Lessons Learned From Last Year’s Search Terms

If this year’s search terms have taught me anything, it’s that the world needs a quality robot mouse cat toy — preferably something better than the Squeaker 3000 Robotic Toy Mouse.

I also learned that the problem of getting locked in the bathroom because the door is blocked by an open drawer is much more widespread than I’d previously imagined. I posted about my experiences with this last summer, and while I did manage to get out alive, I suspect that most people won’t be able to use my escape technique. So please, everyone, take these simple precautions:

  • Before entering the bathroom, make sure there are no precariously-balanced partially-open drawers adjacent to your outwards-opening bathroom door.
  • If you have children or pets, install child-proof drawer locks on any drawer adjacent to the bathroom door.
  • Assemble a simple locked-in-the-bathroom survival kit with 3 days’ worth of food, a spare cell phone, a cell phone charger, a change of clothes, some reading material, a jigsaw puzzle, and a jigsaw. Store this in your bathroom, just in case.

People seem to need a lot of help finding the Roman numerals for future Super Bowl games. My Super Bowl guide didn’t include that information, so I’m providing step-by-step instructions here. It’s really simple.

First, figure out the number. Super Bowl XLV was played in 2011. XLV is the Roman numeral for 45, and the numbers increase by 1 each year, so obviously you can find the number for any future Super Bowl by calculating sqrt{year^2 - (3932 * year) + 3865156}. For example, to find the number for this year’s Super Bowl, start with 2012 squared (4048144), then multiply 3932 times 2012 (7911184) and subtract the second number from the first. That gives you a negative number (-3863040), to which you add 3865156, which brings you back up to 2116. Then just calculate the square root of that number, which is 46. Similarly, next year’s Super Bowl number is sqrt{2013^2 - (3932 * 2013) + 3865156}, or 47.

If you have trouble remembering the formula, just use this simple mnemonic: Sally Told You That She Tasted Part Of The Yellow Apple, 3932 Truffles, And 3865156 Anchovies Today — Then She Regurgitated, which makes it easy to remember to Square The Year, Then Subtract The Product Of The Year And 3932, Then Add 3865156 And Take The Square Root. Or I guess you could just add 1 to the previous year’s number, or maybe subtract 1966 from the year. Whatever.

Once you have the number, you just need to convert it into Roman numerals. That’s also pretty simple, as long as you remember the symbols for each number:

1 I
3-ish π
5 V
10 X
42 DONTPANIC
50 L
100 C

Based on what they’re searching for, many people seem to want to be reassured that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. Those people are wrong. They should also fear zombies.

I wrote a post last year inspired by the search term MY SON KEEPS SEEING BEES BUT THERE IS NO BEES. Since then, I’ve been getting a lot of searches from people who seem to be concerned about loved ones hallucinating bees and other kinds of insects. I also get lots of searches from people who see flies in the house all of a sudden. Sometimes I wonder how often I get both kinds of search from the same household.

In the unlikely event that you’d want to read even more about search terms, you could check out my open letter to anyone who was directed here by a search engine, which is a year old today (although it has been updated a few times).

Only 330 more days until Sugar Plum Awareness Month! Sugar Plum fact of the day: a sugar plum dropped from the roof of the Empire State Building would hit the ground in approximately 9 seconds.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Humor
23 comments on “Lessons Learned From Last Year’s Search Terms
  1. El Guapo says:

    Fortunately, my brain caught up before I started testing the formula above.

  2. nursemyra says:

    “Only 330 more days until Sugar Plum Awareness Month! Sugar Plum fact of the day: a sugar plum dropped from the roof of the Empire State Building would hit the ground in approximately 9 seconds.”

    May I have this as a roman numeral equation please?

  3. Holly says:

    how do you find out if people get to your blog via search terms?

    • Laura says:

      This blog is hosted by wordpress.com — they keep statistics about what search terms people used and what pages they visited (but those are separate, so you just have to guess at which search led to which page).

  4. yearstricken says:

    I want to be your friend because you are a math genius. I almost typed meth genius, but that is wrong, right? When are you going to start handing out sugar plums?

    • Laura says:

      Do you work at my pharmacy? The people there seem to think I’m a meth genius any time I work up the courage to buy Sudafed.

      Only 329 days until Sugar Plum Awareness Month! Our sugar plums are guaranteed to be 100% meth-free.

  5. Binky says:

    I didn’t do that much calculating to plot my trajectory to the moon!

    If your robot mouse toy gets locked in your bathroom full of bees, will a sugar plum help it calculate the next super bowl number?

  6. Although I’m only 31, I’m already panicking about turning DONTPANIC.

  7. You should perhaps ask the kittehs how they feel about nudity and blog about that. Because nudist cats, like Kitten Thunder, are very pressured by the demand for more information. They get about five visits a week from people wanting to know about nudist cats.

  8. theresa says:

    I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Thanks for the Douglas Adams reference, too!

  9. pegoleg says:

    Thank you for the “Roman numerals for future Super Bowl games” trick. For some reason, I used to have trouble figuring that out. Go figure – ha ha! OK, gotta go now cuz my brain is bleeding.

  10. Gail says:

    Thank you. I could hardly get through my salad without choking.

    (You also made me look up “jigsaw.”)

  11. Dang!
    I got some pie on my don’t panic!
    Club soda?!
    :)

  12. I really loved this article and the one from last year! Have you checked out your spam folder for blog ideas? I say this because today I got a spam comment from a guy (notice I said guy) named Albert who was looking for help getting pregnant. He tells me that my site was very informative. I’m really pleased that he finds my site helpful, but I don’t see how rooting houseplants is going to solve his problem.

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Elsewhere …

I have some publications in other places, including short stories at Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, and Daily Science Fiction, and a list of overly-wordy LOLCat captions on McSweeney's.

Things I found in my cat's water bowl.

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