Fridaygram: Green Google, microscopic motor, lunar litter

SEP 09, 2011

By Scott Knaster, Google Code Blog Editor

This week the Google Green Blog reported on Google’s use of energy in our buildings and data centers. All Google’s services combined use about as much energy per person in a month as a 60-watt light bulb burning for 3 hours, and the energy that is used is offset completely. You can read the details here, with a separate post describing our carbon offsets program.

Smart people at Tufts University used an infinitesimal amount of energy to power the smallest known electrical motor. The motor is a single molecule of butyl methyl sulphide, measuring a billionth of a meter across. Researchers are going to try to get a bunch of these molecules together to create super-tiny gears and see what cool things they can learn.

Bigger machines also made nerdy news this week. NASA released images that show evidence of human activity on the moon at the landing sites for Apollo 12, 14, and 17. The photos show where the lunar rover parked, tools used by the astronauts, and even astronaut footprints, all of which are intact 40 years after they were created. However, there is still no known photographic evidence of the Googlunaplex.

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.