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Bing.com, Search Engine Tips, Fountains, & Japanese Beetles
Bing is a new search engine produced by Microsoft. You would have thought they would have jumped into this business a bit sooner. Bing makes claims of being different than say, Google in that Bing claims to be a "decision engine" not just a search engine of often disconnected facts.
I think one reason people have liked the Google search engine, -- so much so that it is now part of our modern vernacular to say things like "Google it" when we want to know something -- is that Google has a very simplistic look & feel. Many of the earlier search engines busied their pages up with too much advertisements or images, even to the point of causing slow loading.
Bing.com also has that simplicity & according to this report seems to be doing pretty well against Google. Perhaps it is more in the marketing, since Bing.com has TV commericals spoofing the information overload that seems to accompany Google results. They are both funny & true -- see the commericals here.
SEARCH ENGINE TIPS
Speaking of information overload, there is a trick to returning just the results you want, whether you are using Google, Bing, or any other search engine. Whenever you are searching for a multiple word entry, always place quotes around the main text. For example, instead of typing: John Calvin's Theology try "John Calvin" Theology
Note how I placed quotes around the main topic/object of my search & left outside the quotes the general subject. This way, the search engine will return results specifically about John Calvin instead of about John & about Calvin. Doing this will save you from information overload.
And now just to radically change the subject, I wanted to post about fountains. I have a 5 foot by 3 foot pond in my backyard (see here) & the other day the pump quit working. Fountain pumps are pretty simple in that it is basically an electromagnet surrounding a spindle with a propeller on the end. (see diagram). The propeller (or actually "impeller" since it is moving the water instead of itself), typically resides within the casing & has little plastic nodules that are designed to catch inside the casing as the spindle turns. What happened to my pump is that the nodules wore down & no longer were properly catching & thus the impeller was not spinning & the water was not being pumped. I fixed it with some very strong glue...for now.
However, I am really interested in a non-electric solution. For instance, I know that many of the Roman fountains were operated by gravitational means -- that is, the water would race down a pipe or aqueduct building up speed & pressure to run the fountains (see explanation). I obviously do not have ability to do something on that scale. So, I am wondering more about say, the ancient Japanese ponds.
My research on this has led me to understand many of the fountains were built over or with access to a natural spring. So again, that is not an option. Further research found that many of European cities used mills or pumping stations along a river & pumped the water to the fountains. Again, not an option for me. There must be a way to make a pumpless pond. I was encouraged to read about what is called a hydraulic ram. I want to spend some time this summer trying to build my own hydraulic ram pump.
These little bugs terrorize my garden here in Indiana every July-August. From what it says here, the Japanese Beetle does in fact originate in Japan & was first spotted in America in 1916 in New Jeresy. I don't recall these bugs in Indiana when I was a kid, but boy are they ever a pain now. Sometimes you will see people hanging Japanese Beetle traps around their yards -- they look like little bags hanging. According to studies, this actually attracts more of the insects than captures them. I've tried several methods of controlling the pests but since I try not to use insecticides (as it kills good insects like butterflies, fireflies, ladybugs & such), I am working on a concoction of catnip, chives, garlic, & dishsoap to deter the pests. I'll let you know how it works.
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