The Social Climber: Sandra Bullock Named 'Entertainer of the Year'

It's not always enough to know what's "trending." It kind of helps to know why. Welcome to the Social Climber, where we provide a quick primer on the people, places and things that are being feverishly searched and shared online -- and try to make sense of it all.

Sandra Bullock Named 'Entertainer of the Year'
PHOTO: Sandra Bullock attends a screening of the film "Gravity" during the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square, Oct. 10, 2013, in London.
Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

We watched Sandra Bullock float away in "Gravity" and bring the laughs in the buddy cop comedy "The Heat."

The 49-year-old Oscar winner is having a banner year with the two box office hits, and the folks at Entertainment Weekly have noticed, naming her "Entertainer of the Year" for the second time.

"Bullock's tremendous talent and range — to say nothing of the woman's trademark grace and good humor in good times and bad — is what earned her the top spot on our annual list of the most exciting performers in 2013," the magazine wrote.

Furby Hysteria is Back
PHOTO: Various versions of a new electronic robot toy called "Furby", produced by US toy giant Hasbro and distributed by Japanese toy maker Tomy, are displayed at a press preview in Tokyo on September 4, 2012.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

The robotic critters that inspired shopping hysteria in the late 1990s are back at the top of holiday lists.

The Furby Boom boasts multiple personalities, bold new patterns and even syncs up to an app where it hatches digital Furby Furblings.

The hip new version wouldn't be complete without a very 2013 vocabulary.

According to Hasbro, the Furby Boom can learn phrases like, "Totes cray-cray" and "awesomesauce."

Bring Back Brian! 'Family Guy' Fans Launch Petition
PHOTO: Scene from FOXs "Family Guy."
FOX/Getty Images

"Family Guy" fans have launched a petition to bring back Brian, the cartoon's beloved talking dog, who was killed off in Sunday's episode.

Apparently "Family Guy" producers thought running over the Griffin family's pooch would be a "fun way to shake things up."

"Nonsense!" say 25,000 fans who have signed a petition to bring back Brian.

"Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience," the petition reads. "He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show."

Scotland Unveils Blueprint For Independence From Britain
PHOTO: Scotlands First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hold copies of its blueprint for independence after it was launched in Glasgow, Nov. 26, 2013.
Andrew Milligan/AP Photo

After a 300-year union with London, Scotland may be ready to call it quits.

A blueprint for independence was unveiled today by nationalist lawmakers.

If voters approve the plan next year, Scotland would keep Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch but create its own defense force.

Jennifer Lopez' Tribute to Salsa Singer Celia Cruz
PHOTO: Celia Cruz winner of the Best Salsa Album Award at the 3rd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at the Kodak Theater, Sep. 18, 2002.
M. Caulfield/Getty Images

Web searches for Celia Cruz spiked after Jennifer Lopez gave an electric tribute to the late salsa singer at the American Music Awards.

"I know that a lot of fans who will watch the show will know who she was, but we will also educate a lot of people reminding them of the impact she had in the music scene, not just in Latin American countries, but also in the United States," Lopez told the Associated Press before her performance.

Cruz died in 2003 at age 77 after battling brain cancer.

Researchers Say They've Found Oldest Buddhist Shrine
PHOTO: Visitors gather at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal on April 17, 2013.
Kyle Knight/AFP/Getty Images

A wooden structure dating back to the sixth century B.C. may be the world's oldest Buddhist shrine.

Archaeologists in Nepal said the structure was unearthed inside the Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini, the place where Buddha is generally believed to have been born.

The research is published in the archaeology quarterly "Antiquity."

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