Blog statistics are sometimes too much information

I am still learning the ropes of the art of blogging. From time to time, I take a moment away from writing to take a glimpse at my blog’s statistics. It may simply be an attempt to appease my vanity, or perhaps I truly am seeking to leverage analytics to improve my blog’s performance. Either way, I find the little bar with vertical lines projecting out of it irresistible on occasion.

Some of you may recall an article I posted a while back in response to the media seemingly taking interest in Chris Hadfield’s cell phone bill during his latest stint in orbit as commander of the International Space Station. This has by far been my most popular entry. Since I don’t have an enormous following, it’s not like millions of people are falling over themselves to read what I have to say about astronauts. However, I do get a little information from time to time about the nature of the queries sent to search engines that eventually land eyeballs on my page.

Most of these search terms are fairly innocuous. One combination of words arose on two separate occasions over the past couple days that I could not help but wonder at: “Jeremy Hansen astronaut wife.” What on Earth (or out of it) are these people searching for? Despite my best efforts, my mind cannot help but explore the spectrum of possibilities to glean some insight into their minds.

At first glance, this could somehow refer to a sophomoric attempt to ogle the man’s wife. Perhaps she is quite a looker? Perhaps the search strong looked something like this: “Photos of astronaut Jeremy Hansen‘s hot wife?” This is a very androcentric interpretation of the information available, and not a very flattering statement on modern society.

I would rather think that, if he is married, she is a fantastic person in her own right and has many accomplishments that are the equal to his. Perhaps the intended search string was something along these lines: “How many PhDs does astronaut Jeremy Hansen‘s wife hold?” or “Which orphanage did astronaut Jeremy Hansen‘s wife save?”

What if this is a search motivated by young women running some background checks on the rising star in an attempt to determine whether Mr. Hansen is an eligible bachelor. The search string might look something like: “Does Jeremy Hansen the astronaut have a wife?” It is an equal opportunity world after all, and he’s got quite the smile.

It’s not often that scientific personalities become superstars, but this man’s pulling it off enough to be the subject of eclectic internet searches.

As with grammar, punctuation and context can prove essential to successful internet searches.

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