Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard/Archive 2009

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This is an archive of discussions from 2009. For other archived discussions, see Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard archives. Current discussion is at Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard. If you wish to expand on a topic here, it's best to open a new topic there and link to the prior discussion.

3rd Anniversary

Now is the time for all good editors to come to the smorgasbord and celebrate another anniversary of Bhamwiki. March 15, 2009 falls on a Sunday. I'm open to keeping that date or moving to Friday or Saturday if that works better. I am also open to suggestions for a location, with the proviso that it should be a locally-owned establishment. As before, I plan on picking up some reasonable portion of the tab and bringing some door prizes and/or schwag. Other program suggestions will be entertained. --Dystopos 15:33, 4 February 2009 (PST)

  • As that will be a "kid weekend", if we could make it a lunch or brunch that would suit me better, Saturday or Sunday, or Sunday night. I can't do Friday or Saturday night, especially if we're going to a place that serves alcohol. I don't care where we go. My usuals for a lunch/brunch are Rojo and Silvertron. ----Wheresdib 23:21, 4 February 2009 (PST)
    • Doing it sometime other than Sunday night would let me avoid taking a day off work. (Not that I really mind.) I was going to ask my parents to watch my boys, as they'd probably be bored, but if Wheresdib is bringing his.... I was about to nominate New York Pizza, but then I remembered we did pizza last year. Rojo or Silvertron are both good. --Lkseitz 08:50, 5 February 2009 (PST)
      • Silvertron has a Sunday brunch from 11-2. Does that meet everyone's requirements? --Dystopos 09:20, 5 February 2009 (PST)
        • Silverton at brunch sounds great to me! I'll more than likely only have my 8 yr old son with me. --Wheresdib 13:12, 5 February 2009 (PST)
  • This is coming up pretty soon, and I realize now that I'll be kid free next weekend, so that means we can do it Saturday night if you would prefer. --Wheresdib 05:12, 4 March 2009 (PST)
    • Saturday night or Sunday brunch still both work for me. I'm basing whether to bring my boys primarily on whether Wheresdib brings his, so now I guess I won't. --Lkseitz 08:29, 4 March 2009 (PST)
      • Plan on a Sunday brunch at Silvertron. I'll send out an e-mail and make arrangements. Kids are tolerated graciously. --Dystopos 20:11, 7 March 2009 (PST)
        • Thanks, but I can't guarantee my boys will tolerate the adults graciously. :-) Hannah will be joining us, however. --Lkseitz 08:47, 9 March 2009 (PDT)
Photo from anniversary dinner


  • Date: Sunday March 15
  • Time: 12:00 PM
  • Place: Silvertron Cafe in Forest Park
  • Confirmed attendees (6.5):
User:Wheresdib (+Amy)
User:Lkseitz (+Dorothy & Hannah)
User:Graham Boettcher
    • Hannah's only 6 months old and won't be ordering, so we'll count her as a half.
      • Graham says he has a cold and can't make it. I was counting him as 1.5.


  • Thanks everybody for coming out. Nice to meet Rob, Dorothy and Hannah for the first time. --Dystopos 12:33, 15 March 2009 (PDT)
    • Thanks for having us. It was nice to see y'all again and nice to meet Rob. --Lkseitz 20:21, 15 March 2009 (PDT)

Fair use templates

I'm considering re-engineering our image templates a bit. I think we could go with one "Fair Use" template for all types of media. At the same time it's nice to be able to bring up galleries of just logos, seals, postcards, advertisements, cd covers, etc. Therefore I propose two kinds of image templates: one for copyright status (public domain, cc, fair use, by permission) and one for the type of art (logo, portrait, photograph, film still, postcard, stamp, cd cover, book cover, magazine cover, screen shot, advertisement, trading card, etc). Any discussion before I start trudging through the dirty work? --Dystopos 12:33, 16 February 2009 (PST)

  • It occurs to me that some source-specific templates would be nice, too. Especially with regard to BPL Digital Archives. Maybe that template should have fields for item identifier, collection, permanent URL, etc. --Dystopos 12:36, 16 February 2009 (PST)
    • These sound like good ideas! Beyond the work to implement it with existing items, I don't see an immediate downside to splitting the templates. Some vague thought of being annoyed at creating yet another Fair Use template crossed my mind with the post card one, but I was too busy trying to get it done to worry about it too much. A template for the BPL images does sound like a no-brainer (as in the need, not the implementation). I'll see what I can do when I have the time (if no one beats me to it). --Lkseitz 08:00, 17 February 2009 (PST)
      • I've done a good bit of the work, (See Category:Seals, Category:Postcards, etc). It wasn't as laborious as I thought it might be. --Dystopos 13:59, 9 March 2009 (PDT)
        • I finally did a couple templates for BPL images. Thought I'd solicit feedback before going through and updating all the photos. --Lkseitz 09:41, 11 March 2009 (PDT)
          • Those look pretty cool to me. --Dystopos 10:50, 11 March 2009 (PDT)


  • Everyone who looks here already knows, but for the record I've started a Facebook group to facilitate communication between editors, users and supporters of Bhamwiki. --Dystopos 09:08, 15 March 2009 (PDT)

Out of pocket

  • I'll be away from computers from April 17-24. Hope to see some surprises upon my return. --Dystopos 21:52, 14 April 2009 (PDT)
  • Surprise! No edits made since April 16! I'll be out of town for the weekend (17th-19th) myself. --Wheresdib 05:16, 15 April 2009 (PDT)

Sam Thornley residence

Local slang terms

  • RocWiki (Rochester, NY) has a page compiling local slang terms. I like the idea, though I'd hate to throw ourselves wide open to unverifiable garbage like Urban Dictionary. I wouldn't mind if we started making notes of common slang terms as they are used or referred to in the media, though. --Dystopos 13:43, 3 June 2009 (PDT)
    • Malfunction Junction, tank farm, RME, OTM, Brookies, that's all I got so far. Oh and I forgot "8 County" which at least in my circles refers to Blount County license plates, inferring "country" or "redneck". --Wheresdib 21:37, 28 June 2009 (PDT)
      • I think most cities have their own intersection known as "Malfunction Junction." Not that we shouldn't have the article on it, just that the name isn't unique. --Lkseitz 10:50, 29 June 2009 (PDT)


In the years, we have a section called "People." In a few cases where we noted the death of zoo animals, I'd changed it to "People & animals." Yesterday I had the brilliant idea (I thought) of shortening it to "Individuals." Anyone think this is a bad idea? --Lkseitz 08:07, 26 June 2009 (PDT)

  • I am, as usual, supportively ambivalent. (In other words, it's as good as anything else). --Dystopos 08:28, 26 June 2009 (PDT)
    • It seemed the best choice when I added Ricko's birth to 1997. Good idea. --Dystopos 08:58, 7 August 2009 (PDT)

Living people

  • Just noticed we've got 968 entries in the "living people" category. By one faulty measure, then, we're covering 0.42% of the city's total population. (Faulty because many of the living notables don't live in Birmingham) --Dystopos 08:51, 1 July 2009 (PDT)
    • With the recent blitz of political candidates, we're up to 1,054 living people now (0.46% of Birmingham's population). --Dystopos 13:46, 25 August 2009 (PDT)
      • Now I'm seeing 1,161 living people. So that's maybe a rate of 400 per year. At that rate it will take us about 570 years to profile everybody, by which time they're unlikely to still be living. All well. --Dystopos 18:25, 6 January 2010 (PST)

Birmingham News archives tip

Here's something I discovered and thought I'd share. If you're searching the Birmingham News archives, you can change the URL to get more information. Do your search and then change the bit of the URL that says "p_theme=bi" to "p_theme=hutb". You'll then get the story author (if known) and pages the article appeared on, in addition to the information given by default. --Lkseitz 08:08, 4 August 2009 (PDT)

  • FWIW, free online access to the Birmingham News archive is one of the services being considered for elimination as the JCLC faces budget cutbacks. --Dystopos 11:59, 16 September 2009 (PDT)

Podcast recommendation

For any BhamWiki editors who listen to podcasts and want to improve their writing skills, I recommend the Grammar Girl podcast. The most recent one deals with redundancies, particularly ones that are commonly seen and not thought about. I've been debating whether to mention it here or not for months as I didn't want it to be considered spam, but it's so chock-full of goodness I finally decided to go for it. --Lkseitz 07:22, 7 August 2009 (PDT)

  • I am sure that it would be very helpful to me personally. --Dystopos 08:57, 7 August 2009 (PDT)

Why Newspapers Are Failing

In a thoughtful article on the predicament faced by daily print newspapers, critic Bill Wyman makes 9 suggestions for making newspaper chains relevant to readers and competitive with other media offerings. His 8th suggestion is this: "Create and maintain a wiki designed ultimately to function as an encyclopedia for the town, from neighborhoods and politicians to every retail establishment. Let it become the ultimate guide to the area. Like Wikipedia, it will inevitably contain information that is controversial. Cover the controversies with alacrity."

I'll be waiting to hear from the News on my new executive position and how many staff members they're planning to put directly under me. --Dystopos 13:42, 25 August 2009 (PDT)

  • I hope you'll remember us, the little people, when you do hear from them. :-) --Lkseitz 07:36, 26 August 2009 (PDT)
    • I second that motion! --Wheresdib 15:27, 16 September 2009 (PDT)

Naming dilemma

  • I'd like to put up something about this development, but I'm not sure how to describe it. One thought would be to use the address (2801-2809 18th Street South Homewood), but that seems a little unwieldy. The article doesn't name the owner, but that's not too hard to find out. Any other ideas? --Dystopos 06:56, 15 September 2009 (PDT)
    • I've been unable to come up with anything more concise than your suggestion. --Lkseitz 08:00, 16 September 2009 (PDT)

CD Baby

  • We're starting to get a lot of links to CD Baby for independently-released albums. In principle, these links are not unlike the ISBN links that connect readers to online stores. It's my feeling that these links should be minimized, and kept within the context of an artist's discography, though. I'll see about setting an example. --Dystopos 11:55, 16 September 2009 (PDT)


  • Who could have seen this coming? --Dystopos 08:38, 17 September 2009 (PDT)

Categories as reminders

You know how Wikipedia has some special categories for maintenance purposes? I was wondering if we might need some of those. In particular, I'm thinking of categories like, "Articles to revisit in October 2009". These would be used to remember to update articles about annual events, election results, projects under construction, etc. New categories would be created on an as-needed basis. The categories would roll by date so that old ones would be deleted each month. Any articles still left at the end of the month would have the "to revisit" category updated to a new date if the expected information is still unavailable. The only downside I can think of is that, right now, Dystopos is the only one with delete ability. Any thoughts? --Lkseitz 10:47, 18 September 2009 (PDT)

  • It's a good thought, but I shudder to consider adding to my to-do list. --Dystopos 16:52, 18 September 2009 (PDT)
    • The actual deletion of the categories isn't nearly as important as cleaning them out. Any of us could clean them out at the end of the month. You could limit deletion to once a year if you wanted. --Lkseitz 10:31, 22 September 2009 (PDT)
      • I meant that the actual revisiting of articles would be a "to-do list". But I guess they're on the list whether we formalize it with categories or not. --Dystopos 11:54, 22 September 2009 (PDT)

Oliver's age

I posted this on Oliver's discussion page, but perhaps it was overlooked. A September 3 Birmingham News article says that Oliver is 28-years-old, not five as we have listed in his entry. Can we get confirmation of the correct ages for both Oliver and Lipz? --Lkseitz 10:10, 23 September 2009 (PDT)

  • I emailed their PR contact this morning. No word yet. --Dystopos 14:58, 23 September 2009 (PDT)


I found I couldn't remember which animal was which of the many animals in Category:Zoo animals, so I added additional categories under Category:Animals so I could, for example, find the sea lions easily. It kind of evolved as I went through and saw just what animals we've done so far. (Like, all our big cats so far are lions & cheetahs.) I hope you don't think I've overdone it. --Lkseitz 14:55, 24 September 2009 (PDT)

  • That was my first thought, but your reasoning is sound. Godspeed. --Dystopos 15:02, 24 September 2009 (PDT)

New templates

I've created three new templates lately. The first is Template:' (single quote), stolen from Wikipedia and which is for situations where MediaWiki doesn't correctly handle multiple quotes. This typically happens when a word is in italics and has an apostrophe-S at the end. The second is Template:About, which is for those "This article is about the X. For other uses, see Y" hatnotes. The third is Template:Alphabetical locations, which is for the notice at the top of the "Notable locations" sections of street articles. The last takes no parameters and, while lengthy, is still shorter than the actual text. My thinking behind it was to avoid yet another spot where editors have to remember to change the street name when copying and pasting from an existing article to a new one. --Lkseitz 09:51, 2 October 2009 (PDT)

Self edits

Is there a way with the current software to block individuals from editing certain articles? Regardless, I would suggest a new, stronger policy concerning self-edits of articles, meaning an individual editor who is either the subject of the article, or has a vested interest in the subject of the article, should not make edits but rather make suggestions for edits on the discussion page. --Wheresdib 05:08, 25 October 2009 (PDT)

  • Ideally, I would be able to frame guidelines such that they directly address the benefit and harm to the project rather than prohibit specific behaviors that merely have a greater or lesser chance of benefit or harm. I do see the issue and have been considering additional guidelines. Here's an interesting page at Pensapedia: Pensapedia:Conflict of interest (which is a condensed version of Wikipedia:Conflict of interest.) --Dystopos 08:11, 25 October 2009 (PDT)
    • I've upgraded and expanded the policy Bhamwiki:Conflicts of interest. Feel free to reference it when engaging in correcting violations and I'll more strongly point to it when registering new members. --Dystopos 08:47, 25 October 2009 (PDT)
      • I realize this discussion isn't aimed at me, who tries to prove you can edit despite conflict of interest, but it prompted me to add disclosures to a few more articles. And I'm amused that the "larger community" is pretty much three people at the moment. --Lkseitz 11:36, 26 October 2009 (PDT)
        • Three people with a demonstrated sense of duty make for a reasonably effective community. --Dystopos 12:58, 26 October 2009 (PDT)

Category:Birmingham natives

  • I'm considering a category to distinguish natives of the Birmingham district from the Michael Jordans and Charles Linns of Bhamwiki. Clearly it won't do to limit nativism to the city limits (and in many cases it would be impossible to establish EXACT birthplaces), but I haven't thought it through enough to have settled on a name or to predict any other conflicts that might arise. --Dystopos 13:01, 26 October 2009 (PDT)
    • Birthplaces are a real pain. In the early days, people were typically born in their parents' homes and it was simple. Nowdays, people are generally born at the local hospital, which may or may not be in the same city where their parents reside. (Or you have extremists like us who had our daughter over the border in Tennessee, yet we've never spent more than four nights in that state at a time. Does that mean she's not a native of Huntsville, where she's resided her entire life?) And what about people born in what's now inside the city limits of Birmingham that wasn't when they were born? I'd be tempted to call it "Birmingham District natives" and be done with it. --Lkseitz 14:43, 26 October 2009 (PDT)
      • Do you think it would be worthwhile to have it? --Dystopos 13:48, 27 October 2009 (PDT)
        • Personally, no. --Wheresdib 04:59, 28 October 2009 (PDT)

Civil Rights Movement template

Submitted for your approval: Template:Civil Rights. --Lkseitz 10:21, 17 November 2009 (PST)

  • Looks good. I'd suggest putting the years (1956-1965, I guess) in the header, adding some documents, and making "events" link to a "timeline of the Civil Rights Movement" (yet to be written). I'll probably do some other tweaks myself. Ultimately we need to look at having a Civil Rights portal. --Dystopos 10:33, 17 November 2009 (PST)
    • Perhaps I should have said, "submitted for your tweaking." I knew it would need more work, but thought it was finally up to snuff for possible use. Selecting the most significant entries for each section is a little tricky. --Lkseitz 11:39, 17 November 2009 (PST)
      • Well of course it's up to snuff. --Dystopos 11:52, 17 November 2009 (PST)

Sports team template

Also submitted for your approval: Template:Infobox team. --Lkseitz 11:37, 17 November 2009 (PST)

County Road vs. County Highway

Okay, we hashed out "highway" vs. "route" for U.S. and Alabama state roads back in 2006 (see Category Talk:Highways). Time to discuss "highway" vs. "road" for county routes. I'm accustomed to hearing them referred to as "roads," but after reading the Northern Beltline article and seeing its frequent use of "Jefferson County Highway X", I'm wondering if that's just me? --Lkseitz 13:42, 14 December 2009 (PST)

  • A quick Google search of "county road" vs. "county highway" at and indicates that while not entirely consistent, "county road" is much more common. ("county highway" is more often used in referring to a "County Highway Department" or "County Highway Engineer"). --Dystopos 16:20, 14 December 2009 (PST)