The weekday report for the topics and people that are trending on
Yahoo! and across the Web for Friday, May 4, 2012
Research by Search editor Liz Streng
A cease-fire has done little to stop the bloody clashes in Syria, where residents in the country's largest city have decided to take a stand against the government violence. Far above the madness, a double astronomical event will occupy night-watchers the whole weekend. And those who like a bargain — as in free — may want to check into the neighborhood comic book stores this Saturday for an annual event that has spread to 40 countries. For more reading, here are the searches — and the stories behind them — that you readers have pulling up across the Web.
STANDOUT SPIKES (a deeper dig into three trending terms)
Syria: Aleppo had not participated in the civil war against President Bashar Assad, but the country's largest city became the site of the largest protests against the Syrian president since March 2011. Thousands gathered Friday after a raid at Aleppo University, following a campus protest, reportedly resulted in the death of four students and the arrest of 200. At least five are said to have been killed in Aleppo and Damascus, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates 20 have died in 24 hours in Syrian protests. U.N. envoy Kofi Annan has said peace negotiations remain on track, but the Obama administration stated, "If the regime's intransigence continues, the international community is going to have to admit defeat." And even greater fear lies in wait: Syria has a stockpile of chemical weapons.
Halley's Comet: Astronomy hobbyists will have some late-night options. Besides the Saturday night Supermoon, celestial admirers can also try for a peek at the Eta Aquarid meteor shower at a rate of 40 to 60 meteors per hour. Earth intersects the debris left behind from Halley's Comet, giving earthlings a light show. The peak is expected to last from the night of May 5 through the morning of May 6. Halley itself remains elusive; last seen in 1986, it won't show itself again until 2061. To stream the show on your screen, check out the NASA page.
Free Comic Book Day: As if "The Avengers" weren't enough, now comes a day devoted to freebie graphic novels. The 11th annual event on May 5 is, naturally, a gimmick to get people into comic book stores. The idea came from Flying Color Comics and Other Cool Stuff in Concord, Calif., and more than 25 million comics in 40 countries have passed into eager hands. Some locations will be offering "Avengers: Age of Ultron Point One," "Spider-Man Season One," and DC Comics' "The New 52 Special Edition" with the Dark Knight, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
Other spikes, by beat...
NEWS & POLITICS
- Chen Guangcheng: A resolution may be near: The blind Chinese dissident has been offered a fellowship at New York University, offering a face-saving way out of China. His family has to apply for visas.
- Kent State Shootings: Survivors of the 1970 shootings at Kent State University want a new probe into whether the Ohio National Guard was ordered to fire at the unarmed students.
- Drew Peterson: The former police sergeant appeared at an Illinois county courtroom Friday. He has been jailed since 2009 on suspicion in the disappearance of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. Another hearing is set for May 17.
SCIENCE & HISTORY
- Byzantine Empire: Connecticut seventh-grader Benjamin Coady spotted an error in a map on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Byzantine Empire map left out areas now known as southern Spain and northern Morocco.
- Roanoke Lost Colony: Another map worth a second look may be a 425-year-old one that could give a clue about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Settlers in North Carolina's Roanoke Island disappeared en masse in the late 16th century.
- Prehistoric Artifact: An anonymous Goodwill donation of a pottery piece may be a prehistoric artifact from an Oklahoma Native American burial site.
- Infectious Disease Research: A 25-year-old man, while assisting in developing a vaccine for Neisseria meningitidis, died after contracting the disease himself.
- Igor Vovkovinskiy: The tallest American, measuring 7 feet 8 inches, needs decent kicks for his feet. He's had 16 foot surgeries in six years.
- Real-life Seven Dwarfs: Now for the little people: The Johnston family of Barnesville, Ga., measure about 4feet tall and have nicknamed themselves after the fairy tale coal miners. They're so far the largest family of achondroplasia dwarfs: The dwarfism affects extremities.
BUSINESS & MONEY
- Spirit Airlines Boycott: A Facebook campaign wants to push for a boycott, not because of its new baggage fee, but because the carrier rejected a refund of $197 to a vet who had to cancel a flight to see his daughter due to his terminal esophageal cancer. Spirit currently has the worst customer complaint rate, although the CEO called the numbers "an irrelevant statistic."
- EdX course: Want a piece of the Ivy League? Harvard and MIT will double-team and offer free online courses to students around the world. Each will throw in $30 million to the program.
- Samsung Galaxy S3: The Android smartphone debuted in London and comes to U.K. stores May 30.
LIFESTYLES & ENTERTAINMENT
- American Idol 2012:"American Idol" is down to the final four after Skylar Laine's elimination.
- "The Avengers": The superhero movie earned $18.7 million at U.S. and Canadian midnight screenings, an amount that ranks the movie at No. 8 for all-time best midnight openings.
- Soundgarden: The grunge rock band premiered the video of "Live to Rise" Thursday. The song's featured in "The Avengers."
- "Boyfriend" Video: Justin Bieber debuted the video for his single Thursday.
- Elder Scrolls Online: Game maker Bethesda announced Friday the franchise will have a massively multiplayer online (MMO) version, partnering with ZeniMax Online Studios and under the direction of director Matt Firor. Expect the game for PCs and Macs in 2013.
- Star Wars Day: May the Fourth be with you! Today is Star Wars Day.
- Cinco de Mayo: The annual day celebrating Mexican heritage is tomorrow.
- Adam Yauch: The "Beastie Boys" rapper MCA died at age 47. He had suffered from salivary gland cancer (a very rare cancer) since 2009 and was unable to attend the Hall of Fame induction in April.
- Ted Nugent: Can kidney stones cause rants? The singer berated CBS reporter Jeff Glor Friday morning when he suggested that Nugent wasn't a Mitt Romney kind of moderate and swore at the CBS producer. Nugent's wife made him apologize to the producer, and Nugent told Glor he was rushed to the emergency room to get the kidney stone removed.
- Scumbag Steve: Blake Boston is cashing in on his meme fame to release a rap song on iTunes every Thursday, "until he decides not to."
- Chris Harrison: File this under taking job too seriously: "The Bachelor" host will join the ranks after he and his wife of 18 years divorce.
- Demi Moore: Don't bother following @MrsKutcher on Twitter. She changed to @JustDemi, four months after tweeting "changing my twitter name isn't a top priority right now. sorry it bothers so many of u. should I not tweet until I do? does it really matter?"
- Junior Seau: The family of the late NFL linebacker will donate his brain to science. Studies have been ongoing to study the effect of repeated head hits and concussions.
- Deion Sanders: Criminal mischief charges have been filed against the Pro Football Hall of Famer following an April 23 exchange between him and wife Pilar. He allegedly called the police several times until they arrested Pilar, and later tweeted all about it.
- Mariano Rivera: A torn ACL will sideline the Yankees' relief pitcher for the rest of the year and maybe end his career.
- Roger Clemens' Trial: Exhibit 52C, Miller Lite beer can. Exhibit 52D, FedEx box. Exhibits 52E-X, syringes, needles, cotton, and other items presented as evidence of anabolic steroid use for the former Red Sox player. Federal agent Jeff Nowitzy gave testimony this week, and next week will be Clemens' former strength coach, Brian McNamee.
- Roy Halladay: The Philadelphia Phillies pitcher is on leave for a short while to attend to family matters.
HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WEB
What's popular on Yahoo!, Twitter, Google Trends, CNN, BBC, Hollywood Reporter, and other sources.
- Can Going Without Money Hurt the Economy? One Man's Quest to Be Penniless
- Best Buy Employee Wrongly 'Outed' Denver Man
- 'Supermoon' May Outshine Meteor Shower This Weekend
- 13-year-old finds mistake in Metropolitan Museum of Art map
- Researchers say they have new clue to Lost Colony
Twitter Trends (US)
- Danny Castillo
- John Cholish
- Beastie Boys
- Adam Yauch
- Phil Mushnick
- Joe Mather
- Brass Monkey
Kentucky.com Most Populart
- Kentucky will not play traditional rivals Indiana UNC next season
- Mark Story: No reason is good enough for Kentucky-Indiana to end
- Calumet Farm sold for over $36 million
- Fayette assistant county attorney Brian Mattone dies in Woodford wreck
- Man shot to death on East Loudon Avenue identified as 19-year-old
- Derby 2012: Journalists recall the Derby celebs who cast a memorable light
Catch up with the latest Trending Now video Thousands Plan to Boycott Spirit Airlines for Refusing to Refund Dying Vet's Ticket