Naked lumberjacks are Cuil

By Sujay Kumar

Tissues have always had their poster boy Kleenex. And for years now, the word “google” has been synonymous to “use Internet search engine.” But what if we had googled for the last time and there’s no back button to save us? Enter Cuil.

Cuil (pronounced “cool”) is a 33 million dollar search engine launched last Sunday by ex-Google employees. With an index that is claimed to be three times the size of Google’s and promises to analyze the content of the Internet while not invading user privacy, we may be cuil-ing soon.

There’s only one way to settle this. Two windows. Google vs. Cuil. Make sure your computer has enough battery. It’s going to be intense.

Google has a boring white start screen with its name above a yawn-inducing search bar. Cuil is the antithesis of boring. It slaps you in the face with a black page shrouded in darkness contrasting with cool grey and blue letters. It’s not only sleek, but sexy.

While Google results are a lackluster list, Cuil breaks all Internet search engine molds. It uses a magazine format to show three columns of hits, each with a small image and a paragraph of information. A helpful widget sits in the top right-hand corner to predict your next search.

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    But what is style without substance? Of course, as everyone’s knee-jerk reaction should be, I ran searches on myself.

    Google gave me a link to a Chuck Norris column I wrote and some other more esteemed Sujay Kumars around the world. Sujay Kumar Pramanik takes the cake by cracking the top ten hits with his use of an ultra-cute baby picture on Facebook.

    Cuiling myself gave me Cuil seems to have analyzed me and found that I was a Mr. Bean Fan. Thirteen years ago. Scanning more results, I saw many Chuck Norris Web sites. Apparently, mentioning Chuck’s name once tattoos it to your soul forever.

    Index-wise, Google had a measly 48,100 results on me compared to Cuil’s 176,770. But after clicking to display page five of Cuil’s results, I was unexpectedly told “we didn’t find any results.”

    Realizing that searching my own name proved nothing, I decided to refine my search with something both more specific and significant: “Andrew Mason Daily Illini.” Googling my editor returned results relevant to Andrew’s writing and blogging.

    Cuil’s results were equally relevant. The images, not so much.

    Two of the hits were accompanied by images of an extremely hairy, lumberjack-esque bearded, naked man, reclining and sitting up in a lawn chair (NOTE: This was all done with Cuil’s Safe Search feature on, variations on capitalization inexplicably changed the position of the naked man that popped up, and I’m 97 percent sure said naked man is not Andrew Mason).

    Cuil’s only been out for a week, while we’ve been googling for 10 years. There will be some kinks. But make no mistake, I will have no part of a search engine that hurls a naked lumberjack into my face every time I cuil my boss.

    Sujay is a senior in biochemistry. He googled many things while writing this column. He cuiled a few.