The weekday report for the topics and people that are trending on
Yahoo! and across the Web for Thursday May 3, 2012.
Research by Search editor Liz Streng
A politician long oppressed by the opposition now joins them in a country's historic chapter. A man who comes from a long line of daredevils decides on a honeymoon destination for his next trick. And even those who don't know the odds of Daddy Long Legs versus Rousing Sermon versus I'll Have Another will be sipping a southern tradition this weekend. Toast to what you readers have been searching.
STANDOUT SPIKES (a deeper dig behind three trending terms)
Aung San Suu Kyi: The politician's roots in Burma's evolution went deep. Her father founded the army and helped win the country's independence from the British in 1947, only to be assassinated that year. Her mother gradually rose in the political ranks, becoming an ambassador to India and Nepal. Kyi received her degrees in England, where she met her husband, and returned in 1998 to take care of her mother. Politics though was in her blood, and she would become the general secretary for the National League for Democracy. Her party won a majority in the 1990 general election, but she was under house arrest. Out of 21 years, she was under house arrest for almost 15. Now she has signed an oath to join a parliamentary system created by the opposition who jailed her. A biopic about the Nobel Laureate, "The Lady," starring Michelle Yeoh, is in theaters now. Aung will travel abroad for the first time in 24 years to see her sons and grandchildren.
Niagara Falls Tightrope Walk: Nik Wallenda, as the surname might hint, descends from the Great Wallendas—about seven generations, to be precise. In keeping with his family lineage, he has earned a Guinness Book of World Records for biking on a high wire. Now he plans the death-defying trick to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope June 15, which inspired a fifth grader to ask, "I'm not trying to be rude but, are you crazy?" A Discovery Channel reality series on this daredevil this fall.
Mint Julep Recipe: As the Kentucky Derby rides into Churchill Downs this weekend, people are searching for the race's signature drink. According to the Derby site, about 120,000 of these drinks are served up at the racetrack, which requires 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.
Controversy rages over the minutiae of a proper julep -- chipped or shaved ice, crystalline or boiled sugar -- but julep purists agree that a real mint julep must be served in a frosted silver julep glass. And, of course, made with the finest Kentucky bourbon. Moonlight and magnolias are optional.
Other spikes, by beat...
NEWS & POLITICS
- Osama Bin Laden Documents: More than 6,000 documents found during the raid that killed the Al-Qaeda leader have been released. One takeaway sees him as a delusional micromanager.
- Alex McNear: The president's ex has received attention after Vanity Fair published an excerpt from Washington Post writer David Maraniss' biography that includes love letters from her and Genevieve Cook, who dated Obama in the early 1980s (not at the same time).
- Chen Guangcheng: The Chinese dissident claims U.S. officials "abandoned him to avoid upsetting the Chinese government."
- DEA Agents: Speaking of abandoning, the Drug Enforcement Administration has apologized for forgetting about a University of California engineering student handcuffed in a locked holding cell for more than four days without food, water, or toilet facilities. Daniel Chong, who had been brought in for smoking pot but not arrested, has filed a legal claim for damages suffered including nearly failing kidneys.
- John Edwards: The politician's daughter Cate left the courtroom Wednesday before ex-aide Christina Reynolds testified about her mother Elizabeth. She testified back in 2007 that Elizabeth collapsed after learning of mistress Rielle Hunter.
- Michele Bachmann: The Minnesota congresswoman endorsed Mitt Romney: "I'm honored to announce that today, I am endorsing Governor Mitt Romney for President of the United States, a man who will preserve the American dream of prosperity and liberty."
- Neo-Nazi: Former Marine, border militia leader, and reported neo-Nazi Jason Todd Ready killed four people, including his girlfriend and 16-month daughter, and committed suicide in suburban Phoenix.
- FAMU: The death of the Florida A&M University band member Robert Champion from hazing has resulted in 13 people charged in his death, five months after he died on a chartered bus following a performance.
- National Day of Prayer: Millions of Americans participated in the religious observance. Atheists and secular humanists have created their own event, National Day of Reason.
- Nayati Shamelin Moodliar: A ransom resulted in the return of the 12-year-old boy, kidnapped in Malaysia. His disappearance was spread throughout social media.
- Mensa: The group has a new member: a two-year-old with an estimated IQ of 154.
SCIENCE & NATURE
- SWAT Secret Weapon: The Recon Scout, a lightweight robotic camera fashioned like a dumbbell with wheels, can be tossed into an area to allow SWAT members a view before they enter.
- Ridiculously Automated Dorm: University of California Berkeley freshman Derek Low converted his dorm room into BRAD (Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm), replete with automatic window shades, voice-activated lights, and "emergency party button." A video demo though resulted in a notice from resident hall officials to appear at a judicial hearing.
- Rebel Coelacanth: A new species has emerged from museum fossils. According to University of Alberta in Canada researchers, the name Rebellatrix comes from rebel, since "it does everything a coelacanth should not do."
- Jet Pack: Men with wings? At least one man jetted for 11 minutes over Rio de Janeiro.
BUSINESS & MONEY
- Edvard Munch: The artist's painting "The Scream" was auctioned at $120 million, about $40 million more than expected.
- CNN Ratings: Nielsen ratings revealed April was its lowest-rated month in 10 years.
- Richard Branson: Virgin Atlantic is "classing up its bar service" with oversized ice cubes in the shape of the founder's head.
- Spirit Airline Fees: "Spirit Airlines is at it again. Almost two years after becoming the first U.S. carrier to charge for carry-on bags, the airline is more than doubling that fee for certain passengers. Starting Nov. 6, passengers who wait until they arrive at the gate to pay for their carry-on will pay $100 each way, according to the airline's web site. The current price is $45."
- Julia Bluhm: The Waterville, Maine, 8th grader is crusading against against airbrushed ads and traveled to NYC Wednesday to lead a protest on the doorstep of the offices of the Hearst Corporation, which owns Seventeen magazine. The protest, set up like a mock photo shoot, was staged by Bluhm "to show Seventeen that we love our body just for who we are and we don't need Photoshop to fix us."
- $99 Xbox: Microsoft might subsidize the player if people buy a two-year contract for Xbox Live Gold.
- New DC Comic Titles: Fans had to wait more than eight months, but now DC Entertainment will be publishing six more titles, including an update to "G.I. Combat."
- Neil Armstrong: The astronaut has a four-part interview series on evoTV's "The Bottom Line." Incidentally, his 1967 Corvette is up for auction on eBay.
- Ashton Kutcher Spoof: A Popchips ad featuring the actor as Bollywood producer Raj, in "brownface" and speaking with an Indian accent, has been dumped after criticisms that the ads were racist. CEO and Founder Keith Belling apologized: "We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended."
- Demi Lovato X Factor: The singer as well as Britney Spears will be the newest "X-Factor" judges.
- Patricia Medina: The popular actress of the 1950s has died at age 92.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor Case: The 95-year-old actress' daughter and husband are settling a dispute over care and finances outside of court. Daughter Constance Francesca Hilton has requested a conservatorship, but Gabor's husband of 25 years, Frederic von Anhalt, opposes the petition.
- Linda Evangelista: The supermodel, who once said she doesn't get out of bed for less than $10k, asked double that for monthly child support from French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault. They have a five-year-old son.
- Junior Seau Dead: A Thursday autopsy may hint at why 12-time Pro Bowler and former San Diego Chargers linebacker was found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. At least three former NFL players to have now committed suicide in the last 14 months. Dave Duerson also shot himself in the chest in 2011, and Ray Easterling killed himself in February. (See Y! Big Story: What the brain tells us, about advancements in finding out the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.)
- Tim Welke: The MLB umpire has the honor of having the "worst call of the year" in the Dodgers-Rockies game on Wednesday—and it's only May.
- Jered Weaver: The Angels' starting pitcher pitched a no-hitter Wednesday, his first. He cried after being joined by his family.
- Eric LeGrand: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the paralyzed defensive tackle to recognize his "character, spirit, and perseverance."
- Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd: The former Red Sox player admitted to using crack cocaine daily during the 1986 baseball season in an ESPN interview.
- Tyson Chandler: Knicks player won NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award.
HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WEB
What's popular on Yahoo!, Twitter, Google Trends, CNN, BBC, Hollywood Reporter, and other sources.
- Tanning booth mom calls arrest for taking daughter, 5, a misunderstanding; 'It was a sunburn,' dad says
- The RIGHT Way to Load the Dishwasher
- DEA agents apologize for forgetting college student in cell for four days
- Designer of Ann Romney's $1K Shirt Says It's Off The Rack
- 'Supermoon' May Outshine Meteor Shower This Weekend
Twitter Trends (US)
- Cinco de Mayo
- Everyone Is Beautiful
- Iron Man 2
- Steve Novak
- Summer Jam
Catch up with the latest Trending Now video: Long-Lost Apple Commercial Released, Featuring Steve Jobs as FDR