This Is the Most Cited Academic Paper on Wikipedia

iStock
iStock

Many would probably be surprised to learn that a paper on climate classification has been referenced 2.8 million times on Wikipedia. The authors of the paper certainly were, as WIRED reported.

According to a recent analysis by The Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia, a paper titled "Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification" is by far the most cited source on the site, making its authors something like Wikipedia rock stars. To put that number in perspective, it's slightly less than the number of followers that rapper Cardi B has on Twitter.

While climate classification might not be the sexiest topic, it's incredibly useful across a number of fields, "since climate can affect everything from biology to sociology," as WIRED noted.

Penned by three Australian researchers, the academic paper updates an older version of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which was originally conceived in 1884 by Russian-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen and updated in the 1950s by German climatologist Rudolf Geiger.

The Australian researchers—Brian Finlayson, Thomas McMahon, and Murray Peel—updated the map that accompanies the classification system yet again in 2007. The map's use has been widespread, with Lonely Planet reportedly using it to share general weather information about the various destinations it provides travel guides for.

The Köppen-Geiger climate classification map

Peel, M. C., Finlayson, B. L., and McMahon, T. A., Wikipedia // CC BY-SA 4.0

Finlayson, a retired geography professor from the University of Melbourne, was shocked to learn how frequently their map is referenced. "Those numbers blew me away," Finlayson told WIRED. "None of us had any idea about this. We didn't know Wikipedia collected this information or anything about it."

The Wikimedia Foundation arrived at this figure by analyzing the data of every citation in all of Wikipedia's 297 languages. The only stipulation was that the citations had to be paired with an identifier (for example, "DOI" for a scholarly paper, or "ISBN" for a book edition), but even after narrowing it down, they ended up with nearly 15.7 million records.

All of the top 10 sources by citation are reference books or scientific articles. Trailing far behind the updated Köppen-Geiger map in second place, with 21,350 citations, is some light reading on the "Prediction of Hydrophobic (Lipophilic) Properties of Small Organic Molecules Using Fragment Methods." "Galaxies and How to Observe Them," "A Concise History of Romania," and the California Academy of Sciences' "Catalog of Fishes" also make the top 10.

[h/t WIRED]

Missing the Days of Clippy? There’s an App That Will Bring Him Back

The Science Elf, YouTube
The Science Elf, YouTube

Some Microsoft Office users might still brace for the appearance of a certain nosy, wide-eyed paper clip whenever they type Dear at the top of a fresh Word document. After all, Clippy was the anthropomorphic pet we never asked for, yet tolerated through several formative years of computer technology.

Though Clippy—short for Clippit—may have been on the receiving end of an industry-wide eye roll in the late 1990s, it’s hard to ignore how much he seems like an early, distant ancestor to applications like Alexa and Siri, upon whom society has developed a pretty significant reliance. Whether you think about the injustice against Clippy every day or you’re just a normal person who likes any excuse to indulge in ‘90s nostalgia, we have news for you: You can rescue him from the void and host him on your very own Mac desktop.

According to Lifehacker, the app was created by a developer named Devran “Cosmo” Uenal, who debuted the program on Github earlier this month. This rather chilled-out Clippy won’t burst into your Word document and offer unsolicited advice on how to write letters, but he’ll still entertain you with animated performances if you right-click on him and choose “Animate!”

As you can see in Uenal’s Twitter video, he might don a pair of oversized headphones and mime a music jam sessions, or he might transform into a googly-eyed, heavy-eyebrowed checkmark.

To download the paperclip pal for yourself, scroll down to the “First start” section on the Github page and click “Download Clippy for macOS,” which should trigger an automatic download. Click on that installation file, and then follow the rest of the directions in the “First start” section to open Clippy on your desktop. From there, the fun is endless.

And, if you’re hungry for more history about the world’s most hated virtual assistant, you can read more about his tragic life here.

[h/t Lifehacker]

The World's Spiciest Chip Is Sold Only One to a Customer

Paqui
Paqui

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get pepper-sprayed directly in your mouth, Paqui Chips has something you can’t afford to miss. Following the success of their Carolina Reaper Madness One Chip Challenges back in 2016 and 2017, Food & Wine reports that the company has re-released the sadistic snack. Continuing their part-marketing gimmick, part-public safety effort, the Reaper chip won’t be sold in bags. You just get one chip.

That’s because Paqui dusts its chips with the Carolina Reaper Pepper, considered the world’s hottest, and most (attempted) consumers of the chip report being unable to finish even one. To drive home the point of how hot this chip is—it’s really, extremely, punishingly hot—the chip is sold in a tiny coffin-shaped box

Peppers like the Carolina Reaper are loaded with capsaicin, a compound that triggers messages of heat and pain and fiery consumption; your body can respond by vomiting or having shortness of breath. While eating the chip is not the same as consuming the bare, whole pepper, it’s still going to be a very uncomfortable experience. For a profanity-filled example, you can check out this video:

The chip will be sold only on Paqui’s website for $6.99 per chip or $59.90 for a 10-pack. The company also encourages pepper aficionados to upload photos or video of their attempts to finish the chip. If it becomes too much, try eating yogurt, honey, or milk to dampen the effects.

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