May 2, 2013
Someday, Burleigh Manor seventh-grader Lauren Shen might go to Google and see what the Internet search engine is displaying to millions of users throughout the country: her artwork. Lauren, 12, is the state's winner in a Google-sponsored national contest called Doodle 4 Google, which challenges students in kindergarten through 12th grade to create their own version of Google's ever-changing home page logo. The altered versions of the logo are known as "doodles. " Google launched the contest in 2008 and also holds it in other countries.
April 22, 2013
Stars are shooting, drinking, driving and chomping, and the government is watching. Welcome to your post-weekend trends report for April 22, 2013. You have to love Congress. America's favorite band of geriatric jokers decided it would be hi-LAR-ious to use a week full of manhunts and explosions as a backdrop for jamming through the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which many civil libertarians view as the most Orwellian surveillance-state bill since the Patriot Act. The bill, which moves from the House to the Senate this week, is co-sponsored by Maryland's own Dutch Ruppersberger.
March 11, 2013
Today's Google Doodle marks the birthday of Douglas Adams, author of the hilarious "Hitchhiker" sci-fi book series. Adams himself wrote five novels in the trilogy(?!) about the travels of earthling Arthur Dent, alien Ford Prefect and others, beginning with "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. " It immediately jumped onto my Top 10 list (which, of course, has about 15 entries). Some years after Adams died in 2001 at the infinitely-too-young age of 49, his widow gave the OK for a sixth book.
January 11, 2013
Claiming to help farmers, chicken-seller Perdue instead plans to pollute farmers, their families, farms, air, land, water, and food across Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley with toxic emissions from a proposed taxpayer-subsidized industrial soybean crushing factory. Lancaster's local newspapers report the factory would emit such a large quantity of the air pollutant hexane that the company would have to pay for the reduction of smog-producing gases elsewhere. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has awarded $8.75 million from taxpayers to Perdue for designing this factory to dump hexane, a hazardous neurotoxin, into the air of food-growing and food-buying taxpayers across south-central Pennsylvania for decades known as the Garden Spot of America.
December 20, 2012
Today's Google Doodle honors Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the German brothers who sought out folk tales and published them in collections that included many of our most popular "fairy tales. " You won't find many fairies in the stories -- but plenty of big, bad wolves and evil step-sisters . The brothers, who were trained as lawyers, published hundreds of folk tales in Kinder- und Hausmärchen ( Children's and Household Tales ) and Deutsche Sagen , a collection of German legends, in the early 19th Century, according to a biography compiled by the University of Pittsburgh.
December 13, 2012
Christmas may actually be 11 days away but nerds are getting their gifts early today. Last night, Google released their popular (and relatively danger-free) Google Maps app on the Apple App Store. The wonky and much ridiculed Apple version is still the default but having a built-in Google Maps will have its advantages -- it's already the top downloaded free app. And later tonight, the first installment of "The Hobbit " will be released in theaters. The reviews are in and while they aren't ecstatic, they are encouraging.