JUL 29, 2011

By Scott Knaster, Google Code Blog Editor

Walking to my office today, I saw a bunch of kids wearing "GSOC" t-shirts. That reminded me that the 7th annual Google Summer of Code is going on now. Google Summer of Code helps students spend part of their vacation writing code for open source projects, in return for a ton of experience and a nice stipend. Plus, GSOC participants can use the work they do to get college credit. Students, it’s something to think about for next year. Keep an eye on the site as GSOC 2011 progresses and, eventually, next year’s info is announced.

While students ponder the limits of their summer, physicists at the University of Maryland recently ran a simulation of one possible scenario for the end of time, also called the Big Crunch. In this scenario, the universe collapses on itself and becomes a black hole. Here’s a spoiler: one scientist said, “the end of time looks very hot”. (See this Wikipedia page for other big ideas about what might happen when time ends, and there are these possibilities from Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman.)

And finally, because Fridaygram loves wacky nature stories, here’s one about a rain forest vine with a dish-shaped structure that produces an “echo beacon”, reflecting back sonic calls from bats to help them find the plant. The bats get nectar and the vines get pollinated. Awesome.

What do black holes and chirpy vines have to do with writing code? Not much. Fridaygram posts are just for fun. They're designed for your Friday afternoon and weekend enjoyment. Each Fridaygram item must pass only one test: it has to be interesting to us nerds.