WolframAlpha is an incredibly useful and powerful computational search engine. While that sounds awfully technical, the practical side is finding and calculating data-centric information. Or to put it yet another way, WolframAlpha lets you look up numbers about stuff.

But rather than talk about it, here are a few examples from the WolframAlpha website (also available as an iPhone or iPad app):

Like it’s older sibling Mathematica, WolframAlpha can calculate just about anything:

It also calculates in the “real world”, like this home mortgage example:

Of course, it offers current data from a wide variety of scientific sources. Ever wondered the real-time orbit of the International Space Station?

Or if that Oreo Cookie is really a good idea at snack time …

These few examples are just the tip of the iceberg. See many many more examples at http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/?src=input