Google 2005 Zeitgeist

Google 2005 Zeitgeist reports on search trends in the area of World Affairs, Nature, Movies, Celebrities, and Phenomena:

It turns out that looking at the aggregation of billions of search queries people type into Google reveals something about our curiosity, our thirst for news, and perhaps even our desires. Considering all that has occurred in 2005, we thought it would be interesting to study just a few of the significant events, and names that make this a memorable year. (We’ll leave it to the historians to determine which ones are lasting and which ephemeral.) We hope you enjoy this selective view of our collective year.

For more year-end trends and best-of lists,’s ever growing 2005 round-up is an authoritative source…


NORAD’s 50th Anniversary of Tracking Santa reports that NORAD has been tracking Santa every year since 1955:

The tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955, when a local Sears, Roebuck and Co. store ran a newspaper ad urging children to make a phone call on Christmas Eve and talk to Santa Claus. As fate would have it, the phone number was misprinted and, instead of reaching Santa, youngsters found themselves talking with Air Force Col. Harry Shoup of the Continental Air Defense Command at Cheyenne Mountain.

Rather than hanging up, Shoup and his troops answered every child’s call that night with a report of Santa’s location.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering,

Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta and the North Pole’s Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Claus, signed an Open Skies aviation agreement in Washington, D.C. today, giving Santa and his team of reindeer greater access to the rooftops of good kids everywhere.

For years, Santa had been required to make an annual request to the Secretary of Transportation for a special flight certificate in order to deliver his Christmas goodies. With this new agreement, it will be easier for Santa to finish his job all in one night.

“Santa can now focus on making his list and checking it twice, without the hassle of government paperwork,” said Secretary Mineta. “Thanks to this agreement, the only time he needs to worry about Red Tape is if he wants to use it to wrap presents.”

A little cheesy, but still fun…

Music Searches

I recently came across several interesting music search sites and figured I’d lump them together into one post.

Google has now started offering targeted results when search parameters look like musical groups, songs, or lyrics. There is also a specific Google Music Search site that is pretty decent. It pales in comparison to authoritative sites like All-Music Guide, but for now at least, it’s not trying to compete in that arena. 😉

musicmap also drives you to music commerce sites via a pretty neat Flash map-like interface. It too isn’t as complete as it could be, but the eye candy almost makes up for it.

Finally, offers a refreshingly sparse interface for lyrics searches that builds on the Google Suggest code. The site is a marked contrast to the often ad-ridden, pop-up laden lyrics search sites out there. I exclude my lyrics page from that characterization, of course ;-), and there are a good amount of links to other lyrics sites and search engines on that page as well, most of which avoid that route too.

I hope you find those sites useful. I have a feeling that I’ll be updating this post as I think of sites that I overlooked…

Cute Overload

Cute Overload is a sickly-sweet saccharine train wreck image blog:

At Cute Overload®, we scour the Web for only the finest in Cute Imagery™. Imagery that is Worth Your Internet Browsing Time. We offer an overwhelming amount of cuteness to fill your daily visual allowance. Drink it in!

Hope it’s not too much for you… 😉

Turduckens Are For Wusses

For those of you making turkey for Christmas, or stepping it up a notch or two with Turducken (turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken), you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has come up with a ten-bird roast consisting of an 18-pound turkey stuffed with a goose, duck, mallard, guinea fowl, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and woodcock, deeming it “one of the most spectacular and delicious roasts you can lay before your loved ones at Yuletide.” Hard to disagree with that…