LOTS to talk about this week...
Before we get to the SearchResearch Challenge, I want to tell you two things quickly:
First... My article on “The Skills of Online Search and Research: Why research skills matter more than ever in the age of the search engine” JUST appeared in the online Scientific American (March 26, 2019). It won't tell you (the regular SRS reader) anything particularly new, but it will come as a bit of surprise to non-SRS folks. Send the link to your friends, and if they're interested, remind them how to sign up for our SearchResearch group (just visit the Google Group sign-up page and click on the blue button that says "Apply to Join Group" and they'll get the once-weekly emails from SRS).
(This has been a goal of mine for a couple of years. Hurrah! Achievement unlocked!)
Second... I got the galleys of my book last week and have been busy marking it up in prep for publishing. This is the last step before sending it out for printing. Another hurrah! My publisher (MIT Press) also made an Amazon ordering entry for The Joy of Search, although it's just a stub at this point. Still, it's an encouraging sign.
That's the news for the moment. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...
Last week's Challenge turned out to be incredibly hard (at least for me, in Palo Alto, California).
It was easy to figure out who picked up the trash and recycling, and it was easy to figure out where it goes, but it's incredibly hard to figure out where the plastic goes AFTER it hits the recycling center.
So far I've spent about 16 hours on this one... but once I get the answer, I'll post it here with full details about WHY it was so hard and the details of my research process. (Teaser: Lots of people don't want to talk about what's really happening to the plastics!)
Since last week was so tricky, this week will be much easier, and mostly for fun!
I've seen paintings like this ever since I took Art History as an undergraduate. You know what they are--paintings of things that are NOT the things they depict. As you can see in the examples below, the skulls are made of cats or flowers, and the portraits are made-up of fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
The Research Question for this week is this:
What are these kind of paintings called? (As you know, if you have a specific term for something, it's a lot simpler to search for information.) Is there a specific term?
In the spirit of our recent direction on getting "the rest of the story," can you figure out WHY these paintings became popular? Or can you find artists who are famous for making these "paintings of not-the-thing"?
Can you figure this out? Let us know how your research goes!
(I'm hoping this Challenge is pure fun. Enjoy!)