While reading news about Google Books proposed copyright settlement, I decided to check out Google Books. On their home page are covers of various books and magazines including the tabloid, Weekly World News. That prompted me to recall a Weekly World News headline from the past, “Actual Photo of Jesus Found”. Searching Google Books with the phrase, “actual photo of Jesus Weekly World News”, bingo I found it.
The article claims that a photograph of Jesus had been found that was taken by a primitive Roman “camera obscura.”
Since it is established that the first known photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, it is a pure hoax to report that a photograph exists from Roman times. However the tabloid Weekly World News has never let facts stand in the way of a good story.
Just to see if Google Books could find high-minded material as well as low brow tabloid material, I searched for Eisenstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and found the 1921 English translation of his work.
While writers and publishers debate the pros and cons of Google capturing and distributing their content, for the end user, Google Books provides a treasure trove of low and high culture to rummage through.