#357: Annie Rauwerda
A Calvin and Hobbes Search Engine, Hands on a Hardbody, Contributing to Wikipedia, and more.
Perfectly Imperfect is a newsletter offering “A Taste of Someone’s Taste” from guests like Charli XCX, John Cale, Ayo Edebiri, Michael Imperioli, Lena Dunham, Mac Demarco, Dasha Nekrasova, Tim Heidecker, Rayne Fisher-Quann, Mel Ottenberg, Chloe Cherry, Matty Matheson, Anna Delvey, The Dare, Caroline Calloway, Snail Mail, and more. Check out our full archive here.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Annie Rauwerda to share a taste of her taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Annie Rauwerda is a Michigan born, New York City-based writer, comedian, and wikipedia connoisseur. In her TedXUofM talk, she describes trivia as “information that carries no weight,” and she documents many of these findings on her Instagram account, @depthsofwikipedia. This summer, she received attention from the likes of the New York Times and Food Network for her perpetual stew, which she cooked in a crockpot over the course of 60 days and brought to the public every Sunday. In a few weeks Annie is kicking off a US tour of her Wikipedia themed comedy and she’s also working on a nonfiction book about Wikipedia for Little Brown + irregularly publishing her Substack. Lucky for us, Annie is here to tell us what she’s been into.
Without further ado
Reaction gifs from GIPHY may be stale but you know what’s not? The best comic ever. Every day I thank God that Michael Yingling made this indexable archive. Search for a word, like “microwave” or “raccoon” or whatever, and find a C+H for every moment under the sun. If you want to search for other comics, use the site Oh No Robot.
🛻 My favorite documentary, Hands on a Hardbody
Some documentaries are so good that they make you want to use all 246 synonyms for “wow” (according to this extensive Wiktionary list). This is one of them. In an hour and thirty-seven minutes (perfect runtime), a 1997 documentary about a bizarre Texas endurance feat will make you laugh, cry, take a shot, and have many epiphanies!
📺 Obsessively watching Jeopardy!
I like most things with trademarked exclamation points (Oklahoma! Chips Ahoy!) and Jeopardy! is no exception. I watch it every day, even the awkward banter that people like to fast-forward through. Jeopardy! gives you immediate motivation to brush up on topics you’ve previously neglected. I studied science and don’t know enough history, but I’ve learned about the Bolshevik Revolution and Alfred the Great and the Qing Dynasty because I can never shake this thought: what if it’s tonight’s Final Jeopardy!? There’s an unofficial web app that lets you play archived games with your friends!
📚 Browsing academic journals
And I mean browsing. Just paging through, skipping the methods section, joyreading. Pigeons can be art critics! Researchers can figure out your identity by examining which phone apps you use, and when! The historic emergence of writing correlates with inequality!
🍴 “A Month Without a Fork” blog
As it has been written in the great texts, I am passionate about treating something trivial with methodical care and thought, to the point where it is no longer clear whether there’s a joke at all. So is Darius Kazemi, who wrote a blog called “Fork Free” ten years ago.
💻 Contributing to Wikipedia
Kill every “poster” impulse and put info online for no recognition, no reward, no glory. Hunt for kooky stories in news archives and put them on Wikipedia! Replace dead sources with archived links, expand two-sentence stubs about obscure rivers in the middle of nowhere, fix typos!
Bonus recommendation from Annie below 😃
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