Fridaygram: constitutions online, dinosaur footprints, Science Fair

SEP 27, 2013
Author PhotoBy +Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

This week Google and the Comparative Constitutions Project launched Constitute, which puts constitutions online for people everywhere to explore. Constitute includes 177 constitutions, many of which weren’t online previously.

Each country’s constitution is tagged for easier navigation, marking such attributes as citizenship, foreign policy, and electoral oversight. Having them all online together, tagged and searchable, enables unprecedented research. For example, you can quickly see which countries grant rights to minorities, and even how each country defines a minority. You can also watch the progress of trends such as marriage equality and voting rights.

With dozens of new and amended constitutions in the world each year, Constitute can become a central source for exploring what’s new and for helping drafters of future constitutions think about how to proceed with their work.

Constitutions have been around for thousands of years, but a discovery in the Yukon earlier this year revealed something far older: dinosaur tracks. Dozens of fossilized dinosaur footprints were found by scientists from the University of Alaska on an expedition near the Arctic Circle. According to researcher Paul McCarthy, “The tracks were so abundant along the Yukon River that we could find and collect as many as 50 specimens in as little as 10 minutes”. That’s a lot of footprints made by a lot of big feet.

Finally, we congratulate the winners and participants in this year’s Google Science Fair. First place went to Eric Chen, who studied ways to fight the spread of flu. Other winners included Vinay Kumar, Ann Makosinski, and Elif Bilgin. But we think the best part is the cool Lego trophy each winner gets to take home.

All we are is dust in the wind, or tracks in the Yukon, or something similarly temporary. But while we’re here, there’s Fridaygram to bring some fun nerdy news for your weekend. Thanks to our Yukon correspondent +Louis Gray for the dinosaur tip.