Monday, January 23, 2017

SearchResearch Challenge (1/23/17): Searching by not overthinking it...

Simple really is best.  

This perhaps most true in your SearchResearches.  

And yet one of the most common search mistakes I see in my studies is people using WAAY too complicated terms to search for simple things. 

Here are a few quick Search Challenges to make the point. You should be able to figure out what these things are very quickly... and WITHOUT USING Search-By-Image.  (Yes, I know you can find these things with Search-By-Image--my point today is to help you learn to search by taking the simplest possible route.)  

What would be the simplest possible searches for these things? 

1.  What kind of beast is this?  (And what's the simplest search that will get you the answer?)  

2. When it snows gently at night (as it did many nights when I was a grad student in Rochester, NY), you can see the most beautiful display of lights around the parking lots.  What is this phenomenon called? 

3.  And lastly, many animals have this strange extra eyelid.  What's it called?  

P/C Wikipedia.  (But don't click on this link to find the answer!)  

These are hard, but completely fun... once you figure out that the answer is really straight-forward!  

Search on!  


  1. "Keep it simple stupid"or"Keep it stupid simple"…
    "KISS is an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid" as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided."
    "The acronym was reportedly coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works (creators of the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, among many others).
    The principle is best exemplified by the story of Johnson handing a team of design engineers a handful of tools, with the challenge that the jet aircraft they were designing must be repairable by an average mechanic in the field under combat conditions with only these tools. Hence, the "stupid" refers to the relationship between the way things break and the sophistication available to repair them."

    moo moo?
    Dutch Belted
    toughest - [rays of reflected vertical light in snow]
    light pillars in Rochester: December 27, 1993
    cheated on this one, but went with the simplest term…
    not to be confused with a third eye
    in a hu mon - Plica semilunaris of conjunctiva

  2. Replies
    1. I should have pointed out that your answer ("Dutch Belted") is VERY similar to the "Galloway Belted" -- and since it's rather hard to tell from my photo, either answer is fine. As your excellent "Difference between Dutch Belted and Galloway Belted" article points out, they are similar, but the Galloway has a "double coat" and is primarily a dairy cow (i.e., produces milk very well). It's hard to know that from a photo.

  3. Good day, Dr. Russell and everyone.

    1. What kind of beast is this?

    Looking at the photo we can see is a bull or a cow. Making photo bigger is clear we are talking about a cow because of the udder. Plus the photo os called cow.

    2. What is this phenomenon called?

    [many parallel vertical lines on the sky nights]

    Interesting: To measure the angles between stars and other points in the sky: Angle estimates using fist and fingers, with arm outstretched.

    Light Pillars

    [Light pillars]

    We can have artificial light pillars

    Photographer Captures Amazing Light Pillars In Northern Ontario

    3. And lastly, many animals have this strange extra eyelid. What's it called?

    [animals extra eyelid] A: Nictitating membrane

    I think you will like this link, Remmij Why do cats have an inner eyelid as well as outer ones? palpebra tertia but not sure about this Sorry cats, doggos run the internet now Do you like dogs, Remmij? I love dogs.

    Which animals have three eyelids?

    1. About Q1, was thinking maybe you don't want us to find is a cow, but what kind of cow. Or how we find is a cow if we don't know about them

      [Kind of cows] Google shows photos of them. Belted Galloway (as Remmij mentioned in his comment ) looks like yours. (Cattle breeds)

      Types of Cows, with fun facts. For example: Not 2 Holstein cows similar. Also list of famous cows.

      [Belted Galloway]

      ’Oreo Cows’ The most marketable completely black, except for distinctive white belly

      Tests have shown that the Galloways requires the least amount of feed per kilogram of weight gain making the cattle efficient converters. They have 4000 hairs to the square inch.

      [how to identify cow]

      How to determine if cattle are bulls, steers, cows or heifers

      Vaca, toro y otros nombres. Wikipedia

    2. Hello Remmij! Thanks for the links. The "this element" link is very funny. And in the dog's account. One that I like and follow on G+ is Google's Beardie Pepper

      Related to this week Challenge. Tried different ways to find our cow. And, with [white belly animals] found about Gastralia

      With other queries, Google suggested: People also ask "What breed of cow is black with a white belt?" and other similar ones using the name of the cookie

  4. I found the same results as the others. Black and white cow produced a picture of the Galloway Belted cattle. Third eyelid was my search that produced nictitating membrane. The second one what the hardest, but finally light beams in snow gave me "light pillars".

    1. As you point out, [ light beams in snow ] works the same as my [ light towers in snow ] -- nice use of a synonym.

  5. 1. [cattle colors]
    2. [light columns]
    3. [third eyelid]

    jon tU who found this waay easier than the last one

  6. 1)
    When I typed [cow with white], suggestions like [cow with white belt] and [cow with white band] appeared. Either would get me the answer.

    [light streaks in sky snowing] got me the answer.

    [semi transparent eyelid] got me the answer

    This was a fun challenge, thank you!

    Sophie San

    1. [ light streaks in sky snowing ] - I wouldn't have thought of that, but it's also a simple query that works perfectly well. Thanks!

  7. Using keywords; in other words well-constructed words that you expect to see in the answer.
    1 animal 4 legs eats grass Cow
    2 light streaks in sky while snowing at night Light pillars
    3 bird vertical eyelid links back to Wikipedia

  8. 1. Search terms: black white strips cow
    Search engine: Google
    Description: A link to Wikipedia is displayed. The cow is probably "Belted Galloway." To double-check, you can use Google's Image search. (I know it was not not allowed. So I used it to test my results, not search.)

    2. Keywords: atmospheric optical phenomena
    Search engine: Yandex
    Description: A title tag in search results reads "Atmospheric phenomena: Halos, Sundogs and Light Pillars." Aha! Light Pillars they must be! A quick search confirms that.

    3. Search terms: animal && eyelid && anatomy && (transparent | translucent)" (without quotes)
    Search engine: Yandex (English version)
    Description: The job is done by Wikipedia which displays in the search engine. The eyelid is called "nictitating membrane."

  9. Anne and Deb here. For the first search we did a search for tri colored cow and in the results page there was a picture of a cow that looked like the one here. Clicked on that image and it said it was a Belted Galloway cow. Underneath the pictures there was a result for a wikipedia article on Belted Galloway Cows - clicked on that article to confirm.
    Q2)For this question we started with the search snowfall light reflection (google suggested reflections so we went with that) and came up with the term Albedo. We weren't sure if that was correct so we kept searching and as we did that our search became more complicated. We came up with the search street lights reflected in light snowfall. That led us to a forum Snow at Night: Light or dark? this link didn't work so we tried the cached version and we got to the site. At the end of the discussion albedo was mentioned again. We think this is the term.
    Interesting that our first simple search got us to the answer. At least we think it did!
    Q3)Since picture showed a bird did search for third eyelid in birds and the results page showed the same image so knew we were on the right track! The summary called it a haw and said it is found in fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. It notes it is rare in primates. The lid is also called the nictitating membrane. The first result is the wikipedia article on this membrane.

    1. Nice.

      I didn't pick up on the word "haw" as a synonym for "nictitating membrane" -- I learned a new term! Thanks.