I celebrated Wikipedia Day with Wikimedia NYC


Wikipedia Day Cake

On January 14, I celebrated Wikipedia’s birthday in New York City. Wikimedia NYC hosted a celebration for the day Wikipedia first went public – Wikipedia Day! There were loads of Wikipedia Day celebrations around the world. These celebrations happen each year around January 15. This just happened to be the first celebration I attended since I started editing Wikipedia.

Lots of amazing circumstances came together to make this trip possible. First, Sherry Antoine from AfroCROWD and I shared a room at the Wikimedia Diversity Conference. We talked about bias and her work with AfroCROWD connecting people with Wikipedia. She said Wikimedia NYC and AfroCROWD focus on showing people how they can use their natural interests on Wikipedia. What a great way to get them hooked! She suggested I come present in New York as part of Wikimedia NYC’s Wikipedia Day celebration. I told her I would love to come! About a month later, one of the Wikimedia NYC Board members, Ryan McGrady, emailed me. Wikimedia NYC was able to provide me with a travel scholarship and another Wikimedia NYC volunteer offered to host me.

Central Park

After a quick airfare panic – the price went up from $270 to $306 overnight! – I booked my flight to New York City. I had never been before, so I was beyond excited. In Sweden, Sherry and I swapped stories about how we always wanted to go to each other’s homes. I had always wanted to go to her home of New York and she always wanted to visit mine of the Midwest. We each got a chuckle as our homes are just home to each of us. Now that I have gone to New York, I will certainly have to figure out a way to get Sherry to the Midwest!

I took an early flight on Saturday morning so I would have a little time to settle in and see the city before the event on Sunday. Due to the tunnel construction, instead of taking the subway, I ended up taking a taxi to the place where I was staying.

The Apple Store at 5th Avenue under construction

Taking a taxi was a little funny in itself. I flew into LaGuardia airport. It was really quiet, and the few people I saw went outside to board busses. I eventually found the taxi signs and eventually a yellow path painted on the ground. I started following the path. After a while of following the yellow path, I started to wonder how long this line gets at busy times. I finally arrived at the taxi stand and there were 3 attendants and 5 taxis sitting at numbered signs. One attendant told me to go to number 3. Another told me to get back in line. Another told me to go to number 4. The second attendant told me to get back in line. The attendant who waved me to number 4 waved me back over and yelled at the second attendant. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I did eventually take the taxi at number 4.

It was neat looking out the window on the way to Brooklyn. I saw pigeons huddled on a sunny rooftop. I observed a lot of graffiti on just about everything. I always find graffiti as an interesting art form.

Where I stayed was a beautiful neighborhood. My hosts told me the history of the neighborhood and how it all came to be. Turns out, my hosts are academics like me! They also have a large collection of books, so I felt right at home.

Sign outside the Central Park Zoo

That evening, I went to dinner with a few fellow Wikipedians. We walked to Numero 28 Pizza. It was great. I learned all about choices of pizza, mozzarella, bakery items, fish, and produce. The New York City version of feeling people out involves asking where they get their pizza/mozzarella/other food item. In St. Louis, this is like the dreaded, “Where did you go to high school?” question.

A view of the MET from Park Avenue

The next morning we all headed to the Ace Hotel, where Wikipedia day was being held. I got to meet loads of new friends and reconnect with old friends. Lots of people were interested in implicit bias. It’s a good topic to talk about.

Jackie Koerner Presents on Implicit Bias at Wikipedia Day 2018, a work by King of Hearts [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International
The day was full of great presentations, panels, and lightning talks. My presentation went really well and I was glad to have the group engage with me. The Internet Society was wonderful and recorded and live-streamed the day’s events. If you couldn’t attend, the recording of my session and the slides are available on Commons.

The Vegan Wikipedia Day Cake

Serious thanks and admiration to the organizers. The event went well. Your preparation and planning paid off! Also, the food was good and well-labeled. If you have food allergies, you know how amazing this is. The labels didn’t just have common allergens listed (like “contains peanuts and soy” but they had the actual ingredients listed! There were vegan and regular cake options. The cake was delicious! As illustrated by the picture, everyone else thought so too!

Visible Storage at the MET

After the closing remarks, a few of us Wikipedians headed upstairs to the Breslin for a well-deserved drink. I always get a laugh at the drink names different bars have on their menus. Sometimes I think it’s a contest of who can make up the wildest drink name. An example from the Breslin’s drink menu: Captain Corto Swizzle.

Visible Storage at the MET

During our chat, everyone gave great suggestions on what I should do the following day while touring the city. Ultimately, as I had my heart set on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I decided that would be my main focus. I had orders from my kids to get Pokémon from the Nintendo store, so between the MET and the Nintendo store I planned to check out several of the traditional tourist stops: Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and the Apple Store being built on 5th Avenue.

I have leggings created from photos of Henry VIII’s armor. My leggings-and more importantly the education of others-wouldn’t be possible without the MET’s open policies about photos of their collections.

After we all decided it was time to turn in, I needed to know how to get back to my host family’s home. I really wanted to take the subway. The locals gave a chuckle, but to me, I don’t get to experience mass transit in my home city very much at all, so it was fun. On the train they pointed out all the sights to me, and they’re right: the city is very beautiful at night.

Amiibos in a case at the NYC Nintendo Store

Although I did not get nearly enough time in New York City, I am very grateful for this opportunity. I was able to meet new friends and reconnect with friends I met at Wikimania or earlier with my visiting scholar role. I cannot wait to see where my adventures takes me next!

Conformity of Wearable Tech

Don’t get me wrong, I love a shiny new new Apple product just as much as the next person. I have even been smitten with the Apple Watch since it came out, even though I have absolutely no practical use for such a techy trinket.

My other half asked the other day if they did in fact come out with a Rose Gold version of the Watch just like they did with the iPhone and if it came with a pink band. I knew both the Rose Gold Watch and pink band existed, but I went on the website today to triple check.

For a company that has traditionally celebrated originality, you may only have the Rose Gold face in these 2 band options:

Snapped from Apple.com
Snapped from Apple.com

That is unless you wish to fork out additional Benjamins beyond the purchase price for another band. This isn’t exclusive to the Rose Gold face either. It is across the board with each face variation.

I know this slim selection offering is to simplify product processing, but why not then just sell the faces and the bands separately? For a brand that people have come to know for innovation and style, this bums me out. Let the people choose and show how they Think Different!

Just Sleep Already!

Midtown, Dec 5, 2008
Is my Macbook asleep yet?

One fateful day in September 2006, after tracking it all over the world with the UPS widget, my Macbook arrived.  I was so excited, I promptly switched everything from my Powerbook to my Macbook.  Life was good.  I sold my Powerbook to an old high school friend (he loves it, by the way).  One week later, I had my first thermal event.  At some point during the day, my Macbook woke up from its slumber in its cozy Booq bag.  Off to the Genius Bar Chris and I go, of course.  He couldn’t possibly miss a visit to the store of all good and fun.  We explain what is going on.  Off to California my new hotness went.

Today, after two trips to the Apple Store, my computer still has issues of waking and sleeping.  Going to sleep it takes about 30 seconds, but the light never comes on.  Sometimes waking it up starts a whole run around starting with entering my password and ending with ‘killing it’.

I cannot take my Blackbook in for repair until after my final final – and even then, I need my computer.  Considering Chris’ job is so cool and they purchased a new MBP for him, his personal MBP isn’t in use much.  I could use his for a loner, but I need my Blackbook.  To practically resolve the issue for now, I will simply listen to my Macbook to ensure it goes to sleep before putting it into my bag.  Or, I could use the suggestion Tech Support just gave me:  Shutdown your computer until you can send your computer in.  My up time record is 28 days.  I’m sleep’s biggest fan.

So, how do we resolve this, my fellow sleepless Mac-geeks?  You might try the following, and see if they work for you:

Turn off bluetooth
Whenever your computer senses an active, paired bluetooth device near, it wants to communicate.  Thus, waking up from a slumber to do so.  Turn off bluetooth when you’re not using it.  You’ll save battery.  If you use your bluetooth often, follow these steps to enjoy your devices and keep your computer asleep:

System Preferences->Bluetooth->Advanced and uncheck the “Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer” checkbox.

Change your sleep setting
My Powerbook rarely had a sleep issue.  Going through the versions of OS X, Apple has changed things a bit.  To switch back to the old, reliable sleep, great directions can be found here.

See what Apple says about sleep in OS X.

Change how it wakes up
Instead of having it wake up when you open the lid, have it wake up when you tell it to do so.  Try this fix here.


Tuesday night was a pretty good night. I picked up my iPhone. So far it is okay. Sure it is a cool little gadget, but mine has frozen several times in the past 48 hours. I know this ratio of freezes to hours is skewed considering I am doing some pretty heavy setup, but it is nonetheless frustrating. Also, the wordpress app does not swivel, so I can’t type with both hands.

The Apple of my Phone

Image from axb500 - please click to visit his Flickr page

Today was a great day.  I was feeling under the weather for the past week, and increasingly so today, so I stayed home and caught some sleep.  I also have a huge cold sore on my upper lip, which now looks like I just got a horrible collagen treatment.  But today was a great day.  Why?  I just received some wonderful customer service from a worldwide company when I thought, and always exclaim, customer service is dead.

I usually would omit the company’s name; however, it’s a bit obvious where I went once you know which phone I got…so, I called the AT&T store in my town on Tuesday regarding the iPhone and how to buy one.  The gent on the phone said I could pay with either cash, credit card, or gift card.  I told him I would probably be in the next day.  I sold my iPod Touch last night for $200.  The person purchasing it gave me cash.  Instead of driving across town (10 miles) to the credit union to deposit the cash, I just figured I could take the cash to the store and get my phone.  Since the store always closes before I get home from work, and Kari was begging to go to the library, I figured we could run out for 30 minutes.  Today, I waited in line behind the customers already there.  Both of the people had escalated situations, so Kari and I waited patiently for about 20 minutes.  I get up to the counter and the gent starts to put in my order for my 8 gig iPhone.  Cash not an option.  So, he sells me two $100 gift cards.  Enters the order again.  Swipes the first gift card.  The software program will not let him change the card amount to $100.  It keeps populating the $212.08.  He closes the software and restarts it.  Tries it again.  Nada.  Same thing.  The salesman calls the manager over and several other salesmen.  The salesman explains to me that the gift cards will work in the store to buy an iPhone, but not on a presale.  It only allows for one method of payment.  They then see if they have any in stock.  They went back and found one, a 16 gig.  It was an order that had been there for 5 days and their policy is after 7 days, they can be sold.  They were going to give me the 16 gig for all of my trouble, but they called the guy and he said he’d be up later in the evening to pick it up.  They then checked other stores.  Nada.  Then they suggest to void the gift card transaction, I get my cash back and go to the credit union to deposit it, then come back.  I said that was fine.  They then pull out manuals and consult the help desk.  The gift card transaction cannot be voided.  Kari’s getting antsy as it is going on an hour of being in the store.  The manager gives her a display Blackberry to play with.  She’s delighted and begins “calling” Papa and Grandma on her new red hotness.  The saleman and the manager go in the back and call the Regional Sales Manager (big boss man over the region, I’m told).  He told them to see if it would be alright to apply the gift cards to my account (we’re current cellular customers), for me to pay for the iPhone on my credit card, give me the next 8 gig iPhone that comes in the store, any headset, car charger and case I wanted in the store.  I was surprised by this and said that would be fine.  I told the salesman that I had no idea which case, headset or charger to get as I hadn’t really researched it.  The salesman in training said he’d hook me up.  The salesman said, “He did say any headset, charger and case.”  So, once the saleman in training came back to the counter, he had a three pack of iPhone skins, a namebrand car charger, and a Jawbone headset.  He told me these things were top of the line, especially the headset.  Sure enough.  I looked at the headset online when I got home, after an hour and a half in the store.  Not bad, salesman in training.  Not bad at all AT&T for taking care of business – thank you.

Brrrrrring. Phone.

Phone - Brrrring

It’s time to start shopping for a new phone. My phone isn’t so terribly old, but it shuts off whenever something happens (i.e. a phone call or text comes in) regardless of the battery level. The iPhone 3G comes out in 10 days; however, I’m cheap when it comes to initial purchase price. I’m even cheaper about usage fees. Sure, it would be fun to have, but I’m not quite sure how I can justify $30 per month on top of the initial purchase price. Besides, I’d have to sell my iPod Touch.

Out of sheer curiosity, I called the AT&T store by my house. Many people in our neighborhood are conservative about money for the most part, so I thought, no problem getting one. First, the stores are opening at 8 a.m. on the day of the launch and second, the sales rep told me they sold out of the iPhones within 45 minutes last year. Yep. The iPhone is out.

My husband is going to stand in line with one of his friends for an iPhone. They were thinking about arriving around midnight. I advised him that he might consider going right after dinner on the 10th, if not earlier. I’m an experienced line person (Nintendo Wii, Black Friday, after Christmas sales), so I know the ropes.

So, what on Earth should I get in this world of expensive phones or cheap ones that break within days? Perhaps I’ll just go back to the old tin can standby or simply go phone-less.

Apple Media Seminar for Education

Currently, I am attending the Apple Media Seminar for Education. The content is good. I’m ready for the budget to be created at my campus to do some cool things – basically, I would like a Macbook, a Snowflake and endless space on the server for some amazing content. It currently isn’t in my job description, but I think I’m ready to make the move back into nerdery. I love financial aid, but I feel I am gravitating toward technology. I left technology when I started school and took a financial aid position in 2004, then just never looked back. I wonder if I am just going through the motions and resisting what I really want to do. Maybe I’m not resisting. Maybe I haven’t found a job description to fit me just yet.