Metatalktail Hour: What The Deuce Is This?! edition May 21, 2022 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Happy weekend, friends. For this week's MetaTalktail Hour, I'd like to know what the deuce the ghost in the (search) machine is surprising you with today. Earlier I started typing "the" into the address line of Duck Duck Go, and this happened ...

As the predictive magic began to weave it's haunted list of things it thought I was probably looking for, I first saw "Thee Oh Sees." Oh, yeah I looked them up yesterday. Then "The Pirate Bay." Oh, um how did that get in there? (I know how it got in there). Then "Thesaurus.com." Know them, love them, use them everyday! The saurus is my favorite saurus! Then "The 10,000 Bedroom Nazi Hotel That Was Never Used." Hm. Okay. I remember reading that article a long time ago. *Shrug* Then "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter." Well, again, I think I did look that up once, quite a long time ago. Was there even a Duck Duck Go back then? Weird, but okay. Then ... um what? What the hell is this? Google Books Ngram Viewer, which ... I don't know? Maybe I looked at this at some time in the past, but I don't remember at all, and I'm not even sure what it is, but it's showing me a chart of terms like "check this Out," "get a load of this," "what the heck is this," etc., indicating apparent usage over time, 1800-2008, and the meta nature of this unexpected return tickles me.

"What the devil is this" is dead last, btw, but I'm more charmed by second to last "what the deuce is this," and now plan to try to use this phrase every day, preferably when looking at mysterious results from my apparently occult searches.

So, yeah, Google Books Ngram Viewer is a thing and you can click through to find books containing specific terms, by period. Okay, thanks, l'il machine! That was actually pretty fun! 👍

So, what the deuce are you finding in your magical Finding Things Machine lately? Anything good? Please share. Anything embarrassing? You don't have to tell everyone, just tell me. Anything completely batshit weird? We love that stuff. Or just tell us what's up with you, how you're doing, what's on your mind (bnppaty).
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 9:55 AM (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Accidentally typed "Amaxon" into Google, and pure mockery ensued. Google suggested I might be looking for:

Amaxon
Amaxon Prime
Amaxon logo
Amaxonite
Amaxon River

Friggin smartass 😒
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:28 AM on May 21 [4 favorites]


Apologies, but I’m gonna tell you what I am not finding. I am not finding the werewolf erotica that I stumbled across and wanted to send to a friend. I wasn’t looking for werewolves but it did pop up in the search I was running. I forgot to save the URL, and now I cannot find the story again no matter what search string I use. I did not think I was a naïve person but I had no idea how much werewolf porn was in the world. Thus far, none of it is the story I’m looking for.

If you have to to specialize in that, drop me a line and I will tell you more details in hopes that you can help me find the story that got away.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:03 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


The New York Times (this is Metafilter’s fault)

The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat ( sadly far more of a by-the-numbers trash isekai with Mary Sue MC than the OP suggests. The actual link was to a fan translation of the web novel, since the light novel has an official licensed translation).

The Affinity Grind, A Compendium for all Things Leveling I’ve racked up 1250 hours of Warframe in the past year. I don’t know if it’s a “good” game, but it’s been in heavy, active development for 9 years with an extremely active and shockingly non-toxic community. It now features so many systems and mechanics that 300 hours in I had only covered 75% of the major game systems: not content, but actual full-on systems like mech suits and pilotable player-crewed ships (both examples of things I hadn’t touched after 300 hours). Some 45 character classes, 700 weapons, and 1200 modifiers to slot into each: Warframe now contains all other games within it. Photo capture minigames (plural)? Check. Mining/fishing/taming/selective crossbreeding? Check, check, check and ew but check. Chatting with a bunch of designers recently we came to the conclusion that literally the only thing in any third person action game that isn’t in Warframe somewhere is fucking Gwent.

“Welcome to the Internet” - Bo Burnham, little explanation needed but I’m sure the rest of this thread will illustrate that fully.
posted by Ryvar at 11:10 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


Bella Donna, did you check your browser history? If you use search there you might have a good chance of finding it that way. Here's the text to put in the address bar for a full history search in Chrome: chrome://history/, if you are using Chrome, but if you just click on "History in the top bar of your browser you will immediately see the most recent searches. I know that this can get frustrating because it will be showing those fruitless searches you just made at the top. If you found it a few days ago, you can scroll down full history to see searches by day. BUT that can be a lot of scrolling! If you are using Chrome, maybe try this first: in full history, switch from "list" to "journeys" and this might be much easier to navigate. I'm rooting for your evasive werewolf erotica!
posted by taz (staff) at 11:28 AM on May 21 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: the rest of this thread will illustrate that fully.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:36 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


evasive werewolf erotica

Incidentally, "erotica for evasive werewolves" will be my new username.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:39 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


I finally bought extra chargers for my work laptop so I don't have to worry about forgetting it or schlepping between home office/work office/field locations.

I did a search on Amazon for "Lenovo charger 65W" , which got me what I was looking for. However, the "Customers Also Bought" section was nothing but anal lube. Not even just the first 3 options. All of the suggestions were anal lube. There were like 30 different kinds. I had no idea that market is that diverse.

I bought the chargers and then went back to do a screenshot video to capture this, and when I went back, all of the suggestions were normal - other chargers, laptop accessories, etc. ((Insert Robert Stack Unsolved Mysteries gif))
posted by Sparky Buttons at 3:32 PM on May 21 [15 favorites]


Did you try the back button?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:52 PM on May 21 [11 favorites]


I’m really bummed we didn’t get to see that, Sparky B.
posted by mochapickle at 5:33 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Tonight the deuce I'm whatting is my son. He's mad at me. And I didn't do anything wrong, even though I got the result I wanted and he didn't.

So last autumn I came across this dead branch on a plant that had an odd attachment. I wasn't sure what it was but I thought it was a praying mantis egg sack. I'd seen them before but they were typically more symmetrical. I showed it to my son who's an amateur entomologist and he was sure it was a mantis egg case so I took the stick and put it in a tall Tupperware container and left it over winter on the picnic table on our deck.

This wasn't my first mantis egg case. I've watched two hatch before. The first in my garden about 25 years ago. I noticed it early in winter and I kept an eye on it all spring. Then one day late in spring it happened. They hatched. They come out looking like worms with their legs and praying claws all flat against their tiny bodies. Soon they start to stretch their limbs and their joints bend and they start to form into the mini, praying, triangle-headed monsters we know, but adorable petite versions.

The second mantis hatch I saw was in the window of a bookstore I ran. Again I found the egg sack in the fall and I had a terrarium with a screened lid. So I put the sack in the terrarium and put it in the store window. What I didn't realize was that the hatch wasn't triggered by a period of time, it's triggered by the temperature. Because the store was heated the sack hatched in the middle of January. While I didn't realize it at the time, this was a disaster. There was nothing for the baby mantids to eat. They did what they were programmed to do, they began to eat each other. And the mesh of the screen was far too large to keep any of the mantids in so they scattered throughout the store, each hunting the others. A week later I could only find two and then they disappeared. I ended up feeling bad about it. They're important to the ecosystem and by hatching them indoors in the winter I feared I did real damage to my garden.

When my son learned about the sack I found last winter he was really excited. He wanted to take them into the house and force an early hatch, but I talked him out of it and asked if I could keep it on the picnic table. I told him how important it was to let them go through the winter and then to hatch in late spring, and to let them live a natural life when they're born. He agreed, but asked that we keep them in the Tupperware so when they did hatch, we could capture one that he could raise it in captivity.

I was puttering in the garden this morning when I passed the picnic table and thought to look in. At first I didn't see them. It looked like the inside was specked with debris but a second look made me realize those were tiny mantids, and once I completely removed the lid they began to spring out. Like grasshoppers they can jump and almost instantly there were only two I could see. I pulled out my phone and took a picture and sent it to my son, who was at work. Then those two were gone and there were none.

So now my son is mad at me because I didn't catch one. To be honest they looked so fragile I never would have attempted to capture one. Surely I'd crush it. I actually did think about trying to catch one and if I didn't go for my phone I might have had time. But because I did take a picture they were gone almost instantly.

When he got home all I got was the stink eye. He didn't want to talk to me. I asked him if he knew what he would feed them and where he'd get it, but he just glared at me and went to his room. So I guess he's mad at me. And I do feel bad about it, but I'm also glad that those baby mantids are out in the world. Most won't survive, that's why they hatch in such large numbers, but enough will to keep my little garden healthy and balanced. I'm sorry kid, I didn't do it on purpose, but I'm not sorry they all got a chance.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:01 PM on May 21 [11 favorites]


the t
the Tru
the Truman show.
posted by clavdivs at 6:51 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


🤔
posted by clavdivs at 6:51 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


clavdivs, you can't HANDLE the t
the Tru
the Truman show!
posted by taz (staff) at 2:24 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


Only one Balcony Squirrel remains. I haven't seen Mom or Siblings in about a week. I started offering it snacks: Pistachios are ok. He does NOT like Gardettos. What he really likes is dried apple chips. I ran out of apple chips, but found some dried mango at the store. He took a few bites and gave me the "what the deuce?" look. That was yesterday afternoon. I haven't seen him since. I think he's mad at me. Mangos are not apples.

This is how he begs for apples.
posted by MuChao at 6:12 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


MuChao, I think you meant to give us a different second link!
posted by taz (staff) at 7:21 AM on May 22


Ah the wonders of Windows Clipboard... Here's my little buddy!
posted by MuChao at 7:22 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


yayyy! I love him.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:24 AM on May 22


I am happy to report that Little Buddy slept in late today, but stopped by the door to say hello before leaving on his daily adventures! I guess I'm forgiven and mangoes will be acceptable until I can replenish the apple stock!
posted by MuChao at 7:36 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


I have an update.

After the hatch I brought the stick with the egg sack into my office hoping that maybe a straggler would hatch and he'd finally have one. But I stared at the thing for hours and nothing happened. I thought that maybe I was was seeing what looked like a molting being pushed out of one of the long cylindrical eggs but I figured I was wrong. No more activity. At the end of the night I put the stick back into the Tupperware and left it on the kitchen counter for my son. I figured he'd probably still want the sack to study and maybe put under a scope.

This morning I woke up before he did and went out to my office to watch last night's SNL and the new Atlanta. I came in at about 10 when he had to go to work so maybe I could offer an "I'm sorry" ride. He was in the kitchen drinking a coffee and he turned to me and I totally expected the stinkeye again but instead, he put his hand on the Tupperware and said, "Thanks, Dad."

Oh you're welcome. I'm sorry I didn't catch one but I thought you'd still want the sack.

"No thanks for saving me one." And he opened the container and on the bottom was one more little guy. Must have been a late bloomer. It made a beeline for the top and my son put the lid back on.

So what are you going to feed it?

"I have meal worms for my frog and I thought I could dig up some ants from the hill on the side yard." I knew this was a bad idea. It would have turned that Tupperware into the set of a miniature Ray Harryhausen movie. Those were too big. Then I remembered reading that baby mantids liked fruit flies, and I just so happened to have some rotting fruit in my compost bucket. Sure enough it was crawling with fruit flies and fruit fly maggots. I took a small piece of banana and put it in a tiny bowl and lowered it into the Tupperware. All is well. The baby mantis now has baby mantis food, my son has a baby mantis, and the majority of the brood escaped into my garden. Sometimes, all it takes is a little more time.
posted by Stanczyk at 8:50 AM on May 22 [18 favorites]


I am constantly amazed at just how good the youtube algorithm is at predicting things I actually do like. (I know it's a very different experience for many, and will avoid politics.) Somehow, despite not having friends or liking many things on the platform, it's the only such algorithm that works far more often than it fails for me. I don't think it's ever suggested anything ugly, at all.

You just watched a 3 minute physics stage demo from ten years ago; would you like to listen to the full-length Korean cast recording of RENT? (Yes. Yes I would.) You just watched a khene instructional video; would you like to watch Ben Vereen sing Mr. Cellphone with Muppets? (Yes. Yes I would.) I don't know what database they have access to, but it's shockingly accurate compared to everything except close friends and the distributed algorithm running on meat hardware that supplies content to this website.

In other news, last night after an exhausting all-day meeting, I walked past a 6 year old attempting to stand very still next to a floor-to-ceiling window behind a full-length curtain. She seemed happy, so I'm guessing it was hide-and-seek or similar. I gave a head nod and a sushing finger to the lips and walked on. Which, I think, is the correct response. I was sorely tempted to dance and make silly faces and try to make her giggle out loud.
posted by eotvos at 9:36 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


True to its self promotion, Duck Duck Go does not appear to know enough about me to make interesting guesses. These are not personalized, but they are a little interesting, considered together:

the best car brand to buy
the best bb guns for sale
the best work at home business
the best fetal doppler to buy
the best franchises to buy

I think, perhaps there is a chain of maternity clinics I can buy into and run one out of a van in my driveway. (Not sure yet where the BB guns feature.) Then I realize this is maybe not so distinct from crisis centers and then I has a sad.

Google, on the other hand, offers up only song and movie titles starting with “the best.” Considering I really only use their search product when DDG fails (or to conduct periodic internet hygiene on my wallet name), I’m not surprised if they also have too little data on me to be very interesting. Or perhaps it’s just that the bulk of what data they do have comes from the music I listen to on YouTube.
posted by eirias at 1:22 PM on May 22


It's hot here today, like unreasonably hot for Vermont. I have a fan, a few really, but the best one broke. Like it worked a few days ago but you'd turn it on now and it would just make a noise but not actually spin the blades around. I found out last night as I was going to bed, overheated, and was grumpy about it. So today I got up and Googled "How to fix MAKE/MODEL fan" and got a YouTube video and followed the instructions exactly. So many tiny screws! I needed four separate screwdrivers, one with a torx head on it, wtf. But, after borrowing some 3-in-1 oil from my landlady (how do I not have this?) I reassembled it all and IT WORKED. Usually I fuck this stuff up, lose an essential part, or I put it back together but it only sort of works. This is... not just functional but better. Cleaner. Quieter. I left the guy a little comment on his YouTube video from 2017 saying thank you and got a "You're welcome" a few hours later. Magical day, saved by the Finding Things Machine..
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:29 PM on May 22 [7 favorites]


3-in-1 oil is great, right up there with duct tape and maybe even a more essential household tool than WD-40.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:16 PM on May 22


3-1 is 1# for locks (though graphite is going) gears and hobbies. WD-40 can gunk up but has merits on certain items like scissors or a rusty hinge.
break away. Keep in the trunk, the garage, the 8oz. hip flask with a roll of Duck Tape ™

IAMY/AM.
posted by clavdivs at 10:00 PM on May 22


I was searching the web for manx, as in manx, a tail-less cat, wondering why it wasn't a good word for the NYT Spelling Bee. I came across it that the manx cat comes from The Isle of Man, whose native language is Manx. Efforts to preserve the language have led to the establishment of a Manx-only K-6th grade school. Then the students graduate up to a mainstream school, with their native language preserved.

The Triskalion, made of three legs in armor with golden spurs, set on a white field, has been the Isle of Man's flag since the 1300s. Though some exclusive and extremist far right groups have tried to appropriate the symbol, the Isle of Man is it's home, and has nothing to do with any crappy ideology. Manx is a Celtic language form, manx is a cat. Anyway. I would have broken my neck, trying to make this a deep dive. There was a video posted promising Manx greetings, but all I heard was kids, speaking in English about how much they like speaking in Manx. No Manx words to hear.
posted by Oyéah at 2:30 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]


Crossrail is open as the Elizabeth Line?!? And the spoil made a bird sanctuary out of an ait? I have watched everything YouTube offered me — any mefites have a report on either?
posted by clew at 10:25 PM on May 27


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