I, if given the chance, would ask Kirk’s computer really stupid/awesome things. Like whether I’m drunk, whether I’m fat or how common my name is compared to my friend’s. Luckily, Wolfram Alpha can answer stupid/awesome questions! Let’s take a look at some weird and wonderful uses for the Wolfram Alpha search engine.
Am I Drunk?
Wondering if you’re too drunk to drive? Wolfram Alpha has you covered. Just type “am I drunk” into the knowledge engine and you’ll be presented with a nifty little questionnaire:
You need to remember how many drinks you’ve had, how long you’ve been drinking, how much you weigh and what your gender is (note: if you can’t remember any of these points you are too drunk to drive. Sleep on the floor or call a cab).
Fill all of this in and you’ll see your current blood alcohol content, the legal limit for driving in your country and how many hours you need to wait until you’ll be under the legal limit for driving. Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself by running the search, or by clicking here.
How Old Am I?
Okay, I’m sure you’re probably well aware of your age (depending, of course, on the results of the above test). But if you hate trying to figure out how old someone else is based on their birthday consider this a really quick way to figure it out. Type “how old am I” into Wolfram Alpha and you’ll see something that looks like this:
Fill in the information, get an answer. You’ll even get a handy chart comparing the resulting age with the national average of your country. Neat.
Run the search yourself, or simply click here.
How Common Is Your Name?
Wonder if your name is more common than your friend’s? Simple. Type your name and his name, separated by a comma, into Wolfram Alpha. You’ll get a nifty chart for comparison:
As you can see, Justin is a younger name than Mark, though both names are very common. Interesting.
Try typing your own name into Wolfram Alpha to play with this trick, which I discovered via the Freakonomics blog. Their recent movie includes an entire section on the numbers of names, if that is interesting to you.
Body Mass Index
I kind of wish this one would come up if I typed “am I fat?“, but sadly it doesn’t. Typing “body mass index” is the next best thing to that, though.
Enter your information; get an answer. You’ll even get a chart showing you how healthy that body mass is, as well as a comparison to the national average. Click here if you’re too lazy to do the search yourself.
Everyone I know eats, so this is probably relevant to anyone’s interest. Type any food into Wolfram Alpha, such as taco, to pull up its nutrition information. This in and of itself is useful, but it can also work for comparisons. For example, you could compare a Coke with a beer:
The beer has more calories, but the Coke has more sugar. Choose wisely! Try this out on many different foods and you just might make informed choices. Maybe.