There was Only one Heteroclinic Dongle - Until Now!

Wednesday 4/5/2005

Back to noshblog site (click here)

Diary and Notes

I went out for a curry with some of my old chums from Swindon today. We weren't actually in Swindon, but the nearby suburb of Purton (famous for everybody having a hot tub in their garden and wiveswapping parties involving said hot tubs). I will say this first, the curry was excellent. If you are ever in Purton, the Maharajah puts on a fine nosh up and is well worth the travelling if your in the Swindon area. I've slated the food of this part of Britain once or twice in the past but this time it came up top. The people of Purton probably need a good curry after all that intermarital frolicking. Whilst eating my very tasty (and garlic flavoured) curry, my friend Chris Watts demonstrated his latest gadget - a phone/computer/internet browser about the size of my hand. It was amazing - a nifty little screen which allowed you to surf the web and read my noshblog from anywhere you might be, "Fantastic" I thought and then returned to my food.

Chris then started asking us to give him obscure technical words so that he could type them into Google and see how many hits he'd get. He explained that this game was all the rage and the idea was to type in two words and see if you could get Google to come up with only one hit - what he referreed to as a Googlewhack. We tried a few words and then I suggested the word heteroclinic (a mathematical term which I can't be bothered to explain but can be found on Chris tried a word from his sphere of knowledge and used dongle (I've no idea what that is) and bingo - within about three minutes of playing this we'd already won - only one hit and this for a pretty strange thesis titled A mathematical model of human languages: The interraction of game dynamics and learning processes - doesn't that sound just great?

Sadly I got an email from Chris telling me that this wasn't actually a Googlewhack, as in order to qualify the words used have to be permissable by and though dongle was permitted, heteroclinic was not.

At first I thought, "What sort of dictionary has the word dongle but not heteroclinic? Obviously one written by computer geeks not maths geeks." I tried OED on line as well and it was the same, dongle was in, but heteroclinic was out. What's going on with the world? Have computers become so important that they are dictating the direction of our very language? Heteroclinic is a word that has been around since Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) and is now commonly used by biologists, physicist and all manner of other scientists, but dongle? What's a dongle and why is it recognised by these on line dictionaries?

Plus dongle is a stupid word whereas heteroclinic has a touch of class.

Anyway, a day or two from now if you type dongle and heteroclinic into Google you might just get this page recommended as well - it's wasn't a real Googlewhack and now it never will be.

Cake Blog

Cadbury's Fudge Bites: I assumed my friend Kevin would have some form of cake or sweety - but no. In an emergency I had to rush to the shop and bought some of these - of course Kevin ate some of them, just because he's on a health drive and wont buy tasty things in his shopping, doesn't mean he wont eat tasty things when they are presented to him.


  • Poppadoms

  • Lamb Roshni - it said it had lots of garlic on the menu and they didn't lie.
  • Bhindi Bhaji - okra to you and me
  • Naan Bread
  • Pilau Rice


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person