Doesn’t it have to do with a papal election? When a new pope has been elected, white smoke rises from the Sistine Chapel chimney, as with Pope Benedict XVI. Black smoke means the cardinals have not reached a decision.
I agree with Conchita. The (s)election of a new Pope would seem to be the only logical explanation. Just think of all those reporters and other people who were anxiously hanging around the Vatican — “on the look-out” for the smoke — just before Mr. Ratzinger became Pope.
Maybe this is a bit far-fetched, but now that Conchita mentioned the papal election it occurred to me that the word papal is very similar to the brandname PayPal. Could there possibly a connection or is this just a coincidence?