On the move

batch moveLet’s talk about moving things. On Earth, we’re always on the move (or so they tell us), but we don’t feel it. There are other places, too, where we can be jetting along at, oh, hundreds of miles an hour, and not feel that, either. For example, on excruciatingly long leg-bending neck-cricking plane rides, why does it feel like you’re going nowhere?

When it comes to machines, we know that they move. We can see it and usually we can feel it. But the rules that govern that motion elude us. Take the bicycle – a brillant two-wheeled invention that translates radial motion (what your feet do) into lateral motion (the bike’s movement forward). We all know that if you sit on a non-moving bike and take your feet off the ground, you’ll tip over pretty quickly. But put that same body on the same moving bike and – voila! – you are magically one with the machine, perched easily atop it. If gravity is constant, and you weigh the same, and of course the bike is the same… why does motion change everything?

Some movements are so fast – or slow – as to defy sight and sound. A hummingbird’s flutter can’t be seen at high speeds, and glass moves so slowly that it appears stagnant, like a solid – even though it’s really an amorphous liquid. And an object moving quickly enough can break the sound barrier, which actually causes a huge bang.

Two bonus questions for mechanics aficionados:

Today’s topic, motion, was chosen in honor of the new Batch Recat tool. (Supers: read more about it here; non-supers: here’s how to become one!)

WikiAnswers makes the leap to 4 million questions.

As reported by the fancy WikiAnswers PR people over at Answers.com headquarters, WikiAnswers now has over 4 million questions under its bulging belt.

With the summer Olympic games in full swing these last few weeks, it’s no shock that the four millionth question went something like this:

Are there any new sports in the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

It has a great answer, too. 3000m Steeplechase… Hmmm… Is that like running after churches?

Congrats to WikiAnswers and the wonderfully active community behind every single question and answer. Some of us had a running poll to guess when the site would reach 4 million. I’m proud to say I optimistically claimed August.

Now, on to 5 million… By next week?

Meet Tombo; he wants to help you out.

WikiAnswers contributors come in all shapes, colors and sizes. I have no idea about the shape, color or size of Tombo H, but what I do know is that he is awesome.

While maintaining status as a good student, Tombo likes to play video games, read novels, play the trumpet, and of course… answer questions in order to help people.

In that same vein, Tombo is all about Supervising various topics, including The Simpsons, Cells and Genetics and First Aid.

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I first visited WikiAnswers because Yahoo! Answers wouldn’t let me have an account.  They said I was too young.  I’m really not sure how I had heard about WikiAnswers, but after trying several times to make a Yahoo! Answers account, I just typed the website address into the box and I got the site!

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?

I think it is really fun.  My favorite part is the social aspect of the site, like how  members know each other well.  My favorite part of the site is the Super’s Forum.

What are your areas of expertise?

I don’t know if I’m an expert at anything, but what I mainly do on the site is recategorize questions to the right category.  My best categories are Norway, Cells and genetics, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, The Simpsons, First Aid, and Anne Frank.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

I already mentioned the Super’s Forum, but besides that my favorite feature is probably bio pages.

What is the funniest question/funniest experience as a Supervisor on WikiAnswers?

I think my favorite funny question topped the list of funny questions, so it was one of the few I checked out.  I think it was How many pancakes does it take to shingle a dog house?  The answers were hilarious.  I don’t spend much time looking at funny questions.

Share a random fact about yourself.

My brother and I have given our dog, Willa, tons of nicknames.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

Separation of Love and State

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this one, so I’m just gonna play it straight: How do you get closure on or get back with your ex when the state has put a restraining order between you both? (Which makes me wonder… If you have a restraining order on a person, can you even contact them?)

What if you suspect a little marital infidelity? Can you get a restraining order on your wife’s boyfriend? The answer is you can keep him away (from you and from your wife) if you can justify it in front of a judge. But be careful to play your cards right – in some states, her paramour might be able to file back at you in some states.

Elsewhere in WikiAnswers land, someone must have been really sick of babka and cheek-pinching to have asked, Can I get a restraining order against Grandmother? If you’re aiming for a heart attack, honey, a fake restraining order will do. And unless she’s truly dangerous, try talking to her.

Some of these questions sound amusing out of context, but restraining orders – though temporary – are serious business. Courts issue restraining orders to protect a person from physical pain or injury (or threat of pain or injury). They are free, can be issued on the spot, and you don’t need a lawyer to get one.

If you are looking for legal information about how to apply for a restraining order, the Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut has a comprehensive guide.

For those of you who aren’t ready to take legal action but are still curious about getting that extra mile or two of personal space, here are some more facts about restraining orders:

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings?

I have just arrived in New York City to spend the next three weeks following around WikiAnswers contributors to learn what the word ‘obsession’ means.

Ok fine, maybe I’m just in New York City. I don’t want to be considered a stalker.

In honor of my temporary location, here is today’s WikiAnswers Wednesday question:

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Excellent question. This puzzles me as well. Maybe in the next few weeks that I’m staying here in NYC I will find the answer. For now, I’ll look out my office window on the eleventh floor… for free.

The Vandal Patrol: A sneak preview…

And now, a word from Apryl – or An8thg – yesterday’s Contributor corner spotlight and the leader of the upcoming WikiAnswersVandal Patrol:

Imagine this moment:

You sit perched over your keyboard, rapidly entering search terms, seeking the answer to your latest conundrum when all of a sudden you receive the glorious message…

Is this your question?

‘Yes, that’s it!’ you shout as you jump up, nearly knocking your obnoxiously large drink clear across the room.

The page loads…

And the answer is: HAHAHAHA! LOL! U R STUPID!

At this point, you smash your face into your keyboard and now wear the ‘ASDF’ badge on your forehead for the next fifteen minutes.

Who will save you from these senseless acts of frustration and vandalism?

We will!
We are the Vandal Patrol.

The Vandal Patrol Program is the defense and attack strategy being implemented for WikiAnswers. The program consists of three different divisions, Site Guardians, Alternates Specialists and Site Investigators and each division will focus on a specific task.

Site Guardians will serve as our first line of site defense through the constant monitoring of the Recent Contributions page. Guard the door!

Alternates Specialists will work specifically on the mountain of alternates that require splitting and merging, as well as maintaining and updating site catch-alls. Heal our wounds!

Site Investigators will specialize in searching for and correcting answers containing vandalism and incorrect information. This will be accomplished through keyword searches in option two of the Advanced Search page. Detect and destroy!

Site Generalists can assist the various divisions of the Vandal Patrol or simply ‘keep an eye out’ on a more casual basis.

The members of the Vandal Patrol Program hope to rid the site of vandalized answers and to save the foreheads of all our users from ever wearing the ‘ASDF’ badge again!

Supervisors interested in volunteering for a specific division, please contact Apryl at an8thg @ wikianswers.com or leave a note on her message board.

An8thg: A true WikiAnswers trooper.

Where do we begin with the WikiAnswers powerhouse that is An8thg? Here’s the quick rundown on how Apryl participates:

Most recently, An8thg is heading up a new initiative called the Vandal Patrol. Stay tuned for more information about that.

In the meantime…

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I can’t recall the exact subject but one evening I was performing a search, more than likely car related, and stumbled upon WikiAnswers.  Before I knew what hit me, I was clicking my way through every page on the site.  I absolutely had to see everything!  I found myself completely amazed at the wealth of knowledge available on the site and haven’t been able to pull myself away since.

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?

Ten shots of espresso a day, OCD and a complete and total WikiAnswers addiction!  I find it immensely satisfying to know that an action I perform on the site today may make it that much easier for a user to find their answer in the future.

What is your area of expertise?

I was originally made the Supervisor of the Music category.  Music is one of my biggest passions.  I surround myself with the best equipment for enjoying it, whether it be in my home or vehicles.  I listen to virtually all genres and always keep an open mind whenever I discover a new one.  Music is an essential part of my life.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

Wow!  That’s a tough one!  It’s about the same as putting me in an exotic sports car showroom and asking me to pick my favorite.  I just can’t.  I love them all!

What is the funniest question/funniest experience as a Supervisor on WikiAnswers?

I found it funny when the Usernames thread in the Super’s Forum evolved into a guessing game as to what my screen name really means. The other Supers came up with some terrific guesses!   It was too cute!  Sorry ladies and gents, but I’ll still never tell.

Share a random fact about yourself.


I have a bit of a twisted sense of humor.  Whenever I need a good laugh, I put my Doberman, Luna, in the front seat of my Mustang and head to Starbucks.  I know that Luna is going to terrify the person in the drive-thru window by exposing her teeth and emitting a growl that will make your hair stand on end, but I can’t resist!  It always makes me smile.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.