Fridaygram: Galapagos images, smart dog, timely entanglement

May 24, 2013

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By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

On Fridaygram we love to celebrate amazing new Street View images. This week we announced new panoramic views of the Galapagos Islands, collected with with the Street View Trekker in partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Parks Directorate (GNPD). These images will go live on Google Maps later this year, but you can see a preview below and on the Official Google Blog.

giant turtle

The Maps team’s 10-day adventure included lots of interaction with local wildlife, but didn’t take place entirely on land. The team worked with the Catlin Seaview Survey to collect underwater ocean images too. And in addition to being beautiful and fun, these pictures have a practical use: they act as a visual record that can be compared to changes observed in the future.

Speaking of wildlife, do you have a smart dog? And does your smart dog know 1000+ words, plus have a basic comprehension of grammar? Meet Chaser, a 9-year-old border collie who has been taught to recognize the names of 1000 objects, as well as the meaning of some verbs and prepositions. In tests, Chaser correctly (most of the time) responded to commands such as “take ball to Frisbee”, or even “to Frisbee take ball”. If only our friends and family were that helpful.

Finally, there’s some typically mind-blowing news from the world of quantum physics. We already know that quantum particles can share a connection called entanglement, which allows one particle to reflect the state of another no matter how far apart they are. Now an experimental discovery shows that particles can be entangled even if they don’t exist at the same time. We agree with experimenter Jeremy O'Brien of the University of Bristol, who said “It’s really cool”.

Fridaygram is about randomly cool and nerdy stories that we hope will amuse you and possibly inspire your weekend. Around here we’re still feeling the Google I/O afterglow, so we’re going to recommend you spend some time this weekend watching some of the many session videos from I/O. If that’s not your thing, maybe you’d like this brief but inspiring video that kicked off the conference.