All the best searches find squirrels

Image: European red squirrel, © Yvonne Findlay, used by permission.

Inspired by similar exercises from Small Pond Science and The Lab and Field, I present once more a few of the more interesting search terms by which Scientist Sees Squirrel has been found.  These are all real, I swear!



“Yeah?  Well, I’m rubber, and you’re glue, bounces off me and sticks to you”.  Oh, wait – actually, that’s just the Latin name for a genus of thrushes, including that most unfortunately named of all birds, Turdus ignobilis debilisThe 12-year-old inside me is somehow disappointed (although he can console himself with this post about donkey farts).


should i be honest on peer reviews

Definitely – that’s pretty much the whole point.  Constructive and kind, yes; but honest. But here’s the thing: what might lead someone to wonder this?  And what might lead that person to think that googling it would return a useful answer?  (If you scroll down far enough, this seems find my thoughts on dealing with the occasional but inevitable idiotic review.)


how much time does it take to make a science book

We call it writing, actually.  And it takes a long time.  My first book took about five years.  My second (forthcoming) book took about two and a half.  But, extrapolating the geometric series: my 10th book will take only three and a half days.  I can’t wait.


sokal chasm

It used to be possible to do something called “googlewhacking” – a challenge in which you succeeded by finding a 2-word search string returning one, and only one, Google result.  It doesn’t work anymore – the indexed corpus is just too big – but surely this would once have been a good try.  The Sokal Chasm is, of course, close to the Rohlf Rift.  (I had no idea where on Scientist Sees Squirrel this search would actually lead – turns out that a guest post, Whither the Two Cultures, is at the top of all sokal chasm Google search results.  Look Ma, I finally won something!)


word pattern of sheep

I’m not sure what someone was after with this one, but I hope they enjoyed this piece about inference in ecology, motivated by Icelandic sheep and lupines.  At least it comes with a decidedly pretty picture.


“topsy kretts” congleton

I just like the sound of this one.  It returns a list of posts I’d tagged “nerdiness” (I know, which ones didn’t I tag “nerdiness”?).  One of those posts is illustrated with a photograph of the brilliant Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős, taken by Topsy Kretts.  The congleton part is a mystery to me.


hurry home works of animal development robustness reproducibility and precision

Just what might have led someone to type in that search string?  What were they looking for?  Were they happy with what they found?


you know karen mean no she’s not she went out to the went to get some name badges for some residents but she may know because you know she’s been salisbury all at life so she may know somebody and she’s got her daughter’s a lawyer

Alexa, please listen to the chatter in this coffeeshop for a while and then see where it leads us as a web search.  Oh, how wonderful – some guy’s advice on how to wear your nametag at a conference.  Just what I was hoping for!”


tweets about love and misbehaviour

Sadly, I can’t figure out how this search leads to Scientist Sees Squirrel.  Not sadly at all, this search does not find my Twitter account.  But if I ever write a novel, now I have a title.


© Stephen Heard  May 2, 2019

If you like this sort of thing, here’s the first installment, and here’s the second, and here’s the third.  But almost nobody does, which probably says something about my sense of humour.



1 thought on “All the best searches find squirrels

  1. Pingback: Look, Ma, I found a squirrel! | Scientist Sees Squirrel

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