Thomas Wolfe liked to masturbate before each of his writing sessions: the activity, he said, helped inspire his imagination and put him in the proper mindset for writing (a “good male feeling,” he called it). John Cheever seemingly agreed—except in his case, the activity was actual sex. “Two or three orgasms a week,” he said, should do the trick. For writers like Mark Twain, time of day was of the utmost importance: between breakfast and five in the evening, no one was allowed to disturb him.
Two glasses sit side by side on the table, each filled midway up with red wine. On the bottom of each stem is a white piece of paper. One reads “Wine A”; the other, “Wine B.” I, along with approximately one hundred and thirty others, have a simple assignment: taste both wines and rate their tastes from one (worst) to ten (best), then write down which we think is more expensive. We aren’t allowed to comment out loud or talk with our neighbors. What—and how—will we choose?
A cynic, Ambrose Bierce remarked in his “Devil’s Dictionary,” is “a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.” In the century that has elapsed since Bierce’s death, science has caught up with him. Cynicism, in all its guises, really may make us see the world more realistically—though at a high personal cost.
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".