A forum for good logic/math puzzles.

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Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
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Eebster the Great wrote:Well, the grave accent is on the keyboard, so that isn't a problem.

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Posts: 102
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I'd love to be able to Google measurements, in which some tolerance and conversion of units is allowed. For example, if I searched for ‘measure:"0.49-0.51 mm"’ it would find ‘0.5 mm’, ‘0.50 mm’, ‘0.4963 mm’, ‘0.197 in’, ‘0.2 inches’, ‘0.2"’, ‘200 mils’, ‘0.00097 knot seconds’, etc.
Okay, that last one is silly and I wouldn't need the feature to go that far. I'd be very happy if it were implemented at all.

For example I was recently trying to find a slotted/flathead screwdriver with a 4.0 mm × 0.5 mm blade so I could adjust a set of eccentric collars. Most slotted screwdrivers with a 4.0 mm blade width are much thicker than 0.5 mm, and most tool sites don't even specify the thickness, so this was quite hard to find. I already found myself forced to put all sorts of mutations of the search term together, e.g. ‘(slotted OR flathead) screwdriver ("4.0x0.5mm" OR "4mm x 0.5mm" OR "4.0mm x 0.5mm" OR "0.5mm x 4mm" OR "0.5 x 4.0mm")’, etc., so there was pretty much no question of going even further and converting units, adding/subtracting tolerances, etc.
I eventually resorted to ordering a spanner wrench to do the job. But I'd still prefer a screwdriver — the spanner wrench is awkward to use for this purpose, especially since I have to go back and forth between adjusting 5 different eccentric collars and holding the wrench at various different angles.

Anyone else been frustrated trying to search for something like this?

Incidentally even if you have an exact measurement in inches, it can be hard to search for. Google ignores a trailing double-quote, so searching for ‘2"’ is treated as ‘2’. If you search for ‘2" eyepiece’ most of the results will indeed be 2-inch telescope eyepieces, and ‘30" monitor’ mostly turns up 30-inch monitors, but that's just luck... when searching for more unusual things it often fails to treat the number as a measurement in inches.

Corka
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:16 am UTC

One thing I've had problems with is Google Scholar. About a year ago I was looking up academic articles on OpenID. While a few decent ones turned up on the first page, there were many hits that came back because the page has on it "Sign in with OpenID", making it hard to find the less prominent articles.

Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
Posts: 3058
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

This isn’t so much an unsearchable thing, as simply a failure on the part of Google to actually perform the requested search. For comparison, Yahoo and Bing both perform the search correctly. I searched for the following:

"in format ion" -information

On Yahoo and Bing, this correctly returned those webpages containing the exact phrase “in format ion” and not containing the word “information”. However, on Google the results include numerous pages that contain the word “information”, and numerous pages that do not contain the exact phrase “in format ion”. In fact, many of the Google results contain the exact opposite of what was searched for, meaning the pages contain the word “information” and do not contain the exact phrase “in format ion”.

To be absolutely certain, I went into Google’s “Advanced Search” and filled out the fields accordingly, but the results were the same. It appears Google search does not actually respect the terms that are entered and searched for.

I’m just sayin’ is all.
wee free kings

Eebster the Great
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Qaanol wrote:This isn’t so much an unsearchable thing, as simply a failure on the part of Google to actually perform the requested search. For comparison, Yahoo and Bing both perform the search correctly. I searched for the following:

"in format ion" -information

On Yahoo and Bing, this correctly returned those webpages containing the exact phrase “in format ion” and not containing the word “information”. However, on Google the results include numerous pages that contain the word “information”, and numerous pages that do not contain the exact phrase “in format ion”. In fact, many of the Google results contain the exact opposite of what was searched for, meaning the pages contain the word “information” and do not contain the exact phrase “in format ion”.

To be absolutely certain, I went into Google’s “Advanced Search” and filled out the fields accordingly, but the results were the same. It appears Google search does not actually respect the terms that are entered and searched for.

I’m just sayin’ is all.

Google does not always consider spaces in its terms to find matches (so "in format ion" will return any string with letters in that order whether or not it contains spaces). It does, however, consider them in its relevancy algorithm.

But while that annoys me a little, what is far more frustrating is that the "without words" search is very much broken, as Google seems to take that as a mere suggestion.

thc
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:01 am UTC

This thread reminds me of certain sites that use actual people rather than a computer to find answers. (Basically, passing your question on to people who are better googlers than you.)

Oh, and maybe someone can help me with this one: I'm looking for a specific animated gif that showcased 3 or 4 imaginary four-legged creatures walking in a horizontal line. I think the creatures were purple (or maybe green) and the name of the creatures I think started with a P? (OR maybe an H?)

Also, they kind of looked like a hybrid between a giraffe without spots and like a dinosaur of some sort.

Okay thanks.

jestingrabbit
Factoids are just Datas that haven't grown up yet
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ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

thc
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LOL that's it, thank you.

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One thing I have struggled hugely with was finding the Terezi-Dave Dance Party gifs from Homestuck. Because they are images not embedded in webpages, and so have no text, and are not indexed on the website, they are very difficult to find.
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The Scyphozoa
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I actually posted something in the Screech thread earlier today, and then I found this thread and it relates perfectly! It's about searching for sounds/sound effects. Possibly stock sounds. Don't know. Here's my post: viewtopic.php?p=2640639#p2640639
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futurityverb
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Like others have said, I've always had the most difficulty searching for some arbitrary video or picture that I saw once, somewhere. It's really tough to find a picture or video just by describing what happens in it, because people generally do a very poor job tagging videos and images with text descriptions.

The other thing I have trouble with, which is super frustrating, is trying to find old computer games I used to play as a kid. One DOS game I remember was called "tower" something I think, and it involved odd looking monsters and climbing up and down ladders, but that's all I remember about it. I'd really like to find that again.

The other game is called Roto-Cop, and it came in one of my Software of the Month Club cds. It featured a helicopter flying around fighting enemies in various stages. I remember the first was a beehive, then there was a sewer, then a jungle stage. I can't find any evidence of the game ever even having existed, which drives me insane haha.

ryak2002
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:26 am UTC

If you want a challenge, i have what I believe is the ultimate ungoogleable thing:
It was a specific scene from a very (more than 10 years) old D&D style (atari) console game. You come across a bandit camp in a cave behind a locked door. They demand the password and you get three chances to guess it. If you fail to guess, your third guess is always "The password is ATTACK!"

The tricky part about this is not only is it obscure, but it predates the popularity of the internet.

mbrigdan
False Alarm! There's more rum.
Posts: 109
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Maybe I'm a tad late with this, but for all the people wanting to find similar images to something you've saved on a computer, google images already does that. Just drag and drop your image into the (image) search bar, and wait for it to upload. The first thing it sends you to is a web search for pages with that image, but when I've tried it, there's been a link to "visually similar images" after the first or second result.
Spoiler:
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Eebster the Great
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

mbrigdan wrote:Maybe I'm a tad late with this, but for all the people wanting to find similar images to something you've saved on a computer, google images already does that. Just drag and drop your image into the (image) search bar, and wait for it to upload. The first thing it sends you to is a web search for pages with that image, but when I've tried it, there's been a link to "visually similar images" after the first or second result.

The "visually similar images" search is very hit or miss. Sometimes it gives you results and sometimes it just doesn't, and there isn't anything you can do about it if you don't get the results you're looking for.

pinochet
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

I've had trouble researching some environmental social science topics that use common words with a jargonny meaning. Searching terms like "nature" and "environment" in any academic database gets you a lot of "nature vs nurture" and "X happened in Y environment". Similarly, terms like "green space" "natural imagery" seem to turn up 100 environmentalism-themed results for every useful hit.

Certainly makes writing a lit review a pain.

lorb
Posts: 405
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Location: Austria

My google-fu failed me when I tried to compile a list of the (expected) release dates of the quarterly earning reports of the 30 dow-jones companies. (in one place ... I am not googling every one of them individually) Maybe you can help me
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Lynx Cat
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One thing I've searched long and hard for, without the smallest sliver of success, is information on a music video that shows a teddy bear's suicide. It goes back and forth between interviews with his friends and family (other similar toys), and the suicide itself, by jumping from a dresser drawer (it's set in a bedroom). So yeah, that fits the "finding things by their description is hard" trend... It also doesn't help that I remember nothing about the song itself, or the band, or the lyrics, or anything like that.
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Kolko
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Location: Belgium/België/Belgique/Belgien

Lynx Cat wrote:One thing I've searched long and hard for, without the smallest sliver of success, is information on a music video that shows a teddy bear's suicide. It goes back and forth between interviews with his friends and family (other similar toys), and the suicide itself, by jumping from a dresser drawer (it's set in a bedroom). So yeah, that fits the "finding things by their description is hard" trend... It also doesn't help that I remember nothing about the song itself, or the band, or the lyrics, or anything like that.

By hard, you mean that it's the first thing google finds when looking for 'teddy bear suicide music video'?

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elasto
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Kolko wrote:
Lynx Cat wrote:One thing I've searched long and hard for, without the smallest sliver of success, is information on a music video that shows a teddy bear's suicide. It goes back and forth between interviews with his friends and family (other similar toys), and the suicide itself, by jumping from a dresser drawer (it's set in a bedroom). So yeah, that fits the "finding things by their description is hard" trend... It also doesn't help that I remember nothing about the song itself, or the band, or the lyrics, or anything like that.

By hard, you mean that it's the first thing google finds when looking for 'teddy bear suicide music video'?

While it might not be the situation in this case, I just wanted to point out that it is usually the case that different people will get their search results in a different order. Hence the Google Bubble effect.

ie. Just because it's the first thing Google finds for you it doesn't mean it'd be the first thing Google would find for anyone else.

(Although now a thousand XKCD people have clicked on that link it'll probably be the first thing Google finds for everyone!)

Pangolin
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

What about searching for the plots/scenes of stage shows as opposed to videos?

When I was younger (maybe a decade ago, or more), I went to a play/musical act done entirely by two men of similar age, one rotund and the other svelte. They were both pianists and the stage had two pianos at opposite ends facing each other. The play told the story of their growing up and developing their skills and passions. At one point the svelte man plays the other man's father, and they act out how as a child the rotund kid always wanted to be playing with friends but the father made him stay inside and practice piano to make the lessons worthwhile, but when the kid was in his teens, all he wanted to do was play and the father had to try hard to get him outside. At another point they have a "piano-off" starting with a basic C scale developing into arpeggios and chromatic scales. They also used a backlit sheet to allow them to act as silhouettes.

And I have no idea what the name of the play was, or who was in it.

Can anyone help? The show was in New Zealand, but the actors were either British or American and New Zealand was just a stop on the tour.

Bloopy
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Location: New Zealand

The first result on my 4th search attempt seems likely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Pianos_Four_Hands

I always like throwing quotes in, and I was just lucky it was around something that happened to be part of the title. A play that's toured the world shouldn't be hard to find though.

Vytron
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I've been looking for a song since like forever, I used to listen to it on the radio, but have no idea how to find it otherwise. I remember the melody every well, and the lyrics sound like this:

"Aruba-ruba-ruba Eh! Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh!
Aruba-ruba-ruba Eh! Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh!

(Missing lyrics that I don't remember)
(Missing lyrics that I don't remember)

(Tune of the song that goes like the lyrics)
Aruba, eh, EH, eh
(same tune)
Aruba, eh, EH, eh

Aruba, aruba, Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh!
Aruba, aruba, Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh! (chorus: 'Ooeeee! Ooeeee!')
Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh! (while chorus is playing)

(repeat lyrics; repeat first verse)"

Here's the actual notes of the first verse (a note per syllable)

The rhythm of the song, I'd say, is similar to the Bangles' Walk Like An Egyptian or Stop's Wake Up/Rendezvous.

I've searched for similar sounding lyrics and song names and for midis matching these notes with no result whatsoever, nothing that even gets me closer.

So I hold this song is Ungoogleable unless someone is familiar with it and knows the name of the song. It's also very probably from the 70s or 80s or begginging of the 90s, but very unlikely to be before that, or after that, and it was clearly made to be danced (I'd say it's a song from 1990-1995, but, it's Discoish and that's from decades before...)
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Christo
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I really love the fact that this conversation has been going for two and a half years.
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Elmach
Posts: 155
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Vytron wrote:I've been looking for a song since like forever, I used to listen to it on the radio, but have no idea how to find it otherwise. I remember the melody every well, and the lyrics sound like this:

"Aruba-ruba-ruba Eh! Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh!
Aruba-ruba-ruba Eh! Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh!

(Missing lyrics that I don't remember)
(Missing lyrics that I don't remember)

(Tune of the song that goes like the lyrics)
Aruba, eh, EH, eh
(same tune)
Aruba, eh, EH, eh

Aruba, aruba, Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh!
Aruba, aruba, Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh! (chorus: 'Ooeeee! Ooeeee!')
Aruba! Eh! Eh! Eh! (while chorus is playing)

(repeat lyrics; repeat first verse)"

Here's the actual notes of the first verse (a note per syllable)

The rhythm of the song, I'd say, is similar to the Bangles' Walk Like An Egyptian or Stop's Wake Up/Rendezvous.

I've searched for similar sounding lyrics and song names and for midis matching these notes with no result whatsoever, nothing that even gets me closer.

So I hold this song is Ungoogleable unless someone is familiar with it and knows the name of the song. It's also very probably from the 70s or 80s or begginging of the 90s, but very unlikely to be before that, or after that, and it was clearly made to be danced (I'd say it's a song from 1990-1995, but, it's Discoish and that's from decades before...)

I know there is a website or something that lets you search for music. I just copied the url of the google thing -- I never realized how much it tracks. Moving onto something less tracky. What's that website called? Yeah, filter bubble - right, duckduckgo.

Let's search for my first query again. Ah there, the second result. Try singing/humming the tune into this.

Hang on, there was a version from an xkcd comic. *searches xkcd* Well, the comic references the program, but doesn't name it.

hobgoblin612
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:45 am UTC

Google ignores a trailing double-quote, so searching for ‘2"’ is treated as ‘2’. If you search for ‘2" eyepiece’ most of the results will indeed be 2-inch telescope eyepieces, and ‘30" monitor’ mostly turns up 30-inch monitors, but that's just luck... when searching for more unusual things it often fails to treat the number as a measurement in inches.

If you use 3'' (two apostrophes) instead of 3" (double quote) Google handles it much better.

t1mm01994
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Location: San Francisco.. Wait up, I'll tell you some tales!

Soundhound does it from android, at least. Try that out, as I can't read notes.

DR6
Posts: 171
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Guys, I have seen a lot in this thread people talking about how google can't do reverse image searching such as TinEye. That's wrong: it does have it. Just go to google images, and click the camera on the left side of the search field. It lets you either use an image from an URL or upload your own.

Just thought I would comment it: it's really hidden and google didn't announce it at all.

DR6
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Vytron wrote:I've been looking for a song since like forever, I used to listen to it on the radio, but have no idea how to find it otherwise. I remember

Here's the actual notes of the first verse (a note per syllable)

You realize that score doesn't make any sense if you don't specify which note is which line and the key? (The symbol used map lines to notes has a name: they are called "claves" in spanish, but I don't know the English word: the direct translation would be "key", but that has another meaning).

jestingrabbit
Factoids are just Datas that haven't grown up yet
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DR6 wrote:You realize that score doesn't make any sense if you don't specify which note is which line and the key? (The symbol used map lines to notes has a name: they are called "claves" in spanish, but I don't know the English word: the direct translation would be "key", but that has another meaning).

The english is "stave" I believe.

ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

Eebster the Great
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DR6 wrote:Guys, I have seen a lot in this thread people talking about how google can't do reverse image searching such as TinEye. That's wrong: it does have it. Just go to google images, and click the camera on the left side of the search field. It lets you either use an image from an URL or upload your own.

Just thought I would comment it: it's really hidden and google didn't announce it at all.

This thread is two and a half years old, from before the reverse image search was available.

imakethebestpizza
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 11:39 pm UTC

I've got my own ungoogleable, or at least I can't find the answer.

Maybe 2-4 years ago in the course of my internet browsing I came across an article about a type of manual search engine which had existed before the internet, presumably in the 1800s or perhaps early 1900s. The place was staffed with women to find the information from a large number of ceiling high filing cabinets. The way the system worked was that people who wanted to know a fact could write in with their question (and possibly payment) and the women would find the answers and post a response. I believe the joke was something like "Google before Google". The statement that it was staffed by women is a guess based on the memory of a picture (etching style) in which there were a few women at least one of which was reaching up to a draw and looking into it. However, I also seem to recall that the person who set up the venture was a man. I don't know if the article was true or whether it was a joke. I remember believing it at the time but I don't think I looked into it properly.

I've spent some time trying to find that article again, which I didn't think would be so difficult because the article was on the internet in the first place. The results I tend to get are about the history of search-engines, the advent of the internet, and, with some of my more abstract searches, a whole lot of ads for filing cabinets.

If someone does find it, I would love to know what your method was. I just don't know how to get around references to internet search engines, without omitting "internet" because I think that the article said something like "search engine before the internet". Anyway, this curiosity has been haunting me for a while now..

mousewiz
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:50 pm UTC

imakethebestpizza wrote:I've got my own ungoogleable, or at least I can't find the answer.

Maybe 2-4 years ago in the course of my internet browsing I came across an article about a type of manual search engine which had existed before the internet, presumably in the 1800s or perhaps early 1900s. The place was staffed with women to find the information from a large number of ceiling high filing cabinets. The way the system worked was that people who wanted to know a fact could write in with their question (and possibly payment) and the women would find the answers and post a response. I believe the joke was something like "Google before Google". The statement that it was staffed by women is a guess based on the memory of a picture (etching style) in which there were a few women at least one of which was reaching up to a draw and looking into it. However, I also seem to recall that the person who set up the venture was a man. I don't know if the article was true or whether it was a joke. I remember believing it at the time but I don't think I looked into it properly.

I've spent some time trying to find that article again, which I didn't think would be so difficult because the article was on the internet in the first place. The results I tend to get are about the history of search-engines, the advent of the internet, and, with some of my more abstract searches, a whole lot of ads for filing cabinets.

If someone does find it, I would love to know what your method was. I just don't know how to get around references to internet search engines, without omitting "internet" because I think that the article said something like "search engine before the internet". Anyway, this curiosity has been haunting me for a while now..

Is it this one by chance? If not, I imagine that there are key words in that article that can get you closer.

I went with:
search services cabinet "before the internet"

Reason for that phrase:
- I swapped 'engine' for 'services' because I was incredulous that something that old would be called an engine and I was hoping to at least find a related article from which to jump. I'm not sure that that change helped me any as the article doesn't use the word 'service' (though it does appear once on the page).
- Double quotes are where they are because it seemed to get rid of a lot of garbage. Also, you sounded reasonably confident that the phrase was in there, plus I figured a related article would contain such a phrase.
- 'cabinet' because 'filing cabinet' is overly specific, and 'filing' (which I went with first) is too much of a computer word

imakethebestpizza
Posts: 2
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You, my dear mousewiz, are a God! All of the appreciation I have is unreservedly for you. GRATITUDE!

Also I very much appreciate you mentioning your thought process. I don't think I had put "before the internet" in quotations before, and that probably helped a lot.

THANK YOUUUUU

eulerIV
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

I cant google these fonts "ℬ.ℳ.ℱ.". Also if you know how a special character looks, so you can draw it, but not how to type it, how can you find its name? Hmm maybe draw it and use google image search.

dudiobugtron
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Location: The Outlier

eulerIV wrote:I cant google these fonts "ℬ.ℳ.ℱ.".

How can you type them if you don't know what they are?

Also if you know how a special character looks, so you can draw it, but not how to type it, how can you find its name? Hmm maybe draw it and use google image search.

I would probably just look through a list of different types of special characters until it popped out. Depending on what sort of character it is. That's hardly a good solution though!

Eebster the Great
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Similar letters exist in the block 1D49C-1D4B5, but for some reason B, E, F, H, I, L, M, and R are removed.

lorb
Posts: 405
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Location: Austria

eulerIV wrote:I cant google these fonts "ℬ.ℳ.ℱ.". Also if you know how a special character looks, so you can draw it, but not how to type it, how can you find its name? Hmm maybe draw it and use google image search.

If you can type or have at least one character to copy you can.
First I googled "convert to ascii online" which landed me on a site where I copy pasted your letter ℬ which yielded me the value of "0x212c". I then just googled that and found: http://www.unicodemap.org/details/0x212C/index.html which may be what you looked for?

It's not really a font by the way. It's a "letterlike symbol" according to that page.
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Xanthir
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Blatm wrote:I can't seem to find the code for specific unicode characters I've seen in the past (but whose names I don't know) using Google.

Try ShapeCatcher - you draw the character, it tells you unicode glyphs it thinks are close to what you drew.
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hobgoblin612 wrote:
Deadcode wrote:Google ignores a trailing double-quote, so searching for ‘2"’ is treated as ‘2’. If you search for ‘2" eyepiece’ most of the results will indeed be 2-inch telescope eyepieces, and ‘30" monitor’ mostly turns up 30-inch monitors, but that's just luck... when searching for more unusual things it often fails to treat the number as a measurement in inches.

If you use 3'' (two apostrophes) instead of 3" (double quote) Google handles it much better.

Tried that just now, and it makes no difference. It returns exactly the same result as leaving out the apostrophes completely (just like the double quote).

lorb
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Location: Austria