• A simple Web page whose purpose was to answer the question asked all around the world this week garnered over 1 million views in 36 hours, according to Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of Guardian U.S.
Istherewhitesmoke.com was created by the U.K.-based Guardian News, and the visually appealing Web page, which splashed the word “NO” and eventually “YES” over an image of a smoke-spewing chimney, directed readers to the Guardian's live coverage of the papal conclave, whose members elected the new pope. Gibson tweeted the circulation news around midnight EDT Wednesday, and followed up with a second tweet: “I'm trying not to overinterpret that data.” (The Guardian, Twitter)
• It's only a matter of time before the almighty Jennifer Lawrence is knocked off her golden pedestal, but the hilarious folks over at Vice wanted to get a head start on the inevitable backlash. So they checked in with various hate groups across the globe to see what kind of venom they might spew in the Oscar winner's general direction. Not surprisingly, most of them were nonplussed as to why Vice's intrepid Jamie Lee Curtis Taete (yep, that's his name) was bothering them with such an inane question. Surprisingly, Steve Drain of the Westboro Baptist sort of played along: He hasn't seen “Silver Linings Playbook,” but he'd like to, and he thought “Winter's Bone” “rocked.” Tony Alamo Christian Ministries did not play along, at all, but took the opportunity to spread the Good Word: “Let me just say, real quick, the Lord's coming back. Very soon. And He's not gonna ask you how many movies you saw or which celebrities you knew.” (Vice)
• The guy who recorded Mitt Romney's infamous “47 percent” speech is even more awesome than we thought: Scott Prouty appeared on MSNBC's “The Ed Show” on Wednesday night to talk about his decision to release the video, which he first intended to record as a souvenir, before realizing it was “not a normal stump speech.” Disturbed by Romney's remarks aimed at the middle class and even more disturbing characterization of conditions at an oppressive Chinese labor factory, which apparently he thought were just fine, the college-educated bartender ultimately decided to release the video. “You shouldn't have to be able to afford $50,000 to hear what a candidate actually thinks,” he told Ed Shultz, adding that he wanted to maintain his anonymity because of worries it would jeapordize his work, and because he didn't want to distract voters. Oh, and when he's not busy saving America from a completely out-of-touch leader, he's jumping into a canal after a car that went off the road and saving a drowning woman from certain death. (NYMag, Mother Jones)
• Hasidic Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, are not fans of “The Amazing Spider-man 2,” which is filming in their neighborhood during Passover. Columbia Pictures has plans to close off streets near the Marcy Avenue Armory from March 22-27 while the sequel is in production, and Passover begins on March 25. "Now is the busiest time of year, when not only are the families home, but everybody's having guests," community leader Rabbi Moishe Indig told DNAinfo. "It's already congested, and there's so much parking in need. It's not fair to take away so much space." Williamsburg Community Board 1 member Simon Weiser said he "would just love if they move up [the shooting] a few days." According to the report, there is some dispute about whether or not all the permits have been finalized. (DNAinfo)
• Google shuts down Google reader, Twitter revolts. (Reuters)