Today's Google Trends: The Real X-Files

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 17 2009 10:31 AM

Today's Google Trends: The Real X-Files

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.):

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No. 2: "Dancing With the Stars" and No. 3: "Tom Delay." No, this is not a mistake. Today on Good Morning America , Tom Bergeron, the host of the popular reality TV show, announced that former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay will be among those to try to emulate Fred Astaire this season. DeLay is the first politician to appear on the show.

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No. 14: "aurora spy plane." Today, Britain's Ministry of Defense opened its secret UFO files containing the details of hundreds of sightings between 1981 and 1996. The so-called "real-life X-files" includes the report of an incident on March 31, 1993, in which more than 70 people reported seeing a large, low-flying object. Many have speculated that this was no UFO but actually a secret unmanned U.S. spy plane called "Aurora," rumored to be capable of hypersonic flight. Read the reports and judge for yourself on the Telegraph 's Web site.

No. 99: "Radiohead Wall of Ice." Radiohead released a free single on its Web site today called " These Are My Twisted Words ." Some have speculated that the band itself leaked the song last week, while others are postulating that the text accompanying the leak hints at the release of a full-length EP called Wall of Ice . Last week, the band followed up the release of a download-only single dedicated to Harry Patch, Britian's last living World War I veteran, by telling The Believer that it had no interest in releasing full-length albums. "None of us want to go into that creative hoo-ha of a long-play record again," frontman Thom Yorke said .

Photograph of Tom DeLay courtesy of JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images.

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