Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Google Alphabet

. The idea for this came when I was just minding my own business, surfing away as you do – in other words I was bored. It’s premise is simple; to take some common words starting with letters of the alphabet and Google them. Irrelevant? Yes Pointless? Probably.

A

Aardvark

Aardvark is one of those words that everybody knows but, if pressed, I suspect allot of people would find it difficult to describe what an aardvark actually looks like. However, maybe that is just me; type it into Google however and your screen is awash with the critters; three million, seven hundred and forty thousand hits. I resisted the temptation to download an ‘Ask an Aardvark’ toolbar.

The suspiciously named Aaron Aardvark run’s a site that searches for holidays. Working in travel as I do I can safely say that internet travel firms are the bane of my life, mainly because they are so damm cheap.

Project Aardvark sounded interesting. Was this a cunning plot by the little badger like fiends to take over the world? Sadly not. From what I can tell it was meant to be a piece of software or maybe a server. It could even have meant to have been a blog. The last entry was in the heady days of summer on August 19th. A moments silence please if you will in honour of the courageous Project Aardvark.


Aphrodite

I have a confession to make. With Aphrodite being the Greek goddess of ‘love beauty and sexual rapture’ I thought this might be a risky choice. However, apart from two entries for ‘DJ Aphrodite’ and ‘Aphrodite recordings’, it is Aphrodite the goddess that dominates the first page of the three million and then some hits for the word.

A few Greek mythical figures being with an a: Adonis, Aeolus, Aeres and Achilles are among the others. Aphrodite was thought to have been born when the father of the gods - Uranus - rather harshly castrated his son Cronus and threw his severed genitals into the sea. The sea began to churn and foam and from the aphros (sea foam) and voila Aphrodite was born. Her festival was interestingly called the Aphrodisiac; a word which later of course has taken on a slightly different but similar meaning. Although the thought of foaming genitals in the sea has somewhat diminished what little appeal oysters had in the first place.

I found the Encyclopedia Mythica an interesting read. It has sections on Greek, Roman, Celtic and Norse mythology. Well worth a visit if you are interested in the subject.

Amoeba

Defined in the Oxford English as:“ a single-celled animal which catches food and moves about by extending finger-like projections of protoplasm” the amoeba is obviously a simple creature of few cares or concerns. Maybe it would make an ideal pet for Christmas but please do remember an amoeba is for life not just for Christmas.

Two million hits makes the least mentioned of our three guest words but human ingenuity has managed to transform the humble amoeba into many things. Software, music band, dance and even a cartoon strip, the amoeba truly is man's most flexible friend. The blurb for the Amoeba Dance quite distressingly reads: "The Infectious Disease Organism aka the Amoeba dance page." However, the site does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a page with amoeba’s dancing to tinny computer generated tunes. I recommend a through virus scan after browsing.

Paul Tye is the creative brains behind the Amoeba Online comic strip. This site suffered from the tiny problem that I couldn't see the comic strip. If such a problem arises there is a link to click at the top of the screen. However, it seems an awful lot of hassle to open up your firewall and adjust it to see the site. Maybe I am just lazy.

I did eventually get it to open up and well what can I say?? It's a comic strip about an amoeba, how brilliant can it be??

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