bahstid writes "As the year comes to a close, it's time to look at the big events, memorable moments and emerging trends that captivated us in 2008. As it happens, studying the aggregation of the billions of search queries that people type into the Google search box gives us a glimpse into the zeitgeist — the spirit of the times. While the global aggregated results are what one might expect, the breakdown by country is filled with 'hotmail,' 'yahoo' and 'facebook,' indicating that in 2008 your average user still hasn't quite grasped this address bar thing." This year's focus on the US presidential election and the economic crisis made for some interesting trends. It also seems that many Americans frequently checked their Facebook profile while watching American Idol and wondering who Sarah Palin was.