Gawker catches some amazing similarities between an L.A. Times article and Wikipedia:
Designed to traverse Japan’s mountainous terrain, the trains use tunnels and viaducts to go through and over obstacles rather than around them. They travel on elevated tracks without road crossings and apart from conventional rail. An automated control system eliminates the need for signals.
In contrast to older lines, Shinkansen are standard gauge, and use tunnels and viaducts to go through and over obstacles rather than around them. With a minimum curve radius of 4,000 meters (2,500 meters in the oldest Tōkaidō Shinkansen), the system was built entirely from the ground up on elevated tracks without road crossings and separate from conventional rail. It employs an ATC (Automatic Train Control) system, eliminating the need for signals.
The problem with relying on Wikipedia for research is that anyone can write anything on it at any time. You could go write: “Shinkansen are a breed of Indians found mostly in the plains of Kansas, characterized by large festering wounds on their shins and a love of everything Barack Obama.” The better it sounds, the longer it might last.
In fact, Wikipedia is so open to the public that, before writing this post, I checked to make sure that the above passage, quoted in the L.A. Times article, was actually there before the L.A. Times article. After all, some clown could have taken text from the L.A. Times article and put it in Wikipedia.
Many journalists lift stuff uncritically from Wikipedia. Andrew Sullivan does it blatantly. But it’s great to see one getting caught this red-handed.
UPDATE: Oh, I almost forgot to mention: the Wikipedia article says: “This article includes a list of references or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.”