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Wow, I never realized how bad of a month January was to be unemployed. In Canada it must be even worse (as you can't even go outside and enjoy nature while you have a surplus of time).

Thanks for the last year of thoughtful and interesting posts. WCI is a really nifty site and I have enjoyed reading it a lot.

Joseph, thank you for your words of appreciation.

I had no idea there was a January 1 spike in lay-offs either until I started plugging semi-random terms into google trends - knowing in the abstract that employment data is seasonally adjusted isn't quite the same thing as seeing that sharp January blip.

I can waste hours playing with Google Trends.

Do Canadians eat turkey at Easter? There seems to be a small 'turkey' spike that lines up with the 'Jesus' spike in spring.

Thomas - interesting question. Some do, some don't. I just did some further analysis comparing turkey, ham, beef and lamb. There is a ham spike at Easter, but it's smaller than the turkey spike, and the other two don't do much.

I suspect that the answer to the question 'why is the turkey spike at Easter so small'? is that some people don't celebrate Easter in any way other than buying chocolate - Canada is a less religious country than the US.

Also, bear in mind that people who are searching the internet trying to work out how to roast turkey are by definition not digging the time-honoured recipe out of the recipe box (I use my tried-and-true New York Times cookbook recipe, along with tips from friends). So turkey searchers may be more likely to be immigrants/new Canadians and thus less likely to celebrate Easter.

Happy holidays, and thanks for all of the great posts this year! I really like this blog (and I'm not even Canadian). A

p.s. I'm not sure how it turned out, but I hope your crusade against the NK model's spurious microfoundations is going well! Perhaps you guys should make up over christmas.

The Santa/Jesus trend amuses me to no end.

That's fun! If you'd like longer time series, take a look at Google's Books Ngram Viewer, where you can compare the relative frequencies of the appearance of words or phrases in published books since at least 1820.

A, iron troll, thanks for your warm wishes and kind comments.

Armchair, that is a totally awesome link, and will be incredibly useful for a paper I'm working on. Thank you for that Christmas present!

Frances, you want to be careful with that. the ocr used is substantially less than perfect. Of note is the canonical NSFW search. The historical long s gets confused with f creating errors in particular with the word "suck". Sampling would conceivably deal with false positives, but how do you deal with the false negatives? Sample all the plausible error words?

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