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. 18: "paula abdul american idol." Paula Abdul's improv prose-poetry will no longer grace America's most-watched TV show. After contract negotiations fell apart, Abdul broke the news over Twitter last night: "With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to #IDOL. I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day1become an international phenomenon." The New York Post has a slide-show retrospective of Abdul's Idol career.
No. 22: "psycho donuts." The media is going " crazy " with " insane "-ly bad puns about Psycho Donuts, a mental illness-themed pastry shop in Campbell, Calif., with doughnut names taken right out of the DSM-IV. ("The Bipolar" looks pretty tasty.) Shortly after the shop opened, the National Alliance on Mental Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia urged Psycho Donuts to change its name, and co-owner Kipp Berdiansky debated a mental-health advocate on local television.
No. 86: "sturgeon moon." According to The Farmer's Almanac , tonight's full moon is also known as the "Full Sturgeon Moon" because Native Americans used to catch the huge Great Lakes-dwelling fish most easily during August. Let's be thankful that it's not March, when lovers stroll arm-in-arm through the park under a "Full Worm Moon."