Friday Timewaster: Google Zeitgeist 2008

2008 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

As the year comes to a close, it's time to look at the big events, memorable moments and emerging trends that captivated us in 2008. As it happens, studying the aggregation of the billions of search queries that people type into the Google search box gives us a glimpse into the zeitgeist — the spirit of the times. We've compiled some of the highlights from Google searches around the globe and hope you enjoy looking back as much as we do.

So, it's my last few days of vacation . . . Going back to work on Monday is gonna suuuuuuck!!!

Let's see, what have I been up to since the last time I checked in? On Saturday, my sister and I took a road trip to see an old pal of mine from Ohio U. She drove, which meant that when we got off the expressway and she said, "I'm supposed to turn right here?" I said yes, under the assumption that she was going to, oh, I don't know, TURN RIGHT. Imagine my surprise when she started to turn left.

Then I made the mistake of saying, Hey, where are you going? That's left, and we need to go right! So, she started yelling at me about why don't I know that she doesn't know her right from her left. (Um, maybe because you're 30? Just a thought.) Later, my mom told me that I should have just let her turn left, and then at the next corner have her turn again, basically sending her around the block so we'd eventually be going in the correct direction. I said that might work in the city, but it's not so great when you're in the country and there isn't another cross street for God only knows how long.

Other than that, we mostly had a good time. I picked up eight books at the Barking Dog Used Bookstore in Marietta, among them two Simon Winchester books for word nerds, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary and The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary.

On Sunday, my sister and I headed up to Westlake so she could check out a comic book store and spend the gift certificate I got for her. We also poked around Crocker Park — she wanted to check out the H & M, since Akron doesn't have one, and the Trader Joe's. We had dinner at Aladdin's and then browsed at the Books-a-Million and Half-Price Books in Rocky River before giving a friend of mine a lift home from the airport. (I drove this time, but my sister still managed to yell at me when she couldn't make a decision about which flavor of ice cream to get. Urk.)

On Tuesday, my mom, my cousin, and I went to the Chriskindl Market at Lock 3 downtown. We eventually had some bratwurst and potato pancakes and bought some Christmas tree ornaments, but only after my mom drove around the general vicinity for twenty minutes, debating where to park. Oy.

When we got back to the house, I put in my DVD of A Christmas Story and we played A Christmas Story Monopoly. We took a break to actually watch the sequel, A Summer Story, which I picked up from the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble during our day-after-Christmas shopping spree. We all agreed that the sequel was not as good, but the ACS Monopoly was a great investment. (I finally managed to win a game of Monopoly, breaking my cousin's win streak from Thanksgiving.)

I didn't do anything too exciting for New Year's, but that was fine by me — we got a lot of snow and it was pretty chilly. I watched the I Love Lucy viewer's-choice marathon, which didn't include some of the episodes that my mom and I think are classics, and yesterday I watched the Bones marathon, even though between me and my sister I have access to all three seasons on DVD and could have avoided all of the annoying commercials.

Later on I might get out my stamping stuff again — I owe some relatives some thank-you notes — but right now I have to go finish some laundry. So, that's pretty much my life up till the last five minutes. Further bulletins as events warrant.

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