Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Facebook is not, in fact, the most distracting website out there.

Facebook gets a bad rap. Sure, it's a mindless waste of time, but it isn't the biggest waste of time there is. No, that would have to be Wikipedia. For example, today I bought some Original Taco flavored Doritos. On the bag, it said "It's Back!" I vaguely remembered them being discontinued when I was younger, so I looked them up on Wikipedia. Soon I was reading about tortilla chips (first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s), and corn chips (thicker than tortilla chips because the corn used hasn't been subjected to the nixtamalization process. Then I was simultaneously reading about traditional Mexican cuisine (heavily dependent on masa) and potato chips (often flavored with paprika in Europe). About an hour later, I was reading about China's Yunnan Province, which is where a complete skeleton of the obscure dinosaur Jingshanosaurus was found.

Fun Fact: When potatoes were introduced to Africa in the 1500s, they were resisted by farmers, who thought they were poisonous.

Another Fun Fact: In traditional Mendhi, it is desirable to have the henna applied to the palms of the hand and the feet because these areas contain more keratin, which temporarily bonds to lawsone, the main colorant in henna. Thus, the color will last longer.

Sure, I now am knowledgable about a whole lot of things had no reason to know, but I am no closer to finishing my anthropology paper. I got as little done as I would have had I spent the whole time on Facebook. But I didn't. I spent it on Wikipedia, known for helping get homework done. The filthy liar.

Yet Another Fun Fact: Sometimes links in Wikipedia articles don't lead you to a page that's actually relevant.