Monthly Archives: December 2010

2010 : The Top Trends on Twitter

The year is drawing its last breaths and is ready to say its final farewells. When I look back on the time that has gone by and try to choose a single event/happening that defines the hours that I spent online during the course of the year, one single word comes to mind. Twitter.

I discovered the magic of Twitter pretty late in the game. ( and the year for that matter)

It has, however, possessed me like nothing before or since. So here is a summing up post for this tumultuous, tantalizing thing tagged Twitter.

As of the end of 2010 there are about 175 million registered users on Twitter. The 175 million users generated about 25 billion tweets over the year! (At 4000 odd tweets I have only a 0.000016 percent share in this!)

One of the most interesting things on Twitter is the ‘trending’ feature. The superbly popular feature allows users to check at any given time, what topics are being discussed by more people than ever before.

The overall top 10 Trending topics of 2010 were:

1. Gulf Oil Spill – An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. No surprises here. There is nothing like a big corporate, a nasty environmental disaster and precious precious oil to fire up the imagination!

2. FIFA World Cup– With about 3.18 million fans attending the event and god knows how many more sitting glued to their television, it makes sense that the world Cup was a trending topic on Twitter.

3. Inception – Anyone who has watched the Christopher Nolan masterpiece will readily understand why the movie was trending on twitter. Obviously people were discussing the movie and how nobody seemed to understand the ending. Was DiCaprio dreaming all the while? Tweet Tweet!

4. Haiti Earthquake – The January 12 catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, about 25 km west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, stirred people’s imaginations like never before!

5. Vuvuzela: What’s plastic, a metre long, brightly coloured and sounds like an elephant? It’s the vuvuzela, the noise-making trumpet of South African football fans!

6. Apple iPad- Another one of Steve’s Wonders. Arguably the gadget of the year, Apple’s snazzy tablet had no problems walking into Twitter’s hall of fame. (Ironic if u consider that many may have been using the iPad to tweet about the .. well … iPad!)

7. Google Android – What do you get when you take an Internet search giant and a phenomenon called smart phones and the bewitching appeal of open source? Yes Android.

8. Justin Bieber- er .. I have no clue why he is here! 😉 He also Tops the list on people on Twitter in 2010. (And no, I do not figure on the list, thank you for asking!)

9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – the seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. I guess the twitter trend refers to the movie released on 19 November. Considering that it is a movie based on a book that was released in 93 countries and sold 15 million copies in the first twenty-four hours of going on sale, it is very understandable why the movie is on the list.

10. Pulpo Paul – Paul the Octopus was a common octopus from Weymouth, England, who lived in a tank at a commercial attraction, the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany. Well right up to the point where it’s feeding behaviour started to correctly predict the winner of each of Germany’s seven matches in the 2010 World Cup, as well as the outcome of the final match. No less mysterious was its sudden demise on 26th Oct. Plenty of fodder for tweeps to tweet about. (I personally maintain to this day that the Italian Mafia got to poor Pauly!)

Besides these overall top ten trending topics, there were some other interesting tops on Twitter this year. Hurricane Earl, Pakistan Flood and Prince Williams Engagement all made it to the top news events on Twitter. (Disclaimer. I am not saying that the Royal hook-up was in any way similar to a flood or a hurricane!)

Four of the top 10 technology topics tweeted about were from Apple Inc. – iPad, Apple iOS, Apple iPhone and MacBook Air. Two were from Google – Android and Google Instant. The term “New Twitter” also made it to the list! ( I think mostly thanks to people tweeting ‘When am I going to get the new Twitter!’)

Here is a complete list of top trends for 2010.

P.S. It is interesting that at least 3 of the top 10 trends for 2010 had to do with the FIFA World Cup. (I say three, because I suspect Bieber may be a soccer player! Oh, will someone tell me who this guy is ?) Er .. You can follow me at @saqibiqbalahmed 🙂

The (hug and ) Kiss of Death ! Or Sanjay Dutt’s last ‘Jaadoo ki Jhappi’

Okay. Its official. Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt’s career is over for good. Thank-you very much.

No, seriously! Local media reports suggest that Dutt has been booked for making disparaging remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati during an election rally in Pratapgarh district, Uttar Pradesh.

At a public meeting Thursday at K.P. College in Pratapgarh, Dutt is understood to have said,

Main Mayawatiji ko jaadu ki jhappi aur pappi dono doonga” (I will give both a hug and a kiss to Mayawati)”

(This statement in itself will lead, any astute readers who have seen Mayawati recently, to question Dutts mental equilibrium !)

I mean, If you are a heartthrob and an icon to boot and you say you will dole out hugs and kisses and people are unsporting enough to go and lodge FIRs about your words, well, the writing is clear. Sorry buddy you are no longer a star. Just look at Shah Rukh Khan – he has practically made a career out of hugging and kissing random people, and does anyone object? Not a word of protest.

It just goes to show that the delightfully statuesque Mayawati cannot be taken lightly.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that she has banned all statues of Sanjay Dutt in the whole of Uttar Pradesh.

Did you just look at the Sun? That will be $2.45 please!

A Hot Bargain!

A Hot Bargain!

The Best Things in Life Are Free – the Sun, the Air, the Earth…

Hah, that’s what you thought.. till now. This might come as a nasty shock to all you folks, but I take it as my sacred duty to let you know that the Sun is no longer free. Yes, all you people who have been happily frolicking in the Sun with never a thought to the huge bill that you have been running up all the while, it’s true.

The next time you look at the bright yellow Sun you better be ready to shell out the green stuff.

Angeles Duran, a smart lady from Galicia – a sunny spot on the border with Spain and Portugal has come up with the idea of laying claim to the G2V star. ( that’s the scientific classification for the sun, based on its spectral and luminosity class! It really is. I make up lot of things but would never be able to make up something on this scale!)

The Daily Mail on Monday carried a story about how Duran says that the Sun officially belongs to her now, since she had the celestial body registered in her name at a local notary office.


‘There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law.” the story quotes her as saying.

I can’t imagine why she would think anyone would think her stupid. I mean she has just laid claims to a star whose mass is 743 times the total mass of all the planets in the solar system, and which has a radius that’s 109 times that of the Earth. If she takes it in her head to survey her possession she will take her about eight minutes to get to the Sun even if she travels at the speed of light. And Oh yes, it’s kind of hot – about 6,000°C at its outer visible layer. Does that sound remotely crazy?

In my opinion, she has struck the iron while it is hot. (6,000°C remember !) Smart woman. She saw opportunity and grabbed it with both hands. Moreover, Duran is not one of those folks who just buy up real estate on a whim and then wait for it to start generating revenue. She has definite plans. She wants to slap a fee on everyone who uses the Sun. (This is the only time I am really grateful that my work requires me to work at night and an online copy of a famed British tabloid newspaper is the closest that I ever get to seeing Duran’s latest possession!)

But hey, don’t judge her yet. She is not in it for the money. In fact quite generously she has offered to the Spanish government, half of the proceeds that she gets from people looking at the Sun. If only she had been Irish … Ireland might not have had to go to the European Union for a €67.5 loan package!

Besides this, she plans to devote a tenth of her earnings from the Sun towards research. The report disappointingly does not say what the research is going to focus on. Possibly she wants some research done on coming up with more harebrained ideas for making money. (In which case I would like to warn her.. it’s a waste.. one cannot come up with a more loony idea .. even if one spends millions on research !)

Also very nobly, she has offered to donate another 10 percent of her earnings from the Sun to end world hunger. She might have her eye on the Sun, but has her feet firmly planted on Earth and is very much keyed-in to real problems. ( by real problems, I mean, World hunger, not something like figuring out how she is going to stop you from peeking at the Sun without coughing up the cash!)

For her own self, Duran wants to keep just a measly 10 percent of the proceeds she gets from people making use of the Sun. Touching. Sniff. Sniff. Such a nice person! I just hope she has a good paramedic at hand when she gets her next property tax notification.

And you know what; Duran might actually end up making some money off her idiocy. (Certainly more than what I am making from writing these insane posts!) She can always put the Sun up for auction on eBay. And for all you know someone out there might be crazy and rich enough to cough up some cash to own the Sun. What a bargain. I have it from a good source that this can definitely happen.

After all the list of things sold on eBay is not very impressive. Weird things sold on the Internet include:

#248619068: “The Meaning of Life” for … hold your breath $3.26

Item #2931457201: “Ghost In a Jar” for .. don’t be spooked … $90 million

Well, all luck to her. Meanwhile I will just try to enjoy a few more laughs before someone goes and registers “humour” as their exclusive possession.

P.S. And if you are thinking about going ahead and laying claim to other stars and planets. Desist. It’s already been done. I checked!

P.P.S. Post idea courtesy Divya Sharma.