Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back on the Dogpile

I tried out the useful Web metasearch engine, Dogpile, years ago, found it pretty good, but then never made that much use of it in the end, it's probably more aligned with really difficult searches you might need to perform for heavy research. I think I'll have another go now - made a favorite button for it and all. Then there's also Metacrawler and Webcrawler to check out (all 3 metasearch engines are provided by Infospace - and they say the following "No single search engine covers the entire Internet. Different engines use different technologies and thus draw different results from the vast pool of available information. Our metasearch-driven searches cover more of the Internet because they combine the most relevant returns from multiple search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Ask, and Windows Live Search"). Apparently "A recent study found that only 1.1 percent of the first page results are the same across all four engines [Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask Jeeves]". does Ask Jeeves even exist anymore? ahh, of course, they are now and own a bunch of other sites.

I've also been interested in what people search for on the web, and came across this (now dated) article of the most popular Internet search terms (excluding 'adult content') using Dogpile in 2005, and "music lyrics" topped it, followed, of course, by lots of celebs and even "wedding vows". That article went on to say that lyrics topping the searches was surprising given big events in world news, although web-searching is all about "finding information that does not have a readily-known source".

Lycos in 2007 had "poker", "saddam hussein execution" (sick ppl), and "britney spears", interesting, but then whoever uses lycos? (perhaps in metasearches?)

And more interestingly, since Google handles ~60% of global web searches (50% in the US) as at Oct'07, if you trust that poll, the most popular things googled in 2007:

  1. american idol
  2. youtube
  3. britney spears
  4. 2007 cricket world cup
  5. chris benoit
  6. iphone
  7. anna nicole smith
  8. paris hilton
  9. iran
  10. vanessa hudgens
and as for most Googled questions: who is god, what is love and how to kiss topped the lists.

Google Hot Trends has what people are checking out at the moment (apparently updated several times a day). interesting.

and this is an intriguing article for where the world's most frequent searches originate. For example, "Egypt, India and Turkey are the world's most frequent searchers for Web sites using the keyword "sex" on Google search engines"; whilst others, include:

"Hangover" - Ireland, United Kingdom, United States (not much of a surprise! Australia must've been close behind);
"Terrorism" - Pakistan, Philippines, Australia;
"Marijuana" - Canada, United States, Australia;
and even "Love" - Philippines, Australia, United States
. ???

also, another handy hint, i didn't know that you can use ".." to search in a range of numbers, eg. seach "war 1810..1820" to find the 1812 war.

ok, that's enough web research before i actually search for what i was intending to before... what was it again? electroanalytical techniques used in pharmaceutical analysis... or something?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

WEEN live review: 6 March 2008, Forum Theatre, Melbourne

Well I didn't get around to writing a proper review, so this email to friends the morning after will have to suffice:

Yeah, i'm just in at work with ringing ears, it was soooo loud, trying to piece together a set list of sorts. It was an awesome gig, with a grown up band and crowd, and lots of surprise song choices, which was great. Deaner went insane on guitar, with almost no breaks, over their ~ 2.75 hour set. And is it Claude on drums (?) he's amazing. I loved Tooter (and my fave Tender Situation), Fat Lenny was a huge surprise, Sketches of Winkle, and really also enjoyed Smoker and Rope. Voodoo was fun with a good light show during the 'bizarre noise section'. there was a fair few off the mollusk, from which Johnny and Waving and Eel were highlights for me, Ocean Man and the Mollusk were ok, loved by the crowd. was it Ocean Man where Gener played a ukelele? He also played some really funny lead guitar in one of their older tracks - might have been in the end of Sorry Charlie (also a highlight! lots of highlights!). oh, and ZOLOFT was great! oh, and ReggaeJJ

the opening song of the night was Exactly Where I'm At. and then shortly after that (one of the first few songs) they hit us with the HIV song, and although it can be kinda annoying, it was a fun noisy song to make us laugh and start grooving along.

Very odd choice was The Stallion Part 5 - definitely not my fave of the stallions, but interesting. Also a song called something like Booze Me Up and Get Me High, which was funny for a while and I think I've downloaded that before, but it was a bit repetitive (the crowd really got into it - maybe it's on one of the live albums... and although the crowd was older there were still plenty of trashed people around). there was also 3 or 4? off the latest album, of which I only vaguely knew from RRR that one about the party and the other called Object (?) both which were pretty funny, the other track(s) from that didn't really grab me (there was also an instrumental i didn't recognise).

I wasn't upset not to get Buenos or Buckingham since they are a bit epic (and thankfully no Daises), but i'm sure they still would've been fun, and they've played those on the last 2 tours. didn't even get Mutilated Lips. wasn't too keen on Pandy Fackler, but they went off into one of those extended jazzy jams after that, with lots of synth and drum workouts which were cool. they had a fair few extensions of beginnings or ends of songs, and Gener must've gone off for refreshments. we did get Even If You Don't and i actually enjoyed that in context, as a slower break in the set.
They ended the first (long) set with Someday, which was awesome, and then the final encore with Blarney, which was so absolutely loud and bass heavy, reminiscent of the time at the POW. Deaner struggled with the pirate vocals on that and cracked up a few times.

So, all in all a good mix of stuff, and they seemed to have a lot of fun. Gener thanked melbourne for two gigs and reminded us that they were in fact Ween, on several occasions throughout the night. and remarked that it (the Forum) was a nice place.

Later Notes: the only other songs i can think of that i missed above are Baby Bitch and Pony, which we're pretty good also, Pony was actually more fun than i would've expected. there was probably another song off White Pepper or Quebec, but i can't remember. actually, i've just worked out that they also played Beacon Light, which is meant to be an outtake from one of those albums, I don't think a great song, but has an awesome ending. it has that line "so strap on that jammy pack" in it, repeating those same sentiments from the Pod, and at the gig I couldn't place it...

also, i just came across this interesting article from the Age the day before this gig.

and apparently you can stream their new album, which so far hasn't worked for me...

and of course there's always Ween Radio

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Eloise is 2 and rapidly ascending

"at this rate my daughter might by pushing 4m by age 18..." i dutifully informed my lovely wife this evening, following measuring, excel plotting and extrapolating my daughter's height over time to her present age of 2 years (today) and beyond.

admittedly, a linear fit is hardly appropriate, given the pattern of slowing growth rate observed in humans over their adolescent years, but i couldn't get a decent logarithmic fit. i think the plot will look better when i find the data from her first year.