MY FRIDAY

To listen: The Noah Claunch Triple B Band is playing from 7 to 11 p.m. at Ethel's Old Corral, 4310 Alfred Harrell Hwy. 

To do: Check out California Dueling Pianos by 2 Grand Entertainment beginning at 9 p.m. at The Padre Hotel, 1702 18th St. The event is an all-request, high-energy, interactive sing-along, clap-along, laugh-along extravaganza.

To laugh: Enjoy a night of laughs at the Comedy Night beginning at 8 p.m. at Rj's Sports Pub, 908 Brundage Lane.


MOST SEARCHED ON GOOGLE IN 2017

Google released its trends of 2017 this week, and the results reflect some of the biggest news of the year. 

The number one topic people all over the world were searching online was Hurricane Irma, followed by the iPhone8 and the iPhoneX.

However, in the U.S., the top three news events searched on Google were Hurricane Irma, the Las Vegas shootings and the solar eclipse. 

Also in the U.S., the number one searched person this year was Matt Lauer. (We can guess why.) 

Google says the top three "How to" questions searched this year in the States were: "How to make slime," "How to make solar eclipse glasses" and "How to watch the solar eclipse." (We aren't sure about the slime thing, either.)

The top searched "What is" question in the U.S. was "What is DACA?" while the top shows searched are "13 Reason Why," "Game of Thrones" and "This is Us." 

The most searched protests include "NFL National Anthem protest" and the "Charlottesville protests." 

Some of the more weird searches by U.S. users were "selfie" searches. The top three were "Monkey selfie," "Al Sharpton selfie" and "Nia Jax selfie." 

Check out trends.google.com for more trends. 


A BURNING MEMORY

We wouldn't normally bother to tell you about a fire at an aging strip mall in Modesto, but this one bears noting: The Wednesday morning blaze, which Modesto firefighters say started at a nearby muffler shop on Crows Landing Road, damaged Lupita's Floral and Amelia's Fashion. A former Modesto Bee reporter tells The Californian those storefronts were once a cinder block dive bar called the Fun Zone — where Merle Haggard performed professionally for the very first time.

Last year Jeff Benziger of the Ceres Courier wrote about Haggard's stint at the Fun Zone:

"The bartender saw a guitar slung on Haggard's back and asked if he could sing. Merle strummed and sang, what else, 'Always Late.' He offered Haggard $5 and all the beer he could drink to keep singing. Merle told friend Peggy Russell (in his first autobiography) ' "The Fun Center was the kind of place where they didn't give you a glass when you ordered a beer. Just slapped the bottle down on the bar. You got the distinct feeling that it would not be in your best interest to ask for a glass either." ' Thus, Modesto made history as being the first professional gig of Merle Haggard."

No word on the extent of the damage to the old strip mall.


SAY WHAT?

“I feel like I’d been missing out all this time. I got upset at myself for just finding out about it.”

— Nicole Littles, who attended her first Kwanzaa celebration Wednesday in Bakersfield. She brought her 4-year-old son Chanson to a Kwanzaa event.

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