Wednesday, June 9, 2021

SearchResearch Challenge (6/9/21): What's THAT?


I often find myself asking"What's THAT?"  

Perhaps you do too.  Most of the time, a Google search tells us what the object of our interest is.  But sometimes it doesn't quite work the way you expect.  

Here are three things that I had to recently identify.  Can you figure out "What's that?" for each of these pictures?  

1.  This is an image of a widget in my house.  Unfortunately, it's broken.  I want to get a replacement, but I don't want to go to the hardware store and say "it's that thingie you turn to open the window."  

Can you figure out what the correct name of this thing-with-a-handle-you-turn-to-open-the-window?  

2. I found this in my Mom's garage this week.  Here's a decent close-up photo of the gadget.  It's about 3" in diameter (7.6 cm).  It's a part of something larger.  Can you figure out what it is?  (And what it's a part of?)   I believe it used to be a glossy black color, but time has made it a little beat up.  Any ideas? 

3. This is a picture of a place I visited a while ago.  Unfortunately, it was before I was using Google Photos, so I couldn't just look this up.  If you can tell the name of the place AND what kind of structure this is, I'm sure I'd recognize it.  What's that?  AND... Where's that? 

As always, be sure to tell us HOW you figured out the answers.  Details, people, details!  

(And if nobody is making headway on #2, I'll drop a big hint next Monday.)  

Search on! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Answer: What's your story of SearchResearch?


We had lots of comments this week... 

... which made me happy.  Lots of people checked in to write something (including a few folks who haven't stopped by the blog in a while)!  

As you remember, the Challenge was:    

1.  What's YOUR SRS story?  Have you had to do a search for something recently where there was a bit of a Challenge along the way?  Was it something not-completely obvious that you needed to work out, or look up, or correlate?  What's your tale of SRS?  

Krossbow wrote to say that he was looking for the artist who built two intriguing obelisks in a park in Lima, Peru.  

He also reminds us that the Library of Congress offers a series of online seminars for people just like us (SRSers).  The seminars are free!  I just signed up for "Finding PrimarySources on" which looks great!  

There is also a fabulous Researcher Toolbox web page with lots of teaching/educational resources for image and photo researchers.  (Including this very SRS-like posting: "Is this really General U. S. Grant in that Civil War photograph?")  

Is this actually Grant on horseback?  Maybe not. LOC photo.

ikijibiki worked with her students to find government documents and found great resources for her students which let them do their research.  (She reminds us that the Hathi Trust often has documents that Google Books doesn't have in full-view.) 

Gina wanted to find Garry Oaks (Quercus garryana), a beautiful variety of oak that grows along the west coast of the US.  Her SRS skills led to some local groves that might be Garry Oaks.  (She's waiting for confirmation by a botanist.)  

She also used the ability of Google Photos to create a map of her local oaks.  (Follow the instructions here:  Create and Edit photo albums including maps.)   

A friend wrote to say that she was having issues with finding charging stations for her Tesla EV.  Ramon added a comment suggesting some great search terms and a link to the website to help find charging points.  

Ramon is also honing his SRS skills with searches about software worms, viruses, and Day Zero exposures.  He is also looking for "15 minutes of fame," which suggests we might be reading more about Ramon in the papers sometime soon!  

Longtime Regular Reader Rosemary M commented that her recent searches for treatments of hypothyroidism have led her into a difficult space where it's tough to tell the legit results apart from the marketing and hype.   Bias is a constant, and low-quality results in medicine (or any highly technical field) are often difficult to discern.  This is a great suggestion for a future SRS post:  Hype vs. marketing vs. reality--how to tell them apart?  Look for it.  

Jon (the Unknown) does SRS craft work all the time in his searches for a variety of topics--from Ground Penetrating Radar, to air purifiers (probably for the same reason I am), background on Gerry Adams, and searching for the definition of "santabarbaraite," a kind of phosphate mineral hydrate discovered in Italy.  (I note that this is very different than a "Santa Barbarian," which is an inhabitant of Santa Barbara, CA.)   

Mathlady (welcome to the group!) is using Google Books for historical research, but also points out that even if the book you seek is read-limited, other books (with same information) might not be--so keep looking!  Jon reminded us that periodicals (e.g., through online newspaper sites--see a previous SRS post about digital newspapers

Thanks to everyone for sending in their own Challenges and SRS tasks this week.  We'll be back with our normal programming next week.  

Search on!