Oh, I mean Earth Day. Sorry about that. I never meant to imply a connection to communism, “warmed over”, and the present day environmental movement. It’s funny how Earth Day just seems to have been given the exact same day as Lenin’s Birthday. What are the odds, like 365 to one or something, right?
Oh wait, one of the very first Earth day celebrations took place on exactly the 100 year anniversary of Comrade Lenin’s birthday, which I’m sure is another fantastic coincidence.
This coincidence must bother at least one person, because it looks like someone made a huge effort to erase that little fact from Wikipedia. If you compare Wikipedia’s Revision as of 17:41, 20 April 2006 and Revision as of 18:34, 20 April 2006 you can see someone removed that little fact. Furthermore, the edit seems to have been hidden inside a flurry of non-commented activity leading up to today’s Earth Day. That’s OK though, because I think the 36th anniversary of Earth Day is the Propaganda one, and not the Bone China one I had been led to believe.
The remover of that fact seems to have used the IP address of 188.8.131.52 which Whois shows as resolving to the University of Texas at Arlington.
I’m going to list some other IP addresses who also edited during this big rush of uncommented activity, but I want everyone to remember that these are likely boxes that were infected by viruses and were used as ?sockpuppet zombies? thus the owners (including the above one) aren’t automatically guilty of unethical editing:
Telemedia Group SA
Comcast Cable Communications
MTS Allstream Inc.
Comcast Cable Communications
Road Runner HoldCo LLC
184.108.40.206 (which was used to do some vandal edits that were quickly reverted by a bot)
Folks, this is the best effort of a stealth “sockpuppet” edit that I have ever seen. Slick. Of course, It was discovered by one lone blogger doing a little fact checking before posting my usual screed.
If one of my readers doesn’t insert back that little fact for me, I’ll just use my sockpuppet to fix it later. Revisionism history sucks. (If you do change it for me, would you please put a link on the talk page back to this blog entry? Thanks.)
I think that this shows the strength of Wikipedia, rather than a failure, as I was able to easily ferret this out in about 20 minutes of probing. It does, however, give me the idea for a bot that would look at the recent history of a Wikipedia entry and give you a graph of the edit timeline, the number of letters that were changed, the number of unsigned edits, brand new editors, and perhaps edits without comments. Might be useful to a reverting bot or something.
Update: I just read a bit more of the edit history page for the article and wanted to make it clear that this seems to be an often edit war on this particular article. I’ve still never seen this level of sneaky editing, however.
Update: In contrast, here’s a bumbling attempt at sockpuppetry, as demonstrated by minons of our congress-critters.
Anyway, besides fighting revisionism history, let me tell you what I did for Earth Day. I grabbed my backpack for the first time this year and put in some mileage over at a local National Park. I came prepared to pick up trash, but for some strange reason, I didn’t find any, which is strange because I always have in the past. I suppose someone beat me to it the weekend before. I had the park entirely to myself, because of the rainy weather, and I have come to the conclusion that I’m either using my genuine GI issue poncho totally wrong, or it really doesn’t protect you from any rain. It does, however keep you warm from the effects of rain, and is airy enough to keep you from sweating too much like I do in other types of rain gear. Really, the front of my T-shirt was soaking wet from rain blown in from the hood, and my legs were soaked too because I didn’t have any leggings on. It’s useful, keeps my pack dry, stays in my gear list, but doesn’t do a damn thing to keep me dry.