As a professional data manager, I still don’t get enough information to pore over, so I sometimes spend my lunch break delving into the WordPress stats page that tells me how people find The Earthling’s Handbook. One of the more interesting features is the list of phrases typed into search engines that brought people here, including the number of people who searched that phrase and clicked through.
The top four searches are all variations of the same basic question. The very topmost search, the question 1,126 eager Earthlings have asked, the question of all questions about life on Earth that I am best qualified to answer, is
Are cauliflower leaves edible?
I am proud to say that I have a clear answer to this question: Cauliflower leaves are edible! Yay! They’re pretty tasty, actually, and nutritious. Too bad most produce packagers cut them off and then wrap the cauliflower in plastic to compensate for its lack of leaves to protect it. This is a very stupid planet in some ways. Agitate for change! Picket your grocer demanding uncircumcised cauliflowers! Or support your local farmer who leaves cauliflowers intact, like we do.
Here are some of the other top searches:
Are Teletubbies evil?
My answer is an emphatic yes. The number of searches on this and related questions
- Are Teletubbies demonic?
- Why was Teletubbies canceled? (I admit, my article doesn’t answer this question, and I’ve never looked into it. Most likely it went the way of most other television programs and just stopped after a while. But I suspect a massive cover-up of a tragic parental neck-breaking epidemic.)
- Horror story behind Teletubbies
- Don’t watch Teletubbies
- What are Teletubbies supposed to be?
- Teletubbies baby safe?
- Teletubbies brainwashing
- Teletubbies scary
- Teletubbies banned
- Truth behind Teletubbies
- Teletubbies bad for kids
- Teletubbies not so innocent
- Teletubbies bad influence
- Teletubbies hypnotism
- Teletubbies demons
- Teletubbies molesting children
makes me feel entirely vindicated in having written this overwrought, melodramatic article–an attempt at a humorous take on an experience which actually was scary and painful in the moment–despite the legions of defensive Teletubbies fans who flamed me until I closed comments on the article after receiving an actual death threat. Seriously. A guy wrote a comment threatening to bludgeon and eviscerate me, then responded to my blocking him as a commenter by sending me a series of emails over several months describing the violence he’d like to do me in response to his perception that I am some kind of paranoid helicopter mommy–guess he missed my posts about working outside the home, sending my kid to public school, and walking my four-year-old through an anarchist riot–all to prove his point that Teletubbies are innocuous entertainment that has no effect on a person’s mind.
Now, this is a nice sensible search. If you’re going to eat no meat except fish, gosh, what are you going to eat day after day? Here are my handy multi-week menus.
I drew the earthling symbol for nothingness.
This phrase was turning up in my stats so often that I wrote a puzzled post about it–and was enlightened in the comments; thanks, Dave!
Agent of Change journey
Girl Scout leaders searching for inspiration on guiding girls through this “badges are so 20th century” new program must be a significant fraction of the readers of my thorough report on my troop’s experience with this Journey in my last year as a leader. But once they bump it into the popular-articles list in the sidebar, I wonder how many readers click on it just because of the mysterious-to-non-Scouts title, Agent of Change: What a long, lame Journey it’s been!
Washing hair with coffee grounds
Tried it, hated it, wrote it up as Things Not To Do: Hair Care Edition. In the comments, you can read about how to do it right if you want to try it.
But I can’t help the 42 people this year who’ve searched for coffee grounds and baking soda to get rid of hair. I’m curious about whether that works, but I don’t mind shaving enough to be motivated to experiment. And the idea that coffee grounds remove hair keeps me from wanting to try them on my head again.
Magic Bullet not working
Join the club. I do have to wonder, though, how many readers of my review are struggling with the Magic Bullet food chopper/blender vs. how many are struggling with the Magic Bullet sex toy. Knowing of the existence of that other product makes me cringe at the question, Can Magic Bullet grind nuts?
What to serve with coffee
All the people of Earth may benefit from my many years of experience providing food for coffee hour at church.
Parents with same blood type
Somebody, somewhere (looks like it might be India), for some reason is spreading the rumor that two people who have the same blood type should not have a baby together. There is in fact NO RISK TO THAT AT ALL; the only risks related to parental blood type come from particular pairings of different blood types. I had no idea this rumor was out there until I happened to write about two important issues related to the blood types of parents and children. This article has been one of my most popular and has rarely budged from the number-one spot since it was written two and a half years ago. It answers many of the specific questions that pour in:
- If both parents are O positive what is the child? (Answer: O+ is most likely; could be O-.)
- If both parents are O negative what is the child? (Answer: O- is the only possibility.)
- If a child is O negative what are the parents? (Answer: Could be any type except AB. But even that might be possible with the rare mutation known as Bombay phenotype or hh blood group.)
- What happens to baby if father is Type B and mother is Type O? (Answer: Newborn jaundice is likely, if baby’s blood type is B. These parents have a 50-100% chance of Type B children.)
- Can a B+ lady have baby with O+ man? (Answer: Yes. Also a 50-100% chance of Type B children, but no increased risk of jaundice.)
- Can two people with the same blood type have kids? (Answer: Absolutely. Keep using birth control until you are ready to be parents, and do not assume your children share your blood type, unless you are O-.)
- Parents same blood group B+ okay? (Answer: Yes. Kids could be B+, B-, O+, or O-.)
- Mother blood group O, child is A, how? (Answer: The child’s father must be A or AB.)
- If I am B- and my baby is AB+, what is his father? (Answer: A+ or AB+.)
- Kids both have same blood. Does that mean same dad? (Answer: Not necessarily, if by “same blood” you mean the same blood TYPE. All the blood types are fairly common, so their mother might have had two lovers who had the same blood type. But if “same blood” means the kids share a circulatory system–that is, they are conjoined twins–then yes, they have the same father.)
I’m not an expert on this subject at all, just someone who had two experiences of lacking information that was medically relevant to me, decided to publicize that information once I knew it, and discovered that accurate explanations of blood types that are understandable by ordinary Earthlings are somewhat difficult to find. It gets a bit tedious answering questions in the comments, but I like to help, and I hope I’ve calmed more fears than I’ve raised.
But there are some other questions people are searching that I don’t know how to answer:
- If both parents are A positive will the child be the earthling? (Um, tell me what you mean by the earthling…and I’m not sure if other planets have the same blood types we do here.)
- When wife have a ‘a’ positive blood group and husband having ‘b’ positive blood group how this will effect. on there married life?
- i am a+ blood type my husband is b+ what is your child most likely be? (Your blood types don’t affect my child.)
- Explaine it O+ O+ any prolbem hapend mareid couple?
Washing hair with vinegar only
I’m glad people are interested in reading about how I wash my hair. I wish more of them would get back to me about how my method worked for them. I’m curious if it works so well on other hair types.
Can I use my Macy’s American Express card anywhere?
Yes, but watch out! It’s two cards in one, and not in a good way.
Baked brownies too long. How to fix?
Well, they won’t turn out the way you planned, but here’s how to turn a rock-hard block of over-baked brownie into something you can eat inelegantly.
Why are earthlings different to their parents?
Well, now you’ve got me. No, wait. I don’t know which one of my articles would answer your question, but I’ll help you in your search with these words: Sexual reproduction. It’s one of my favorite things about Earth.