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October 23, 2011

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A-Google-A-Day Is Google's New Scavenger-hunt Game

Scoroncocolo, Scoroncocolo Tech Pages, A-Google-A-DayYou can use A-Google-A-Day to help you to become a Google Search Engine genius.

Test Your Googling Skills Using A-Google-A-Day

Test Your Googling Skills Using A-Google-A-Day

Back in April of this year, with hardly any fanfare at all, Google launched A Google A Day. A Google A Day is a scavenger hunt type of game which poses questions that you are invited to try to answer using Google's search engine. It appears that the purpose of the game is to get people to familiarize themselves with some of the lesser utilized features of the Google search engine like the search engine's ability to translate languages, for instance. The questions are designed in such a way that you will not be able to answer them in one query. Instead, you'll usually have to use information you learn from your initial query to make another Google search and sometimes use that information to make yet another search.

The game asks questions like: "As a medieval king, would you have felt safer having your castle’s spiral staircase ascend clockwise or counterclockwise?" Hmm.. Here's a hint: Why do Americans drive on the right side of the road while most all of Europeans drive on the left side of the road? You could "Google" that and maybe find the answer.

Some of A Google A Day questions are easy to find the answer to using Google like this one: "How many miles from Earth is the star that's nearest to the sun?" You'll have to use a Google tool to translate light-years into miles but that's pretty straight forward. And some are a little less intuitive like this one: "You plan to visit the most powerful waterfall in Europe and the hotel concierge says, “Ferðina þína uppfyllir í anddyri.” Where’s he sending you?" If you answered Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland, you'd be wrong. If you use Google's translation tool you'll understand that you're being directed to the lobby of the hotel.

Here's an interesting thing about using A Google A Day. When you search for the answer to A Google A Day on Google's A Google A Day Website, you are searching Deja Google and not No, Deja Google is not the sensation you get when you realize you've just typed in the address bar when you are already on Google. Deja Google is sort of a spoiler alert edition of the Google search engine. It's like a time machine that searches the Internet as it existed before the game began back in April of this year. Because you're searching Deja Google instead of regular Google while you are playing the A Google A Day game, you can't come across a webpage that will show you the answer to the puzzle before solving it for yourself.

Use A-Google-A-Day to Hone Your Search Engine Skills


A-Google-A-Day Is Fun, Challenging and Educational

Below is a sample question along with Google's suggestion as to the best way to go about answering it.

On September 19, 2011, A Google A Day asked the following question: Tom and Bob were cousins from Virginia who served at the Battle of Gettysburg in the 36th Infantry and fought bravely in the cavalry. Yet they were thrown in prison not for a crime, but because of who they were. In what prison did they land?

Here is Google's suggestion on how best to go about finding the answer to that question: How to find the answer: Search [Civil War cousins +Tom +Bob soldiers 36th Infantry] to find that the cousins in question were Mary and Mollie Bell from Virginia, who served in both the cavalry and the 36th Infantry Division. Adding the plus sign in front of Tom's and Bob's names ensures that the Google search will include those words and will not include any synonyms. Search [Mollie Bell prison] to find that the cousins were held for two weeks in Castle Thunder, a notorious prison in Virginia.

Every A Google a Day question will be answered the following day on the A Google a Day Website and will appear the following day above the New York Times crossword puzzle. And like the Times' puzzle, questions will get harder as the week goes on -- so that, "by Thursday or Friday, even the most seasoned searcher may be stumped," according to Google's official blog. "As the world of information continues to explode, we hope 'A Google a Day' triggers your imagination and helps you discover all the types of questions you can ask Google -- and get an answer," Google researcher Dan Russell wrote in the same post.

You can play A Google a Day on the A Google a Day website or you can play it right here everyday on this Web page.

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