I Am Not Smart Enough for Wolfram Alpha

One unique property of WA is that it is set up to do on-the-fly comparisons when you enter two distinct queries. Here I entered declaration of independence and War of 1812. The resulting chart supplied dates, people and countries involved. If this data ever became as deep as that associated with scientific and mathematical queries, WA could be a godsend to history students:

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I'm not sure why this feature was a priority for the WA developers, but it is fascinating: enter two first names and the service will compare their frequency in the United States now and over history, as this smackdown of Mary vs. Tiffany shows:

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Ever careful, WA even checks to make sure that you meant Mary as a female name. Click the "Mary (male)" link and you discover that each year about 67 very unhappy boys are named Mary:

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I wouldn't expect pop culture to be a top priority for Stephen Wolfram, so it's probably not surprising that the results in that area are pretty mixed. When I asked for Star Trek, I got a table with most of the basic information I'd want about the movie, even down to the name of the actor who played "Burly Cadet #1." And a drop-down menu let me change the results if I was more interested in "The Wrath of Khan" (and, really, who wouldn't be?):

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My search for Amy Winehouse was disappointingly shallow, though - just her profession and date and place of birth. No professional biography, no discography, no arrest records:

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Another quirky set of data included in this preview of WA is nutritional information about generic foods. Again, I'm not certain what all these charts mean, but they seem to be implying that five marshmallows is not a healthy breakfast:

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