Wikimania 2021 submissions deadline June 18

Wikimania 2021 will be online again this year, so you can say goodby to those dreams of decadent Bangkok evenings hobnobbing with Kudpung and the gang.

Submissions are due in two days, June 18.  There is even one already.

Hmm, someone is ready for a taste of Thailand.  And whether “Aahaan kap klaem” exists or not, outside of the fantasies of drunken tourists, the article is not as likely to get deleted as, say, the biographies of female scientists who discover new elements and black holes. But “Beer is typically poured over ice.”??? NO!!! I seriously doubt whether there is any place in Thailand — including Kudpung’s home town — that is too remote to chill beer properly. And it’s not in that so-called citation either.

Thailand is not exactly known for the cleanliness of its bar glasses, the safety of its water or ice, or even for the use of soap in restaurants.  But it is known for its date rape drugs.  All the more reason for tourists to drink their Singha straight from the bottle.

Tara Houska and the Line 3 protests

“In the Ojibwe tradition it is the women who care for the water.”

[Ready for a little Water Protection Tourism? The North Woods beckons. Yes there is a resistance camp, but follow their social media for a little while first: the big media event was last weekend, there seems to be some court case expected later in June. It seems like Fire Light Camp near the Mississippi headwaters is actively looking for people until at least July 1]

Tara Houska is a Native American lawyer and a leader of the Line 3 protests Line 3 protests: see Line 3 pipeline and Line 3 oil spill.  She is a member of the Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe, near the Canadian border. She was just on Joy Reid with Jane Fonda.

So the protest is being led by women activists.  They have even been joined by celebrities Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, and Rosanna Arquette.

The new pipeline replaces a pipeline the Enbridge company says is outdated, and would be rerouted to pass through treaty-protected tribal lands, including a watershed of Lake Superior that supports wild rice, a cultural heritage of the Ojibwe People.

Yes the tribes have first dibs on harvesting the rice, they do it by canoe, bending the stems over the canoe and striking them with the canoe paddle to get the grain to fall into the canoe. Later in the season others can try for a harvest, there is usually some left on the stems that is worth going after.  Wild rice is expensive, if you can get it at all.

Some say the pipeline is not even a “replacement”, it is a totally new one, and that Enbridge has no intentions of removing or cleaning up the old one, which was built in the 60s and has had multiple problems. They just intend to abandon it.

The pipeline is not an ordinary oil pipeline either, it is a tar sands mega-pipeline.

“If an oil pipeline breaks, the oil will float to the top of the water, but this tar sands is more like a peanut butter sludge, and if it breaks—which it will—that sludge will sink to the bottom, as the benzenes they use to keep it broken up and flowing will evaporate into the air.”

“Particularly from a climate standpoint, the case for a brand-new, massive tar-sands pipeline is extremely thin and frankly nonexistent,” said Moneen Nasmith, an attorney with the environmental legal organization, EarthJustice, [hmm, “originally Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund”] which is challenging the pipeline.

The protests are taking place at Two Inlets pump station, about 20 miles north of the town of Park Rapids, Minnesota, north on Highway 71.

Park Rapids, Mn, bottom; Rice lake, upper left
Park Rapids, Minnesota

Hmm, Itasca State Park… seems familiar for some reason, yes…headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Headwaters of Mississippi River

Oh look, the art work is by Macalester student Dio Cramer, it’s women all the way.

Official websites:

This is from several years ago, it’s been going on for that long:


Trust & Safety Disinformation team

Now that Katherine is gone, the “disinformation” team is gearing up again.

It was less than a year ago that they announced an opening for a Director of Product Disinformation.  See “WMF seeks Director of Disinformation program“.

The post was removed, and replaced with a similar post for an “anti-disinformation” director.

But the WMF desire for disinformation seems impossible to suppress.

At this point you have to wonder if it isn’t more than just a Freudian slip.

Now here is something I don’t remember seeing before, one of the perks of working for the WMF is now “gender neutral toilets”. I wonder if that is a big draw for speakers of Farsi.


This is one of the few things on Wikipedia that actually works. It may be one of Wikipedia’s best kept secrets.

You can use it to evaluate the quality of an article. Before you reject this out of hand, try looking at the rubric for hand-scoring articles, then take a look at a few articles that have been hand scored. You will probably find the scoring wildly out of date and inaccurate. Either the articles have been massively improved, or they have slid downhill pitifully, none of which is reflected in an evaluation done five or ten years ago.  Yet, where is the value of hand-scoring millions of old articles over and over. Unless a piece is going to appear on the Wikipedia front page, it’s probably all horseshoes and hand grenades. So if you create an article, run the ORES and put the score on the talk page. If someone decides to make a project, and improve the articles on a given topic, they can see which articles to concentrate on.

I was a bit surprised to find out that ORES was created by Aaron Halfaker, but I probably shouldn’t have been.  He also did this slide about the impact of the Women in Red project.

A pity we lost him to Microsoft, about a year ago.

WMF board chair Maria Sefadari resigns

Text of email:

There are undoubtedly some people whose names I will not mention who will be doing a victory dance, but I think they will eventually come to the realization that there are a lot worse things that could happen than having the lesbians in charge.

Wikimedia Foundation is now a federal contractor

Newly created position: [archived]

“The VP of Global Advocacy will address a number of essential functions including driving the development of the global advocacy strategy, providing vision, structure and strategy to a high-performing and growing Public Policy team, clarifying and delegating operational planning, and negotiating advocacy objectives within the organization’s strategy. The VP will recruit and manage diverse, exceptional global talent, oversee career development and engagement of the team, and keep the General Counsel, Executive Director, and other members of the executive team and Board of Trustees current on key policy trends and important developments.”

Applicants are now being asked to voluntarily disclose veteran and disability status, required of federal contractors, in addition to information related to federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity requirements.

“If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:…”

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities….”

Monastic Matrix

The Monastic Matrix is “a scholarly resource for the study of women’s religious communities from 400 to 1600 CE”. If it comes up in a search result, chances are you will be directed to a site maintained by the Ohio State University department of history. But it’s not there any more, even though an internal search of the OSU website turns up dozens of dead links. But you can find it in the Wayback Machine, and even browse it there.

Well, I have found it. It’s not gone, it’s just moved. It is now housed at the University of St Andrew in Scotland, in their “Department of Mediaeval History”.

Shall we try to look up something, like maybe the our Cornish saint Keynes?  Here is a search for St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, where St. Keynes is said to have appeared, along with her sainted brother. Or maybe nephew.   It was a popular pilgrimage site, where else would a couple of Cornish saints go on vacation in the 5th century?   So here is one document, from the search, showing the charters in Latin, with an English translation. The documents show the dispersal of the monastery, and the location of any extant documents. I do love primary sources.

If you are looking for more rabbit hole, the same search also brings up a very long but interesting essay, “Chapters IV, VI, VII and IX; Appendix of Women under Monasticism“, on the history of women and monasticism, that will tell you why the English monks, but especially nuns, got tired of living in England and decided to go convert some heathen in Europe, or go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

So, what about this St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall?

An 1811 poem here mentions the saint on page 24 (#38), as “Keyna”, (Keyne, in the footnote), and it’s a really awful poem, but the footnote points us to a “Mr. Polwhele’s history of Cornwall. b.I.c.3,” which we are told is the source of the information that she was at St. Michael’s on pilgrimage. This must be “The History of Cornwall” by Richard Polwhele (clergy again) republished in 1978 in several volumes with snippet view, or the 1816+ [free ebook]. Once something gets republished with a new copyright, it seems to be really hard to find the previous editions. But there is the first volume, and it ought to be easy enough for someone to determine if it has anything about the saint, or if the other volumes are worth looking for. So we can abandon that trail for now. So the two volumes are Polwhele, History of Cornwall:

Here is an index with Gilbert Hunter Doble‘s saints. Apparently the volume with Saint Keyne is  “St. Nectan, St. Keyne, and the children of Brychan in Cornwall”, 48, 1930-31,  although this source seems to think it is in volume 49. A nasty paywall, but check the sidebar (under archives) for a (somewhat unpalatable Russian) alternative. (Oh wait, here’s volume 48, but still nothing publicly visible about Keyne: There was an Amazon edition, now out of print, but the lone reviewer references subsequent research by Nicholas Orme that would seem to render that source somewhat obsolete. If you are in the UK, you might be able to find it in a library, see WorldCat. The Orme text, The Saints of Cornwall, is searchable by the way.

From Baring-Gould and Fisher’s 1907 Volume 1, page#20 we find out that “Capgave gives us a few more Lives…S.Keyne…” This would be English historian John Capgrave (1393 – 1464) and his Nova Legenda Angliae (New Reading from England), but according to this it was “compiled in the mid 14th century by John of Teignmouth from an unknown original”, and it was probably falsely attributed to Capgrave. Other spellings: ‘Cein-wyry’ (‘Keyne the virgin’), [often shortened to ‘Ceinwr’ and ‘Gaynor’ – or again ‘Ceinwen’ i.e. ‘Cain the holy’]. So here is a 1516 copy of John of Tynemouth ( -1290?), “Sanctilogium Angliae, Walliae, Scotiae, et Hiberniae[Nova lege[n]da Angliae] in Latin. “Translated from English and printed in Latin”.  Wat. Translated from English? All right, it says there is an abbreviated copy by Pynson, [publisher Richard Pynson (c.1449 – c.1529)] “Nova legenda Anglie“:  “First complete edition of the Nova legenda Anglie. Pynson published an abridged English translation 20 Feb., 1516”.  That would be cited here, in Here begynneth the kalendre of the newe legende of Englande, Hilton, Walter, d. 1396. So get out your best Middle English for this one:;idno=A17943.0001.001 The contents are nicely alphabetized, so we find our saint is listed as “¶De sancta Keyna virgine.;view=fulltext

This isn’t half bad:

“…when her moder was with childe with her she sawe in vision her bosome full of myrre and balme / and her tetes shynynge of a heuenly lyght and she thought that in stede of a childe she was delyuered of a fayre wyght / and when she was first borne her face was somtyme whyte lyke snowe / somtyme bryght shynynge lyke the sonne…”

Now moving back to the Latin one, …

The table of contents:

de sancta keyna

And two pages of text:

 Ah, I forgot the question. Oh yes, “the text, ideally with translation, of the Vita of St Keyne“.

And there is now a blog post on the topic: “The ‘Vita Sanctae Keynae’, an extract from the ‘Vita S. Cadoci’, and a modern myth about the year 490 at St Michael’s Mount“.

Andreas on the endowment fund

Everyone else has linked to this, I may as well too.

Andreas Kolbe has a piece in the Daily Dot: “Wikipedia is swimming in money—why is it begging people to donate?  The site is way richer than it wants you to know.”

His research is as solid as ever.

Now riddle me this, if the Wikimedia Foundation takes in money, which it then disburses to the endowment fund, how does it count as a disbursement, but not as income?

The new old mailing list

A few weeks ago the Wikimedia-l mailing list disappeared with no warning. This is the one that has all the official announcements from the Wikimedia Foundation.

It is not gone, it is just moved and reformatted as explained here:

And as usual, the technical community did not bother to explain this to the people who actually use the mailing list to do their work.

The old archives will become redirects, however this will break any links to individual posts/emails.  Everything from May 12, 2021 will be in the new archives.

Here are all the available mailing lists, 39 pages of them.

Here’s a button for the sidebar.

Et tu Harej

Former WMDC president Harej (James Hare) opines on Wikipedia’s toxic culture:

He’s not the first, and he won’t be the last.

The irony is that he has been in the Wikimedia movement forever. You know those 10 and 12 year old admins they used to have back in the Olde Days?  He was one of those.

Harej and Isarra presenting at Wikimania
Harej and National Archives Wikipedian-in-Residence Dominic McDevitt-Parks at an edit-a-thon
Harej (far right) at NIOSH editathon
Harej (right) at Diversity Conference
Harej chairing the WMDC annual meeting
Harej presentation at National Museum of Women in the Arts