For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Search Query Sunday, 11th Edition

May 4th, 2008

long-tail-search-queries.jpgMore questions are arriving through the search queries this week, some of which have been surprisingly thoughtful and challenging. I have saved some of the more difficult questions that I do not have immediate answers for in my text file, where I can refer back to them later for further research. Meanwhile, I can deal with the relatively easy ones first.

why gun control is needed? — Gun control is needed so that you can accurately aim your firearm at its target when necessary. Failure to properly control your gun can result in unfortunate and embarrassing accidents, and may also provide misguided politicians with an excuse to take away even more of our freedoms than they already have. Remember to use both hands whenever possible.

pros and cons of cigarettes — This one really deserves a separate article, but I can think of a few points to start. Pros: 1) Purchasing cigarettes provides economic assistance to farmers, manufacturers, and others employed in the tobacco industry, 2) Consumption of cigarettes gives governments an excuse to tax them, which is not really a good thing per se, but as taxes go, I see this as a preferable alternative to an income tax, 3) Heavy use of cigarettes reduces the life span of most smokers, thereby culling the population somewhat and reducing its environmental impact. As a bonus, non-smokers like me should have less competition in the search results :) Cons: 1) increased risk of lung cancer (and a variety of other diseases), 2) decreased lung capacity and physical endurance, 3) decreased economic efficiency due to cigarettes becoming more expensive.

atm fees can add up — Yes, this is true, especially if you are fond of using ATMs frequently. You can reduce ATM fees by using banks that reimburse them or by withdrawing more cash on each ATM visit, which will result in fewer trips to the machines and less money being spent on fees over the long run.

if you enter your atm number backward what will happen — You will get an “incorrect PIN” error. There is an urban legend that has been circulating as the result of an email hoax which suggests that entering your PIN number backwards can be used as a way of secretly summoning police in the event you are being robbed. However, my research indicates that there is no actual truth to this rumor.

how long has scurvy been around in historyScurvy has been around as long as people have because the human body cannot produce its own vitamin C. However, problems with scurvy became most noticeable during the Age of Exploration (approximately 1500-1800 AD) due to the long periods of time required to complete voyages combined with the rather poor diets of most ship crews during this period. Of course, ignorance was also a major factor — it was not until the 20th century that the link between vitamin C deficiency and scurvy was established.

do I need an exterminator to get rid of ants? — In most cases, no. There are plenty of ways to get rid of ants in your house without having to resort to calling in an exterminator. Some of them are actually rather creative and relatively environmentally friendly.

how much do bums make — This varies significantly depending on the type of bum, geographical location, and various intangible factors such as desire and motivation. If you’re a bum marketer, there is no theoretical limit to how much you can make because the income is passive and derived mostly from affiliate sales of an indeterminate number of products. For ordinary bums, their income will depend mostly on the amount of panhandling they can do and the kinds of items they can obtain through dumpster diving or other exploratory activities.

is sendearnings a scam? — No, I have already confirmed payment from them. However, I wish that they would implement PayPal payments as an alternative to the relatively slow “snail mail” checks. Many people have been asking about this in the search queries, which suggests that SendEarnings and other similar programs could expand their member base if they would add PayPal as a payment option.

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