Fridaygram: Lady Ada Lovelace, evolving limbs, ancient labyrinth

December 14, 2012

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By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

This week we celebrated the 197th birthday of computing pioneer Lady Ada Lovelace with a nifty Google Doodle. Among other accomplishments, Ada is credited with publishing the world's first algorithm for use with Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.

Coincidentally, also this week we launched the latest episodes in our Women Techmakers series on Google Developers Live. We're highlighting women who are making big social impacts through their innovations in tech. Please check it out.

In other areas of science this week, researchers in Spain used zebra fish to test an idea about limbs evolving from fins. The scientists ramped up the activity of a particular gene, which caused the fish to produce rudimentary limbs instead of fins. This might be an evolutionary clue about where our own arms and legs came from.

Finally, it looks like the mystery of line drawings in the Peruvian desert has been solved, according to Clive Ruggles, who is an archaeoastronomer (which might be the coolest job title ever) and archaeologist Nicholas Saunders. Ruggles says the drawings are a labyrinth, and "This labyrinth was meant to be walked, not seen". Well said, and in that spirit, we hope you get out and take a walk of your own this weekend, even if you don’t have an awesome ancient labyrinth nearby.

Each Friday on this blog we skip our usual developer topics and offer interesting (we hope) stuff that’s not directly related to writing code.