Google continues to amaze me

I have to wear an ID/access badge at work; I find it easier to wear it on a neck strap than to clip it to my shirt. Neck straps often have an imprinted message, so I can make a statement by choosing an appropriate neck strap.

I used to wear one I got at the National Cryptologic Museum (it said “National Security Agency”), but I worried that it was bugged and stopped wearing it.

IBM, of course, gives out neck straps. Some are pretty innocuous; some push various corporate messages; and some commemorate events or organizations. So I have one which says “IBM Academy of Technology” and another one which says “CTRE“.

But the one I wear most often came from a visit to the IBM Haifa Lab. I’m wearing it today, in fact, while sitting in the auditorium during the Almaden Institute.

Someone sitting behind me asked what my neck strap said, and I answered with what I remembered it saying (IBM Research and Development in Israel). But she knew enough Hebrew to be more curious, and so we tried to actually figure it out. The last part was easy (“shel IBM b’yisrael” is “of IBM in Israel”). And after a bit of hunting around, I found My Hebrew Dictionary, which let me verify “research” and “development”. But that left the first word, laboratory: And then a light went on, and I decided to Google for the answer. I used the “character map” tool to type the word into the Google search bar, which got me a page of results. A quick scan of the results made it obvious: laboratory: really means “Laboratory of Research and Development of IBM in Israel”.

It would have been easier to find a Hebrew-speaker, of course (there are several in the room), but Google was more fun.