20 April 2010

Reference Librarian



So I started typing the question "Is it true that when you're over 35 you start to like "world music more" in Google this morning. I was seeking qualitative evidence that my sudden interest in Panamanian and Latin American music in general is a function of my age and that soon I would be a Folk Fest regular in tunics and clogs and that it was Okay, it didn't have to mean I was on the slow slide to Gypsy Kings-ville.

When I typed in "is it..." an interesting list of possibilities popped up (see Fig. 1) and it struck me I was seeing a little snapshot of the collective mind of America. Note the recurrence of incest questions (x2) and some basic worries about reproductive functioning in general. America, don't let Google answer these questions. Let's pay for some high quality sex ed in this country! (Actually that would be a pretty great ad campaign for Planned Parenthood - some poor kid typing in sex advice on Google),

As a Canadian, I'm slightly concerned about "why can't I own a Canadian" (see Fig. 2) being such a prominent entry. Are you coveting my mosaic-like, Socialist outlook? Move on, American, move on. We never legalized slavery and we're not starting now.

Interestingly, pregnancy tops the list in the How category as well (see Fig. 5, sigh) but technical concerns are also well addressed here, garnering 6 out of the 10 results. I'm personally most intrigued by "how do you make snow cream" and plan to Google it myself one day. Mmm, snow cream.

What (see Fig. 3) covers some deeper territory, with Googlers pondering relationships in "What it love", and identity in"What does my name mean" but I'm still pondering "Is it"'s question about whether it is bad to sleep with your bra on. Every time I've had to do it, I have felt slightly naughty - hmm, some preliminary Googling of my own reveals there is a large contingent of women out there who actually sleep in their bra. Wow, um, I seriously cannot think of something I would rather do less. But perhaps they own more than one saggy old number from Victorias Secret, where the bra strap keeps detaching and humiliatingly snaking out of my shirt sleeve.
As a soon-to-be-Real-live Librarian, I hope to never have to answer why your poop is green, so thank you Google, you have made the world safe for the secret inquiry. Except when people like me post pictures on their blog. Whoops.

Just in case you think I only use the screen snapshot function (Apple_Shift_4, you Mac users, I STILL have to Google that every time) for mockery purposes, allow me to share the original screen snapshot I was taking that started this whole train of thought. If you can't see this image without adjusting your glasses, it is the playlist from this mornings WXYC's show which was chock full of awesome Latin music and made me want to buy all this crazy stuff and then I realized how much I like "World Music" (see: Western definition of all non-Western music as one big pot o' music called World Music) and wondered if it meant I was getting old or I just like calypso beats and thus began the Googling and here we are. Any questions?

1 comment:

tschitschi said...

Intriguing... I'll just go to google in the future when I need entertainment :)