Today's Google Trends: M.J. Weighed Eight Stones

Slate's Culture Blog
June 29 2009 11:56 AM

Today's Google Trends: M.J. Weighed Eight Stones

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 11 a.m.)

No. 8: "Don Cornelius."  Google Trends today are full of searches relating to Sunday's BET Awards , which were retooled at the last minute as a Michael Jackson tribute. Soul Train creator Don Cornelius was just one of dozens of black entertainers who honored Jackson. Over the weekend, Cornelius told Time about the first time he saw Jackson perform in the mid-1960s: "He's only 4 ft. tall and you're looking at a small person who can do anything he wanted to do onstage—with his feet or his voice. To get to that level ... you're talking about James Brown as a performer. Michael was like that as a kid."

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No. 40: "8 st 1 oz." The results of Michael Jackson's autopsy were released today, and according to reports in the British press he was bald, needle-pricked and "severely emaciated," weighing just " 8 st 1 oz ." That's short for 8 stone 1 ounce, or about 112 pounds. Metric is the official system for measuring weight in England, but the stone (14 pounds), is commonly used to express body weight.

No. 45: "Lynndie England." The Associated Press has interviewed former Army reservist Lynddie England, the subject of some of the most iconic pictures in the 2004 Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Today, England lives in West Virginia, where she's unemployed and spends most of her time in her house for fear of being recognized and harassed. England granted the interview to promote a new biography of her: Tortured: Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib and the Photographs that Shocked the World .  

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Adrian Chen is a freelance writer and an editor at The New Inquiry.

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