Sunday, January 2, 2011

6 Degrees of Wikipedia

Educators have mixed feelings about Wikipedia. Despite its dubious validity as a scholarly source, it is now the most popular encyclopedia on Earth.

Neapolitan Mastiff
For this exercise, we will use Wikipedia to explore interdisciplinary connections, a practice that many students find challenging. The idea is that you will make connections between 2 seemingly unrelated things. Think of the world as a giant spider web upon which every branch of study is linked. The more creatively you think, the more streamlined your connections will be.

No Caption Required
For this exercise, begin on the Wikipedia page of "Thing 1". From there, you are allowed only 6 mouse-clicks (clicking on Wikipedia's blue, embedded links) to arrive at the Wikipedia page for "Thing 2". I have tested each connection and they are all possible to complete in 6 degrees; in fact, many are possible in less. To submit an answer, use this format: Cheese (culinary arts); bleu cheese (culinary arts); Gorgonzola (culinary arts); Italy (geography); soccer (sports). The terms in parentheses represent the discipline through which your thinking is linked. Complete as many as you can.

Thing 1: Neapolitan Mastiff
Thing 2: Hogsmeade

Thing 1: Grigori Rasputin
Thing 2: Penicillin

Thing 1: Hellbender
Thing 2: Kleptomania

Thing 1: Coriolis Effect
Thing 2: Kris Kringle

Thing 1: Geoffrey Chaucer
Thing 2: Chewbacca