For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Search Query Sunday, 28th Edition

August 31st, 2008

search-traffic-statistics-28.jpgOverall search traffic increased somewhat this week, with the topics of rejection letters, cell phones, and the various quote pages continuing to top the list. The big surprise came from a surge in visits to my low carb zucchini page, which managed to obtain a #5 ranking for “zucchini pasta” for a few days before suddenly dropping back down again. I quickly placed Chitika units on the page to take advantage of the rise in traffic, but now that this has subsided I will need to look for additional pages to target for Chitika testing. Meanwhile, here is the next batch of questions from our search queries.

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English Lesson 22: Correct Use of Parentheses

August 30th, 2008

parentheses-correct-symbol.jpgParentheses are punctuation marks that enclose supplementary material such as explanations, clarifications, or afterthoughts within the text of a sentence or paragraph. In standard English prose, an enclosed parenthetical expression provides the reader with information that is interesting to know but does not change the meaning of a sentence in which it is included. Depending on dialect and location, parentheses are sometimes referred to by other names such as brackets, rounded brackets, oval brackets, curved brackets, or parens.

The main rule to remember when using parentheses is that any other punctuation marks such as commas, periods, or semicolons that immediately follow the parenthetical material are placed outside of the right parenthesis as long as the material is part of another sentence. For example:

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40 Quotes About Water

August 29th, 2008

Because it is essential to the sustenance of life, water is one of the most important substances on Earth. It also has useful chemical and physical properties that have made it the object of much fascination throughout human history. Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been many quotes describing the actual or metaphorical powers of water and their effect on human civilization. In the list below, I have compiled 40 of the best water quotes that I have found so far.

  • Between Earth and its atmosphere, the amount of water remains constant; there is never a drop more, never a drop less. This is a story of circular infinity, of a planet birthing itself. — Linda Hogan
  • In every glass of water we drink, some of the water has already passed through fishes, trees, bacteria, worms in the soil, and many other organisms, including people…Living systems cleanse water and make it fit, among other things, for human consumption. — Elliot A. Norse
  • Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it. — Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher, 600-531 BC
  • Life originated in the sea, and about eighty percent of it is still there. — Isaac Asimov
  • Water is everywhere and in all living things; we cannot be seperated from water. No water, no life. Period. Water comes in many forms - liquid, vapor, ice, snow, fog, rain, hail. But no matter the form, it’s still water. — Robert Fulghum
  • All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. — Toni Morrison
  • Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water. — Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
  • We are in an age of media consolidation and concentration and, yes, threatened, but also liberated information flow; and since flow of information is to spirit what water is to life, we’d best think about how to keep the pipes free and unclogged. — Raphie Frank
  • In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference. — Rachel Carlson
  • You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there. — Edwin Louis Cole

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Chitika Newsletter Explains Premium Features

August 28th, 2008

Get Chitika eMiniMallsAfter being approved by Chitika earlier this month, I am beginning to learn more about how their system works and have now installed ad units on two of my older pages that were not already monetized. Preliminary results are too sparse to draw any conclusions, but I have managed to receive two clicks so far, which means that the units seem to be functioning properly.

The company also offers 10% referral bonuses on new publisher accounts, so if you have not signed up with them yet, you may want to do so in order to make money by referring other bloggers who are seeking additional monetization options. To reach the signup page, simply click on the banner in the upper left and then click the big button that reads “Apply Now” after the page loads. Meanwhile, Chitika sent out a newsletter today that explains more about how their new Premium search targeting works in light of recent additions they have made to their overall program:

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Google AdWords Makes Significant Changes

August 27th, 2008

google-adwords-marketing-information.jpgInternet marketers who are trying to sell products, gather leads, and make money through Google’s pay-per-click AdWords system will have to cope with some significant changes that are being rolled out over the next few days. After introducing the idea of a “quality score” for individual ads back in 2005, Google has complicated the AdWords equation somewhat in recent months by factoring things like landing page quality and the loading time of the landing page into the quality score. This is important because the quality score influences the position of an ad (including whether or not it is actually displayed) and how much money the advertiser ultimately must pay. Here is a summary of the most recent changes:

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How to Get Rid of Lizards

August 26th, 2008

green-lizard.jpgAlthough most people think of lizards as beneficial to the environment because they eat insects and other undesirable critters, others seem to have a significant fear of these little reptiles and will search for ways to get rid of them. While doing the research for this article, I ran across a desperate plea for help from a woman posting as “Janet” on a message board dealing with organic gardening topics. She had been scared away from entering her house through her carport door by the presence of two albino lizards that had started to wander around that particular area at night.

Eventually she discovered two smaller lizards in her bedroom, and after “screaming and gasping for air” she managed to grab a can of wasp spray from the kitchen and began spraying it at the lizards from several feet away. After using up about 2/3 of the can, the lizards finally died and it took another 15 minutes before she mustered the courage to remove them. She never mentioned what was done with the copious amount of pesticide that was sprayed all over her bedroom, which for me would have seemed scarier than the lizards!

In any event, for those who are afflicted with herpetophobia (fear of reptiles) or simply find lizards annoying, here are some methods that can be used to get rid of them:

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How to Get Rid of Frogs

August 25th, 2008

get-rid-of-frog.jpgThe idea of getting rid of frogs seems to be a controversial subject. Some people claim that frogs are endangered and caution against killing any of them, while others consider them annoying pests that have spiraled out of control in many areas. Overall, frogs are beneficial for the environment because they eat mosquitoes and other undesirable critters. In this way, they can be part of a balanced local ecosystem that enables the possibility of organic farming and gardening.

On the other hand, given the right conditions, certain kinds of frogs can multiply to the point that their numbers can create problems for certain types of humans. For example, south Florida seems to be having problems with the Cuban tree frog, which is not native to the area but has managed to migrate there and is now reportedly overwhelming the native frog population, disrupting the local ecosystem, and annoying residents with their noisy mating calls. Meanwhile, Hawaii has been battling a severe infestation of the coqui frog for the past ten years. Originally from Puerto Rico, this imported species has proliferated so rapidly on the Big Island of Hawaii that they have passed a state law prohibiting people from releasing, transporting, or exporting coqui frogs, which are classified by the state as “injurious wildlife.”

After searching through several different Internet sources, I have identified a significant demand for getting rid of frogs arising from frustrated property owners. Many of them are struggling with large numbers of noisy frogs disrupting their normal sleep patterns and even getting into their houses in some cases. Those who keep dogs in their yard also complain because some dogs foolishly attempt to eat the frogs, which often makes them sick because frogs are capable of releasing a poisonous substance called batrachotoxin when threatened. Others seem to like the frogs and don’t want to get rid of them, and animal-loving groups don’t like to use pesticides for this purpose because they claim that these produce a relatively slow and painful death for their beloved frogs.

Personally, I tend to favor organic and environmentally friendly ways of getting rid of things whenever practicable, but also favor lots of free speech and access to information. Therefore, in the classic Karlonian style I have combed through the Internet sources and brought together many different methods for getting rid of frogs that were reported to have some success. The “organic” status of some methods is debatable because although they involve chemicals, they are food-grade substances that do little environmental damage even though they can effectively kill or repel frogs. Here are the methods that I have found so far:

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Search Query Sunday, 27th Edition

August 24th, 2008

search-traffic-27.jpgThe usual proportion of about 70 percent search traffic was reduced somewhat this week by an influx of 775 unique visitors from StumbleUpon, most of them going to my page on How to Stop Websites from Resizing Firefox Windows. The various quotes pages are also doing well in the search engines; I will probably branch these off to a separate category soon after I come up with a suitable category title. Meanwhile, after browsing through the list of keywords, I have selected the next group of eight that are due to receive answers:

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English Lesson 21: Correct Use of Semicolons

August 23rd, 2008

semi-colon.jpgFollowing up on last week’s lesson dealing with the correct use of the colon, we will now move on to usage of the semicolon, a punctuation mark that dates back to the 16th century. This article will be relatively short because there are fewer uses for the semicolon than for the colon; there are also no other common meanings for the same word.

The semicolon has four basic uses in English:

  • Semicolons are used to connect two independent clauses (in other words, two groups of words that can stand alone as complete sentences) together without using a conjunction such as and or but. Note that the two sentences should be relevant to each other:
    1. I submitted my comment on the other blog; it was immediately placed in the moderation queue.

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50 Quotes About English

August 22nd, 2008

In many parts of the world and on the Internet, the English language has become a common standard for international communication. Of course it also has its fair share of quirks and eccentricities, as many of the quotes in the list below will attest.

I was somewhat surprised by the relative paucity of attributed quotes about the English language I was able to find from Internet sources. Many of the quotes that I found were actually about England or the English people, but not necessarily the language itself. I have included a few of these other types of English quotes here in order to round out the list at 50; however, I am planning to reserve most of the famous sayings about the country and culture of England for another post.

Meanwhile, if you are from a non-English speaking country or are simply trying to improve your skills with the language (and I can tell from the comments so far that many of you are), you can access one of the best resources on the subject, a book called The Least You Should Know about English: Writing Skills, here.

  • The two most beautiful words in the English language are “check enclosed.” — Dorothy Parker
  • If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur. — Doug Larson
  • The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. — James D. Nicoll, (1990-05-15). “The King’s English”
  • A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it’s two-tired. — English Proverb
  • Here will be an old abusing of God’s patience and the king’s English. — William Shakespeare
  • The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian “pahks” his “cah,” the lost r’s migrate southwest, causing a Texan to “warsh” his car and invest in “erl wells.” — Author Unknown
  • We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. — Oscar Wilde
  • If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers. — Doug Larson
  • If the French were really intelligent, they’d speak English. — Wilfred Sheed
  • The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself. — Derek Walcott

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Latest Trend in Spam: Zodiac Rings

August 21st, 2008

spam.jpgEarly this morning I found an annoying but interesting email in my Spam folder under the subject of “Zodiac Rings”. The text was displayed in a purple color and according to the header details was sent to “sales(at)karlonia.com”. In reality, I have no such email address, yet somehow this mail found its way to my actual address anyway.

As for the content, it appears that some dodgy marketer from India is trying to sell us on the idea that we can gain special powers and be more successful by wearing a certain kind of ring that is produced according to our astrological signs. It seems that our intrepid spammer has not learned how to target his advertising very well, for I do not even believe in religion, much less this pseudoscientific astrology garbage. Nevertheless, if you’re desperate enough and have a lot more faith than I do, these magical powers can be yours for only 1500 rupees! Just make sure that you do not put the ring on your “tall middle finger”…

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