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The Ba Sing Se Times - Avatar Wiki's seventh birthday!

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48px-1025281.png Avatar Wiki turns seven!
The 888th Avatar

Happy Birthday to Avatar Wiki! It's now been seven years since the wiki was created on July 15, 2005. Seven seems a small number in historical terms, but this is what the world looked like then:

  • "The Blue Spirit" was the latest episode of Avatar. Avatar referred solely to this fandom, not those blue people.
  • Hurricane Katrina had not yet occurred.
  • No-one had heard of Facebook and no-one used Skype.
  • Twitter did not exist. Neither did Tumblr.
  • The biggest movie of the year was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, followed by the third episode of Star Wars.
  • The coolest phones were the ones with QWERTY keyboards.
  • Google Maps was a brand new project. It showed street names... and not much else.
  • Apple's most popular product was the iPod, and its killer feature was the click-wheel. (Quaint, eh?)
  • Windows XP was Microsoft's latest flagship product. The Xbox 360 would not be released for another four months.
  • Wikia was a tiny startup and was eight months old.
  • The political leaders and ruling political parties of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have all changed since then.
  • And finally: most people on this site were in elementary school or primary school. How we have all grown up!
48px-5161988.png Speculation vs Objectivity
KettleMeetPot

The forums have been ablaze with such issues as the "apparent" [1] death of Amon and Tarrlok, as well as the speculative inaccuracies of the newly implemented family trees [2] on character articles, concerning certain marriage ties that were shown but never confirmed.

In both cases, relatively major debates took place concerning the balance between speculation and objectivity - a distinction that can obscure at best when dealing with the implied in what is predominantly aimed at a young demographic. Not everything can be explicitly shown, in order to comply with the PG rating, especially mature themes dealing with death and the darker situations of human existence. As such, the creators have had to somewhat gloss over character deaths with subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle implications.

An example of this was in the case of Jet's death in the first series. We never actually see him die, but it is strongly implied. There was also the implied death of Combustion Man, who exploded due to his own firebending backfiring on him - later, his detached metal arm was also shown flying into the abyss beneath the Western Air Temple.

Compared to these two instances, the demise of Amon and Tarrlok seems far more obvious at a first impression; logically, they would have been consumed by the same explosion that utterly destroyed their boat. Lately, however, there has been a certain shift in attitude regarding objectivity in the wiki, to the point where some users feel that it is necessary to be as extreme as possible in interpreting the information in such a way that logical assumptions do not matter. This point of view is understandable to hold when the wiki policy itself states that "all information treated as fact on this site must be able to be supported by a reliable, published source."

Subsequently, this brought about the issue of whether Amon and Tarrlok are actually dead, in light of the point that they were not actually shown to die explicitly on screen. It has been a debate ridiculed by many for its stab at what seems totally unambiguous, since this death scene has been by far the most clear and violent presented to date, though at the same time, it has been staunchly defended by some from the viewpoint that any speculation is pointblank unacceptable.

However, in issues such as these, there must be a point where objectivity is tempered by common sense and logic, both in the premise of how these scenes were conducted and the overarching goals of the series. The deaths are strongly implied, and in a series such as this, these plot points are constructed in ways which assume that the older audience are smart enough to figure out the explicit meanings behind them. The arguments against speculation at all is at the cost of forgetting the basis of why the show has an older demographic, who can understand and take enjoyment out of the implied facts which are presented to us in the show.

Likewise, we must be open-minded in regards to points that are not shown - this is in reference to the issues of assuming marriage in every relationship that has borne offspring. Of course, I do agree that not all relationships should assume that, such as Aang's parents for one, but in the case of other marriages, such as those concerning the previous Fire Lords, we must be able to extrapolate from what we know of Fire Nation culture and be able to reasonably assume that they would most certainly be married.

The wiki must have a balance between speculation and objectivity - bending towards either extreme does not allow to compile information in an efficient and accurate manner. There is room for reasonable speculation concerning direct implications in the series, when it has neither been confirmed nor denied. To do otherwise would be a blow against any sort of open-minded and constructive thought, and would be, in my honest opinion, nonsensical. So, in as few words as possible: if you say no to interpreting abstract elements in the series, you support fascism. ^^ That is all!

48px-1025281.png Urban Dictionary for Avatar Wiki
The 888th Avatar

This week: more user fun, esp. diseases

Annawantimes disorder
noun Serious condition characterised by obsession with geography and civil engineering. Wait, you bothered to hand-draw a map of Republic City? You might have Annawantimes disorder, might want to get that checked out.
damn
adjective A word often erroneously censored as violating our discussion policy. Damn 1950s interpretations of what is considered acceptable.
K.F.B. virus
noun Serious condition characterised by manically watching recent changes waiting for a poor edit to revert. "Damn, I thought I got that one!" "It's okay, you lost to someone with the K.F.B. virus. You would have to be infected yourself to be faster."
Mass brain overload
noun The effect of reading anything by MetalArmor. There's still 2000 words in this blog post?! I had mass brain overload after the first damn sentence. And it took me five minutes to figure out what that one sentence even meant!
Message Walls are not intended to be a facility for social interaction.
phrase A clear site policy no-one cares about or enforces. Originates from the fact that the rate of enforcement for Message Walls not being a means of social interaction is about 0.0000000000001%.
Natsusanity
noun A form of clinical insanity where patient is repeatedly declares ambition to "take over" the wiki, especially where the patient lacks the motivation or acumen to actually do so.
Omashu Rocks syndrome
noun Syndrome where anything and everything in Avatar can be analogized with an American political issue. If you can compare Katara drinking water to American politics, you know you have Omashu Rocks syndrome.
rollback user
noun Group of users associated with the maxim "with great power comes little responsibility". "So you're a rollback user now. It's the best job in the world, let me tell you." "Why?" "Why? Everything you get right is thanks to your ingenuity. Everything you get wrong can just be blamed on the admins." "Wow. I could get used to this."
Spoutamania
noun Condition characterised by need to make each article as long as it possibly can and some more. Whoever wrote this article had Spoutamania. I didn't know a human could write so much about a bison whistle.
48px-4777191.png What is HTML?
MateyY

Welcome to the first chapter of the Coding Companions's web tutorials! We will begin our lesson with a brief explanation of HTML. HTML is probably, alongside CSS, the easiest factor in web design. Now don't let discourage you if you don't understand it at first; it may seem quite complicated, but believe me — it will make sense after you try it a few times.
To continue, HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, as all it does is mark-up the content on a page to separate it. Do not mistake HTML for CSS: CSS defines how an object looks; the following is an example of CSS used inside an HTML tag: <span style="text-align:center"></span>. Almost all of us could probably guess what the <span></span> tags do: they align the text in the center of the screen. However, not all of us fully understand how that works. This is completely alright; in fact, this lesson is all about understand that.

What you will need to understand: how HTML works, what the <!DOCTYPE html> is, know some of the basic tags: <html></html>, <head></head>, <title></title>, <body></body>, the heading tags, <p></p>, <span></span>, <div></div>, <img />, <a></a>, <br />, <hr />, and why you cannot use some of them on Wikia.

Note: This is a beginner's level tutorial.

That may seem like a lot of information, but once you get to it, it is not as complicated as you would think. Let us begin covering each one in the order they are written up there.

<!DOCTYPE html> is the HTML5 document-type declaration. In other words, it tells your browser (such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and so on) to render the following file as HTML5. This element, however, is not written by users on Wikia pages, as we only have access to a small part of the page - the content. That means we would not write the <!DOCTYPE> declaration on Wikia, as it is already specified. The declaration always goes on top of the page, and is the first part of an HTML document.
<html></html> are the tags that declare where the code of a page begins and ends. It is required for all HTML documents. The opening tag, <html>, declares the beginning of the code, whereas the closing tag, </html>, the end. The <html></html> tags always come after the <!DOCTYPE> declaration, and they, too, are already specified by Wikia.
<head></head> defines the portion of the code which is not displayed on the page itself, but is used for other purposes (which you will learn about later on). It, just like the <html></html> tags, is required to be on the page; else, it is not valid HTML. The head tags go inside the html tags. We do not have access to the head tag on Wikia.
<title></title> defines the title of the page that is displayed when you are browsing by tab or window. It is not displayed on the page, but is also required for all pages; the correct placement for it is inside the head tags. The title tag's content is automatically defined by Wikia based on what title you give the page.
<body></body> portion of the document defines where the visible part of the page begins. It is also required and is placed inside the html tags and outside the head tags. We do not have access to the body tag itself, but we do have access to some of the content in it.
The heading tags can vary anywhere from <h1></h1> to <h6></h6> (commonly not put to use). They are used to seperate different sections of an article. On wikia, we use the <h1></h1> tags for the title of the page (which we can partially alter), <h2></h2> (and so on) for other headings in the articles. The larger the number that follows, the smaller the heading. Headings are placed inside the body tag, and on Wikia we use equal signs instead of the code (== Heading 2 ==).
<p></p> defines a paragraph on the page. It is not a required tag, though it is the most commonly used tag for placing regular text. We have access to one of the paragraph tags on Wikia, where we place all content. The p tag is also considered a blocking element, since it leaves a line break before its content. It is always placed inside the body tags. Unlike all other elements thus far, there can be more than one paragraph element used, and you can add as many as you want on a certain page.
<span></span> tags define a certain part or amount of text. It, unlike the p does not leave a line break before it, thus is not a blocking element. The span tag is usually used to design a certain part of a text that you would like to be in-line with the rest. It is placed inside the body tags. Just as the p tag, you can add as many <span></span> tags on pages as you want.
<div></div> is another blocking element that is placed inside the body tags. The div tag is very similar to a paragraph tag, but it is also used to hold multimedia, navigation bars, etc. You can add as many division tags on a page, as they, too, don't have a limited number allowed.
<img /> is a tag that is not put to use on Wikia (by the users), as we have other means of adding an image. What is curios about it, though, is that does not have two tags - a a starting and an ending tag - but it has one tag that starts and ends by itself. In different version of HTML, the img is written out differently. In HTML5 it has just one single tag, as it doesn't require a span of multimedia: it is multimedia.
<a></a>, also known as the anchor tag, is used to add links and anchors to certain pages. An example of an anchor is the comment button: it leads you directly to the comments using an anchor. We also do not use it, as it we have other ways of linking information, and we are not permitted to create anchors.
<br /> is a tag that calls a line break. It, just like the image tag, uses one tag instead of two.
<hr /> is the tag used for a straight line. Similar to both the image and the line break tag, it only uses a single tag to execute its action. On Wikia, you can either place the code - <hr /> - or use four dashes (----).
Please note that all tags after the body tag are placed inside the body tag.

Using the knowledge you now have, let us construct a sample HTML5 page:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>My page</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h1>My page</h1>
    <h2>My paragraph</h2>
    <p>This is my first paragraph.</p>
    <h3>My div element</h3>
    <div>This text is placed inside a 
div tag.</div>
    <h4>My span element</h4>
    <br />
    <span>There is a line break above, 
since this is a span tag does not 
automatically call a line break.</span>
    <hr />
    <h5>Another paragraph</h5>
    <p>There is a straight line and a 
heading above me.</p>
    <h6>And...</h6>
    <div>...the end!</div>
  </body>
</html>

To view the page, copy the code above, paste it into Notepad (for Windows) or any other simple text and/or coding program, save it as an HTML file, and load it. For Notepad, select "All files", remove the ".txt" after the name of the text and replace it with ".html" or ".htm". The click save, and load the file. You have now seen a simple page coded with purely HTML5.

48px-3565124.png Finale criticisms
BlackMonkey

Here I am, first time outside of fanon for a while in the BSST, to review the Legend of Korra Season 1 finale. I thought the finale was good, don't get me wrong, but lets face it, it's boring to read good reviews full of compliments. So, as a professional pessimist, I am going to choose to focus on criticisms on the finale. So if you guys are reading this and are all like, "Why is he so negative?", that's why.

So before we go in depth, here's my summary of what I thought. Basically, when you finish the finale, you feel satisfied. There was lots of action, Korra went into Avatar state, very interesting backstory, a suicidal murder on Nickelodeon, and if you ship Makorra, that's even better. But, after that quick satisfied smile, you realize something. At least, I realized something. There's nothing left for Book 2. Korra is a fully realized Avatar, Makorra happened, the Equalists are done for, Amon and Tarrlok are dead. Etc. What's left? Here's my analogy. What if Darth Vader died in a New Hope? Better yet, what if he died, his followers disbanded, and Luke became a fully trained Jedi, all in the first film? And don't go saying that Amon isn't like Darth Vader. Masked, scary voice, main villain. Need I say more?

About Amon. I personally think that his character was just completely destroyed in the finale, after we take off his mask. Lets compare and contrast, shall we? Amon is this masked, scary, insanely powerful, nonbending revolutionary legend. He's the freakin' solution, okay? Noatok, under his hood, mask, and facepaint, is a regular old waterbending brown haired fellow. I was like, "He is Amon? He's the solution?" Yep. Alrighty, look up a picture of Noatok, unmasked. Here, I'll do it for you. Now I want you to take that image in your head, and remember it, okay, take that image of Noatok and picture him going to Korra and saying, "I will destroy you" just as Amon once did.

Picture it. Come on, try.

Now, if you could do that, I would give you a good twenty bucks. I know, I know, twenty bucks is a little low for someone doing the impossible, but that's as much as I want to take out of my wallet at the moment. Seriously though, I can't do it. That man is not the sinister Amon I know. I feel as if, well, how should I go about this? Knowing that dude has been behind the mask and cloak of our villain the whole series gives me a very different look at Amon. He's not as scary, not as moving, all of his actions don't even matter because he's a waterbender. He was Amon? Yep.

Oh, one other thing, and call me racist if you will, but did anyone else notice that Noatok is white? In his flashbacks he has darker Water Tribe skin, and Tarrlok still has that too.

Lets take a breather from Amon now. Don't worry, I'll get back to him later. One thing that I thought was annoying was Korra. When she lost her bending, I was like, "What? No! That can't happen! You're toast!" When she learns airbending, I was like, "Now she has to live with only airbending! That's an awesome premise for Book 2." Five minutes later. when she gets earth, water, and fire back, it was sort of like, "That didn't last long." Seriously, her living with no bending or even just airbending would be an awesome plot for Book 2. An Avatar that can't bend all four elements - not the Avatar. I would be fine if she learned to give people's bending back in Book 2. That would be a major accomplishment. But already, it was just too fast to let a good idea like that pass. The only reason I'm not going to hold a grudge forever on this is because along with learning to give back people's bending, Korra met Aang and went into the Avatar State. So the epicness sort of helped make this low point better.

And now, back to Amon. Heh heh. The main reason I don't the finale here. He's dead. He's gone. What's left, I ask? What villain is there left? Hiroshi Sato? Amon was just too good of a badguy to die already. A revolution, a scary mask, a scary voice, hundreds of followers, a purpose that almost all nonbenders joined - he had this way of doing things, balancing perfectly on the line between intimidation and charisma. Even after his true identity was shown, he still had a moving backstory and a lot of feeling. I found his final boat ride quite touching. That is, until the thing blew up.

I guess the situation is sort of like Korra's, where epicness helps bring the scene up to a point where it is still great to watch. Pretty much any suicide for the greater good makes a story epic. Enough said. And really, come on, when has a suicidal murder ever appeared on Nickelodeon? The most violence I've ever seen on that channel is probably a pink dinosaur tripping on pavement.

But yeah. Amon was too good at being bad to die. I guess I didn't realize how much I liked him as a villain until he died, but that's really the manner of all things, you don't appreciate them until they're gone. I just don't see anything wrong with him - he was perfectly bad. Maybe I should call myself Amon Fanboy now, cause that's really what I've turned into after seeing the finale. Actually, saying as I'm male... And calling myself Heterosexual Amon Fanboy is just way too much effort... I'll stick with BlackMonkey.

There you have it, folks. BM signing out.

48px-1025281.png The Comma Crusade
The 888th Avatar

The Comma Crusade is back with new membership, led by Orderofthe WLinRP!

The Comma Crusade is a user group dedicated to the correction of grammatical errors across Avatar Wiki. It is our belief that all articles, regardless of significance, should adhere to the rules of standard English as set forth in the official site policy. Our objective is to set articles to said standard to ensure that the high quality of Avatar Wiki is maintained.

Anyone who sees an article that needs help can leave them a message on their talk page.

General Iroh
The Ba Sing Se Times needs YOU.
Have a great Avatar or Avatar Wiki joke?
An interesting opinion about the wiki?
A fanfic that desperately needs readers?
A review of a fanfic you'd like to publish?
Just write a column,
and send it in to the editor.

from the fanon portal
48px-3565124.png Fanon update
BlackMonkey

BlackMonkey is back for our fanon advertising column. Something like this is going to happen pretty much every issue nowadays, so be prepared.

So today, the current fanon super-promotion of Avatar: The Continuity of Aang ends. We would like to recognize a great user who read the story, told the FAS what they thought, and won this promotion's fortnightly drawing hosted by the Fanon Advertisement System. The winner is... RuleroftheBisons97! This user will be given a special userbox and their name will be on the FAS main page forever!

And as the previous promotion ends, a new one begins. For the next two weeks, the fanon promotion will be for The Book of Primal Illusion, a story by Harpalyce. Here's the plot summary: Eight years after Zuko was crowned Fire Lord and brought a fragile peace to the world, a new threat arises as a mysterious group seems to be out to kill the Fire Lord... or to control him. While Sokka and Aang chase down a cure that may be Zuko's only real hope - and may or may not exist - Katara finds herself pulled into politics, and then something far more dangerous... So it eventually turns into Zutara, but I don't think that should be a problem even for Kataangers because the fanon is very creative, well written, and full of suspense. If you do read it, please send your thought to the Fanon Advertisement System here, for a chance to win a special userbox, recognition in the next Ba Sing Se Times, and your name on the Fanon Advertising page forever. Don't be shy, it can just be one or two sentences on your favorite character, a tip for the author, or what you liked overall. Send it in here.

For more information about promotions, ads, and the contest, please check out the Fanon Advertisement System.

48px-2249220.png New fanon
Acer Indonesia

In 99 ASC, the Hundred Year War raged on, and the Avatar was nowhere to be seen. Despite this, a little family managed to thrive peacefully without any indignation and torture. A pair of brothers, Jim and Jerry, made their way through life without the love and guidance of parents. Their father had perished in the war, and their mother had long been kidnapped by a Fire Nation soldier. Jim eventually stepped forward, gathering all of his fellow orphan children and instilling within them with his strength and trust. They soon shared his ambition to end the war, without the help of the missing Avatar. And like the cycle of seasons, the cycle of the fighters began anew.

This is User:AcerEvan/The Chronicles of Avatar: The Freedom Fighters}}. Read more about it today.

Bopi-250

Eventually, it will become
something much more dangerous.
The Book of Primal Illusion

Random polls

Most likely plot lines to occur in Book Two of LoK
 
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The poll was created at 17:15 on July 15, 2012, and so far 178 people voted.
Best new character designs out of the following
 
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The poll was created at 17:15 on July 15, 2012, and so far 189 people voted.
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