Tag Archives: encyclopedia

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia Book Review


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Wicket and Pixie were as excited as I am about the newest addition to our library. The Star Wars Complete Encyclopedia is crammed full of every detail you could possibly need to know. The secrets of the galaxy far far away will be revealed within the pages. Luckily for my dogs, the books are also full of illustrations. They can’t exactly read very well.

Thirty years’ worth of information is packed inside of these little beauties. You’ll find everything Star Wars from science and technology to history, geography, culture, biography and ecology! This encyclopedia was last updated over ten years ago, so you can imagine what new treasures you’ll uncover with this edition. In that decade, there have been four new feature films, several official novels, new comic books and several video games. All of this has been included for your learning enjoyment.

To give you a small taste of what you’ll find:

  • Character portraits of both the renowned (Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Darth Vader) and the obscure (Tnun Bdu, Tycho Celchu, Bib Fortuna)
  • The natives and customs of planets as diverse as Tatooine and Hoth, Dagobah and Kashyyyk
  • The rituals, secrets, and traditions of Jedi Knights and Sith Lords
  • A timeline of major events in Star Wars history, from the Clone Wars and the inception of the Empire to the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker and the invasion of the monstrous Yuuzhan Vong

I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping much this weekend. I’ll be too busy reading every line of these three tomes to remember to pass out. I want to have the world’s geekiest library one day, so help me out by sending me your book suggestions.

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How to Stay Healthy with the iPad

These days, the population is more health-conscious than ever before. Not only do we take care of ourselves better, we also take control of our healthcare. We question our providers. We research our fingers to the bone so that we understand what they’re telling us. We research to help find possible answers and treatments to suggest to our doctors.

Being able to have a wealth of health and medical knowledge at our fingertips is almost essential. That’s why the Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine app for the iPad is sure to be a huge hit with many adults.

The encyclopaedia was designed specifically for the iPad. It features 1,800 pages and more than 12,000 entries. The app moves beyond the limits of a physical book with a full text search, an interactive body diagram, browsing history and adjustable font size (like adjustable bed bases).

This app will cover definitions and explanations of most of the medical terms and health conditions you will likely ever need to know about. It is even detailed enough to contain most of the information a nurse or paramedical will need in their daily work life. It’s written in an easy-to-understand format so that it can be used by anyone with a basic high school education. You don’t need medical experience or training to make use of this app.

Carter’s Encyclopaedia of Health and Medicine will be available in the app store as soon as the iPad is officially released for an introductory price of $9.99. Credit to TUAW for surfacing this app.

RIP: Microsoft Encarta

Looks as though Microsoft is killing Encarta (both the Web site and disc series). Over the years, I can count on one hand how many times I used the service – despite having owned several editions (and, certainly, being online since its inception). Luckily, I think I received those DVDs as gifts, so I was never out anything. I’m sure Wikipedia marginalized Encarta, much like Google Maps marginalized Microsoft Streets & Trips (on my desktop, at least).

Does this come to any surprise to you? I asked on Twitter:

chrispirillo: Microsoft is killing Encarta. Despite owning several copies in the past, I never used it. You?

about an hour ago

LionelatDell: Ditto. Agree with that assessment.

about an hour ago

Skyy: Enwhatta?

about an hour ago

Riyanweb: it works for me 🙂

about an hour ago

musosdan: yeah i used to. want a set of brittanica tho 🙂

about an hour ago

Tad: I remember perusing it back in the day, but haven&#39t even THOUGHT about it in years. *feeling sentimental now*

about an hour ago

odaynasser: only their thesuarus

about an hour ago

allen099: Me? Nah, I wouldn&#39t mind killing it either.

about an hour ago

evantravers: It had a jeopardy meets labyrinth puzzle maze game. That and the articles on weapons/airplanes.

about an hour ago

cinebo: never touched it but also had it way back when

about an hour ago

christophertran: nevar used it. ever.

about an hour ago

lucdupuy: I did for about 15 min. then found out wikipedia potential and other university ressources. then why pay?

about an hour ago

DennisWhite: I never used it either…

about an hour ago

Christyxcore: I only used encarta when I was at school.

about an hour ago

Inundated: Fascinated with Encarta for about a day then it became shelfware. Then I&#39d buy the next version

about an hour ago

mnrmg: I plagiarized an article from them in like 6th or 7th grade. Feels good to get that off your chest! LOL

about an hour ago

stkxppro: never used Encarta. They should kill it.

about an hour ago

gattaca: Funny you say that. I had a copy once. Never used it either.

about an hour ago

TURBOHOSTUSA: Enwho? hahaha!

about an hour ago

Bowler4Ever: Encarta was never useful. Good riddance.

about an hour ago

Nfan12: I still have Encarta 1999 and 2000 but i don&#39t use it.

about an hour ago

weirdFishes: Haven&#39t used Encarta since 1997 or so.

about an hour ago

blackysky: encarta was good back then but wikepedia kill it ….

about an hour ago

mikedsjr: encarta still exists?

about an hour ago

CobraRob: Ahh I remember convincing my parents to buy a CD rom drive using Encarta as the excuse to need it. Dont think I even used it.

about an hour ago

CPWestergaard: never, but I also refuse to use wikipedia either. Probably a case of ppl not being willing to pay for content.

about an hour ago

ChrisWiegman: I used it in the mid 90s, but I haven&#39t in at least 10 years.

about an hour ago

Commodore256: Nah, I never liked that piece of junk.

about an hour ago

garrett_w: finally! i wondered how long it would take for them to realize that its day is past.

about an hour ago

Arkitan: Not once.

about an hour ago

onekopaka: I have used it but now Wikipedia will dominate.

about an hour ago

MikeyVB: i owned 2 versions used 1 of them once

about an hour ago

nerwin: I used it once On Windows 95 long long time ago. The first PC we ever owned. We use to own a Mac.

about an hour ago

cbrowne25: in 1994 on our 33Mhz IBM before we got the Internets.

about an hour ago

davidson2009: Used Encarta once, Its too general, but nice for kids and for school work.

about an hour ago

benjamingeiger: I used it until I got Internet access. I wish they&#39d have kept Flight Simulator though.

about an hour ago

mikebrowne: Encarta came with several PC&#39s. Never used it. Microsoft doesn&#39t need to kill something that was already dead.

about an hour ago

gsphotobeetle: I never used Encarta for six years. Never seem to know why.

about an hour ago

harrysaxon23: Used it in the early CD-ROM days, up to about &#3993, then the WWW happened. Lot of CD-ROM databases in the early 90s.

about an hour ago

alisonatintuit: nope – I use Wikipedia…

about an hour ago

NightRPStar: negatory, hardly ever did, i preferred the Britannica really

about an hour ago

flashdrive: never used it once. i did have it on my msn before lol

about an hour ago

jamedina88: wow I totally forgot about Encarta after Windows 95

about an hour ago

bluedepth: Long live Wikipedia! 🙂

about an hour ago

jnassi: I think I used Encarta once, in the mid-to-late 90s.

about an hour ago

thirddesign: used it for that weird puzzle/adventure/trivia game in the 2000 version (i think)

about an hour ago

dremin: It&#39s a good resource where Wikipedia fails.

about an hour ago

ZenTigerpaw: I haven&#39t used half of Microsoft&#39s product line. Sept for Office, and even I stopped using that for free alternatives.

about an hour ago

craigalberino: not unless it came with a new machine

about an hour ago

DavidGranado: Encarta is still around?? I thought that died in the 90&#39s with Pogs and Pauly Shore. I guess you learn something every day.

about an hour ago

spacks: I played the crap out of MindMaze in Encarta 97… http://bit.ly/15Cs totally worth it when it came /w my first PC.

about an hour ago

david_ing: Yep, more or less the same. The one good place is probably the kids computer, as it&#39s off the net plus has that &#39encarta kids&#39

about an hour ago

kooldudeben: love u bro… id rather shit on my hand than use mac or windows or anything lke that, but they are the only 1s out…

about an hour ago

garrett_w: the last version i used was 98, i think. that or 97 had an awesome educational game my sis & i loved (only thing we used btw).

about an hour ago

Ninesvnsicks: I haven&#39t&#39 used Encarta since elementary school on an old mac.

about an hour ago

egsa: Kind of remember Encarta as a demo that came with Multimedia PC a billion years ago. Didn&#39t know it still existed.

about an hour ago

tomacintosh: Man I completely forgot about Encarta! What a blast from the past! I guess Wikipedia + faster Net connections have taken over!

about an hour ago

ianleon8: I only used Encarta when i got it, then i just forgot about it.

about an hour ago

mrmseawa: Used Encarta ages ago when it first came out & the www was smaller.The internet now serves as my primary research tool!

about an hour ago

morgan_johnson: I never used Encarta. I always used the copy of Britannica I had. I liked it better, ha.

about an hour ago

atav: Me neither.

about an hour ago

samuraigurl: I&#39ve used my Encarta a couple of times but not lately.

about an hour ago

willcormier: never … Not even in 1996 … When it always came free

about an hour ago

Cboardkid: you are slow !! @mobilephone2003 posted a tweet about this a while ago lol

about an hour ago

robby1051: once in 2000 to see what it was all about

about an hour ago

eliasisrael: The Internet killed Encarta. Microsoft is just getting around to holding the funeral.

about an hour ago

pure23: I remember Encarta coming bundled back in the day with pc&#39s. I honestly didn&#39t know it wasn&#39t dead already.

about an hour ago

brknseals: The versions that I had on my earlier compaq&#39s kept me entertained when I was younger. Might be kinda sad to see it go…

about an hour ago

ronnyfugmann: Funny, I didn&#39t even know this MSN encarta thingy existed.

about an hour ago

TheDataDoc: Encarta was about as useful as screens on a submarine; like calling AOL the Internet, it just didn&#39t cut it as an info source

about an hour ago

Mofobro: Thats funny you would say that. Me too.. Never used it! Isn&#39t that strange, or maybe it says something?

about an hour ago

kevincastillo: bundled w/ computer in the mid 90s and a couple of upgrades after that. Not since. The included videos were cool then.

about an hour ago

mcuban: i have an encarta cd collection from every PC i bought the last what, 15 years ?

about an hour ago

tsells: I used it for a paper “once” in college.

about an hour ago

michellegamboa: Used the client version a couple of times, but mostly used the web version.

about an hour ago

hzleyedgrl: -Encarta&#39s still around? Nope never used it.

about an hour ago

jdhunter: I have used every version I have ever owned. Strung together they make a great mobile to keep the birds out of my plants!

about an hour ago

TheHenry: Instead of Encarta, just use google.com Works great! And is Free! Coming soon!

about an hour ago

redhead1904: Encarta never suited my fancy much

about an hour ago

darmerk: installed a few Encarta CDs waaay back in the 90s. Don&#39t remember using them.

about an hour ago

Abiu: I remember having it for most of my life I still got student edition 07 installed. But now with wikipedia and google its #done

about an hour ago

Alvin_N: I think I still have Encarta 95 in its original box unopened LoLs…I remember using it at a friends house.

about an hour ago

trenchard: Encarta: Largest SW market penetration in history w/lowest usage rate in history

about an hour ago

PeterOA: Wow that&#39s still around? I thought it was called Wikipedia now 😉

about an hour ago

pcasey44: – owned it – never used it – I heard high school kids used it for research papers, but I can&#39t imagine why.

about 59 minutes ago

DarkHelmet46: Used it way back in highschool. Fairly useless as an encyclopedia. Better off hitting the library.

about 57 minutes ago

uberick: I would always install it, marvel at how cool it was, and then never use it again, after paying over $100 for it. :-O

about 57 minutes ago

BayouBengal56: I last used Encarta roughly around 1995 when I got my first PC with a CD-ROM drive.

about 56 minutes ago

jg_rat: I used Encarta. Twice, I think.

about 42 minutes ago

mrtomahawk: I had no idea that thing was still around… I used like six years ago

about 33 minutes ago

kpslover007: i used to use it way back in &#3903 till about &#3906. Now that Wikipedia is dominating research, Encarta is useless!

about 31 minutes ago

sbattan: in grade school i found it useful. (im talking 10 years ago)

about 13 minutes ago

PoopsTech: I have used in the past and I know of many that they do too, in conjunction with the Internet servers.

about 8 minutes ago

What Would You Ask Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales?

Vance Nelson has a question for you:

Cass Sunstein, of Republic.com 2.0, John Seigenthaler; long time considered one of the greatest journalists in America, Jimmy Wales; founder of Wikipedia, and Robert Cox; President of the Media Bloggers Association are all going be present at my college next week. Unfortunately my schedule doesn’t allow me to attend during the time that Robert Cox will be there. However, I will be able to be in the auditorium when Jimmy Wales is going to be speaking. I was wondering if you yourself had an opportunity to pick his brain, what kind of questions you might ask him, if any. I myself can only think of one so far. I want to ask him right there in front of a bunch of students and possibly quite a few professors why he thinks that ever since i’ve been in college I haven’t once been able to use his website as a credible source of information when doing a research paper or an essay of any kind. Certainly the founder of WIkipedia isn’t going to stand there in front of all those people and shout “BECAUSE IT ISN’T!” Surely he will at least give them some sort of feedback as to why it should at least be considered somewhat credible for academic research.

If I had one question to ask Jimmy, it would be: “Why didn’t you respond to my request to have you speak at Gnomedex a few years back?”

So, what would you ask Jimmy?

Wikipedia Fact and Fiction

Wikipedia, despite its shortcomings, is pretty darn amazing. Like most people, I have a love / hate relationship with it. I’m amazed to see it show up in Leopard, too! “Jordan C” just submitted a well-positioned argument for the world’s greatest encyclopedia…

I just thought I’d send you an email with some information towards the argument for the wikipedia. The idea of books that you are purporting is a reality which I enjoyed constantly as a child — I am an owner of hundreds of books and have read many more, and yet I don’t think that because I have books that I am any closer to the truth, and I’ll explain why the approach of “read a book” is a double-edged sword.

Firstly, the idea of books are essentially a logical progression that came all those years ago from primitive homo sapien who would pass on acquired characteristics that benefitted their survival through non-verbal communication and later we’d learn to speak with others and communicate verbally.

Essentially, many years later we developed logical means of understanding our world through relational means; mathematics being an excellent example used within early cultures of reckoning and various other uses. Essentially, a book was and still remains a repository for information that was deemed to be useful enough that it could be passed on to further generations without the need for us to physically do it, but also for taxonomy as a means of saying “we existed”.

Now, I appreciate the intended humor of the piece when the air quotations were used for further impact, but I have to say that when you take the standpoint that books are always superior, isn’t entirely logical. Sure, I absolutely agree that a wide range of sources allows us to, on some occasion afford ourselves a wider view of a topic but also disagree on the same measure.

Of the 52 Physics Textbooks I have, 30 of these contain information on the same topics within calculus, mechanics and quantum theory. They all provide different axioms and perspectives that allow you to envisage the topics differently, but their intended message remains the same, as there are literally and logically, structures which we define with absolute values of true and false; programming languages, mathematics and humanistic affairs.

Now, have I contributed these to the wikipedia? You bet your bottom dollar! Why? Because as you say, you need a wide range of topics and other matters to find the “truth” of a matter, and that whilst wikipedia may be a great resource it is inaccurate in places; absolutely, but for the reasons of human interference. The facts that are presented in, Topology or Abstract Algebra, the integration of 1/x or whatever structure you care to name that is similar, are self-evident but are interpreted wrongly by a minority who purport this information to others.

Lest we forget, this occurs with printed books, too as any bias inherent . Wikipedia is, at the very least attempting to break the barriers that have been set by people literally selling information to people. This is where wikipedia’s current situation, and it’s future begins to shine. If I have books, and journal access which I know the less fortunate may not have, then I am able to legally reference those materials, submit them for review and provide a indiscriminate place where information is retained for the people, by the people.

To me, even in a trivial sense as was discussed on your video, it’s pretty counter-intuitive to slag off those people who are making a difference by making their works seem shallow because the information already exists in books that cost more than some people will ever manage to get in their lifetime. Sure, too many cooks spoil the broth but then one cook that’s poisoning the soup can do more than 20 who are spitting in it.

Now, on to truth is relative. Time is short, and again the truth does remain relative, but that’s a boring semantics question that to me, remains within the realm of non-scientists who are trying to make minutia count as something worthwhile. I think the real thing is, because I stumbled upon the video in the sheer spirit of “serendipity” (shitty word) and that there were so few wikipedians that heard about it, I’d just sorta like to say…

They just kinda, get on with it; regardless of the reason why, they are in a lot of areas making a very big difference to the world. We can remove institutional bias simply by providing a logical way of comparing every caveat of the “truth”, and letting the facts speak for themselves. Wikipedia is young, and will evolve.

Slag off the people adding Dragonball Z and Celebrity articles there by all means, but please for the love of Leibniz do not lump myself and lots of other academics in with the “group” of wikipedians. We are individuals, and have individual bias, but at the very least we’re trying to eradicate it.

Don’t be so quick to put us down, as we’re trying to make a difference, no matter how small you might think it will be.

What is Wikipedia?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Back in ancient times there was a thing called an "encyclopedia" – it was a disgusting piece of technology that used tree pulp and ink to store information. The so-called "paper" was bound in volumes – about 26 or 27 of them – which contained information on every word, noun, and proper noun known to exist at that time.

Using this technology was slow, painful, and often outdated – the volumes needed to be updated in bulk since they did not have the ability to be updated dynamically. You also needed to buy this information! Costing upwards of $2000 for the entire set, salesmen would actually encourage people to purchase an encyclopedia set once a year!

Thankfully, we live in modern times where we have Wikipedia. Wikipedia is, essentially, the anti-encyclopedia. It contains most of the same information of encyclopedias plus information you generally would not be able to find. Plus, it’s updated on-demand.

Some professors don’t approve of Wikipedia – they claim it’s not a reliable resource. To that point, they may be right: anyone can edit Wikipedia, which can lead to inaccuracies; however, Wikipedia can be a great resource for starting any research project and pointing you in a good direction.

Should you use Wikipedia as your only resource? No, you need multiple resources to try and come close to understanding what the truth is behind a situation.

Should you ignore Wikipedia? Absolutely not! It’s a great resource that provides a ton of value – free of charge – for anyone who is researching any topic.

What do you think?

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