Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sinbad Not Dead!

Another hoax in Wikipedia:

Wikipedia was again the victim of a prankster, who this time vandalized the profile of US entertainer Sinbad. He posted a entry according to which Sinbad had died of a heart attack on the morning of March 14.

"Somebody vandalized the page," Wikipedia spokeswoman Sandra Ordonez said Friday, quoted by Reuters. "Whoever did this was obviously a prankster. I don't think they did this because they thought he [was dead]." The false entry was caught, and removed, by a volunteer administrator about 30 minutes later, Ordonez said.

Sinbad, whose daughter called him about it, was amused and brushed it off as a "commonplace" occurrence on the easily accessible Internet. "Saturday I rose from the dead and then died again," the Los Angeles-based entertainer told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

Sinbad's page on the free online research tool now carries the message: "This page has been temporarily protected from editing to deal with vandalism."

Wikipedia, which was launched as an English language project on January 15, 2001 as a complement to the expert-written and now defunct Nupedia, has grown into one of the biggest virtual communities in the world, with faithful and enthusiastic members, all driven by the noble purpose of making information accessible freely to any one at any time.

Still a better joke than Recess Monkey's though, isn't it?

China on the Moon?

Even NASA now thinks that the next people to walk on the Moon will be Chinese:

The next humans to walk on the moon may well be Chinese, NASA's administrator told Congress yesterday. He said that the combination of budget cuts and restraints in the NASA lunar program and a determined and well-funded effort by the Chinese made that once-unthinkable possibility a real one.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told the House Committee on Science and Technology that, based on the status of the Chinese space program and its projected growth, China could land a man on the moon within a decade. Under current projections, a U.S. lunar return would not take place until 2019 at the earliest.

"If they wanted to mount a lunar mission, they could do so," Griffin said. "And yes, they could get to the moon before we return."

The Chinese space program employs about 200,000 people, Griffin said, while NASA has a workforce of about 75,000.

Griffin's assessment came during a day of NASA budget hearings in which both Republicans and Democrats decried a lack of funding for NASA, which has been given many ambitious missions.

The mistake that was made was the absolutely absurd, insane, waste of money that was spent on the Space Station and the Shuttle. Shouldn't have happened, should have carried on with the rockets, more of them, and put a base on the Moon.