American attention is fixed on this week's events and their aftermath;
it should come as no surprise, then, that information about these
tragic events would be in high demand. Still, as of 9:45 p.m. on
15 September, the hourly bestseller list at Amazon is a fascinating
indicator of Americans' strong tendencies: books by
or about the 16th-Century doomsday prophet Nostradamus - whose
'prophecy' about the attack on the World Trade Center turned out
to be an Internet hoax - occupy the first, fifth, and sixth place
slots, while seven of the top 20 bestsellers are about Osama bin
Laden, international terrorism, or tensions in the Middle East.
of Hillary Clinton comes in at 11th on the list - its author, Barbara
Olson, was a passenger on the plane that struck the Pentagon.
The Top 50 search topics at 50.lycos.com
reflect similar trends: while 'World Trade Center' is the top search
term, 'Nostradamus' follows a close second, and rising. 'New York',
'Osama Bin Laden', and 'Dragonball' - an anime TV show, #1 until
this week - round out the top five. Perhaps more disquietingly,
information about 'NFL' (National Football League, which cancelled
its games for the week) and 'Big Brother' (a reality show whose
cast members have allegedly not been informed of the attacks) was
in greater demand than sites pertaining to 'Pentagon'.
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