Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Google Files

Google should now be considered one of the most useful tools known to man, I think. It's a search engine that may technically be seen as a knowledge resource; Whenever we need to find out more about a person, place or thing, we can usually trust in Google (or other similar search engines) to pony up the goods.

So what happens if we enter the word "suman" into the Google search engine?

Interestingly enough, Google notes around 813,000 results for "suman". Are there this many glutinous rice enthusiasts in the world?

Actually, no. It turns out that "Suman" is a common first name in India -- it means "well-disposed, and having a good mind". Apparently there are a lot of people named "Suman" in India who happen to get mentioned in web sites.

The first Google result for "suman", for that matter, is a weblog. Suman Palit is written by an Indian programmer based in Illinois, and centers on commentary regarding Indian political affairs. In almost four years of blogging, Suman Palit appears to have gained a significant level of influence among the online yuppie community, and his skill becomes evident upon reading any one of his essays. I particularly like Mr. Palit's argument on arming India's women, a piece written in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots -- it illustrates certain realities that hit us much closer than we think.

On a lighter note, I dropped by a site that claimed to be "The Official Web Site of Suman", and found that Suman also happens to be the name of an Indian actor. As I'm not a devout follower of Bollywood, I must regretfully say that I know little of Mr. Suman's filmography or appearances. His official site, however, carefully notes that he has a black belt in karate, and is consequently one of India's prominent stuntmen and action heroes. That, I think, would put him on par with Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and other actor-stuntpersons we've seen over the years.

The first entry I found that concerned suman of the edible type was, interestingly enough, a reference to Is My Blog Burning, a food blog run by a European administrator yet populated by food hobbyists throughout the world. The article, entitled Something Sticky and Sweet: Suman, details a Hawaii-based Filipina's attempt to recreate one of her native delicacies. What surprised me -- aside from the fact that it was easier to make suman than I originally thought -- was the response that her article received from international foodies. More than a few people across the globe have apparently tried and liked Filipino suman, and I was surprised when someone commented that it was readily available in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Google's 40th result came up with more familiar territory: Clair's Radioactive Sago Project Parody for the Suman Latik Web Ring. Number 40 is pretty high up in a list of eight hundred thousand, so Clair should be happy about that. :)

For that matter, you might be interested to know that this blog comprises the top two results when you run a search for "suman latik": The original Dean Alfar-centered joke, and curiously enough, the Interactive suman story. Were we that bored, ladies and gentlemen? :)

Clair shouldn't worry, though... she's number three on the list, at least. :)

Over Sea, Under Stone
The Dark is Rising


Clair said...

Hehehe. Interesting results. Gah, I was supposed to write about the Google results I found too...

I have something else for next week. A product of searching in Google ;)

And it is interesting how our posts turned up :D

Sean said...

Clair: Ooooooh. Sorry about beating you to the punch. I just got curious about putting "suman" in Google...

Anonymous said...

gee, I *really learned a lot from this entry. :)