There's a new Web tool in town today, and it's (somewhat unwieldy) name is Wolfram Alpha. It's a computational, question and answer engine (it is NOT a search engine, it does NOT scour the Web for information) that will give you statistical-type answers for whatever query you might come up with. For instance:
- Why is the sky blue?
- pi to 1000 digits
- GDP per capita Norway / United States
- and many more examples here.
You'll want to be very specific if you do decide to use Wolfram Alpha; it responds better that way. Give it a try, you might like its simplicity and ability to cut straight to the meat of your questions. As I said already, Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine. Think of it as a super-charged calculator that not only knows how to crunch numbers, but all sorts of statistical data.
Question and Answer Search Engines: If you're looking for a specific topic with a relatively narrow focus, question and answer search engines might just be what you're looking for. These search engines aggregate the vast resources of the Web into strictly defined categories; in other words, they make it extremely easy to find something.