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Weekly Wide Web

Internet Search, Pre-Censored

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Imagine typing a seemingly innocent word into your search engine—like "Democrat"—and getting results about Marxism. Or how about getting directed to an article titled "Gay Agenda in Schools" after you type in the word "gay"?

That second thing happens when you use SeekFind.org, a Christian search engine based in Colorado Springs. SeekFind's mission is simple: It features content that is consistent with the sponsoring organization's view of the Bible, unlike those other search engines that return just about everything the Internet has to offer.

SeekFind isn't alone. There are many religious-conscious search engines. Jews have Jewgle; Muslims have I'mHalal; and Hindus have Hindoo! (OK, I made that last one up.) Google itself provides SafeSearch, which helps concerned parents by filtering out adult sites.

It's easy to jump on the censorship bandwagon and decry these sites for only displaying content that conforms to a specific view—but these Internet users are declaring what results they want from a search engine, rather than the other way around. Plus, in some ways, Google and Yahoo! aren't that different from these religio-searches: The more personal information you give these sites, the more they will tailor the results to what their formulas think you might like. Chances are, your computer is already returning more Tucson-based search results.

While the Internet is full of things that normal people probably wouldn't want to see, sites like Google and Yahoo! do a pretty good job of keeping that stuff away. But as long as people are extremely sensitive, there will always be a market for these specialized search engines.

Now if we can just get SeekFind to display content from the Tucson Weekly ...


COMMENT OF THE WEEK

"How are we supposed to truly understand the positions of any candidate unless they present their views in a public setting? I find out more about a candidate's views from seeing and listening to a "debate" or a forum. Why are the Republican candidates not using these events to allow their constituents access to their ideas? I believe in being an informed voter, and it is getting much harder to find out what is real and what is a controlled message. I want face time in a public setting, please!"

TucsonWeekly.com user "PBJ," in response to "Hey, GOP: Is This a Setup?" (The Range, Sept. 16), about Republican candidates not showing up to debates.


BEST OF WWW

If you somehow haven't noticed, this is our annual Best of Tucson® issue. This year's theme is a 1960s/advertising-agency pastiche, which we're celebrating in video form by talking to advertising executives who were around then about how the ad world was different 50 years ago.

If you think that Something Sweet Dessert Lounge's Sugar OD Challenge couldn't possibly be conquered, you haven't seen our video of Michelle Lesco, aka Cardboard Shell, regarding her devouring of the four-giant-brownie, four-cheesecake-slice, four-scoop-of-ice-cream, four-cherry monstrosity.

Our next video needs only two words of introduction: Pole. Dancing. This week, Irene Messina profiles Tucson Pole Fitness, and examines why getting exercise on something associated with strippers is popular with women of all ages. Check out the videos at TucsonWeeklyTV.com.


THE WEEK ON THE RANGE

We filled you in on the latest troubles between the Rialto Theatre Foundation and the Rio Nuevo board (more details in The Skinny); showed you the newest ads in the Congressional District 8 race between Gabrielle Giffords and Jesse Kelly; and let you know about the new campaign in support of the proposed half-cent-per-dollar boost in the city sales tax.

We also posted various debate videos; and noted that The Arizona Republic's Robert Robb uncovered problems with Proposition 111, which would eliminate the secretary of state's office and create a new office of lieutenant governor—and possibly make it impossible for independents to run for governor.

On the Chow beat, we previewed Govinda's Feed the World Day; let you know that Tiki Tim's Grill has opened at The Hut; told you that Mr. Head's Art Gallery and Bar would soon be opening on Fourth Avenue; encouraged you to try the cocktails at Jasper Food and Mixology; and informed you about a cocktail class with Tony Abou-Ganim, a national ambassador of the U.S. Bartenders Guild.

We shared a photo from Rodrigo Moya's new show at Etherton Gallery; put up a slideshow from the TAMMIES 2010 concert; and posted a video of steel-drum player Richard Noel, who will be performing at Tucson Meet Yourself next month.

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