April 14, 2009 at 9:48 am | Posted in The Knave | Leave a comment

Google is a company that runs a page on the Internet.  Its primary purpose is to mark certain holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. by modifying its logo in such a way as to hint at what is significant about that day.  Without this important Google service, you might have missed the 125th Birthday of Walter Gropius or failed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Understanding DNA.  If you did miss these auspicious events, they maintain an archive of logos here.  Looking at them now is a lot like time travel.


The best way to keep yourself abreast of these events is to make Google your home page.  It is very popular for this purpose, aside from the event logos, because it has far less crap on it than any other useful page and most people like to live in nice, clean, orderly homes.  Of course, some people enjoy living surrounded by crap.  These people are frequently called “yahoos”.  Just open the page and compare the amount of crap it has to and you’ll get the point. 


If you happen to have opened up your Internet browser on a boring day with no special Googfiti (the “in” term for alternate Google logos to celebrate events), you can enjoy Google’s secondary function, which is to serve as a search engine. 


A search engine is a tiny motorized train that speeds along through all of the various series of tubes that make up the Internets.  You can type anything your heart desires that you can spell somewhat correctly into the box under the Google logo to send the train on its merry way.  Conscientious users click on the button marked “I’m Feeling Lucky” to alleviate the strain on the train’s search engineer.  This instructs the retrieval of only a single, best result.  Most users, however, are bastards and just hit the general search button, which may send the poor little train searching through tube after tube after tube collecting every relevant result.  The engineer groups similar results together to at least somewhat reduce the tedium of the task.  Real sadistic jackasses go to the very last result of a search and then click on “repeat the search with the omitted results included” which has resulted in the suicides of several hundred Google staffers.


By default, Google only gives filtered results.  What this means is that if you conduct a search using Google’s strict safe search filtering, only 27% of your search results will be from pornographic sites, as opposed to the unfiltered results, which are 98% porn.


You may be wondering how the search engine is able to find so many results moderately relevant to the text you entered into the search box without it taking two trillion years.  After all, nearly half of the pages Google returns as results of your search contain at least one of the words for which you were searching.  The Internet is not, after all, a dump truck.  The answer is a thing called a “web crawler”. 


A web crawler is an insect that systematically navigates and investigates every single tube and every tributary of every tube of the Internets using its 10, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000,  000, 000, 000,  000,  000,  000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 legs to get into all the little nooks and crannies.  They are very horny creatures and work entirely for free because they are motivated solely by their never ending quest for more porn.  They take note of every web page they find and what is on it, so they will always know where the porn is and where it isn’t. Search engineers can then use this information to assist in gathering up the results for your search.  The porn-centric nature of the web crawlers is the reason why so many search results of seemingly innocent topics result in sites that are not safe for work.  Google scientists have attempted to breed web crawlers that are not so interested in pornography, but those crawlers just tend to sit around reading Hardy Boys books and playing Yahtzee and it is impossible to motivate them to get into the tubes.


The web crawler was actually the inspiration for the name of the company.  Due to the number of legs they have, web crawlers are sometimes called googolpedes. Changing –ol to –le gave the Google people a trademark, which is essential if you ever want to sue anyone.  With the money Google makes by selling featured search results on their web page, they are able to fund their primary mission, the Googfiti, and so those who use Google as their home page or search engine are never left out of momentous celebrations such as 25 Years of TCP/IP or the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick. – The Knave

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