There is a new search engine that has just launched called Wolfram Alpha. As opposed to being a “Google killer” it creates its own niche. Google serves up webpages relevant to your query. Wolfram Alpha seeks to “to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone.” In other words it is good for queries that you want to compute and understand in depth. It breaks your query down into the key facts about it.
I put in my birth date this morning and it gave me relevant computations about that day including how many days ago it was, notable events, the sunrise and sunset, and that it was a “waxing gibbous moon.” I can see this being a very powerful tool for doing more in depth and especially precise research.
The goal of the Wolfram Alpha folks “is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.” It is a very ambitious project and am excited to see where it goes in the future. Give it a try!