Google Calculator

New cool feature: the google calculator. Type all sorts of mathematical expressions in as your google search, and you get the result as your answer! It must all be part of google’s scheme to replace the URL with the google search. Actually, to replace your whole computer with a google search.

Aside from things like simple arithmetic (e.g., (24*7/3)^2 mod 5, you can also ask it things like three cups in tablespoons (and it tells you how many tablespoons!).

I also read somewhere that one of the top searches in google is cnn. That is, many people go to google and search for cnn rather than going to the fairly easy to remember Mozilla Firebird now seems to take you to the “I’m Feeling Lucky” google search result if you just type some random string into the URL bar.

Steve points out that you can also do searches for things such as radius of earth, and get a nice numerical result back from the google calculator.

Bicycle Polo

Last night, I played Bicycle Polo for the first time, out in Golden Gate Park. It’s a pretty funny sport. You have to keep the mallet in your right hand (it also helps to switch your breaks so that you can break with your left hand without toppling over), so you spend a lot of time circling around trying to approach the ball on the proper side. It is possible, but difficult, to reach over with your right hand to the left side of your bike to hit the ball. You also have to come at the ball parallel to the direction of the field, which also causes a lot of circling and recircling.

They’ve got a pretty dedicated group here which seems to play every week. The field was close to the ocean end of the park and it was so foggy that it was difficult to see the other goal much of the time. There is also a nice beer break in the middle of the game, after which the quality of play increased markedly.