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google, 2021, trends

See what Americans in each state searched for each day of 2021 in a one-minute video.

Google has become such a ubiquitous part of our lives that the data it reveals is a pretty decent indicator of our collective reality. It's a weird phenomenon, considering the fact that Google has only been a thing for 25 years—basically a single generation—but here we are.

Now that we're wrapping up 2021, we can look back and see what people were searching for the most throughout the year. Reddit user u/V1Analytics pulled together the top trending search terms from Google's 2021 Year in Search summary (for the period before mid-November 2021) and from Google's Daily Search Trends page (from mid-November to now) and illustrated the daily trends for each state in a one-minute video.


It's fascinating to see what Americans were looking up—as well as what they weren't looking up—the most this year.

Watch:

We start with January 6, 2021, which shows most people Googling "Capitol" and "Biden," which isn't surprising considering the attack on the U.S. Capitol as insurrectionists tried to overturn Biden's presidential election win. What is surprising are the six states that were more interested in the Mega Millions jackpot that day. Like, OK people. Really?

Biden dominated searches through January. Soon we collectively turned to the Gamestop (GME) stock phenomenon before a widespread interest in Valheim (video game launch), The Weeknd (Super Bowl performance) and some random power outages. Valheim was apparently super popular before a universal interest in the government's stimulus checks took over the entire second half of March.

In April, Lil Nas X made a splash, followed by rapper DMX. Then Prince Phillip died and Jake Paul had a first-round TKO.

May through early July brought Dogecoin, Dogecoin and more Dogecoin, followed by AMC stock—a very financial period, with some more power outages thrown in for funsies. (Also, Mississippi really likes Dogecoin. Holy moly.)

Then Jeff Bezos went to space and Simone Biles got the twisties, and hey, more power outages! August brought Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida and Jake Paul once again.

In September, Gabby Petito's disappearance had everyone riveted for a solid two weeks before Squid Game, Urban Meyer and Alec Baldwin took over.

October into November saw Travis Scott, Kyle Rittenhouse and Adele dominating people's searches.

Don't blink at the end of November, or you'll miss the school shooting at Oxford High School that piqued people's interest for a day or two before Spotify Wrapped yanked everyone's attention back to what's really important.

Yikes! Tornado in December and then Elon Musk as Time Person of the Year, and that's as far as we've gotten into this month.

It truly is fascinating to see what people were most interested in looking up this year. It's a bit disconcerting in some ways, as well, considering the fact that not one of the top searches had anything to do with the viral pandemic that is still raging and has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans this year alone. Is that a sign that people are tired of the pandemic or just more interested in new things as they come along? Trends can be both organic and driven by what's being covered in the media—and both things can play off of each other—but it's interesting to think about what is missing from this search term synopsis. When we look back at 2021 and its place in U.S. history, is Jake Paul really going to play a bigger role than the coronavirus? Doubtful. Do these search trends offer some indication of why a significant portion of the population is woefully uninformed or misinformed about the pandemic? Possibly.

At any rate, it's an interesting glimpse into what Americans are paying the most attention to.

(A note from V1Analytics about the way the data was collected and presented: "Google Trends provides weekly relative search interest for every search term, along with the interest by state. Using these two datasets for each search term, we're able to calculate the relative search interest for each state for a particular week. Linear interpolation was used to calculate the daily search interest.")

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The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

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In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

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Since he took over the spot from Jon Stewart, Noah has made the show his own with a blend of quick-witted comedy and thoughtful commentary. Noah had big shoes to fill, but to his credit, he didn't try to cram his feet into them. He simply brought his own shoes and placed them right next to Stewart's, offering his own style of comedy and unique perspectives on the world night after night. Even in his "Between the Scenes" segments, where he chatted with the audience during commercial breaks, Noah frequently added insightful context to current issues.

In his final monologue, he credits those insights to his Black women mentors, from his own mother and grandmother to thought leaders he has had on his show to Black women in general. And it's quite telling that he managed to keep it together in his final show, right up until the point when he talked about these women.

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The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser for Variety's "Actors on Actors."

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During one of Variety's “Actors on Actors” segments, the two swapped stories of being in the entertainment business—from the movie “Airheads," which they both starred in, to more recent projects like Sandler’s “Hustle” and Fraser’s “The Whale.”

It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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