The Noisy Channel


Challenge: Blog + Twitter vs. Aardvark

March 14th, 2009 · 11 Comments · General

I asked Aardvark the following question this afternoon:

Trying to track down an animated short where a bunch of critters invent a machine to discover where they are, only to learn that they are a dream inside someone’s head. They ultimately turn into pink flamingos as the dream evolves. I remember them all chanting “Flick the switch!” when the invention is unveiled. No luck tracking it down with my web searching skills. ๐Ÿ™
The correct answer came within 6 hours. I’m curious if anyone who reads this message will find it independently–without using Aardvark themselves. If not, I’ll be forced to give Aardvark a very glowing review for answering a question that has been plaguing me for years. One way or the other, I’ll post the answer tomorrow night.
Added: Check out the rematch!

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christopher // Mar 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Is this the short film?

    If so did a Google with this query “animation flamingo “flick the switch””.

  • 2 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    It is indeed. Congrats on finding it within minutes!

    A couple of reactions. First, you are a better searcher than I. I stand humbled. Second, the top hit for me is an answer from Google Answers from someone who sounds a lot like me–but isn’t me–who asked a similar question in 2006. In fact, I don’t see any other relevant results, other than this post.

    So, while Aardvark did come through, I can’t give it too much credit when I–as a professional–clearly should have been better as an information seeker. Part of the problem when I did look for it is that I got it into my head that it was a stop-motion animation, which of course it isn’t.

  • 3 Christopher // Mar 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    That’s the hit I got as well. My friends call me the human search engine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 4 Blog + Twitter vs. Aardvark: A Rematch | The Noisy Channel // Mar 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    […] clear that my blog + Twitter vs. Aardvark challenge yesterday wasn’t much of a challenge, so I’m trying again. This time, I believe the […]

  • 5 jeremy // Mar 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Christopher: I tried repeating your query on Google. I went through all five pages of results. There was not a single result in the whole list that linked to the web site. So how did you actually find it? Did Google give you different results than it gave me?

  • 6 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Jeremy, this query leads to this result, which in turn includes a link to this page.

  • 7 jeremy // Mar 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I see.

    So, really the answer was arrived at via a “social” search solution, anyway: Google Answers. Google found the Google Answers page, but it didn’t actually find the “real” answer page — the real answer was one step removed, one level of indirection?

  • 8 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Correct. Someone even paid $5 for it. I guess that person was even more obsessed than I was about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 9 Christopher // Mar 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I could have tried different query combinations to see if I could get a direct link but since the google answers was the 1st result and had the correct answer I did not bother.

  • 10 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Actually, I doubt you would have found the movie if it weren’t for that page. Unless maybe if you’d found this link.

  • 11 Christopher // Mar 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Probably true, it’s pretty darn obscure. ๐Ÿ™‚

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