World's Oldest Bible Now Fireproof!

Slate's Culture Blog
July 6 2009 11:15 AM

World's Oldest Bible Now Fireproof!

If we are what we Google, then Google Hot Trends—an hourly rundown of search terms "that experience sudden surges in popularity"—is the Web's best cultural barometer. Here's a sampling of today's top searches. (Rankings on Hot Trends list current as of 10 a.m.)

No. 8: "Disney Monorail Accidents." Sunday's deadly monorail accident at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., was the most Google-worthy fatality of a pretty dangerous Fourth of July weekend: On Saturday, four workers were killed in a fireworks explosion on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina when 40 minutes worth of fireworks exploded in four seconds ; fireworks killed one worker in Eastern Pennsylvania; in Spokane, Wash., a police dog spooked by fireworks pried open the lock to its cage and escaped . (He was found the next morning.)

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No. 16: "Codex Sinaiticus Online." The oldest bible in the world has gotten the Google Books treatment: Today, the British Library announced it's posting a digital version of more than half of the Codex Sinaiticus, a Bible written in Greek in the fourth century.  The Codex contains uncanonical texts, which, a columnist for the Guardian writes , "point up yet again ... the erroneousness of those who insist that the current Biblical text represents the inerrant and unchanging word of God." Visit http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/ to see the Codex. (As of this writing, though, the Web site was down.)

No. 19: "Ok magazine Michael Jackson photo." Michael Jackson queries still account for a quarter of the Top 20 trending searches today. The big story, besides Tuesday's funeral , is the fracas over OK! magazine's $500,000 purchase and subsequent fronting of a photo of Michael Jackson, supine on a stretcher, maybe dead. The New York Post reports that Jay-Z and P Diddy are calling for a boycott of the magazine, but the Los Angeles Times points out that the CBS tabloid news show "The Insider" showed the photo first on Friday.

Adrian Chen is a freelance writer and an editor at The New Inquiry.

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