It’s nice to feel useful (3) …
About this time of the year I start to look back over my posts to review what has been going on. One of the things that I like to do is to take a look at the search questions that seem to bring web-surfers by the site and take a look at some of the more bizarre and unusual.
Last year my favourite was “can pubic hair grow more with regain?” and rather disappointingly I have nothing to really compete with that in 2013 but carrying on, here are my top ten:
Being a student of history I am going to begin with a selection of wildly inaccurate historical searches.
The first one is “Why did Shakespeare bring starlings to Australia?” I think I am obliged to point out here straight away that William Shakespeare died in 1616 and Australia wasn’t settled by Europeans for another couple of hundred years or so after that and although there is much literary speculation concerning possible visits by the Bard to Italy I think it is safe to say that he never went as far as Australia!
I imagine that what the question referred to was really about starlings in the USA because here there is a connection. The introduction of the starling to USA is said to be the responsibility of a man called Eugene Schiefflein who belonged to a group dedicated to introducing into America all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works on the basis that they thought it would be rather nice to hear the sound of Shakespeare’s birds warbling their old world songs on the tree branches of new world America. Obviously they didn’t realise that this had the potential be an ecological disaster on the same scale as introducing the rabbit into Australia!
Showing a similar lack of historical knowledge is my second search term, “Was El Cid a Muslim?” Now, El Cid was the great Spanish hero of the Catholic Reconquista which drove the African Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula so I imagine any suggestion that he was a secret Muslim will have poor Charlton Heston spinning in his grave.
Following a visit to Castilla-La Mancha in 2009 I wrote a number of posts about El Cid and I expect the enquirer was sign posted to one of these.
Next on my historical howlers list is “Napoleon Monument in Moscow”! What? In his periods of sanity Napoleon did some rather good things but most of the time he was a tyrant and a dictator and a warmonger and in 1812 he invaded Russia and did unspeakable things to the Russian people who were unfortunate enough to be in his way as he marched his army to Moscow. When he got there the Russian people burnt the city down and so with nowhere to stay for the winter he was obliged to march all the way back again during which his army did more unpleasant things to the Russian people.
I imagine that the chances of there being a memorial to Napoleon Bonaparte in Moscow are about just as likely as there will be a statue of Adolf Hitler.
There is however a monument to the French Emperor in France at Boulogne-Sur-Mer so perhaps that is where the search engine went looking?
Moving away from history to travel I do hope that in some small way that my posts will provide some useful information for fellow travellers – here are some of my favourite search question:
Firstly – “Places to get laid in Europe” and believe me if I had the answer to that one then I would probably be inclined to keep it to myself! Perhaps the enquirer was thinking about the red light district in Amsterdam or perhaps they found their way to my post on the Grand Tour of Europe?
Next in this section is “Do I have to take my shoes off at Stansted airport?” and what sort of odd question is that? The answer actually is sometimes depending on how much the security staff at the airport want to irritate travellers on that particular day.
And my favourite travel question is “two things I didn’t know about Spain”. There are actually about two million things I don’t know about Spain so the chances of me providing the illusive final two for this enquirer are very remote indeed. I did a post once about ‘ten things I didn’t know about Spain’ but this wasn’t ever meant to be a definitive list and I am fairly certain that I could have kept that theme going forever.
From history and travel I move to sex because it is estimated that well over half of all web searches are about this subject.
My first enquiry is just simply “knobs and knockers” ! Interestingly however I once worked with someone who used the office internet to make this very same enquiry. She was restoring an old Welsh Dresser at the time and although her enquiry was completely innocent she had some explaining to do to the IT section when she received the unexpected results of her search. I have made a few posts about doors and windows so I expect that’s how my blog was identified in search results for this particular question.
I like the next one better – “see through girls’ clothes” and once again if I had the answer to this one I would surely be a millionaire. It reminded me of my post about X-Ray Specs which seemed to suggest all sorts of peeking opportunities but in fact never actually worked (or so I am told!)
And so I wind this post up with a couple of random questions that I cannot seem to place into a category. Firstly a really dumb question – “French dog waste management” and I can only assume that the person asking the question has never actually been to France because the answer is simple – there is no dog waste management in France and the French people just allow their canine companions to poop all over the streets with total disregard to other pedestrians.
Finally for this year I really like this one – “do you need a CRB check to hold a childrens’ party at Mcdonalds”. Probably not such a daft question when you think about it and the answer is probably yes! I wrote about birthday parties so perhaps this is where the question was directed?
Only just excluded from my top ten this year – “What is a Mole?”, “What did houses look like in the middle ages?” and “these what year is the baby boomers let me?” which, as far as I can see makes no sense at all!