Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Coming Back for More Or Just Stumbling In?

Monday, November 1st, 2010

I doubt if I have any regular readers by now, so I won’t waste a lot of time apologizing for not having written about anything but my iPhone and iPad apps for a long time—or anything at all, for over a month. Not wanting to overdo it on my first blog post not devoted to apps in so long, I will keep this post short. And easy to write, I might add.

This will be another in my series on what brings people to this blog, based on search strings they have used in Google, which I can see in the log for this web site. Previous posts in this vein were “What Brings You Here?”, “More Searchers Arriving at a Place They Never Imagined”, “Some Google Search Examples to Start Off July”, and “More Google Follies.”

It’s gratifying to see indications in a search string that someone has returned to the blog to read something a second time, or perhaps to finish reading a post. I’m going to mention a few of those, which, though they are not as amusing as the ones that show the searcher had something totally different in mind, may be of some interest as indications of the kind of details and words that can stick in a person’s mind sufficiently to serve as keys to finding a blog post. Perhaps the examples will interest a new reader or two in the old posts. As always, I’m keeping the original spelling of the search strings.

Of course, most of the time it’s not possible to know for sure what the Google searcher’s real target was, or if there even was a specific target. I’ll start with one that is far from certain to have been aimed at finding anything on this blog. “Animal fight cat and night creature” isn’t a perfect fit for my blog post “Cries in the Night,” but if you read that post you’ll see why I suspect it might have been meant for it, especially since the searcher did actually come here, or I wouldn’t know about it. It doesn’t seem the sort of phrase one would throw out without something specific in mind.

Just to follow with one I feel more confident about: “mac book pro boil water” fits so well the posts “Vista on My MacBook Pro is Hot—Boiling Hot!”, “Boiling Temperature—Not Just for Vista Anymore”, and “Can’t Boil Water With Vista on My MacBook Pro Anymore” that I’m claiming it as a definite.

I’m inclined to rank as almost definite the search strings “athiest breaking habits” and “Search for dawkins smoking” as having been motivated by a desire to come to my post “On the Breaking of Bad Habits Acquired in One’s Youth: Smoking and Atheism.” For all I know Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist, has been trying to quit smoking, or perhaps there is another Dawkins associated with smoking in some way. But the referenced post, which talked quite a bit about Dawkins and his stated reasons for rejecting God, has been one of the most read of mine, so my guess is that those strings point to a purposeful search for it.

Also coming to that post was someone who entered the long direct quotation from Dawkins: “the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference.” Since it was a direct quotation, it could have come from anywhere, but it’s at least a possibility that someone copied it from the blog post mentioned in the preceding paragraph, having been impressed by it there and then wanting to return.

It’s a little disconcerting to see one’s own name in a search string, or it is to me anyway, but my name followed by “on screenscientist isaiah” was used to come to that same blog post on atheism, in which I quoted the Biblical verses Isaiah 55:8-9, so I assume that that text made an impression somehow, just as the Dawkins quote may have. I wonder if it was someone I know?

“Rest in piece roonie” probably was looking for “Ronnie Knox, Rest in Peace,” since the searcher did come here, but I can never know for sure. Kudos to Google’s spell guessing algorithms again.

The Googlers behind either or both of the search strings “drag racing going too fast” and “dragracing providence” could have had in mind “Times I Might Have Died” (the post they arrived at), though it didn’t recount an actual drag race.

Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig” brings people to this blog every day. They are usually looking for advice about what to do with a sick, dying, or dead guinea pig. “Prayer for a dead guinie pig” might fit into the looking-for-advice category, but it could also have been entered by someone wanting to read the piece again, as you will understand if you read it.

It seems interest in my post “Large Hadron Collider: What’s the Risk?” has waned now that the LHC has been running for months without even the whisper of universal annihilation, but I’d like to think that the search string “otto roessler wacky” was inspired by my personal contribution to the defense of the LHC, in which seeing a video of Rössler led me to write “as I viewed his smiling face, this thought came into my mind: I wonder what the German word is for wacky tabacky.”

More Google Follies

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Now and then I like to share with my vast readership some of the amusing Google search strings that have led people to this blog, as well as some of the mysterious or gratifying ones. Previous posts in this line are “What Brings You Here?,” “More Searchers Arriving at a Place They Never Imagined,” and “Some Google Search Examples to Start Off July.”

The search string that told me that it was definitely time to compile this post was one that brought someone to this site today, which coincidentally is the day after St. Patrick’s Day. This classic search string was “real pitcher of a leprechaun.” Now the use of “pitcher” in place of “picture” brings so many people here (where posts about Little League and the OnScreen Pitch Count iPhone app are plentiful) that I’m starting to think of “pitcher” as a candidate for alternative spelling. It is actually the way many people around where I live pronounce “picture,” which has confused me more than once when the topic was Little League team photos. But what about the leprechaun? Well, that word was used to describe a person in “A Rocky Little League Start,” which naturally enough also included the word “pitcher.” I have to assume that the person that handed that search string to Google believes in leprechauns, or at least thinks there just might be an actual photo of one on the internet somewhere. So far I’ve resisted the temptation to see what might turn up with the proper spelling of “picture.”

My post “Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig” seems to bring at least one reader to this blog every day. Most of these, as I’ve noted before, are evidently people searching for veterinary or pet euthanasia advice. The desperation of these googlers comes through in the way they phrase their searches, not just in key words, but as questions or plaintive statements about their pet’s symptoms. These are often sad, as in “my guinea pig is whimpering like a baby.” An exception was one I found funny, as it was obviously the coincidence of our guinea pig’s name that brought the searcher here: “are guinea pigs allowed chestnuts.” Note that this search string is expressed as a question, which follows the letter to an advice column format so often adopted by google users, at least those with pet concerns.

I’m almost sure I’ve run across “my cat cries when we fight” twice as a search string that pointed to this blog, presumably to “Cries in the Night.” I think it’s fascinating that someone would just hand that fact (based on experience, I assume) over to google for an internet search. Perhaps they were trying to locate a first-person account they had read in the past but couldn’t remember where. I imagine they were searching for others with similarly sensitive cats though. If so, this blog would have disappointed them. Yet they came here, so perhaps something else piqued their curiosity.

I don’t have a clue how a search with “bugs bunny pulverizing pitch” led someone here, unless “pitch” alone sufficed. But that must have been on page 100 or later of the finds, after many “bugs bunny” matches. Maybe I have a reference to programming bugs somewhere.

As a more detailed example of how mere word occurrence can lead to google matches I’ll cite the google search for “bible significance of crow.” which turned up

On-Screen Scientist » Jim Crow
Jan 19, 2009 … Posts Tagged ‘Jim Crow’ … but it is also completely beside the point as regards the significance of Obama’s election. …. Yet Barack Obama is about to be sworn in as President with his hand on the Lincoln Bible. …

Yep, “Thoughts of Water on the Eve of Obama’s Inauguration” does contain the words “crow,” “significance,” and “Bible.” Nothing about Biblical significance of the crow though.

That same Obama inauguration post was evidently matched to a search on “effects of thoughts on water,” the meaning of which is puzzling, but could be about some imagined telekinetic effect I guess.

I have written (“Ronnie Knox, Marcel Proust, and I” and “Ronnie Knox, Rest in Peace“) about a certain Harvey Knox, stepfather of Ronnie Knox, the gifted quarterback who led a strange and fascinating life, but I have no knowledge whatsoever of “The Harvey Knox Pig Figurine Collection.” Sorry.

In the gratifying search category I’ll put “onscreen scienstist japense surrender,” since it leads me to believe that my post “August 6, 1945: Just Another Day in the War?” stuck in someone’s mind along with this blog’s title, even though the searcher is an even worse typist than I am.

Some Google Search Examples to Start Off July

Monday, July 6th, 2009

“I’m shooting for one entry a week.” That’s what I stated when I first put this blog on the internet. The past couple of months I have fallen pathetically short of this. The main reason is that I have been spending time and mental energy programming an iPhone (and iPod Touch) “app.” It’s neither earth-shaking nor a potential fortune-maker, but I think it will be useful to baseball coaches (and the parents of pitchers) at all levels and to fans who might like to keep better track of how a pitcher is doing than they can from the statistics typically displayed during a game. The app is a pitch counter that allows one to record, not just balls and strikes, but also the kinds of strike (swinging, called, foul, or ball hit in fair territory), as well as the number of strikeouts (and what kind of strike the third one was), base runners (and how they reached base), runs allowed, batters faced, outs recorded, and of course total pitches thrown; all for any number of pitchers in a game. I’ll have more to say about it later when it’s finished. Anyone interested in being notified when it’s done should send me an email (address in upper right).

In lieu of writing one of my usual long posts, I’m going to share with you a few more of the Google search strings that have led people to this tiny spot in the great blogoverse. They will illustrate comical misdirections, obvious intention to come here, and ambiguous intention; sometimes giving me a glimpse into how the blog is perceived. I enjoy seeing them.

Even more so than before, the people coming here for advice on how to get their Macs to run at a lower temperature greatly outnumber all others combined. I’m just happy that I finally have a solution for most of these frustrated seekers of relief, as I related in “What a Relief! MacBook Pro Overheating Problem Cured—Really” and “Too Good to Be True? My MacBook Pro: First Cool, Now Quiet.

As an example of a mistaken visit, I’m pretty sure the person that searched Google for “pulled pork lowell ma delivery” was a Lowell, Massachusetts, resident who wanted barbecue brought to his or her door. Yet Google, a word matcher without the ability to judge intent, just noticed that I had recorded buying a pulled pork sandwich at a Lowell Riptide pro softball game where I had also noted a peculiarity in a pitcher’s delivery, and thus suggested this blog as a possible destination; which suggestion was, surprisingly enough, taken.

The writeup of that softball game (An Evening in Lowell: Mixing in a Changeup) also brought to this blog someone looking for “jocelyn forest left power line.” Not remembering who Jocelyn Forest was, I at first drew a total blank on the meaning of the phrase. I had to do the Google search myself to solve the mystery. Google put the Lowell Riptide game post at the top with:

‘On-Screen Scientist » National Pro Fastpitch Jul 30, 2008… effort to learn how to coach softball pitching, Jocelyn Forest, the Riptide pitcher, instead of landing with her stride foot on the “power line” … always landed well to the left of it—yet another example of someone …’

So the match was a good one, and it had been a technical comment on that particular pitcher’s delivery that had stuck in someone’s mind. Had it been Ms. Forest herself, worrying much later that she might need to change her pitching form a little if a casual observer was making comments about it?

The story of the dying and death of our guinea pig named Chestnut (Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig) continues to bring a few people here every week. Some are looking for information on pet euthanasia or guinea pig health, but a few must have somehow learned of the specific story, as witness their searches for “chestnut the guinea pig” and (probably) “guinea pigs last days.”

It’s hard to guess what the searcher for “ginipig war pitchures” had in mind; really hard, unless he or she remembered having read both the story of Chestnut and another of my posts called “Souvenirs of the Pacific War” and just wanted to find the way back here to the blog. I give Google a good deal of credit for coming back with “Did you mean: guinea pig war pictures?” That searcher did come here or I wouldn’t know about it. Still I have trouble reconciling the spelling in that search string with the act of reading either of those two rather long pieces. Maybe the searcher meant “New Guinea” instead of “ginipig” (plausible) and had no inkling of this blog’s existence.

Some Google searches seem to be clearly aimed at a particular post of mine. “Dante’s Heavenly Vision and the Physics of the Proton” is almost certainly what the people looking for “protons god,” “holy trinity hydrogen atom,” “dante paradisio dark matter,” and “dante’s quantum physics” had in mind. On the other hand, a Presbyterian minister came to it after some sort of search on the Trinity and (perhaps) physics without prior knowledge of it. I know this because she emailed me to ask permission to quote from it in a Trinity Sunday sermon she was preparing. I’m still hoping to read the sermon.

There’s no doubt what the string “on screen scientist perfect italian woman” was meant to find, as there is a post archived here called “The Perfect Italian Woman.” However, “dna of italian women” is a puzzle to me, even though I can see how Google might suggest this blog, given the DNA software I sell, in addition to the presence of the post about my Italian experience previously mentioned. If the searcher for “italian woman are not good looking” was hoping to find confirmation here for his mistaken idea, he was disappointed. However, the search string “the perfect american woman” is actually pretty good, even if the searcher probably didn’t tarry here long enough to read the post and see that. I won’t rule out the possibility that it was a deliberate search for the Italian Woman post by someone who had already read it and just got mixed up on the name.

I can’t deny that it’s gratifying to see that a few people have sought this blog out using the phrase “on screen scientist” explicitly. Whether they were returning or had somehow heard the name from someone else, I’ll never know. Those that mention the name seem mainly to be interested in questions of science and religion. For example, I have noted searches for “theist on screen scientist,” “on screen scientist moral non religious,” “on screen scientist god no bible,” and “on screen scientist recognize god.” I’m a little surprised that I’ve come across to some as being irreligious or rejecting the Bible, because I wouldn’t characterize myself that way, though I am certainly not a Biblical literalist, and I would have some difficulty in saying exactly how my belief in God translates into Christian terms. Finally, I can’t imagine where the deluded searcher for “famous on screen scientist” got his or her information. If there were another one out there, and famous to boot, wouldn’t I know about it?

More Searchers Arriving at a Place They Never Imagined

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I’ve been traveling and otherwise occupied a lot lately, so I’ve really fallen behind my one post a week goal for this blog. I don’t have anything very substantial to post today, but I would like to share some more of the possibly amusing or interesting Google search strings that have brought visitors here.

As I noted before, the most striking thing revealed by an examination of the search strings (of words) people use in Google is how many people approach Google as some sort of artificially intelligent being one can ask questions of, as though of a person. This seems especially to be the case when they have medical concerns (at least pet medical concerns). My post Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig gets a visit or two almost every day, usually from people with a guinea pig they are worried about.

The search strings are sometimes of the hopeless (but Google-appropriate) “how to euthanize a guinea pig” sort, but an extreme example of one treating Google as an online veterinarian (and a psychic one at that) was “My guinea pig has not eaten today and he has a cold. What is up?” In the same vein was: “my son has squeezed our guinea pig will it be ok”.

I used the first of those mentioned above to do my own Google search, and—low and behold—my post came up fifth from the top. Here’s what Google returned for it (word matches in bold):

On-Screen Scientist » Blog Archive » Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig
May 25, 2008 … Our guinea pig, Chestnut, is dying. He will probably be dead before I …. Hopefully the vet is open today. 11:00 am. He’s not, but the … My wife has been felled by the same cold I have presumably, … I say to the intake woman, who is looking at me quizzically, “He hasn’t eaten anything in days. …

Since Google just looks for word matches and doesn’t try to make sense of it all, it came up with a good match, although, except for the “He hasn’t eaten” part, the matched words (today, my, cold) weren’t relevant.

For the second string Google brings up my post third from the top thusly:

On-Screen Scientist » Blog Archive » Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig
May 25, 2008 … Our guinea pig, Chestnut, is dying. He will probably be dead before I …. OK, it’s now the morning of the next day. … He didn’t drink water that was squeezed into his mouth this time, as though reflexes aren’t even working. … Chestnut has been buried in the back yard. My son arrived back from …

Thus, there was a hit on nine out of eleven words (and Google probably ignored “it” and “be” as too common)! Yet the circumstances are totally different, except for the shared anxiety about a guinea pig.

It seems to me that there is sufficient text in the Google excerpts above to have shown the searchers that my post was not what they were looking for, but they came anyway, either through blind clicking or just because it was obvious my post dealt with a dying guinea pig, which was a subject on their mind.

The search string “guinea pig isplaying dead after popcorning” brought someone here too. I hope the “playing dead” wasn’t wishful thinking, if the searcher was referring to his  or her own animal. I had never heard of guinea pigs playing dead (possums, yes), but Google finds a YouTube video (which I haven’t watched) claiming to show this phenomenon. Another ask-the-vet type string was “do antibiotics make guinea pigs tired”. This was a good match by Google’s standards, since my post contains all the words, though, of course, no answer to the question. I also fear that that animal was suffering from something worse than antibiotic side effects.

So it goes. People with sick animals or sick computers go online to look for help, and some of them end up in this out-of-the-way spot. I see several people arriving here daily with MacBook overheating problems (or worries) of one kind or another, which shows it is a real problem, though I suppose not a sufficiently serious one for Apple to deal with publicly. The computer users with problems typically have a better idea of how Google works than the guinea pig owners; they just put in a string of keywords for their searches.

Many other search matches must be the result of coincidence, though it’s not always obvious how. The string “black bean death lottery cycling club” leads Google to put my post Times I Might Have Died as number one on the candidate list, since it contains all the words except “cycling” and “club” (though it does deal with my early bicycle riding). It’s unlikely my post was what the searcher had in mind, but whatever it was, it must not be on the world-wide web, for nothing shows up containing that very specific collection of words.

It may well have been a job hunter that searched for “physics phd fbi”; but, whoever it was, found the following as number eight on Google’s list:

On-Screen Scientist » Blog Archive » Why Gamble? Hire a Physicist.
I should add that when a physics professor called Ron about hiring me several months … what hourly rate I should get as a new Physics PhD (or near-PhD, whichever it was). …. My Appointment with the FBI and a Long-Delayed Connection …

A somewhat interesting point here is that “Physics PhD” was found in the text of the indicated blog post, while “FBI” appeared in the sidebar listing of the titles of recent posts, so even if the person had been looking for my FBI appointment post he wouldn’t have gotten to it directly. Something to keep in mind when searching.

What was the searcher for “trees shame” after, I wonder? I’d like to think it was someone who’d read my post A Painful Christmas Blessing and wanted to come back to it or to direct someone else to it; and my post does come in at number seven in the Google list, but there’s nothing definitive about the two words and no way to know what the intent was. Still, as in all these cases, the searcher did come here, or I wouldn’t know about it.

My post about exchanges with commenters on an atheist blog, Conversations in the Clubhouse of Truly Smart People, has also brought a few people here via Google searches with other purposes. I feel bad about not having advice for those who seem to be seeking it: for example the one searching on “what smart people say in conversations” and the one searching for “smart things to say in conversations”; young people, I hope. Then, there was the one possibly looking for confirmation of his own observation that it’s best to “never let people know how smart you truly are.” I’m taking that to mean that it’s better to play dumb a little, but it could mean never let them find out how dumb you truly are, which has aways been my concern.

I’ve been at this blogging for almost a year now. Thanks to all who have read and especially to those who have written to me (email address towards upper right) these past months.

What Brings You Here?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

I thought I’d share with you some observations which I’ve found interesting or amusing about how people arrive at this obscure corner of the blogosphere. People come to this blog by different paths. Some visitors have been here before and check back now and then, whether looking for something new or browsing through older posts. Some come using a link made by another blogger, and others will come via a link I’ve embedded in a comment that I’ve made on another blog. A few will come as a result of an email I’ve sent them, having noticed some overlap of interests. Some days a big majority of visitors arrive courtesy of Google search results, although other search engines play a role; and such search-initiated visits are always a substantial fraction of the total.

How do I know where people are coming from? When anyone visits a site, some information about the visit gets logged, such as the web page from which the visitor just came, if there was one. I use a WordPress plugin that tallies some of this information, and Google Feedburner does much the same, adding counts of which browsers people are using and the top few cities (but not States) people have come from. Since my total visitor count is low, most of the cities listed have only one representative on a given day, and I’m not sure what determines which ones get listed. The countries in which the cities are located are indicated by national flags, and it’s quite gratifying to see on the list a number of flags I can’t even identify. Because of ongoing worldwide interest in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and peoples’ fears about it, a significant percentage of the visitors Feedburner shows are from foreign countries, sometimes more than half. The US flag by a city is not sufficient to identify the State of many cities with certainty because of all the multiple examples of city names. I was recently surprised to see a U.S. city called Wasilli listed, for which I would never have been able to guess the State a short while back, but now feel pretty sure of.

The search terms people use to find their way here are generally the most interesting data collected about visits. In all the examples that follow I am keeping the original spelling (frequently misspelling) found in the search terms. Many people, evidently overestimating Google’s artificial IQ, seem not to know that it looks for word matches; they write out questions such as (one of my favorites): “why are smart people never understood in conversation[?]” Through word matching, that search naturally brought the frustrated conversationalist to my post Conversations in the Clubhouse of Truly Smart People, which comes second from the top in the Google search. I know the feeling, pal, but I’m afraid my post didn’t help you. Another visitor to the same post was searching for the answer to the question “are the smart people religious or atheist[?]”. I don’t know if he was helped or not. I’ve noted that having the word “scientist” in the very name of the blog increases the likelihood of ridiculous matches to search terms.

Sometimes the Google search terms used make it seem very likely that a visitor was either returning to see a post again or was following someone else’s recommendation to track it down. I’ve recently seen a few visitors (or perhaps the same one repeatedly) that came here as the result of a Google search on “the perfect italian woman,” which happens to be the title of one my earlier posts. Unless Richard Dawkins has decided my notion of the clubhouse of truly smart people was too good an idea not to implement for his atheist buddies, the Google search on “richard dawkins clubhouse,” which turns up the Clubhouse post referred to in the previous paragraph as number one, must fit into the category of a search made in order to return to a previously read post. I’m guessing that “scientist rest in peace,” which turns up my post Ronnie Knox, Rest in Peace in fifth Google position for obvious reasons of word matching and was used by a couple of visitors in the space of a week, also belongs to this class of returns or pass-alongs, but there’s no way to be sure. Ronnie Knox, by the way, with additional words such as “UCLA”, “quarterback”, and “football” brings in a steady trickle of visitors, so I feel the blog is providing a service to those wondering whatever happened to the guy.

I was amused to see that one visitor had arrived here due to a search for “professor otto rossler+crazy.” Now I never came right out and said Rössler (one of the LHC end-of-the-worlders) was crazy by explicitly using that word; but I did point out some evidence that his grip on reality seems quite tenuous. I see that as I write On-Screen Scientist » Otto Rössler is the third listing in Google for that particular combination of words. It ranks so high because the word “crazy” does appear in this quote from Rössler himself about his “Lampsacus” web page: “This is the most crazy homepage ever written.” It seems a source of pride to him, and he does play the role of the mad scientist—sixty-eight-year-old hippie dreamer out to save the world variety—rather well. Rössler and his co-troublemaker Rainer Plaga (though their LHC doomsday scenarios are mutually exclusive) bring in more Google-based traffic than even the hot MacBook Pro post, but they are usually of the plain “Rainer Plaga LHC” type.

Even searches based on false premises—e.g., “large hadron collider in texas cancelled due to religion,” which gives the wrong name for the Superconducting Super Collider and the wrong reason for its cancellation—can lead to a real web page through word matching, and my page referencing the LHC tag turns up fifth in Google since it mentions both the LHC and the SSC and its cancellation.

One of strangest Google searches I’ve seen to point to this blog is “example of left-bound manuscript about personality, fitness and health.” That seems such a bizarre stretch that it makes me wonder if that person doesn’t have some way of obfuscating his actual search string, or if perhaps Feedburner had a minor seizure at just the right time to misdirect someone else’s results to mine. What was the person who searched using “How to write a letter asking for a chemical as gift from a scientist?” planning to do, and where did that person get the idea that the answer could be found on the internet? Whatever link Google found to this blog must have been buried very deeply in the list; but since none of the ones above it would have had the answer either, might as well keep trying, the visitor must have thought.

Among those visitors least satisfied was probably the one who was pointed here by a Google search on “realistic ‘gender switch.’” Hoping perhaps for a detailed before-and-after display, he or she no doubt arrived here because of my discussion of Proust’s inadequate depiction of Albertine in the post Reading Proust for the Last Time—only to find no pictures at all. Another bound to have been disappointed was the visitor led to my post Times I Might Have Died by a search for “Russian scientiest hit by a car died and came back to life.” Sounds as though I must have missed something big, but I can’t keep up with everything.

The aforementioned post The Perfect Italian Woman has been a magnet for people following false leads. The post fails to answer the question “why are european women perfect[?]” posed a few weeks ago by a visitor. It sheds no light on who might be the “most beatiful scientis woman.” Nor does it offer photos of “beautiful young italian women.” Unless “where to meet women in torino” was one of those searches by someone trying to get back to the post, I’m afraid a lonely searcher found nothing of value, unless he was really starting from scratch, and a story from twenty-five years ago could help. If you haven’t read the post, then you can’t appreciate the irony of having the search on “how to approach an italian woman” lead to it.

My post Last Days of Chestnut, Guinea Pig has brought visitors via painfully sad Google searches such as “rotting guinea pig foot,” “guinea pig end of life signs,” “guinea pig whimpering meaning,” “how to put a guinea pig out of misery humanly,” and “how far down to bury dead guinea pig.” I can try to dispel the sad thoughts engendered by those search terms by contemplating the absurdity of coming to the post via the Google search on “what scientist know about the pig.”

Let me close with a Google link from a search conducted by a none-too-literate and somewhat confused student (presumably), a match probably due to my dubious use of “thank yous” as the way to convey the idea of saying “thank you” multiple times in posts in which I wanted to acknowledge other bloggers. Anyway, the search was on “how is history yous in math.” I can’t say it’s funny exactly, but solving the puzzle of what the “yous” meant and then considering the idea of history being used in math just set something ringing in a funny part of my brain. It’s at least a clear reminder that the internet cannot be a substitute for “old-fashioned” education.