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Old 04-16-2005   #1
Qal
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What exactly is moon? *Interesting*

The other night I was watching a Music channel, that aired a Fun IQ program asking simple but weird questions. One of it was 'What is moon?'.

Although I knew what it was and more about it, but (sorry for being dumb) I did'nt know what exactly is moon. A satellite? A Planet? or? (Do you really know what exactly is moon?)

As usual, I googled for 'What is moon?', 'about moon', 'moon', and several other keywords thinking it was just a waste of time asking those silly questions. Sadly, I did'nt find what I was looking for, not anything even close to it.

I tried yahoo and msn too after getting disappointed with google. Even tried Wikipedia and other dictionaries. I was embarrassingly difficult to believe that all three traditional engines failed to answer a simple question, 'What is moon?'.

Well anyway, today while browsing a forum, I found an awesome search engine that uses Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing techniques to go the extra mile, by actually answering questions, in plain English. And finally, I got the exact answer to my question.

Search for moon on BrainBoost revealed:

Code:
( n. - ) The celestial orb which revolves round the earth; the satellite of the earth; a secondary planet, whose light, borrowed from the sun, is reflected to the earth, and serves to dispel the darkness of night. The diameter of the moon is 2,160 miles, its mean distance from the earth is 240,000 miles, and its mass is one eightieth that of the earth. See Lunar month, under Month.

( n. - ) A secondary planet, or satellite, revolving about any member of the solar system; as, the moons of Jupiter or Saturn.
Interesting enough, isn't it?

Last edited by Qal : 04-16-2005 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 04-18-2005   #2
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You got me scared there for a minute. When I first saw the thread title I thought you were asking what "mooning" is.
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Old 04-18-2005   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia
You got me scared there for a minute. When I first saw the thread title I thought you were asking what "mooning" is.

Hmm..Yes. Title isn't completely correct. Thats the reason most people missed this thread and those who viewed it, did'nt read to the end to reply.

In any case, I found it (the question and the metasearch engine) interesting enough to share here.

---

Ah Yes, I'm well over 18 and I certainly know the 'exact' other meaning of 'mooning'

Last edited by Qal : 04-18-2005 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 04-18-2005   #4
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Top of Google for what is moon:

Quote:
Web definitions for moon
the natural satellite of the Earth; "the average distance to the moon is 384,400 kilometers"; "men first stepped on the moon in 1969"
www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn - Definition in context
Do the search, click on the link, and you get a lot of various definitions. What is moon is pretty open ended, so hard to know exactly which one you'd want. A moon? The moon around Earth?

Over at Yahoo same search, (http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=what%20is%20moon)

Gives me this near the top:

Quote:
View: "moon" in the: Columbia Encyclopedia
moon: natural satellite of a planet (see satellite, natural), in particular, the single natural satellite of the earth... More
Yahoo! Shortcut - About
At Ask right at the top in a big red box:

Quote:
Quick Definitions for 'Moon'
noun: the natural satellite of the Earth
noun: any object resembling a moon
noun: the period between successive new moons (29.531 days)
See More Definitions»
And finally MSN, at the top:

Quote:
Answer:
Moon, name given to the only natural satellite of Earth. The Moon is the second brightest object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, and has accordingly been...
Learn more about MoonRelated MediaRelated ArticlesEncarta Answers
The major search engines are indeed providing direct answers. Part of the problem I think is that we've been trained to look at lists. At BrainBoost, the definitions are set with a lot of white space above the actual list, so you look right at them. The major search engines, if they did the same, might make their definitions stand out more. It's something they are grappling with.
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Old 04-18-2005   #5
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Quote:
The major search engines are indeed providing direct answers. Part of the problem I think is that we've been trained to look at lists. At BrainBoost, the definitions are set with a lot of white space above the actual list, so you look right at them. The major search engines, if they did the same, might make their definitions stand out more. It's something they are grappling with.
Hmm..True. Its hard to believe that I missed the definations at all 4 engines that were right on top! But yes, I did miss them indeed. Weird!

Definations at Ask & MSN can be missed, but google and yahoo lists the definations just above the results without any divider. I missed that too. Darn!

In any case, brainboost defination of moon seems more detailed :
- Celestial orb,
- Satellite of the earth (defination provided by all 4 engines)
- Secondary planet

I could prove myself smarter (on the IQ show) by giving the brainboost defination than of the 4 majors

..but I'll certainly not want to miss that defination part anymore.
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Old 04-18-2005   #6
orbbital
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Quote:
serves to dispel the darkness of night
I cant say I really agree with this statement. True, it does dispel the darkness of night (most of the time) but it makes it sound like that is the moon's sole purpose.

Last edited by orbbital : 04-18-2005 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Grammatically speaking, I'm a dimwit...
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Old 04-18-2005   #7
Qal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orbbital
I cant say I really agree with this statement. True, it does dispel the darkness of night (most of the time) but it makes it sound like that is the moon's sole purpose.
Should'nt go that deep eh!
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Old 04-18-2005   #8
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Yeah, I generally read to much into things. Get's me in trouble most of the time. It's a pretty funky tool though, useful for answering those stupid questions that you really should know the answer to.
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