that info into Davis's page.  In the end I learned a lot about making charts.  Learn by doing!

Another problem I ran into over and over with his film credits was that some shows had WP pages, others didn't and some "linked" to WP pages, but not the correct WP page.  I know there is a short-cut bot out there on WP that will fix these problems quickly.  But I don't know how to use it.  What I did for every title, person and place was to put the name into WP's search.  I could then make the edit for the hyperlink to go to the correct page.  (blog explaining how to do this in detail). 

The reason I went to all this trouble was three-fold.  Firstly anyone who is going to credit Barry Beyerstein with anything is going to touch a soft spot in my heart.  Secondly the whole idea of the We Got your Wiki Back! project is to make sure that when people venture over to our spokespeople's pages they can see that they have well-written and cared for pages.  Thirdly William B. Davis is famous.  He receives about 4-5 thousand hits a month to his page.  That means potentially 4-5 thousand people will be reading about Beyerstein, Skepticism, CSICOP and the critical thinking quotes that I left.  A total win for skepticism!

Not all of our spokespeople are going to make such an impact, Davis we know for sure will.  Who knows who might be next?  I'm not privy to everyones schedules.  Tomorrow Ben Radford might score an amazing interview on CNN and the world will be looking at his page, will it be ready?  Does it reflect well on skepticism? Does it appear that Radford is respected in his community?  In his case, the answer is "yes".  But so many of our spokespeople are lacking great pages.

I'm not sure where I will be focusing my Wiki eye tomorrow, but if you have a suggestion or would like to help with this project and don't know where to start, please contact me.

William B. Davis page the first time I saw it

William B. Davis page after the We Got Your Wiki Back! project

Added Dec 25, 2011
Just finished listening to Jacob Fortin's "The Good Atheist" podcast whom interviewed Davis a few days ago.  Very funny how this interview happened and its link to the page make-over.  I'm going to submit the story to the IIG's site.  Take a look.

Also took the interview with Fortin and gleaned the best quotes about Dawkins and John Mack and created a citation back to the podcast.  This is how it is supposed to work folks.   Get as much information out there for the world to follow back to our skeptical content.  We need to have each other's backs as well.


This just in.  Received this message a few minutes ago on my "talk page"

"William B. Davis is fantastic, your edits made a huge difference in quality! Nicely done! You should put it up for Good Article status! Not sure if you're aware, but there are some great article checking tools here

Dreadstar 19:58, 25 December 2011 (UTC)" 

That was a really welcome message.  Usually I cross my fingers whenever I see that I have a new message on my talk page, and say to myself "what did I do wrong now"?

So I followed the instructions Dreadstar gave and read everything I could find about what is a "good article" and how to nominate the page.  Apparently a Good Article is something that if approved will appear at the top of the discussion page.  Only one in every 250 WP articles are considered "good articles" (I would think that would be a bigger spread, but they are counting ALL WP pages, not just the paranormal pages I keep running into)

I nominated the page, now I wait as there is quite a back-log.  An editor will be in touch to review the page and offer suggestions to improve the page.  I guess I have 7 days from that time to make the changes.  It gets reviewed again and again and if approved then it will get the special attention as a "good article" They have a page devoted to "good articles" so it will join that.  I have the page listed under "the Arts" which is Davis's main claim to fame. 

There is an even higher honor apparently, one called the "featured article" page.  This is for pages that are the Best of Wikipedia. Only one in 100 pages are featured articles.  Guess I have some new goals for 2012.  I'm a competitive sort, and want my gold star!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Keep Wikipedia Vandalism Free - Its up to us

Trolls are no-longer under bridges and on Internet discussion boards.  Sometimes they reside on Wikipedia.  I believe that these trolls really think they are clever because they add their rants right into the article that everyone reads.   Sometimes it isn't trolls but graffiti and other times it is someone thinking they are really clever.  Its really annoying, but something we have to deal with in order to keep Wikipedia the place where everyone can edit.

Tonight I'm going to show you step by step how to revert an edit.  Some of the steps can look intimidating to newer editors but never fear I'm going to use pictures so you can see how its done, then turn you loose to clean up the crap.

Firstly it is really important to understand Watchlists.  Here are two blogs I've written about the topic.
Very Very Basic Editing 
Watchlists Again Busy Busy Me

Adding pages to your watchlist is the first step towards reverting vandalism.  You can only revert edits if you are made aware there is a problem with the page.  In order to do that you have to have a watchlist.  Adding pages to your watchlist is fairly simple.  First you need to be logged into Wikipedia.  Then every page that you think you might be interested in watching you need to actually go to.  You will see an empty star on the right side of the page.
Click on the empty star and it will turn blue and give you a message that you have just added this page to your watch list.  Click on the blue star and it will remove it from your watchlist.  Okay?

Here is what the right top page looks like for me.

Click on the "my watchlist" and you will see every page that has been changed appear on a daily list.  Here is a snapshot of what I'm looking at.

The lower case "m" means that it is a "minor edit".  You can remove all the minor edits from the watchlist cue.  I don't want that option because the person who is making the edit selects "minor edit" before saving.  I'm suspicious that someone trying to sneak through vandalism will check the minor edit box so that very few people notice.

Also whenever someone edits a page they give a reason why they edited it.  Sometimes it is simple like "typo" or "added reference" something simple that you might not even check.  Again what is written in that reason box was written by someone who might be wanting to sneak something in.

So I check everything on my watchlist, even if it looks innocent.  Another reason I do this is that I can learn from the better editors.

The color + and - numbers in the ( ) I believe mean how many characters were added or removed.  That's another clue to whether you should check the edit or not.

On the left side it says "diff" that means the difference before/after.

I'm trying to find some vandalism, but of course I can't find any at the moment.  Here is an edit I made a couple days ago for Mark Edward's page.  It shows up like this on my watchlist.

When you click on the "diff" you will see the page I linked to below.

Mark Edward WP page with slight change

 The right side is yellow and the left side is green.  Every change is in red print.  So you can see I changed the word "a" to "as"

On the top right side above all the green you will see this area.

 See the "undo" box.  If you click that you will see the following... 

Scary message telling you that if it is vandalism you are reverting you don't have to leave a reason for the revert.  If not, then you must explain why you are reverting.

Personally I like to leave a reason that might help the editor.  If it is something that I can't sum up in a few words then I will go to the discussion page and leave a more detailed reason why I reverted their edit.

Near the bottom you will see this area...

See where you can click the "minor edit" box?  You write in the area that starts out with "undid revision 466...." the reason why you are reverting the edit.  Then click "show preview" to make sure you did it correct.  Then "save page".

Okay, now your free to help keep Wikipedia vandalism free.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Every day is Spring Cleaning on Wikipedia - BE BOLD

Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia isn't just leaving well-cited well-written blurbs on paranormal Wikipedia pages.  Sometimes a good Spring cleaning is needed.  Uncited material needs to go.  Often times we leave a "citation needed" tag beside the sentence.  Looks like this... 
{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}

Other times it is best to just be BOLD and delete the mess (cited and uncited)  

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean.  

I was adding articles by Ben Radford and Brian Dunning to the Spontaneous Human Combustion page when reading through the article I noticed this cited reference... 

Two examples of people surviving static flash events[clarification needed] are given in a book on SHC.[2] Author John Heymer claims that the two subjects, Debbie Clark and Susan Motteshead, speaking independently and with no knowledge of each other, give similar histories.[3]
  • In September 1985, Debbie Clark was walking home when she noticed an occasional flash of blue light.[4] As she claimed, "It was me. I was lighting up the driveway every couple of steps. As we got into the garden I thought it was funny at that point. I was walking around in circles saying, 'Look at this, mum, look!' She started screaming and my brother came to the door and started screaming and shouting 'Have you never heard of spontaneous human combustion?'" Her mother, Dianne Clark, responded, "I screamed at her to get her shoes off and it [the flashes] kept going so I hassled her through and got her into the bath. I thought that the bath is wired to earth. It was a blue light, you know, what they call electric blue. She thought it was fun, she was laughing."
  • In winter 1980, Cheshire, England, resident Susan Motteshead was standing in her kitchen, wearing flame-resistant pajamas, when she was suddenly engulfed in a short-lived fire that seemed to have ignited the fluff on her clothing but burned out before it could set anything properly alight.[3]
In addition, Jack Angel claims to have survived an SHC-like event.

Yep, that is true evidence of SHC right?  I deleted the whole thing and went over to the discussion page and left this note.  
I removed this section on survivors. There is no evidence that these people were experiencing spontaneous human combustion, no indication of medical evidence following up on these "stories". One girl had a "blue light" coming out of her that she thought was funny, her mother put her in the bath. The other story is about a woman wearing her PJ's in the kitchen when she caught on fire. So? The third reference is to someone mentioned but not cited. If someone would like to put these edits back in and can give a compelling reason why they should be in the article, then they are below for you to copy/paste. Sgerbic (talk) 00:02, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Its been a month and no one has responded to my deletion.   BTW the page received 52,171 hits November 2011. 

Can't remember how I stumbled on this one, I think I might have been searching for "Long Island Medium" and "Theresa Caputo" on Wikipedia and the page for Hicksville, New York came up in the search.  Apparently they have a small list of "notable natives/residents" which includes Billy Joel (you might get that question on a trivial pursuit card).  Someone had added Theresa Caputo from Long Island Medium on the notable list.  Because there is no page for either, the words were in red ink on the Hicksville page.  I removed the names and went to the discussion page and left this for the editor...

Having a list of notable people means they should be Notable. *Theresa Caputo of Long Island Medium neither person or show is notable. Sgerbic (talk) 20:54, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Today I noticed that the same person went back and added the names back in the list (thankfully I have Hicksville, NY on my watchlist).  I reverted the edit and followed the editors ISP (no user name just anonymous editor)  and found that the only edits they have done on Wikipedia are the ones here on Hicksville's page.  That's kinda strange.  Then there is one more edit, to this page.  The editor is trying to create a page called Long Island Medium with the only thing on the page this...
Long Island Medium is a television show on TLC that follows the life of Hicksville, New York's Theresa Caputo, a psychic medium.
Wow!  Going to need a lot more info before that page becomes reality.  I put it on my watchlist so I can watch the page as it grows with citations.  This person didn't just make the page, they somehow are asking administrators to make the page.  It is being reviewed and I'm sure nothing will come of it.  One admin left a really nice welcome note on that editor's user page (yes, even anonymous editors have a user page) explaining how to edit and what notable means.  NOTE: while writing this blog I noticed that another admin has already deleted the request, stating that there is insufficient context.

Here is another clean-up I did this time for Rosemary Althea's page.
I'm removing all of this until it can be cited.
Rosemary Altea is a New York Times best-selling Author and psychic medium who also runs a charitable healing organization. As well as writing books and doing private consultations with clients, Altea gives lectures and holds events talking about the subject of spirituality and healing. She is well known world wide and has a large following in England, America, Italy and Latin America in particular.
Sgerbic (talk) 01:50, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Still no response from the original editor.

Here is a rather pleasant discussion I left on the Sally Morgan (stage artist) WP page.  Someone named Hayleysme left the edit, I reverted it... Hope I don't sound too snarky.

Hayleysme: Your edit to the page was reverted. Just wanted you to understand why so that you can help us improve this page in the future. Here is what you wrote... "Sally's gift evolved organically over the years and through word of mouth she soon had a thriving psychic practice that she used to run from my home. Since becoming a professional medium she has read for thousands of people who have experienced a personal tragedy and suffered a great loss. Over the years Sally has been linked to A-list celebrities and Royalty famously reading for the likes of Uma Therman, George Michael, Natalie Imbruglia and most notably the late princess Diana."
Wikipedia "works" because everything written HAS to be cited. If you can just go from personal stories then you will find people saying that the moon is made of cheese and that they visit it often before they have friends over for a party. What you have written is firstly that she has something called a "gift" not sure what that means? Is there some kind of proof of that? Popularity is not proof. Running a "psychic practice" from your home tells us what? Is there proof of this? I'm sure we can prove that she has read a thousand people who have suffered losses, but how does that improve the article? So she has been linked to these celebrities, what does that mean? Where is the citation to prove they are "A-list". And seriously where is the proof that she is getting messages from Lady Di? Other than she says she is doing so, Wikipedia needs evidence.
Really would love to hear back from you, Its possible that you have this evidence but just don't know how to properly cite it in the article. Please paste the links here, and one of us can add the evidence into the article once we look over the link. Personal blogs or just hear-say isn't evidence by the way. We don't need more edits about moon cheese, please help us improve Sally Morgan's Wikipedia page. Would love to see some positive links showing how she is finding missing persons and solving crimes. Having that ability would really be awesome and could really make the police's jobs a lot easier. Maybe even stop crimes before they happen. Sgerbic (talk) 05:19, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
 This happened over a month ago and no response from anyone.   I'm just noticing that in October I left a "citation needed" for several of her books.  I think I will just remove those books as it has been a couple months and no one has gone to the trouble to cite them.  I can't stand seeing "citation needed" from several years ago.

I just removed this bit and will leave a note on the discussion page saying why I did so.  If someone wants to take the time to add them back in with the correct citations then wonderful. 

In March 2010, she appeared on an episode of ''[[What Katie Did Next]]'' in which she investigated the home of British model [[Katie Price]].{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}

Sally has also filmed a biopic titled "The Psychic Life of Sally Morgan" which was shown on Sky's Bio Channel.{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}

Sally Morgan has published two books, these were her autobiography 'My Psychic Life' published by [[Penguin]] in 2007 and 'Healing Spirits' which was published by Penguin in 2009. Her new book 'Life After Death' was released by Penguin on the 7th April 2011.{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}

Just noticed that in her now one-sentence Career section the only reference is to a TV-show she did and the link is dead.  Someone tagged it long before.  Maybe there is a better link?  I'm not going looking for it at the moment.  It isn't a good idea to remove dead links from articles as it probably worked at one-time.  If I remove the one sentence from her Career area then the only thing on her page is 4 paragraphs of criticism.  Not even a picture of her.  Guess her fans really don't have her Wiki back, so sad. 

This is a small edit I did for a New Zealand TV show called "Sensing Murder" the lede read like this before I got to it...

Sensing Murder is a television series in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, in which alleged psychics are asked to act as psychic detectives to help solve famous unsolved murder cases in each country. The psychics have not managed to solve any of the cases so far.
I erased the last two words.  I noted that as the show is cancelled, it is unlikely that they are going to solve the cases.  

These are only a small percent of the edits that remain to be done.  Every day is Spring Cleaning day!  Please help.

Wikipedia Discussion Pages

My regular readers of this blog will be familiar with my encouragement of people reading the discussion pages behind the scenes of each Wikipedia page.  If you haven't already snooped around you might want to try it one of these cold rainy days.  Sometimes the discussions get very technical, but usually they are very entertaining.  You do not have to have a Wikipedia account or even edit.  Anyone can read these pages, and editors (novice and advanced can weigh in the discussion).

Discussion tab is located on the upper left side of the page you are reading.  Simply click on the tab and start reading.

If you want to contribute to the discussion then you need to "edit" the section you are responding to.  Simply type under the conversation a : so that your words are off-set from the response above.  You can add more ::'s to make it off-set even further.  This makes all the replies easy to follow.  When you are done with what you want to say you need to type 4 tildees like this ~~~~ and the computer will add your name, date and time of response to your reply.

Here is a interesting discussion on the Alien Abduction page.  Note that the editors name appears here.  The editor would not have typed that part in.  Just the 4 tildees.

"I might be mistaken, but it appears there's a Scientologist explanation on the part about possible explanations, second from the bottom, re: memories of birth. It is lacking citation. It also uses some weasel words like "(one that is gaining widespread acceptance"); this really isn't true. It's not scientifically viable, neo-nates don't have developed enough vision or senses, let alone memories, to encode something like that and recall it as traumatic. I have seen the theory before, but I believe it was a scientologist theory and should be both labeled as such and have the "widespread acceptance" tripe removed - it's psychologically ridiculous. I've deleted it on the grounds that upon rereading it, it's so slanted and unsupported that it simply doesn't belong. It touts itself as "one of the most comprehensive theories" as well, but without any support or scientific rigor. [[User:MrKeith2317|MrKeith2317]] 05:06, 9 November 2007 (UTC)"

If you want to start a new topic on a discussion page then you click the "new section" tab. 

Where  it says "subject/headline" this is where you write the reason for your new topic.  I've seen all kinds of topics and discussions.  This may be open to the public to read but more are not aware of this option.  Write as if you were writing to a student or co-worker.  Try to be very specific about what you are asking, also be very polite.  Snarky sometimes happens on these pages, but other editors will call you out for it.  You have talk to these people like they are going to be your next-door neighbor for the next 20 years and you are trying to get them to pay for half the fence that is falling down.

When I remove bad edits, many times I will revert the edit and leave some kind of reason for it (please cite your source).  Sometimes I will actually open up the discussion page and make a new topic and address the person who made the edit. If it was spam then there is no reason to do this, but if the editor seemed to be well-meaning, a nice note why their edit is not staying on the page is polite.  We need more editors and scaring those newbies away isn't going to help.  Number one complaint I hear from people is "I edited a page and the next thing I knew it was reverted and no one said why they did so."  I've learned a lot about how to edit from the comments left for me.

I got one the other day, I had added a external link to Robert Sheaffer's book "Psychic Vibrations" then the edit was reverted.  Why?  They said, "for it to be an external link... there needs to be a link" Duh Susan!  I had just left the cite for a book nothing for people to click on and follow.

I'm going to share some cool discussions I've found lately...

This is from the faith healer W.V. Grant's discussion page.

I would like to know how using wiki's guidelines one could add information one saw as an eyewitness? If there were only people there, no news media etc. I see no issue in stating what you saw, and stating it was an eyewitness case. Using Wiki guidelines, if Wiki existed when Mosew parted the Red Sea you could not include the information because it was first hand information.
I would like to state for the record, that I do not personal know W.V. Grant, I recently attended a service he preached at. I saw actual miracles in front of my eyes within feet of where I was sitting. It was not like he was on a stage, the two people I saw healed were sitting next to me by what I believe was the power of God to glorify the name of Jesus Christ. If you were not there, it would be hard to believe. I was there and it was amazing. No one could have bulled off a stunt next to me. Not even Steven Spielberg could have done this. If this man made a mistake with his taxes or other things, it does not mean God could not use him. None of us are perfect. I would like to add what I saw to the article as an eyewitness. I would like to also point out that I arrived at the church before he did, no one one was there yet. He arrived after me and everything was brought in from his car. People will always say things are not from God, even the magicians told Pharaoh that Moses was using a simple trick and we see how truthful this state me was.
Now I understand that there will be editors that do not believe in God, those of other faiths and finally those that just don't believe miracle happen any today anymore. But with all the negative unbalanced writing that is in this article cannot something be added by a person who saw a miracle from God? Sorry to disappoint any of you that think I am an emotional nut. I know what I saw and it saw it next to me.
Please don't ask me what I saw on my talk page. Either let me add it or refuse, if I told you, you still would not believe.
But you could tell me if you agree to include it.
akc9000 (talk contribs count

) 16:26, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

As I told you on your talk page, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia based on reliable secondary sources, not personal observations. This has nothing to do with someone's personal beliefs. Unfortunately, you talking about what you saw isn't a reliable secondary source. If we open up every article for personal testimony, what's to stop people from coming here to relate their negative experiences with the subject? Dayewalker (talk) 17:20, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Daywalker, as I stated to you. I disagree with your interpretation of the rule. I posted what I believe on this talk page to get other editors opinions (not yours) I know yours already.
Your are incorrect in assuming that an eyewitness case cannot be include if it is not stated as such. In the same way the rule about photo's does not apply about a photo if there is absolutely no other alternative but to include the photo in question that is not in the public domain. For example the person is deseased.
By your interfering with me getting other opinions on this topic, I will assume you have a person bias in this matter and will ask you to remove yourself. You, a person who want to be and Admin should know the rules. I am asking for "Other" editors opinions. I feel that a one time event can be included in the article if there was an eyewitness saw it and I am a person that never met the man, but I will go to church services he attends because of what I saw. This does not mean I want to write pro, but the article is written one sided in a "con". It is not balanced at all, and I now think you are part of the problem. I respectfully let me get other opinions and I respectfully request you not try to influence their decisions. I am a Christan, I do not know what your faith is, but it is awesome to see something happen happen in from of your eyes that is unexplainable.
You are the one who asked me to post to talk page to get other opinions, are you now trying to impeded this? I really don't understand what your motivation is.
akc9000 (talk contribs count
) 17:55, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Me commenting on your post here is not preventing other people from also commenting. In fact, if you'll check the page log here, I moved your comment to the bottom of the page so more people would be able to see it and respond.
Sorry, I will not remove myself from this article. Merely disagreeing with you wanting to add your personal testimony to this page does not warrant me being banned from it. If you disagree, feel free to ask an admin or file a case on one of the notice boards.
If you're interested in hearing more from other editors, you might want to file an request for comment on this issue. That will alert other editors to the situation. Dayewalker (talk) 18:30, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Nope. Not gonna happen. We do not include eyewitness testimony; never have, never will. We require verifiable neutral, third-party references from reliable sources. Any police officer or criminal-practice attorney can tell you that eyewitnesses are notoriously not reliable sources, and stage magicians (among others) make a living from the inability of onlookers to accurately interpret the testimony of their own eyes. This is not reflective of a bias against you, or against religion in general, or against faith healers in general; this is policy and will not be waived just because of what you claim you believe you saw. --Orange Mike | Talk 19:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Orange Mike is correct about Wikipedia policy here. (We get used to it after a while... Face-wink.svg) Seriously, even if eye-witness testimony were 100% reliable, we still couldn't include it in Wikipedia. Our policies are pretty strict on that. – Quadell (talk) 20:43, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

And from the same page but another topic...

The Bible Should be an authoritative 3rd party source

I am at a lose of what you two people are trying to do. Truly, This is my point, a person wrote a book stating this was all fake, That person is a magician, the Bible forbids Magic. You actual think that it is my "Opinion about" what I quoted? I have seen in many articles where notes were added. So you make me curious are you really trying to make this article fair and balanced? It seems each edit I make to try to make it fair, gets reverted.
Yes it is my opinion he has something to make by writing a book. Anyone writing a book will have a monetary motive, so exactly why cannot this be stated and if you have an issue with how I stated it, how may this point be made know to the reader?
I really don't have a lot of time quibbling over this, I just have some available time right now I think the POV I inserted balances the negative POV of Randi, is this not a correct assumption on my part? I must be missing something, I thought we were suppose to write from a neutral POV, I see a total negative, and I tried to offset this. Is this not correct?
akc9000 (talk contribs count
) 14:23, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
For a Christian like myself, the Holy Bible is an authoritative source of information on my Savior and his message. For many billions of people on this planet, it is not considered anything of the sort; and it is not considered an authoritative source in Wikipedia, which is a religiously-neutral project.
That's got nothing to do with what you are doing here. You are trying to insert your unsourced speculation about the motivations of a living person with a worldwide reputation in his field, based on your personal speculative interpretation of the Holy Bible, into an article about a third person. If you want to do that kind of thing, do it in your own blog or maybe Conservapedia; it has no place in Wikipedia. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:13, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Not speculation. Randi states that he bent a fork with pysic power, not an illusion or stage magic, he states that he is an atiest. As a Christian, I believe that these powers either come from God or Satan. Randi denies God, therefore the power he attests is from Satan.
Therefore, the quotes I used from the Bible are authoritative for the purpose of what I used it for, I intended to re-insert. Please see Wiki article on Randi for source of evidence.
Comments? I will wait one day for your additional excuses why I cannot quote what is said in the Bible as well as the Wiki article.
akc9000 (talk contribs count
) akc9000 (talk contribs count
) 00:39, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

This is a discussion about Stanislaw Burzynski's page.  There is a lot of controversy about this clinic.  Tim Farley is coming out with a blog discussing the skeptic "take-down" of his URL using WOT (I will include the link to SkepticTools when it comes out).  You could spend a hour reading through the discussion page on Burzynski, I choose this tidbit because it shows really how editors discuss changes to the page.  From what I have read it seems that the Burzynski clinic hired some go-getter to change the criticism on the Burzynski Wikipedia page.  That was exposed and the man fired, the Burzynski people came out with a press release apologizing for the act. 

Please add that in a book called "Knockout", Suzanne Somers' wrote about her interviews with doctors who are successfully using the most innovative cancer treatments--treatments that build up the body rather than tear it down. She wrote about Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and how he has effectively treated more than fifty types of cancer.
Princess Freckles (talk) 04:32, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Suzanne Somers book is not a reliable source on the efficacy of Burzynski's alleged cancer therapy. Rhode Island Red (talk) 04:42, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
"The American Cancer Society is concerned. 'I am very afraid that people are going to listen to her message and follow what she says and be harmed by it,' says Dr. Otis Brawley, the organization's chief medical officer. 'We use current treatments because they've been proven to prolong life. They've gone through a logical, scientific method of evaluation. I don't know if Suzanne Somers even knows there IS a logical, scientific method.' More broadly, Brawley is concerned that in the United States, celebrities or sports stars feel they can use their fame to dispense medical advice. 'There's a tendency to oversimplify medical messages,' he says. 'Well, oversimplification can kill'."[22]
Rhode Island Red (talk) 04:50, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, Agreed. It's certainly true that she wrote it, and it might arguably be a legitimate part of an article on Suzanne Somers (although "innovative" is I think a WP:Peacock word here), but not here. (talk) 06:42, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Clicking on the blue links for WP terms can help you learn editing rules.  

Here is a bit of discussion on Noah's Ark
Anyway, if we think naturalistic explanations are necessary, where did all that water come from, and where did it go? --Macrakis (talk) 18:35, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Evidence-based investigation into bible stories is pointless and unnecessary in the sense that if a researcher applied for funding to study the possibility of a talking donkey the funding committee would probably tell them that it's pointless and unnececessary.
However, since the research has been published, it's useful to add depth to this encyclopædia article. Many readers may come here with the preconceived notion that noah's ark was just a story - an opinion that I share - but the article must try to take a step back and describe the subject neutrally, and an attempt at naturalistic explanation is much better than "Is true / is not". bobrayner (talk) 20:11, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
The neutral position in wikipedia is the position of mainstream science on all things. Due unweight should not be given to fringe ideas. see WP:FRINGE. (edit: as per Grabergs) IRWolfie- (talk) 01:15, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Skeptical objections to the practicalities of building the ark are not fringe ideas.--Taiwan boi (talk) 01:33, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
IRWolfie-, you meant UNdue weight, right?Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:02, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Sure; I probably misinterpreted your position. IRWolfie- (talk
17:47, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

These are just a few of the discussions I have noticed in the last day or so.  My point here is that real people are discussing these topics.  Most want to improve the page and follow Wikipedia rules.  Sometimes the rules are vague and not clearly enforced.  Wikipedia is written by volunteers, some of which are brand new and still learning.  It does not help to attack editors, and always try to clearly explain what you are doing and why.  We are all still learning after all.