Mental Floss

Tuesday Turnip

David K. Israel

In case you're not familiar with the Turnip, it's a whimsical Google search, wherein I type a random phrase and we see what kind of interesting pages "turn-up." As always with this feature, the _floss is not responsible for accuracy. If you know one of the below statements/links to be untrue, by all means, let the world know in the comments below.

Today I typed "Most scholars agree" into Google, unearthing the following:

Turnip #1 The person who wrote the manuscript used a shortened form that looked somewhat like +. Most scholars agree, however, that the first published use of the plus sign was in a Dutch book, Een sonderlinghe boeck in dye edel conste Arithmetica, written by Giel Vander Hoecke and printed in 1514. The book also used the minus sign (-) to indicate subtraction.

Turnip #2 Much of William Shakespeare's life remains a mystery. Most scholars agree that he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1554 and that he married Anne Hathaway in 1582, but about the details of his life, scholars agree on precious little.

Turnip #3 Most scholars agree the Gospel of Mark was written about the time of the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans under Titus in the year 70 AD/CE, and that the other gospels were written between 70 and 100 AD/CE..

Turnip #4 Most scholars agree that the Dead Sea Scrolls are the remains of a library that belonged to an ancient Jewish sect, the Essenes. This community inhabited an arid plateau on the northwest corner corner of the Dead Sea.

Turnip #5 Most scholars agree that at least 30 million died in Mao's great famine. Chang and Halliday say "close to 38 million people died."

Turnip #6 ...military or violent imagery remains surprisingly understated in Minoan art, and most scholars agree that Minoan religion was more female than male centered, as far as we can tell. However, evidence for human sacrifice has been found in some Minoan peak sanctuaries, and frescoes from Thera, an island about 60 miles north of Crete, are more military in nature.

Turnip #7 Most scholars agree the Ark was never placed in the Second Temple (the Temple of Zerubabel and Herod). It disappeared from the Biblical story during the First Temple period and cannot be clearly traced afterward.