4 Great Wikipedia Variations

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1. Wookieepedia

wookie.jpg

Easily the best-named wikipedia variation, Wookieepedia caters to the geekiest of geeks "“ the Star Wars superfans. The entries delve into the entire mythology, quoting books, comics, TV shows and video games, naming characters I can't even pretend to have heard of. Since its founding in March, 2005, the encyclopedia has already amassed almost 55,000 articles. Just how detailed are the entries? The article on Mace Windu, the Jedi played by Samuel L. Jackson in Episodes I-III is almost twice as long as the Wikipedia article on Jackson himself. Props must be given to Wookieepedia's logo, a half-completed Death Star II, which is a perfectly appropriate spoof of Wikipedia's half-completed puzzle globe.

2. Chickipedia

keri-russell-400ds0828.jpgYou know what the Internet needs more of? Beautiful women. That was apparently the reasoning behind Chickipedia, the user-generated encyclopedia of sexy, famous women. The coolest (read: creepiest) feature on the site is that every entry has body measurements, in case you were always wondering what Keri Russell's bust size was. You can also search for women by their measurements, so you can find everyone with the same body as, say, Jessica Alba. They also feature great biographical information like hobbies, vices, nicknames and "dudes she's worked with." The writing is distinctively male, as in this gem from the Angelina Jolie page: "She looks like a sexy puma."
In the name of equality, there is a male alternative, although it deals with unsavory men. I'll leave it up to you to figure out the all-too-obvious PG-13 name.

3. Conservapedia/Rationalwiki

fox_news-753140.jpgLike much of the media, Wikipedia has been accused of having a liberal and anti-Christian bias. Enter Andy Schlafly and Conservapedia, the all-conservative alternative to Wikipedia. The site keeps a running tally of examples of liberal bias that currently stands at 97 and includes everything from exclusions of facts to the use of CE and BCE instead of the BC and AD. Most every article on "the trustworthy encyclopedia" has a conservative slant, even the kangaroo article, which discusses the creature's inclusion on Noah's Ark, and the Harry Potter entry, which warns that the book series will draw kids in to witchcraft.

air america.jpgBut last May saw the creation of RationalWiki, the Air America to Conservapedia's Fox News. RationalWiki is a response to the conservative encyclopedia, which, according to the site, tries to refute the anti-science and "crank" ideas. The main page has a countdown to the end of Bush's term and all of the headlines bleed with anti-conservative fire. Al Franken would be proud.

4. Simple English Wikipedia

This is technically just one of the many language variations of Wikipedia, but it's certainly the most unique. Simple English Wikipedia is designed for people with an elementary understanding of the language, like non-native speakers and children. All of the articles are written with a limited vocabulary, eliminating idioms and complex sentences. The encyclopedia also has a helpful guide to writing in simple English, with tips like "avoid passive voice" or "don't write in second person."

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February 1, 2008 - 9:04am
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