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September 11, 2009

Friday Recap: Peace, Love & Freedom Edition

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Twin Towers and Statue of Liberty

This Friday Recap is dedicated to remembrance of the losses of September 11th; to compassion for our neighbors, both in the nation and around the globe; and to keeping alive the hope of peace.

It may not be apparent through the techie or humorous content of the post. But, in celebrating the events of this week in search and technology, I salute the transformative as well as the simple events that make life, well, life.

This week we witnessed the rare date of 9/9/9 on the calendar. On that day, one couple ushered a 9 pound, 9 ounce baby into the world at 9:09 in the morning. That’s one charmed babe!

President Obama gave several important speeches this week, including one addressed to school children. In it, the president dissed Microsoft’s gaming platform Xbox and praised Twitter, Google and Facebook as game-changing communication modes. Someone’s playing favorites!

Meanwhile, a study out of Scotland reported that working memory can be positively affected by Facebook and negatively affected by Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook was certainly utilized to stupid effect when two girls trapped in a storm drain used a cell phone to update their Facebook status rather than to call emergency services. Some kind soul saved them from the Darwin Award and alerted authorities.

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Google’s design patent for the search engine’s home page was approved this week — just in time for a super-sized redesign. Anyone a fan of the enlarged search field and text?

A new study reported the average lifetime earnings of college graduates, non-college grads, men and women across a number of countries. No surprise, men earn more than women in most countries — except for in Spain and South Korea. Can I get a culture shift up in here?

Mashable’s Social Good Conference took place this week as the social media news site concluded its Summer of Social Good initiative to raise money for several non-profits. I’ve noticed the spirit of giving spreading across the tech space lately.

Also contagious are yawns. Ever notice that? Researchers have published a study indicating that yawning is so contagious that chimps can catch a yawn from a cartoon. Yaww-wowza!

The first photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope since it was repaired last May were published this week. These stunning pictures from across the galaxy prompted me to plan my next vacation in outer space. It’s gonna be out of this world!

Things I learned from Boing Boing this week:

  • Vegemite, the iconic Australian condiment, has an odd approach to online marketing. Or none at all.
  • Who’d win the race between DSL in South Africa and a pigeon?
  • Google Japan makes adorable stop-motion videos. I have no idea what’s going on, but that doesn’t really matter.
  • Hierarchy diagrams are pretty cool, right? ;) Here’s one dedicated to digital distractions!
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