Parallel U.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The new China Central Television headquarters building in Beijing. Yesterday's most e-mailed photograph on Yahoo.


Do we all live in different worlds? Has the internet created parallel or alternate universes where we sometimes but rarely intersect? I ask these questions because having never spent any time on Yahoo, I recently set it to be my home page and then went one step further to personalize it to be “My Yahoo”. (The same week .mac changed their name to .me. Is this the beginning of a new "Me Decade"?) Anyway, the reason I changed home pages was that I was particularly intrigued by what photographs the approximately 150 million unique monthly viewers were most taken by and how it differed from the kind of pictures those of us with a fine art predisposition are drawn to.

For those who follow the “Most Emailed Photos on Yahoo” section, it’s a wild and wacky world out there. Spectacle, novelty, freakishness, and animals rule. Subject trumps all. Artlessness is a virtue. I say this without snobbishness because as readers of this blog know, I’m fascinated by pictures that have a purely visceral impact without any connection to aesthetics. And if the “Most Emailed Photos on Yahoo” doesn’t get to you – how about ”The Daily Puppy” link, or ”OMG”?

I’m intrigued to know what readers of this blog set their home pages to and what kind of pictures they hope to see. Please comment. In the meantime, a selection of popular Yahoo pictures:


Kim Taylor of Stewartstown, PA, thought she had set the emergency brake, but her wayward red convertible nonetheless rolled downhill, crashed through a fence, and plunged into her neighbors' in-ground pool.


Toes are nibbled on by a type of carp called garra rufa, or doctor fish, during a fish pedicure treatment at Yvonne Hair and Nails salon in Alexandria, Va.


From "The Daily Puppy", Tek, the Australian Shepherd puppy, who was named after Jason Varitek, the captain of the Boston Red Sox.


From the "OMG" section of Yahoo - Diane Keaton.


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