How poop is smarter than Jesus: Google Reading Level ranks 100 random things

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Google introduced a new way of filtering search results last week: By reading level. You type something in and it tells you how many results fall into one of levels. Fair enough: if you're writing a research paper on sexual health or something, and thoughtful information would normally be impossibly buried under porn.

But there's something else here: Google is the greatest aggregator of information in the history of the universe, and now it has deigned to break everything on the internet into three categories, according to the level of discourse. Which means, when you type something into Google and ask it to show you the reading level breakdown, you are ostensibly seeing a numerical gauge of the intelligence of that thing's online presence.

Partly because we're incredulous that the thing works, and more because we can, we applied Google's Reading Level search to 100 people, places and things. Some of these came from various most-common search lists, some of them are arbitrary, and some of them we couldn't resist. For multiple word searches, we used quotation marks to make sure we were only getting pertinent results.

The scoring is simple: 1 point for each percentage in the beginner category, 2 points for each percentage in the intermediate category, and 3 for each advanced percentage. So the lowest possible score is 100 and the highest is 300. Ties were settled by Excel's sorting function, which, as far as we can tell, went with whichever one was entered first. Yes, we tried Topless (44) before Barack Obama (45).

Here are a few highlights from the results. The full list is below.

-The bottom six in order: Carrot Top (94), Puppy (95), Bro (96), Indie (97), American Idol (98), Linkin Park (99), Megan Fox (100). Kind of eerie, no? Also, we love that "Bro" comes in one spot smarter than "Indie" and that they're both way dumber than Teabagging (71).

-Vagina came in at number 11, higher than Shakespeare (14), Stephen Hawking (32), The CIA (27) and Penis (25). One spot lower than Cocaine (10), however.

-Rap (67) and Porn (68) numerically tie, and Hip-Hop (69) is one point below them. Modern Rock (84), meanwhile, is a lot dumber, but not as dumb as Chillwave (92).

-Allah (29) and World Trade Center Mosque (30) got the same score, and both ranked fairly high -- one spot below Cock (28).

-Climate Change (4) and Global Warming (5) were basically the same, but Intelligent Design (18) fell well below Evolution (9).

-Coal Mining (6) is a surprising high performer, sandwiched between Global Warming (5) and Professor (7)

-Barack Obama (45) finished nine spots ahead of Sarah Palin (54). Blowjob (39) did better than either. Yeah, Democracy?

-The highest number of things with the same score was 6 with 142. And we find them to be, for the most part, excellent intellectual peers: Britney Spears (73), National Lampoon (74), Fuck (75), The Black Eye Peas (76), Glee (77), 2 Fast 2 Furious (78).

-Penis (25) did as well as Classical Music (26), but neither is the intellectual match of Sodomy (24).

-Jesus (62), as noted, did not do as well as Poop (53). He did, however, tie with Sports (61), Pie (63) and France (64). USA (57) was slightly smarter.

Google came up with plenty of these sorts of ironies and oddities throughout the rankings. Page down for the full list.



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