Small Talk Ammo for April 16, 2009

Small Talk Ammo for April 16, 2009

By Jack Busch

For this installment of small talk ammo, I'll be providing you the answers you need to make you a short term guru on viral ephemera and newsworthy hodgepodgia. The question: Why the hell are people Googling (fill in the blank)? You can learn a lot about what the world cares about by examining what they Google. For the most part, it's American Idol, but let's plumb some topics with a bit more depth.

So, without further ado…

Why The Hell Are People Googling…

What's the difference between peanut butter and jam?

File under: Television

Blame the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” for this Google trend and many others as well. Called “Mosbius Design” Monday's episode mentioned a joke with a punchline too dirty for TV. Most entertainment rags and TV blogs are too timid to utter the ending to this joke. But Clique Clack isn't; click here to read the punchline.

Digging deeper. “How I Met Your Mother” has somewhat of a track record for sending people scrambling for the Google. Remember:

All of these were viral (fake) websites spun off from in-jokes on “How I Met Your Mother.”

The 10th Amendment

File under: Don't Mess With Texasasse

Republican Governor Rick Perry ain't happy with D.C.'s financial stimulus plan and he's evoking the 10th amendment to asset the sovereignty of the Lone Star State. The main thrust of the 10th amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Read the entire house resolution – if you're into that sort of thing – by checking out HCR 50.

History rewind. It's been over 150 years since Texas exerted its sovereignty from Mexico. Rember the Alamo ?

Section 8, Clause 10

File under: Pirates

Somali pirates attempted to hijack the Maerck Alabama but were thwarted, first by the crew, then by navy snipers after they took the ship's captain hostage. Three of the pirates were killed and one taken into custody. What to do with him? Turns out there's a clause specifically pertaining to pirates on “the high seas” in the Constitution. Read it.

Deja phew. Somali pirates tried again on April 14, this time launching rocket propelled grenades at the U.S.-flagged Liberty Sun. This time, they were deflected before they boarded.

Conficker Eye Chart

File under: Technology

Still worried about the Conficker virus? Don't want to drop a wad of cash on fancy anti-virus software? Check out the conficker eye chart – a quick and free way to self-diagnose.

What's in a name? Remember when viruses had nice names, like ILOVEYOU? Conficker, though, sounds crassly a bit like the German verb, ficken , which, I suppose, is what its supposed to do to your computer.


File under: Health

Smoking, stealing, drinking – forgivable habits, perhaps, in the face of a massive economic downturn. But with big cigarette and alcohol tax hikes and overcrowded prisons, you may be interested in kicking this trio of vices. Naltrexone can help, maybe.

Sticky fingers. Maybe kleptomania explains this guy's behavior. Or maybe naltrexone can help the clerk's obvious gambling problem.

Muppet Scat

File under: Television

Why are all of you Googling “Muppet Scat?” Because Jon Stewart told you to. Did you miss that episode? Catch it at

Soft news sway. Stewart's influence over the hearts and minds of young America is downright disturbing sometimes – especially given that he's the anchor of a fake news show. For better or for worse, Stewart and Colbert have startling clout. Read about how satire plays the important role of questioning authority – otherwise known as “The Daily Show Effect .”

That's all for now folks. Want to keep your own finger on the pulse? Check out Google Hot Trends. For the skinny on the most current trends, be sure to check the Google News search for the most recent gab.

Jack Busch is a Pittsburgh-based writer and narcissist. He pays the bills by Googling rich people all day long. No joke.