This is my new favorite thing in the whole world. If you have any interest in the world as it really is, right this second, then I think you will like it too. I’m no great fan of Google and its ever increasingly solid grip on most of our internet lives, but occasionally it get something so right you just have to surrender to it. This one, at least, is just interesting and you don’t have to give up any more of your privacy to enjoy it.
Go here, or Google “trends”, find Google Trends, and click on the colored rectangle in the left sidebar labeled “visualize hot searches in full screen”. Either way, you will find yourself in an up-to-the-second-current visual paradise of the information people are seeking right now. Use the grid icon at the upper right to select how many panels you want to see at once and how they are arranged on your screen, then just sit back and watch. It’s creepy and wonderful and hauntingly beautiful. And if you get curious about any topic, the panels are hot links– just click on the white text and you’ll go directly to the appropriate Google search.
This is elegant and clever and probably useful, but mostly it’s just so much fun. Put it in your bookmarks, keep it running in a tab, go to it any time you get curious or just need a break. Or, in today’s case, visit if you get worried that other people don’t care as much about the death of Ray Manzarek as you do. Google Trends Visualizer. Highly recommended. Thanks to Gizmodo for the tip.