June 13, 2006

"Zen and the art of sexing hedgehogs"


"I am shocked, crushed and devastated that google can not help me find a photograph of a hedgehog penis. What is the world coming to ?"

[Via Michael Froomkin]

He later updates that one working search is for [hedgehog gender identification picture].

But I'm not sure this was a complete Google failure.

I was able to find a useful picture in a Google image search for [hedgehog sexing] (even with SafeSearch on!). And a Google web search for [hedgehog penis] yielded useful items in the first few results.

I suppose the underlying lesson is that this is a demonstration that image searching is much more difficult than text searching.


"I searched the web for photographs of hedgehog penises. It is actually possible that I am the first person to do so."

No way, for completely non-prurient reasons. For example, a Yahoo image search turned up photographs, related to a sad tale of the life and death of a pet hedgehog involving a related cancer tumor. And knowing male/female for pets is often very important if you have two or more of the same species.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on June 13, 2006 11:52 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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thank god he did not have a filter in is computer....

Posted by: Bob Turner at June 14, 2006 02:28 AM

Dear Seth

I stand corrected. Obviously obviously I'm not the first person to search for hedgehog penis photos on the web. Silly of me to write that.

My conclusion is the same as yours. Better to search for the text "picture" or "photograph" than to search images. On the other hand, when I showed my 16 year old daughter a google image search she said, and I quote, "cool dad".

I like the "a search word is worth a thousand images" theory, since the other possibility is that I am an idiot and/or too old to handle the internet (recall the useful search was done in 5 minutes by my little sister).

Posted by: Robert Waldmann at June 14, 2006 09:59 PM