Texting My Dream

I am going to begin this project by playing a little game of Wikipedia Wars.  Courtesy of Jamie Parkerson I have been tasked with getting from ‘Mary Toft’s’ page to the Wikipedia entry for ‘Alchemy’ using only Wikipedia hyperlinks.  For the fun of it I will summarize what I learn from each page because what’s the point if I’m not learning anything! Here we go!

>>Mary Toft  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Toft

how convenient! The Wikipedia entry is the first hit on google! Oh Wikipedia, you omnipresent you.

Why is she famous? Oh no big deal, she just fooled a team of doctors into believing she gave birth to RABBITS. Basically she was pregnant, miscarried, and then for some reason decided to fool several surgeons into believing she was giving birth to animal parts! So that’s interesting. Thanks, Jamie, great start.
I’m trying to decide which hyperlink will most effectively get me to Alchemy.  Most of them are names I don’t recognize so I will skip those for now.  I recognize this kind of goes against the whole research-for-curiosity thing, but I am also trying to keep this thread a manageable size.  I am currently torn between urine and journeyman.  Urine being an ingredient in old medicine which can lead to alchemy, and journeyman as a trade. Let’s try urine just for the sheer entertainment of it.

>>Urine – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine

The color of your urine can indicate any sort of illness or malfunction you are having. So if it’s orange or dark brown…go see a doctor! The pH varies between 4.6 and 8 but should be closer to neutral on average.  People pee more than a liter a day! So drink lots of water.   Ooh interesting fact: when mixed with water urine can make a fantastic fertilizer.  Its results are comparable to commercial brand fertilizer.  This is important because liquid human waste doesn’t carry the heavy metals that solid waste does, such as Mercury which is a no-no in the soil.  Which brings me to my next page!

>>Mercury – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_%28element%29

The 80th element of the periodic table. Mercury poisoning can occur from the inhalation of vapor or contact with liquid form.  It used to be used in lamps, barometers, thermometers, etc. but with the concern of poisoning they’ve been phased out.  Here’s the best part:
“ALCHEMISTS thought of mercury as the First Matter from which all metals were formed.”  I think I know where my next stop is.

>>Alchemists – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemy (alchemists redirected straight to alchemy. Yay I win!)

Formed around the concept of transforming base metals into other, more valuable metals. With alchemy comes the concepts of immortality and endless riches. With the philosopher’s stone it was thought that any metal could be transfigured into gold.

OKAY. So why did I do all that? For now we are going to consider these my static web pages.  As I develop my concept I may change the pages to something more relevant, but this is a start. I think what’s important about my approach to this is not the specific pages, but the way I got from one completely independent topic to the other.  I’m really in love with this style of research because it’s easy to ask the right questions and get engaged without knowing which direction I will end up in.  I’m still not positive how this will all end up though so I am eager for feedback and suggestions!



  1. I’m thrilled that you actually used my recommendations! Mary Toft was a crazy lady, I’ve done a bit of research and made an art piece about her wackiness. I dig this systematic approach that you’re utilizing, because it really highlights how Wikipedia can be an avenue to travel from one subject to just about any other unrelated thing imaginable.

  2. Oh totally! It was a really fun suggestion, I had never heard of her! Though the urine and mercury entries left something to be desired. I’ll try a more interesting route next time. But I’m really glad you get the concept! Because that’s exactly what I’m trying to get across but I feel like I’m running out of ways to express that to everyone else.

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