Let Me Google That For You, Pt. 1

I am a firm believer that the Google search-bar autocomplete is society’s most accurate insight into the human condition. So today I am going to answer, without any browsing activity bias, the top 5 googled queries beginning with, “how do I –,”

The internet has become a far less polite place since that fateful day when the Mailer Daemon murdered Jeeves in cold blood. So, in an effort to breathe a little civility into this lawless land, I have done the research and saved you the keystrokes on what – according to Google algorithms and statistics – you’ve always wondered, wonder presently, or might wonder sometime in the future.

How do I get home?

Asking all of Google how to get home feels a little bit like shouting into the void and at this rate you might as well just start asking strangers on the street. But don’t do that because wow that’s dangerous.

I guess this question all depends on your definition of home. If we start with the famous, “home is where the heart is,” it makes this simple because that means your literal chest cavity, which you carry with you everywhere. So, good for you, you’re home already. I’ve also heard that “home is where you hang your hat,” so that means you can just set up shop anywhere with a hat-rack. Again, easy. And possibly illegal.

Personally I consider home anywhere you can open the fridge for no reason. So, take a minute and think about where you do that the most, and then punch that address into Google Maps, you animal.

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How do I look?

The eye is a complicated and sensitive organ located in your head, with a similar structure to a camera lens. Your eye has an expanding and contracting capability that allows you to focus on things that are near and far to your face. Light filters through your cornea into your pupil through the lens of your eye and strikes the rods and cones located at the very back. These light-sensitive cells receive the light and convert it to an electrical signal that gets relayed to your brain, and your brain translates the signal into the images you are looking at.

Also, you look great. So fresh. Go out and take the world by storm. Maybe get an asymmetrical haircut, those are cool.

How do I love thee?

“How Do I Love Thee?,” or “Sonnet 43,” is a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a 19th Century romantic British poet. In the poem she enumerates the way she loves her husband, and it’s the most John-Cusack-holds-up-a-boombox poem ever. EBB was a great poet and not a great feminist, but she did cast a wide net of influence all through literature. Even though she thought that women’s intelligence was inferior to men’s, her poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship” provided the meter for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” which in turn gave us one of the greatest Gilmore Girls episodes to date, “A Tale of Poes and Fire.” It’s the one where The Independence Inn hosts the gathering of the Edgar Allan Poe society, but a fire at the Inn relocates the Poes to the homes of the people of Stars Hollow. So, to answer your question, how do I love thee? I love thee as much as Paris loves Rory.

How do I live?

This question can be answered in two ways.

First, the origin of life on Earth has a fair amount of theories floating out there. The widely accepted theory of evolution proposes that life has evolved over eons and suggests that life could have evolved naturally from inanimate matter. Discoveries in Western Australia suggest that life could have existed on Earth as early as 3.8 billion years ago which places a date on roughly when life came about on Earth but not exactly how it came to do so. There are scientists who agree with the theory of evolution but propose that life arrived on Earth itself through meteorites carrying the already evolving building blocks of larger organisms. Other scientists argue that the arrival of organic matter seems unnecessary since Earth was probably home to plenty of these building materials already. The first living cells were probably very basic and simple organic structures that eventually evolved into the vastly more complex RNA that ruled the chain of organisms until the much more efficient DNA took its place and precipitated the eventual existence of humanity. It’s important to note that the jury is still out in the science community to the precise origins of life and most researchers use the plural “origins” to suggest that life probably originated from more than one place and probably more than once.

Second, in the LeAnn Rimes 1997 hit single “How do I Live?” Rimes poses a series of queries adjunct to the title question. In the song, she places the listener into a scenario where she is currently alive with the potential to be left by a current lover. The parameters of the experiment suggest that if she is left, “There’d be no sun in [her] sky / There would be no love in [her] life / There’d be no world left for [her].” We can only conclude that the recipe for life, according to Rimes, is sunlight, love and worlds.

How do I get a passport?

The passport application process is vastly different in any country you are applying. Basically, no one in the world has an actual right to a passport, so they are considered property of the state that can be issued and revoked at the mercy of immigration and the government. Every government is different so every application process varies. In the U.S., for instance, you can apply through the Post Office, as long as you do it in a timely fashion, because the Post Office. I can speak to personal experience and tell you that when you apply for a passport in Mexico it’s an awesome and stressful experience that requires taking pictures in a variety of sizes and formats that you don’t end up using anyway because they don’t require you to provide those anymore, but no one has updated the website.

You’re going to try and make the appointment at your local consulate until you realize that there are no available appointments that allow you to get your passport before your intended departure date. You’ll start to look at appointment times of consulates in neighboring cities and if the consulate is in Guadalajara, for instance, you have to figure out how to convince your dad to drive you all the way there for a 2-hour appointment because you don’t have a car. He’ll make you go the day before and stay the night at cheap hotel that’s both cold and humid. Your hair will be frizzy for the picture.

Isabel is a Mexico City native and current Brooklyn dweller, stands about 5-feet tall and gets really mad when her girlfriend stores the olive oil on a high shelf. She's a documentary filmmaker by day and expert quesadilla architect by night. She runs a small production company with her brother and has worked with Paper Magazine, A&E, History Channel, Bon Appetit and The New York Times. You can find some short, dry sentences on her Twitter and her fauxtography on Instagram. She's a mediocre bowler.

Isabel has written 12 articles for us.

35 Comments

  1. Speaking as someone who’s lab focuses heavily on origin-of-life research, saying the jury is still out is definitely not an exaggeration. There’s a lot of debate about what elements came first (Metabolism? Membranes and compartmentalization? Replication of information as RNA or something similar?), or if they all basically came together at the same time. While the most popular theory is that RNA was probably the first step (since it can catalyze its own replication), how it got to that point is still something of a mystery (since there wouldn’t be much advantage to just sitting around churning out new RNA units).

    My adviser’s opinion is that it’s possible that such self-replicating systems may simply be an emergent property of the laws of physics/chemistry/biology- put together the right combination of simple molecules under the right conditions, and eventually, they’ll just kind of naturally evolve. Testing this theory experimentally, of course, is a bit of a challenge.

  2. I recently took my own passport photos, applied online AND THEN — this is the best part — collected the actual passport from a machine. Minimal human interaction save for a slightly overzealous customer service officer hovering around said machines. It made me really believe in our potential as a species.

  3. Here are four autofill searches I just did, presented without commentary because the world is weird (the lesbian ones at the bottom are THE BEST THE BEST but I’m really sorry about the gay guys ones)

    1. ‘why are women’
    why are women so emotional
    why are women always cold
    why are women so mean
    why are women so complicated

    2. ‘why are men’
    why are men so mean
    why are men stronger than women
    why are men attracted to women
    why are men jerks

    3. ‘why are gay guys’
    why are gay guys so shallow
    why are gay guys so flaky
    why are gay guys so rude
    why are gay guys so nice

    4. ‘why are lesbian’
    why are lesbian relationships ignored by the media
    why are lesbian relationships so difficult
    why are lesbian relationships so intense
    why are lesbian bars closing

  4. “Personally I consider home anywhere you can open the fridge for no reason.”

    Yes to that!

    I also consider home any place where I can go to in sweat pants. Therefore, I feel very homey in the grocery store.

  5. This is giving me life. Also I learned so much about the origins of life, both from the article and that really smart commenter up there ^^

    Like guys!
    “…most researchers use the plural “origins” to suggest that life probably originated from more than one place and probably more than once.”

    I don’t even science, and that’s fascinating. It makes me excited because of the multiplicity of everyfreakingthing. My multiplicity of gender feels pretty awesome and miraculous in this context 😉

  6. This is hilaripuss, but I disagree re EBB – ‘Aurora Leigh’ was incredibly purrogressive fur its time. Out of interest can I be the least fun purrson commenting and ask the source for her views on gender and intelligence? (Wow you can tell I’m an English postgrad with no life, but she’s purrt of my thesis and I’d be intrigued)

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