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. 4: "Propofol." Developments in Michael Jackson’s death continue to be reflected in almost real time by Google Trends: Today, M.J.’s nutritionist, Cherliyn Lee, told the AP that Jackson "pleaded" for the powerful anesthetic Propofol (brand name: Diprivan), and TMZ reports that the drug was discovered in Michael Jackson’s house. Propofol can cause arrhythmic heartbeats.
No. 12: "Canada Day." Happy 142nd anniversary of your becoming a semi-autonomous territory of the British Empire, Canada! Today is Canada Day, which celebrates the creation of the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. (The holiday was originally called Dominion Day but changed in 1983 to downplay Canada’s colonial origins.) Canada Day celebrations usually include outdoor barbecues and fireworks, but in Toronto,a municipal workers’ strike has put the kibosh on most of the city’s official celebrations.
No. 16: "DV 2010 results." The Diversity Visa lottery is one of the only ways many foreign workers can hope to enter the United States legally. Today, lottery results were posted online , so would-be immigrants can see whether they qualified to receive one of the 50,000 Diversity Visas available each year. The odds are only a little better than those for the $113 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot: In 2007, just 99,600 applicants qualified for the 2009 Diversity Visa out of more than 9.1 million entries. (Not all applicants accept the visa.)