Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Search Challenge (1/29/14): Can I recycle a milk carton in Palo Alto, CA?

Today's search challenge shouldn't take long.  In fact, today's challenge is to find the answer and fill out the form in just a few minutes.

Background:  As you know, every so often I do small tests to see how well people can search for this-or-that.  This is one of my classic questions that I use for calibration purposes.  I'll explain why on Friday (and share the results with you).  

In the meantime, if you want to add a comment below, that would be great.  

Let us know how it went for you! 

Search on! 


  1. Hello Dr. Russell and fellow SearchResearchers

    I really enjoy this mini challenge. Hope we can do and learn more about it.

    Also I want to say Happy Anniversary to Dr. Russell and SearchResearch. Tomorrow it is 4th! and because today is the challenge; I think is best to start celebrating. Congratulations, Dr. Russell and thank you for doing this. Since I found it, it has been fantastic to be here and learn with you and all my peers. Also congratulations to all of us that in each post share to make it the great site that it is.

    About this blog--Why SearchReSearch?

    All the best and again: Congratulations!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. a 502 error ate my comment… will try to redux…
      well noted and said Ramón - Dr.Dan is the SearchMan - the Dr. Joseph Bell of Mountain ViewHolmes [sic] - sometimes we are so busy running into the future, we allow the past to become obscured… to our detriment.

      did you happen to look at the comments? very curious, perhaps DMR could do a retro explanation?
      post: 1/30/10 comments: 5/09/10 & 6/29/10
      (has the NSA been reading from the jump?)

      "I've been tempted for quite a while to create a blog. But I was finally pushed over the edge when i realized that there are too many good ideas about how-people-search, too many fascinating tales of mystery and woe that should be told, too many little morceaux that should be shared. "
      merci beaucoup Monsieur Russell

    3. Thanks for noting, Ramón!

      Remmij -- Not sure what needs explanation. I've been doing lots of studies about how-people-search, and I found myself explaining the same things over and over. There's (still) a lot about search skills that is mysterious. I wanted to demystify those skills and help people out with their own search challenges.

    4. Dan, sorry for the confusion - I was speaking about the (2) comments to your About this blog--Why SearchReSearch? 1/30/10 post - by "ibrahim & baran" - that I had looked at after using Ramón's link to the beginning sRs posts… they seemed strange, out of context and lagging date wise - almost like they were using the comments section to communicate with each other.
      anyway, I should have been more clear that it was more a question to Ramón… wasn't really trying to make you be redundant about the underlying motivation for the blog. apologies.
      (see link "comments" provided above/earlier comment: 9:58 AM) - just thought the content was strange… wondered if you had looked at them since they showed up 5-6 months after your initial post?

  2. Something appears to be wrong with the form. It's invisible in Chrome. It's visible in Firefox, but there's no way to send it to you.

    So here in this comment is what I found:

    yes ... Milk cartons are recyclable in Palo Alto

    Curbside ... in the green containers (

    The Palo Alto Recycling Center (drop off) closed Feb 1, 2012 (

    > Any comments about this question?

    It's not clear to me if you wanted a single location (like a drop off center, which in P.A. closed in 2012), to the exclusion of the citywide curbside collection program. If so, I could search more to see if such a place opened more recently.

    But it does seem clear that milk cartons can be recycled throughout the city via the curbside collection program ... so that seems like the best answer to me: everywhere! :-)

    -- Mike

  3. I had no idea SearchResearch has been running for so long. Interesting link Ramon because the topic was the now defunct Google Reader and that's in just 4 years. Since this was a mini-challenge I am going to go back in time to 2010 to look at some of the old posts to see what changes we've seen in technology and how searching has changed.

    We are privileged to have the opportunity to learn and grow because of this blog. I know things change but I can't imagine my Wednesdays without a Google Challenge. Thank you.

    1. RM - know you are a chrome aficionado - thought you might be interested in these to possibly augment your searching searches and determining veracity,
      albeit crowd sourced…
      Chrome search tools

      WOT (Web of Trust)
      seems to be an interactive relative of "about this site", Goo's SERP tool noted by Dan 1/23/14 & his 1MM#9, 1/27/14
      illustration from PCWorld article
      about WOT

      am now returning to my place under the box ;)

    2. Hey.. *I* had no idea that it's been 4 years. If asked, I would have guessed it was about 2 years. Of course, the Analytics tell all... It will be four years!

  4. Yes, the Stanford Recycling Drop Off Center, 701 Serra Street, Stanford, CA would be happy to have you drop off your milk cartons. searched: palo alto recycling rules. The city of Palo Alto's Zero Waste site seemed a good hit. With a box on the left to search for milk (milk carton didn't work for some reason), bingo.

  5. Thanks Remmij. I'm always checking out new extensions/apps. I have been recently warned that some extensions cause problems so I've become more selective. "WOT" seems to be about security and children's safety. My thinking may not be accurate but I believe Chromebook has much less security issues than other operating systems. I use a "Google Search box" extension already but I did download "Highlight Search" because I can see that being helpful. The "Personal Block List" is easily accomplished with the ' - ' sign as needed but I can see a use for blocking a site you never want to see . I like the idea of using Wikipedia without leaving my existing webpage so I will give it a try. When you are on a Chromebook not having space or ability to have two windows open at the same time is restrictive. Since Dr Dan revealed his work practices I now use my Android as my second window.

    Thanks again, Remmij and for you -

    1. RM, a worthy phantasmagorical cautionary tale - whenever one is outside the box, beware of large French men with axes…
      (couldn't make that these days - borders on child abuse with the axe…)
      saw that it was Georges Méliès
      "Méliès directed 531 films between 1896 and 1913, ranging in length from one to forty minutes. In subject matter, these films are often similar to the magic theatre shows that Méliès had been doing, containing "tricks" and impossible events, such as objects disappearing or changing size. These early special effects films were essentially devoid of plot. The special effects were used only to show what was possible, rather than enhance the overall plot. Méliès's early films were mostly composed of single in-camera effects, used for the entirety of the film. For example, after experimenting with multiple exposure, Méliès created his film The One-Man Band in which he played seven different characters simultaneously.[4] (Buster Keaton would later repeat this in a technically superior fashion in The Playhouse (1921).)"
      which brought these things to mind:
      Voyage dans la Lune
      drawing by Georges Méliès
      and two more… the Georges Méliès/FX magic/tech tradition continues -
      Simon Pierro site
      and you probably aren't a fan, but an homage of sorts -

      fwiw; I have an Acer Chromebook headed my way so will be exploring life in the Goo pool a bit - have occasionally run a Chrome browser, but will have to get up to speed - am a bit puzzled by the single window comment… you use tabs don't you?
      anyway, thanks for the Famous Box point… I usually only operate out of common boxes…