2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Year in Review 2012: Top 10 Searches
Chalk up another one for the voter: People may have been wearied by the negative campaigns, but they persevered through the slog of politics and made "elections" the year's most searched term. The fifth iteration of an Apple smartphone, a glorious gathering of athletes, the passing of a superstar, and a bevy of celebrities—including one duchess—also mesmerized online audiences in 2012.
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- 10 Things to Know for Today
- Britain poorer than all US states except Mississippi
Having spent a number of years living in Alabama, I’m well acquainted with the phrase, “Thank God for Mississippi.” While we had a lot of problems, we could always point to our western border for a state that was even more backwards. The Spectator's Fraser Nelson did the math and explains “Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi.” His methodology is pretty straightforward: You take the US figures for GDP per state (here), divide it by population (here) to come up with a GDP per capita figure. Then get the equivalent figure for Britain: I used the latest Treasury figures (here) which also chime with the OECD’s (here).
- Joan Rivers In Medically Induced Coma (Source); Melissa Rivers Thanks Fans For Support Of Her Mom
Joan Rivers has been placed in a medically induced coma, a source told Access Hollywood on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the star was rushed to Mt. Sinai hospital in New York, after she stopped breathing during a routine surgery. Joan, 81, went in for throat surgery on Thursday at Yorkville Endoscopy. She was rushed from Yorkville to Mt. Sinai hospital at the time.
- Brewer Releases 99-Pack of Beer
We all know the saying "Everything is BIG in Texas." But for beer lovers everywhere, this is even cooler than big hats, belt buckles, and barbecue. Actually, this would be ideal with a lot of freshly charred barbecue. Austin Beerworks has just unveiled a new over-the-top way to get its beer into your gut with a limited-edition 99-pack of brewski. The big box of brew will set you back $99 (or a buck a can), which is pretty good for a can of this Texas good stuff. But don't expect it to fit in your compact car with ease. The packaging is insanely exaggerated at seven feet long. The brewery released the gigantic box as part of a social media campaign for its Peacemaker Anytime Ale.
- Disputed Kurdish oil tanker mysteriously goes dark off Texas coast
A tanker near Texas loaded with $100 million of disputed Iraqi Kurdish crude has disappeared from satellite tracking, the latest development in a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse between Baghdad and the Kurds. The AIS ship tracking system used by the U.S. Coast Guard and Reuters on Thursday showed no known position for the United Kalavrvta, which was carrying 1 million barrels of crude and 95 percent full when it went dark. Several other tankers carrying disputed crude from Iran or Iraqi Kurdistan have unloaded cargoes after switching off their transponders, which makes their movements hard to track.
- How Far, the Stars? Quasars Solve 'Seven Sisters' Star Cluster Mystery
Lead researcher Carl Melis first took on the project five years ago while still in graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles, after meeting with John Stauffer (a co-author on the paper). Melis recalled being astounded to learn there was a dispute over how far away the Pleiades are from Earth. "Here's this canonical cluster — everyone knows the Pleiades, even the layperson — and we don't even know how far away it is," Melis, who is now an astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, told Space.com. When astronomers estimate stellar distances for objects that are relatively close to Earth, they use a method called parallax.
- China investigates senior legislator amid corruption crackdown
China is investigating a member of its top legislature, the country's corruption watchdog said on Friday, the latest high-profile official to be targeted in a government campaign to stamp out graft. Bai Enpei, the ruling Communist Party's former top official in Yunnan province and the deputy head of an environmental protection committee in the National People's Congress, has been put under investigation, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said. Bai, 67, was "suspected of serious discipline and law violations", the watchdog said in a one-line statement on its website, using party language for corruption.
- Captain of doomed South Korea ferry says lack of checks was customary: Yonhap
The captain of a ferry that capsized in April in South Korea's worst maritime accident in decades told a court on Friday he was just following established practice in not making safety checks before the vessel set off, Yonhap news agency reported. Lee Joon-seok, 68, appeared at times disoriented and unable to properly understand questions when he took the stand for the first time in the court in the southwestern city of Gwangju that is trying him and three crew members for homicide, it said. The overloaded ferry Sewol capsized and sank on a routine voyage that killed about 300 people, causing an outpouring of grief as well as outrage at President Park Geun-hye's government for what was seen by many as a botched rescue operation.