Monday, April 8, 2013

"G" is for Google

Sometimes, I wonder how we survived without the internet. It doesn't matter what I'm doing or what I am thinking of, as soon as I want to know anything, I turn to the internet. The answers are there. However, despite how long it has been around, I am still caught off guard by the people who don't grasp the power of the tool that is so easily available to them.


I can't tell you how many times I have been teaching, when a student, who is sitting at a computer logged into the internet, will ask me something like,

"What's the capitol of North Dakota?"
"Who was the 23rd president?"
"How many species of roaches are there?"
"Where is the coccyx?"

These are supposed to be kids of the Internet Generation. The entire world of knowledge is at their fingertips right in front of them and it doesn't occur to them to use it. However, if you ask them to show you the latest rap video or their favorite porn site, they'll type so fast their fingers blur.

Anything you could possibly want to know (and stuff you don't want to know) is out there, but you have to know how to find it. There are all sorts of crazy tricks to find what you are looking for, but the easiest place to start (and usually as far as you need to go) is .   Just about anything you could possibly be looking for will be available through this site.

In fact, Google is so useful, it will anticipate what you are looking for before you even get it all typed in. I started to enter some searches to illustrate.


After only five letters, Google knew what I was looking for and offered suggestions. After this search you can correct someone when they incorrectly use the word allopolyploidy when they should have said autopolyploidy. Those words are not interchangeable.

Google is also careful to help you understand why things are they way they are, as illustrated by this search.

Well, which is it?

Whichever opinion you may hold, Google will find you the information you need to support it. Google will even find things you didn't know that you wanted to know about. Look what happened when I started searching for myself (Brett Minor).


It's spooky how much Google knows. When I said you can find anything, I meant it. Despite how thorough Google appears to be just by looking at these illustrations, it does something even cooler. You can search by image. I used the picture to the right to see if it was floating around out there on the internet anywhere. It's a picture of me from my childhood that was just being uploaded for the first time, so there shouldn't be any results. To my surprise, Google found something immediately and I was met with the following screen.


I was intrigued as to why my picture might appear on a website about Kenya. Maybe I had a doppelganger there. So, I clicked the links and they both had the same picture.


Why Google thinks that a baby picture of me looks like the Kenyan flag is beyond me, but Google is much smarter than me or anybody, so we have to trust it. Although, I really don't see it.

Can you see the resemblance?

I just don't see it, but I dug deeper into the site Google suggested to see if I was missing something. After a few minutes, I discovered that Kenya is planning to modify its flag in order to make it more personal. Here is a picture of one of the suggested patterns.


So, Google was right after all. I should have known better than to doubt. This should be proof to everyone that whatever you may be looking for, Google has the answer. If you are wondering how far it is to the nearest Clown parade, how many people live in the Vatican, the ingredients in vegetarian haggis, or how to build a carburetor for a flying toilet, then Google is the place to look first.

If you can't find it with Google, then you probably don't need to know it anyway.




Happily participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For the entire month of April, 1,897 bloggers are still working their way through the alphabet. One letter every day but Sundays for a total of 26 days.

Click here to visit the website and get more information to see if you might want to join in next year. It's a lot of fun, introduces you to hundreds of new blogs and gives your writing some fantastic exposure.

104 comments:

  1. This was hilarious. Thanks for the good laugh. And it's all funny because it's true. I'll definitely be stopping by again.
    Elliot
    We Are Adventure

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    1. Thank you. It was fun. Google makes the world easier for now, before it decided to take over once it has gained our trust.

      Delete
  2. LOL! Google is a bit like that overachieving underling at work who constantly needs reassurance that they're doing their job right. "Here, is this what you want? No, how about this? Am I predicting your needs? Am I? I got your answer in one squizzilionth of a second. LOVE ME!"

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    1. That's exactly what it is. When it's not asking you questions, it's bragging on itself.

      Found 12,256,325 results in 0.34 seconds.

      HA! Suck it Yahoo!

      Delete
  3. So, the other day, I asked google to find something completely ridiculous that I can't remember. (actually I do remember, but am too embarrassed to repeat it.) Anyways, I ended up linked to somebody's blog that I follow and am now probably going to end up in one of those posts about the completely random google search terms that led people to their blog.

    I think it may have sucked me into some sort of rip in the google, space time continuum?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ken, you dangle that teaser out there and then don't follow through. How cruel.

      I've had plenty of times I am searching for the perfect picture and have no idea why it gives me the results it does considering what I searched for. I'll never understand.

      Delete
  4. This was hilarious! I loved the Brett Minor search!

    I use Google for everything, too. When one of the belts broke on my car, I did not call a tow truck. Nope, I Googled how to fix it, and I fixed it!

    Now, excuse me while I go Google why do I do things and see what it is Google thinks I do!

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    1. Thank you. Good for you for fixing your car. That is probably more than I could do. I have no mechanical ability.

      Delete
  5. So why do you like cheese??

    Interestingly enough I just watch a TED talk last night with Ken Jennings - that crazy Jeopardy winner - who talked about why knowing things is better than looking things up on google.

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    1. A better question might be, how is there anyone who doesn't like cheese.

      I agree that is better to learn stuff, but if you don't know it, where will you get it from?

      Delete
  6. Huh, you and Kenya. You learn something new every day, right? (By Googling)

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  7. It is amazing! Once I lost a contact lens in my eye. Looked up Google and there was the answer in seconds. And of course, not all the information about politics, etc. is true, so you have to warn your students about that. The next thing: What do you do with all this information? But the best thing is the audience. Add the globe gadget to your blog and watch where all your readers are from. I have a son named Bret (with one t), so I am partial to your blog.

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    1. Thank you. One has to learn how to use Google responsibly. Say hello to Bret.

      Delete
  8. You know your company is the ruler of them all when its name is a verb that is now in the dictionary.

    "What's the name of the 23rd president?"
    "Hold on, let me just Bing that," said no one ever.

    Also, like you mentioned, I find myself wondering how we survived without the Internet. Like, when I was growing up, we didn't have the Internet. And yet I don't remember how I found the answers to all of these questions, now that I can just punch it into my phone and have a result thrown back to me in (apparently) 0.15 seconds.

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    1. I remember sitting in class at school and arguing with someone about something and the best fact check we had was, "When I get home, I'm gonna ask my dad."

      Delete
  9. Google is a winner for sure....I just love it when they tell me there are 5000 possible sites that would suit my search or when they send me to a porn site when I google 'cat jokes'...by the way I do see a slight resemblance around the ears lol.

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  10. We have a joke in our family: whenever we don't know anything I always say "just type it in". My kids have had a hay day with that one!

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    1. At least you guys know what to do. It sucks to just sit around and not know.

      Delete
  11. Wow! Funny your inclusion on the flag of Kenya, Google sometimes makes strange relationships in your research!

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    1. I have run the search several times and I keeps giving me that flag. I just don't get it.

      Delete
  12. I actually laughed out loud reading this post! Like really and truly LOLed, as the kids would say. As a former librarian, I guess you could call me one of the original search engines. I would never look at you and mistake you for the flag of Kenya, but I might ask you why you like cheese! Thanks for popping by my blog for "F"!
    Jess / Blogging on the Brink

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    1. Who doesn't like cheese? It's good stuff.

      Thank you for seeing the difference.

      Delete
  13. Hahaha. Who could have guessed you'd end up on the Kenyan flag? The pic is cute though so I can see why they considered it. :D

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, it's great to meet you.

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  14. Well that was fun and I've wondered about some of these Google guesses too. It's been helpful most of the time, but sometimes you come up with some strange choices.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. I am totally baffled at the results sometimes.

      Delete
  15. This is a TOTALLY AWESOME post! I laughed several times ... and frankly, I don't usually find things to be that funny. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. I am happy to be a new follower of your blog!

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    1. I'm glad to know you laughed. I'll try to get you again.

      Delete
  16. Wow, Brett, that is absolutely amazing. I love this story. Google is scary!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is scary. It's too smart.

      Delete
  17. Google knows a lot of stuff for sure. I love having access to it.

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    1. Me too. I would almost pay for it, but don't tell them.

      Delete
  18. This post is a hoot. You are funny. I'll be back.
    A to Z buddy, Jagoda from Conflict Tango

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    1. Thank you. I'll be watching for you.

      Delete
  19. I sometimes wish all the answers weren't so easy to find...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It does make us lazy, but it's okay. I do lazy well.

      Delete
  20. The google completes always crack me up, but sometimes it's scary knowing what other people are looking for!

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    1. I had a great type typing stuff in for this post to see what would pop up.

      Delete
  21. I love Google and google myself all the time. It is especially helpful when dating a new person. You can find out all sorts of stuff....

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    1. This was my first search for myself and enjoyed the results.

      Delete
  22. Some believe that Google is making us lazy and stupid but I disagree I think with so much information quickly available at our fingertips, we are learning stuff every day.

    Hi, my name is Gillian and I'm a Google Addict.

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    Replies
    1. I know I'm learning every day. I'm an addict too.

      Delete
  23. Ha, too funny. Had a good time reading your post. Don't know how we ever survived without Google either, or the internet in general. Only downside is I spend too many hours sitting in front of the computer. But that's okay. Will suffer for the love of internet.

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  24. Hilarious! Google is how we settle arguments in our family. Stupid arguments, but still, totally worth it.

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    1. I love being able to prove someone wrong while they are still sitting there.

      Delete
  25. Really fun, breezy post -- and true, too. I do like Google suggestions. It sometimes has me going down mental paths I would not have investigated otherwise. Is Google trying to say your face looks like the flag's shield? Wow. :-)

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    1. I'm not sure where the flag came from. It makes no sense.

      Delete
  26. If anything ever happens to Ornery, I intend to marry Google. I adore him! This was such a fun post! Happy G day!
    tm

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  27. Great post! I was horrified last week when I bought a set of antique prints with a clear artist's name form the 1890's and google knew nothing about them. Epic Fail...
    Lx

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    1. Uh Oh. Maybe Google is sometimes wrong.

      Delete
  28. Great post. Seriously. This may be your first year participating but you are knocking this shit out of the park :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much. I am having a lot of fun.

      Delete
  29. Replies
    1. Thank you. I knew I had tweeted about Google several times and used Google to find a site that would allow me to search through all my tweets.

      Delete
  30. Hilarious! It is great how many family squabbles are prevented because of the smart phone to check on the, of course wrong, cousin, brother, mom! No more need for a dictionary, to phone a friend or go to the library and hope to find a librarian to know what you're asking about.

    But, can it tell you how your particular brain thinks? Maybe some things are meant to be learned the hard way. (This is my first time doing this challenge as well) Writer’s Mark

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    1. I think it gets a little full of itself.

      Delete
  31. I've been having a love affair with Google for years. Shhhh don't tell hubby.

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    1. What? Google lied to me. I thought it was only me.

      Delete
  32. How cool is that that you included a picture of the flag of Kenya? Believe it or not, I've included it in one of mine, as well. That HAS to be a record. Or something.
    By the way, surfing for porn sites...?
    No, no, I'm asking for a friend.

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    1. That is quite a coincidence. I should Google the odds.

      Delete
  33. This was great. Thanks for making me laugh.

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  34. I laughed so hard. Sometimes I try to imagine what might come along that would be so wonderful it would replace Google. But then I get a headache and have to go sit down.

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    1. If something comes along that is better than Google I would be scared of it. That would mean the internet has become self-aware.

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  35. This. Is. Awesome. I'm totally coming back.

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    1. Thank you. I'll leave the light on for you.

      Delete
  36. Brett Minor has no soul...er...is there something you'd like to share with us Brett?

    Absolutely hilarious post! :)

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    1. I have a soul. I just temporarily misplaced it. It'll turn up. It always does.

      Delete
  37. I Google everything! I wish I had Google in school. I actually had to use a card catalog when I was a kid.

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    1. I remember the catalog. And then looking for the book. And then pouring through the book to find out that it only has a little blurp about the subject you are writing a 15 page paper about.

      Delete
  38. Sometimes I wonder how I survived before google. It has proven very useful, especially during trips.

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    1. I love it. My daughter keeps insisting on using Yahoo. I must not have raised her right.

      Delete
  39. Hilarious! Found you via Delightfully Ludicrous. Love the Gangsta pic you posted a while back.

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    1. Thank you. That was a fun post to put together.

      Delete
  40. Google is great - but sometimes I wonder if they will take over the world and become the next super power.

    Thanks for a fun post.

    Have a great A-Z

    Margot at A Devotional Mosaic and Spark My Creativity

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    1. I believe it is very close to being a super intelligence on its own already.

      Delete
  41. Remember having to go to the library and look stuff up in encyclopedias!?! The Dewey decimal system was whack! Kids don't know how easy they have it!

    Hugs!

    Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

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    Replies
    1. Libraries took forever and you might not even find the info in the book that took you an hour to find.

      Delete
  42. Hey fellow a-z blogger....I like the flag, scary stuff! Your right we all use google for everything. No other search engine compares does it? Whatever you need you can normally find it on google, I like it when it preempts what you are typing and shows amusing questions!

    http://designsbyrow.blogspot.com/

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    1. The flag makes no sense to me.

      Those BING commercials are on tv now showing that it is better than Google. I just don't buy it yet.

      Delete
  43. I'm all Google. Love your post..made me smile

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  44. Google should've sponsored this post. ;)

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    1. I plan to ask them. 0.01 percent of their profit for the day should be plenty.

      Delete
  45. I'm from that generation way back that did its research in the stacks of a university library. Sometimes I go a little nuts hunting for stuff now, just because I can. I ask whole questions now, like: "What kind of noise does a grebe make?" and "Are there any iquanas in Russia?" Life is so good with Google.

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    1. I do the crazy searches as well. Since they take no time at all, why not?

      Delete
  46. Great post - I love the flag/baby picture similarity ;o)

    I agree with the need to teach more appropriate use of Google, including search strategies. I've had students (Uni age) type a question into Google and come back to their group with nothing because it didn't give them any results (thankfully this was a few years ago now).

    I love the suggestions that Google gives you when you start typing in - really interesting to see what everyone else is searching for.

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    1. I have a friend who drives me nuts when he and I are doing something together on the computer. I see who he searches and have to wonder how he finds anything.

      I love the suggestions as well. I have wasted hours just typing things in to see what it will suggest.

      Delete
  47. Your picture search result mentioned a "naval ensign," which Google must have identified with the little anchor on your shirt. Still not sure why it went with Kenya's naval ensign/flag, but it looks like it did something right...

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    1. That makes sense, I didn't even see that. It's a bit of a stretch, but it's better than anything I can come up with.

      Delete
  48. My mom still uses Yahoo. To get to Google, she uses the Yahoo search bar and goes from there. It makes me sad to see. But at least she's finally starting to learn to use Google... sort of.

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    1. I have a friend who still uses the search bar. I feel the same way.

      Delete
  49. I love Google. But it still bothers me when I see people going to Google and typing the web address they want to visit. If you know the web address, you don't need Google!

    Thanks for the laugh.

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    1. When my dad first started using the internet, he did that. It drove me nuts, but I couldn't get him to see that it was redundant. He knows better now. It just took getting used to how it worked.

      Delete
  50. It's scary, but true that EVERYTHING is out there on the Internet and Google seems to have answers to it all. Now they may not be the right answers, but at least it won't let you leave empty handed and sometimes, it lets you have a good laugh. Like we did with you and the Kenyan flag. Google is a comedian too.. :P

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    1. It is scary. I have done serious searches for myself before and was amazed at how much I could find.

      Delete

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