The world's attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012, and Web surfers searched in huge numbers to find out about a royal princess, the latest iPad and a record-breaking skydiver.
Singer Whitney Houston was the "top trending" search of the year, according to Google Inc.'s year-end "zeitgeist" report released this week. Google's 12th annual roundup is "an in-depth look at the spirit of the times as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year," the company said in a blog post Wednesday.
Google defines topics as "trending" when they get a high amount of traffic over a sustained period of time.
In Detroit, the Tigers and Lions dominated this year. When it came to restaurants, Andiamo was tops.
Here's a quick glance and national and local lists from Google.
Top 10 U.S. trending searches in 2012
1. Whitney Houston
2. Hurricane Sandy
3. Election 2012
4. Hunger Games
5. Jeremy Lin
6. Olympics 2012
7. Amanda Todd
8. Gangnam Style
9. Michael Clarke Duncan
10. Kony 2012
Top 10 most searched terms related to Detroit in 2012
1. Detroit Tigers
2. The Detroit News
4. Detroit Lions
5. Detroit Free Press (we're honored!)
6. Detroit Craiglist
7. Detroit Red Wings
8. Presidential Polls
9. Fox 2 Detroit
10. Olympics 2012
Top 10 most searched restaurants on Zagat in Detroit in 2012
1. Andiamo Restaurant
2. Iridescence Restaurant
4. Joe Muer Seafood Restaurant
5. London Chop House
6. Lelli's Restaurant
7. Zingerman's Restaurant
8. Cafe Zola
9. Outback Steakhouse
10. Toasted Oak Restaurant
What about Facebook, Twitter & Yahoo?
This year, Facebook said its top memes included "TBH (To Be Honest)," "YOLO (You Only Live Once)," "SMH (Shake My Head)." Thanks to an endlessly fascinating U.S. presidential campaign, Big Bird of "Sesame Street" made the list after Republican candidate Mitt Romney said he might consider cutting some funds for public broadcasting.
Yahoo said its own top-searched memes for the year included "Kony 2012," a reference to the short film and campaign against Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony; "stingray photobomb" for an unusual vacation snapshot that went viral; and "binders full of women," another nod to Romney for his awkward description of his search for female cabinet members as Massachusetts' governor.
And people were happy to pass on popular Twitter posts by retweeting them. According to Twitter, the year's most popular retweets were President Barack Obama's "Four more years" and Justin Bieber's farewell to 6-year-old fan Avalanna Routh, who died of a rare form of brain cancer: "RIP Avalanna. i love you".
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