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Online Oddities: Fact or Fiction Edition

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W’s AOL search records, orangutan dating site, Firefox crop circles, and Microsoft on LSD. Chalk these incongruent pairings up for what makes this week in August 2006, the best online week ever.


W’s AOL Search Records?


Slate continues the Web’s latest fascination, mining the inner sanctum of AOLers, by relating the search history of User 16006693, or as we like to call him, “W.”

Showing an inordinate fascination with free Oakridge Boys downloads and jokes about Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, but not George Bush, dagnab it, W. seeks to discover the whereabouts of Iraq and Lebanon, information about “shee-ites,” and property in Crawford, Texas that isn’t next to Cindy Sheehan.

Our personal favorite searches are for “how to run country when not really inerested” and how to resist the temptation of searching for disrobed rice. We assume the lower-case “r” is intentional.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, User 16006693 doesn’t exist. We think.

AOL Users Want to Be Free, Punk Rock Edition

The Wall Street Journal quantified the leaked AOL data to reveal that over 17 million separate searches (out of 20 million) involved the search for something “free.” Free was followed by “new,” “lyrics,” “county,” “school,” “city,” “home,” “state,” “pictures,” “music,” “sale,” “high,” “map,” “center,” and a three letter word that starts in “s” and ends with “x.”

But it may not be the demographic you’re thinking in regards to that last word (stereotyper!). AOL searches for Pamela Anderson were second to searches for Fall Out Boy suicidal punk rocker Peter Wentz, pictures of whom sans vetements surfaced on the Internet in March.

Speaking Of Attractive Primates

Orangutans serving time in Dutch zoos are looking for jungle love any which way but loose (please hold the applause for weaving in two obscure references in one sentence). Our second favorite apes, next to a certain hysterical baboon with blushing posterior, are soon to have an online dating site to aid them in propagating their species.

Poles Show Approval of Microsoft’s LSD Use

A band of Polish security researchers, known as LSD, have been given free reign to try and send Windows Vista on a bad trip. The four hackers were recently put on Microsoft’s payroll to simulate attacks against the operating system. The move is part of the Redmond, Washington-based company’s initiative to improve its security image.

Aliens Prefer Firefox?

When geek-marketing, anything X-Files can only help. Mozilla recently abused 45,000 square feet of oat crops in Oregon to produce a Firefox logo crop circle. The publicity stunt (it worked, by the way) was in celebration of a milestone 200 million downloads of Microsoft’s largest Web browser competitor.

Well, that’s the official version. But as always, you should trust no one.

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