The hottest Olympian? No longer the bust that is Bode Miller. Tanith Belbin gets the online gold medal, according to Yahoo's buzz index. She's a newly American ice dancer, whose good looks made her name the most-searched-for term during the winter games. There was a run on "tanith belbin photos" and "tanith belbin pics," suggesting a hunger for something worth more than a thousand words.
Last year the Washington Post's Dana Priest told a chilling story about a German man of Lebanese decent who was abducted on vacation in Macedonia and wound up spending months in an Afghanistan prison cell until it was determined that he was not a member of al Qaida. The rendition of Khaled El-Masri didn't help U.S.-German relations. Some recent German press reports question just how innocent El-Masri was.
Apple crowed about selling its one billionth song for download last week (Coldplay's "Speed of Sound"). But someone got there first: TouchTunes, which delivers to digital jukeboxes, has sold more. But it isn't rumored to be readying a slick new boombox.
Forget Iceland. If you want a really cool place to vacation, consider Verkhoyansk, the Siberian outpost considered the coldest city on the globe. It's plugging its record -67.8 degrees celsius (minus 154 fahrenheit) temperature with a "Tourism at the Earth's Cole Pole promotion for extreme tourists, Der Spiegel reports. Only hitch: a neighboring Arctic town thinks it's the coldest.
Good to know that some of what Yahoo! calls the nation's "wildest , weirdest and wackiest street names" are within a few hours drive. Second place went to Divorce Court in Heather Highlands, Pa. Unexpected Road in Buena, N.J. and Shades of Death Road in Warren County, N.J. ranked 7th and 8th respectively. The winner of the online poll sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors: Psycho Path in Traverse City, Mich.
When did blondes start having more fun? You've got to go back to caveman days. The Times of London says food shortages gave northern European woman blonde hair, and these traits made them stand out against their rivals during a fiercely competitive period at the end of the Ice Age, when men were scarce.
That guy sitting next to you at the Terrorism - Past, Present and Future course at Yale? That would be the former spokesman for the Taliban. Chip Brown wrote the cover piece for the Sunday Times Magazine on Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, who you may from Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, insulting a woman who objected to the Taliban's treatment of women. He was 22 when he toured America, and defended the fundamentalist regime's decision to destroy those giant Buddha statues. He's now at Yale on a student visa. That angers John Fund of The Wall Street Journal, who notes one reason Rahmatullah was admitted was that Yale had previously lost an intriguing foreign student to Harvard.
The scribbled text of Johnny Rotten's reaction to the Sex Pistols's acceptance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "Next to SEX - PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. We're not coming. Were not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table, or $15,000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organization selling us a load of old famous." For more, Rotten's the Filth and the Fury site.