Monday, September 25, 2006

My Odd Hobby

Well, actually I have many odd hobbies, but one blog at a time. In my free time, which I tend to have an excess of, I often veg on the internet, and one of my favorite places to do so is the Wkipedia. What's a Wkipedia, well it's part wiki, a collaborative community knowledge repository where everyone can make contributions, and it's part encyclopedia (if you don't know what an encyclopedia is, you really have more important things to tend to than read my blogs). Anyway, it's an odd nerd ecosystem, where anyone can create or edit entries on anything. While there is a potential for really poor or rather biased entries, it doesn't end up much worse than Britannica or anything else (it's certainly more accurate than your average know-it-all, even me). What is real interesting is the scope of articles, especially the details available on some of the more tangential subjects, and how you can quickly go from one area of knowledge to another.

One such example was this Saturday, when Liz and I were watching Stay Alive, a rather forgettable story, sort of a Ring meats Playstation, with a touch of Dracula. Anyway, the description isn't so good, but the movie wasn't either (by our standards, it was better than many though), anyway, it featured a rather bastardized (and Americanized) rendition of the Elizabeth Báthory story or urban legend (is it an urban legend if it originated in rural society? is there a rural legend?). We looked up her entry, and read up on what people had to say. I won't bore you with he details, though in all honesty it's an interesting, though grizzly, bit of history, but I will mention our odd journey that followed.

We managed to confirm what Liz already knew (someone likes to read up on serial killers), and we found links to various references to her in pop culture. These included various books, games, and a lot of bands--especially death metal bands. Hmm, when all else fails, I can always laugh at death metal. We noticed that there were death metal bands mentioned, black metal bands mentioned, and blackened death metal bands. Hmm, I like blackened seafood, maybe I'd like blackened death metal? We had to read up on this new subgenre, and we were rewarded with a highly technical assessment of the genre, its roots, and practitioners of the 'art'. A link to the article on death grunts was our next jumping point, and that led us to doom metal, melodic doom metal, and gothic metal. Did you know doom metal has subgenres? traditional doom, epic doom, death doom, black doom, funeral doom, drone doom, stoner doom, sludge doom, and the all other doom category: avant garde doom. I find it interesting that enough people care about the differences between these subgenres and can distinguish each one. These articles are written about as well as those on the Declaration of Independence or William Shakespeare.

Anyway, it passes the time, and it will prepare me for my appearance on Jeopardy. "I'll take Swedish death metal bands for $1000 Alex".

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