Google Game: Why is…

Well, it’s Tuesday, and time to take a look at our Google results.

google why is

An interesting mix, here. Let’s start at the top, shall we?

I think we can all relate to the first four, as we have each:

  1. Posed this hackneyed query, though were probably not all that invested in getting an answer
  2. Marveled at/fretted over the body’s more astonishing gastrointestinal feats
  3. Found it difficult to transition to a world in which there are only 8 planets, and secretly empathized with being put down and counted out by the bigger and the stronger
  4. Felt we couldn’t keep up with the speed of today’s blazing information technology (which is a fancy way of saying rued that we can’t afford to upgrade from our current piece of shit)

We’ve probably all also wondered why yawning is contagious. There are a few theories, none of which is entirely compelling, that say it is an evolutionary hold over from the days when we used to sit around the fire before crawling to the safety of a cave or a tree to sleep out of reach of predators; one caveman’s yawn makes everyone else feel sleepy and go to bed, so that no one is left sitting alone like a Saber-tooth’s entree being kept on the warmer.

From here, things get a little more curious. So many people are wondering about the salinity of the ocean? Maybe I underestimated man’s natural curiosity. Then again, next we have “Why is this movie called bees,” and I’m back to thinking people are morons. Or maybe I’m the moron for not having the foggiest what the hell that means. From what I can tell, it seems that maybe this was a short-lived bee-related internet video phenom that has since been taken down. If so, I either missed the boat, or the video really missed the mark, because only a few websites have references to it, further obscuring why this is such a popular search term. I’m stumped, here, and welcome any intel on the matter. Please feel free to comment below.

For the record, there seems to be no clear explanation why Danny Boyle’s fantastic film got dogged with an R-rating, but I’m glad to discover that many saw and were engaged by it, at least to some degree. Frankly, I wish more people were looking up Friday the 13th the movies, than the day, but I’m a sucker for a violent sexual repression, hockey masks and tortured (or mutilated) teen heartthrobs.

Finally, as to “why is a raven like a writing desk?” the riddle comes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, first published in England in 1865. Given the slight discrepancies in the Google results on the quotation, I consulted my copy of the book, and indeed, there it is in Chapter 7, A Mad Tea Party, perhaps the original Who’s On First, and just as cleverly entertaining.

“Your hair wants cutting,” said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
“You should learn not to make personal remarks,” Alice said with some severity: “It’s very rude.”
The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”
“Come, we shall have some fun now!” thought Alice. “I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles–I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud.
“Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?” said the March Hare.
“Exactly so,” said Alice.
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!” … and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing desks, which wasn’t much….
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice.
“No, I give up,” Alice replied; “what’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter.
“Nor I,” said the March Hare.
Alice sighed wearily. “I think you might do something better with the time,” she said, “than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers.”

If Alice were around today she might query Google, How is a blogger like the Mad Hatter?

2 responses to “Google Game: Why is…

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