Over the years I’ve come up with a few quickies. For this column I want to share some with you in hopes that you’ll steal something. Perhaps not because I am like a dog howling at the moon; there has no noticeable effect on the moon. It’s that sort of thing. • For example, you will never get a sharp cut with a dull blade. • Never fish without bait. It’s a waste of time and the fish will laugh at you. • If tigers obeyed the Golden Rule, they would starve to death.
We went to the moon but there was nothing there. Kinda like going to Kansas. Now we want to go to Mars, knowing full well there’s nothing there either. We just want to go. Of course we learn a lot of stuff in the process of going to useless places. Every time I look at those ubiquitous scenes on TV of a million cars on the highway going both directions, or airports with people waiting in line for hours hoping to get on planes, it occurs to me that everybody wants to be where they’re not.
We buy a lot of things that simply aren't there. A local merchant advertises furniture for 10 cents on the dollar. Our major newspaper runs ads for placebos. My phone rings with messages for phony products or services. Television preachers promise miracles if we send money. Our president routinely says things that are untrue. The list is long and seems to be growing. That's because some of us will believe anything. Alternative facts are all around us. We seize on them because real facts are boring.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".