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Knowledge-Thirsty Americans Search for Kardashian, Beyoncé

Modern search engines are able to chronicle all of human learning -- the National Enquirer, OK and Us Weekly, all of it.

Asa Mathat

Once upon a time, the tools of learning were confined to church elders or the highest ranks of academia.

Search engines, though, have made most of human learning just a click away.

The American public again proved eager this year to broaden their subject-matter expertise. While many topics were of interest, one was disproportionately represented: Celebrity gossip. The top query this year, according to Bing, was Kim Kardashian West, who surpassed last year’s most searched person, which was Beyoncé.

The other most-searched for people reads like a who’s who of world leaders: Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.

In a blow almost as crushing as the mid-term elections, Barack Obama failed to make the list this year, after finishing at No. 10 last year.

Obama was, however, still the most searched-for politician, followed by the woman who wants his job, Hillary Clinton. Also popular was Republican governor Chris Christie, who also wouldn’t mind having Obama’s job.

Others in the top 10 pols include outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, Tea Partier Michele Bachmann and Texas’ governor Rick Perry. Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid also made the top 10, along with Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders.

When it comes to what really matters — sports — the list was topped by basketball players LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Lamar Odom. Race car driver Danica Patrick was the fourth-most-searched-for athlete, followed by football quarterbacks Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick. Tennis player Serena Williams, recently retired Yankees star Derek Jeter and Patriots QB Tom Brady also made the list.

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