Friday, January 20, 2012
Fridaygram: don’t censor the web, rediscovering Darwin, beautiful nebula
By Scott Knaster, Google Code Blog Editor
Last Wednesday, the web looked very different than it usually does. Dozens of popular sites went dark or were modified in some way. We censored the logo on our homepage. As you probably know by now, all this was done to call attention to prospective legislation being debated by the U.S. Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). These bills would censor the web, eliminate due process, and despite their titles, would not stop piracy.
We asked you to take action by signing a petition to Congress, and you responded. More than 7 million people in the U.S. added their names to the petition. We’re asking you to please keep sharing the petition with your friends at http://www.google.com/takeaction.
Let’s go from the U.S. Congress to the British Geological Survey, where Howard Falcon-Lang recently discovered a wooden cabinet tucked away in a corner. Inside the cabinet were rock samples with the signature C. Darwin, Esquire. As in Charles Darwin. It turns out that these samples were collected by Darwin during his HMS Beagle voyages in the 1830s, and had been misplaced for 165 years. Probably they’ll keep better track of the Darwin samples now.
Finally, for something that’s just really cool, please take a look at this video that zooms into an image of the Helix Nebula in the constellation Aquarius. Enjoy!
Fridaygram posts are generally just for fun, although we’ve put on our serious hat for the main item today. Fridaygrams are designed for your Friday afternoon and weekend enjoyment. Each Fridaygram item must pass only one test: it has to be interesting to us nerds.