My Zen-ny Search Terms: Where Engineering Meets Art Meets Physics Meets Geekdom. (And Rodents, Sometimes.)

I am overwhelmed with spam comments such as “You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the web!”, and I really appreciate thoughtful quote spam as:

Perfectly composed articles, appreciate it for entropy.
“He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.”
by Michel de Montaigne.

My search terms include basically a single burning question that comes up several times a month – these are the rodent-related questions submitted in February:

does a microwave attract rats?
are mice attracted to microwaves

I can reply with a straight Yes, and I have given proof of that in my post Microwave Ovens Are Not Rodent-Ready (The images in that post are not for the faint of heart.)

I still do not know what is on my searchers’ minds, but I will try my best to poem-i-size their search terms again. All lines are verbatim search terms from February, not used in any other poem yet. So are the sub-titles. I am adding a Search Term Poet’s Beginner’s Guide below the poem.

El(k)ementary Search Term Poem, February 2013 Edition
(This is not a search term yet – the main title does not need to be)

trees in the wind
meandering paths
blank sheet of paper

spam poems
poem using word spam
poems standing on the shoulders of others
accidentally on purpose google search poems
want more poetic search terms for laughing – how?

use of physics in day to day life of everything
use of physics in our daily life-chairs,tables
in what sense are we all newtonians?
intuitive meaning of temperature
intuition differential equations
intuition training and physics

Geek collection list
physics daily life trivia
trivia about parts of computer
academics obsessed with metrics
what is the same mass as 6/100(math)
english “scientists people with big brains”

my heat comes on when it wants to at home
engineering terms used in poems
perpetuum mobile patent
steam pump technology
real rankine(**)

nostalgia theory

the next level, 01
steampunk machinery
my theory on support metrics
theories of special day celebrations
the table sitting i’ve created to my sons graduation

According to a comment on my previous post, our solar collector has “aesthetic appeal”. I consider it very Zen – it captures the essence of the above poem and illustrates an artistic entanglement of nature, engineering and geeky stuff.

(*) I added this one – breaking my rules, but hopefully Zen becomes a future search term.
(**) This is genuine. Non-engineers: See e.g. for further information.
(***) My February search terms are lacking something like “weird”, but I did not want to break the sub-title rules twice. This section is very avant-garde.

This is the end of the search term poem. The rest of the my post is my own writing. Just saying… in case it is not evident.

How to Create Search Term Poems

  • Copy the list of search terms from your WordPress Stats to some text editor. I prefer Notepad in order not to screw up formatting. For the corporate time management ninjas: Create a series of appointments in Outlook with a reminder to make sure that you cover only search terms submitted within a certain period of time and avoid to re-use terms. The latter is forbidden by the yet-to-be-written rules of The Cult of Search Term Poetry.
  • Delete all boring search terms, that is: Terms that could have been anticipated based on your blog’s comment (or write a blog that is so weird that there is no content that readers might anticipate – I am still trying hard). Thus I delete things like: “why does a spinning top not fall over” or all kinds of Einstein or Feynman related searches. But it really depends on context – sometimes a dull search term starts to shine when it is presented as a question or an answer to another unworldly search term.
  • Browse the search terms and try to find a way of grouping  them based on content, create temporary sub-titles and move terms to the groups accordingly. This is where your creativity is added to your searchers’ ingenuity.
  • Copy the stuff over to your blog’s editor. (This is just a suggestion – you could do that later as well. the rules are not that strict on this one.)
  • Re-arrange the search terms within groups to turn a list of meaningless phrases into, well, a poem. For advanced search term poets: Pick one of lines and promote it to this section’s sub-title and delete the temporary title.
  • As usability experts tell us, we bloggers need to include images – otherwise our content will not be read from top to bottom. So browse some sites offering royalty-free images or your personally photo repository and pick the most-unrelated images(s) you can find to pepper your poem.
  • For skilled search term poets: Try to find hidden symmetries and arrange the terms once more based on aesthetic criteria. I have done so by ordering based on the number of characters per phrase this time. Actually some of the sub-poems turned out as nearly ordered in this way naturally. “Feel your poem!”
  • Click Publish and wait for offers by publishing houses, poetry journals or the Nobel Prize for Literature committee.

Note that I will be travelling through a worm-hole and trapped in a parallel corporate universe when you read this:

Replies to comments might be delayed by a few days as the subspace communication in the Delta (Dilbert) Quadrant is usually halted by corporate policy enforcers and NSA-style compliance filters. This is not a joke (only 95% of it is): Working from a corporate network I once noticed that some parts of the WordPress-i-verse had been considered “non-compliant” by the content filter.

May the force be with you (not a search term quote – yet – but not very creative either)!

14 Comments Add yours

  1. I haven’t tried to poemicize search strings that led to my blog, as you have, but on January 1st of this year and the previous one I posted collections of some of the year’s search strings and made comments about them:

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks for your comment – you remind me of my overdue quarterly search term poem ;-)
      You get great search terms – your blog posts seem to provide awesome raw material. My search terms unfortunately have started to repeat themselves over and over – people seem to search mainly for gyroscopes here.

  2. That is actually very cool. Of course it’s quite humorous but this time I think cool definitely wins out. I might add that since you have started this thread I no longer view those annoying spam posts in the same way. They are still crap but in much the same way that manure can lead to a bountiful yield in a field that is well-sown they are now…errr…raw material that might just produce something intersting, perhaps even beautifu.
    Now, here’s something you might find interesting: perhaps you have an android device (I have two, my samsung galaxy s3 phone and my google nexus tablet). I am an AWFUL typist, even on a regular keyboard, so you can well imaging what I’m like on the small touchscreen things. Pitiful! So…like any good geek I want looking for a solution and found it easily enough in an alternative keyboard application called swifkey. It’s only $3.99 Canadian–probably only 3 euros or so for you and WOW, not only does it fix my terrible typing but, more interestingly, it suggests what might be the next work in any sentence I am typing. You would be impressed! So…if you have an android or access to one, give it a try and see what you think.

    1. elkement says:

      The manure metaphor is great – Pairodoc will like it ;-)
      As for phones: I use a phone that is very retro – Windows Mobile in Blackberry style, no touch screen yet. But I guessed planned obsolescence will kick in soon – then I will consider Android phones! Probably poems can be created from the greatest wrong guesses!

  3. Quite entertaining Elke – thanks for providing a ray of sunshine on this gloomy day here in Pennsylvania. D

  4. marksackler says:

    Oh, you have to watch it. You may identify with one or more of the characters. (I may or may not–a state of superposition). :P

    1. elkement says:

      Yes, I really should! I am spending too much time on blogging and social media, but it should be possible to create an entangled state of “blogging” and “watching The Big Bang Theory” at the same time.

  5. marksackler says:

    Yoda from lego!? Are you the female incarnation of Dr. Sheldon Cooper?

    1. elkement says:

      I need to admit – and I fear this will lower my geek score by some orders of magnitude – that I have never actually watched The Big Bang Theory.

    2. elkement says:

      A hardcore search term poetry fan has just told me that I did actually omit the “advanced haiku option” in my how-to (It is an SOP, isn’t it? ;-)) Sorry for that and thanks for commenting though!

  6. marksackler says:

    Wow Elke, and I thought I was OCD. This will definitely win you the next BLAHS. [That’s the good news. The bad news is, that could be any time between now and the rapture–which I don’t believe in–so don’t hold your breath] Have a nice day. :P

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Mark, I am fine with that! I need some time to get ready for the sudden outburst of fame and glory anyway … hire a PR agent and a ghost writer who is going to write the thousand comments and responses … talk to my psychotherapist and my Zen master … the usual stuff …

    2. elkement says:

      As for OCD: I confessed not to watch The Big Bang Theory, but I am fan of Mr. Monk ;-) I even have some seasons on DVD. So this more discerning that you have been aware of – BTW this applies to the theories on your blog as well.
      As a courtesy to some of my not that extremely geeky readers (I know those do exist!) I am quoting a very good explanation from Wikipedia:
      “The phrase obsessive–compulsive has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used in an informal or caricatured manner to describe someone who is excessively meticulous, perfectionist, absorbed, or otherwise fixated” (… and of course this adds to the meme pool of future search terms…)

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