SEARCHING for the meaning of life? If a higher power can't help, then there's always Google. Last week it transpired that people in India lead the world in searching for "nanotechnology" on Google (29 July, p 25). Now we find that the people of Brisbane, Australia, come top in their eagerness to type "meaning of life" into the search engine. (We also spotted that the city comes top for the word "aliens", but the two probably aren't linked.)
So I had to have a look. Google Labs provides a search engine called Trends that allows you to check who's interested in what on a global scale. It covers Google searches from 2004.
The results for alien abduction:
1. Perth, Australia
2. Brisbane, Australia
3. Seattle, USA
4. Brentford, UK (No, really. That's what it says.)
5. Birmingham, UK
6. Santiago, Chile
7. Los Angeles, USA
8. Melbourne, Australia
9. Manchester, England
10. Houston, USA
I must keep an eye on Brentford. Seems as if it's all happening there.
[Thanks to Menno for drawing my attention to the possibilities of this Google Labs gem.]