“sharktopus colouring in pages” – Like, for kids to color? We’re still talking about this thing, right? That’s what you want your kids to be coloring?
“are zombies allergic to pee circles” – Well? Are they? Because that sure could simplify my zombie apocalypse plans quite a bit…
“what if a praying mantis sees himself in a mirror” – Indeed. What if.
“pipe manners meth” – You know, I’d hate to be impolite when I’m SMOKING METH.
“animated gifs allergic reaction” – An animated gif of an allergic reaction, or a person who is allergic to animated gifs?
“stomp on my glasses please” – WHAAA?
“bowling mustache” – Isn’t that redundant? Is there any other kind of mustache?
“president riding a dinosaur” – Yes please! You show me a president riding on a dinosaur, and I show you my vote, no questions asked.
“how to make baby stuffed quilts” – I’d go for wool myself, but I suppose babies would work too.
“how to draw the green bay packers logo” – IT’S THE LETTER G
“why u-shaped toilet seat pee on floor” – I know, right?
“negative points of putting sandhood and milk on face” – Because, I see the positives of rubbing sand (hood?) and milk on your face, but I just can’t see what the negatives are?
“things that start with the letter a” – I’m guessing that returned a lot of search results.
“harry potter wands for sale cheap” – It’s like, I want to do magic, but I’m on a budget, you know?
“heat seeking balloons” – Oh god, pull up! It’s right on your tail! Evasive maneuvers! It looks like a heat seeking…balloon?
“when it rains it pours zombie?” – When it rains, it pours….zombies? Paratrooping zombies falling from the skies? The horror.
“80′s – ohh ohh ohh ohhhhhhhhhh ohhhhh” – This one makes me laugh, both in the futility of the search, but also because I have been reduced to performing similar searches before. (specifically “Ber ner ner ner, ber ner ner ner, ber ner ner NER ner ner ner”)
“funny zombie birthday quotes” – That’s…very specific. Funny zombie quotes are hard enough to come by, but to only limit them to birthday quotes…
“bigbutt wemon” – This is actually the only way I find my own site.
“bacon worshipping religion” – Yes please.
“potluck flowchart” – Is there bacon wrapped weenies? Yes -> take 10, No -> be sad
“facebook for people without kids” – I guess I didn’t realize it was specific for people with kids?
“jet ski urban crime” – Awesome idea, however, not a lot of urban places are accessible by jet ski. Chicago just might be one of them, though…
“is it bad if people hero worship you” – As a person who is most likely hero worshiped practically nonstop (I assume), I am definitely the right person to answer this question. Seriously though, who asks this question and how do they fit their enormous head through the door?
The other day I had a thought that so completely stunned me, that I just stood there with the shower water running down my face: librarians were so ahead of their time!
Librarians have been stalwart defenders of our information privacy before we even knew what information privacy or data mining was. Even in this digital age, libraries don’t keep records of what books you’ve checked out. This is not just poor record keeping, but a conscious effort to ensure people cannot use our own information against us. 70 years ago, librarians were already envisioning the case where someone could use the fact that you checked out a copy of Mein Kampf to blacklist you from getting a job.
Nowadays, companies like Google and Facebook keep track of every move we make online, correlating it, cross-referencing it, and (of course) selling it. If you search for a product, Amazon immediately sends you an email about similar products. Then it sends an email to your friends, who might also like products that you like. If you buy peanut butter, Yahoo puts you in touch with singles who have jelly. If you fart, Steve Ballmer bursts through your window with a can of deodorizer (the one that your best friend gave five stars on Yelp) (Yes, I know it doesn’t make any sense that your friend is rating fart deodorizer on Yelp, except that 1) your best friend is kind of crazy, and 2) this was the fart deodorizer sold by a special “beans only” restaurant. It’s downtown) (And by the way, that wasn’t exactly the craziest part of that sentence anyway, so lay off alright?).
We hardly exist as people anymore; we’re just chess pieces in the game of mass consumption. Our very existence generates money for other people. Every product we buy, every link we click on, ever celebrity we tweet about is stored in a database for later use. Employers are Googling job applicants and demanding access to their Facebook profiles before hiring them. All of a sudden, you’re wishing you hadn’t done that review of Mein Kampf on GoodReads.
And librarians saw the writing on the wall, tried to stop it, before it was even technically possible to do it.
Good job librarians. Sorry we didn’t listen to you before it was too late. Anything else you want to warn us about?
Here we have yet another search term roundup, in which I ruminate about the strangest Google search terms that have lead weary Internet wanderers to my doorstep.
“Skeletor frozen in ice” – We can only hope that Heman was also frozen in ice, to be thawed to combat the future menace, a la Demolition Man.
“awesome” – I don’t know what they thought they would find googling this term, but I’m glad my website came up in the search! I’d like to think it was the first result.
“the awesomest guy ever” – Two hits on this! Two! Thank you for the recognition Google!
“is this thing on dating website” – I’m not exactly an eligible bachelor, but maybe we could set something up for single commenters? Do I have any single commenters?
“stuffed animal bacon” – The hard part is cooking it long enough to make it crispy. However, I have to admit, Oliver does have a stuffed animal bacon.
“black and asian couples” – Boy, Sara and I to a “T”, I tell you.
“word for “things were better in the old days”" – Is there such a word? If so, I’d like to know it.
“where’s oliver?” – Must be getting desperate if you’re resorting to Google searches. Well, you found him!
“famous black man” – I’m so happy to think that someone searching for famous black men, instead found Sean Connery. Or, maybe it was Sara googling to find the name “Sean Connery”, and she succeeded.
“big sticky wad” – What do you suppose they were looking for? Why do you think they found me?
“hp lovecraft dinner party” – I hope they came to my website looking for my contact information for an invitation, because that sounds awesome!
“t-rex lick people” – I don’t believe that is historically accurate.
“kale chips jokes” – That’s pretty specific. I wracked my brain trying to come up with a kale chips joke to put here, and I think it’s just not possible.
“funny threats” – I’m going to kill you with a rubber chicken! Drown you in seltzer water! Slap you in the face with a poison cream pie!
“i-like-it-salty shane” – That’s right baby. I like it salty. (I really can’t deny, I do like salty things. Salty things.)
“random things nobody would ever think of” – Good luck with that search.
“swashbuckling chicken” – I just…I…wow.
“so i stopped the apocalypse” – …and now I’m looking for something else to do.
“things that are going well in schools” – Aw, this made me so sad! I just imagine some depressed parent looking for just one example they could point to that something was going well in our schools these days…and only able to find my blog.
“rocket propelled banana” – Not sure what it has to do with me, but I’m in!
“advantage of pseudopods” – Plastic surgery has gotten so crazy these days. People are actually weighing the merits of attaching pseudopods?
“von trapp dog training” – So long, farewell, arf wienerdog, goodnight.
“just simple drawings of different types of puppets” – That’s all I’m looking for. Is that so much to ask, Internet?
“zombie narwhals” – This one captured my imagination. I googled it myself and found a surprising number of hits! There’s a wealth of information about this topic. I never knew narwhals were such staunch zombie fighters! And the possibility that all their zombie fighting might inevitably lead to a few zombie narwhals has come up a time or two before. Absolutely fascinating.
“zombies vs jedi” – I’m sorry, but this wouldn’t be much of a fight. I don’t know how I’ve never considered a lightsaber as a zombie fighting weapon before, but I’d be hard pressed to imagine anything better for slaying zombies!
“The first snowfall of the winter of a boys 18th year means he must take his first step towards manhood.” – This was actually a spam comment, but it is definitely the strangest one I have ever received!
You are probably aware of Google’s efforts to digitize as many books as possible, scanning (literally) tons of print books into their computers. Sometimes there are technical glitches or errors when scanning these books in: print may be smudged or damaged, especially if it is very old. So Google came up with a brilliant yet simple solution to this problem: get people to unwittingly do it for them, for free.
You see, even now, there are some things that are very easy for a person to do, but very difficult for a computer to do. Recognizing distorted text turns out to be one of these things. Google doesn’t want to pay an army of people to read through these books and transcribe them. That would take forever, to say nothing of the cost (although I’m pretty sure Google is more concerned with the time, than the cost). So how do you trick people into doing this for you?
You might not know the term, but a “captcha” is one of those things you have to fill out on the Internet to prove you’re not a spambot. You know, look at the image and write the text that you see, something like:
Well, if you’re using Google’s free reCaptcha product on your site (and who wouldn’t? If it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for me!), it not only verifies you’re not a robot, but also helps decode a particularly tricky word.
Take the example in the picture above. The first part (Years) decides if you’re a robot or not. The second part (maybe subioik?) is a picture of a word from a paper book which was scanned in, but not understood by the Google computers. If enough people answer the same thing on that captcha, the Google hive mind can assume that that image correctly maps to subioik.
In other words, it might take a computer a million years to run algorithms to figure that out, but Google could accomplish the same in about 30 seconds by harnessing millions of people trying to enter porn sites.
This is such a simple, obvious solution to the “smudged word” problem. It’s so smart it’s almost scary, like encountering an alien intelligence that is so far beyond my capacity. In fact, when I first heard about this, I dismissed it as some kind of crazy conspiracy theory. Not so. Information is available directly from Google.
I don’t see anything wrong with them doing this per say, but it still leaves a funny feeling in my stomach. I feel manipulated somehow. And anybody that ingenious is a little scary. So far they seem to be using their power for good, but what if that changed? I don’t know man…for some reason, this disturbs me greatly.
Link via Sylvain
At this point, everybody knows there is weird stuff to find in Google street view. Statistically speaking, if you photograph enough of the world, you’re going to see some interesting things. I’ve even blogged about it before. However, seeing the weird and interesting things that the Google camera captured doesn’t seem to get old. So here’s a nice gallery of some of the interesting things found. It’s called 9 eyes in reference to the disco-globe camera that Google uses to take the pictures. (Note, the pictures are from tumblr, so the links will expire. Enjoy them while you can! Otherwise you can just go directly to 9 eyes and scroll down.)
Pictures of wildlife, prostitutes, and people with guns are always popular. There are also some nice ones of an abandoned baby, an active house fire (notice the neighbors just running outside), the aftermath of an accident (is that a body on the ground?), and a car fire. I love how the Google van just keeps going when he sees some of this stuff. He’s like, “Hey, not my job!” The Google camera van operator must have a story or two to tell. I wonder sometimes if the Google van itself actually caused any accidents? As a side note, some of these are obviously fakes. There is no road through the middle of the viewing tank at Sea World. So if some of them are fakes, can we believe any of them?
Can anybody explain to me what the deal is with Google Buzz?
It was sort of billed as Google’s answer to the whole social media thing. In reality, it seems to be just sort of a Twitter aggregator, so you can get your updates in with your mail. So it’s kind of like facebook, except with out all the features. Twitter itself has a better interface. Why add a middle man into things, especially when it adds nothing?
Okay, so maybe I don’t have to check another web page, I can pull that stuff into my gmail. That’s the (dubious) upside. The downside is that it seems to update inconsistently, I don’t completely understand how to use it, and it doesn’t work as well as the original websites it pulls in. In fact, what ends up happening, is that I read a few of the twitter feeds available there, so that when I actually go try to read the real feeds to catch the stuff I missed, I end up re-reading a bunch of things I already saw, and trying to sort those out.
I just can’t figure out what they were going for. What’s the point? This is even more worthless than Google Wave.
That’s two strikes Google! I’m so disappointed with you. Like two months ago, I thought you could do no wrong. Who’s at the wheel over there?
What to say about Google Wave?
First off, let me say that it is pretty cool. I could see the potential there. It is sort of a combination of chat and email, but the possibilities really shine when multiple people are using it at the same time. It also has some cool potential for work/school/group collaboration. I can see where they were going with it.
For the average person there doesn’t seem to be much point. It fills a niche that most people didn’t really need to be filled. It doesn’t offer me much more than Gmail already offers me (I even have chat built in to Gmail!). So the net result is that I just have one more website to check. As far as I can tell, Google Wave seems to be a website where people can go to ask each other what the heck Google Wave is and what we are supposed to be doing with it.
So, in summary, Google Wave is kind of cool but kind of useless, until such time that it completely replaces email (a.k.a. just short of never). Anybody disagree?
(And after all that, I have invites! Ask in the comments and I’ll send you one!)
I actually tried this to be sure it was true. If you type “why wont” into Google, it will list you the top search terms. And the top search term is…well, I will let the image speak for itself:
By the way, am I the only person who noticed “why won’t god heal amputees” on the list as well?
Link via FailBlog.
Just released: Google’s new webbrowser, Google Chrome. I installed it 6 minutes after it went live, in fact, I am blogging from it right now. You can learn more about it in comic form, arguably the best way to learn anything. (Remind me to tell you about the Cartoon History of the Universe sometime…fantastic!)
So far so good. Fonts and things are kind of looking funny. It will take some getting used to with the tabs on the top, but I think it makes sense. It imported everything from IE seemlessly. There are a lot of speed and security enhancements, which are hard to quantify. Best feature so far is the “new tab” page. Rather than making a blank page when you go to a new tab, it displays a page that is customized to your personal browsing history. Your most visited pages are there with one click access. And somehow that new tab seems to load faster than the blank page in IE!
So, first impression is good. It seems faster than IE and Firefox, but maybe that’s because I haven’t loaded it down with plugins, etc. yet.
Today Google went live with Street View for Chicago. It is really cool! I don’t know if you played around with it when they first put NYC, Las Vegas and San Fransisco, but if you haven’t you should definitely go check it out! Maybe it won’t be that interesting unless you live in Chicago (I certainly wasn’t interested until it came to Chicago) but at least give it a try. I already checked, we’re not dancing in our underwear in the windows or anything. They also added Philadelphia at some point. They didn’t go far enough out for me to check out my apartment or job, but I did sit and gaze at Jim’s Steaks. No, I really did.
And as long as you are checking things out, you might want to take a look at Read a Book by D’Mite. Best song ever! Sometimes when you want to teach important lessons, you have to speak to someone in their language (think Lil’ John) which in this case includes some foul language. Be forewarned! But I think the message is more important than the way it is conveyed…lessons such as personal hygiene, your body’s need for water and the importance of investing your money in land.
That is all.