Sunday, January 5, 2014

Zeitgeist 2013 Through Its Most Seen and Searched

The stars and dates are aligning this week as we begin 2014 and end yet another round of ABCWednesday.  So for "Z" week I look at  Zeitgeist 2013 and share my take with you on how our culture and worlds are changing. Please share your favorites and your insights in the comments below.

According to Wikipedia:
"The Zeitgeist (spirit of the age or spirit of the time) is the intellectual fashion or dominant school of thought which typifies and influences the culture of a particular period in time."
I begin with Google's Zeitgiest 2013 as they have compiled their images and lists from what we have searched for over the course of the last year.  Take a look:

Google's Zeitgeist 2013 in images as posted on YouTube:

IF you don't feel like linking yet, here's a synopsis of what we searched for on Google in 2013:
  • New beginnings (gay marriage, a new prince, a new pope;
  • New Frontiers (looking at other worlds in our solar system);
  • Ways to help (disadvantaged, homeless, terror victims);
  • Courage (to stand up against oppressors, to speak up, to change);
  • Goodbyes (to Baroness Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013, Paul Walker 1973-2013, Nelson Mandela 1918-2013);
  • Inspiration (world records, 3D trend map, music, online games and apps, entertainment, robotics, artificial intelligence, heroes)

According to Google,
"The #1 trending search of 2013 was in international symbol of strength and peace: Nelson Mandela...Tragedies like the Boston Marathon, the 6th trending term globally, and Typhoon Haiyan, #2 on our global events list, also captured the world's attention. And our human desire to help came through, with 'donate to the Philippines' ranking highly around the world... 2013 also had moments that made us move. People uploaded more than 1.7 million video versions of the Harlem Shake to YouTube, propelling it to the #5 spot on our global list...And unashaedly, we all wanted to learn about twerking, which topped this year's "what is... list."
Google's Top 10 Global Trending Searches of 2013:
  1. Nelson Mandela
  2. Paul Walker
  3. iPhone 5s
  4. Cory Monteith
  5. Harlem Shake
  6. Boston Marathon
  7. Royal Baby
  8. Samsung Galaxy s4
  9. PlayStation 4
  10. North Korea

A Sampling of Googles 'most searched' Categories:
  • Athletes (Aaron Hernandez, Adrian Peterson; Kevin Ware; Jason Collins; Oscar Pistorius; Lamar Odom; Richie Incognito; Ray Lewis; Colin Kaepernick; Lindsey Vonn)
  • Authors (Tom Clancy, John Green, Ree Drummond, Vince Flynn, Orson Scott Card, Sylvia Day, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Veronica Roth, Maya Banks)
  • Books (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead; The Great Gatsby; Divergent; Soul Healing Miracles: Ancient and New Sacred Wisdom, Knowledge, and the Practical Techniques for Healing the Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical Bodies; The Fault in Our Stars; Wonder; Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander; The Book Thief; Strengths BAsed Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow; the House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, Book 4)
  • Boy Names (Austin, Jackson, Adrian, Jordan, Alexander, Carson, Cameron, Christopher, Cooper)
  • Girl Names (Fallon, Chloe, Jaden, Harper, Logan, Emma, Cadenza, Lily, Sloane, Mia)
  • Events (Boston Marathon; Government Shutdown; VMAs; Moore, Oklahoma Tornado; Royal Baby; Zimmerman Trial; Typhoon Haiyan; New Pope; Syria Conflict; Mayweather vs. Canelo)
  • Google Doodles (Claude Debussy's 151st birthday; 50th anniversary of Doctor Who; Doodle 4 Google Winner; Google's 15th birthday, Hermann Rorschach's 129th birthday; Women's Day; Maurice Sendak's 85th birthday; Celia Cruz's 88th birthday; Saul Bass' 93rd birthday; 66th anniversary of Roswell)
  • Images (Funny Pictures, Miley Cyrus, Kate Upton, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Araina Grande, One Direction, Amanda Bynes, Periodic Table, Jennifer Lawrence)
  • Movies (Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, World War Z, Jobs,The Conjuring, The Great Gatsby, Despicable Me 2, The Purge, Pacific Rim, Mama)
  • Songs (Harlem Shake, Wrecking Ball, Thrift Shop, Royals, Skyfall, Tom Ford, Holy Grail, Blurred Lines, Roar, Radioactive)
  • Tech Gadgets (PlayStation 4, Gamsung Galaxy s4, iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPad Mini, HTC One, Chromecast, Nexus 5, iPhone 6)
  • TV Shows (Breaking Bad, Duck Dynasty, Big Bang Theory, Good Morning America, South Park, True Blood, Big Brother 15, New Girl, Castle, Scandal)
  • Video Games (Grand Theft Auto V, Cookie Clicker, Atari Breakout, Candy Crush, BioShock Infinite, Cube World, Battlefield 4, Neverwinter, SimCity, Skylanders SWAP Force)
  • What is... (Twerking, Ricin, DOMA, Molly, Gluten, Sequestration, Obamacare, Lupus, Snapchat, Bitcoin)
For a complete list of search lists, please go to:

Aside from a list of Google's searches, there are vast collections and interpretations of 2013's images reinforcing how important images and visual literacy are becoming. Here are a number of links along with a few of my favorite images. [NOTE: As these are large graphic representations, I couldn't reproduce them here but they are WELL WORTH a LOOK.]


HERE ARE MY FAVORITE "BEST" PHOTOS OF 2013 (found in the links above):

Miles Scott (leukemia patient from Tulelake in Northern California), dressed as Batkid, walks with Batman before saving a damsel in distress in San Francisco, on November 15, 2013 as city officials,  San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, and Make-A-Wish Foundation helped fulfill Scott's wish to be "Batkid." (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

January 28: A crowd in Nazare, Portugal, watches as surfing legend Garrett McNamara appears to break his own world record for the biggest wave ever surfed. The wave was estimated to be about 100 feet high.

January 29: A military regiment in China's Heilongjiang province takes part in a morning exercise as temperatures dip to minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit).

April 15: Police officers stand over marathon runner Bill Iffrig as a second explosion sounds near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and at least 264 were injured in the terror attack. John Tlumacki/The Globe via Associated Press

May 3: Hong Kong skyscrapers, as seen from the ground floor.

CHICAGO 01/23/2013 Firefighters extinguished a five-alarm warehouse fire in single-digit temperatures. The water sprayed from their hoses froze quickly, leaving the area glazed with ice. Scott Olson/ Getty Images

NEAR GOGLAND ISLAND, RUSSIA 07/15/2013 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia rode in the Sea Explorer 5 underwater research vessel to view the remains of a warship that sank in 1869 in the Baltic Sea. Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti Kremlin Press Service, via Associated Press

DAMASCUS, SYRIA 08/21/2013 Hundreds of Syrians were killed in a chemical weapons attack. Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA 12/15/2013 Mnikelo Ndagankulu, draped in a South African flag, sat on a hill overlooking Nelson Mandela’s ancestral home and burial ground, Qunu. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times
Picture of Pope Francis paying his hotel bill in Rome, Italy.
A day after his March 13 election, Pope Francis stops to pick up his luggage and pay his bill at Rome's Domus Internationalis Paulus VI hotel, where he stayed aa=s a cardinal before entering the conclave. O'sservatore Romano, AP 
Picture of inmate firefighters during the Rim Fire blaze in California.
Prison inmates walk along Highway 120 near Yosemite National Park on August 25th. More than 550 inmates cut lines alongside elite "hot shot" civilian crews as part of a rehabilitation program, enlisted to battle Rim Fire blaze - one of the largest wildfires in California's history. Jae C. Hong, AP
Picture of a deflated rubber duck in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.
 Dutch conceptual artist Florentjin Hofman's "Rubber Duck" afloat in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, where the traveling exhibit was installed in May. The 54-foot (16 meter) duck was back 'tended to' and back up within the month. Tyrone Siu, Reuters.
Nelson Tavares, 24, of Cabo Verde (formerly Cape Verde) paints Nelson Mandela's portrait in the Lisbon neighborhood, June 20. Rafael Merchante, Reuters/Corbis. 
A Child stands outside the shuttered Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington D.C., during October's government shutdown. I could not find a credit for the photographer. It appeared on Reddit and found at
Locust attack in Madagascar. Dieter Telemans/Panos

As always, thank you for your visits, and please leave your impressions of Zeitgeist 2013 in the comments, and here's to wishing all of you an AWESOME 2014 - may it bring you inspiration, joy, peace, good health and success.


  1. A great review, and a wonderful choice for Z - loved the picture of the Batmen!

  2. Absolutely fascinating.
    The photos gave me chills.
    Events captured in such staggering, in your face, realism.
    As always, it's a pleasure to visit your blog. I hope you will do it all over again .

  3. My daughter calls the 49ers QB Cappuccino! Too bad about Vonn. It was a year, some progress in some areas, but then again...
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. AmaZing post - as usual, but even better! lol Loved the photos - they took me back to some wonderful moments as well as some moments when I recall feeling like sobbing. Let's hope 2014 is better personally and continues to be great for all mankind.
    abcw team

  5. I'm still trying to get the image of Miley Cyrus at the awards out of my head. Surprised the word "selfie" was not on your list too.

  6. I love the mixture of serious and fun photos