Treebeard's Stumper Answer
The Google search engine is my home library. DMS students are working on Science and Renaissance Fair projects, so we've all been "googling" lately! Getting zero hits or millions of hits is no help. My stumper is to find searches with two or three words that return exactly one hit. There are a few rules. Quotes are not allowed (too easy). All words must be at Dictionary.com (and linked on the top blue Google bar), so only real words are legal. Glossaries and word list entries don't count. Check out www.googlewhack.com for inspiration.
You can start searching for the one true hit right here. It's harder than it sounds!
Gary Stock first described (and named) this game of Google Whacking in January 2002. The GoogleWhack web site tells the story and maintains the Whack Stack of accepted whacks. Note they only accept doublewhacks of two words, even though it's hard enough to find a triplewhack of three words. You can submit your own whacks to the stack.
It helps that my nickname "treebeard" is listed in the dictionary as a "pendulous branching lichen". I found this good whack today and added it to the Whack Stack list, but if I tell, it will vanish. (Why?) Try this without the spaces:t_r_e_e_b_e_a_r_d r_a_z_z_m_a_t_a_z_zYou might find some surprising web sites as you search. Let me know what true whacks you find!
Pendulous branching "Treebeard"
lichen near Santa Barbara, CA.
(Is it Ramalina utriculata?)
I found "treebeard razzmatazz" as a legal one-hit search at Google. I recorded it at googlewhack.com, and a day later there were 300 more whacks! DMS students found many more, like "fructifying weasels" and "conspicuous zygosis". Remember these dictionary words really did appear together once on a web page! Whatever they mean, these word combinations will no longer be unique as soon as this stumper appears on the Web and combines them again! Language is a remarkable tool that we can still use to say what has never been said before.
This was a fun diversion from the real school work we all had for our Science Fair and Renaissance Faire projects! DMS students still found time to find (and register) a few good doublewhacks of two words and lots of triplewhacks.
DMS kids found a few odd words like "omish" which is listed as a legal alternate spelling of "amish", but googlewhack.com got tired of it and wouldn't accept any more submissions. I got tired of it too. I think Terri is our champion.
Here are a few of the whacks we found at school when we should have been working. As soon as the googlebot finds this page, these will all stop being unique!
treebeard razzmatazz Treebeard treebeard kerosene cabin Treebeard lambent weasels birthday Lenora thrasonical camels ibids stink Bryan hepher lumpen Terri ibids fart Terri ostentatious dragomen Katie+Chris+Molly+Emma+Brenden recycling sqirrels razzmatazz Terri cautious sqirrels razzmatazz Terri lumpen sqirrels apex Terri vaca bean barf Zoe conspicuous zygosis Ryan H. omish pink tuna hysterical omish scott prodigal parody dragoman lambent moose's Lenora fructifying weasels Becca+Emily luncrative knights catscan Danny cardboard spastic treebeard decaf platypus puppet Sophia+Thalia+Emma+Molly killing omish lepers Travis resentful omish Travis weasels consulting alpacas Lenora cardiovascular nimbus slider Brett toilet falsification balderdash fructifying weasel jester Emily obstreperous weasel aardvark Ryan H. phyco zebra computers Ryan H.
This was a fun stumper and a good diversion from our real work. There's absolutely nothing profound here except that each of these word combinations (and 1000s more at the Whack Stack) were actually used together on a public web page. A fun follow-up would be to find word combinations with NO hits, and make a web page to include them in a meaningful way. Maybe that DIY google whack should be a Google Smack!
Hah, I just smacked one right here: "treebeard ontolology". Any day now (depending on the googlebot schedule), this smack will become a whack back to this page! Is this a smack whack hack??
The real stumper is to use language to express thoughts that have never been said before that will change how we think of ourselves and each other and the world. I reckon that's genius; and only time - not a search engine - will tell!
Here are a few starting web links for your own research on Google Whacking:
- I first heard about this game as Hack #87 in the fun new book Google Hacks (O'Reilly, 2003) by Tara Calishain & Rael Dornfest. There's good advice for everyone and some interesting programming hacks to try using the free (but limited) Google API. I use Google many times every day at home and school. I learned some interesting new tricks from this book and the Google Services & Tools menu.
- Googlewhack.com is not part of Google, just a fun game based on that great search engine. Here's more info on "The Search for The One True Googlewhack". Here are two more stories by Lisa M. Bowman and Dane Carlson.
- My Treebeard's Reference Desk page is my personal home page with links to many search engines and much more. I keep a web log of visitors to these stumper pages that shows what they were searching for. It doesn't track who you are, take a look, you are probably at the very end of the list. My DMS science fair project this year was about "Data Mining the Web Log", but it won't be here on the Web until summer when I have some time.
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Copyright © 2003 by Marc Kummel / firstname.lastname@example.org