Search Term Roundup

“if the zombie apocalypse comes it will be hard pretending not to be excited” – RIGHT??

“genital guillotine” – No. Just…no.

“quotations on jock itch” – Nothing says inspirational quote like jock itch.

“ewok weight training” – As in, weight training programs for ewoks, or tossing those little buggers like medicine balls?

“wisconsin camping babes” – Clearly looking for a family reunion wrap-up.

“chemotherapy jokes knock knock” – Knock, knock. Who’s there? Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy who? Cancer is not funny.

“gorilla,bacon, peanut butter and mustaches” – Possibly the new tagline of my blog.

“chainsaw licking” – Not a sport for the weak of heart.

“how to get crumbs out of teeth” – So you can master google, but not toothbrushing?

“tickling nala’s footpaws” – I swear that had to be Evie googling that

“moustache tied to train tracks” – Now that’s a hilarious prank!

“fort wayne ww2 hitler” – I think the connections are pretty obvious when you think about it.

“volcano pirate birthday party” – YES! Not sure what the connection is between volcanoes and pirates, but sign me up.

Search Term Rollup

“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?

Search Term Roundup

“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?

Librarians tried to save society, and failed

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?

Search Term Roundup

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.)

Google Search Term Rollup

“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!

My god…it’s brilliant…almost TOO brilliant

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?

reCaptcha.

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