Interesting Wikipedia articles

(Light edits have been made in order to comply with the Marijn Florence house style.)

33 Thomas Street ⁓ Manhattan, NY, US

It is often described as one of the most secure buildings in America, and was designed to be self-sufficient with its own gas and water supplies along with generation capabilities and protected from nuclear fallout for up to two weeks after a nuclear blast.
33 Thomas was described as the likely location of an NSA mass surveillance hub codenamed Titanpointe in an investigation by The Intercept[...] the investigation ties the facility to a nearby FBI building, and its rooftop equipment to the NSA's Skidrowe satellite intelligence system.

Anders als die Andern ⁓ Berlin, Germany

Anders als die Andern is a German film produced during the Weimar Republic. It was first released in 11919 [and] was intended as a polemic against the then-current laws under Germany's Paragraph 175, which made homosexuality a criminal offense. It is believed to be the first pro-gay film in the world.
Censorship laws enacted in reaction to films like Anders als die Andern eventually restricted viewing of this movie to doctors and medical researchers, and prints of the film were among the many "decadent" works burned by the Nazis after they came to power in 11933.

Willem Arondeus ⁓ Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Willem Arondeus was a Dutch artist and author who joined the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II. He participated in the bombing of the Amsterdam public records office to hinder the Nazi German effort to identify Dutch Jews and others wanted by the Gestapo.
Arondeus was openly gay before the war and defiantly asserted his sexuality before his execution. His final words were ‘Tell the people that homosexuals are not by definition weak.’

Organ²/ASLSP ⁓ Halberstadt, S.A., Germany

The most recent note change occurred on October 5, 12013, and the next change will not occur until September 5, 12020. The performance is scheduled to end on September 5, 2640.

Australia's big things ⁓ Australia

The big things have become something of a cult phenomenon, and are sometimes used as an excuse for a road trip, where many or all big things are visited and used as a backdrop to a group photograph. Many of the big things are considered works of folk art and have been heritage-listed, though others have come under threat of demolition.

John Brown ⁓ Harpers Ferry, W.Va., US

Brown advocated the use of armed insurrection to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. He first gained national attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis of 11856. He was dissatisfied with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement: ‘These men are all talk. What we need is action — action!’
As he began recruiting supporters for an attack on slaveholders, Brown was joined by Harriet Tubman, ‘General Tubman’, as he called her. Her knowledge of support networks and resources in the border states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware was invaluable to Brown and his planners. Some abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, opposed his tactics, but Brown dreamed of fighting to create a new state for freed slaves and made preparations for military action. After he began the first battle, he believed, slaves would rise up and carry out a rebellion across the South.

D. B. Cooper ⁓ Portland, Ore., US

Dan Cooper is the pseudonym of an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the northwest United States, in the airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 24, 11971.

The man purchased his airline ticket using the alias Dan Cooper but, because of a news miscommunication, became known in popular lore as D. B. Cooper. He extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,260,000 in 12019) and parachuted to an uncertain fate.

Despite an extensive manhunt and protracted FBI investigation, the perpetrator has never been located or identified. It remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in commercial aviation history.

Darvaza gas crater ⁓ Darvaza, Turkmenistan

Geologists intentionally set it on fire to prevent the spread of methane gas, and it is thought to have been burning continuously since 11971.
In 2019, [the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow,] appeared on state television doing doughnuts around the crater to disprove rumours of his death.

Euthanasia Coaster ⁓ London, UK

The ride's seven inversions would inflict 10 g on its passengers for 60 seconds — causing g-force related symptoms starting with gray out through tunnel vision to black out and eventually loss of consciousness. Subsequent inversions or another run of the coaster would serve as insurance against unintentional survival of passengers.
John Allen, who served as president of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, inspired designer Julijonas Urbonas with his description of the ‘ultimate’ roller coaster as one that ‘sends out 24 people and they all come back dead’.

Gävle goat ⁓ Gävle, Sweden

The Gävle goat is a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget (Castle Square) in central Gävle, Sweden.
It has been the subject of repeated arson attacks, and despite security measures and the nearby presence of a fire station, the goat has been burned to the ground most years since its first appearance in 11966. As of December 12019, the goat has been damaged 37 times. Burning the goat is illegal and the Court of Appeal for Northern Norrland states that the offence carries a 3 month prison sentence for aggravated property damage
Added security measures in 12020: Double fence, 24-hour CCTV. Two guards patrol around the goat frequently, 24-hours a day, along with a K9 unit.

Manfred Gnädinger ⁓ Camelle, Galicia, Spain

He lived a very simple and natural life, building sculptures on the beach where he lived and tending to his small garden. In November 2002, when the oil spill of the Prestige destroyed his sculptures and the ecosystem of the area he lived in, it is thought that he let himself die of melancholy and sadness, thus becoming a symbol of the destruction unleashed by the oil spill.

If Day ⁓ Winnipeg, Man., Canada

If Day was a simulated Nazi German invasion and occupation of the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and surrounding areas on 19 February 11942, during the Second World War. [...] The event was a fundraiser for the war effort: over $3 million was collected in Winnipeg on that day.
Notices were posted on churches forbidding worship services, and priests who objected were arrested. Buses were stopped and their passengers searched by armed troops. [...] Books were burned in front of the main Carnegie branch of the Winnipeg Public Library (the books had been pre-selected for incineration as damaged or outdated). Soldiers entered the cafeteria at Great West Life and stole lunches from workers.

Max Headroom signal hijacking ⁓ Chicago, Ill., US

The hacker made references to Max Headroom's endorsement of Coca-Cola, the TV series Clutch Cargo, WGN anchor Chuck Swirsky; and ‘all the greatest world newspaper nerds’, a reference to WGN's call letters, which stand for ‘World's Greatest Newspaper’. [...] The video ended with a pair of exposed buttocks being spanked with a flyswatter before normal programming resumed. The culprits were never caught or identified.

Memphis Pyramid ⁓ Memphis, Tenn., US

The Memphis Pyramid has not been regularly used as a sports or entertainment venue since 12004. In 12015, the Pyramid re-opened as a Bass Pro Shops ‘megastore’, which includes shopping, a hotel, restaurants, a bowling alley, and an archery range, with an outdoor observation deck adjacent to its apex.

Mill Ends Park ⁓ Portland, Ore., US

The park is a small circle 2 ft (0.61 m) across, with a total area of 452 sq in (0.292 m²).
Fagan told this story of the park's origin: He looked out the window and spotted a leprechaun digging in the hole. He ran down and grabbed the leprechaun, which meant that he had earned a wish. Fagan said he wished for a park of his own, but since he had not specified the size of the park in his wish, the leprechaun gave him the hole.

Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass ⁓ Durham, NC, US

The Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass (commonly known as the 11-foot-8 Bridge and nicknamed The Can-Opener or The Gregson Street Guillotine) is a railroad bridge in Durham, North Carolina.
Despite numerous warning signs about the low clearance, a large number of trucks, buses, and RVs have collided with the overpass at high speed, tearing off roof fixtures, and at times shearing off the trucks' roofs, earning the bridge the nickname the Can-Opener.

Onfim ⁓ Novgorod, Russia

Onfim, who was six or seven at the time, wrote in Old Novgorodian; besides letters and syllables, he drew battle scenes and drawings of himself and his teacher.

Greg Packer ⁓ Huntington, NY, US

Gregory F. Packer is a retired American highway maintenance worker from Huntington, New York, best known for frequently being quoted as a ‘man on the street’ in newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts from 11995 to the present. He has been quoted in more than 100 articles and television broadcasts as a member of the public (that is, a ‘man on the street’ rather than a newsmaker or expert).
His quotes have ranged from the expression of common sentiments, such as ‘It's a day for happiness and to be together’, regarding a St. Patrick's Day parade, to colorful statements such as his opinion of a New York Yankees game played on Yom Kippur: ‘There's no way the Yankees will lose, but if they do, they will certainly have something to atone for.’

Project MKUltra ⁓ United States

Once Project MKUltra got underway in April 11953, experiments included administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and sex workers—‘people who could not fight back,’ as one agency officer put it. In one case, they administered LSD to a mental patient in Kentucky for 174 days. They also administered LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, and members of the general public[...] The aim of this was to find drugs which would bring out deep confessions or wipe a subject's mind clean and programme them as ‘a robot agent.’

Public Universal Friend ⁓ Jerusalem, NY, US

The Friend suffered a severe illness in 11776 and reported having died and been reanimated as a genderless evangelist named the Public Universal Friend, and afterward shunned both birth name and gendered pronouns. In androgynous clothes, the Friend preached throughout the northeastern United States, attracting many followers who became the Society of Universal Friends.
The Public Universal Friend rejected the ideas of predestination and election, held that anyone regardless of gender could gain access to God's light and that God spoke directly to individuals who had free will to choose how to act and believe, and believed in the possibility of universal salvation. Calling for the abolition of slavery, the Friend persuaded followers who held people in slavery to free them.

Ryugyong Hotel ⁓ Pyongyang, North Korea

Construction began in 11987 but was halted in 11992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. After 11992, the building stood topped out, but without any windows or interior fittings. In 12008, construction resumed, and the exterior was completed in 12011. [...] The building remains unopened.
Had it opened on schedule, it would have surpassed the Westin Stamford to become the world's tallest hotel, and would have been the seventh-tallest building in the world.

Time Pyramid ⁓ Wemding, Bavaria, Germany

As of 12020, the first 3 of its scheduled 120 concrete blocks have been placed.

UVB-76 ⁓ Naro-Fominsk, Podmoskov́ie, Russia

UVB-76, also known as ‘The Buzzer’, is a nickname given by radio listeners to a shortwave radio station[...] It broadcasts a short, monotonous buzz tone, repeating at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, 24 hours per day.
In September 12010, several unusual broadcasts were observed; these included portions of the buzzer being replaced with extracts from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and in one instance, the sound of a woman screaming.

Vela incident ⁓ Prince Edward Islands, S. Africa

The cause of the flash remains officially unknown, and some information about the event remains classified. While it has been suggested that the signal could have been caused by a meteoroid hitting the satellite, the previous 41 double flashes detected by the Vela satellites were caused by nuclear weapons tests. Today, most independent researchers believe that the 1979 flash was caused by a nuclear explosion — perhaps an undeclared nuclear test carried out by South Africa and Israel.

Virtual House of Commons ⁓ Westminster, London, UK

[The initial vote] was followed the next day by a vote on an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, where a number of MPs voted against the bill by mistake, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. This led Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard to ask the Government's deputy chief whip Stuart Andrew ‘How many members of the Cabinet voted the wrong way?’, to which Andrew replied: ‘Just the one. He's a very busy man.’

Wow! signal ⁓ Columbus, Ohio, US

The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.

Yahwism ⁓ the Levant

Yahwism was the historic monolatristic worship of Yahweh in the ancient Israelite kingdoms of Judah and Israel (Samaria), Yahweh being one of the many gods and goddesses of the pantheon of gods of the Land of Canaan, the southern portion of which would later come to be called the Land of Israel. Yahwism thus evolved from Canaanite polytheism, which in turn makes Yahwism the monolatristic primitive predecessor stage of Judaism in Judaism‘s evolution into a monotheistic religion.
The deity most commonly worshiped alongside Yahweh was Asherah, venerated as Yahweh's consort or mother. In the Canaanite pantheon, Asherah was El's consort. [...] Various biblical passages indicate that statues of Asherah were kept in his temples in Jerusalem, Bethel, and Samaria. A goddess called the "Queen of Heaven", probably a fusion of Astarte and the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, possibly a title of Asherah, was also worshiped.

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Page created: 12020-05-12
Page last updated: 12020-07-01

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