The Wikipedia Featured Article

Wikipedia used to be a punchline — maybe it still is for many? — but it’s one of my go-to sites for initial research.

For years it seemed, “Wikipedia” was most often used in snarky comments such as “If you believe what you read in Wikipedia” or “I read it on the always-reliable Wikipedia.”

I think my favorite part of the site is its homepage, which spotlights a “Featured Article” that is as unpredictable as it gets.

Today’s article is University of Washington station, the light rail station in Seattle. A peek at the page’s Quick Facts box hints at why it’s today’s featured article: the station opened five years ago today.

I’m not sure an “on this date” tie-in is always the case, because it seems random.

A couple of months ago, I visited the home page and the Featured Article was Interstate 696 near my hometown. What are the odds?

I learned more about the history of the freeway than I’d previously known, which, until then, was where it could take me and its treacherous potholes.

Now, I go to the page every day to see what I might learn.