Showing posts with label Random things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Random things. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Update: Why Putin is a crab

So I am now in a position to be able to tell you why Putin is a crab. He gave a press conference a while back during which he stated that he had been working "как раб" (like a slave), but several journalists, either accidentally or otherwise, misheard him. They thought he said he had been working "как краб" (like a crab), and reported his words as such. Cue internet proliferation of pictures with Putin's head superimposed on the body of a crab.

Diction is very important for politicians.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Google and what people want to know

If the futility of life is starting to get you down, and you feel yourself sympathising with Pechorin more than is strictly healthy, I suggest you look to Google to restore your affection for the human race. I like to type in "why" to Google, because it then suggests the most popular continuations of this question. These questions form the current preoccupations of humanity (or those parts of humanity with access to a computer). And then I like to do this in different languages to see if it makes a difference:
Why am I…?
…is the sky blue?
…so tired?
…is the sky blue?
…always tired?
…is the sky blue?
…an idiot?
…is a blonde standing at Hamburg port?
…so happy?
…a Christian?/ sad?
…is Picnik closing?
…a vegetarian?
…is the sky blue?
…pay more?
…so tired?

These are the most popular questions. Spain gets two answers because of the two verbs "to be" (assuming my limited memory of Spanish is correct). Picnik is a photo-sharing website, and I think the German question about a blonde is part of a joke.

I'm sure you could do this for hours, but I don't know any more languages. I tried doing this with Google translate for some countries, but you never know with Google translate. Either their translation is off or the Greeks are googling why Greece was given the opportunity to rise up against their government and attain the 5th dimension, whatever that means. Although I suppose rising up against the government possibly IS what the Greeks are googling.

The reason for the sky being blue appears to interest a lot of people - this question was at No. 1 in US, UK, Russia and France, No. 2 in Spain and Australia, and No. 3 in Germany and Italy. It was the only question all countries had in common, although variations of "why am I so tired?" were also quite common, appearing at Nos 1 and 4 in the US, 1 and 2 in the UK, No. 2 in Spain and Italy, and No. 4 in Germany. The French and the Russians apparently get enough sleep. 

Anyway, the point of all this is that you see how much you have in common with the rest of the human race, i.e. most of them are exhausted as well. The Spanish are depressed - "why am I so sad" appeared at numbers 1 and 3, and the French are lonely - "why am I single" appeared at number 1 and "why am I alone" at number 2. And the Russians are all voting for Putin...well, maybe. "Why am I voting for Putin" was actually higher than "why am I an idiot", but I ruled this out because, judging by the results, I think it is a statement rather than a question, i.e. it should be read as "why I am voting for Putin". The second most popular question beginning with "why?" in Russian was literally "Why is Putin a crab?" but since this doesn't make any sense, there must be something I am missing. It's not zodiac signs, but it must be something.