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May 29 2006

Memorial Day 2006

438-freedom-isnt-free.jpg

I took the above photo at Arlington National Cemetery on July 3, 2005. I was trying to take some photographs that would convey how the headstones went on seemingly without end. I've visited Arlington three times and even aerial photographs can't fully portray its enormity.

Memorial Day is a sacred holiday with a very narrowly defined purpose: to honor those that have died serving our country in the military. Second perhaps only to the 4th of July or to certain religious holidays, Memorial Day honors those that made the ultimate sacrifice to make everything else possible. If there were only farmers, teachers, lawyers and doctors there would be no Independence Day and, just as certain, we wouldn't be celebrating the religious holidays of our choosing. Last year, I gave an example of how many people, even smart well educated persons, don't have the slightest clue what Memorial Day is about. I suppose ignorance is included in the freedoms that so many have died for.

439-dogpile-jump.pngThis year, I found something else that annoyed me. The homepage on my computer is Google.com and I clicked on it today expecting to see one of Google's famous holiday logos. After all, Google has already had specialty logos this year for, in order: New Years, Louis Braille's Birthday, Martin Luther King Day, Mozart's Birthday, the Lunar New Year, the Winter Games, Percival Lowell's Birthday, St. Patrick's Day, the Persian New Year, Mother's Day and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Birthday.

440-dogpile-ball.pngIn the past, Google has also seen fit to honor with special logos such deserving subjects as: National Library Week, World Water Day, SpaceShipOne winning the the X Prize, Bloomsday (I had to look this one up), Venus Transit, Gaston Julia's Birthday, and Piet Mondrian's Birthday. (No, I didn't make any of those up.) And rest assured, Google has no problem honoring holidays which are only pertinent to one nation as they do each year for America's 4th of July and have also done for such other holidays as Canada Day, France's Bastille Day and Swiss National Day.

I surfed around to other internet search engines. Most don't recognize special holidays thus avoiding Google's error of omission. However, two search engines deserve special recognition: Ask.com and Dogpile. Ask.com had a very respective American flag ribbon which linked to their search results for Memorial Day. Dogpile, however, wins the day with their normally playful mascot sitting in reverence by the Vietnam War Memorial with a bouquet of flowers at his feet and the American flag flying in the background. Dogpile also had a link to its search results for Memorial Day. Well done Dogpile, shame on you Google.

441-dogpile-memorial-day.png

Every time I learn something new about Google's political slant, I'm bothered more and more. In the last presidential election, 98% of Google's employees donated to Democrats. Lately, Google has been purging conservative news sites from its hand-picked Google News service under the guise that such sources contain hate speech while refusing to eliminate Muslim sites that preach Islamic supremacism, jihad ideology and anti-semitism which are much more virulent and hateful than most any of the purged conservative websites. I think I'll change my homepage for a week and see if I can get used to using another search engine.

Posted by Don |

3 Comments

  1. #1
    guido911 said on June 2, 2006 | Reply

    [Guido911 only left a url address which I have edited into a link and provided a description. While Guido didn't have anything to say, the video he linked to says it all - Don]

    YouTube, true meaning of memorial day video.

  2. #2
    Tracy said on June 5, 2006 | Reply

    Hi Don,

    To add to the google discussion, I was recently made aware of their blistering anti-Bush sentiment. If the word 'failure' is typed into the search line, the first site result is President Bush's homepage. Such disrespect is shameful.

    After reading your posting I use only "dogpile" now!

    Thank you for a fine site.
    ~tracy

  3. #3
    Don said on June 5, 2006 | Reply

    Just to set the record straight, the fact that a search for failure on Google leads to President Bush's bio on the White House website is not a fault of Google. It is known as a Google Bomb.

    Due to the way that Google's search engine algorithm works, a page will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page all use consistent anchor text. A Google Bomb is created if a large number of sites link to the page in this manner with an intent to create a funny, political or other result that would not have occurred otherwise. Other examples are a humorous result when one searches for French military victories or for waffles. In each of these instances thousands of people have linked to the desired site using the same text, as I have done in this paragraph, resulting in such words or phrases being highly ranked in Google for their intended websites.

    Google is not responsible for such undesirable results. Further, Google should not, and most certainly could not fairly and completely, attempt to get rid of such results.

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