Difference between revisions of "522: Google Trends"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 01:37, 28 January 2015

Google Trends
Obama has been writing Lincoln/Obama erotic fan fiction on his secret livejournal. Excerpt: Lincoln lay back on the bed, nude save for his trademark stovepipe hat. 'Tell me,' he purred seductively, as he and Obama formed a more perfect union. 'When you come, is it 10% ethanol?'
Title text: Obama has been writing Lincoln/Obama erotic fan fiction on his secret livejournal. Excerpt: Lincoln lay back on the bed, nude save for his trademark stovepipe hat. 'Tell me,' he purred seductively, as he and Obama formed a more perfect union. 'When you come, is it 10% ethanol?'

Explanation

Google keeps track of which searches are most popular in which regions as part of more general data mining to improve their service. For the enjoyment of others, they release select, non-personal parts of this data under the banner "Google Trends."

The first statistic - that "Men kissing" was popular in Utah, a state normally opposed to homosexuality - is real. The others are made up for the sake of the joke. In order:

  • Ubuntu is a Linux distribution; Redmond, WA is home to Microsoft, the company that makes rival operating system Windows.
  • 2010 was not a presidential election year in the United States; Wasilla, AK is home to Sarah Palin, a politician known for making such gaffes.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the US president from 1861 to his assassination in 1865; Chicago, IL is home to Barack Obama, who apparently reads (presumably erotic) fanfiction about the former president.
  • Velociraptors is a favorite xkcd topic; There are also frequently references to Back to the Future as with the hoverboards here. Somerville, MA is home to Randall Munroe. The speed of a Raptor on Hoverboard is given in 526: Converting to Metric.
  • "How is babby formed?" was the title (and most of the content) of an infamous Yahoo! Answers question (see the title text of 481: Listen to Yourself). Wasilla, AK is, again, home to Sarah Palin; a few months prior to this comic's release, Sarah Palin revealed that her daughter, Bristol Palin, was pregnant.
  • Mountain View, CA is home to Google headquarters. The implication is that Google employees are putting "I hate this website" into Google.

With regards to the excerpt Randall provides in the title text:

  • The "more perfect union" line comes from the preamble to the US Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union..."
  • Ethanol is the more scientific name for alcohol, as in, the stuff they serve in a bar that you have to be 21 years of age or older to drink. With regards to the title-text, "10% ethanol" refers to automotive gasoline that includes, well, 10% ethanol (usually made from corn or other vegetables), with the hopes of reducing the dependence on oil for fuel.

Transcript

Bloggers were recently amused to discover that,
according to Google Trends, the search term:
"men kissing" is most popular in conservative Utah.
A few other embarrassing correlations:
Search Term Top City
Installing Ubuntu Redmond, WA
Running for President in 2010 Wasilla, AK
Lincoln Fan Fiction Chicago, IL
Raptors on Hoverboards Somerville, MA
How is babby formed? Wasilla, AK
I hate this website Mountain View, CA


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Discussion

This comic made me laugh and laugh and laugh, some of it even out loud. Randall for President in 2014! 108.162.219.223 19:24, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The next election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Maybe Randall does create a xkcd party and he will run for that job; but I'm pretty sure he won't. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:50, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
That makes me feel sad, he would make a far better candidate than either of the current ones. No matter who gets elected now, America has lost. We can only hope they don't destroy too much. 162.158.2.60 11:47, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

I disagree with the explanation of the the title text; it makes no sense. Why would a car "lie back, nude, with his trademark stovepipe hat"? I think it's a reference to Obama pushing for more ethanol in fuels; the blend now averages at about 10%. Apparently Obama recently backed of increasing the number, but at the time, ethanol was a big political issue. I don't know why "ethanol" in particular, but it being a car is more than nonsensical: it doesn't fit the words. 162.158.60.23 02:24, 6 June 2016 (UTC)