You may have never heard Gioachino Rossini’s name before, but you have almost certainly heard his composition of The Barber of Seville; even Bugs Bunny has an adaptation of it.
The Italian composer would have been 220-years-old today and Google’s Doodle is honoring him with a leap year opera doodle. That’s right, it is February 29th today, a leap year so even though 220 years have passed, this is only the 53rd time Rossini’s birthday actual birthday has passed.
Leap years are every four years because we add a day to keep our calendar in sync. We count 365 days a year (except leap years with 357) because it takes the Earth roughly 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds to orbit the sun.
Google’s first leap year doodle was in 2004 when they displayed one frog leaping over another. Their doodles have continued to be more and more elaborate since then.
Google and The University of Warwick are paying homage to the great British author, Charles Dickens, as he celebrates his his 200th birthday.
The University with a full-length documentary and an app that celebrates Dickens’ novels and adaptations of work. The app links to all kinds of different mediums including videos, articles and podcasts.
The University of Warwick’s Celebrating Dickens app links to podcasts, articles and videos on Victorian Britain, his novels and adaptations of his works. One of the Professors behind the app, Jon Mee, said: “The whole Celebrating Dickens project has been a fantastic way of showcasing Dickens to a wider audience.”
Google’s commemoration is by way of their trademarked, Google Doodle which showcases characters from his work including Great Expectations’, Pip, and Ebenezer Scrooge from The Christmas Carol.
Most of Dickens’ novels spoke of the hardships inflicted on the poor during industrial revolution creating characters like David Copperfield and Oliver Twist.
He was born in Landport, Hampshire in England on February 7, 1812.
Google thinks that maybe there’s a chance the guy sitting on the couch will be able to save the world. Hey, you never know. Thus, Google has launched Project10tothe100, where they ask people to submit videos that will change the world for the better for a shot at $10 million. Although the deadline for submissions is up, you can still get inspired by voting for your favorite ideas, which you can do on March 17.
Google’s site says, “Maybe the answer that helps somebody is in your head, in something you’ve observed, some notion that you’ve been fiddling with, some small connection you’ve noticed, some old thing you have seen with new eyes.
The deadline for submitting ideas has passed; now it’s time to find the best ones. On March 17th 2009, we’ll be asking the public to vote on some of the top suggestions. Our advisory board will be reviewing your chosen finalists to find up to five ideas that we’ll make real.”
It all started when an article in the London Times took a few liberties with the work of Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard physics professor who had done research on the amount of energy used by search engines. The Times article stated that according to professor Wissner-Gross, a Google query created roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling kettle.
Wissner-Gross immediately shot back that he made no such claim but had instead simply found that visiting a website creates an average of 20 milligrams of carbon dioxide per second.
But the damage had been done and the “Google Query Debate” had begun across the blogosphere. This quickly prompted a reaction from Google, whose co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have backed numerous environmental initiatives.
Google pointed out that each search took their computers only 0.2 seconds to execute and that the servers that do the most work are only active for what amounts to hundredths of a second per search. They also identified that a person’s computer itself is using more energy in the time it takes to run a search than it does for Google to complete it on their end.