Wednesday, February 8, 2023

SearchResearch Challenge (2/8/23): What do you call this thing?

 I was in Rome, Italy the other day... 

... (it's a long story, trust me)... 

... but while there, I saw this thing hanging from the ceiling of a party tent.  The strange thing was that at this location there were 3 more inside the tent, and 4 more of these hanging outside in the garden, all suspended about 12 feet (4 meters) above the ground from tree limbs.  They're clearly decorative somethings, but what?  

This is a pretty straightforward Challenge this week, but it requires a wonderfully classical approach to search.  Try it, and you'll see what I mean.  

1. What does one call the hanging thing in the above image?  The topmost ring about 6 feet across (2 meters) while the bottom ring is about 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter.  

The color here isn't great, but the rings are covered in green leaves and vines.  For the record, I saw more of these things in different places around Rome, always in festive spaces such as al fresco dining patios and the like, so I know there must be a place where people go to purchase them. 

But if you went into a store, what would you ask for?  And, for bonus points, what kind of store would you visit to buy this... thing?  

As always, be sure to tell us what your thought process was in figuring this out.  Let us know in the comments.  

I'll tell you my search process next week, along with all of the sidetracks and misses along the way.  

Search on!  

P.S.  I'll get around to the "how to search on a schedule" problem from 2 weeks ago.  Turns out that I am really busy at the moment and the answer requires a bit of time to writeup.  I'll get to it: promise.  


  1. wedding? pax romana... escape from the back bay - ☧
    safe/productive travels.

    used: [hanging floral chandelier italy]
    etsy would be a good source -- diy is a hassle...

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for the leads. I’ve used the Agnes Scott site many times in my own work. I’d never heard of Jerome Feldman. He has a sense of humor. “Four colors suffice” was a major mathematical breakthrough.

    2. Yep... Jerry was my PhD thesis advisor. If you look at the list of his other PhD students, several of them ended up at Google with me. (Ben Gomes, David Bailey, etc.)

    3. a couple other J. Feldman fragments –
      The NTL (Neural Theory of Language) project
      on Amazon, pub. 2008
      wonder what 'bard' would offer…

    4. Re the DIY: According to the OED, a chandelier is “An ornamental branched support or frame to hold a number of lights (originally candles), usually hung from the roof or ceiling.”.

    5. If you haven’t already, check out the “FOUR COLORS SUFFICE” postmarks – very cool (I think).

      I know the Appel-Haken proof is/was very controversial. I heard a mathematician speak about it who had spent years looking for a counterexample to what was then called the Four Color Conjecture. He said that he did not accept the A-H proof but he had stopped his quest for the counterexample. Truth v. Provability.

      I presented a synopsis of that proof at my Orals. At the end my advisor asked me if I thought it was a true proof. I said Yes and they passed me so, as we used to say, QED.

    6. math as a sleuth - statistics & probability...

    7. Remmij reading your post searched for more.


      On YouTube

      Mitpress: 2019, (A) Data in the Life: Authorship Attribution in Lennon-McCartney Songs

      Interesting podcast?

    8. good finds Ramon - am checking out one of the podcasts now...

      more Beatles backstory as we speed along - "here come old flat top"

      so musical -


    9. a couple SERPS, might be of use?
      if you haven't already looked at these...

      a film about the blaze -

      in photos -

  3. I'm trying and no luck at the moment.

    Tried Google Lens, search by image and Yandex. Then with Remmij comment tried adding his/hers searching terms (Sorry Remmij I'm not sure if you are female or male that is why I use both.)

    Also tried [Roman "al fresco" decorative circles] , [Roman ancient chandelier] and others changing those terms. Still nothing

    Yandex had something that could fit and that is why I used chandelier even when Dr. Russell didn't mention lights on the objects.

    With [ancient chandelier roman with two circles] in images, shows Medieval Chandelier but with lights. So I need to search more and also the name of Medieval Chandelier parts

    1. Searched by image using Bing. The image result link to

      Bats chandelier:"...including the large tondo in the centre of the ceiling, which depicts bats flying with their dark wings outstretched and has, fortunately, survived..."

      Then [roman tondo chandelier] tried in both Google and Bing. This time Bing gave me better results

      Circular framed busts, today often called “tondos” or “medallion portraits,” were known in antiquity as imagines clipeatae (Latin for “shield images” or “shield portraits”).

      2,000-Year-Old Roman-Era Chandelier is One-of-a-Kind!

  4. An image search for [two foliage rings suspended from ceiling 2 meters] and some scrolling eventually found something that looked directionally correct on Pinterest.

    Then a whole bunch of following similar images there led me to the concept of floral wedding chandeliers, which looked right except they were full of flowers and usually one ring, not two.

    A few shots in the dark image searches later and the results for [greenery chandelier] seem pretty solid. Again, usually one ring, but my sense is the second ring is not an important part of the concept.

  5. Ghirlanda is what translate calls a wreath

    Ghirlanda da appendere natalizie

    Follows now studying images. A lot. used many Italian variants. for overhead / hanging/ natural

    "Corona dell'Avvento per esterni" is the answer I believe.

    Ghirlanda da appendere also helped. En anglais: Advent wreath

    Available at ; Ghirlanda da appendere also helped.

  6. Image that looks close at

    1. Yep. That's pretty close, although that's an Advent Wreath... which is so similar that you score a win! What was your search path? Was it all in Italian? (Do you speak Italian, or did you use a translator?)

    2. forgot to look here. I used similar processes as others but I thought we were to find it in Italy. Hence my use of Translate to make the slog. I use it judicially when working in Dutch or Danish and now Italian. I think will take me another few weeks to master all the available options. haha cheers j

  7. …thinking about what is going on @ Google & in general,
    a couple of video quotes came to mind… evolution/revolution - the ongoing destruction/construction,
    the known & unknown colliding… the maelstrom/cauldron.
    J. Robert quoting Vishnu
    more J.R.O. quotes…
    "The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true."

    1. It has been pretty dramatic, but Ozymandias is VERY HEAVY...

      I met a traveller from an antique land,
      Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
      And on the pedestal, these words appear:
      My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
      Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

    2. Walter 'GPT 'White said: (trunkless legs are a hard sell...)
      fwiw - seems to be throttled now.
      "what does google and Ozymandias have in common
      Google and Ozymandias have one thing in common: the theme of impermanence.

      Ozymandias is a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1818, which tells the story of a once-great king who has fallen into obscurity and decay. The poem emphasizes the fleeting nature of power and fame, and how all things eventually crumble and fade away.

      Similarly, Google, as a technology company, has risen to great heights over the years, dominating the search engine market and becoming one of the largest and most influential companies in the world. However, the company is not immune to the forces of change and impermanence. As with any technology company, Google must constantly innovate and adapt to stay relevant, and its current dominance may not last forever.

      In short, both Ozymandias and Google highlight the fleeting nature of power and success, and the importance of constantly adapting and evolving to stay ahead in an ever-changing world."

      different query -
      is there a modern day Ozymandias

      1 / 2

      The character of Ozymandias in Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem is based on the historical figure of Ramses II, an Egyptian pharaoh who was known for his grand building projects and military conquests. However, in the poem, Ozymandias is portrayed as a symbol of the transience of power and the inevitability of decline.

      In the modern day, there are certainly individuals who have risen to positions of great power and influence, but it's difficult to identify a specific "modern-day Ozymandias" who embodies the same themes as the character in Shelley's poem.

      That being said, there have been many examples throughout history of powerful individuals or empires that have risen to great heights and then experienced a decline. Some examples from recent history might include:

      The Soviet Union: once a superpower that rivalled the United States, the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, leading to the fragmentation of its political and economic system.

      Enron: in the early 2000s, Enron was one of the largest and most successful energy companies in the world, but it was later revealed that the company had engaged in extensive accounting fraud, leading to its downfall.

      Harvey Weinstein: a powerful Hollywood producer who was once one of the most influential figures in the film industry, Weinstein was later exposed as a serial sexual predator, leading to his public disgrace and downfall.

      These are just a few examples, but they illustrate the idea that power and influence are often transient, and that even the most powerful individuals or institutions can experience a decline.

      In a way, the concept of an Ozymandias-like figure or empire that rises to great heights before ultimately crumbling and fading away is a recurring theme throughout history. There have been many examples of leaders and empires that have risen to great power and then declined, such as the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the British Empire.
      In terms of a modern-day figure or entity that embodies the spirit of Ozymandias, it's difficult to point to a single person or organization. Some might point to the rise and fall of certain tech companies, such as MySpace or Friendster, as examples of how even the most dominant entities can falter and fade away. Others might argue that the idea of a modern-day Ozymandias is embodied by the concept of "disruptive innovation," in which new technologies and business models emerge to displace established incumbents.

      Ultimately, the lesson of Ozymandias is that nothing lasts forever, and that even the most powerful entities will eventually fall. In today's rapidly changing world, this lesson is perhaps more relevant than ever, and serves as a reminder that adaptability and resilience are key to long-term success.

    3. Along the lines of "nothing lasts forever," a word to the wise: make sure your personal data (e.g., calendars, email threads, images, writings) are not locked in the entity that might suddenly become unavailable. I backup my files, but it never occurred to me that some of my files might be backed-up but inaccessible. That's one of the Ozymandian lessons--will your access paths remain available after the fall?

    4. make sure those leg stumps have WIFI & you have a valid password… (who knew 'Ozy' (Ramesses II) was a Texican?)
      Lightnin’ McDuff
      R.I.P., Lightnin'
      some samples & flavor — yep transience…
      Lightnin' obit
      SERP - for images
      artist & origin?
      "What are the legs outside of Amarillo?
      Just off the highway heading south on I-27 out of Amarillo are two gigantic legs in athletic socks. You wouldn't know it, but they are the shattered likeness of an Egyptian king. “Ozymandias” is the Greek name for Ramesses II and was the inspiration and name of an 1818 poem by Percy Shelley."

      thanks for keepin' on keepin' on…in the lone and level sands… there is always Majorca… & crew socks

  8. who would have guessed KC Chefs (must be a BBQ thing) would be so accomplished at Fußball – better mannered than some Egrets fans… maybe it was the 'dry heat' in the Valley…? the Joie of Stumbling Search continues… despite the F-22s…
    Glirastes - Colossii of Memnon?
    portmanteau - dormouse
    not a mouse at all…
    yo Vito, we need a bigger kitty…
    Insular gigantism
    the sun will come out tamale…
    headed to the Delta - wk?

  9. All this talk of rabbit holes and the dormouse conjures up visions of Grace Slick and Alice.