This week people said goodbye to a blues legend, and hello to a (possible) new face of American money. Read on for more on this week in search:
Amtrak’s tragic accident
First up, we saw a rise in searches for Amtrak after a train that was traveling at more than 100 miles an hour derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The accident killed eight people and injured more than 200, and led people to the web to ask questions about the derailment and about train safety in general. There were more than 500,000 searches for Amtrak on Tuesday, and top questions included “How fast do Amtrak trains go?” and “When will Amtrak resume service?”
Madness down under
“Mad Max: Fury Road” comes out in theaters today, and anticipation for the fourth film in the classic series is running high. The movie, a dystopian thriller set in Australia starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, appeared on the Hot Trends list twice this week, with more than 500,000 searches yesterday.
While a battle for survival in the Outback takes place on screen, a real-life high-stakes story was playing out this week in Australia. The government told the actor Johnny Depp that he had to remove his two Yorkie dogs from the country by Saturday or they would be euthanized. Australia has strict laws about bringing animals into the country, and Boo and Pistol hadn’t followed proper procedure. There were more than 50,000 searches in the U.S. for the actor as people followed the doggie drama. But that’s nothing compared to searches in Australia:
Today, people are saying goodbye to B.B. King, who died yesterday at the age of 89. The blues guitarist (the name “B.B.” comes from “Blues Boy”) was a legend in music circles, and influenced stars like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. More than half a million searches and an outpouring of memories followed the news of his death.
“American Idol” fans are saying farewell to the popular Fox show. “Idol” crowned its 14th winner this week, Connecticut-based Nick Fradiani, and announced that next season will be its last. There were more than 200K searches for the show the day of the finale and announcement. And elsewhere in long-running Fox TV series news, “The Simpsons” voice actor Harry Shearer (the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and many other beloved yellow characters), won’t be back for the show’s 27th season. Show co-creator James L. Brooks isn’t giving up hope, though, and neither, it seems, are searchers, who sent Shearer into the top charts yesterday.
Ladies in green
Searches spiked for Harriet Tubman this week after the abolitionist and Underground Railroad hero won an online poll about who should be the new face of the $20 bill. More than 600K people voted in the Women on 20s campaign, in the end choosing Tubman over Eleanor Roosevelt by a slim margin. The petition would need to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Regardless of whose face is on the front, you’d need 8 million 20s to buy “Women in Algiers,” the Picasso painting that broke records this week at Christie’s in New York when it sold for $160 million. The anonymous buyer made the cubist painting the most expensive to ever sell at auction, and now it’s the top Picasso painting in search to boot.