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On the bright side

What's making you happy this month?

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By Pine

There are many opportunities to discuss bad news, problems, and concerns in the Wikiverse, and I think that having candid discussions about these issues is often important. Many days I spend more time thinking about problems than about what is going well. However, also I think that acknowledging the good side and taking a moment to be appreciative can be valuable.

I encourage you to add your comments about what's making you happy this month to the talk page of this Signpost piece.

Week of 4 August 2019: ¿Qué te está haciendo feliz esta semana?


The English Wikiquote of the day for 8 August is from American poet Sara Teasdale. The quote is a poem, "Alchemy," from her collection Rivers to the Sea that was published in 1915. A few years later and for another poetry collection, Teasdale received a Pulitzer prize.

The Commons picture of the day for 2 August was of a butterfly, a spotted fritillary (Melitaea didyma) in Galichica National Park, Republic of Macedonia (now North Macedonia), by photographer Charles J. Sharp from Scotland.

Products and technologies

The oldest "unbreak now" task on Phabricator as of 1 August was 0 days. (This could mean that there were no unbreak now tasks at the time that the Phabricator report was generated, which would be good news.)

Cross-posting thanks from Legoktm on Wikitech-l:


A summary of interesting links, adapted from Wikidata Weekly Summary #376:

Affiliate organizations

Legal topics

"The European Commission chooses truly free licenses for its content", by Dimitar Dimitrov, Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU.

Week of 11 August 2019: 这个星期让您感到开心的是什么?

Advanced mobile contributions feature set

The Advanced mobile contributions feature set is live on all wikis. I haven't tried this yet but I think that this looks promising.

ESEAP Strategy Summit

Video regarding the ESEAP Strategy Summit meeting

A report and video from this summit are available. Participants in the summit included people from or members of affiliates of Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Vlog regarding the City of Miami Fire-Rescue Department

This vlog isn't related to Wikimedia directly, but it is related to public service, which many of us do here in the Wikiverse in our own ways. The Miami Police Department posted a vlog of a visit and ride-alongs with Miami's fire and emergency medical services. This vlog is interesting, educational, sometimes fun, and sometimes serious.

Week of 18 August 2019: Apa yang membuatmu senang di minggu ini?

Meta issues

Content highlights

Off wiki

The New York Times published an opinion piece by Agnes Callard, who is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, titled "Why Philosophers Shouldn't Sign Petitions". In the context of reflecting on how we make decisions in the Wikiverse, I feel that the distinction between petitioning and arguing is a good topic for reflection. Hopefully in the Wikiverse we make collective decisions that are largely based on rational consensus.

Week of 25 August 2019: Що робить вас щасливими цього тижня?

Wikidata milestone

Wikidata passed the one billion edit milestone. The milestone edit, by User:Stevenliuyi, created the item “The band structure in microwave frequency for quasi-1-D coaxial photonic crystals (Q66665412)”.

Some butterfly wings contain photonic crystals

Anti-disinformation research

There was a meetup regarding disinformation at Wikimania 2019. Thanks to Leila for the notes from the session. I am glad that that there is interest among WMF and community members regarding this topic.


"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine."
— Abraham Lincoln

(For anyone who does not understand the joke: Abraham Lincoln’s life preceded the existence of the Internet by approximately a century.)

Google and Mozilla take steps to limit mass surveillance in Kazakhstan

See Mozilla’s blog post at


From English Wikipedia’s “Selected anniversaries” I learned that on 18 August 1877, “American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Phobos, the larger of Mars's two moons, six days after his discovering Deimos, the smaller one.” This image of Phobos is featured on Commons and on the Arabic, English, Spanish, and Persian Wikipedias. I enjoyed reading the description of how the image was made. Also of note is that when Asaph Hall was learning mathematics, he studied under an instructor who was two years ahead of him, Angeline Stickney. “During their days together as teacher and student, Hall and his classmates would devise questions and problems that they were convinced Miss Stickney could not solve, yet she never failed to solve them.” The two of them later married. Stickney encouraged Hall to search for the Martian moons. Hall said, "The chance of finding a satellite appeared to be very slight, so that I might have abandoned the search had it not been for the encouragement of my wife." The largest crater on Phobos is named Stickney in her honor.

The Commons Picture of the Day for 23 August 2019 was “Khotyn Fortress under the light of the full moon”. According to the article about the fortress on English Wikipedia, “The Khotyn Fortress (Ukrainian: Хотинська фортеця...) is a fortification complex located on the right bank of the Dniester River in Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast (province) of western Ukraine... Construction on the current Khotyn fortress was started in 1325, while major improvements were made in the 1380s and in the 1460s.”

Khotyn Fortress

Off wiki

Related to Wikimania 2019’s focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, I sometimes think about what happens to recycled materials. This article from The New York Times Magazine reports that “The recycling of scrap metal is a $32 billion business in the United States, according to IBISWorld.” The article discusses the business of scavenging for metals and recycling them.

Regarding translations

Skillful translations of the sentence "What's making you happy this week?" would be very much appreciated. If you see any inaccuracies in the translations in this article then please {{ping}} User:Pine in the discussion section of this page, or boldly make the correction to the text of the article. Thank you to everyone who has helped with translations so far.

Your turn

What's making you happy this month? You are welcome to write a comment on the talk page of this Signpost piece.

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Discuss this story

I learned about Royal christening gowns today after seeing the DYK hook on the main page. It's an interesting topic that I didn't even know I was interested in! I loved reading it, the article definitely satisfied my curiousity. Clovermoss (talk) 01:44, 31 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pine, thank you for this article. I had to struggle with it at first but became more engrossed as I read on. Guess you wouldn't be able to make this a regular feature for The Signpost? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:57, 31 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I understand it, it is a regular feature of The Signpost. If I misunderstood, it's up to Pine to decide. Personally, a lot of us - definitely including myself - can get carried away with criticism at times. It is important to look at the problems of Wikipedia, but then we have to ask ourselves "How did Wikipedia become such an outstanding success?" In its own quiet way this column answers that and I hope it will continue to answer that every month. The flip side - how Wikipedia could crash and burn - is explored 3 times this month: In Opinion, Op-Ed, and Community view. I'm glad we have something to keep in balance. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:15, 1 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi @Kudpung and Smallbones: thank you very much for the comments. I'm planning to continue to write these pieces, although for at least the near future after the week of September 1 my comments will probably be shorter because I have other things that I need or want to do. Kudpung, if you didn't see June's or July's "On the bright side", you may want to have a look at them. --Pine (✉) 21:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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