What is Qwikipedia?

Ever been on Wikipedia to look up an article? More often than not, we start with one topic, click a few links and within no time are reading about something else.

Qwikipedia is a game that tries to quench this curiosity in us. The objective is to get to a particular wiki page, starting from a specific article, using minimal clicks. There is no single correct answer, so we might surprise ourselves by finding new routes each time!

Friday’s Free rider

Vitamin D —> Burj Khalifa

Vitamin D

Here’s one reason that parents can’t argue with if you’re outdoors playing for long: Tell them it’s to get Vitamin D. According to new research, young people especially in urban areas are deficient in this vital vitamin. Deficiency of Vitamin D can cause osteomalacia (softening of bones). The liver converts Vitamin D to calcidiol, which in turn is converted by the kidneys to calcitriol.  Calcitriol is important to circulate a hormone that can regulate calcium and phosphate, which are crucial for strong bones. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D.


So does the Sun give us free vitamins? Well, the human skin has the capacity to make Vitamin D from sunlight. The interaction between UV rays and a molecule (called 7-dehydrocholestrol) in our skin produces cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), a form of Vitamin D. Some researchers say that such naturally-produced Vitamin D is much better than what comes in food supplements. So do go for some fresh air daily, while the sun is still above the horizon.


The horizon or the skyline is the apparent line that separates the Earth from the sky. If you were standing on a vast expanse with no obstruction to your view, the horizon would be the farthest your eye can see. How far then is the horizon? Leaving out the factor of atmospheric refraction, there is a simple equation that you can use to find out. The distance (in km) to the horizon is roughly 3.57 multiplied by the square root of your height (eye level) above the ground in metres. So if your eye level is at five feet (1.52 m) above the ground, the horizon would be at a distance more or less equal to 3.57 X (1.52){+½}. That is about 4.40 km. So how far would the horizon be if you were standing on a really tall skyscraper?

Burj Kalifa

We are talking about the tallest building in the world here. Located in Dubai, it is 828 m high. If your eye level were at 829.5 m from the ground when standing atop this skyscraper, you do the math to find out how far the horizon would be. The distance would be about 102.81 km. There are plans afoot in China and Saudi Arabia to build skyscrapers even taller than the Burj Khalifa.

So the path that we have traversed today is:

Vitamin D —> Sunlight —> Horizon —> Burj Kalifa .

Three clicks!

Here’s tomorrow’s question:

Saturday’s Surfer

Sparrow —> Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Do send in your paths for the above question to school@thehindu.co.in with the subject “Qwikipedia”. Do include your name, class and school!


Rejul Reghu of class XI, Nehru Memorial School, Kadakkal was able to find a different route for our Thursday’s Trekker.

Here is the route that he traversed: Novak Djokovic —> U.A.E —> Oil company —> Oil spill —> Deepwater Horizon Oil spill