If we are what we Google, then Google Hot Trends —an hourly rundown of search terms "that experience sudden surges in popularity"—is the Web's best cultural barometer. Here's a sampling of today's top searches. (Rankings on Hot Trends list current as of 9 a.m.)
No. 1 "air france flight status": Six of this morning's top 10 Google searches are about Air France 447, which has disappeared on its way from Rio to Paris . The plane, which took off in heavy turbulence, last made radar contact near the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha — today's fifth-trendiest search term — 300 kilometers off Brazil's northeastern coast. Agence France-Presse quotes a Paris airport official: "We are very worried. ... It could be a transponder problem, but this kind of fault is very rare and the plane did not land when expected."
No. 2 "susan boyle hospitalized": The British tabs are reporting that the YouTube sensation , a surprise loser in this weekend's final episode of Britain's Got Talent , has checked into a private clinic on account of "exhaustion." According to the Sun , "the 48-year-old virgin" (also referred to as "SuBo") was taken to the hospital by paramedics after "acting strangely at her London hotel." Eleven spots down the Trends list: searches for Susan Boyle's performance on the BGT finale . Not seen in the top 100: Diversity , the dance troupe that beat out Boyle for the top prize.
No. 8 "eminem bruno": The highlight of last night's MTV Movie Awards, at least Google-wise, came when Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno — "the host of Austrian gay TV" — floated down from the rafters a la Howard Stern's Fartman . Baron Cohen, outfitted in a thong and angel wings, touched down with his crotch in Eminem's face; the rapper stormed off, leading to speculation about whether the stunt was real or fake . Considering that both performers are aggressively promoting new material — and considering that the guy who was "accidentally" teabagged was miked in the audience — evidence points to fake. (Other Google Trends inspired by the MTV awards: " kristen stewart drops award ," " new moon trailer official ," and " the hills season 6 preview .")
— Josh Levin