22 August 2010

Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure by Dave Gorman

"I bet you can't get ten Googlewhhacks in a row before your 32nd birthday."

From Wikipedia: A Googlewhack is a kind of a contest for finding a Google search query consisting of exactly two words without quotation marks, that return exactly one hit. A Googlewhack must consist of two actual words found in a dictionary. A Googlewhack is considered legitimate if both of the searched-for words appear as live links in Answers.com in the blue bar above the Google results.

Googlewhacks are shortlived because once someone publishes them to the internet as being a Googlewhack the new number of hits for the seaarch will become at least two, one to the original hit found, and one to the site that published it as being a Googlewhack.

The term and quest was invented by Gary Stock and published at UnBlinking on 8 January 2002. I gave the quests a few attempts myself. I came across this:

"Participants at Googlewhack.com discovered the sporadic "cleaner girl" bug in Google's search algorithm where "results 1-1 of thousands" were returned for two relatively common words.[3]

Googlewhack went offline in November of 2009 after Google stopped providing definition links. Gary Stock stated on the game's web page soon afterward that he was pursuing solutions for Googlewhack to remain viable. However, the game has not come back into play, and there is no word of when or if that will happen."

I wondered why it didn't seem that the searches appeared the same way the book described.
Anyway, I found a few word combinations with five or fewer hits...but if the game is not longer supported properly I won't bother further. (My best was a combo of only one hit - - nouthetic courgette/s.) The closest I came was "beatitudine icebox" with about 44 results. Besides, I think the internet is growing at such a rapid rate that it would be exponentially harder now to find a googlewhack. Right?

Gorman's adveentures took him away from home for most of two months, all over the world, to visit:
a man who collects photos of women and dogs
a man who took him on a trip into Mexico to buy Coke and pharmaceuticals
China twice
several writers of fan fiction

At the end of the adventure he had traveled through the UK, France, The US, Mexico (briefly,) Australia and China, over 71,000 miles, spending 183 hours in flight.

Okay, okay, I can't stop reading books written by Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace. I found their books and videos while living in England and am still working my way through their collections. I love the crazy stuff they get themselves into. Danny is briefly mentioned in this book but isn't an active participant in it.

There continues, for me, though, a great difference between the two men. Danny Wallace has an impish, boy-like quality about him and his adventures. (In fact I'd love to meet him!) (I've actually asked Dave Gorman a question via Facebook before and he replied to me.) Dave has fun ideas and follows them wherever they may lead but as soon as he hits a roadblocks he crumbles like a little girl. He becomes a whiney, slobbery lump of patheticness . At this point I read his books and try to imagine how long it will take for the whining to start. In all fairness, however, I still manage to enjoy them...but I enjoy Danny's more.
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