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I promise this is really about sex, but you will have to read to the end to get through some boring stuff first. Google has a great new toy for nerds such as I: a tool for displaying search trends (http://www.google.com/trends if you are reading this in a text-only email message). The tool or toy shows the frequency of searches for different words at different times, in different language Google search engines, from different cities. These data, we are warned, are based on only a sample of the Google database. No absolute numbers are given. Still the results are interesting.

Input a popular search word like "map" for example, and you find the that the top cities searching for this word are, according to Google:

1. Dublin Ireland
2. London United Kingdom
3. Vancouver Canada
4. Houston United States
5. Brentford United Kingdom
6. Sydney Australia
7. Washington United States
8. New York United States
9. San Francisco United States
10. Manchester United Kingdom

Note that these values are normalized. They show, for example, that a greater proportion of people in Dublin, Ireland were searching for the word "map" than there were searching for "map" in New York. The top "regions" (countries apparently):

1. Ireland
2. New Zealand
3. United Kingdom
4. Australia
5. Singapore
6. United States
7. Canada
8. India
9. Finland
10. Sweden

And the top search languages are:
1. English
2. Swedish
3. Dutch
4. German
5. Italian
6. French
7. Japanese
8. Spanish
9. Chinese
10. Portuguese

That makes sense, since "map" is an English word. Most Japanese or Portuguese are not going to look for this word. Fair enough.

There is a much more popular search word than "maps" however. It is "sex" of course. Millions of people search for this word each month. Where are all those sinners located?
The Google trends for searchword "sex" are:
1. Cairo Egypt
2. Delhi India
3. Chennai India
4. Ankara Turkey
5. Mumbai India
6. Istanbul Turkey
7. Warsaw Poland
8. Zurich Switzerland
9. Brussels Belgium
10. Chicago United States

1. Pakistan
2. Egypt
3. Iran
4. Viet Nam
5. India
6. Indonesia
7. Saudi Arabia
8. Turkey
9. Poland
10. Romania

1. Arabic
2. Vietnamese
3. Turkish
4. Polish
5. Romanian
6. Thai
7. Danish
8. English
9. Dutch
10. Swedish

Very interesting, considering "Sex" is not an Arabic (or Vietnamese or Turkish) word.

For that ever-popular four letter word that starts with "F", the top country is... Iran and the top language is Arabic.

The relative quantitative advantage of Arabic and of Iran for this word has to be seen to be believed, so here are the screen captures of the panels.

Make of it what you will, the disciples of Ayatollah Khomeini and the minions of Ahmadinejad are not all busy studying the Qur'an. Interesting data from the country that lectures the West on "moral depravity."

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000057.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 5 Comments

Hmm.. RE "The 'moral depravity' comment at the end is a cheap shot," Sex is universal, but looking it up as a foreign word on the Internet is not universal.

I admit that it is not directly relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or does it? It would have nothing to do with the Israel-Arab conflict if it didn't have to do with Arabs and with Iran, a country whose leader has vowed to destroy Israel.

I would not build any great theories on these data, but it is interesting nonetheless. And amusing. Anything about sex is amusing, no?

Ami Isseroff, Thursday, May 18th

Hi Ami,

Interesting article. Thailand, touted as the world 'sex capital' figures nowhere, and India getting atleast a bronze medal in all categories! not good. here its usually a younger age group which spends time with computers and internet. that means its worse.
But it could also mean that the average guys in Iran think more of sex than jihad, which is much healthier.

Anubhav, Monday, May 15th


I think Ami is trying to show the hypocrisy of the governments. As a US gay man, I must admit that I delight when the Religious Right in this country shows itself to be engaging in the same behavior it condemns. But I do admit that it has little to do with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict....

Chris, Saturday, May 13th

Given how many young people are in Iran (demographically very different from our ageing populations), I'm not surprised youngsters are mischievously keying in words like sex, big deal. The 'moral depravity' comment at the end is a cheap shot, Ami. Sex is universal and the Iranians and Egyptians aren't any more pious or pure than the rest of us. OK, their governments may go on about moral deparivity, but so does the Moral Majority Christian Right in the US. And I think they are infinitely scarier.

Elkster, Saturday, May 13th

Google's data are accurate. I've just tested it. Did a search on "hockey". Guess which country came first?

shlemazl, Saturday, May 13th

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