Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 23, 2021

Would Jean-Paul Sartre be rolling in his grave if he knew his famous quote, “Hell is other people”, brought up Google and Yahoo! search results that barely mentioned him?

Eh, probably not.

But it’s kind of odd what comes out on top:

- On Google, it’s some Brainyquote quiz of the day.

- On Yahoo!, it’s a blog (and a BlogSpot one at that — which, if it were to come up No. 1 anywhere, would logically do so on Google, since Google owns Blogger/BlogSpot).

Another example of how shaky the prospect of “relevance” is when it comes to modern search technology. Which will be reinforced when this post probably winds up in the top ten for results on Sartre’s quotation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/23/2005 10:27:34 PM
Category: Bloggin', Creative
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The next time you ask someone for their email address, and they toss the word “strudel” or “monkey” in there, don’t panic: They’re probably from a country that doesn’t natively have the “@” symbol, and so have improvised an oral description.

In Russia, for instance, it seems that the most common word for the @ is sobaka ( dog) or sobachka ( doggie) — apparently because a computer game popular when e-mail was first introduced involved chasing an @-shaped dog on the screen. (Don’t laugh; Pac-Man was shaped like a pie with a missing slice.) So when Natasha gives her e-mail address to someone, it comes out sounding like she calls herself “Natasha, the dog.” “Everybody’s used to it,” says Peter Finn, The Post’s Moscow correspondent, “but there are still jokes — people say ‘Natasha, don’t be so hard on yourself.’ ” Ah, those crazy Russians.

Try this: Look at the @. What does it remind you of? Apparently it reminds a lot of people around the world of a monkey with a long and curling tail; thus, their e-mail addresses might include variations of the word for monkey. That’s majmunsko in Bulgarian, m alpa in Polish , majmun in Serbian and shenja e majmunit (”the monkey sign”) in Albanian. Or they might call it an “ape’s tail”: aapstert in Afrikaans, apsvans in Swedish , apestaart in Dutch, Aff enschwanz among German-speaking Swiss. (Many Germans apparently used to say Klammeraffe , meaning “clinging monkey,” or Schweinekringel , a pig’s tail — though these days it’s usually just “at.”) In Croatian, they call the sign “monkey,” but they say the word in English. Go figure.

An extensive list of these variants reveals a lot of inventive nicknames, with snails and cats joining monkeys as the most popular animal images.

These options could be used for listing out email addresses online while avoiding spambots. Instead of writing out “name AT yahoo DOT com”, you could make it “name MONKEY yahoo DOT com”. Less boring that way…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/23/2005 08:17:00 PM
Category: Internet
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Maybe I’m due for a re-jiggered subtitle for this blog. Witness what Tommy at Sticks of Fire cooked up for a placement ad:

Population Statistic - The census agreement on pop culture

Not bad. I rather like my current “Read. React. Repeat.” — enough so to enshrine it into the graphic logo header up top — but you gotta keep it fresh.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/23/2005 03:55:44 PM
Category: Bloggin', Florida Livin'
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