WolframAlpha and Google "Fun" While Fixing Computers

funny-pictures-basement-cat-listens-to-backwards-messagesOk, this will be relatively short because I'm very tired and I really have to go downstairs and devote myself to fixing Butch's computer today. You know how it happens, one thing leads to another, and suddenly I am doing a clean install of windows xp for him. Let's hope it fixes most of his problems and he'll be a happy camper again. (He has no internet connection. That's just not bearable these days, you know? Everyone needs and deserves fast internet access!)

So, if you haven't heard, WolframAlpha, the latest, coolest "computational knowledge engine" is out and ready to play with. It still has a long way to go with adding more functionality, but there's a lot in there. I was asking it questions regarding religions and that wasn't really an option yet. Go over and try a few questions, watch the video, and see if you won't at least bookmark the site. It's geektastic, if you ask me. :)

One question I asked it was how many people per church are in my town? Unfortunately it didn't know how many churches were here, so that didn't work. But it told me the population, so that was a start. Also it has handy links down on the right. One was to Wikipedia which had an even newer figure for my town's population. So then I went to Google Maps and asked it to tell me where all the churches are in my town. Here is a summary of what I found:

  • Population: 19,096 people

  • Area: 8.2 sq. miles

  • Churches: 6302

That's 3 people per church. WTF? That can't be right!?

Now, I think some of those 6,302 churches are in the surrounding area outside of town. So I redefined my search to be near the main street of downtown. I got 6,296 churches. Within 8 miles of downtown, I would say the first 10 pages of results would be a fair estimate. That's about 100 churches. Whew.. that's much better. I was freaking out there for a minute.

That still means 191 people per church. That makes more sense, I guess. But seriously, driving through our sleepy little town, there's a church on every corner, it seems. The major denominations competing for the sheeple are catholic and methodist. We have a pentacostal church near our house too.

Well, now that I've wasted an hour of my day, and a few minutes of yours, I'll go work on Butch's computer. Which reminds me, if you're a geek, I'd love to be your new BFF! :D I know just enough about computers to get myself deep into trouble and not be able to get back out of it again. So wish me luck. I'm diving in headfirst!


  1. I could see three churches from where I was standing the other day.

  2. My own mind is my church.
    Thomas Paine.
    I've read that there are way more of those little family,home style, unaffiliated kinds of churches than there are the major denominational types......an interesting survey project,Neece.....let us hear more.....

  3. Yeah, christians are *so* repressed! :P

  4. Hi Rev Tim!
    I'm sure you're right, which is a good thing. I got a really scary thought a second ago. What would the country/world be like if christians united together under one cause, like the muslims appear to do?! That is truly terrifying, if you ask me. In that sense I'm glad there are so many factions. That way they keep themselves busy with fighting among themselves!

  5. Nice find, that looks awesome!

    For your computer task...
    First, if your doing a clean install, you might as well select to reformat the whole hard drive while your at it.
    Second, when done, update it completely using windows update.
    Third, using a start up manager (for my recommendation use "Starter"), remove everything... but perhaps the bluetooth start up program. Nothing is needed on a fresh install. It'll help speed. Oh, uninstall the junk too, like Quicktime and Realplayer... although that isn't as necessary.
    Fourth, install firewall and antivirus. I recommend the free Comodo, even more so if the computer is not that great. Comodo is not only the least resource intensive there is, it's also one of the best.
    Fifth, I recommend Firefox with adblock plus for a browser. Opera is also a nice choice. I don't suggest IE.
    Sixth, a good email program that is relatively new, Postbox. Along those lines, for chat client I suggest Digsby. Mediamonkey is good for audio. VLC for watching videos. Paint.net for all your graphic editing. Picassa 3 for your picture library and picture viewer. IZArc for your compression and .zip/.rar files. PDF-XChange viewer to view pdf files both outside browsers and inside Firefox.
    Seventh, upgrading your experience. Taskbar shuffle, lets you rearrange your taskbar. Rocketdock, for if you want a dock like a Mac. Launchy, a good program launcher like the one in Vista. CursorFX, very nice for changing your cursor. Fences, organizes your icons and can hide/show them by a double click on desktop.

    That should do it for the starting of a good pimped out desktop...

  6. I uh, got spam nailed again... :D

    I think your spam filter is catching too much.

  7. I have no idea why it doesn't like you, GMN. I think you used too many "buzz" words. Maybe it's just cranky. :P I restored your comment. :)

  8. PS... You're HIRED! LOL :D

  9. Damn, I wish I had thought to reformat the hard drive. I sometimes do but I don't remember it asking me and I didn't think about it. Curses!
    This is all great advice, as usual! I use about half of this list. I'll have to try some of the others. :D Right now it's running great with the fresh install. But since I can't get it connected to the internet (my modem died so I got another one, but then found out it only supports one modem and I need a router... long sad sob story), it's on hold for all the updating and stuff.

  10. HAHAHHA!!! That's fantastic, Johnny! Love it! :D