Your Daily Guide to Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

NASA New Discovery

Yahoo! searchers are going wild this morning for news of a new discovery by NASA. It’s not a previously hidden planet, though, or a race of aliens planning to colonize Earth—it’s plants. Indeed, organisms called phytoplankton blooms have been discovered underneath the ice in the Arctic. The little green guys serve as food for sea life and also create oxygen for the rest of us, which is pretty kind of them, and previously they were not thought to live beneath ice at all. Honestly, we’d prefer aliens. 

Charlie Sheen Rant

Another hot topic on Yahoo! has to do with professional train wreck Charlie Sheen, who continues to act like a monster in every situation possible. Sheen was caught Wednesday night throwing a tantrum after being denied readmission to a Los Angeles hockey game—the actor had stepped outside to smoke, despite signs that direct smokers to areas inside and inform them that there is, in fact, no re-entry. Nobody cares why he flipped, though, they just want to see it. So here you go.

Chad Ochocinco

The sporty searchers at Google are busy reading about Ochocinco, the New England Patriots player who was just let go by the team after he failed to live up to his multi-million-dollar potential. It shouldn’t have been a great surprise to anyone who follows football regularly, however. In January, Ochocinco told the Boston Herald, “ bought into the Patriot Way, and it paid off. Maybe not the way everybody thought it would. I don’t know. Sometimes you work at something and you don’t always get results.” 

Fleetwood Mac

No, it’s not a reunion. People are searching for the Rumours band because of the death of Bob Welch, an early guitarist and singer for the group. Welch died Thursday at his Nashville home of an apparent suicide; he was reportedly found with a gunshot wound to the chest and had left a note. “He was a huge part of our history which sometimes gets forgotten,” band leader Mick Fleetwood has said. “Mostly his legacy would be his songwriting abilities that he brought to Fleetwood Mac, which will survive all of us.” The band’s body count is growing: earlier this year, ex Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Weston died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. 

10ThingsIMustDoBeforeIDie

Never a group to shy away from lists, the great minds of Twitter are this morning counting down their bucket lists, most of which include meeting Justin Bieber or making good for the grief they’ve caused their families. Sadly, not all from teenagers.

Super Bowl XLVI Was the Most Watched TV Program in History

In the last few years, the Super Bowl has reached new heights of cultural saturation, setting and breaking the record for the highest watched TV broadcast not once or twice but three times, enough to make someone’s dad rage about the shallowness of American attention spans, maaaaaan. So yes, this is not a new thing. But it’s still eye-dropping to look at the audience numbers from last night’s Super Bowl XLVI: 111.3 million viewers, beating last year’s game by 300,000. That’s barely 20 million fewer people less than the number of voters in the 2008 presidential election! Think about that, maaaaan.

Deadline tracks down the numbers to show how the Super Bowl’s audience has really jumped up since 2010, when the audience increased from 2009’s 98.7 million to a then-record 106.5 million, beating the old standard set by the series finale of M*A*S*H. Of course, some of this seems matchup-dependent: we’ve seen three immensely appealing Super Bowls in the last three years — New England Patriots vs. New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints — each featuring big stars in big markets with big national fanbases, playing for big historical stakes. The numbers will probably regress a little bit if it ever comes down to Jacksonville and Carolina, I’m guessing.

The surprising thing? Despite a titillating conclusion to the game involving long drives and last-minute scores, Madonna’s halftime show was the most watched part of it all. Remember that when picking sides in the inevitable cultural civil war that tears this country apart.

A Spirited Selection of Upscale New York Sports Bars to Watch (the Giants Win) the Super Bowl

On Sunday, the most important sporting event in the world will be held, assuming by "world" you mean "United States." This year’s Super Bowl is particularly significant, as it pits the Giants of East Rutherford, New Jersey New York against the Patriots of Foxborough, Massachusetts New England, two of the biggest television advertising markets most historically rich cities in the country. A list of Boston sports bars can be found here. As for my fair city, New York is filled with sports bars, but there are a handful of particularly upscale joints that break the lager-and-wings mold with fancy cocktails and haute cuisine – particularly important if you’re trying to make a date of it. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Bounce Sporting Club – Downtown

This upscale sports lounge attracts fans from far and wide with artisinal cocktails, delicious food, and more TVs than you can shake a thunderstick at.  In honor of the home team, order a Blueberi Bounce cocktail, which is made with Stoli Blueberi vodka, fresh lemon, smashed blueberries, and ginger ale.

Bounce Sporting Club – Uptown

The original location of Bounce strikes the perfect balance between clubhouse and fancy restaurant. If you wanted to watch the game and your better half was counting on date night, this is your spot. 

Snap

The sports bar reimagined as a nightclub. Clubby feel, football-leather banquettes, and sophisticated sips abound. 

The Ainsworth

This posh Chelsea sports bar has 40 flat screen TVs, along with miso duck spring rolls and 100-ounce beer tubes.

Warren 77

Sean Avery and Beatrice bloodlines make this about as trendy as sports bars get. Plenty of fun even if the Giants lose, not that there’s any chance of that happening. 

The Windsor

British-accented sports pub has Guinness-battered fish and chips and porn star martinis. Also, sports. 

The Fulton

Sophisticated sports bar way downtown goes the gastropub route with a killer menu and craft beers from here to eternity. 

Firefly

Proving that fancy sports bar is not an oxymoron. Big screens and quality burgers will make you cheer. 

40/40

Party like a rap star while watching sports stars at Jay-Z’s super club. 

Village Pourhouse

This East Village sports mecca gets rowdy, but that’s to be expected when you’ve got 50 bottles and 24 draft beers going at any given time. A nice, comfy hang. 

[Photo: q1077.com]