It’s been a long day, so I thought I’d go for something frivolous in this post. What, I asked myself, are the top google searches, most of which I assume are frivolous. So I went to Google Trends. A glance at the list of the twenty top Google search terms confirmed something I’ve long suspected: I’m really out of it when it comes to pop culture.
The most searched term is David Stern. Who the heck is David Stern?
Okay, I’ve checked it out. David Stern has something to do with the Los Angeles Lakers. Clearly, both he and they are hot tonight, since “Lakers News,” at hot item #20, neatly bookend the list that Stern tops.
Having mentioned his name, I should now tell you why David Stern matters, shouldn’t I? Here goes: As best as I can tell, David Stern is the commissioner for the NBA (that’s “National Basketball Association” for those of you as out of it as I am). He’s big in the news now because he used his power to block a trade that would have seen a guard named Chris Paul, currently of the New Orleans Hornets, join Kobe Bryant on the Lakers team. (Ah! This explains why Chris Paul falls precisely in the middle of the Google Trends list, at #12.)
Fans have been outraged (although one person thinks it wasn’t such a stupid idea after all). The outrage stems from the fact that, unlike the other teams in the NBA which are owned by independent entities, the NBA itself apparently owns the Hornets. That means Stern (NBA commissioner) has a stake in not losing a valuable player. Even if there’s nothing wrong with what he did, it doesn’t pass the smell test.
I’ve now exhausted the sum total of knowledge I’m willing to acquire in order to understand why so many people are looking up David Stern, Chris Paul and the Lakers. If you’d care to learn more on the subject, the links I gave should help.
At this point, I have to admit that Google Trends is not inspiring me.
What else? Oooh, how about “Lindsay Lohan Playboy photos” (#9 on the list). I know who Lindsay Lohan is, and I know what Playboy is. The only problem is that Lindsay Lohan just makes me sad. She started out as a lovely young woman with a genuine acting talent, and devolved into a pathetic drug addict. It’s wrong to see her naked, not because I have a principled opposition to naked photos of pretty girls (as a heterosexual gal myself, those fall into the “who cares?” category), but because watching Lohan is precisely like rubbernecking a bad car accident in the hope of seeing bloodied bodies. Staring at her feels like the worst kind of voyeurism. So I’m not going to write about her anymore. ‘Nuff said.
This foray into Google Trends is not shaping up as the frivolous experience I was seeking. Oooh! Number two on the list is a good one: Lunar eclipse. Tonight there’s going to be a full lunar eclipse. It’s supposed to be spectacular even by lunar eclipse standards, although not everyone will be lucky enough to see it. (I could probably see it but, pathetically, I’d rather sleep.):
This year’s second total lunar eclipse on Saturday, Dec. 10, will offer a rare chance to see a strange celestial sight traditionally thought impossible.
Ringside seats for the lunar eclipse can be found in Alaska, Hawaii, northwestern Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and central and eastern Asia. Over the contiguous United States and Canada, the eastern zones will see either only the initial penumbral stages before moonset, or nothing at all.
Over the central regions of the United States, the moon will set as it becomes progressively immersed in the Earth’s umbral shadow. The Rocky Mountain states and the prairie provinces will see the moon set in total eclipse, while out west the moon will start to emerge from the shadow as it sets.
The moon passes through the southern part of the Earth’s shadow, with totality beginning at 6:06 a.m. PST and lasting 51 minutes. [Total Eclipse of the Moon (Infographic)]
For most places in the United States and Canada, there will be a chance to observe an unusual effect, one that celestial geometry seems to dictate can’t happen. The little-used name for this effect is a “selenelion” (or “selenehelion”) and occurs when both the sun and the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time.
More than a decade ago, I was fortunate enough to see
Halley’s Comet Hale Bopp. It was an exquisitely clear night, I was at Pier 39 in San Francisco and the comet was perfectly balanced between the two towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. So if you’re awake and in the right place, try to see the eclipse. You’ll remember it later.
I’m sorry, but aside from my minor excitement about the lunar eclipse, which I’ll miss in any event, I can’t seem to get that excited about the Trends. I’m not a trendy person. I don’t care about people whose names I have to look up. Who are James Harrison at #3 or Brandon Roy at #10? If I look these people up, will my life improve? I doubt it.