Friday, April 26, 2019

SearchResearch Challenge (4/26/19): More questions while traveling...?


I hear your quiet murmurings in the vasty hallways of the internet asking "What's going on?" and "Where's Dan?"  and "Why hasn't there been a SearchResearch Challenge this week?"  

Basically, I'm kinda busy.  Lots of travel (see below!) and lots of time on Google projects (yeah, I still have a day job), and lots of work getting details finished on the book (did you know writing a book takes a lot of time?).   

The good news is that the book index is finished (maybe with a bit more polishing, but basically done), AND we now have cover art!  I'm pretty pleased about it, and hope you are too.  This should make it easy to find in bookstores... 

The book is now in the hands of the MIT Press editors who have promised that the final (final!) galley will be sent to me in the first week of May.  I'll turn it around, and then it goes to the printer.  Everything is actually coming together!  

I'm ALSO following up on a bunch of threads I've left open.  

1.  What's the story with the "a" character on the holiday card?  (Why did I get it wrong?)  
2.  What's the update on the recycling story?  (Where do plastics REALLY go after the trash people pick them up.)  
3. What's the update on the strand jack construction project?  

Each of these is taking longer than I ever would have thought... but it means that when I figure them out, we'll have a bunch of great stories here at Camp SRS.  

And, as mentioned, I've been traveling.  For much of the rest of this year, travel will be the new norm.  The downside is that it delays my SRS writing... but the upside is that I'll have a bunch of new Challenges in the near future.  

In particular, today's travel has brought up a couple of little questions--the kind of questions that happens to me (and I bet to you) every time I travel around.  Here are three from my walkabout today.  Can you answer them? 

1.  When I look out of my hotel room window, THIS is what I see:  spectacular mountains.  Can you tell what city I'm in?  (Yes, I've removed the EXIF metadata.  You'll have to work with just what you see.)  

2.  As I walked to my meeting, I found a large field of these beautiful blue flowers--what are they?  (Species specific name, please.)  

3.  Just past the field of blue flowers was this former church building.  As with many church buildings, it has a very distinctive window shape.  As we know, if you know the precise term for this window shape, it's much easier to search for information about these things.  So... what's the precise term for this window shape?  (NOT the round one...)    

BTW, for extra credit, is there a specific term for a building like this that was a church, but is no longer a church?? 

As always, please leave your answer in the comments, being sure to tell us HOW you did it!  What worked?  And what didn't work? 

Search on! 


  1. 1. It is a pure guess but I think it looks like New Mexico. Tried every way I could think of to modify the picture and do an image search, but no luck. I tried searching for older towns that might have the vintage buildings, but none of the ones I found seemed to be near mountains like these.


    Grape Hyacinth – Muscari

    M. botryoides

    3. Lancet Window

    Bonus Questions - Adaptive Reuse

  2. Hello Dr. Russell and everyone!

    Glad your book is almost ready and so happy and grateful that you keep creating SRS Challenges and solving them with us. Your book portrait looks awesome!

    I have to visit and read Remmij's post in the previous Challenge about Canary Chrome.

    For this Challenge, I think the answers will be faster if we search using Google Assistant. I'll try that later.

    Searching, started with #3

    What's the precise term for this window shape?

    Searched by Image and Google added “sash window” and that is new word style for me.

    What is a Sash Window? - Definition & Types Not all the lesson but at least helps.”...The sash itself is composed of panels of glass, individually called lights….”

    Then [types of sash windows] on images. These windows apparently are called True Arch. And then, searched (I know it is not good query because telling in it what I want to confirm) [true arch windows churches]

    As not sure it was the correct answer, tried searching with Bing zoom. And read the term “Gothic”, returned and searched [gothic sash windows]

    Replacing Georgian, Victorian & Edwardian Sash Windows

    1. I was working on Q1 and extra credit.

      For the first, Google Lens with Google Assistant as I said before gives many possible answers that we can click and review. One of those show a sunset view from a hotel room that looks almost the same “Boulder Sunrise from Boulderado” . So my guess is that Dr. Russell probably is in Hotel Boulderado From Wikipedia article: "The original 1908 Otis Elevator is still in operation...appears in Stephen King's novel Misery.

      The extra credit is something that I have not find yet. Tried searching [term given former church building] and similar [name given to building was church before] and changing words. I only found repurposed churches that mentions: Adaptive reuse. However, this I think applies for all buildings so not the one we looking for. Also interesting was to read about how churches changed to be homes or offices. And also reading how Malls also sometimes are closing to become Churches in Canada.

    2. QQ Ramón... how did you use Lens? Did you take a photo of your computer screen?

    3. What I did:
      I visited your blog with my phone. Opened the link with each photo and downloaded them. *I could have done this from laptop so it was an extra step.

      Once your photos were on the phone, just went to Google Photos, selected and clicked Lens. Now I wonder if taking a photo directly from computer screen will work too.

      Interesting that searching by image on laptop same photo didn't give me that sunset. It is like you said in previous posts, 3 different ways to search that we have.

      In the case of Q2, in both search by image and Lens got same results.

    4. Just to report that I just tried Lens directly without downloading image, just clicking Lens while image was on tablet screen. I didn't get results this way because image is not as clear and detailed. I am sure that with print screen, it will work

  3. Replies
    1. I tried searching with Google Lens on Google Assistant. Gives great results. For Q1, thought about zoom the Mountain or the building. Honestly not clue about Flatirons. Q2, searching by image gives results. Great links, Remmij.

      Deconsecrated is also new word for me, JontU

  4. 1 Feels like Colorado; more tomorrow

    2 Grape Hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum. Have known this all my life

    3 Ogee windows, known since I was an architecture student; Deconsecrated is the word you are looking for. Own knowledge.

  5. might be worth checking:
    known as Poveka in the Tewa language
    pueblo San Ildefonso 1972
    typical Boulder/Denver…
    the "fly-over country" myth…

  6. By cropping the image to isolate one mountain (the one on the left, as it seemed to have more distinctive features) I was able to bring up several pictures with Google image search.
    These pictures of Boulder, Colorado looked enough like the mountains outside the hotel window to satisfy me as to location.

    I know what grape hyacinth looks like, but Google images confirmed.

    I again cropped and isolated one window in the church picture and Google image search identified the windows as pointed arch (or Gothic arch) or lancet windows.

    1. As for the extra credit question ... this may bring up discussions of theology. Is the church a building or the people who worship in a building?
      A search of "church building no longer used for worship" brings up a Wikipedia article for Redundant church - "Redundant church is a phrase particularly used to refer to former Anglican church buildings no longer required for regular public worship in the United Kingdom, but may refer to any disused church building around the world."
      In another article: "Deconsecration is the act of removing a religious blessing from something that had been previously consecrated by a minister or priest of that religion. The practice is usually performed on churches to be rendered to non-religious (secular) use or demolished."
      So I'm going with - it depends on the religion.

    2. Nicely done!

      WRT the theological question--I meant "church" in the architectural sense. But that's an interesting ambiguity I needed to clear up.

  7. 1. DR's Homepage not helpful so a little more clicking needed.

    So I looked up University of Colorado and GS added Boulder & Denver. I chose the first one, Boulder. I searched to see if DR had any association with Boulder. Yes University of Colorado Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information.

    Then I searched Images [boulder mountains] and found many hits; the peaks on the left of DR's image show very sharp points, hence the local name Flatiron Mountains.

    I suggest you are in Boulder, CO in a nice place near the university. Looks like Boulderado would do. Still not sure which room is yours though.

    1. jtU - I think your suggestion that it is the Hotel Boulderado (has an event center too) is good - I would think Dan was/is in the North Wing -
      it overlooks the parking lot at Spruce & Broadway also…
      North Wing
      the North Wing corner - rotate around to see the parking lot & view toward the Flatirons
      …parking lot in Dan's photo - confirmed by Parking sign, newsstands, tree cages and silver fire hydrant…
      Spruce & Broadway
      he just cropped out the distinctive bank building with the round corner cupola 2nd floor…
      Community Banks of Colorado
      quite the look…
      Central Park/Boulder Creek is nearby - to the south - for the flowers - there are also a number of churches nearby… just didn't have time to check them…

    2. Actually, I MEANT to add in my location on that day, but forgot to. Just idea, though... (to check my home page). And indeed, this pic is from that place...

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Remmij - If I ever need to be located, I'll leave a note with the authorities to contact you! Room 344.

    5. Dan, if you are in a situation where the authorities are being contacted, it is likely already too late…
      at least, it was that way in Ittoqqortoormiit… and the internet connections were spotty - no balloons about… ;•\

      fwiw - jtU had the Boulderado first… I searched public parking lots Boulder (because of the sign) and found the Spruce & Broadway
      location, then "turned around" and saw the Boulderado… was 344 a corner room?… I didn't see a floor plan…

    6. Hi Dr. Russell, Remmij and all. Tried to find Remmij's answer. [Boulderado hotel room 344 view]

      At the Boulderado, the top floor has the best views...Other room numbers with great views: 448, 344 and 409 While searching noticed people and Google suggested 304, so I searched [Boulderado hotel room 304] Ghosts?

    7. nice search Ramón - suppose it was chance for Dan or direct selection?…
      a common CO occurrence?

  8. Indeed, lancet is a right answer not my jump to ogee. I was, like, Oh Gee, I know that one. I shall never be on Jeopardy. jon

  9. asn: Villanelle was in Amsterdam for last nights episode of Killing Eve…
    used search to find the painting & backstory —— JOY, JOY!
    Johan de Witt
    …attacked by members of The Hague's civic militia in a clearly orchestrated assassination. The brothers were shot and then left to the mob. Their naked, mutilated bodies were strung up on the nearby public gibbet, while the Orangist mob partook of their roasted livers in a cannibalistic frenzy.
    just because, nice scene/vignette - used search to find Roxette too…

  10. the occasional problem with "wasa" church buildings when they become secular structures/meeting places —
    a building that has lost its purpose…

  11. Deb and Anne here- so question 1 looked a little harder so starting with 2)put picture into google images and we get a link to our Britannica database which shows a picture of the flowers and an article about grape hyacinth genus Muscari.
    For question 3) we actually started off on wrong path but found something interesting. We did a search for polygon shaped windows and came to this article on Releaux triangles- Interesting that it is supposed to represent the trinity. But since it didn't exactly look like the window we did an image search and also came up with the lancet window.

    1. Great observation! Do you remember that we discussed Releaux triangles before? See: That should look familiar!

  12. Well of course leave it to California girl Anne to say as soon as she saw the picture I think that is San Luis Obispo! She looked at pictures and it seemed to fit. We did an image search with your picture and didn't come up with anything. We tried zooming on the picture to get a closer image of the street sign. That didn't work either so until we have more time we are going with Anne's gut reaction!

  13. Thanks for the reminder on the triangles. This was a fun challenge.