Friday, January 24, 2014

How many are there?

While researching something last weekend (I was looking to find how many museums there are in Greece, about 140, it turns out), I had a rather fine Google search autocomplete experience.

From this, we can ascertain that the most pressing question in Greece in recent times (concerning counting things) is how many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there are. You and I know there to be four, we may even know their names, but more Greek internet users feel a need to Google this query than any other query involving numbers.

Second place goes to how much road tax will be levied. Obviously, this is a great concern, given the spiralling costs of legally owning and running a car in Greece, even if you are the former transport minister and like to run your car without plates and uninsured.

Third place, goes to the church: How many gospels are there? We may conclude that while the ninja turtles are a significant part of our culture, we should allow some space to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Is it a coincidence that both the gospels and the turtles are four in number? C’mon, hands up who else would love to see Raf, Leo, Don and Mike take their proper places in the lunettes under the domes of churches? Should I be taking more care given that another blogger recently received ten months for making fun of an Athonite monk? I don’t know, I don’t care, but in a country more interested in the progeny of Eastman and Laird than in the evangelists, ten months for a humorous blog sounds steep.

Fourth place, back to our cars… how much will road tax be in 2014? Intriguing insight into the Google algorithm: are we being denied glimpses of road tax in 2013, 2012, etc.?

And in the fifth place spot, we have an amazingly topical question: how many bad loans are there? or what is the value of bad loans? By extension from the remaining searches, perhaps the Greek users of Google Search are secretly hoping to receive the answer “four” – one for each of the gospels, or one for each of the Teenage Mutant Turtles, who presumably are the ones who have created this mess to start with.

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