Monkey’s Tail

Try telling the following address by telephone:

The English convention of using “at” or “at sign” for describing “@” is so lame. Other languages have done better. Here are some excerpts from

Czech (Czech Republic):  Závinaˆc, which means a herring wrapped around a pickle.

Danish:  Snabel-a, “elephant’s trunk.”

Dutch: Apestaartje, “little monkey’s tail,” though sometimes Apeklootje, a rude word for another part of the monkey’s anatomy.

Hungarian:  Kukac, “worm or maggot.”

Italian:  Chiocciola, “snail.”

Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan):  Xiao Lao Shu, “little mouse,”or Lao Shu Hao, “mouse sign.”

Russian:  Sobachka, “doggie.”
Thai: Ai tua yiukyiu, “wiggling worm.”

Let’s be creative and come up with a good name for “@” in Hindi and other Indian Languages. How about:

Hindi: Jalebi (a sweet) [picture of a jalebi]

And why stop at “@”? All the other punctuation signs are just waiting to be described graphically.




G. S. Gokhale had painstakingly compiled several volumes of interesting facts about the world,  three or four decades ago. The books were called   “ज्ञान सागरातले शिंपले” — “seashells from the ocean of knowledge”. Now we have the internet – a wonderful ocean of knowledge (among other things), piped straight to your home or office, and full of all kinds of fascinating stuff!

But the internet can be “read” not just by typing words in Google search. A new way of studying the people of the world has become available.
It is called Google Trends . It tells you which peoples have been searching on given keywords. It can become a very interesting sport, Although I doubt one can do serious analysis with this tool. So to rhyme with Numerology, I call it Trendology : the art of reading Google Trends.

When you type in one or more words on Google Trends, it gives you a “top ten” list of which countries are most active with those words on Google search (it also gives a top ten list for cities, but we will ignore that). A horizontal bar gives relative weight of search volume per country.  The site also gives a chart of search volume with time since 2004.

Here are some examples.

Favorite Religious Figure

Mohammed is most popular in Morocco and UAE, Mohamed in Morocco and Tunisia, Christ in Philippines and USA, Buddha in Singapore and Indonesia.

War and Peace

Canadians and Filipinos are searching the most for peace, while Australians and USA are looking at war.

Science and Mathematics

Something funny here. Philippines and India lead on searches for science, genetics, biology, and chemistry. But Pakistan is first on physics and nuclear physics (But South Korea and India lead on semiconductor physics). India leads on Engineering, followed by Pakistan. Similarly, Nigeria and Pakistan lead on searches on mathematics (though followed by Philippines and then India). To make things even more confusing, Philippines and Pakistan lead on thermodyanamics and heat engines.

stock markets

Dow jones is watched in singapore, USA, Australia — note that USA is not no.1. However, Nasdaq is popular in India, Singapore and Israel — USA is lowly no. 5. Nikkei is popular in Japan, singapore and hong kong.
Seems like lot of dabblers in global stock markets live in singapore, and the number is really high when seen as a fraction of the country’s population.


Michael Jackson is hot in Indonesia, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Peru — USA is at No. 10. On the other hand Beethoven is most searched from Chile, Austria, Mexico, Viet Nam — USA is nowhere in the list.

Atom bomb, terrorism, Kashmir

Pakistan is doing the most searches on each of these terms separately, with India a distant second. Frightening, isn’t it?


Refs: Wikipedia has an entry on Google Trends, of course.































Another Koan

The Zen disciple, who had recently seen I, Robot,  asked Roshi Alonzo, “How about a robot? Does a robot have Buddha nature?”


the roshi replied.