Surviving the Wikipedia Blackout: A Handy Guide

Student Life

At 5am this morning students across the country tried desperately to access Wikipedia to appease with essay crises – but to no avail. The ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’, SOPA for short, and the parallel Senate ‘Protect Intellectual Property Act’, or Pipa, have been widely contested and protested. The potential impact on freedom of expression with laws that essentially try to censor and control the internet have led numerous websites to ‘blackout’ including Reddit, Mozilla and even Google will be blacking out their sign in protest.

So what’s a student to do without our favour online encyclopaedia? Here are a few suggestions to help you out….

Languages:

vidberg.blog.lemonde.fr – Adorable cartoons of French politics and news. Martin Vidberg’s cute bean-shaped characters tell you everything you need to know about life over the Channel.

languagesonline.org.uk – A true classic of basic grammar and vocab practices. Taking you from the very basics of French, German, Spanish and Italian with spider web games, pairs and hangman.

Science:

Physicsbritneyspears.ac/lasers.htm – Who knew that Britney was so good at physics? But seriously, this is a really nice and simplified explanation of quite complicated semi-conductor physics. Highlights include, how a crystal can be thought of as a wallpaper and describing conduction and valence bands with reference to your (or Britney’s) body.

Medicinethedesignstudio.rsc.org – Discover new medicines using your knowledge of chemistry to construct and design molecules for testing. You’ll have to create your own company and become a research director to save mankind.

History:

harkavagrant.com – Brilliant, funny comics about the past. At the moment it’s gone all medieval but you’ll be able to find anything from Marie Antoinette to Beethoven. There’s even ‘party time with Richard III’.

horrible-histories.co.uk – A real throw back to primary school. Full of the classic gore: there are even downloadable wall papers to motivate you through that essay.

Economics:

www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1633409/Historic-inflation-calculator-value-money-changed-1900.html – Calculates the cost of any amount of money from today in any year until 1900. Shows inflation change, the worth of a lump sum… A brilliant way of easily calculating statistics.

Geography:

sporcle.com/games/g/world – The classic test for any geographer.

cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ – An incredible source of knowledge on just about anywhere. It comprehensively lists just about any data you can possible want to know – from number of internet hosts to number of airports – it even helpfully notes the comparable size of each country to an American state.

English:

sparknotes.com – Once again, a classic student site. Essay crisis, what essay crisis?

rinkworks.com/bookaminute/classics.shtml – Quite literally a book in a minute, or quite often one or two lines. Reduces the classic Jane Austen to a very bite size three lines whilst Beowulf makes a gruelling six line read.

Maths:

wolframalpha.com – Amazing. Type in anything and it calculate it. Not only will it solve maths problems but will also tell you about an apple, sandwiches or, helpfully, that today Wikipedia will be preventing the viewing of its average 860 million page views.

 

Sarah Shapcott

 

PHOTO/captsolo