Googly Awards

Okay, so a while back my wife showed me a cool blog that did this deal they called “Googlie Awards.”  I sure wish I knew what blog it was, because I’d love to give them credit for this idea.  I tried googling them, but it looks like there are a few blogs that have done this.  So sorry, whoever originated this idea.  You’re a genius, anyway.

So here’s the deal: if you have a stat reader like mine for your blog, it tells you the terms people are typing into search engines that lead them to your blog.  This is handy for learning how to best drive traffic to your blog.  Often the terms searched are very predictable, but sometimes they can be downright ridiculous.  The Googlie Awards go to the funniest search terms on the key phrases list.

Anyhow, I thought it might be fun to do my own Googlie awards, but for Google’s sake, I’ll re-spell it with a y.

The Making Moments Googly Award finalists…

drumroll…

“How long does it take for something to go down a giraffe neck”

Well, Bob (can I call you Bob?), that highly depends on what you mean by “go down.”  If by the term you mean roll down then it’s a physics question.  Of course if it’s a bowling ball it might really annoy the giraffe.  But if you mean reach the stomach, as in swallow, then I guess it’s an anatomy question.  Man, can you imagine being a mother giraffe trying to teach your kid not to choke on their food?  As humans, we have about three seconds from the moment of attempted swallow until it becomes obvious if the kid is choking.  Poor giraffe mama has to watch for a minute and a half before they know whether Jeffy got his Acacia veggies down or not.

“stinking thinking cartoons”

I could have guessed that my cartoons stink, but I had no idea they could think for themselves.  But what can I say?  Google knows best!

“important to live ones life the way one chooses to even if it means eating a burger for the rest of their life.”

You know, this one makes me a little more cautious about how I make decisions.  I mean, who would have thought that something as simple as making a choice would force you to eat a hamburger?  That’s why the advice to never shop while your hungry is not good advice.  You have to make choices – lots of them, while you are shopping.  It’s only practical to go shopping while your hungry.  For every choice you eat a hamburger, and by the time you reach the checkout stand, you’re full!  Maybe that’s how we could solve world hunger – just provide the poor folks out there some choices.

“song on big love la la laaaaa”

I wasn’t aware until now of the amazing new technology Google has known as “Google Tune Translator.”  If you can’t think of how a song goes, you just sing it into your computer.  Your computer then transcribes it into text and does a Google search on the text.  Genius, right?  Only problem is that it doesn’t really exist.  But Bob might just be working for the Google Labs department.  If so, I volunteer to be the first to install it in my blog.

They’ve got to be getting close, though, because it got Bob here!

The Makeshift Degree: Adlibing an Education without Going to School

photo-8

Okay, so obviously the most ideal way to get an education in most fields is to go to college, and for many jobs out, it is required.  But let’s face it, there are so many fields out there.  If you’re like me, you have so many interests that it is impossible for you to get a college education in all of your interests.
Also, many people are not in a position to go to college at the moment.
Here are a few ideas for getting an education outside of the school system:

Internet Sources:

The Internet has an endless supply of phenomenal information in thousands of fields.  You’ve just got to know where to look for it.  Here are a few sites I like – (maybe not Ph.D material, but interesting stuff nonetheless):

  1. http://google.com – good ol’ Google search.  You can learn just about anything with that… *
  2. http://www.youtube.com/edu – you know about Youtube.  Well, this is a branch of Youtube that specializes in good educational material.  Not just anyone can get stuff on here, so it’s a big step up from regular Youtube, and it’s a fun source of learning in all kinds of fields.
  3. http://www.ted.com/ – again, not a place to earn a degree, but if you want to get excited about learning, this is a fun place to go.  TED is a collection of fascinating lectures (yes, lectures CAN be fascinating!) that give an interesting perspective on various fields.
  4. http://www.openculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html – if you prefer getting your information from reputable colleges, here’s a directory of podcasts that are done by colleges such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale, etc.  Just putter around the site to find the subject you’re looking for.

Books

  1. Check the Thrift Stores: As soon as a book becomes obsolete (by college standards that can mean the book has been published for a year and a half and now the photos in the book need to be reorganized), the thrift stores such as D.I. fill up with college textbooks.  After I paid nearly $100 for an astronomy book in college, I found a stack of twenty of them at D.I. the next semester for two bucks a piece.  Ugh… but that’s good for people who are wanting an education outside of school.
  2. Libraries:  They’re still around, believe it or not.  In this “Google any question” era that we live in, this is easy to forget.  Pick a topic, go to the library, and read all you can on the subject.
  3. School libraries: Most school libraries are open to the public.  You may not be able to check things out without a student card, but you can read what you want while you’re there, and if you take your digital camera, you can get instant copies of pages you want to read more about.

This is NOT a comprehensive list.  Fill us in!  What ways have you found for educating yourself on different topics?

* Clearly there is a lot of junk out there, and one of the great purposes of education is to train you to recognize credibility and bias.  You need to learn to check the sources on information.  Just because it sounds legit, or the information is worded in an educated manner doesn’t mean the content is of any real value.  The best lies are coated in great disguises.  So check your sources!

Read more entries with tips and ideas!

Cautions for Bloggers

I’ve been reading some of the cautions for bloggers, and I realized that I’ve been going against far too many of the warnings. It’s a dangerous world out there, full of psychos who would love to use my blog to destroy my life. So I came up with a few ideas to protect my personal identity and the reputation and lives of those around me.

The world is full of pathologic googlers who can think of nothing more fascinating to do than sit at their computers and search the Net for every person they know. When they find you, they dig until they can find your blog, record all the personal information they can find, and sell it to conspirators. These conspirators sell your email to spammers, your phone number to telemarketers, your address to bulk mail distributors, and your name to pulp fiction writers.

Therefore, it would be terribly dangerous for me to put my real name on my blog. I think I’ll adopt a pseudonym – maybe one of those cool ones that uses real words with alternate spellings, such as Daye Greenwood or Zeneth Paine. Or maybe I should use one of the fantasy sounding ones like Tugath Zangweaver.

Then again, I mostly do non-fiction writing. Nonfiction readers want to know your credentials, and I’ve never heard of a Tugath or Zeneth with any decent credentials, so maybe I should adopt one of the CEO sounding ones, like Craig Power or Eric Doams.

I’ve also got to avoid putting real pictures of myself, let alone my family or kids, so perhaps I’ll follow the blog-warning-website’s advice and start using avatars in place of my real face, and the faces of my family. Japanese cartoons make great avatars.

Oh, and I have to be careful not to tell too much about myself, such as what I do in my spare time – after all, the infamous “they” might think to look for me at the Scottish Fest if they knew I was into kilt-weaving.

And lets not forget about password security. The last thing I need is to have some hacker break into my blog, change the password, post bootlegged Mrs. Fields cookie recipes, and get the FBI after me. Therefore, I’ve devised a simple yet effective password protection system. Take the month – in it’s numeric form, divide it by your age, and type the resulting numbers while holding the shift key (this should make all the numbers into characters). Then for every consonant in your name, type the next alphabetical consonant, and for every vowel, the next alphabetical vowel. Use this as your password. Then just change it monthly. I don’t think anyone will discover, let alone remember your password. And in the shear chance that they do figure it out, they will be thrown again when your age changes.

I’ve also thought of a way to secure my bankcard information. Whenever I make a purchase online, I could immediately call the bank and close the account. That way any stalking hackers who intercept my information are thwarted when they try to use it to buy Nevada lottery tickets. It will probably drive the bank bonkers, but better them than me. Maybe I could even try encoding my bankcard info when I submit it so the machine has to consult the bank before letting the purchase through.

Yup, you can expect that I’ll be good and safe from now on. So if you Google Zangweaver Powers, you still won’t be able to steal my money or identity – especially if I decide to start writing my blogs in binary code:

zangweaver-powers

00101001

01001000011111001001010 101010000101101010 110110011010010 1010100101 010000101110101110 100010100101001 00001110010 01010101100 00101101010110110011001010101 001010100010111010111010