Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fishy Questions

Just a couple of posts ago, we dealt with the noble and novel world of Sushi, now we're down to earth again, with JohnFromMelbourne, who used to be a Google Answers regular, investigating some Fish and Chips issues, such as:

1) Is F&C as a family meal still popular in England, ( as it died out somewhat in Australia after the introduction of Mcdonalds etc) although pockets of activity still exist here and appears there will always be some fish and chip shops. Has it largely died down in poularity as in Australia

2) Do such shops over there have sit down areas( as I read) where no such thing facility exists in Australia.

3) What is meant by "scraps" or is it "scats" served with F&C as I heard on radio recently by an Englishman aiming to introduce such into Australia.

4) Has any further evidence come to light since 1971 on pinpointing a date for the coupling of Fish with Chips as a meal. The author says previous claims of a date by Fish Friers Association were good gueses at best.

5) Author says that he traveled the world sampling other countries versions of the English traditional meal and found my country Australia had lousy fish and chips
with the Middle East and western USA having versions closer in quality to the
English. This baffled me as I thought our F&C was teriffic so just how good is English F & C and why??

6) What would a family meal of F & C cost nowdays in England , say 5 pieces of fish and enough chips for a four person family to share

7) Any other little snipets of info on subject that may not have been available in 1971

Indeed, a serious subject (and a serious offence to Australian national pride!). Go and read answerfinder's response.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Visiting a Museum Online

Can you actually visit a museum online, as if you've been there yourself? One UClue user has asked about a specific website he remembered:

One of the Russian art galleries or museums, I think perhaps in St
Petersburg, has a virtual tour on their website where you can walk around all
the galleries in 3D as if you were there (like those semi-video tours that
estate agents do). I read about this in some art blog recently. URL?

Unfortunately, the answer by answerfinder demonstrates that we're still far from the day, in which we could save the flight tickets to Russia and just see the exhibits from our couch (or computer chair). The museum offers some sort of a virtual visit, but it will never be as being there!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Today's UClue question is a rather interesting one (and I must admit, one to which I did not know the right answer!): what is the etiquette when eating a piece of sushi? How do you eat a sushi? What do you dip in the soy sauce? From which side? What do you do if the sushi is too large? Do you cut it with a knife? Answers for this, and more, were found by Pinkfreud at Sushi etiquette .

Further Interesting Questions:

* About unique restaurants, among them one where you eat sushi from the body of a woman
* How to tip at a Sushi restaurant
* Where and when is the best sashimi-quality fish sold in LA?
* Hierarcy of Toro Sushi
* Who is the most famous japanese sushi chef? (answered by Hailstorm, who resides in Japan, and can also answer questions about Japan and Japanese issues at UClue)
* What is the difference between different types of Tuna?
* What is, and how to get, imitation crab for sushi? (answered by Crabcakes!)
* How long can refrigirate Sushi?
* Why there are so few Sushi-women?
* How much sashimi would one have to devour in an eating contest to be competitive
* What is the symbol of chefs allowed to prepare Fugo?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Looking for Games like...

Ever happened to you, that you were looking for a game like one that you liked, a film like the one that fascinated you, or a book - with the same "atmosphere"?

There are some brave attempts to do something like that (IMDB has a recommendation section on the film details page; Amazon recommends book "bought by users who've also bought this book"; and perhaps most importantly, community sites like What Should I read Next are also filling this void). However, you can't really rely on computers to calculate this for you: sometimes you need a person who understands exactly what you need.

This has happened to a user looking for "for games like King's Quest (female-friendly, non-weapon, non-killing, non-scary) that can either be downloaded or played online".

After a brief exchange, researcher bobbie7 found out what the user was looking for. The answer is available here: Games like King's Quest

Similar Questions:

What are some full length Neverwinter Nights 2 modules? (not answered yet)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Google Answers Statistics

After the untimely demise of Google Answers, there are probably people looking for hard data on the site. They cannot find it on the Google Answers or on any other public Google site, but they can find it on UClue, where researcher DavidSarokin has provided them with some information:
"When was the first question posted to Google Answers?
The very first question posted to Google Answers on April 9, 2002: "
"Approximately how many questions were posted to Google Answers?
Tbis one's tricky. I once estimated, for an article I was writing, 71,000
questions, but I can't recreate that estimate with the current stored
version of the Google Answers site."
"Approximately how many of those were answered?
By adding the "num" parameter to any of the above URLs, it is possible to
display all the questions in the category on a single page. "

The answer, also caused many interesting comments on deleted answers from GA's database and much more. See: Google Answers statistics

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mysterious Book

This question is not likely to be answered, but it is very interesting to see the way Uclue researchers have tackled it:

I'm trying to find the name of an author I discovered because his books were next to George R. R. Martin's at Hayden Library in ASU. I am pretty sure
his name was (something) R. R. Martin (First name maybe Steve or Steven?), but if that's not exactly right it must be extremely close because his books were on the same shelf as George R. R. Martin's.

Unfortunately, I can't recall any specific details about the books, other than that they were utterly bizzare collections of poems/stories which were usually in the second person and present tense ("You are walking down the street. You see a man with a red hat who tells you about a secret castle")

This doesn't mean that other such book/author questions cannot be answered on UClue:

* Need author of books on supertanker terrorism and Chinese mini-sub invasion of New York

* Name of children's book about time travel/potato famine/smoking chimney/wolves?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Is It Good to be Sick?

This is the question asked yesterday on Uclue, titled Can getting sick be good for you?

This interesting question, apparently, doesn't have a clear-cut answer, but a UClue researcher, davidsarokin does his best to answer it. The answer is very interesting, and apparently, our grandmothers were right.

For more such interesting questions:

Must we wash our hands in the bathroom? (was this question asked by a five year old?)

Is there such a thing as a Real life Dr. House?

Are Chakras Real ?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Do Dogs Sweat?

What a fascinating question begging for an answer - do dogs sweat? And if they do, would there be a market for dog deodorant (well, this wasn't the question, but I think that breath fresheners might be a better idea).

Some curious visitor to UClue has asked this question. Before clicking on "do dogs sweat", try (without googling) guessing the answer - we all probably heard as children that dogs "cool themselves" through their mouths and not sweat. Is it true? Did you get that right after having read Pinkfreud's answer?

To which one of UClue's regulars, Probono, reacted by saying:

What a great Answer!
Even though I have owned several dogs over the
years, I had no previous knowledge on this topic.
However, I was once told
that 'only horses sweat ... gentlemen perspire and ladies glow'.

Have other weird dog questions? Try:

What is the name of Isaac Newton's dog?

I'd like to try eating dog - where is the best place?

dogs that dont shed and dont have doggy smell? (well, naturally they are not allowed to sweat as well)

Is it healthy to feed my dog a strictly vegetarian diet?

Where did Paris Hilton buy her dog tinkerbell?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What's Up with UClue

I haven't written here since the demise of Google Answers (no reasons to do it. In fact, I thought of cancelling this blog when I noticed that it attracts its fair traffic).

However, I began pipping in UClue, which starts to look like Google Answers' best available alternative. UClue is not clean of many errors - but hey, it is not made by the largest Internet giant, but actually by the very people who made Google Answers to what it was - an excellent research service with lots of funny and interesting moments.

Yesterday, for example, on November 3rd, someone asked, what is the name of a movie with this plot:
"a guy lives in a small village, his life seems to revolve around a cemetary where I think he worked. I think he suffers from insomnia, and alcoholism. The bodys of the recently deceased haunt him. I remember a scene where he kills two women in a fire. the movie ends when he tries to leave town and the road reaches a cliff... it turns out his "world" exists in a snow globe. "

Sounds interesting? Bobbie7 has found the answer (to avoid spoilers for those who want to guess, I don't post it here).

There are other examples, also from the past site, of researchers finding obscure film names according to their equally obscure plots:

"was about a boy in the future. He had a hover board type thing. His mother is taken and killed by the villain who puts his own girlfriend into the body of the boy's mother (this trophy-body hunting is common in this view of the future). The boy goes after the villain, he meets an older well known hero in the galaxy who tells the boy that the boy is HIS hero. People have bionic-type implants and in the bar where the two heros meet, a patron with implants (he is bald and fat and shirtless with a circular implant in his stomach), makes fun of the boy being in the barand for ordering milk. The older hero then forces the bald man to drink the milk...killing him because of his robotic parts. The boy later meets with an old man who has information on the villain, but has been shot (or something) mulitple times by bullets that could explode at any moment. The boy gets the info and the old man explodes. "
(Answer: here)

"First scene a guy dead in the bathtub and his girl friend is crying in the bathroom, the guy’s father came see his son and come inside the bathroom and shocks about his son dead and start crying, suddenly his son open his eyes and cheated and tease his father. After that all three go to that guy’s home, it’s out side of city. In that place his father and grand father is there. The guy and his lover stay with them. Somthing happen to her, she had some anonymous dreams in drugged sate. At last she realizes that she was used by those guys and with the help of her lover planned to escape. But at last only she knows, her lovers mother was in basement of the house for some treatment and they bring her for that (including her lover). At last she was trapped and connected to some machine. And treatment for mother starts and film ends." (Answer: here)

"a little girl who has to live with this mean woman on a farm/estate. There are a few scenes that I really remember - the little girl's dog kept chasing the chickens and killed one so the woman tied a chicken in his collar to teach him a lesson. Also, the little girl had this rabbit stuffed animal she loved but the woman took it away and I think ruined it by washing it. In the end, I think it is the maid who comes back, after she was fired, and "rescues" the girl" (Answer: here)

"The movie was set in a corporate business(maybe advertising)enviroment with mostly all white employees. I believe there is 1 black man on the board and something happens that promotes him to chairman. Once he is promoted to chairman, he starts bringing in all these black radicals, and other black employees--completely transforming the companies culture. the movie sterotyped blacks in terms of their busines ethics and lack of business acumen. The chaimman was also pitching outlandish ideas to clients. And I believe there were orgies and other inappropriate behaviour going on at the company as a result of these new black employees" (Answer: here)

Do you have a film plot, but don't remember the name of the movie? Does it bug you that you remember those obscure details, but not the film? UClue can probably provide answers.