How I Like To Calculate Dates? Wolfram|Alpha It

Sep 23, 2009 • 9:07 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Other Search Engines

I use different search engines for different reasons. I am not the typical searcher, I am more of a "power" searcher, I would guess. I often see people complaining that Google isn't good at searching for X or Y. The reason is, Google is a great normal search engine, but there are search engines that excel in other areas and you should learn them.

I spotted a thread at a Google Web Search Help thread where someone was complaining that Google couldn't calculate his age properly based on his birthday. His birthday is December 12, 1977.

So when you plug in 12/12/1977, Google does math:

Google Birthday

Searching for December 12, 1977 doesn't give you much help either.

But Wolfram|Alpha is smart enough to know this is a date format and even says so, "Assuming "12/12/1977" is a date | Use as a mathematical object instead." Wolfram is excellent at these types of queries. In this case, it gives me the day of the week it falls out, various date formats, time difference from today in years, weeks, days and a combination of those. It also tells you if any holidays fall out on that day, any notable birthdays on that date and sunrise/sunset and moon phase. Here is a picture:

Wolfram Alpha Birthday

So when searching and not getting what you want from Google, look for alternatives - there is likely a search engine that can give you what you need.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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