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Virginia Tech Murders Dominate Google Zeitgeist This Week


Google Announces Top 10 Gainers for the Week Ending April 12st
The Monday morning massacre of 32 students and teachers at [virginia tech] in Blacksburg led people to search Google for breaking information on the school, the unfolding story, and the killer [Cho Seung-Hui]. Later in the week, [nbc news] headquarters in New York received a package containing Cho’s final manifesto. The name on the package’s return address, [Ismail Ax], was also found written on Cho’s arm and in some of his writing, causing much online speculation over which literary or scriptural meaning he intended by using it. And the sad week ended with the 8th anniversary of [columbine], the Colorado high school shootings.

Another event commemorated on April 20 is [420], a “holiday” which marijuana advocacy groups claim as a day for celebrating and smoking weed. (High Times magazine says the term stems from a group of northern California high school friends in 1971 who would toke up at 4:20 pm with outsiders none the wiser.)

Over in the realm of celebrity and entertainment, celebrity-watchers noted (with apparent delight) that [kate middleton], Prince William’s recent ex-girlfriend, stepped out in London this week, presumably to signal that she’s just fine post-breakup. And a rising star seems to be emerging: searchers sought news on young [shia labeouf], who not only stars in the new “Disturbia,” but has been tapped to appear in the next Indiana Jones film. On a darker celebrity note, stories surfaced about actor [alec baldwin]’s angry (and leaked) phone message to his 12-year-old daughter Ireland -- apparently yet more fallout from the infamously acrimonious divorce and custody battle between Baldwin and Kim Basinger.

Finally this week, something to celebrate: more than 20,000 people braved nor’easter conditions (rain and 30mph winds) to run the 111th [boston marathon].

For breaking news and obscure information alike, people around the world search on Google. What follows is a summary of Google Zeitgeist results for the top gainers on, when comparing search queries that have risen by a significant percentage for the week of April 8-14, 2007.

For more information, visit the Google Zeitgeist at Gainers

1. virginia tech
2. Cho Seung-Hui
3. boston marathon
4. 420
5. nbc news
6. columbine
7. kate middleton
8. Ismail Ax
9. alec baldwin
10. shia labeouf


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