You can use Wolfram Alpha in all kinds if ways, and it’s often a better idea to load up the computational knowledge engine rather than your search portal of choice. Here are 16 of the most useful queries that Wolfram Alpha can handle but leave Google stumped.

1. Work out probabilities


Enter “24 coin tosses” to see a detailed breakdown of the resulting probabilities. It works with cards too: Try “probability 3 queens 2 jacks”.

2. Get Scrabble scores for words


Wolfram Alpha is a Scrabblers best friend: Put “scrabble” in front of any word (e.g. “scrabble zookeeper”) to find out the resulting score in the board game.

3. Look up nutritional information


You can get nutritional information about all kinds of foods and meals right from Wolfram Alpha. Give “subway turkey breast sub” a go, for example.

4. See utility prices over time


Wolfram Alpha can tap into historical prices for various utilities as well—input “price of electricity in san francisco” and adapt accordingly.

5. Apply image filters


Not only can Wolfram Alpha show images, it can apply filters to them: “gaussian blur monkey image” for example.

6. Compare websites


Want to know how Facebook’s traffic compares with Google’s? Or their respective rankings? Submitting “facebook.com vs google.com” will tell you.

7. List anagrams


You can get anagrams for any single word you like as well—just enter “anagrams” followed by the word you want mixed up to see a list.

8. Make sense of your family tree

family tree

Family trees can be real head-scratchers but Wolfram Alpha is here to help. Input a query like “father’s cousin’s grandchildren” to see your link to them.

9. Work out monetary values down the years


Want to know what the equivalent of $2 million was in 1950? Or vice versa? Enter a query like “US$2500 in 1950” and Wolfram Alpha is able to tell you.

10. Find out how common your conditions are


olfram Alpha is also very adept at providing information about illnesses and conditions. Try “insomnia” to see all of the data that’s presented.

11. Track the International Space Station


Ask Wolfram Alpha “where is the iss?” and you’ll get a map showing you its current location. Google tries its best with this, but still comes up short.

12. Check which planets are visible


If you ask Wolfram Alpha to tell you “which planets are visible today?”, you’ll get a much more detailed answer in return than Google can provide.

13. Find out how drunk you are


Wolfram Alpha provides an honest answer to the question “how drunk am I?” but you’ll have to enter more information first (including drinks versus time).

14. Get sports score histories


Sports results are another specialty of Wolfram Alpha’s, at least as far as major sports in the US are concerned. Try “new york giants away wins 2012”.

15. See how common your name is


Type in any name—”david” for example—to see statistics about it. Enter several names separated by commas to compare names against each other.

16. Analyze works of literature


Wolfram Alpha can also do some impressive tricks with literary works: try entering “most frequent two-word phrases in the bible” for example.

Images and article via Gizmodo