Big Data’s Other Dangerous Video


Source: Big Data

Big Data is an American electropop music project of Brooklyn-based producer Alan Wilkis and friends. Big Data explores contemporary themes involving humans and their growing dependence on and general distrust of technology, especially the Internet.

Big Data is best known for its single “Dangerous”, from the debut 2013 EP 1.0 and the debut 2015 studio album 2.0. The single features Rochester, New York indie band Joywave, with vocals being performed by the band’s lead singer Daniel Armbruster.

Watching the music video below reminded me of Kansas State University professor Michael Wesch’s video from eight years ago. My previous post mentions Dr. Wesch and his ideas about emergent Web 2.0 technologies. Now, here was a music video that illustrated just how far our use of those technologies has progressed in a timeframe of less than a decade!

While it’s not the most famous version of the “Dangerous” single, the Internet is the subject of the music video below. It is a lyric video created by SCANTRON and Greg Yagolnitzer. It’s vaguely NSFW.

Row! Row! Fight The Power!

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Row! Row! Fight the power! is from the Japanese mecha anime series Gurren Lagann (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann天元突破グレンラガン, “Pierce the heavens, Gurren Lagann”).

Gurren Lagann is on a future Earth ruled by the Spiral King Lordgenome. Lordgenome forces humans to survive underground in isolated groups. Two teenagers named Simon and Kamina dream of going to the surface. Using a mecha known as a Gunmen, Simon and Kamina escape to the surface. Kamina hijacks another Gunmen and names it Gurren Lagann. Then, they begin fighting Lordgenome’s beastmen army along with other humans.

The lyrics are actually translated as Raw! Raw! Fight the power! on the anime series’ original soundtrack and are found in three different songs:

Do the impossible!
See the invisible!
Raw! Raw!
Fight the power!

Touch the untouchable!
Break the unbreakable!
Raw! Raw!
Fight the power!

The lyrics gained another context when they also became associated with the imageboards of 4chan.

Last September 10, Moot changed the layout of the random board /b/ so that every new post was replaced by the phrase Row Row Fight The Powah, because of the start of the Large Hadron Collider. The /b/ users started spreading this phrase to other 4chan boards such as the Japan/General board /jp/ and the travel board /trv/ in an enthusiastic effort to popularize the phrase. However, the phrase did not receive much of a following from the other boards and, in fact, several of them tried to resist the invasion, especially the video games board /v/. The /v/ retaliation became known as V-rage.

The 4chan civil war between /b/ and /v/ was depicted, at first, in a Rage Vs. Cancer webcomic by 3-Angled-Blue, followed by an Adobe Flash version of the comic, and, finally, uploaded as a video to YouTube:

Google Search

google search

Almost everyone has heard of the Google search engine. About two-thirds of all web searches begin with it and to search the World Wide Web is to Google it. Google Search was originally developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997. The order of search results on the Google search page is based on a priority rank algorithm called PageRank. The main purpose of Google Search is to hunt for text in publicly accessible documents offered by web servers. For other publicly accessible web data, such as graphics, there is instead Google Image Search.

Google Search

Google searches for the terms you entered as well as any related terms. Any words appearing in boldface type in your search results are the terms that Google associates with your search terms. Remember to choose effective key words by determining the most important words in your search query as well as any synonyms. Small words (a, an, the) will matter when they distinguish between two similar entities. The same goes for punctuation. Google searches for some ($, #, and +) while ignoring others (¶, §, £, €, ©, ®, @, ÷, %, ?, !).

By considering each Web page to be an element of a set and by using basic Boolean logic operators, Google Search can provide many options for a customized search other than merely entering the key words of a search query. For instance, the use of quotes can combine the several words in a phrase into a single search term. Quotes will glue the words and keep the phrase together in the search results. Adding a white space between terms will make Google search for all included terms and is the default operator for logical AND, thus:

“live long” prosper

By the way, using the plus sign in your search query does not mean the logical operator AND. It also does not force the inclusion of a search term. Remember, a white space between terms is the default AND operator. Google will search for certain plus signs after a word as punctuation (C++).

You can eliminate irrelevant results by using a minus sign in your search query. There must be a space before the minus sign, but there must not be a space between the minus sign and the term you want to eliminate. The minus sign is the operator for the logical NOT:

screwdriver -sonic

To include more than one way of expressing an idea, you can use the word or for the operator for logical OR:

“small moon” or “death star”

Sometimes it is difficult to start a search query if you do not have enough information to even ask a complete question. In those cases, you can allow Google to fill in the blank by using an asterisk (similar to using a wildcard character in operating systems) at the uncertain part of the search query:

in the land of * where shadows lie

Google Search Features

Google Search has shortcuts or quick search features that include calculations, unit conversions, word definitions, file extensions, airline flight data, specific site searches, stock quotes, sunrise and sunset times, global times, package tracking numbers, weather data, and web site ownership information.

To use the calculator function, enter the mathematical expression and Google will calculate the answer:


Google can make conversions between different units of measurement of length, volume, weight, temperature, time, and others, thus:

2 meters to smoots

To find out the meaning of words, you can use the word define in front of the term:

define muggle

If you want to return search results containing the files of a specific extension, you can use filetype: (with a colon and no white space between it and the extension):

filetype:pdf            filetype:.pdf

Google searches for most common file types, including those from Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, and even source code: (doc, docx, htm, kml, kmz, odp, ods, odt, pdf, pl, ppt, pptx, ps, py, rtf, swf, tex, txt, xls, xlsx, xml)

If you want to see airline flight schedules to or from a particular location, use flights to or flights from followed by the city or airport name. If you want to view the airline schedule for a specific route, add the name of another location with from or to in front of it. If you want to see the status for departing and arriving US airline flights, enter the airline name and the flight number.

If you want to return search results from only a specific site, you can use site: (with a colon and no white space between it and the term):

site:edu                                   “hope diamond”    “hope diamond”

If you want to see the current stock market data for a given company or fund, use the ticker symbol as your query. You can click the link on the search results page to see more data.

If you want to see the precise sunrise and sunset times for US and international cities, use sunrise or sunset followed by the name of the city. The time will be the local time for the city.

If you want to see the local time in various cities worldwide, use the word time and then the city name.

You can track the status of the shipment of your packages by entering the package tracking numbers from Federal Express, United Parcel Service, or US Postal Service.

If you want to know the weather for many US and international cities, use the word weather in front of the city and state, US ZIP code, or city and country.

If you want to identify the owner of a web site address, use the word whois in front of the web site name:


Google Search Results

The Google search results page will often contain information panels. Information about certain topics (chemical elements, movies, famous people, landmarks) will appear on the right-hand side of the search results page. On the left-hand side will be a panel to filter results by different categories (books, scholarly citations, patents, blogs, discussions, recipes, legal documents).

An alternate way of looking up the meaning of words is to click on Search Tools in the left panel, and then Dictionary.

By clicking More search tools on the left panel of your search results page and then selecting Translated foreign pages, you can even search in languages other than English. This feature chooses the best language in which to search and delivers results translated back into English.

You can limit search results to those returns that were published during a specific time period. Click on Search Tools in the left panel and then select the appropriate time range.

Advertisements will appear in response to some queries, but they are always labeled as ads.

History Of Google

google logo sm

Google was started in 1996 by Stanford University doctorial students Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They were working on the Stanford Digital Library Project, whose goal was to develop technologies for an integrated, universal digital library. It was funded through the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.

Larry Page considered for his dissertation the exploration of the hyperlink structure of the World Wide Web as an emormous mathematical graph. It is easy to see which web pages are linked to any given page as the hyperlinks are noted on the page. However, it is not so easy to work backwards and see which pages, if any, choose to link to any given web page. So Page focused on this problem after considering that this situation was similar to the role that article citations play in academic publishing and that knowing the number of such backlinks would be useful when analyzing a web page.

Page called his research project BackRub and was soon joined by his close friend Sergey Brin. Page’s BackRub web crawler began exploring the World Wide Web in March 1996 with Page’s own Stanford home page serving as the starting point. BackRub began collecting lists of backlinks for any given web page it explored. Next, Page and Brin developed the PageRank algorithm to convert the gathered backlink data into a measurement of comparative importance by ranking the backlinks. They realized while analyzing the BackRub data that a web search engine based on the PageRank algorithm would produce better results than current techniques. Web pages with the most links to them from other highly relevant web pages must be the most relevant pages. This differed from other web search engines at the time, which ranked page results according to how many times a search term appeared on each web page.

Their search engine originally used the Stanford web site, but was registered by them in 1997. The name Google originated from a misspelling of googol, a number equal to 1 followed by 100 zeros. They formally incorporated their company in September 1998 at a friend’s garage in Menlo Park, California. By the end of that year, Google had an search index of about 60 million web pages. The Google search engine attracted a loyal following among the growing number of World Wide Web users, who liked its simple, uncluttered page design.

In 2000, Google began selling advertisements based on keywords entered during a web search. The ads were text-based to keep an uncluttered design and a fast page load. Keywords were sold to vendors based on a combination of vendor price bidding and user click-throughs. Because of this successful business model, Google generated revenue while increasing its search index.

In 2001, Google purchased the Deja News Research Service, an archive of messages that were posted to Usenet discussion groups that was started in 1995. Google then created a new interface and called it Google Groups, a free service that supports discussion groups, including many Usenet newsgroups. In 2003, Google bought Pyra Labs, the creators of the weblog publishing platform Blogger, first launched in 1999. This acquisition made many Blogger premium features free to use.

After quickly outgrowing other places, the company leased a complex of buildings in Mountain View, California in 2003. The company has remained at this location ever since, eventually purchasing the property in 2006. The complex has become known as the Googleplex, from the word googolplex, a number that is equal to 1 followed by a googol of zeros.

In 2004, Google bought two companies whose core technologies were transformed into Google Maps and Google Earth. First, Where 2 Technologies became Google Maps. Second, Keyhole, a geospatial data visualization company, had its Earth Viewer application become Google Earth in 2005 while other aspects were integrated into Google Maps.

Google’s declared code of conduct is Don’t be evil, a phrase which was included in their initial public offering prospectus, believing that they will be better served in the long term if they do good things for the world despite forgoing some short term gains. Google’s initial public offering took place in 2004. Over $1 billion was raised when the company offered 14,142,135 shares to the public (and another mathematical reference as 1.4142135 is close to the square root of 2) while another 5,462,917 shares were offered by stockholders.

After the IPO, Google began to acquire companies that helped it develop various online services, many that were offered by Google for free. In 2006, Google purchased @Last Software after the company had developed a plugin for Google Earth. Co-founded in 1999, @Last Software was the developer of SketchUp, a user-friendly 3D design tool. It became Google SketchUp.

In late 2006, Google made two large acquisitions that helped expand its online services. The first was the online video site YouTube and the second was JotSpot, a developer of social software for small- and medium-sized businesses. Google kept YouTube as a separate brand, but JotSpot became Google Sites, a structured wiki- and web page-creation tool where anyone can create a team-oriented site where multiple people can collaborate and share files.

Also in 2006, Google launched Google Labs Spreadsheets. It was from its acquisition of 2Web Technologies and their XL2Web spreadsheet application. In the same year, Google also acquired Upstartle, the developer of a web-based, collaborative word processor, Writely. Together, their combined technologies formed Google Docs & Spreadsheets, later known as just Google Docs.

In late 2007, a presentation program incorporating technology from Tonic Systems was added to Google Docs. Now, Google Docs combined the features of a word processor and a spreadsheet with a presentation program to offer users a free service containing a web-based office suite. Google Docs enables users to collaborate with each other while creating and editing documents online.

Algorithm March And Ninjas


I already mentioned in a previous post the Japanese kids’ show Pythagora Switch (Pitagora Suitchi, ピタゴラスイッチ) and their awesome Pythagorean devices (Pitagora Sōchi, ピタゴラ装置) made from various common household objects.

As if it couldn’t get any more awesome, the educational show also has a song and dance called the Algorithm March which really ramps up the awesomeness. The song and dance teach young children how to follow directions as they perform a sequence of body movements as they sing along with the song.

It is first performed by Kikuchi Hideki and Yamada Kazunari of the comedy duo Itsumo Kokokara. Then, they have guests such as soccer players, airline workers, and bus drivers performing the dance with them. Even ninjas! See the video clip below! The people line up and each person slowly moves forward while going through each body movement one at a time. The entire line goes through the sequence of steps (thus, algorithm march) as the song repeats.

The sequence of body movements are as follows, with the steps being repeated after finishing the sequence:

  1. One step forward, bend knees while reaching out with arms straight and then return
  2. One step forward, lean back with arms bent back and then return
  3. One step forward, turn around and bow once at waist
  4. Face left, right hand to brow and look around
  5. Face left, one step forward and bend knees, do a breast stroke and return
  6. Bend down and pretend to pick up a chestnut on the ground
  7. One step forward, move arms up and down like you are using a bicycle pump
  8. One step forward, flap arms at sides as if being inflated by the pump

When the entire line properly goes through the sequence of steps, each person becomes intercalated with the people ahead and behind him or her in a fascinating way that reminds me of clockwork or an assembly line:

If the above video clip doesn’t work, click here to view the video or click on the image below:


Obviously, everyone needs to follow the correct sequence of intructions for the Algorithm March to work. So, that is where the algorithm comes in.

Al Gore playing drums

Al Gore rhythm! Get it? Nevermind…

The word algorithm comes from the ninth-century Persian scholar Al-Khwārizmī (Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, عَبْدَالله مُحَمَّد بِن مُوسَى اَلْخْوَارِزْمِي‎). Al-Khwārizmī means native of Kharazm, a city now in modern Uzbekistan. Al-Khwārizmī wrote a treatise in Arabic describing the rules for performing arithmetic using Hindu-Arabic numerals as well as for solving linear and quadratic equations.

His arithmetic technique was called algorism when his work was translated into Latin and it was the Latinized form of Al-Khwārizmī. Incidentally, the word algebra is also from Al-Khwārizmī. It is from al-jabr, one of the ways he used to solve quadratic equations. His name is also the origin of the Spanish guarismo, meaning digit.

The Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Chicago has a series of videos from their Everyday Mathematics program. This program is a comprehensive Pre-K through grade 6 mathematics program developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. The videos demonstrate the use of algorithms in performing the basic arithmetic functions.

Since an algorithm is a step-by-step solution to any problem, they are useful in areas beyond mathematics and computation.

You can express an algorithm either as a sequence of instructions:

South Park Gnomes

The gnomes’ business plan.

Or as a flowchart:

Flowchart for the Rock-Paper-Scissors game.

Flowchart for the Rock-Paper-Scissors game.