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 10 a.m.)
No. 8: "Disney Monorail Accidents." Sunday's deadly monorail accident at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., was the most Google-worthy fatality of a pretty dangerous Fourth of July weekend: On Saturday, four workers were killed in a fireworks explosion on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina when 40 minutes worth of fireworks exploded in four seconds ; fireworks killed one worker in Eastern Pennsylvania; in Spokane, Wash., a police dog spooked by fireworks pried open the lock to its cage and escaped . (He was found the next morning.)
No. 16: "Codex Sinaiticus Online." The oldest bible in the world has gotten the Google Books treatment: Today, the British Library announced it's posting a digital version of more than half of the Codex Sinaiticus, a Bible written in Greek in the fourth century. The Codex contains uncanonical texts, which, a columnist for the Guardian writes , "point up yet again ... the erroneousness of those who insist that the current Biblical text represents the inerrant and unchanging word of God." Visit http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/ to see the Codex. (As of this writing, though, the Web site was down.)
No. 19: "Ok magazine Michael Jackson photo." Michael Jackson queries still account for a quarter of the Top 20 trending searches today. The big story, besides Tuesday's funeral , is the fracas over OK! magazine's $500,000 purchase and subsequent fronting of a photo of Michael Jackson, supine on a stretcher, maybe dead. The New York Post reports that Jay-Z and P Diddy are calling for a boycott of the magazine, but the Los Angeles Times points out that the CBS tabloid news show "The Insider" showed the photo first on Friday.