Fridaygram: RISE Awards, reluctant shipworms, countdown timer

AUG 16, 2013
Author PhotoBy +Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Every year the Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards are given to non-profit educational programs around the world. The awards help open up access to programs in computer science and technology for underrepresented groups in K-12.

Last year, 30 RISE Awards were granted to organizations in Nigeria, Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, Liberia, and many more locations. Applications for this year’s awards are open until September 30th. If you’re involved with an educational group, you might want to look into it. An award could inspire someone and help change lives.

From RISE awards to the ocean’s rise, scientists have studied why wooden shipwrecks off western Antarctica seem much better preserved than those in most other areas. The answer may be that shipworms that devour wooden ships don’t like it there. A strong current plus a confluence of cold and warm waters seem to discourage the ship-eaters. A Swedish team tested this by placing wooden planks and whale bones underwater for more than a year. The wood was well-preserved, while some other really cool-looking worms feasted on the whale bones. Following this research, scientists now hope they can find a long-sought shipwreck in the area.

Finally, we want to tell you about (yet another) small, cool, handy feature in Google Search you might not have noticed: it’s a timer. If you need to count down time, just go to a Google Search box and type timer 60 seconds or something similar. You’ll see a timer that you can stop and restart, and even an optional alarm. Now you can remember that it’s time to do that thing, even if you forgot what it was.

Fridaygram always shows up on Friday, so reading old ones feels a little like time travel, although there is no Google Time Machine yet. And speaking of time, we wish Debian a happy 20th birthday today.