Following on the entry below, I came across a reference to a kind of search engine called WolframAlpha. Actually, the folks behind this project say that WolframAlpha is not a search engine, but instead that:

“Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers—not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.”

In any case, I wondered what would happen if I tried to get WolframAlpha to compute an answer about the quote attributed to Hồ Chí Minh that I discussed below. Unfortunately, WolframAlpha was not able to help.

However, when I simply input the name Hồ Chí Minh, instead of the quote, something interesting happened.

Eventually it loaded a graph at the bottom of the page which showed the number of hits per day over time on the Wikipedia web page for Hồ Chí Minh. For the past few years the average number of daily hits has been pretty regular, but then suddenly earlier this year there was an enormous surge in the number of daily hits to the Wikipedia page for Hồ Chí Minh.

Did I miss something big earlier this year? What happened such that over 50,000 people suddenly decided that they needed to know more about Hồ Chí Minh?

Whatever it was they wanted to know, they appear to have found it out very quickly, because just as fast as the number of hits went up, it then went down.

If anyone has any idea of why this happened, please share it. Maybe I’m forgetting something obvious, but I can’t recall anything that happened earlier this year that can explain this.